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Saskatchewan chapters speak against clearcutting on Treaty 6 lands

The Council of Canadians Regina, Prince Albert, Saskatoon and Quill Plains chapters have written their provincial Minister of the Environment Scott Moe to express concern that the Saskatchewan Government is violating Treaty 6 by allowing the Prince Albert-based company Sakaw Askiy Management Inc. to clearcut traditional treaty land near Leoville, Saskatchewan.

Yesterday, Sylvia McAdam Saysewahum, a co-founder of the Idle No More movement, posted on her Facebook page, “People are asking what they can do [about this situation], here are my suggestions: Call Saskatchewan environment minister and let them know that they are violating Treaty terms and promises by clearcutting on any hunting lands without the consent of Treaty peoples especially now, its happening north of Prince Albert. They’ve clearcut on my family’s hunting lands that have been with us for generations. …[Also] contact Sakaw Askiy (forestry company) and let them know they are violating Treaty by clearcutting this area. Let them know that you are all watching.”

Today, the four Council of Canadians chapters issued a media release and sent a letter to the minister of environment.

The letter highlights, “It has come to our attention through Ms. Sylvia McAdam that your government has allowed Sakaw Askiy Management Inc. to clearcut traditional treaty land and that Sylvia McAdam is currently trying to protect her family’s hunting lands from their clearcut by being present on the land. It is our belief as well as by others that by your complicity in the letting of the Forest Management Area permits, you are violating the Treaty terms and promises by allowing this logging company to clearcut any hunting lands without the consent of Treaty peoples. In this case, the traditional hunting lands are held by the McAdam family.”

It also highlights, “We are also asking through this letter the General Manager of Sakaw Askiy Management Inc., Ian MacIver, to stop violating the Treaties of this country.”

The letter then concludes, “We ask that you make this your highest priority at this time and have the logging company stop so that the traditional hunting lands of Sylvia McAdam’s family can be protected from clearcutting. We look forward to your quick response on this matter.”

Earlier this week, McAdam posted, “From the looks of things, they will likely try and clearcut tomorrow. …My family and I going to do the best we can to stop them. It’s so beautiful out here. It feels lawless out here, no one seems to care. A land grab of the worst kind, a recolonization through industry. I’m so sad about all the destruction that’s happening.”

And then earlier today she posted photos of an area where trees had already been chopped down about a mile from her family’s shelter and lamented “They’ll likely haul the trees now.” This evening, McAdam posted that while a lot of clearcutting is happening on her family’s hunting lands, the workers have said they won’t clearcut the trees close to the shelter on the hunting lands.

For photos, videos, additional context and ongoing updates, please go to McAdam’s Facebook page here.