Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa – www.ipsmo.org

June 22, 2014

Regarding William Commanda’s Legacy Vision for the Sacred Chaudiere Site

June21doc-coanlogoJUNE 21, 2014 CIRCLE OF ALL NATIONS MESSAGE REGARDING WILLIAM COMMANDA’S LEGACY VISION FOR THE SACRED CHAUDIERE SITE – FROM ROMOLA V. THUMBADOO

Download the document here (25-pg pdf)

june21doc-gwcwwampumCONTENTS:

SECTION ONE – AN OPEN LETTER

  1. A Personal Preamble
  2. Open Letter on behalf of the Legacy Vision of Indigenous Spiritual Leader and Elder, Dr. William Commanda, OC, Carrier of the Sacred Wampum Belt Heritage

SECTION TWO – THE SACRED CHAUDIERE SITE AND VICTORIA ISLAND ISSUES PAPER – Key Information

  1. William Commanda – 11 November, 1913 – 3 August, 2011
  2. Sacred Cultural Heritage Site
  3. June21doc-overviewmapDevelopment of the Vision for the Sacred Chaudière Site
  4. The Sacred Chaudière Site and the vision and the commitment of three exemplary Indigenous rights leaders of international renown and relevance – William Commanda, Douglas Cardinal and Donald Marshall Junior
  5. Current Challenges
  6. A Critical Consideration – First Peoples/Canada Relations in 2014

SECTION THREE – THE LEGACY VISION FOR THE SACRED CHAUDIERE SITE

  1. Mandate
  2. The Core Vision (first presented in 2003)
  3. Critical Imperatives
  4. Expected Key Results

SECTION FOUR – AN INVITATION TO DREAM BIG TO SAFE GUARD AND ANIMATE THE LIVING LEGACY OF WILLIAM COMMANDA

  1. Blueprint for the future: William Commanda’s Legacy Vision for Asinabka in a Nutshell
  2. Recommendation/Exhortation

.

Download the document here (25-pg pdf)

—-

March 25, 2014

Truth & Reconciliation Commission proceedings – Live screening in Ottawa March 27-30, 2014

The final public hearing of testimonials from survivors of Canada’s residential schools is being held from this coming Thursday (March 27) through Sunday (March 30).

Live streaming of the Edmonton Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings will be offered at First United Church (347 Richmond Rd. in Ottawa) in the chapel. There will be a host to orient you to what is going on, and provide hot drinks.

Free for all who wish to come and be a caring witness. See schedule below for daily times (all in the afternoons and evenings).

We invite you to come and gather in community as long distance witnesses to the proceedings. Our witness is important. A full schedule of events can be viewed on the www.trc.ca website under events – livestreaming is available to everyone through that website.

  • Opening Ceremony: Thurs March 27th 12-2pm
  • Commissioners Sharing: Fri March 28th 3-5pm
  • Call to Gather: Fri March 28th 6-8pm
    (includes Honorary Witness Ceremony and Expressions of Reconciliation)
  • Commissioners Sharing: Sat, March 29th 11am-2pm & 3-5pm
  • Call to Gather: Sat March 29th 6-8pm
  • Expressions of reconciliation: Sun March 30th 11am-12noon
  • Commissioners Sharing: Sun March 30th 12-2pm, 3-5pm
  • Survivor Birthday Celebration: Sun March 30th 5-5:30pm
  • Closing Ceremony: Sun March 30th 6-8p.m

For more information, email: jhardman@rogers.com

February 23, 2014

Mon Feb 24: Indigenous journeyers complete 1700 km trek

NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday February 24, 2014

Indigenous journeyers complete 1700 km trek

Forty-nine days ago, a group of First Nations adults and youth began an epic spiritual journey from Attawapiskat First Nation by James Bay to Ottawa. The twenty-five Indigenous walkers arrive in Ottawa this morning. Some of them have walked 1700 kms!

Concerned about broken treaties, land and water protection, and human rights issues the Omushkegowuk Walkers vowed to take their steps back by walking all the way to Ottawa. They have a message to share when their journey ends at Parliament Hill today at 12:30 PM.

