To Jewel Cunningham-Director of Ontario Waterways -Parks Canada

Dear Jewel

Please advise when you will be able to update us. Yesterday, Monday September 17, we went  through another day of upset caused by Whetung, not only harvesting by mechanical means but also  seeding the lake approximately 50 to 75 feet off the shoreline in pristine water with no rice. To aggravate the situation even more he made a rude gesture at us. We then taped a video which clearly shows the seeding taking place which is attached.

Surely this action is not acceptable! All we read about is the need for reconciliation between the First Nations and the rest of Canada. How can there be reconciliation when one individual from the Curve lake reserve takes it upon himself to destroy the southern part of Pigeon Lake. Our  position is – enough is enough. If we have to take things into our own hands and create media attention to the fact that our Government’s are not prepared to take a position on this matter we are prepared to do so. There is nothing in the treaty settlement that addresses the issues below.

We have been in contact with our Governments since 2011 and the answer has always been…WE ARE WORKING ON A SOLUTION THAT WILL TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THE FIRST NATION AND SHORELINE STAKEHOLDERS NEEDS…WERE WORKING ON A WILD RICE MANAGEMENT PLAN. These responses appear to be meaningless as we are now in a worse position than when we first started to voice our concerns. SEVEN years of communication and we still do not know ;

A. If it is legal to seed the Kawartha Lakes with wild rice?
B. If it is legal to harvest rice for commercial profit ?
C. If it is legal to harvest by mechanical means (air boat)

We are Canadians and need the protection of our rights;  our homes are loosing value, the use of the waterways are being lessened, plus the annual cycle of the growth of rice is causing more sedimentation that will eventually turn the southern part of Pigeon Lake into a swamp.
This is supported by the fact that the amount of rice has increased from an estimated growth of  200 acres to 1500 acres in the past seven years caused mainly by the admitted seeding of Mr. Whetung.

IT IS TIME FOR OUR GOVERNMENT TO REMEMBER, WE TOO DESERVE THEIR HELP IN ENSURING WE ARE TREATED FAIRLY!  WE ARE CANADIANS WHO NEED YOUR HELP IN STOPPING THE SEEDING AND MECHANICAL HARVESTING OF RICE FOR PROFIT. WE SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGE THE HARVESTING OF WILD RICE IN THE TRADITIONAL METHOD FOR PERSONAL AND CEREMONIAL USE.

FARMING (SEEDING AND HARVESTING BY MECHANICAL MEANS FOR PROFIT) OF RICE IN THE KAWARTHA LAKES SHOULD NOT BE PERMITTED!

Looking forward to meeting with you.

Sincerely
Larry Wood
Spokesperson for the Save Pigeon Lake Initiative

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