April 27 Event – We Believe Survivors of Canadian Mining

We Believe Survivors of Canadian Mining

 ~An evening to explore the intersections of extractive industries and violence against women~

Join IPSMO, OPIRG Ottawa, and ProtestBarrick as we take an international, national, and very personal look at violence against women, as we find solidarity in the similarity of these struggles.

April 27, 2017, 6-8:30pm

University of Ottawa Desmarais Building DMS 1110

we believe survivors of mining violence

Full details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1650805138560226/

SPEAKERS:

  • Two survivors of human rights abuses related to mining from Papua New Guinea
  • Catherine Coumans (MiningWatch Canada)
  • Jocelyn Wabano Iahtail (Attawapiskat First Nation)


After years of denying cases of sexual assault, Canadian mining company Barrick Gold compensated 119 women and girls who were victims of sexual violence by mine security in Papua New Guinea to the tune of ~$10,000 each for these abuses, but had them sign an agreement that they could never sue the company. Eleven of the women refused this remedy package and threatened to sue the company, resulting in a higher out of court settlement. Since that time, the 119 women who originally accepted the money from Barrick have organized into women’s groups and started to demand more dignified treatment from the company. Many others have never received any compensation at all, as allegations of sexual violence continue.

Closer to home, the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women has gained national and international attention due to the efforts of native women’s organizing and documentation efforts. These grassroots efforts have challenged official reports about the numbers of women who have disappeared, and created support and community for families and survivors of gendered violence.

From gaslighting tactics, to the cultural and legal barriers that prevent women from sharing their stories, we will look at the systemic forces that work to silence victims of abuse. We will also hear from courageous women who have self-organized with other survivors to tell their stories and demand accountability.

Advertisements

People’s Climate March, April 27

Join a massive wave of action for justice, jobs, and the climate

 Saturday, April 29 at 12:30 PM3:00 PM

From the Facebook event page:

***We would like to acknowledge and honour that all of the work we do is currently being done on unceded Algonquin Territory that was never given up and never surrendered***

Speaker’s List:
Eyah Mazzapaha
Davis Whittington-Heeney
…More to come…

March Route: Marching north on Eligin Street, onto Rideau, turn onto Sussex Drive marching north
Starting point: Human Rights Monument
Ending point: US Embassy

We invite you to join the Peoples Climate Movement on Saturday, April 29th; as we march to:
– Advance solutions to the climate crisis rooted in racial, social and economic justice, and committed to protecting front-line communities and workers.
– Protect our right to clean air, water, land, healthy communities and a world at peace.
– Immediately stop attacks on immigrants, communities of color, indigenous and tribal people and lands and workers.
– Ensure public funds and investments create good paying jobs that provide a family-sustaining wage and benefits and preserve workers’ rights, including the right to unionize.
– Fund investments in our communities, people and environment to transition to a new clean and renewable energy economy that works for all, not an economy that feeds the machinery of war.
– Protect our basic rights to a free press, protest and free speech.

For more information on People’s Climate Marches, visit peoplesclimate.org.

Open Letter to TD Bank

Divest from the Dakota Access Pipeline and Trans Mountain Pipeline Now!

TD DAPL Protest

Dear TD Bank Financial Group:

The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is a massive fracked-oil pipeline spear-headed by Energy Transfer Partners.[1] The Toronto Dominion Bank is a major investor in DAPL ($365 million), and its biggest Canadian supporter.[2] DAPL is opposed by the Meskwaki Nation in Iowa[3] and the Sioux Nation in North Dakota[4] because it threatens their ancestral lands and waters, including sacred sites and burial grounds.[5],[6]

As you are aware, Energy Transfer Partners has ignored this opposition, failing to consult with the Sioux and Meskwaki,[7] as is required under federal[8] and international law.[9] The project is in violation of treaties ratified by the U.S. Senate, which recognize the sovereignty of the Sioux Nation.[10] By running under the Missouri River, DAPL also threatens the freshwater supply of millions of people.[11] The decision to reroute the pipeline closer to the Standing Rock reservation has been described as environmental racism by civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, among others.[12]

