Stop Logging the Benny Forest

  • by: Barbara Mcnichol
  • recipient: Hon. Bill Mauro, Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry

My husband Clyde McNichol’s ancestral home near Benny, Ontario is being destroyed by logging giant Eacom and your Ministry’s current ten year plan. Toxic waste dumping at the Cartier dump and mining operations not far away are aggravating the matter. Please help me stop this destruction and protect all the beautiful life here that we stand to lose. My husband and his people I know in my heart were given this land as a home by God, our Creator. They became stewards over it, protected it, and carefully taught their children to respect it, not to destroy it, and not to take more than they or their family needed from it. They were taught to pray to the Creator and thank Him and the being they took and its relatives, be they trees, plants or animals. Their practice was to put down tobacco or another offering in thanks for any life they took from plants or animals for their needs. I know He has always appreciated this and rewarded them. Clyde and other Native leaders I have met have gifts from Him that have helped me and others I know, both Native and non-Native, in extraordinary ways spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. These people too will be lost to us if we keep destroying their forests and homes.

With assimilation we are losing their important teachings. Some Native people themselves no longer think twice about the problem. Nothing Canada has done has replaced the kind of protection and balance the animals and plants and people previously had here. The trees do not grow back in 20 years or ever in an adequate way. Come and look at them. Loggers aren’t even interested in some of it cut decades ago, but look to new places now to cut, rather than waiting any longer for some kind of restoration of the land that was lumbered in Clyde’s father’s day. It is hard to imagine that humans or much else will want to live on the clearcuts around us again. Chemical processing at the mills is making the water all around so toxic. No one will be coming to hunt, fish or gather after the animals' homes and food supply are destroyed. Aboriginal and Treaty rights to do so will become meaningless as a result of the current Forestry Management Plan that you have approved without consent from those who have lived here from time immemorial. Neither Canada nor Ontario has a right to do this. Our integrity is on the line. Please give more say to the families here who love the land and who will ensure its ongoing well-being for the sake of a long term home for their children and grandchildren, and for the sake of all the Indigenous plants, animals, and medicines which are part of the family too. Big business forestry operations have no place in Benny. Tree farms at the mercy of head offices in Toronto, Montreal or New York are no comparison to the ecological balance and respect that previously existed. Enough is enough! I pray you will listen and help us.

May 12, 2015


Dear Hon. Mauro,


My husband Clyde McNichol’s ancestral home near Benny Ontario is being destroyed by logging giant Eacom and your Ministry’s current ten year plan.  Toxic waste dumping at the Cartier dump and mining operations not far away are aggravating the matter. Please help me stop this destruction and protect all the beautiful life here that we stand to lose.  My husband and his people I know in my heart were given this land as a home by God, our Creator. They became stewards over it, protected it, and carefully taught their children to respect it, not to destroy it, and not to take more than they or their family needed from it. They were taught to pray to the Creator and thank Him and the being they took and its relatives, be they trees, plants or animals. Their practice was to put down tobacco or another offering in thanks for any life they took from plants or animals for their needs. I know He has always appreciated this and rewarded them.  Clyde and other Native leaders I have met have gifts from Him that have helped me and others I know, both Native and non-Native, in extraordinary ways spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically.  These people too will be lost to us if we keep destroying their forests and homes.


 


With assimilation we are losing their important teachings. Some Native people themselves no longer think twice about the problem. Nothing Canada has done has replaced the kind of protection and balance the animals and plants and people previously had here. The trees do not grow back in 20 years or ever in an adequate way.  Come and look at them. Loggers aren’t even interested in some of it cut decades ago, but look to new places now to cut, rather than waiting any longer for some kind of restoration of the land that was lumbered in Clyde’s father’s day. It is hard to imagine that humans or much else will want to live on the clearcuts around us again. Chemical processing at the mills is making the water all around so toxic. No one will be coming to hunt, fish or gather after the animals' homes and food supply are destroyed.  Aboriginal and Treaty rights to do so will become meaningless as a result of the current Forestry Management Plan that you have approved without consent from those who have lived here from time immemorial. Neither Canada nor Ontario has a right to do this. Our integrity is on the line. Please give more say to the families here who love the land and who will ensure its ongoing well-being for the sake of a long term home for their children and grandchildren, and for the sake of all the Indigenous plants, animals, and medicines which are part of the family too. Big business forestry operations have no place in Benny. Tree farms at the mercy of head offices in Toronto, Montreal or New York are no comparison to the ecological balance and respect that previously existed.  Enough is enough! I pray you will listen and help us.


 


Sincerely,


 


Barbara (Guillet Ronson) McNichol


705-822-6244

Update #66 years ago
With your help cutters moved out of the immediate Benny area but have started up again and we need your help. We have a new Arts Co-op, & Living Learning centre to help protect and occupy the land and a lawyer working on an injunction but all of this is costly. Donations can be made to a special account for this at www.campeaglenest.com/benny-forest/ or send contact information to clyde.mcnichol@gmail.com or call him at 705-690-3844 so we can let you know other ways to help. Blessings to all!
Update #56 years ago
The CTV newscast was good last Thursday. They covered info on the burial sites and medicines we're trying to protect but we were unable to announce that the cutting in the area has stopped. Reps from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources have agreed to meet Chief Miller of Clyde's reserve but that's more than a week from now and they have not agreed to stop Eacom in the mean time. Our MPP says she'll ask the Minister for this tomorrow. We want good news then! Thanks for your help!
Update #46 years ago
Thank you all for your support! We're at a critical juncture right now, after weeks of effort. CTV will be coming up on Thursday to do an update. It would be great if we could announce they have stopped at least pending consultations! Would any of you be willing to write Hon. Bill Mauro directly to ask him to do so at bmauro.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org ?
Care2Petitions says if we can get 500 signatures on our own, they will promote it so getting others to sign can also really help.
Thanks again!

Update #36 years ago
We got on the 6 pm CTV Northern news last night... see the 17:20 minute mark on the following link: http://northernontario.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=608010&binId=1.1142346&playlistPageNum=1
We've connected with our MPP now and finally got a letter back from MNRF (Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests). But they're still cutting. And they routinely spray where they cut which means killing the medicines there and it means toxic water all around. Keep the pressure on, it's helping! Thank you!
Update #26 years ago
Hello everyone. Your support is really helping. I got a call from our MPP's office today following up on a letter I wrote her last Saturday. Maybe she can help? Keep those signatures coming in. The loggers are still going at it in our area. Hopefully they will stop soon before too much damage is done. Here's a link to a video we posted yesterday based on a visit from Medicine Man Tom Isaac. Thanks so much for the help and interest Tom and everyone!
https://youtu.be/uBNvc3Ws2KA
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