They’ll start at Carling and Bronson this morning at 10:30 AM, be greeted by Glebe high school students as they pass and head up First Avenue to First Avenue primary school for 11:00 AM. From there they take O’Connor to Isabella and then Elgin Street up to the Human Rights Monument at Lisgar Street for 12 NOON.

If you are not coming to the Hill for the welcome – please show these Indigenous Journeyers some support by slowing down along the route and giving them a cheer, a wave or a honk for support.

After a brief ceremony at the Human Rights Monument, and likely joined by hundreds of well-wishers, the Omushkegowuk Walkers are to march up Elgin to Parliament at 12:10 PM.

On the way, Ottawa First Nations drum group the O-Town Boyz, the Walkers and other supporters will stop for a Healing Song at 12:20 PM in front of the Prime Minister’s office on Wellington.

At 12:30 PM Reclaiming our steps, past present and future Walkers arrive at Parliament Hill. Please join us in welcoming these heroes from the north. The speaking, drumming and dancing event will go until 2:30 PM.

A farewell Pipe Ceremony and Community Potluck Feast for the Walkers is planned for Wednesday, February 26th.

To learn about the journey, please visit their facebook page Reclaiming Our Steps Past, Present & Future

For more detailed information about the events today and on February 26th please visit https://www.facebook.com/events/636151979779260

– 30 -

November 13, 2013

Algonquins of Barriere Lake: New film and thesis project now out

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — waawaaskesh @ 3:06 am

 
A new film, Honour Your Word, and a 305-pg thesis document, highlight the ongoing efforts of the Algonuins of Barriere Lake community.

—-

On Jurisdiction and Settler Colonialism:
The Algonquins of Barriere Lake Against the Federal Land Claims Policy

In September, Barriere Lake Solidarity activist and PhD candidate Shiri Pasternak successfully completed her thesis project at the University of Toronto.

The result is a 305-pg thesis, available online in PDF format:

http://shiripasternak.com/Pasternak_Shiri_S_201309_PhD_thesis.pdf

—-

Honour Your Word
Director: Martha Stiegman • Documentary Feature • 56m • Canada

Marylynn Poucachiche and Norman Matchewan faced tear gas and police batons when they joined their parents on the barricades to defend the Barriere Lake Algonquins’ traditional territory in the 1980s. Little did Marylynn and Norman  realize they would still be on the barricades over 20 years later, this time with their own young children at their sides.

Honour Your Word, is the dramatic story of a tiny First Nations community in Quebec with big strength of character and determination, and follows new Algonquin leaders, as their community fights to protect their land, way of life, and their language.

Here is a link to the trailer

The film was screened at the American Indian Film Festival on November 3, 2013. Canadian screening dates pending – stay tuned!

Here is the film’s official website: honouryourword-film.ca

UPDATE:
The film has been added to the roster for Cinema Politica which has autonomous local groups across the country and internationally that show films.

An Ottawa screening is planned for Tuesday April 22:
6:30pm at the Mayfair Theatre, $5-15 suggested donation.
Info: http://ipsmo.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/april-22-honour-your-word/
or https://www.facebook.com/events/266953060131769/

—-

 

July 17, 2013

July 24-28: Asinabka Film & Media Arts Festival comes to Ottawa for the second year!


 

The Asinabka Film & Media Arts Festival – http://asinabkafestival.org – is bringing powerful and thought-provoking art and film to Ottawa for another summer. The Festival, to be held July 24-28 2013, provides an opportunity for Indigenous peoples to tell their own stories and showcase their rich and vibrant culture in the National Capital Region.

This year, the Festival will feature a wide array of programming, including a series of films that examine deep spiritual connections to the land and the important role that women play in Aboriginal communities. The Festival will also focus on human rights and sovereignty issues raised by the Idle No More movement.

