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American Indian Movement of Colorado

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Stop Niocan Mine-Demonstration at shareholders meeting

This was sent via email and is being reprinted in full.

STOP NIOCAN’S PROPOSED NIOBIUM MINE ON KANIEN’KEHAKA TERRITORY!

Demonstrate at Niocan’s Annual General Meeting of Shareholders-Montreal

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WHEN: May 18th, 2006, 9:30am
WHERE: Best Western Hotel, 3407 Peel (corner Sherbrooke)
WHAT: Demonstrate Against Niocan’s Annual General Shareholder’s Meeting ***********************

Refuse Niocan! Resist Environmental Racism! Reject Canadian Colonialism!

Niocan Inc., a Montreal-based mining corporation, is nearing the final stages of approval for their "Oka Project", a toxic niobium mine to be developed within traditional Kanien’kehaka (Mohawk) territories.

Community members have taken a clear stance on this issue - they said the destructive project would not be tolerated! In addition to the outright violation of the centuries old claim the Kanien’kehaka people have to this land, the mine also poses serious environmental threats - the release of ionizing radiation which will contaminate the air, soil and water.

Niocan assured their shareholders they only invest and develop in politically stable regions. In solidarity with the Haudenosaunee Peoples from Six Nations to Kanehsatake, we gotta let the investing-class know: "The myth of political stability is over!" Investing in developments on stolen native lands has a price - and that price is the risk of bankrupcy Henco Industries is currently facing. The decolonization movement is growing and coast-to-coast People will rise up in solidarity with Kanehsatake!

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bring noisemakers, placards, banners and your anti-colonial determination!
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BACKGROUNDER:

Last May, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks Thomas Mulcair announced that Montreal-based mining company Niocan Inc. would have to provide more substantive environmental study results before he would issue the necessary certificate of authorization to move ahead with the company's niobium mining project on unceded Kanien:keha'ka (Mohawk) territory.

In a letter to shareholders on November 30, 2005, Niocan stated that the company is "reassess[ing] the hydrogeological studies to date and to propose a plan of action to provide answers to the questions raised by the professionals at the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parcs (MDDEP)." The report also reiterated Niocan's commitment to "move ahead with vigor and determination on the Oka Project."

The report to shareholders cited the recent Oka municipal elections as proof of community support for the project, stating: "the mayor and four councilors that support the Oka Niobium Project have been re-elected. This is further evidence of the support of area residents for the project." This, despite a press release issued last May 16th by the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE) stating: "the commission learned through the public consultation process that the land on which the mine is located is subject to claims... [and] most public consultation participants are very concerned about the mining project, to which they did not consent."

Niocan’s former Chairman and CEO René Dufour said "the Mohawks have nothing to do with this." But Dufour couldn't be more wrong. The land on which the proposed mine would be built has never been surrendered to the Canadian government, and thus neither Niocan nor the Quebec (an equity investor in the project to the tune of $427,000) have any legal right to continue with this environmentally devastating project. This is yet another gross example of the blatant violation of Native sovereignty in Canada. More studies and assessments will mean nothing. They simply cloud the real issue, which is one of violation of Mohawk land claims by the governments of Canada and Quebec and the huge corporations they keep close to them.

Currently, Niocan is awaiting a certificate of authorization from Claude Bechard, the newly-appointed Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment & Parks to give the project the go ahead. Niocan is confident the certificate will be granted.

If you can not attend the May 18th demo, please phone/fax or email your objections to Claude Bechard at:

Phone: (418) 521-3911
Fax: (418) 643-4143
E-Mail: ministre@mddep.gouv.qc.ca

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