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CUPE Aboriginal Council member Melanie Poulin spoke this week at a rally for the KI Six, a group of aboriginal people, in jail on contempt of court charges for trying to keep miners from drilling for platinum on their land.

“If you suddenly found some strangers digging around in your back yard and they said to you, folks this isn’t your home any more, you can keep living here but we are going to make all the decisions for you in the name of progress,” she told the rally. “You probably would be very disturbed if the place I was talking about was your home. You might call this a basic violation of your human rights. You might even try to stop them.”

Platinex, an Aurora Ontario-based mining company has been using Ontario’s 150 year old mining law’s “free entry system” to begin exploratory drilling on land the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug claims as theirs.

While the band petitionned to have the required consultation, the company sued the band when they prevented the company from drilling.

The band, nearly bankrupted by the court costs, offered no defence to the contempt of court charges and on Mar. 17, six of its members were jailed for defying the court.