“Honour Your Word”

 
honour your word posterThoughts from Albert “South Wind” Dumont, who attended our Earth Day screening of Honour Your Word, the new documentary about the Algonquins of Barriere Lake:

 

The documentary “Honour Your Word” to me, is a call for Canada’s citizens to go on the march in defence of the sacredness Canadians claim to place on the threads which connect the hearts and souls of all the good people who populate this great land. Watch the film and if, after doing so, you are not motivated to help make things right in La Verendrye Park where justice has been drawn, quartered and burned at the stake, then you are as spiritless as the perpetrators of the human rights violations taking place there today. The Algonquins of Barriere Lake are standing alone against tyranny and oppression. They are a brave resourceful people living in Third World poverty whose plight is documented in a film produced and directed by Martha Stiegman.

Where is the mirror that would show Canadians what really is looking back at them when they peer into it? It does exist, but most of us (Canadians) will have to wait until death carries them to a new world to see it. The ugliness of their ways will be revealed and an accounting of some kind will surely come to pass at that time.

We, the First Peoples, live in a world where only the human rights violations directly impacting settlers or injustices being perpetrated against people in far off countries like China or the Middle East are worthy of Canadians’ support and sympathy. When human rights violations are occurring against the Aboriginal People of this land, Canadians turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to it. Canadians need to ask themselves why this is so. To me, the answer begins and ends with ‘greed’.

“Honour”, the real definition of that word does not exist in our Parliaments only because Canadians do not demand it as a trait alive and strong, in the men and women we send to the Red Chamber to represent us before the world and before God. We must ask ourselves how our children and their children will be impacted by our negligence of duty to them when we do such a thing. Surely we doom them (our children) to a world where dog eats dog, where the weak are spat upon and where peaceful protest is laughed at and ignored.

The film is interesting throughout but several powerful scenes stand out to me as highlights. One scene is particularly moving, it shows a young Barriere Lake Algonquin man standing before the camera telling about what is being lost of his beloved land when clear-cutting occurs. His words are strong and heartfelt, he is overcome with emotion and though weeping almost uncontrollably, he finishes his statement. I wept with him while sitting in the darkness of the theatre and cannot banish the scene from my mind. It will be my inspiration and motivation to get involved and help with this cause in whatever way the Algonquins ask of me.

One thing the film makes clear to me at least, is that the peaceful protest of the Algonquins up to this point, is nothing more than an exercise in pointless frustration. They protest peacefully to protect the trees and their way of life. Their leaders are thrown in jail when they do so. “Next time you will not be jailed for short periods of time but for years,” they are warned by the courts. Knowledge of such injustices and oppression makes my heart sick.

What is happening in La Verendrye Park is proof positive of just how racist a country Canada is. Only a people who are capable of raw, unadulterated hatred against a segment of the community not their own would allow what is happening to the Algonquins of Barriere Lake to occur in a country like Canada. God help us.

Keep the Circle Strong,
South Wind.

 

Albert Dumont, “South Wind”, is a Poet, Storyteller, Speaker, and an Algonquin Traditional Teacher. He was born and raised in traditional Algonquin territory (Kitigan Zibi). He has been walking the “Red Road” since commencing his sobriety in 1988. He has published four books of poetry and short stories and one children’s book, written in three languages. His website is www.albertdumont.com

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More on the film and the struggle of the Algonquins of Barriere Lake:

 

Action items:

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Resources for Barriere Lake:

 

More about the film:


 

 

 

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May 4 – Open Meeting for the Indigenous Peoples’ Solidarity Movement Ottawa

 

Are you interested in doing Indigenous solidarity organizing?

Do you want to learn more about how to effectively oppose colonialism and to support Indigenous people, communities and nations?

If so, come out to the IPSM Ottawa’s upcoming open meeting, and get involved!

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Open Meeting for the Indigenous Peoples’ Solidarity Movement – Ottawa (IPSMO)

Image by Tania Willard.
Image by Tania Willard.

