The Kingston-Temagami Action Group: Bringing the Fight for Temgami to Kingston

The urban forests of Kingston, our lawns and parks, would be cut down, and sold off all in an effort to lower taxes; or so said a notice printed on official government letterhead distributed to more than 2000 homes across Kingston in the winter of 1990. The notices were left in mailboxes and trees were tagged for removal. The province was too poor to let such valuable resources go untapped. The outrage was quick and furious and targeted to Kingston’s local MPP. The notice was actually an effort to draw attention to Teme-Augama Anishnabai who were fighting to protect their traditional and sacred land from clearcut logging and mining projects. They were the ones whose forests and sacred lands were being cut in an effort to balance the provincial budget. Actions like this one were common from 1989 to 1997 as environmentalists and activists in Kingston brought the struggle in Temagami to the streets in our community. The Kingston-Temagami Action Group for nearly ten years brought pressure to three different provincial governments. When Mike Harris and his Conservative government came to power in 1995, he was determined to ensure Temagami was open to mining and logging. Through dedicated organizing, like the action above, they ensured that never would happen. The action group, along with many others across the Province, forced the Harris government to abandon their pledge to develop Temagami. In 2002 the provincial government signed a treaty with the Teme-Augama Anishnabai ensuring that they controlled the future of Temagami and that the lands would not be clearcut or mined.

Find the full story here. Find the poster here.

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