The Festival will revolve around strong programming with over 10 film screenings, including a delicious pre-festival “Dinner And A Movie” night at Mitla Café, an outdoor opening and film screening on Victoria Island, film programs at the National Gallery of Canada and Club SAW, and a “Gallery Crawl” with curated art exhibitions at Gallery 101 and Fall Down Gallery.

 

Highlights of the Festival include:

• A screening of the documentary “The People of the Kattawapiskak River” that exposes the housing crisis faced by 1,700 Cree in Northern Ontario. Director Alanis Obomsawin will be in attendance and participate in a Q & A session led by Journalist Waubgeshig Rice.

• An opening night outdoor screening on Victoria Island, showing the critically acclaimed film “The Lesser Blessed” by Director Anita Doron and award winning Writer/Producer Richard Van Camp.

• A “Gallery Crawl” event including the opening of two person art exhibition “In-Digital” at Gallery 101 with the artists Jason Baerg and Christian Chapman in attendance, followed by a “Misko (Red) Party” at Fall Down Gallery with artwork by local and emerging artists, and an evening of multi-disciplinary performance with spoken word, live painting, experimental video-art, and live music.

• A “Dinner & A Movie” Night at Mitla Café (July 18 & 19), serving authentic Oaxacan Cuisine prepared by Chef Ana, and screening Director Roberto Olivares Ruiz’s film “Silvestre Pantaleón”.

• A weeklong video production program called “Video Works”, facilitated by Indigenous Culture & Media Innovations (ICMI), and held at the SAW Video Media Art Centre. Work produced during the program will be screened on the final night of the Festival.

• A “Late Night” film program at Club SAW titled “Fabulous Fantasies”, screening 8 short films that are quirky, humorous, dystopian, futuristic, queer, and fabulous.

 

“This event promises to be an excellent venue for advancing works from emerging and established Indigenous artists, both nationally and internationally,” stated Asinabka Co-Directors Howard Adler and Chris Wong. “Such a festival also has the potential to help Canadians better understand the realities of Indigenous peoples lives and experiences.”

This year’s Asinabka Film & Media Art Festival will feature more free programming then ever before. A large proportion of the Festival’s programming will be offered free of charge, including three film programs in partnership with the National Gallery of Canada and its “Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art exhibition”. As a result, the Festival will highlight Indigenous films not only from Canada, but also from Brazil, Russia, Australia, and the United States.

 

For more information about the Festival, please go to: http://asinabkafestival.org

For more information about the Festival, please contact Howard Adler at asinabkafestival at gmail.com or 613.889.9559

 

The Asinabka Film & Media Art Festival would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario, as well as funding support from the City of Ottawa. We also thank our Festival Partners, the National Gallery of Canada, Saw Video, Gallery 101, Saw Gallery, ICMI, Wapikoni Mobile, Fall Down Gallery and Aboriginal Experiences.
 

July 7, 2013

Fundraising campaigns: Book, Film, Website Magazine

Greetings / ahneen / kwey kwey,

Today we are sending out information about three fundraising campaigns.

We hope you will take a look at them, and consider seeing if you can
support, and also if you can spread the word, to help these worthwhile
projects.

Miigwetch!

—-

QUICK LINKS:

Book: Honouring Indigenous Women: Hearts of Nations v2
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-launch-of-honouring-indigenous-women-hearts-of-nations-vol-2

Film: The Sixties Scoop: A Hidden Generation documentary
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-sixties-scoop-a-hidden-generation-documentary–2

Website magazine: Intercontinental Cry – People Land Truth 2013
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/people-land-truth

… more info on each follows:

—-

Honouring Indigenous Women: Hearts of Nations vol2 book

We are seeking funds to print 800 copies of this book in preparation for a
multi-city launch of this anthology for an Autumn 2013 release which
includes Vancouver, Edmonton, Regina, Toronto, Peterborough, Ottawa and
Manistee. These launches will reach more people to whom we also would like
to share the wealth of knowledge and inspiration this book offers to
empower all peoples to tell and share their stories.