Sunday, May 4th at 2:00pm

Jack Purcell Community Centre, Rm 101
320 Jack Purcell Lane, near Elgin and Gilmour (Bus # 5 & 14)

www.facebook.com/events/264685173702861

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Everyone Welcome!

Wheelchair Accessible

Contact us if you require ASL/LSF, bus tickets, child care:
ipsmo@riseup.nethttp://www.ipsmo.org

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We are currently one of the anchor groups working on organizing an Indigenous Solidarity Assembly during the Peoples’ Social Forum (PSF) in August of 2014.

In addition to this we will be doing other organizing to support the Forum, including activities such as designing and doing workshops about Indigenous Solidarity similar to, for example, our Indigenous Solidarity for Settlers workshop.

 

Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa (IPSMO)
Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa (IPSMO)

About the IPSM Ottawa

The Indigenous Peoples’ Solidarity Movement of Ottawa started as a group of activists who did some solidarity organizing in support of the six nations land reclamation near Caledonia, in the summer of 2006.

Since then we have been doing Indigenous solidarity organizing in many varied ways and in support of many different people, issues, communities and nations. Some of this work includes supporting the Tyendinaga Mohawks during their occupation a quarry on their territory, supporting the Ardoch Algonquin and the Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nations in their opposition to a uranium nine on their territory, and supporting local anti-racist organizing at Carleton University.

Most of the work that we have done in the past 6 years, however, has been in support of the Algonquin community of Barriere Lake and supporting initiatives and groups struggling for justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirits.

 

Our Basis of Unity:

The Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement – Ottawa (IPSMO) is a grassroots organization that directly supports indigenous peoples in diverse struggles for justice. We also work within communities to challenge the lies and half-truths about indigenous peoples and colonization that dominate Canadian society. The organization is open to both indigenous and non-indigenous people, and focuses on local and regional campaigns.

As we act in solidarity with indigenous people, we build relationships where we can learn from indigenous cultures. By doing this, we can further decolonize ourselves, and so learn to better challenge the racist and colonial ideas that dominate Canadian society.

We provide support to actions and campaigns for Indigenous sovereignty, self-determination, defense of the land, environmental protection, cultural revitalization, and the honouring of treaties and agreements.

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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

Jan 21 – Canada, Industry, and Press, Oh My!

 
Inherent Indigenous Nationhood and Protection of the Land in the Face of Foreign Conceptualizations of Indigeneity

Tues Jan 21st, 7-9pm
at University of Ottawa, Desmarais Building room 12102
(55 Laurier Ave E, on the transitway at Laurier Station)

 

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Panel discussion featuring Elders, Protectors of the Land, Traditional Leaders and Citizens from:

  • Barriere Lake First Nation
  • Haudenosaunee Confederacy
  • Kelly Lake Cree Nation
  • Lubicon Lake Nation

Moderators: Janice Makokis, Saddle Lake First Nation, and Professor Angela Cameron

Official info: http://uocal.uottawa.ca/en/node/7245

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/513304998784498

 

Niigaan: In Conversation – Red Man Laughing Live Podcast (VIDEO)

niigaan-rml
 

Reflecting upon 1 year of Idle No More – Biiskaabiiyang: Returning to Ourselves, featuring (L-R): Wab Kinew, Celina Cada-Matasawagon, Geraldine King, Leanne Simpson, Serpent River FN Chief Isadore Day, Lee Maracle, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Derek Nepinak, and host Ryan McMahon.

Intros by Niigaan organizers Linda Nothing and Jocelyn Formsma, followed by stand-up segment by Ryan McMahon and then the panel discussion.

Hoop dance by Theland Kicknosway (separate video).

December 10, 2013 at the National Arts Centre, Ottawa.

*Note: At the event, there was a special announcement from Ryan McMahon: Red Man Laughing will be coming to CBC Radio this year!
 