Peaceful protests organized by the Standing Rock Sioux have been met with human rights abuses by police and private security forces. Peaceful protesters have been attacked with mace, rubber bullets, long-range acoustic devices, tear gas, attack dogs, bean bag guns, flash bang grenades, and direct physical violence. At times this had happened during prayers and ceremonies; elders and piper carriers have been assaulted and arrested, and their sacred items stolen. The ACLU has correctly characterized this as a form of religious oppression. It also reports that interrogations have denied water protectors the right to counsel or free association. [13] For details and documentation of these incidents, please see the attached report prepared by the Red Owl Legal Collective for Norway’s DNB Bank.[14]

Financing this project, then, contradicts TD’s public commitment to “protect and promote human rights throughout our operations.”[15] It represents a failure to act “with due diligence to prevent, mitigate and manage adverse human rights impacts” [16] as TD has committed to do by signing the Equator Principles for project investment.[17]

Similarly, Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project would triple the pipeline’s capacity for transporting oil from the Alberta tarsands to the BC Coast.[18] TD is helping Kinder Morgan find funding for this $6.8 billion expansion project.[19] This project is opposed by the Tsleil-Waututh, Suquamish, Kwantlen, and Coldwater First Nations.[20] They have not been meaningfully consulted, only offered a chance to rubberstamp and give suggestions for ‘improvement’ to the project.[21] The pipeline will see diluted bitumen pass through environmentally-sensitive areas like the Strait of Juan de Fuca,[22] threatening endangered species like killer whales.[23]

Both of these pipelines will worsen climate change – the single greatest contemporary threat to human civilization and life on this planet. They will lock us into a dirty and unproductive carbon economy. Across the continent, over 122 Indigenous nations have signed a treaty agreement opposing oilsands expansion on their territory, offering to work instead to build a sustainable economy.[24] This means that investing in oil and pipelines is as bad for business as it is for the environment. Divesting is the financially and ethically responsible thing to do. Doing this would mean TD would actually be, in the words of your own Corporate Responsibility policy, “an environmental leader… embedding an environmental perspective in our business strategy.”[25]

TD trumpets its commitment to the principle of “Free, Prior and Informed consent (FPIC)… [as] enshrined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples.”[26] This commitment to FPIC is laughable given the opposition of the Meskwaki Nation, Cheyenne River Sioux, and Standing Rock Sioux to DAPL; as well as the Tsleil-Waututh, Suquamish, Kwantlen, and Coldwater First Nations to Trans Mountain; to say nothing of the 122 Indigenous Nations across the continent that have “joined together under the present treaty to officially prohibit and to agree to collectively to challenge and resist the use of our respective territories and coasts in connection with the expansion of the production of the Alberta Tar Sands, including for the transport of such expanded production, whether by pipeline, rail or tanker.”[27] Over-riding the clear wishes of these First Nations puts the lie to your claim that “We want Aboriginal people, businesses and communities to view us an authentic partner who supports their goals and cares about their success.”[28]

We are a group of individuals concerned by TD’s support for these projects, especially in light of clear Indigenous opposition. We call upon you to withdraw your investments and support from DAPL and Kinder Morgan. On 8 April 2017, nearly one hundred of us gathered outside your branch on Elgin Street in Ottawa, to raise awareness about this call.[29] Our protest was peaceful and powerful, foregrounding the voices of indigenous elders, youth, and activists.[30] We engaged with passing pedestrians and TD customers, many of whom were intrigued to hear about TD’s shameful involvement with DAPL and Kinder Morgan. Some joined our action and many more thanked us for this information.

