Algonquin communities in Quebec and Ontario are in a state of outrage after KNL Developments Inc. clear-cut 1,100 hectares of land within an old-growth forest in Beaver Pond so that it can build a new subdivision.
The Algonquin have always stated that the forest, located 20 minutes outside of Ottawa, had both historic and spiritual significance for their people. Archeological experts have also stated that the forest is home to a 10,000 year-old stone circle.
Though KNL had made an agreement to hold off on the clear-cutting until January 31 so that the archeological report on the stone circle could be completed, the clear-cutting began a day ahead of schedule.
According to the Media Indigena website, Chief Paul Lamothe of the Ottawa Algonquin First Nation said, “If we can get a proper archaeological report done, they will find that there are artifacts in the forest.”
This could be problematic however as that kind of a survey would have to wait until the spring or summer, once all the snow has melted.
Other chiefs, including Chief Grant Tysick of the Kinounchepirini Algonquin First Nation, have spoken out publicly because there was no consultation with the Algonquin Nation, something that should have been “the first order of business.”
Though a series of protests have taken place on Parliament Hill to stop the clear-cutting, KNL has continued to raze the forest, even after police removed two protestors who had chained themselves to trees.
In a statement released by the Algonquins of Ontario on February 1, spokesperson Robert Potts said they are disappointed in KNL, the City of Ottawa and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture since they failed to accommodate the Algonquin people’s request for more archeological studies prior to clear-cutting.