URGENT ACTION: Contact Ottawa City Council, Mayor, Domtar before October 8 rezoning decision on Chaudiere Islands

 

CALL TO ACTION FOLLOWS MAIN MESSAGE:

The Planning Committee hearing from one of the many people who spoke in opposition to the rezoning plans.
The Planning Committee hearing from one of the many people who spoke in opposition to the rezoning plans.

On Wednesday October 8th (meeting starts at 10:00am), Ottawa City Council will make their final decision on the rezoning application for Chaudiere and Albert Islands, giving the go ahead for condos, retail and office space to be built there by Windmill Development Group.

This follows the City Planning Committee meeting of October 2nd, where they heard from citizens who were overwhelmingly opposed to such a decision, who spoke of the sacredness of this to the Algonquin and other Anishinaabe peoples, and in support of Grandfather William Commanda’s vision for these islands, yet the committee unanimously went ahead and recommended the rezoning.

There will be no public input at Wednesday’s full council meeting, but you can contact your city councilor as well as the mayor in the lead-up to the meeting to voice your concerns.

As well, you can contact Domtar, who currently holds the land in question, and urge them facilitate its return to ensure the manifestation of the legacy vision of its rightful heir, late Alqonquin spiritual elder and leader Grandfather William Commanda.

The islands in question are envisioned to be public space, turned into parkland accessible to all, fitting with the sacred nature of the Chaudiere Falls / Asinabka site. This is part of William Commanda’s larger vision for the Chaudiere Falls and all the islands there.

Please consider voicing your support for Grandfather William Commanda’s vision, both to Ottawa City Council and to Domtar.

We note the historic and ongoing sacredness of this site for the Algonquin people, and all Anishinaabe peoples. It has been used for thousands of years as a place of prayer, and of coming together of peoples from many parts of this continent.

Now that the industry that has been built upon this site over the past 200 years is finished, why not return the site to its traditional spiritual use, honouring the ways of the First Peoples of this land?

Instead they are looking to give the go-ahead to private and commercial development at this site – is this truly the best way forward?

 
FOUR URGENT ACTIONS:

  • 2) Contact Domtar (President & CEO, Mr John D. Williams): information@domtar.com
  • 3) Public Consultation / workshop / site visit
    Tuesday October 7, between 4:30-8:00pm – click here for full details
    *Note: This is for other islands at Chaudiere Falls, not the two immediately under consideration for rezoning
  • 4) Invite your friends to the Facebook event to spread the word. Also share / email it or this post.
  • ALSO: if you would like to attend the Ottawa City Council meeting, it takes place Wednesday October 8th, starting at 10:00am, in Andrew S Haydon Hall at Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave W.

 
BACKGROUND INFO / RESOURCES:

 
MEDIA COVERAGE FROM THE PLANNING COMMITTEE HEARING:

 

IPSMO member Sylvia Smith receives Governor General’s Award for educational project on residential schools

IPSMO member Sylvia Smith receives Governor General’s Award for educational project on residential schools

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 9, 2011

OTTAWA – Sylvia Smith, for her work as coordinator of Project of Heart, will be presented with a Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching on Monday.

Sylvia Smith presenting Project of Heart at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

Project of Heart is a hands-on, collaborative, inter-generational, inter-institutional artistic endeavour that commemorates the lives of the thousands of Indigenous children who died as a result of the Indian Residential School experience.

Participants have used the learning module to connect with a specific residential school history and the Indigenous people whose traditional territory the school was located on, and have shared the experience with an Aboriginal elder and/or residential school survivor. Follow-up research and social justice action is part of the process for each participant.

Smith founded Project of Heart in 2007 in collaboration with her students at Elizabeth Wyn Wood Alternate High School Program in Ottawa, and over 50 schools, faith communities, and workplaces across Canada have since taken part.

Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa (IPSMO) member Pei-Ju Wang states, “We are very pleased to see this award recognizing the work that Sylvia and others with Project of Heart have done to help non-Aboriginal Canadians acknowledge, and take ownership and action for, the devastating policy of residential schools that continues to have lasting effects on Indigenous peoples here. Her contributions to our group’s work have similarly been about moving people towards achieving justice, understanding and healing in the relationship between the Canadian state and the First Peoples of this land.”

Warren McBride, a fellow teacher at Elizabeth Wyn Wood, observes, “One of the main attributes of Project of Heart is that it provides an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge of the past to issues that are continuing today. Sylvia has been able to create an educational experience that has direct relevance to the news headlines of December 2011.”

Smith herself says, “Project of Heart is something that belongs to all who embrace it.  Indeed, it is the collective aspect of the Project that gives it its strength. I am honoured to be the name attached to it.”

Contact:
IPSMO: ipsmo@riseup.net

For more information:

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Barriere Lake Algonquins and supporters rally for sovereignty

On December 13, 2010, over a hundred community members from Barriere Lake, along with supporters from Montreal and Toronto, drove through the snow to get to Parliament Hill to demand the government take back section 74 and restore their customary rights.

MEDIA REPORTS:

STATEMENTS:

PICTURES:

TAKE ACTION:
Please CALL or WRITE to John Duncan, Minister of Indian Affairs, demand:
* Canada and Quebec must honor the Trilateral Agreement they’ve signed with Barriere Lake in 1991
* Canada must respect Barriere Lake’s traditional government – REVERSE the forcible assimilation by rolling back Section 74 of the Indian Act