Morning Reading on Sisson

This morning I continued reading up on Sisson and oil palm.

New Brunswick and the Sisson Mine

Poitras, Jacques, "How province pressured 6 First Nations to accept Sisson deal" (CBC News, February 13, 2017).

A Maliseet First Nations chief says the New Brunswick government threatened to cancel lucrative tax deals with her band and other Indigenous communities if they didn’t sign an agreement on the Sisson mine. Chief Patricia Bernard of the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation says she doesn’t support the proposed mine, but her band couldn’t risk losing the money it gets from provincial gas, tobacco and sales taxes collected at its Grey Rock commercial development.

Notes: Malisset First Nations Chief claims that the provincial government threatened to cancel tax deals if they did no sign accommodations agreement. The article outlines the importance of tax revenues, but the agreement does not mean support.

Jones, Robert, "Sisson mine approval triggers $3M bonus for 6 Maliseet First Nations " (CBC News, June 26, 2017).

The proposed Sisson tungsten and molybdenum mine near Stanley received federal environmental approval last week, but has triggered a $3-million bonus the province agreed to pay to six Maliseet First Nations—even if the mine was never built.

Notes: CBC article that describes the accommodation agreement with Maliseet First Nations as a bonus, but the company itself notes the project might not go ahead because of low tungsten and molybdenum prices.

Polchies, Andrea L., "Wolustuk Mothers and grandmothers " (GoFundMe, June 27, 2017).

The Wulustukyik (Maliseet) Nation Grandmothers and Mothers are currently out at the sisson mine site in order to prevent the distruction of their ancestral homelands in the heart of their territory.

Notes: The Wulustukyik grandmothers and mothers occupying the Sission Mine site are fundraising on Go Fund Me $10,000. As of June 24, they have fundraiser $1,545.

Paul, Candice, "Maliseet Chiefs respond to CBC story on Sisson" (Conservation Council of New Brunswick, June 29, 2017).

Letter sent by St. Mary’s First Nation Chief Candice Paul on behalf Chief Shelley Sabattis, Chief Gabby Atwin, Chief Ross Perley and Chief Patricia Bernard on June 29, 2017 explaining important details about the Sisson Mine Accommodation agreement.

Notes: The letter raises concerns about inaccuracies in the June 26, 2017 article “Sisson mine approval triggers $3M bonus for 6 Maliseet First Nations” by Robert Jones published by CBC, and contextualizes the Sisson Mine Agreement noting it does not provide Maliseet support for the Mine, as to this day, most of the Maliseet communities and our members oppose the Sisson Mine.

Colombia and Oil Palm

Sánchez-Garzoli, Gimena, "Questions for Luis Gilberto Murillo, Colombia’s Minister of the Environment" (WOLA, May 2, 2017).

While there are diverse environmental issues that affect communities throughout Colombia, the effect of the damage on the majority of afro-descendant and indigenous regions of the Pacific and La Guajira Departments is alarming. Here are some key cases of concern:

Notes: Questions from WOLA to the Luis Gilberto Murillo, Colombia’s Minister of the Environment and former governor of the Chocó, about La Guajira and impacts of coal, oil palm, and agricultural crops on environment, and the Colombian Pacific and impacts of gold mining and coca cultivation, with recommendations of guaranteeing access tower, to address mercury contamination, to open dialogue with afro-Colombian and Indigenous communities, and to implement sustainable coca cultivation.

Morning reading on July 19, 2018

I’m trying to keep up with the evolving situation of extractive industry in New Brunswick and Colombia. Here’s what I’ve found interesting this morning.

New Brunswick

White, Alan, "Sisson mine impact on Maliseet First Nations 'significant' " (CBC News, April 19, 2016).

There isn’t enough being done to mitigate the impact of the proposed Sisson Brook mine on MaliseetFirst Nations people, states a new report from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

White, Alan, "5 Maliseet chiefs want Sisson mine rejected " (CBC News, April 21, 2016).

The chiefs of five Maliseet First Nations in New Brunswick are calling for the proposed Sisson mine project to be rejected because of its impact on Maliseet people.

