National Letter-Writing Coalition

In October 1984 the Innut of Ntesinan (the Québec/ Labrador peninsula) began an international campaign to pro-test low-level NATO flying over their lands. Training flights began in 1979 and the program is to be greatly expanded. For the Innut this is a violation of their homeland. The noise is disrupting their way of life: Animals are running away, or not eating, and this disrupts the Innut's hunting. The loud and unexpected noise of the jets causes psychological stress and damage to the hearing of the Innut. Their culture is dying.

Yet the U.S. journal, Aviation Week and Space Technology, reported in January that "Canadian defence force is moving toward a recommendation to NATO to designate Goose Bay, Labrador as an aircraft weapons training base once the Canadian Air Force takes over from the Ministry of Transport early in 1985." During the summer, the British, West German, and Canadian air forces use the airport as a base for weapons training. Two practice bombing ranges will probably be established next summer. There have been no environmental, socio-economic, or health studies of these activities.

This month's letter writing topic is to address these issues. It is important to tell the Federal, Québec, and Newfoundland governments what we think about what is being done to the Innut people. The Department of National Defence believes their increased spending, including opemllg Mitassi-man to military training and expanding the base at Goose Bay will improve Canada's prestige in the eyes of the NATO allies and stimulate economic development. Should we tolerate these changes when the distorted economic develop-ment will harm the Innut people and ignore their aboriginal rights? Carole Giangrande believes that until we come to terms with the neglected rights of aboriginal people in Canada, our ability to be a nati6n of peace will have little chance.

This month, write to:

Send copies of your letter to

These three letters require no postage and should be addressed: House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario KlA 0A6.

Copies should be sent to

These letters require 68 cents postage. You may also send copies of these letters to the Innut, c/o Peter Penshue, Innut Campaign Against the Militarization of Ntesinan, Sheshasit, Labrador, AOP lMO.

Thanks to Lois Kunkel and Sheila Nabiton for this sugges-tion. We welcome a new member group, Burlington Association for Nuclear Disarmament.

Contact NLWC at Box 43, 70 King Street North, Waterloo, Ont. N2T 3Z6. And put something in the mail!

Peace Magazine August 1985

Peace Magazine August 1985, page 9. Some rights reserved.

Search for other articles by PMag staff here

Peace Magazine homepage