Akwesasne welcomes the Peace Caravan

On 1 July 2009, 15 of us from Ottawa went to Akwesasne in a trip organized by IPSMO to show solidarity with the indigenous people of that territory. We were joined by about a dozen people from Montréal, organized by No One Is Illegal. The previous couple of days, a Six Nations Peace Caravan had arrived.

Despite some controversy surrounding the caravan that dissuaded many people from coming on these trips, the Peace Caravan and settler solidarity visits were warmly welcomed by Akwesasne residents. We enjoyed plentiful food and traditional songs, and listened to speeches of representatives from Six Nations, Kahnewake, Grassy Narrows, Mapuche, and the Akwesasne Womens Fire which organized hosting for the event and support for the occupation of the CBSA posts.

The new Grand Chief, who had just had been elected, updated those assembled on the situation. He emphasized that the arming of CBSA agents was only one of many grievances (at least 12) they had with government departments. He told us that a process had started for negotiation, beginning with (relatively) senior representatives of the Canadian government meeting chiefs half way. Notably, he observed that local Cornwall business leaders were not angry with the Akwesasne Mohawks at all and sympathized with them.

* http://picasaweb.google.com/peiju.wang/Akwesasne?feat=directlink
* http://picasaweb.google.com/warren.mcbride/AkwesasneJuly12009PeaceCaravan?feat=directlink

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