We’re pleased to announce the winners of the raffle organized at convention by our Aboriginal caucus in support of the Barriere Lake Defense Fund. A total of $5,000 was raised through the raffle and with a donation from CUPE’s National Executive Board.
The support comes on the heels of the priority resolution put forward by the National Aboriginal Council and passed at convention, calling for CUPE to take action in support of the Algonquins of Barriere Lake.
For 20 years, the Algonquins of Barriere Lake have fought for recognition of the trilateral agreement signed by the Quebec and federal governments in 1991 regarding the co-management of natural resources.
The Barriere Lake territory is rich with mineral deposits, with mining companies anxious to exploit the land. The federal government has tried to skirt the agreement by replacing the territory’s customary chief and council with a new faction supported only by a small minority within the community.
On July 11, 2011, the government of Quebec intervened and placed a two year moratorium on mineral claims in the territory. But the legal fight continues, and costs continue to rise. It’s estimated that legal fees will amount to approximately $30,000 by the end of 2011 alone.
CUPE plans to support the Algonquins of Barriere Lake by lobbying the federal government to honour their method of traditional self-government, and to honour the letter and spirit of the 1991 trilateral agreement.
Prizes for the raffle included a beautiful Aboriginal print donated by Trudy Spiller of B.C. and a winter jacket donated by Don Monroe of Alberta. The winners were picked on the last day of convention, and the winners were announced on the convention floor.
The winners are:
Ami Dosanj from the Hospital Employees’ Union
Delores Willoughby from the Hospital Employees’ Union
Congratulations to the winners!