IMPACT

Montrealers Rally Behind An Algonquin Community

07/18/2012 08:32 EDT | Updated 09/17/2012 05:12 EDT
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About 50 people gathered Wednesday in Montreal, to show their support for an Algonquin community in the northern Outaouais region.

Demonstrators rallied in front of the downtown headquarters of Resolute Forest Products (formerly known as Abitibi Bowater), a logging company with operations in Barriere Lake.

While local protestors tried to bring attention to the issue in the city, the Algonquin of Barriere Lake kept up their own demonstrations in their community.

Norman Matchewan is one of the community members who have been protesting near the site since logging began last Tuesday.

He said the company is clearing their traditional land.

"It's heartbreaking because we rely on the land and it has been destroyed and when the land has been destroyed, a big part of us is also destroyed. It's our identity," he said.

A spokesperson for the logging company said it received permission to cut the trees by Quebec's Ministry of Natural Resources.

The federal and provincial governments say they have reached a deal with the Algonquin band council. But Matchewan said the majority of the community, and their supporters in Montreal, are not on board with the deforestation of the land.