When the Honouring Indigenous Women campaign was launched in 2011, many
Indigenous women praised this initiative as it was creating a place for
Indigenous women’s voices while offering a complimentary space to allies
and alliances. Indigenous women recognized the importance of this space as
their voices were not marginalized or on the peripheral. As we have
learned, the mainstream media often reinforces stereotypes and patriarchal
thinking towards Indigenous women in their stories, and often does not
portray the whole picture.

This anthology is a re-presentation of Indigenous women by Indigenous
women by  sharing lived experiences, realities and offering unique
perspectives of each contributors’ worldview.

It is a celebration and a practice of freedom for both its creators and
readers.

Fund it: http://igg.me/at/HIW-vol-2
Website: http://thesoundofmyheart.weebly.com/

—-

The Sixties Scoop: A Hidden Generation documentary film

Q&A with Filmmaker, Colleen Cardinal

Q. Why did you embark on this project?

A. There needs to be an awakening in Canada to the realities of Indigenous
peoples—especially us telling our own stories to raise awareness, educate
and support our own healing journeys. My lived experiences include being
caught up in a deliberate attempt at cultural genocide—death by social
policy. When I first learned there were thousands of adoptees that went
through similar experiences of cultural loss, loneliness and abuse as I
did, I wanted to support them and make sure their stories were validated
and shared.

We will share what it was like to grow up in non-Indigenous families,
without their culture, language, lands, identity and relations. This
deliberate attempt at assimilation of Indigenous people in Canada and
enforced federal policy through Children’s Services or Children’s Aid
Societies left the survivors feeling disconnected from themselves and
their people. Robert Commanda will also lend his voice and insights about
a class action lawsuit against the Ontario provincial government that he
has been fighting in the courts for the past four years. The documentary
will also include my son Sage Hele, who will speak about how
inter-generational trauma, abuse and discrimination shaped his own life. I
am grateful to those involved with this project for their resilience,
passion and openness to sharing their stories and healing journeys.

Q: Why is this documentary so important NOW?

A: I feel this is important because of the growing need for understanding,
awareness and education for mainstream Canadian audiences. The Idle No
More movement and the resurgence of Indigenous culture and awareness has
Indigenous people asking questions and awakening their need to reclaim
their identity. I also feel this documentary needs to be shared so that
other 60′s Scoop survivors know they are not alone.

Fund it: http://igg.me/p/456883
Film website: http://ahiddengeneration.wordpress.com
Videos of speakers from trailer launch / community gathering:
http://equitableeducation.ca/2013/the-sixties-scoop

—-

People Land Truth 2013 – Intercontinental Cry magazine

Intercontinental Cry (IC) Magazine needs your help. As an independent,
volunteer-run magazine, we are proudly funded by our readers; however, we
are currently facing some financial difficulties that threatens the
continuation of our work, including the publication of our 9th anniversary
magazine, PEOPLE LAND TRUTH 2013

Now in its 9th year online, Intercontinental Cry (IC) is one of the only
grassroots online publications dedicated to the world’s Indigenous
Peoples. So far we’ve written stories for 497 Indigenous Nations in 190
countries; authored 74 monthly reports and highlighted more than 400
outstanding videos and films. What’s more, we’ve done it all for free.

In an effort to highlight some of our work, we decided last June to bring
the best of IC to paper with an anniversary magazine called PEOPLE LAND
TRUTH (PLT).  In the spirit of sharing, we made an eBook version that was
free to the public; the print version, meanwhile, was available for a
modest donation. We did the same thing six months later with INDIGENOUS
STRUGGLES 2012: DISPATCHES FROM THE FOURTH WORLD, our first annual
briefing on the global indigenous movement.

Fund it: http://igg.me/at/people-land-truth
Alt fund it: http://intercontinentalcry.org/donate/
Website: http://intercontinentalcry.org/
Publications: http://intercontinentalcry.org/publications/

—-

June 27, 2013

July 2 Book Launch – Aboriginal Rights Are Not Human Rights: In Defence of Indigenous Struggles, with author Peter Kulchyski

Tuesday July 2nd, 7pm
at 251 Bank Street, 2nd Floor (Octopus Books in Centretown)

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/389732467799306

Join us for the Ottawa launch of Aboriginal Rights Are Not Human Rights: In Defence of Indigenous Struggles, by Peter Kulchyski.

