Respected first nations elder evicted from home and office after 28 years of Toronto residency

February 26, 2017

Thirty day, only 30 days notice given to internationally-honoured Mohawk elder, Danny Beaton to vacate his home.

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Elder Danny Beaton (r) with author

The eviction notice:

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A troubling eviction process which raises the issue of race.

Danny’s awards:

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Elder Beaton continues to be a valued advisor to the Springwater Park Citizens’ Coalition.


Successful and seasoned environmentalists do the sensible thing: they take a Walk for Water

August 15, 2015

Want to know the secret to stop a massive limestone quarry and an industrial garbage complex atop the world’s purest water?

Just ask Danny Beaton and Dr. John Bacher:

  1. Take a stand, and
  2. do something sensible like, Walk for Water 2015.

Danny and John were key advisors to me for the remarkable rescue of Springwater Park by Beausoleil First Nation.


Pope Francis’ environmental and human ecology encyclical speaks directly to Simcoe County, says Dr. John Bacher

August 13, 2015

It is our great pleasure to present an original article from John Bacher PhD, entitled Pope Francis’ “Laudato si’” Speaks to Simcoe County: pdf

In his Encyclical Letter, “Laudato si’”, (On Care for Our Common Home), the Holy Father Francis has made an urgent call for humanity to reverse the process where, “The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.” To realize Francis’ vision of a healed global ecosystem, it is important to look at what we can do in our own communities. Few places on the planet speak so immediately to his plea for action as Simcoe County.

Springwater Park 1922

What Springwater Park land looked after it was clear cut and before pine planting in 1922.

One of the most vivid but disagreeable aspects of the history of Simcoe County is how quickly a landscape dominated by lush forests of towering pines was transformed into a desert. This took place with as astonishing speed between 1830 and 1900 when native peoples lost control over this territory.

In Laudato si’, Francis stresses the role of indigenous people and their role in protecting the earth, so recently happily demonstrated in the Ojibway occupation that rescued Springwater Provincial Park. He notes that for these peoples, “land is not considered a commodity but rather a gift from God and from their ancestors who rest there, a sacred space with they need to interact if they are to maintain their identity and values. When they remain on their land, they themselves care for it best.”

Springwater Park rescued by the Ojibway was itself created as a demonstration site of what could be done to reverse the brutal consequences of Euro-Canadian occupation of the land that created widespread deserts. Its creation was the work of the provincial Premier, E. C. Drury and Edmund Zavitz after they toured the region’s bleak deserts. They were amazed to see in the desert water surging forth from a spring and realized that this area, the headwaters of the Nottawasaga river was an excellent place for a tree nursery.

White Pines settler effect

Once the white pine were cut, the light soils of Ontario were eroded from underneath: a manmade wasteland by 1905.

In their horse and buggy tour of the wastelands created from massive forest fires that sought to clear land for farming and destructive logging, Drury and Zavitz might have felt the same agony as expressed in one of the most eloquent passages of Laudato si’. This is that, “God has joined us so closely to the world around us that we can feel the desertification of the soil almost as a physical ailment, and the extinction of species as a painful disfigurement.”

The accomplishments of Drury and Zavitz are also well commended in Laudato si’. Francis in point 58 of the Encyclical Letter, notes that, “In some countries, there are positive examples of environmental improvement: rivers, polluted for decades, have been cleaned up; native woodlands have been restored; landscapes have been beautified thanks to environmental restoration projects”

Francis sees past restoration efforts such as the greening of the deserts of Simcoe County as proof that “men and women are still capable of intervening positively.” He sees that, ‘For all our limitations, gestures of generosity, solidarity and care cannot but well up within us, since we were made for love.”

It is the challenge of he current generation of residents of Simcoe County to show that they are still as Francis puts it “capable of intervening positively.” To do this we need to show the threats to this positively legacy-massive urban sprawl and clear cutting of forests through by-law suspensions, can be stopped.