We want to be clear: if you do not divest from DAPL and Kinder Morgan, we plan on continuing to protest, oppose, and shame your company, encouraging customers and share-holders to divest themselves of your business. We are part of a broader movement that will only grow from today’s protest. We support Indigenous self-determination and the honouring of treaties, and hope you will decide to do the same.

Sincerely,
Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa, and Allies
indigsol@riseup.net

TD DAPL Protest Street

Download a Word document file or PDF of this letter.
Send an individualized version of this letter to TD yourself.

Endnotes

[1] “Energy Transfer (ETP) Reveals Bakken Pipeline Open Season.” Zacks Equity Research, 18 Aug 2016.
www.zacks.com/stock/news/228509/energy-transfer-etp-reveals-bakken-pipeline-open-season

[2]  “Who’s Banking on the Dakota Access Pipeline?” Food & Water Watch, 6 Sept 2016.
www.foodandwaterwatch.org/news/who’s-banking-dakota-access-pipeline

[3] “Meskwaki tribe opposes Bakken oil pipeline through Iowa.” USA Today, 16 March 2015.
ww.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2015/03/16/meskwaki-tribe-opposes-bakken-pipeline/24834269/

[4] “Standing Rock Sioux Tribe vs. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief.” 27 July 2016. earthjustice.org/sites/default/files/files/3154%201%20Complaint.pdf

[5] “Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Files 1st Legal Challenge Over Dakota Access Pipeline Easement” by Morgan Winsor and James Hill. ABC News, 9 Feb 2017.
abcnews.go.com/US/cheyenne-river-sioux-tribe-files-1st-legal-challenge/story?id=45373370

[6] “Call to Action of Indigenous Peoples” by Dave Archambault. Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. 15 Aug 2016.
drive.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=http://standingrock.org/data/upfiles/media/2121_001.pdf&key=856bb34d6fa64f9cb99f3975386b1c13

[7] “Statement from the Chair of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues” United Nations. 31 Aug 2016.
www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/news/2016/08/statement-on-protests/

[8] “The Federal Indian Consultation Right” by Gabriel S. Galanda. American Bar Association.
apps.americanbar.org/buslaw/committees/CL121000pub/newsletter/201101/galanda.pdf

[9] “United Nations Declaration on the Rights on Indigenous Peoples (Article 32).” UN, 13 Sept 2007. www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/DRIPS_en.pdf

[10] “Standing Rock Sioux Takes Pipeline Fight to UN Human Rights Council in Geneva” by Daniel A. Medina. NBC News, 20 Sept 2016. www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/standing-rock-sioux-takes-pipeline-fight-un-human-rights-council-n651381

[11] “A #NoDAPL Map” by Carl Sack. Huffington Post, 2 Nov 2016.
www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/a-nodapl-map_us_581a0623e4b014443087af35

[12] “Why a Previously Proposed Route for the Dakota Access Pipeline Was Rejected” by Catherine Thorbecke. ABC News, 25 Jan 2016.
abcnews.go.com/US/previously-proposed-route-dakota-access-pipeline-rejected/story?id=43274356

[13] “The Surveillance State Descends on the Dakota Access Pipeline Spirit Camp.” ACLU, 10 October 2016. www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/surveillance-state-descends-dakota-access-pipeline-spirit-camp

[14] This report is also available at:
martinezlaw.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/20161108-DNB-Bank-Divestment-Letter-ROLC.pdf

[15] “Corporate Responsibility – Human Rights.” TD Bank Group.
www.td.com/corporate-responsibility/report-centre/gri/human-rights.jsp

[16] “Equator Principles III (p. 20)” June 2013.
www.equator-principles.com/resources/equator_principles_III.pdf

[17] “Responsible Financing and Lending.” TD Bank Financial Group.
www.td.com/corporate-responsibility/crr-2009/environment/responsible-financing/index.jsp

[18] “Expansion Project.” Trans Mountain.  www.transmountain.com/expansion-project

