On September 25, 2023, at the start of Truth and Reconciliation week, Phil Verster, CEO of Metrolinx sent our Coalition a letter addressed to ENAGB Indigenous Youth Agency stating:
"To be able to advance this critically important project, Metrolinx will need the lands to be vacated. While we remain open to discussing site restoration, community improvements and Indigenous youth programming, please be aware that if the lands are not vacated shortly, we will need to pursue other options, including legal proceedings, to ready the lands for construction."
Our coalition has replied:
"Now, in the midst of Truth and Reconciliation Week in Canada, where settler organizations are just starting to grapple with the devastation of the genocidal polices of the Canadian state, you are telling us to remove our Ceremony from ‘your’ land? Instead of acknowledging the American Indian Movement as the leader of this coalition, you address your letter and threat of legal action to our Indigenous Youth? Not only have you failed to collaborate, now you are antagonizing an already delicate situation and threatening to remove people who are conducting Ceremony following our Anishinaabe Laws that within the municipality of Toronto have been ratified under the Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
We have repeatedly shown we are willing to work with you, but you have yet to commit in writing to even the least of our requests. From our perspective, we need a written commitment to honour and respect this ongoing Ceremony and our request for meaningful dialogue in shaping any construction plans.
We and our allies are committed to continuing to exercise our Charter rights with our Sacred Fire Ceremony and protecting it from being extinguished before the Ceremony is complete."
Please see below copies of both Mr. Verster's letter and our coalition's reply
We need your help now more than ever:
Our Fire Keepers, including Indigenous youth and elders, will need everyone in the community to show their support and be a witness if Metrolinx tries to forcibly remove them from the park. To be clear, we’re committed to keeping our action peaceful. We're asking everyone to email us their name and cell phone number to be included in our quick response group.
Email MPP Michael Ford at firstname.lastname@example.org and demand that he finally step up and take action to protect our Indigenous partners and our parks.
Join us every Wednesday night between 6:30 and 9 p.m. at the tipi in Pearen Park for our neighbourhood socials before Metrolinx tries to shut them down. We had nearly 100 people at our social last week.