I am writing a public letter to our Grand Chief Dr. Abel Bosum, Premiere Legault, JP Murdoch, Jonathan Julien, Sonia Labelle, Sylvie D’amours, former Chief Davey Bobbish and the rest of the Chiefs in Eeyou Istchee,
I am writing to you as a concerned youth of Eeyou Istchee, My name is Heather House, I am 32 years old, I have 7 children. I am the youngest daughter of Velma & the late Larry House.
I write to you hurt and disappointed in your style of leadership or lack of. Especially regarding the Grand Alliance agreement that was signed on February 17, 2020. To my understanding at the time of the signing it was an empty agreement a promise that there would be a better relationship with the government of Quebec and us indigenous people of Eeyou Istchee. You probably met numerous times before you signed Dr. Abel Bosum, why didn’t you consult with us? Former Chief Davey Bobbish, I trusted you, voted for you. I was wrong, that was my fault. Your fault is thinking that we wouldn’t speak up. We are, we will, we won’t be quiet anymore. We can’t afford to. On the agreement you signed without our consent, it states there would be one year of consultations. There have been ZERO! It’s not fair Premiere Legault that you come in with your legal documents demanding “economic development”. You’re running out of money due to Covid, I see that, that’s your problem. Not ours. You think you need money, economy is declining and that’s why you rushed to re-open the Province. I’m disappointed in the Chiefs of Eeyou Istchee who probably knew about this before it was signed and didn’t let their people know especially you Dr. Abel Bosum. You need to remember you were voted in BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE. I did my research on lithium mining. Your agreement, I say yours because WE THE PEOPLE did not agree to 4.7 billion dollars, we didn’t agree for railroads to be placed in so many hunters traplines from Matagami all the way to Whapmagoostui and Trans-taiga road to Schefferville. Had you asked, my answer would have been NO. Because we are safe here, my children need this land. You say it creates jobs, its’ wreaking havoc, your agreement relies on the principles of sustainable development. Lithium is not sustainable. Wind turbines, solar panels, that’s sustainable energy. Not “Lithium, Cobalt, or any critical minerals or metals.”
I say NO…NO on behalf of the youth, NO on behalf of the elders, NO on behalf of the people whose livelihood depends on Eeyou Istchee and NO on behalf of the 7 generations to come. Economic development through lithium mining has no business on Eeyou Istchee. It does not belong. Lithium harms the air, pollutes the water and wildlife. Premier Legault talked about creating a green environment today on CBC News Radio, Lithium does not provide that.
Will the train stop for the animals when it’s transporting all that its mined? NO, it will ram right through caribou herds, moose, and everything in its’ path and kill them. So, I say NO! No to the agreement already signed. Have it terminated and revoked on the grounds of no consultation, on the grounds that there was no informed consent from the people of Eeyou Istchee.
Did you know Williams Lake is still feeling the affects of mined water waste? Did you know the Indigenous people of the Atacamas face a constant struggle because of lithium mining. Call it a “Feasibility study” all you want, we know not to trust by now.
I see you Dr. Abel Bosum, Premier Legault, JP Murdoch, Davey Bobbish and all the negotiating team of Quebec and mining companies are getting rich while the future generations will have nothing left. That stops Now! That Stops Today! You had the JBNQA, Paix de Braves, and Forestry agreements, you’re trying to take all that we have left. NO.
So, I’m calling you out to respond. Where were our consultations? How come you didn’t ask us? You’ll be gone by the time we have to deal with this, so we’re standing up and saying NO. Why does it say in the agreement: Under General III (B. 11-12) “Neither of the Parties, nor a member of the council, without the consent of the other party, will divulge or communicate to any person or entity or exploit for any purpose whatsoever any Confidential Information disclosed to it by another party or any confidential information obtained or produced in relation to any of the projects contemplated by this MOU or the infrastructure program (collectively, the Projects). 12: “Confidential Information” means all information, written or oral, furnished by a party, directly or indirectly, to the receiving party, including but not limited to all contracts, financial information, engineering reports, environmental reports, technical and economic data, marketing terms and arrangements, knowledge, know-how and related information such as plans, maps, drawings, field notes, sketches, photographs, computer records or software, specifications, models or other information which is or may be either applicable to or related in any to the assets, business or affairs of disclosing party or to any of the projects.” When I dissected and re-read a million times, divulge means secret. Why are you trying to keep all the necessary information a secret? What are you hiding? You can’t trust a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
To the youth, to our people, remember our grandparents, great-grandparents, and ancestors before us. They survived, barely. We are the products of their trauma, we are their voice when they couldn’t speak. It’s time. We’re not here to appease the colonizers, we’re here to de-colonize. They say economic development, they just want money. Money runs out. Lithium runs out. So, NO.
How can they sign an agreement with a man who denies systemic racism when Joyce died. This is environmental racism, dig for lithium on your backyard not Eeyou Istchee. I’m done being quiet, I’m done trusting the very government and infrastructure that is meant to keep us down and obedient. While the colonize get rich and live in their mansions. Materialistic, setting themselves up for a big bonus. While our people struggle with numerous issues that plague our communities. All we need is our land to be left alone for my kids, for my grandkids and those yet to come. Time to change now.
My hunger strike starts today in honor of my people and for the 7 generations in the future. In my hunger strike, I want change. The Annual General Assembly was cancelled, I am requesting one scheduled as soon as possible. I want an Environmental Lawyer to come help us. We’re broken hearted and our own government failed us because they were bought and paid for. JP using Abel as a puppet, the same way he did Ted Moses when he signed away the Rupert River. They’re not thinking about the people, they’re thinking about themselves, securing themselves and their future. Not ours, not for our children and those who will come after us.
I am Heather House, mother of 7 children. Larry House’s baby girl. Because of him, you have to deal with me.
Because I remember the love I have for my people, the youth, the Elders and the connection to Mother Earth. DO YOU? It seems like you forgot.