[19] “Kinder Morgan starts talks with investors,” by John Tilak and David French. Reuters, 17 Feb 2017.
www.reuters.com/article/us-kinder-morgan-de-canada-financing-exc-idUSKBN15W20W

[20] “Yes could still be no as Kinder Morgan awaits Trudeau’s nod,” by Gordon Hoekstra. Vancouver Sun, 25 Nov 2016.
vancouversun.com/business/local-business/yes-could-still-be-no-as-kinder-morgan-awaits-trudeaus-nod-on-its-multi-billion-dollar-pipeline-expansion

[21] “B.C. First Nation launches legal challenge over Kinder Morgan pipeline,” by James Keller. CTV News, 2 May 2014.
www.ctvnews.ca/canada/b-c-first-nation-launches-legal-challenge-over-kinder-morgan-pipeline-1.1804190#ixzz350kqw2ja

[22] “Kinder Morgan proposes extending tug escorts through Juan de Fuca Strait for oil tankers.” Victoria Times Colinist, 2 June 2016. vancouversun.com/business/energy/kinder-morgan-proposes-extending-tug-escorts-through-juan-de-fuca-strait-for-oil-tankers

[23] Previously cited (fn 20) – “Yes could still be no,” by Hoekstra. vancouversun.com/business/local-business/yes-could-still-be-no-as-kinder-morgan-awaits-trudeaus-nod-on-its-multi-billion-dollar-pipeline-expansion

[24] “Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion Responds to NEB Decision to Restart Energy East Review.” Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, 27 Jan 2017.
ubcic.bc.ca/treatyalliance_neb_012717

[25] “Corporate Responsibility – Environment.” TD Bank.
http://www.td.com/corporate-responsibility/environment/index.jsp

[26] “TD and Indigenous Communities in Canada (p. 21).” https://www.td.com/document/PDF/corporateresponsibility/td_cr_aboriginal_report_en.pdf

[27] “Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion.”
www.treatyalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/TreatyandAdditionalInformation-20161216-OL.pdf

[28] “TD and Indigenous Communities in Canada (p. 9).” TD Bank. https://www.td.com/document/PDF/corporateresponsibility/td_cr_aboriginal_report_en.pdf

 [29] The event page can be found here:
www.facebook.com/events/1347262565324721

[30] “In pictures: Ottawa residents urge TD Bank to cut ties with Kinder Morgan pipeline,” by Alex Tétreault. National Observer, 9 April 2017.
http://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/04/09/news/pictures-ottawa-residents-urge-td-bank-cut-ties-kinder-morgan-pipeline

Send a message to TD Bank

Divest from the Dakota Access Pipeline and Trans Mountain Pipeline Now!

The land is not ours to ruin

Here is a one-page letter TD customers can use to demand TD Bank divest from DAPL and Kinder Morgan. Scroll down for a letter anyone (including non-customers) can send. Check out an expanded version of the letter with thorough footnotes and links here.

Customer Letter

Download this letter as a document file you can modify yourself.
Bring the letter into your branch, or mail it to the address and e-mail accounts listed below.

Bob Dorrance, CEO TD Securities
Bharat Masran, CEO TD Bank Group
Brian M. Levitt, Chairman of the Board, TD Bank Group
Kerry Peacock, Executive Vice President & Indigenous Peoples Committee Chair
P.O. Box 1, TD Bank Tower
66 Wellington Street W
Toronto, Ontario, M5K 1A2
customer.care@td.com; tdir@td.com (TD Investor Relations)

Dear Bob Dorrance, Bharat Masran, Brian M. Levitt, and Kerry Peacock:

The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is a massive fracked-oil pipeline spear-headed by Energy Transfer Partners. It is opposed by the Meskwaki in Iowa and the Sioux in North Dakota because it threatens their ancestral lands and waters, including sacred sites and burial grounds.

