The Ontario government has notified First Nations that their territories are about to be sprayed with glyphosate

aerial view of glyphosate sprayed forest in Northern Ontario
Glyphosate-sprayed forest in Northern Ontario. © Joel Theriault

Earlier this summer, bureaucrats working for Doug Ford’s government published maps in local newspapers and circulated them to First Nations across Northern Ontario. The maps are dotted with numerous little stars. 

In reality, these “stars” are specific forest areas that are scheduled to be sprayed with glyphosate — the key herbicide in Bayer/Monsanto’s Roundup — before the end of the season. The glyphosate will kill off regrowing trees, shrubs and plants and change the forest ecosystem for years to come.

These notifications are the Ontario government’s replacement for any proper process to consult with the First Nations whose territories are now being sprayed without their free, prior and informed consent

First Nations across Northern Ontario have been fighting this practice for years.

Leaders like the Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) Elders of the North Shore of Lake Huron, Ontario report wide reaching impacts throughout the ecosystem, including harm to water, soil, birds, plants, fish, amphibians, invertebrates, humans and other mammals.

Elder Joe Jones of Garden River First Nation warns that clearcutting the forest then spraying it with glyphosate is “damaging Mother Earth twice” and accelerating climate change at a rapid pace. He says that the Anishinaabe are affected but so too are “all people wherever you’re from.”

First Nations have deep and longstanding relationships with the lands now being sprayed with glyphosate. They steward the land and harvest from it, as they have for countless generations despite years of colonialism.

Peyton Pitawanakwat of Mississauga First Nation explains: “These are our traditional territories. Elders remember these areas; our histories are in these areas. They are not just ‘forest management zones’ with a number attached to it.” 

Forests across Northern Ontario are scheduled to be sprayed with glyphosate before the end of the year.

Here are some examples:

In a public notice about the “Approved Aerial Herbicide Project” for “Sudbury Forest” forestry management unit published in a Sudbury newspaper:

Notice published in Sudbury newspaper
Notice of aerial glyphosate spraying published in a Sudbury newspaper. Photo: Sue Chiblow

Information received by Mississauga First Nation in advance of aerial spraying on the area of their traditional territory that overlaps with the “Spanish Forest” forestry management unit:

Numerous locations where aerial spraying is planned in the territory of Temagami First Nation:

map of all glyphosate spraying in Temagami First Nation

It is unacceptable that Premier Doug Ford continues with this assault on forests, on First Nations rights, and on our common future.

Take action now:

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Email Doug Ford to end glyphosate spraying. Protect the environment, Indigenous rights, and the health of Ontarians.

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