White, Alan, "6 Maliseet First Nations agree to Sisson mine deal - New Brunswick" (CBC News, February 10, 2017).

The six Maliseet First Nations in New Brunswick have reached a multimillion-dollar financial deal with the provincial government that clears the way for the Sisson mine project north of Fredericton to proceed.

Bonspiel, Steve, "The Oka Crisis was supposed to be a wake-up call. Little has changed in 27 years " (CBC News, July 11, 2017).

“When the Oka Crisis happened, it was supposed to be a wake-up call, and although certain things changed (Kanesatake got some of its land back, the golf course expansion was halted and the situation put Indigenous rights to the forefront), there is still much to work on, together.”

Fowler, Shane, "Protest camp built on proposed site of Sisson mine project " (CBC News, July 18, 2017).

Members of Maliseet First Nations have started to build a protest camp at the proposed site of the Sisson mine near Napadogan.

White, Alan, "Dominic Cardy calls for 'clarity' on Aboriginal veto " (CBC News, April 22, 2018).

New Democratic Party Leader Dominic Cardy is urging the federal Liberal government to make a decision quickly about the proposed Sisson mine project in New Brunswick.


McDermott, Jeremy, "Record Cocaine Production in Colombia Fuels New Criminal Generation" (Insight Crime, July 17, 2017).

Colombia is now producing more cocaine than ever before, just as a new chapter in the country's criminal history begins and the government tries to implement a peace agreement with Marxist rebels.

Sonneland, Holly K., "Explainer: Colombia's 2018 Elections" (Americas Soceity / Council of the Americas, June 28, 2017).

On June 23, former Presidents of Colombia Álvaro Uribe and Andrés Pastrana announced that their parties, the Democratic Center and the Conservative Party, were joining forces to form a “great coalition,” just as campaigning for 2018 elections revs up. The announcement came almost a full year before the elections, but the union now allows the two politicians—both critics of President Juan Manuel Santos’ peace process with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)—to begin to corral mostly right-wing voter support behind a single presidential candidate and start to give some definition to a crowded field with several dozen declared and likely candidates from across the political spectrum.

UNODC, "Colombia: Monitoreo de territorios afectados por cultivos ilícitos 2016" (UNODC, July 1, 2017).

El informe de monitoreo de cultivos de coca para 2016, aparece en un momento histórico trascendental para Colombia. La rma de acuerdos de Paz con la guerrilla de las Farc - Ep y la expectativa por la concreción de un proceso exitoso con el ELN, constituyen elementos clave para entender las estadísticas y tendencias que ofrece el reporte.

Casey, Nicholas, "After Decades of War, Colombian Farmers Face a New Test: Peace" (New York Times, July 19, 2017).

The Colombian government also sees peace as its biggest chance in decades to uproot the rebel-controlled drug trade and replace it with crops that are legal, though admittedly less lucrative.

2017, “The para-state: an ethnography of Colombia’s death squads by Aldo Civico.” Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, 42:1, 121-123.

Nobody tells an ethnographer beginning fieldwork that when their work is published it will already be a part of history. Aldo Civico conducted interviews with the foot soldiers and leaders of paramilitary groups in Colombia between 2003 and 2008; the University of California Press published The Para-State: An Ethnography of Death Squads in Colombia in 2016. His book is a history of the recent past, when Colombian paramilitaries were at the apex of their power, their demobilization process with the central government was ongoing, and the 2016 peace agreement between the government and the guerrilla in Havana seemed fantastical. The Para-State treads a careful path through this labyrinthine history of death squads intertwined with the Colombian state and its elites. The result makes for excellent, if disturbing, reading. Excellent and disturbing precisely because Civico takes a path less traveled by observers of Colombia’s conflict. Civico builds on life histories as told by paramilitaries themselves; the focus is not the victim, but the victimizer: the paramilitary supporter, commander, and now dead-eyed young men dressed in new clothes and shiny sneakers who perpetrated killings, conducted massacres, and sowed terror in the name of order.

Read More

Read More