Nevertheless, Energy Transfer Partners has ignored this opposition, failing to consult with the Sioux and Meskwaki, as is required under federal and international law. The project is in violation of treaties ratified by the U.S. Senate, which recognize the sovereignty of the Sioux nation. Peaceful protests organized by the Standing Rock Sioux have been met with human rights abuses by police and private security forces – abuses reminiscent of brutal Civil Rights-era repression. Not only that, by running under the Missouri River, DAPL threatens the freshwater supply of over eight million people.

Similarly, Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion project would triple the pipeline’s capacity for transporting oil from the Alberta tarsands to the BC Coast. It is opposed by the Tsleil-Waututh, Suquamish, Kwantlen, and Coldwater First Nations. They have not been meaningfully consulted, only offered a chance to rubberstamp and give suggestions for ‘improvement’ to the project. The pipeline will see diluted bitumen pass through environmentally-sensitive areas like the Strait of Juan de Fuca, threatening endangered species like killer whales.

The TD Bank Group is a major investor in DAPL – $360 million, all told– and the biggest Canadian supporter of the project. It is helping Kinder Morgan find funding for its $6.8 billion expansion project.

Both of these pipelines will worsen climate change – the greatest current threat to human civilization and life on this planet. They will lock us in a dirty and unproductive carbon economy. Across the continent, over 122 Indigenous nations have signed a treaty agreement opposing oilsands expansion on their territory, offering to work instead to build a sustainable economy. This means that investing in oil and pipelines as as bad for business as it is for the environment. Divesting is the financially and ethically responsible thing to do. Doing this would mean TD would actually be, in the words of your own Corporate Responsibility policy, “an environmental leader,” committed to “protect and promote human rights throughout our operations” and to the principle of “Free, Prior and Informed consent… [as] enshrined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples.”

As a client of your bank, I demand you divest from DAPL and abandon your support for Kinder Morgan. If you do not withdraw your investments from these projects, I will withdraw all my money from my accounts and funds with TD. I plan on encouraging friends and family to do the same.

I support Indigenous self-determination and the honouring of treaties, and hope you will do the same.

Sincerely,
____________________________________________
Date: ______________________


Individual Letter

This version is for anyone concerned by TD’s investments in DAPL and the Trans Mountain Pipeline.
Download the letter as a Word document file you can modify yourself.
Bring the letter into the nearest TD branch, or mail it to the address and e-mail accounts listed below.

Bob Dorrance, CEO TD Securities
Bharat Masran, CEO TD Bank Group
Brian M. Levitt, Chairman of the Board, TD Bank Group
Kerry Peacock, Executive Vice President & Indigenous Peoples Committee Chair
P.O. Box 1, TD Bank Tower
66 Wellington Street W
Toronto, Ontario, M5K 1A2
customer.care@td.com; tdir@td.com (TD Investor Relations)

Dear Bob Dorrance, Bharat Masran, Brian M. Levitt, and Kerry Peacock:

The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is a massive fracked-oil pipeline spear-headed by Energy Transfer Partners. It is opposed by the Meskwaki in Iowa and the Sioux in North Dakota because it threatens their ancestral lands and waters, including sacred sites and burial grounds.

Nevertheless, Energy Transfer Partners has ignored this opposition, failing to consult with the Sioux and Meskwaki, as is required under federal and international law. The project is in violation of treaties ratified by the U.S. Senate, which recognize the sovereignty of the Sioux nation. Peaceful protests organized by the Standing Rock Sioux have been met with human rights abuses by police and private security forces – abuses reminiscent of brutal Civil Rights-era repression. Not only that, by running under the Missouri River, DAPL threatens the freshwater supply of over eight million people.

Similarly, Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion project would triple the pipeline’s capacity for transporting oil from the Alberta tarsands to the BC Coast. It is opposed by the Tsleil-Waututh, Suquamish, Kwantlen, and Coldwater First Nations. They have not been meaningfully consulted, only offered a chance to rubberstamp and give suggestions for ‘improvement’ to the project. The pipeline will see diluted bitumen pass through environmentally-sensitive areas like the Strait of Juan de Fuca, threatening endangered species like killer whales.

