Since 28 June, the Algonquin First Nations, along with non-
natives, have occupied a proposed mining site at Robertsville.
The site is located north of Sarbot Lake in Northern Frontenac
County in eastern Ontario and is targeted in order to prevent the
Frontenac Ventures Corporation from carrying on operations that
have been underway for a year.
(658.5815) Laka Foundation - The
Robertsville site includes an ore
processing mill and some other buildings,
which were cordoned off by the First
Nations, who have established a camp in
the area behind the front gate. From
June 29 to July 2, an information picket
remained in place, and the area behind
the gate gradually developed into a more
organized camp, with several tents and
trailers in place, a parking area, and two
cooking and food storage canopies. On
the afternoon of 8 July, nearly 300
protesters held a march against uranium
mining in the Crotch Lake region.
Frontenac Ventures Corporation
(Frontec) has been renting a building on
the site as their base of operations and
has been improving and using an access
road that runs west from the mine site to
explore a uranium deposit on 30,000
acres of land that they have staked in the
region. The majority of staked land is
Crown land, and the rest is private land.
The corporation has put its operations on
hold in Northern Frontenac County,
leaving residents with mixed feelings. On
7 July, the uranium mining company left
North Frontenac Township after local
First Nations threatened to hold a day or
multiple days of protest. The land is part
of the territory traditionally claimed by the
Sharbot Lake and Ardoch Algonquins. A
map of the area that will be most affected
by the mining is found on the website of
the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation
(http://www.aafna.ca/) . The area is part
of a huge territory that is covered by
Royal Proclamation from 1763 which
reserves the Ottawa Valley for Algonquin
use, a royal proclamation that has never
been rescinded. Aland claims process
over the land has been underway
between two levels of government and
Algonquin representatives since 1992.
Both the Sharbot Lake Algonquin First
Nation and the Ardoch Algonquin First
Nation say they are opposed to the
Frontenac plans to develop uranium
deposits in the area. They consider the
area as their Sacred Territory. In
statements on their website they refer to
their own experiences: "Indigenous
people have been disproportionately
affected by the international nuclear
weapon and fuel industry. The Nuclear
fuel chain poisons our people, land, air
and waters. It threatens our very
existence and our future generations."
And they give some facts: "The
Environmental effects of Uranium mining
include the contamination of ground
water with dissolved metals and
radioactive materials, dispersal of
radioactive dusts, and releases of
radioactive gas into the air. When
uranium ore is processed, 85% of the
radioactivity is left behind in the tailings,
and must be managed safely for
hundreds of thousands of years."
Sources:Ottawa Citizen 8 July, 2007; Ottawa Sun 9 July,
2007 / CBC 25 June, 2007
Six days at the Robertsville mine: anti-uranium action
could last indefinitely /
Contact:Shabot Obaadjiwan First nation: Chief Doreen
Tel: +1 613 279-1970
Email: chiefdoreen@frontenac.net
Web: http://www.sharbotlakealgonquinfirstnation.com/