The Common Good
October 2004

Logging Out in the Open

by Rose Marie Berger, Brian Bolton | October 2004

If a forest is chopped down and nobody hears about it, did it really happen? Yes, according to Christian Peacemaker Teams and the Anishnabek tribe of Grassy Narrows First Nation near ...

If a forest is chopped down and nobody hears about it, did it really happen? Yes, according to Christian Peacemaker Teams and the Anishnabek tribe of Grassy Narrows First Nation near Kenora, Ontario.

Working with members from Grassy Narrows, Christian Peacemakers littered the trendy harbor-front tourist haven with tree stumps and sawdust to resemble a clear-cut forest. They handed "treaty violation" cards to passers-by. A few weeks later, they surrounded Kenora’s municipal buildings with yellow caution tape demarking an area the size of a local clear-cut forest.

"Have you ever been to a desert? This is what is happening to us here," William Fobister, Grassy Narrows’ former chief, told Sojourners. "We will be like an island, and all around us is being cut over." The Grassy Narrows’ land is protected by treaty, but Fobister says it is being logged anyway.

Forestry giant Abitibi Consolidated Inc., the world’s largest newsprint producer, joined with representatives from the Kenora City Council, Christian Peacemaker Teams, and Grassy Narrows First Nation to discuss solutions to end clear-cutting. Fobister says others can also send a message to Abitibi by boycotting its products until it practices responsible forestry.

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