The TD Bank Group is a major investor in DAPL – $360 million, all told– and the biggest Canadian supporter of the project. It is helping Kinder Morgan find funding for its $6.8 billion expansion project.

Both of these pipelines will worsen climate change – the single greatest contemporary threat to human civilization and life on this planet. They will lock us in a dirty and unproductive carbon economy. Across the continent, over 122 Indigenous nations have signed a treaty agreement opposing oilsands expansion on their territory, offering to work instead to build a sustainable economy. This means that investing in oil and pipelines as as bad for business as it is for the environment. Divesting is the financially and ethically responsible thing to do. Doing this would mean TD would actually be, in the words of your own Corporate Responsibility policy, “an environmental leader,” committed to “protect and promote human rights throughout our operations” and to the principle of “Free, Prior and Informed consent… [as] enshrined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples.”

As a concerned individual, I demand you divest from DAPL and abandon your support for Kinder Morgan. I will support the divestment movement in my community and workplace, and encourage friends and family to stop patronizing your bank and financial services.

I support Indigenous self-determination and the honouring of treaties, and hope you will do the same.

Sincerely,

____________________________________________

Date: ______________________

First Voices! First Women Speak! 2012 Gathering Report Back

After Lee Maracle’s inspiring lecture on the direct connection between violence against the Earth and violence against Women, all of the participants were grouped into four small talking circles led by Claudette Commanda (East), Lee Maracle (West), Leanne Simpson (North) and Moe Clark (South). In each circle, we talked about our own response to Lee’s lecture, as well as how we can reconnect to the land.

Below are each circle’s report-back and their notes.

Please feel free to tell us (by leaving us your comments at the end of this page) your thoughts on Lee’s lecture and what you are doing, or will be doing, to maintain or rebuild your connection to the Earth.

Thanks Josee for filming!

Chi Miigwetch!

Circle Response Report Back – East

Circle Response Report Back – West

Circle Response Report Back – Giiwedinong/North

Notes:

  • We can relate to the land in the city by noticing, staying present, sitting with our Mother/sun sets, sun rises, Moon, learning place names, bodies of water, land forms.
  • Struggles are immense – need our ceremonies to heal, cry, witness, be present. We need to process our trauma in order to heal and be able to empathize.
  • Embrace diversity – there are lots of beautiful ways to be Anishinaabekwe.
  • Pay attention to the violence we do to ourselves
  • Self acceptance.

Circle Response Report Back – South

Notes:

Discussion question: How Can We Be Caretakers for this Land?

  • Put on your swimsuit and shorts, go to top of mountain and feel the earth where it meets the water. Be in and amongst the tree people…
  • Swim in the sunset
  • Voice heals water, each molecule reverberates
  • Get connected to this earth, this earth mother.
  • It’s not “where are you from?” it’s “where do you belong?”
  • Know your ancestral traditions, those that “belong” to you… what you carry.
  • Seek mentorship and be a mentor-medicine person.
  • Talk to the plants.
  • We can no longer be angry in our desire to protect.
  • Unify between communities – Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal.
  • Eating food and understanding local plants, medicines to connect.
  • We are always with/on our mother
  • Go to the river where it is safe and silent, cleanse
  • Ceremony of every day: thanking trees in your own yard.
  • “Silent voice within me is the ever running water.” – Missy
  • Make things special by celebrating the little parts of who we are. Smudge. Ground with special rock.
  • Use your imagination as well as knowledge and local environment
  • Rights of passage ceremony.
  • Finding alignment and unity within different but connected celebrations – breaking down solitude , ie. St. Jean Baptiste and summer solstice.
  • Understanding our own backgrounds
  • We are all on this planet. We are all star people.
  • Listen to our children for knowledge.
  • Sacred breath. Connect with breath and everything breathes….
  • Circles!
  • Write songs and share them to honour land… process for grieving.
  • Sit near an ant hill… aunties…
  • MORE THAN HUMAN WORLD!