Ryan’s notes on the discussion:

Winter Time is the time of year where the earth becomes covered in snow. It’s a time for rest and reflection. Last winter we rose. We did not rest, we did not reflect. We took to the malls, the streets, and the hills. The community rallied around, there was a desperate feeling, people gathered at teach-ins, the scent of medicines was everywhere. We need to get that energy back. Niigaan: In Conversation asked ourselves, what happened to the fire? The problems are still here, we still have work to do. Let’s get together as a community and talk about our future.

A few highlights from this talk that you should listen for are:

  • Lee Maracle talking about the prophecy that told us that we’d be teaching the world about the power of our drums & community.
  • Chief Isadore Day breaking down the importance of self care and taking care of the homefires.
  • Leanne Simpson sharing her thoughts on the Wampum Belt – letting us know what the belt DOES mean to her and what it DOES NOT mean to her.
  • A spirited and heart felt discussion on education for Native Youth (FNEA rejections) – we can/need to take better care of our young people as they head to institutions.

 

Websites: Niigaan.caRedManLaughing.com

Video (2hr20min) by Greg Macdougall, EquitableEducation.ca
Or listen to the podcast at Red Man Laughing
 

 

Theland Kicknosway – Hoop Dance:

 

Wed Dec 11 – Public consultation on future of Chaudiere Falls islands / Domtar property

Photo © The Ottawa Citizen
Photo © The Ottawa Citizen

The proposed sale and development of islands at Chaudiere Falls could impact the possibility of the creation of the Asinabka National Indigenous Centre envisioned by late Algonquin leader Grandfather William Commanda.

Windmill Development Group is holding a public consultation on Wed Dec 11 at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, with an open house from 5-9pm featuring bilingual presentations at 6pm and again at 7:30pm

You can attend to help put the Asinabka vision on the map!

The developers ask that you register in order to attend the consultation (which they are now also calling a ‘promo event’) at the bottom of this link: www.the-isles.ca

(Invite people on Facebook)

 

OFFICIAL NOTICE OF CONSULTATION FROM WINDMILL
http://www.windmilldevelopments.com/2013/12/windmill-hosts-community-consultation-for-domtar-lands/

 

INFO ON THE ASINABKA VISION
www.asinabka.com/
3min video: http://youtu.be/uFC6aSSmRs0
1-pg doublesided bilingual brochure for printing:
https://ipsmo.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/asinabka-bn-brochure-final-french-eng.pdf

Message from Romola, Grandfather Commanda’s assistant:
” I am also mindful of Grandfather’s words after he first met with Domtar in 2006/7 about freeing the dam, in face of their negative response: – ‘We are not going to fight with boxing gloves; we talk’ – and he ended by telling the dozen or so representatives, ‘I love you, my brothers.’
Thanks for your interest and support in this effort to protect the Sacred Chaudiere Falls for the public-at-large versus privatization interests. All the best.”

 

MEDIA ON WINDMILL DEVELOPMENT PLANS

[Kitigan Zibi Algonquin Chief Gilbert] Whiteduck told the Citizen on Monday that a long talked-about National Indigenous Centre on Victoria Island should be an integral part of redevelopment of the former Domtar lands.
“I don’t believe this project should go forward without the indigenous centre. It should be the jewel in the crown” of Ottawa riverfront redevelopment, he said.
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Domtar+lands+proposal+must+miss+opportunity+Gatineau+mayor+says/9237977/story.html

An Ottawa development company is “days away” from a deal to buy and transform waterfront property that once housed the Domtar paper mill.
Windmill Developments said they’re very close to buying 37 acres of land on Chaudière Island, with a plan to build a sustainable community they’re calling Les Isles.
A letter of intent from July said Windmill’s plan is to “reinvent a historically rich industrial space into a vibrant, world-class, sustainable, pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use development” that’s sensitive to the island’s history.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/chaudière-waterfront-redevelopment-deal-days-away-1.2447035

 

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.