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Canada mining boom leaves natives in the cold - Features - Al Jazeera English

Despite living just 90km from a massive diamond mine, Jackie Hookimaw Witt has watched poverty tear at the fabric of Attawapiskat, an indigenous community in northern Canada. 

The northern Ontario community made international headlines recently, when the chief declared a state of emergency, as many houses lacked heating during frozen winters, and families were left sleeping in storage sheds, shacks or run-down trailers, often with no running water.

"Why are our people living in such extreme poverty when we are so close to this rich mine?" asked Witt, a mining critic born and raised in Attawapiskat. "There is something wrong with this."

As mining companies around the world reap profits from high commodity prices, people in Attawapiskat are demanding a bigger slice of the pie from the diamonds extracted from their traditional territory.

"Our native politicians are pushing for revenue sharing," where resource royalties from the Victor diamond mine would go directly to indigenous administrations, known as band councils, rather than straight to the provincial government, Witt told Al Jazeera.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:27:49 PM EST
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