IPSMO’s YouTube Channel

IPSMO is committed to documenting what we can of the various events we help to put on, as well as other content that is relevant.

We have both a YouTube channel and Vimeo account through which we publish these videos.

Here is one of our most recent videos recorded in Nov. 2011:

The Psychic Landscape of Contemporary Colonialism, Lecture by Taiaiake Alfred, of the Indigenous Governance program, University of Victoria
November 9, 2011 – University of Ottawa – Unceded Algonquin Territory

Indigenous Peoples Land and Resource Rights in Latin America: Law and Practice Lecture by José Aylwin, Observatorio Ciudadano, Universidad Austral de Chile
José is a well known lawyer from Chile, specializing in indigenous rights.
November 17, 2011 – Université de Québec en Outaouais – Unceded Algonquin Territory

The Achuar vs Talisman Energy
Peas Peas Ayui, President of the National Achuar Federation of Peru with Gregor MacLennan of Amazon Watch
The Achuar are resisting attempts by Calgary-based Talisman Energy to drill for oil on their traditional territory in the northern Peruvian Amazon
November 25, 2011 – University of Ottawa – Unceded Algonquin Territory

~~~~

Some other videos are:

Cindy Blackstock, ‘Is This Our Canada’ public lecture (How racial discrimination in children’s services undermines the potential of this generation of First Nations children and what you can do to help) Sept 2010:

Indigenous Sovereignty Week 2009

Fri Oct 30: Pachakut’i (Cosmic Upheaval): the Emergence of Indigenous Peoples

Wed Oct 28: Jack Woodward on Beaver Lake Cree First Nation and the Tar Sands

Mon Oct 26: Indigenous Perspectives on the Environment

Sun Oct 25: Remembering Residential Schools

PowerShift Canada 09 conference

Information & Resources on Barriere Lake

WHO ARE THE ALGONQUINS OF BARRIERE LAKE?

The Algonquins of Barriere Lake (ABL) are a First Nation who hunt, fish, trap, and harvest on more than 10,000 square kilometers of territory north of Ottawa in what is now called Quebec. They are one of the few First Nations in Canada who still speak their traditional language and have a traditional government that is tied to their land-based existence. (Most First Nations in Canada had their traditional government replaced by the Government of Canada’s “band council” system). The community attributes the strength of their Algonquin language, their culture, and their protection of the land to the endurance of their own governance system, the Mitchikanibikok Anishinabe Onakinakewin.

The ABL, like many indigenous people world-over, have been long been embroiled in a land struggle against their colonizers (the Canadian Government). Since 1991 this dispute hinges on a Trilateral Agreement, which both the Federal and Provincial governments have signed, but have failed to honor.

WHAT’S THE STRUGGLE ABOUT?

In short, the Algonquins of Barriere Lake are struggling to survive, and preserve their customs and way of life. This involves defending the land on which they live. Since 1991, they have been trying to get the Federal and Provincial Governments to honour the Trilateral Agreement (See below for more detail).

From an outside perspective, it can seem like a very complicated struggle. The struggle has taken many twists and turns, as the ABL have had to respond to a wide array of tactics used by the Canadian Government to try to weaken them. The ABL have written letters, blockaded the highway that runs through their land, fought for their rights in court, marched in Toronto, participated in days of action, and so on. The details of many of these actions can be learned about on this website, as they’ve been documented and archived.

CURRENTLY, the ABL is running a campaign against Section 74 of the Indian Act, because the most recent tactic of the Canadian Government to take control has been to impose band council elections on the community. The ABL have always had their customary government. You can read our primer about that HERE.

WHAT IS THE TRILATERAL AGREEMENT?

