Danny Beaton and Daniel Bernard outside Queen’s Park
Two week ago the Council of Canadians issued an action alert calling on people to contact Ontario’s minister of culture Michael Chan and other provincial government representatives to stop the clear cutting of the South March Highlands near Ottawa, http://canadians.org/action/2011/beaver-pond.html. Apart from its impact on wetlands and wildlife, we highlighted that the cutting of the forest would destroy 10,000 year-old Algonquin artefacts, burial mounds and archaeological sites found in the area.
This morning, the Ottawa Citizen reports that, “(Ontario’s) Culture Minister Michael Chan told (Ontario NDP leader Andrea) Horwath he was satisfied with an assessment that concluded the South March Highlands was not a significant archaeological site. ‘The assessment report meets the Ministry of Tourism and Culture requirements,’ Chan said in the legislature. ‘The ministry is not an approval authority in respect to any development project. That said, we do recognize the City of Ottawa’s efforts to force the dialogue between the development proponents and the aboriginal community on this matter.’ …Chan left the legislature without acknowledging Daniel Bernard, an Algonquin Firekeeper who believes the Kanata land contains ancient artefacts. ‘There’s no reason we should be ignored like this,’ Bernard said.”
CTV reported on February 13 that, “Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath and Council of Canadians chairman Maude Barlow have pledged their support (to help stop the clear cutting), said (Mohawk Turtle Clan member Danny) Beaton. ‘If all of Canada knew what was going on in this sacred place and that this disrespect was happening, I’m sure there would be a public outcry,’ he said.”