John Bacher is author, lecturer and environmental expert witness. His latest book is Two Billion Trees and Counting: The Legacy of Edmund Zavitz, Dundurn Press, 2011. Bacher can be reached at JohnBacherPhD.ca.

John has been a valued member of our Advisory Council since Oct 2012.


Hello newly-elected municipal leaders: John Ralston Saul says aboriginal rights are a “simple matter of rights denied”.

October 29, 2014

How about every level of government (starting with municipalities) simply following the law, human rights and the direction of the Supreme Court when it comes to First Nations’ relationships?
john ralston saul toronto star

Who is afraid of a little “meaningful consultation and accommodation” about land use?

An interesting article by Jim Coyle of the Toronto Star, about allowing justice (not bequeathing charity) when first nations are concerned:

“What we face is a simple matter of rights — of citizens’ rights that are still being denied to indigenous peoples. It is a matter of rebuilding relationships central to the creation of Canada and, equally important, to its continued existence.”

The stakes are that high, he says. And — given history, the power of demographics and the rise of an educated aboriginal class — the issue is not going away.

“Enormous efforts are being made to stop it, to sideline it, or to slow it down,” he says. “It cannot be done.”

Saul’s message to newly-elected municipal officials?:

He leaves no easy out for guilty liberals merely satisfied to have their hearts in the right place. “We — you and I — have not elected or defeated people on this basis.

“That’s what we need to do now. We need to be saying to people who want to be our representatives: ‘I will vote for you or against you depending on your willingness to come full front on this issue, spend the money, act with respect, listen to the courts,’ ”

And since we are all Treaty People (aboriginal and non-aboriginals) we have 2 things to do:

“We must reinstall a national narrative built on the centrality of the aboriginal peoples’ past, present and future. And the policies of the country must reflect that centrality, both conceptually and financially.”

Protecting legal rights not giving bleeding-heart charity, begins at home.


John Ralston Saul’s new book is very good news for those wanting to understand the future of Springwater Park.

October 26, 2014

To explain Canada’s fundamental Métis  past, read Sauls’ A Fair Country.

Penguin JRS1

I suggest his The Comeback will go a long way to explaining our future and how Springwater Park fits within this important national dialogue.

Posted on iLoveMidhurst.ca.


Help Wanted: Moderator for the Springwater Township all-candidates’ event on this Wednesday, 7 pm at the Midhurst United Church.

October 11, 2014

Neil Craig and Rudy Chernicki have done a great job in Elmvale and at Snow Valley Ski Resort in the first 2 of 3 events.

Where can I pick up an application form to do all 3 for the 2018 stoning and scapegoating?

Details:

October 15th from 7:00 – 9:30 pm

Midhurst United Church 91 Doran Road, Midhurst, ON L0L 1X0

Sponsored by: AWARE Simcoe

scapegoat

Posted on iLoveMidhurst.cavoteLesStewart.ca, and LesStewart.wikidot.com.


If theology does not side with the poor, then it cannot speak for Yahweh who is the God of the poor.

February 26, 2014

Every time a white mob lynched a black person, they lynched Jesus. The lynching tree is the cross in America. When American Christians realize that they can meet Jesus only in the crucified bodies in our midst, they will encounter the real scandal of the cross.

The cross

The Christian community, therefore, is that community that freely becomes oppressed, because they know that Jesus himself has defined humanity’s liberation in the context of what happens to the little ones. Christians join the cause of the oppressed in the fight for justice not because of some philosophical principle of “the Good” or because of a religious feeling of sympathy for people in prison. Sympathy does not change the structures of injustice. The authentic identity of Christians with the poor is found in the claim which the Jesus-encounter lays upon their own life-style, a claim that connects the word “Christian” with the liberation of the poor. Christians fight not for humanity in general but for themselves and out of their love for concrete human beings. Dr. James H. Cone 1938 –


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