A History of
(double click a photo to enlarge)
Miles Goldstick is a fellow activist and long-time
friend of John Graham. Miles has provided these photos and notes recounting
some of John's history of advocating for environmental and aboriginal
John Graham has been involved in many public events as an organizer, speaker, and resource person, including:
These events focused on native rights, and addressed the problems of uranium mining in Northern Saskatchewan.
|The Caravan for Survival, in June 1980, was made up of a group of people who drove from Regina, the capital city of the Province of Saskatchewan, to the northern Saskatchewan uranium boom town of La Ronge.|
|The group marched down the main street of La Ronge protesting the opening of the government-run Key Lake Uranium Mine Board of Inquiry.|
|The march passed the building where the inquiry was being held. John and Viola Papequash are carrying the "Stop Uranium Mining" banner.|
Due to the controversy surrounding the issue, the RCMP were there with a video camera taking pictures of everyone.
Before the government inquiry began, accommodation facilities had been builtfor more than150 people, and a 200 km. road was constructed to the site — all in the name of "exploration". Additionally, 15 lakes had been drained without a government permit.
The Key Lake Inquiry did not consider aboriginal rights or land claims, nor did it address the basic question of whether the mine should be allowed to proceed. It merely attempted to lay down basic guidelines for the operation of the mine. For this reason, there was a province-wide boycott of the hearings by public interest groups.
|A public rally was held at a localschool. John and Viola are holding the "Stop Uranium Mining" banner.|
|Everyone gathered around the drum.|
|John Graham was one of the speakers.|
|The next year in the summer of 1981, the AIM Survival Group, including John Graham within the leadership, opened the Anne Mae Aquash Survival Camp near the small community of Pinehouse, northern Saskatchewan, on the Key Lake road. The purpose of the camp was to discuss Native rights issues and the problems of the uranium industry. (John was instrumental in the naming of the camp, wishing to honour the memory of his friend Anna Mae.)|
|A gathering was held at the camp with participants from Germany, France, New York, Arizona, and Minnesota, as well as from theCanadian provinces ofOntario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and B.C.|
|One of the projects at the camp was construction of this food storage building.|
|A t-pee at the camp.|
|John and Viola's twin boys at the camp.|
|Despite the public outcry against it, the Key Lake mine began operation in October 1983. It is the biggest uranium mine in the world.|
|Another open-pit uranium mine is the Rabbit Lake uranium mine, near the Dene/Cree community of Wollaston Lake in northern Saskatchewan.|
|Seen here is the outlet pipe from the Beaverlogde uranium mill near Uranium City, where millions of tonnes of liquid and solid waste were directly dumped into Fookes Lake (early 1980s).|
|This is an ariel view of the waste outlet pipe seen in the photo above (early 1980s).|
|This is a totally blind long-nose sucker fish caught downstream from the Beaverlodge uranium mill (early 1980s). This fish is a casualty of radioactive and heavy metal pollution — the eyes have no pupils. Blindness in fish is a known result of radioactive contamination from uranium mines; fish accumulate so much radioactivity in their bodies that in some areas immediately downstream from uranium mines, they present a health hazard if eaten regularly.|
Walk For Survival
We are talking about survival. We are the Indigenous People of the Western
Hemisphere. We walk for survival. We have no other choice. We commit ourselves
to live and work together, to put a stop to the present Corporate Constitutional
accords termination policy on Indigenous people's natural and man made
rights. We seek peace and security for our people from oppressive assimilation
policies that violate all natural laws. It is not our intention to offend
anyone. Our differences are with the corporate government of Canada and
the Crown of England. We are only trying to remember and honour our people,
the Earth and our natural relationship in a good and truthful way. We ask
those who are concerned about the future generations and the land for support,
both morally and physically. We walk for survival of the land together
with our people's independent way of life, values, principles, and purpose
for life. We want our natural rights as well as man made rights respected.
We ask those who read this to seriously analyse the historical process
of the corporate Canadian constitution. We walk to promote involvement,
discussion and awareness on issues confronting Indigenous people today.
|October 12, 1984, International Day of Solidarity With Indigenous Peoples, march in Ottawa to the parliament buildings.|
|Front cover of a four-page tabloid made after the Long Walk.|
|Mayor of Ottawa's proclamation, October 12, 1984, and press conference.|
In May and June 1984 John Graham made an European speaking tour that focused on native rights and the problems of uranium mining in Canada. The tour was organized and paid for by European anti-nuclear, native rights and environmental groups. Countries visited included West Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, England, Ireland, and Scotland. The tour laid the groundwork for several native rights events in Europe in the years that followed.
During the 57 day tour John spoke at about 80 meetings. Just over half
the meetings were public events. The rest of the meetings took place
at schools, universities, and the offices of members of parliament and
nuclear industry executives. In addition, about 50 interviews were done
with the media; mostly newspapers, resulting in over 150 published articles.
When in England, he made a formal, oral presentations to the government
run Sizwell Inquiry (examining construction of a nuclear power plant).
- Personal Photo Album
- Freedom Returned