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Foreign Ministers: Arctic is not for sale, leave it in the ground!

The Council of Canadian, the Indigenous Environmental Network and Greenpeace sent Arctic Ocean Foreign Ministers meeting in Chelsea Quebec a clear message rejecting the framing of the Arctic region as the final frontier for fossil fuel development.

All three groups had representatives and volunteers located nearby the entrance road to the meeting location holding banners, visible by the passing Foreign Ministers and press, with messages including, “Leave it in the ground,” “Arctic not for sale,” and “Arctic future: not behind closed doors.”

Following an welcoming prayer, burning of sage, song and message from Clayton Thomas Muller, Indigenous Tar Sands Campaigner with the Indigenous Environmental Network, Beth Hunter, Oceans Campaigner with Greenpeace Canada and I spoke.

Each organization criticized the closed door meeting, questioning why certain organizations and states were not present. The irony of pursuing further oil and gas exploration faced with a climate crisis, and the devastating impacts this stands to have on local indigenous peoples was stated clearly.

Following these messages, Clayton and I hand delivered copies of the open letter calling for a moratorium on new fossil fuel exploration in the Arctic region, to an RCMP representative to deliver to Foreign Ministers present at the meeting.

Media present included CBC, RDI, Global, CTV, Ottawa Citizen, Le Droit, APTN and TVA (keep an eye out for coverage on tonight’s news)

You can view some of our action shots on flikr here

You can read Friday’s open letter and press release here: release ; letter

You can read our newswire release today, here