Canada: Mathias Colomb Cree Nation Stands in Solidarity with Ayllu of Peru


Mathias Colomb Cree Nation Press Release

Date of publication: 
20 November 2014

Mathias Colomb Cree Nation Stands in Solidarity with Ayllu of Uchucarrco, Peru against Human Rights Abuses of Hudbay Minerals

Pukatawagan, Manitoba: Mathias Colomb Cree Nation (MCCN) represents the sovereign nation of the Missinippi Nehethowak, a Cree word meaning “big river people”. We are Woodland-Stoney Cree and many still speak Cree as our first language. Our extensive territory comprises nearly 1/8 of northern Manitoba and includes our traditional, treaty, trapping and reserve lands. We have always asserted, lived and defended our sovereignty and jurisdiction over our territory.

MCCN stands in solidarity with the Indigenous peoples in Peru, known as the traditional Ayllu of Uchuccarco. The Ayllu have reported that they permitted Hudbay Minerals mining company (Hudbay) to access some of their traditional lands in exchange for guaranteed jobs, economic development and vital social services like education and health care. Hudbay also promised environmental and water management plans, as well as joint monitoring of the site.

The Ayllu have alerted the international community that these promises were never kept and that they are suffering from the destruction of their eco-system and river systems due to Hudbay’s activities. They have made an international plea for help and seek guarantees from Hudbay and Peru that their waters, wetlands, streams and eco-systems will not be further destroyed.

Chief Arlen Dumas: “On behalf of Mathias Colomb Cree Nation, we stand in solidarity with the Ayllu Indigenous peoples in Peru. I travelled to Peru last year to meet with different indigenous peoples to share our experiences with Hudbay’s destructive activities in our territories, and warned them about Hudbay’s big promises and failures to deliver anything to our community. I heard many stories of Hudbay’s abuses in Peru and we committed to work together to end these human rights abuses against Indigenous peoples all over the world, including Canada, Peru and Guatemala.”

In 2013, MCCN issued Stop Work Orders to Hudbay to stop the illegal mining on our territory at Lalor Lake and Reed Lake. We also issued a public declaration to all resource companies that our consent is required for any activity in our territory. On July 1, 2013, a moratorium against all resource extraction in our territory was issued to both the federal and provincial governments. Hudbay took heavy-handed legal actions against MCCN and obtained injunctions against Chief Dumas and his community members from using their own lands to hunt, fish and gather.

Chief Dumas: “Our collective struggle to protect Indigenous peoples from the human rights abuses of Hudbay is a struggle to protect our very lives. Our efforts to protect traditional Indigenous lands, waterways, plants and animals from destruction, is a struggle to protect the future generations of all peoples: Indigenous, Canadian and Peruvian.”

For more information, or to contact Chief Dumas for an interview, please contact Chief Dumas directly via e-mail at arlendumas [at] yahoo [dot] com or via his cell phone (204) 620-0483.