Dec 15: Fundraiser for the Algonquins of Barriere Lake

Fundraiser in support of The Algonquins of Barriere Lake

Poster – please print off and display

Monday, December 15th 2008 at 7:30 pm
UMI Cafe, 610 Somerset St. W
Corner of Somerset and Percy in Ottawa
Suggested Donation $5-$15

Presented by Indigenous Peoples’ Solidarity Movement – Ottawa (IPSMO),

Everyone is Welcome!

We will be showing 2 short videos on the blockade highway 117 taken place on Oct. 6th, 2008 (12 minutes) and Nov. 19th, 2008 (7 minutes).  Some members of IPSMO will recount their experiences as front-line activists, followed by storytelling featuring Algonquin Elder Albert Dumont, poetry and music by Loh, Mehdi, Horus, Christopher Herodier and other talented friends!

There will be Barriere Lake t-shirts available for sale.

All proceeds will go to the Legal Defense Fund for the 4 arrested Algonquins for their crime: Defending the Land.  The arrested Algonquins are:

Marylynn Poucachiche, Mother of Five, Tribal Council Youth Representative
Offense: Demanding Canada recognize customary chief and council

Michel Thusky
Offense: Resisting cultural, linguistic and political assimilation

Rose Nottaway, Grandmother
Offense: Surviving poverty on a 59-acre reserve

Benjamin Nottaway, Barriere Lake Acting Chief
Offense: Defending traditional territory for natives and non-natives

Background Info:

“In 1991, Barriere Lake signed a historic Trilateral agreement with Canada and Quebec to sustainably develop our traditional territories – the United Nations called the plan an environmental “trailblazer.”  Yet in 1996, the federal government tried to hijack the agreement by replacing our legitimate Chief and Council with a minority faction who let the agreement fall aside.  A resolution was achieved in 1997 by Quebec Superior Court Judge Réjean Paul, who restored our legitimate Chief and Council and renewed the Trilateral agreement.  In 2001, the government pulled out of the Trilateral agreement and started favouring certain community members opposed to our legitimate leadership.  Judge Réjean Paul mediated again in 2007, concluding that the opposition to our Chief and Council was “a small minority” whose leadership challenge “did not respect the Customary Governance Code.”  But when this same minority group conducted another alleged leadership selection in January 2008, the federal government quickly recognized them.”

Barriere Lake Demands:

1. That the Government of Canada agree to respect the outcome of a new leadership re-selection process, with outside observers, recognize the resulting Customary Chief and Council, and cease all interference in the internal governance of Barriere Lake.
2. That the Government of Canada agree to the immediate incorporation of an Algonquin language and culture program into the primary school curriculum.
3. That the Government of Canada honour signed agreements with Barriere Lake, including the Trilateral, the Memorandum of Mutual Intent, and the Special Provisions, all of which it has illegally terminated.
4. That the Government of Canada revoke Third Party Management, which was imposed unjustly on Barriere Lake .
5. That the Province of Quebec honour signed agreements with Barriere Lake, including the 1991 Trilateral and 1998 Bilateral agreements, and adopt for implementation the Lincoln-Ciaccia joint recommendations, including $1.5 million in resource-revenue sharing.
6. That the Government of Canada and the Province of Quebec initiate a judicial inquiry into the Quebec Regional Office of the Department of Indian Affairs’ treatment of Barriere Lake and other First Nations who may request to be included.
7. The Government of Quebec , in consultation with First Nations, conduct a review of the recommendations of the Ontario Ipperwash Commission for guidance towards improving Quebec-First Nation relations and improving the policing procedures of the SQ when policing First Nation communities.

After exhausting all political avenues, the Algonquins of Barriere Lake and many non-native supporters blockaded highway 117 for the first time on Oct. 6, 2008.  The community, including Elders, youth and children, were met with a brutal police response. Riot cops used tear gas and pain compliance, instead of negotiators. The police response has drawn criticism from international human rights groups, the Chiefs of Ontario, and the Christian Peacemaker Team.

The second time, the Algonquins of Barriere Lake and allies blockaded the highway again on Nov. 18, 2008.  As a result, 4 Algonquins, including Acting Chief Benjamin Nottaway were arrested by the SQ riot squad.

For more info, please visit Barriere Lake Solidarity web site.