I am writing this letter to express my disapproval of the construction of industrial wind turbines on Manitoulin Island. These turbines are and will continue to be in direct conflict with the aboriginal treaty rights concerning the traditional practice of hunting. Lands will be set apart and animals will be dispersed. This is an infringement on our traditional ways.
Secondly, we know that Manitoulin has always been an important area of burials.
Even today, many people choose to have their ashes spread on sacred Manitoulin.
We should not be disturbing ancestral burial grounds in anyway. When the two turbines were constructed in M’Chigeeng I heard that bones were discovered. Excavators continued their work without the concerns that should have been warranted. Archeologists should have been called to the site, but I don’t think that was the case.
Lastly, I wish to emphasize the long-term effect of these turbines from the point of view of First Nation traditional values. They symbolize a profound change to our ways when we, the elders, are trying to teach our children the importance of honoring Mother Earth. We are trying to teach them respect and gratitude, but instead they are being influenced by profits and models coming from large corporations.
Our council was not upfront and our community was not properly informed and consulted. These two turbines in M’Chigeeng were built while our community was sleeping. I certainly don’t wish to see more of these industrial structures encroaching on our sacred land and creating conflict between our people.
George Corbiere, elder
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