Aboriginal rights do not belong to the broader category of universal human rights because they are grounded in the particular practices of aboriginal people. So argues Peter Kulchyski in a provocative book from the front lines of indigenous people’s struggles to defend their culture from the ongoing conquest of their traditional lands. Kulchyski shows that some differences are more different than others, and he draws a border between bush culture and mall culture, between indigenous people’s mode of production and the totalizing push of state-led capitalism.

Peter Kulchyski is a leading Canadian Native Studies scholar at the University of Manitoba. He has published numerous books on Aboriginal issues, including The Red Indians and Like the Sound of a Drum: Aboriginal Cultural Politics in Denendeh and Nunavut, which won the 2005 Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction. Dr. Kulchyski is a founding member of the Friends of Grassy Narrows/Winnipeg Indigenous Solidarity Network and the Defenders of the Land, both Aboriginal rights community activist groups.

For more:
Interview with author Peter Kulchyski (at LPG.ca)

Co-sponsors:
Arbeiter Ring Publishing, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement (IPSMO) Ottawa, KAIROS Canada, MiningWatch Canada, Niigaan, Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) National Capital Region

VIDEO: Francine Lemay, sister of police officer killed at Oka crisis, talks about reconciliation

From Covenant Chain Link III – “A different Canada… begins with respect, relationships and openness to change” – October 19-20, 2012; Bronson Centre, Ottawa

Keynote speaker: Francine Lemay, sister of Corporal Marcel Lemay, the police officer killed during the 1991 standoff at Oka
(48 minutes, bilingual)

 

 

Please go to http://bit.ly/covenantchainlink
for more info about upcoming editions of Covenant Chain Link
— COVENANT CHAIN LINK IV: Oct 18-19, 2013
at Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre, 300 Des Pères Blancs, Ottawa, ON
“Learn about Indigenous Peoples’ perspectives on education – join us for panel discussions, workshops, displays, resources, networking opportunities, and more!!!”
 
Covenant Chain Link is sponsored by KAIROS Canada

And co-sponsored by:
Legacy of Hope Foundation
Ottawa Catholic School Board
Presbyterian Church in Canada
Project of Heart
The Anglican Church of Canada
Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada;
United Church of Canada

May 22, 2013

Families of Sisters in Spirit Zine Callout! Our Voices Matter : Talking Back

CALLOUT TO INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES!!

SEEKING SUBMISSIONS FOR UPCOMING ZINE BY FSIS – DEADLINE SEPT 30, 2013

Our Voices Matter : Talking Back

Families of Sisters in Spirit (FSIS) believes in centering stories and voices of Indigenous women, youth, families, communities and Nations. Highlighting our lived experiences as well as our power, resilience and strength are absolutely essential if we are to move forward as Indigenous peoples together in a good way; in a way that nurtures strong relations with non-Indigenous and settler peoples and ensures our collective futures are free from violence and oppression.

What?

An online and print zine for and by First Nations, Métis, Inuit and mixed-heritage Indigenous peoples, women, youth, families, Elders, elders, two-spirit/queer/gender fabulous, and grassroots folks. Please send us your submissions!

We are accepting a wide variety of submissions including memoirs, personal testimonies, short stories, short plays, prose, poetry, lyrics, photographs, art, collages, paintings, drawings, carvings, sculptures or other creative commentary by Indigenous peoples. We encourage emerging and unpublished as well as more established storytellers to submit. Topics are fairly broad but should speak to historical and ongoing colonial violence in Canada and what we need as Indigenous people to heal, resist and live as we were always meant to be.

Why?

We are making this zine in order to and validate our many and varied experiences of interpersonal and structural violence and celebrate our resilience and community power. Sharing our struggles and triumphs are acts of resistance and survival and show us that we are not alone. Our voices matter and affirm our self-determination as well as interdependence to one another and Mother Earth, and strengthens our families and communities.

