Friday, February 25, 2011
Note: Algonquin Firekeeper Daniel Bernard has been invited by NDP leader Andrea Horwath to speak in the Ontario legislature today (February 24th).
Algonquin Union hand-delivers urgent letter of appeal
to stop clear-cutting of South March Highlands in Ottawa
(Toronto) Despite several respectful but failed attempts to schedule a meeting with Ontario’s Minister of Tourism and Culture Michael Chan, representatives of the Algonquin Union are hand-delivering a letter today to his office. The letter, to be delivered by Algonquin Firekeeper Daniel Bernard (Amikwabe), contains new archeological information that provides Minister Chan grounds to stop the clear-cutting of South March Highlands in the Ottawa suburb of Kanata.
Tree cutting and heavy construction equipment continue to devastate this urban forest, which has been repeatedly identified as a site of significant archeological heritage, in addition to being of major environmental and ceremonial importance. The entire area has the potential to be recognized as Provincially Significant Cultural Heritage in accordance with Ontario Regulation 10/06.
“It is very disturbing that during the United Nations’ Year of the Forest the city of Ottawa is permitting one of the most amazing old growth forests located in an urban setting anywhere in the world to be destroyed,” Bernard says.
Algonquin people from across the Ottawa River Watershed in both Ontario and Quebec have called for an immediate halt to the KNL housing project at the site, while an independent archeological review is carried out to determine the cultural significance of the land. KNL’s own archeological study was accepted by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture in 2004, despite being described as ‘fatally flawed’ by Dr. Robert McGhee, past president of the Canadian Archeological Association. Many other reviews and studies have concluded that the site is of high importance from a cultural standpoint.
South March Highlands is an old growth forest and one of the most bio-diverse areas remaining in urban Canada. It offers critical habitat to more than 675 species of life, including 240 species of wildlife, more than 135 nesting birds and 20 species at risk.
• Daniel Bernard, on behalf of the Algonquin Union: Cell: 416-876-3051 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Paul Renaud Cell: 613-277-5898 Email: email@example.com
• Algonquin Union: www.union-algonquin-union.com