The Trilateral Agreement is a contract between the Federal Government (Canada), the Provincial Government (Quebec) and the ABL that deals with land use of 10 000 km2 of land traditionally inhabited and used by the ABL. It is an alternative to Canada’s preferred negotiation policy, called the “Comprehensive Land Claims.” This negotiating process forces First Nations to extinguish their Aboriginal rights and title upon settlement, to give up communal land rights for private property ownership, and to shoulder expensive legal and land use mapping costs that eventually get docked from meager settlements.

The ABL rejected this Comprehensive land claims approach, and chose instead to sign a conservation plan called the Trilateral Agreement. In summary, the Trilateral agreement would see the ABL included in decision making about the land, and gain a financial return from any resource extraction or commerce on their land (logging, hydro-electric, tourism). It would see traditional Algonquin knowledge of the land integrated into how the territory might be used and conserved.

Both the provincial and federal governments have dragged their heels in implementing this agreement, going so far as to deny its legitimacy as a contract and orchestrating coups of the customary government in the ABL community, sowing internal foment. Instead, Canada has hired expensive diplomats to help strategize on how to break their own commitments. Proof of this has been made clear by a report penned by one of these diplomats, Marc Perron, in Dec 2007, in which he outlined strategies to disrupt the community and take them off course from pursuing the Trilateral Agreement. The imposition of Section 74 is but another tactic to try to divide and weaken this community that has shown such strength in its struggle to defend the land.

For a timeline of the recent history of ABL: https://ipsmo.wordpress.com/barriere-lake/

Coverage of Algonquins of Barriere Lake logging protest in the summer of 2012

Video: Algonquins of Barriere Lake VS Section 74 of the Indian Act

Dec 13: Barriere Lake Algonquins and supporters rally for sovereignty
OTTAWA: Day of Action to Support the Algonquins of Barriere Lake

Barricading INAC: Barriere Lake unites in opposition to the federal government’s imposition of Indian Act elections By Amy German on August 13, 2010
‘This looks like tyranny’ Canada imposes chief and council on Algonquin community By Gale Courey Toensing on Aug 26, 2010
Canada’s stealth democracy
: Federal operatives infiltrate Barriere Lake to arrange secret “elections” for their pre-selected leaders By Amy German on August 27, 2010
Indian Affairs imposes new Chief and Council on Barriere Lake with the consent of only a half dozen people

Supportive Letter from AFN to Minister of Indian Affairs

Union of BC Indian Chiefs support Algonquins of Barriere Lake / Mitchikanibikok Inik

Action Alert/Action Urgente! Barriere Lake Algonquins say NO to Canada and Quebec’s armed-imposition of unconstitutional Indian Act election

Action Alert! Barriere Lake Algonquins set up peaceful blockade to stop unconstitutional attack on their customary government

SAY NO to Indian Act Section 74

Barriere Lake Algonquins protest Conservative government’s assimilation of their traditional political governance system: Political parties, major unions, Indigenous groups call for respect for community’s Inherent rights

A CAMPAIGN TO SUPPORT THE ALGONQUINS OF BARRIERE LAKE OPPOSE SECTION 74 of the INDIAN ACT

Press release: Barriere Lake governance

“Community members and youth plan to defend our rights for the sake of our generation and the generations to come.”
– Tony Wawatie, spokesperson.

Local activists to face Quebec judge over Barriere Lake Algonquin highway blockades

Blockade on the 117 (Oct. 2008)

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AeTYIgI width=”550″ height=”396″]

Barriere Lake: Blockade Round II (Nov. 2008)

NFB film: Blockade – Algonquins Defend The Forest directed by Boyce Richardson

About BARRIERE LAKE SOLIDARITY (BLS) Collective

BLS Collective is a network of people from outside of Barriere Lake who are working with the community to support their struggle. IPSMO is part of the collective in Ottawa.

For more resources please visit: http://www.barrierelakesolidarity.org/2008/03/resources.html