March 22, 2013
Dear Mayor Randy Hope:
I am writing to you today to express my concern about the loss of forested areas in Chatham-
Kent, in particular areas in and around our community at Moraviantown. As you know, these
areas make up some of the traditional territories for both the Lenape, and Chippewa. The clearcutting
of forest in the region is having a direct impact on our inherent and aboriginal right to
hunt and fish, rights which are entrenched in the Canadian Constitution. It saddens our people
to see trees being bulldozed down, as this is an affront to our spirituality and beliefs as
Indigenous Peoples of this land.
Many of our people have arrangements with local farmers to access their woodlots so that we
can exercise our traditional right to hunt. However, it is becoming more and more difficult to
practice this right, given our highly populated location in southwestern Ontario and the absence
of a ban on clear-cutting.
The clearing of forests is also contributing to the on-going problem of erosion, which is causing
silt problems for the Thames River. This not only impacts the spawning areas for the traditional
and commercial fishery, but also many other endangered aquatic species which contribute to
the overall health of the waterway.
I would also like to remind you about the commitment we made as local leaders less than a year
ago, as part of the Community Leaders’ Cabinet, to work together to achieve better health and
quality of life for everyone in Chatham-Kent. One of the pillars of this commitment was
supporting sustainable habitats and environments. We stood side by side and promised to work
collectively to reach this goal for all people within the region. I ask you, how does clear-cutting fit
into this commitment?
The time is now for responsible leadership who have the health and well-being of future
generations in their hearts. The Delaware Nation encourages you and your council to do the
right thing and ban clear-cutting within your municipality. We also welcome the opportunity to
enter into formal consultations between your municipality and our Nation, to find sustainable
It can be done!
In peace and respect,
Chief Greg Peters