Thunder Bay

Anglican Church backs First Nation in mining dispute

An Anglican Bishop says a mining company is being callous by continuing its mining activity against a First Nations wishes.

Bishop says others need to understand sacred connection to the land

An Anglican Bishop says a mining company is being "callous" by continuing its mining activity against a First Nations wishes.

Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug wants to stop God's Lake Resources from drilling for gold on its burial grounds.

The National Indigenous Anglican Bishop said the potential disruption of Anglican graves "intensifies" the Church's interest in the dispute.

Mark MacDonald, National Indigenous Anglican Bishop

But Mark MacDonald said the heart of his support is in respecting Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug's relationship with the land.

"That living relationship is sacred, one of the most cherished and valued parts of their beings," MacDonald said.

"It's part of moral development, knowing how to take care of that land, that's what it means to be a good human being"

Spiritual connection

MacDonald said the mining company, and others in modern society, appear to have trouble grasping Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug's strong spiritual attachment to their environment.

"Outsiders have a hard time understanding that conviction because the larger public has lost its connection with the environment around it," he said.

MacDonald took part in a Toronto rally in support of Kitchenuhmaykoosib on Tuesday.

The Anglican Church also wrote a letter to Ontario's premier, asking him to stop the mining activity and commit to joint consultation with the First Nation.

The December 2011 letter says the issue is a matter of "indigenous rights and, now, religious freedoms."