Why else?

Because it feels like hardly nobody listens to us! Because Indigenous stories and experiences, especially those of women, are not valued as they should be. Because too often our complex realities are ignored and erased. Because we are tired of policies, decisions, and committees made on our behalf by people who are far removed from our realities. Because we are tired of people speaking for us and about us. Because we need to be the ones telling our stories. Because we are the experts in our own lives and we are talking back!

Who?

Families of Sisters in Spirit (FSIS) is a grassroots, non-profit, all volunteer, unfunded organization by family members of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls with support and solidarity from Indigenous and non-Indigenous allies and friends. FSIS is committed to extensive public education, media and social media engagement, fundraising, and especially capacity and relationship-building with/among Indigenous families of missing and murdered women and girls. We believe in facilitating safe(r) spaces for families to share, grieve and strategize together, privately and publicly. FSIS follows anti-oppressive, anti-colonial and Indigenous feminist frameworks that root our work in radical relationships with the land, one another, our ancestors and future descendents.

Two members of FSIS Colleen Cardinal (Hele) and Kristen Gilchrist have taken the lead in launching Our Voices Matter: Talking Back

Colleen Cardinal (Hele): zhaawanongnoodin mihingan dodem, saddle lake n’doojbah

My name is Southwind woman, I am wolf clan originally from Saddle Lake Cree Nation, Alberta on Treaty 6 territory. I am a Plains Cree mother of four young adults and grandma to a lively granddaughter named Rosalie. I am in the beginning stages of producing a documentary called The Sixties Scoop: A Stolen Generation that follows six First Nation women and men who were forcibly adopted out of their Nations and placed into non-Indigenous households far away from their families or homelands in the middle of the 20th century. I am a Sixties Scoop survivor raising awareness about how historical colonial violence has impacted and continues to shape my family. My sister Charmaine Desa was murdered in 1990 and my sister-in-law Lynne Jackson was also killed in 2004. I have been involved with FSIS for more than a year, often engaging in public education about violence(s) against Indigenous women and girls.

Kristen Gilchrist self-identifies as a white settler, queer/femme, survivor of violence(s), living with invisible disabilities, and situated within/across intersecting dimensions of privilege and oppression, agency and constraint. I am a graduate student in sociology at Carleton University, co-founder and allied/non family member with FSIS, and ally in the sex workers’ rights movement in the Ottawa area — traditional Algonquin territories.

How?

Please send all submissions to fsiszine@gmail.com with SUBMISSION as the subject. If it can’t be emailed, mail it to:

Suite 601, 250 City Centre Ave
Ottawa, ON K1R 6K7
℅ FSIS (zine)

The deadline is NOW September 30, 2013 at 11:59 pm! All submissions and inquiries about submissions should be sent to fsiszine@gmail.com

In your submission, please include:

- Your name (or name you want to be published)
– RELIABLE Contact information (in case we need to talk to you about your work)
– A brief (50-100 word) bio or description of who you are/what you do, etc. (if you want to include it)
– Please make sure all attachments are either in PDF, JPEG, Word, RTF, BMP or any other compatible program.
– Your submission should be in an attachment, not copy/pasted into the email. (If you have trouble with attachments, email us for help!)

*We acknowledge the limitations and contradictions inherent in requesting and publishing submissions in the colonial English language. Our hope is this is a starting place for sharing and that many different translations could be possible in the future.*

Want to submit? Get involved in the planning/making of the zine?
Wanna support FSIS?
Got concerns, questions, etc?
Email us at fsiszine@gmail.com to talk and if you’d like to get involved.

—————————

April 6, 2013

Apr 22: Celebrating the Defence of Mother Earth – A Fundraiser for the Six Nations Land Defenders Legal Defence Fund

Movies, Speakers, Music and Free Food!

