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Milton-Born-with-a-Tooth


Milton Born-With-A-Tooth is a Peigan-Blackfoot political activist.

He first came to widespread attention in 1990, when the Alberta government sought to dam the Oldman River, which would have flooded Peigan land. Born-With-A-Tooth led the Lonefighters, a Blackfoot warrior society, in resisting the dam, eventually using an excavator to divert the river away from the dam. He said: “the Oldman River is located in Blackfoot Nation’s territory, something we have always taken as being within our own domain. We all grew up by the river, and that’s how the river has a personal attachment to myself and the people. So that’s what drove us to do what we did on August 3, to let the people know we still had this connection to the river.”

Their action brought down a massive state response. A heavily armed Royal Canadian Mounted Police contingent arrived, and shots were fired. Born-With-A-Tooth, who had fired two warning shots into the air when the RCMP invaded Peigan land, was arrested and charged with endangering lives and assaulting eighty officers. He was convicted and spent four and a half years in prison. The dam was built and brought into operation.

In 2006, Born-With-A-Tooth travelled across the country in a “Trail of Tears:” a campaign against third-party management of First Nations.



References

1993 statement by Milton-Born-With-A-Tooth at NativeWeb.org

1995 statement by Milton-Born-With-A-Tooth

Commentary on Canadian Justice: Review of the Born-With-A-Tooth case By Tony Hall.

Milton’s Blog - Trail of Tears 2006: Atlantic to Pacific Oceans (campaign against Third Party Management)

Defending the Oldman River: A conversation with Milton-Born-With-A-Tooth


Subject headings

Aboriginal RightsDamsFirst NationsLand TakeoversNative PeoplesRivers