Image credit: Jesse Purcell with the Just Seeds collective

Image credit: Jesse Purcell with the Just Seeds collective

Monday, April 22, 6:00 to Midnight
Rideau Curling Club, 715 Cooper Street, Ottawa

Facebook event link

Free – suggested donation $10 – $20
Wheelchair Accessible
Contact us about ASL/LSQ: ipsmo@riseup.net

Food will be provided by Food Not Bombs Ottawa, and there is a bar in the Curling Club

 

The IPSM is organizing a fundraiser for front-line land defenders from Six Nations this Earth Day!

All of the money raised will be going directly to the Six Nations Land Defenders Legal Defence Fund.

 

The night will feature short movies, speakers and live music!

Short films:

  • Day Zero, about the Six Nations Land Reclamation
  • Rough Cut: Toad: Onkwehonwe Land Defender
  • the National Film Board film, Six Miles Deep (subtitled)

Speakers:

  • Francine “Flower” Doxtator
  • Tom Keefer

Live music:

  • True Rez, award winning hip-hop artists from Six Nations
  • Balam Santos

 
—-
 

In 2006, activists from Six Nations reclaimed a part of their territory, “Kanonhstaton” that was going to be developed by several construction companies who had, illegally, invested in Douglas Creek Estates. For most of the summer of 2006, the land reclamation was highly publicized. Since then, although it has not generated the same media attention, Haudenosaunee activists have continued to fight to protect their lands and waters. Due to this fight, the last six years have seen harsh criminalization of Haudenosaunee Land Defenders. Dozens of people have faced criminal charges and several have served substantial time in jail. In Brantford, an injunction was passed making it illegal for anyone from Six Nations to be involved in land claims protest within the city.

Several Six Nations activists have also been arrested and charged of serious criminal offences due to the actions of Gary McHale, a racist right-wing demagogue with ties to overt white supremacists. On February 18th several Six Nations land defenders were arrested for allegedly “obstructing” and “assaulting” OPP officers. That day anti-native rights activist, Gary McHale, marched onto Kanonstaton and succeeded yet again in instigating conflict by unexpectedly marching towards the house at Kanonhstaton and disturbing the Haudenosaunee people living there. Later, on April 28th, the police claimed that by being at Kanonhstaton on April 28th, Flower had breached conditions stemming from the charges on February 18th.

We must continue to build support for Six Nations land defenders and resist the actions of the colonial courts in criminalizing Six Nations land defenders. Flower is still not legally allowed to return to Kanonhstaton and in order to avoid jail she had to agree to live with her surety in Toronto – away from her home, her community and friends, her daughter, and her four grandchildren. All of us living on this land are treaty people, and we as treaty people must overcome such outrageous and heartbreaking violations of treaty and human rights by building support for our friends and allies at Six Nations.

In terms of a legal strategy, money is still urgently needed.

The April 28th Coalition is asking for your help to support Flower in a number of ways:

  • Pass a motion within your union or political organization denouncing this political repression of indigenous land rights activists.
  • Invite Flower and other members of the April 28th Coalition to come and speak to your group about her case and the larger issues of Six Nations land rights and activism in support of treaty rights.
  • Raise money to help cover the legal costs of appealing the court’s decision to ban Flower from Kanonhstaton.
  • Send money to help Flower cover the cost of replacing the glasses the police broke while arresting her and to aid with her living costs while she is in Toronto.
  • Come to Flower’s next court appearance at 2pm on June 26th in Cayuga, Ontario.
  • Get involved in the April 28th Coalition.

Email april28info@gmail.com to get in touch with us and tell us how you can help with any of these matters. Cheques can be made payable to “First Nations Solidarity Working Group” and mailed c/o Laura Lepper to 193 Tansley Rd., Thornhill, ON, L4J 2Y8. You can also donate money via credit card or paypal by clicking on the “donate” button at the http://www.april28.net/ website.

For more information about the legal defence fund: http://april28coalition.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/support-flower-stop-the-criminalization-of-six-nations-land-defenders/

For a preview of Six Miles Deep: http://www.nfb.ca/film/six_miles_deep/clip/six_miles_deep_clip_1

 

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