Ottawa Fundraising Dinner, Tues Nov 8- Algonquins of Barriere Lake Land Defenders

No Mining In Our Territory – Ottawa Fundraising Dinner
Algonquins of Barriere Lake Land Defenders Camp

Please join us this Tuesday to gather together for a dinner and opportunity to hear from Barriere Lake community members about their new efforts to prevent mining in their territory, and how you can support these efforts.

In late October, the Algonquins of Barriere Lake set up a camp to defend their territory from new threats of the various companies that have mining claims there. The Quebec government has recently begun unilaterally lifting multi-year moratoriums on mining in the area, despite this being against the Trilateral and Bilateral Agreements of the 1990s.
More info: http://www.barrierelakesolidarity.org/
http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/blog/Blogentry/mining-without-consent-of-the-algonquins-of-b/blog/57914/

Tuesday, November 8th 2016
5pm – 7pm  (come as you can, even if not right at 5pm)
at St. John’s Church, 154 Somerset St W. (corner of Elgin)
– Basement hall: entrance off of Somerset, wheelchair accessible entrance ramp off of Elgin.

Due to too short notice, we have not arranged ASL sign language interpretation. Please contact us with any other questions about accessibility or otherwise: indigsol@riseup.net

Planned food includes wild game and/or fish from ABL territory, with vegetarian chili, quinoa, and salad generously provided by the Table Restaurant.

All levels of donations accepted – to go to maintaining the camp and for gas for travel monitoring the various areas of the territory where drilling/mining companies may start work. By cash or cheque. Donations are also accepted via paypal.

This event has been very quickly organized so we need your help to please get the word out and encourage your fam/friends/comrades/networks to show up. The land defenders camp has just been started within the last two weeks, and this fundraising dinner is timed to coincide with the “Joining Our Fires: Women for the Protection of Lands and Waters” rally happening directly afterwards at 7pm, at the Human Rights Monument (Elgin at Lisgar: 3 blocks from our venue).

WIN! Resistance by Barriere Lake and supporters results in Quebec concession over logging

Thanks to the resistance and determination of the Algonquins of Barriere Lake, the thousand people who sent online letters and the 200 who joined last week’s powerful Montreal demonstration outside the offices of Resolute Forest Products and Premier Jean Charest, the Quebec government and forestry company have been forced to make a significant concession. They have agreed to respect an aspect of the Trilateral agreement by harmonizing logging with Barriere Lake’s use of their lands, which is an important step forward in the community’s struggle to protect their land rights and the environment.

After the protest in Montreal a week and a half ago, and after a number of successful stoppages of the forestry operations by Algonquins camped out for two weeks, the Quebec Ministry of Natural Resources sat down for negotiations with community representatives. What was agreed to is a precarious but important step in the community’s long struggle to pressure the Quebec and Canadian governments to honour their landmark Trilateral Agreement.

The logging that had been happening on Barriere Lake’s land was illegal because Quebec has refused to implement the Trilateral Agreement, without which no forestry operations should be happening. The agreement is intended to create a sustainable model of forestry in which Barriere Lake jointly manages 10,000 square kilometres of their traditional territory with the province. The agreement is a model for First Nations fighting to protect their land rights.

Forest Resolute Products had refused to respect a process of consultation and accommodation that is part of the Trilateral Agreement – called “measures to harmonize.” Forestry companies who want to operate on Barriere Lake’s land must not compromise the way that the Algonquins’ use the land – meaning logging is not allowed to
happen where the community has hunting cabins, in areas of moose and bear habitat, sacred areas, medicinal sites and many other areas of concern to the community.

Because of community’s direct action and public pressure, the Quebec government and Resolute Forest Products have now agreed to comply by the “measures to harmonize”!

NEXT STEPS

Barriere Lake needs its supporters to remain vigilant to ensure Resolute Forest Products respects the “measures to harmonize.”

Even more importantly, we need to continue building pressure on the Quebec and Canadian governments to finally implement the Trilateral and Bilateral Agreements. The Charest government has been so brazen in its disregard for the law and its contempt for Barriere Lake that it has refused to honour the binding outcomes of negotiations conducted by two former Liberal Cabinet Ministers! In 2006, a negotiator for the Quebec, John Ciaccia, and a negotiator for Barriere Lake, Clifford Lincoln, issued the recommendation that the agreement be implemented. Quebec does not want to implement this agreement because it sets precedents in giving Indigenous peoples control over developments on their territories.

MEDIA COVERAGE OF PROTESTS: https://ipsmo.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/coverage-abl-logging-protest/

Dec 11: Barriere Lake Human Rights Delegation Report Back

Barriere Lake Human Rights Delegation Report Back

1:30 pm
Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010
PSAC building JK Wylie boardoom, 233 Gilmour (at Metcalfe)

15 delegates from across Ontario and Quebec attended a human rights delegation to the Algonquin Nation of Barriere Lake this August.  In this trip, these delegates visited the Algonquin reserve at Lac Rapid and their traditional territory, 45 minutes north of the reserve.  The purpose of this delegation was for the delegates to learn and understand the history of the struggle of Barriere Lake.  And in return, it was for the community to gain more support for their fight over their self-determination and self-governance.  More than 3 months later, the situation of Barriere Lake has not changed ….

The Algonquins of Barriere Lake, Mitchikanibikok Inik, is a small yet strong First Nation.  Their 59-acre reserve at Lac Rapid is 4 hours north of Ottawa, in north western Quebec.  Their traditional territory covers the entire area of La Verendrye wildlife reserve. Mitchikanibikok Inik has never surrendered Aboriginal title to its traditional territory.

For those who attended this delegation, this trip was such an inspiring experience; all expressed their gratitude and willingness to support the Algonquins of Barriere Lake for their struggle to protect their land and assert their sovereignty.  One of the delegates, Ramsey Hart of Mining Watch Canada, said:

“Visiting Barrier Lake filled me with a strange combination of hope and anger. The anger from the Canadian and Quebec government’s despicable failure to honour an agreement that is so very reasonable, from seeing a dam creating electricity from flooded Algonquin lands that by-passes the community on its way south while noisy, polluting, expensive diesel generators provide electricity for the community. The hope came from the strength of the traditions, the generosity, the path of healing and the beautiful lands of the Alqonquin. At the end of the day the hope won-out but the anger is still there”

To be in solidarity with the Algonquins of Barriere Lake and their continuous demand for Canada to respect their traditional government and trailblazing environmental agreement – the 1991 Trilateral Agreement, we would like to invite you to join 3 of the 15 delegates as they share their experience and reflection from such inspiring trip. They are:

Colin Stuart, Christian Peacemaker Teams
Dylan Penner, Council of Canadians,  Ottawa Peace Assembly
Ramsey Hart, Mining Watch Canada

This event will be facilitated by Pei-Ju, Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement – Ottawa.

A DAY OF ACTION to support the Algonquins of Barriere Lake has been planned for Dec. 13.  This event is also our attempt to invite you to learn about the community.  And hopefully, you will also be inspired and decide to stand together with Barriere Lake and us (their supporters) for the day of action!

For more information, please visit www.barrierelakesolidarity.org
To see photos from the delegation, please go to http://bit.ly/hd7Xqz

Background: HOW IS THE GOVERNMENT DESTROYING BARRIERE LAKE’S TRADITIONAL GOVERNMENT? AND WHY?

The government has used an archaic section of the Indian Act – section 74 – to unilaterally impose a different system of government on Barriere Lake.

Barriere Lake’s traditional government – open to community members who have connection to the land, and in which Elders guide potential leaders and safeguard their customs – ensures that community members maintain their sacred bond to the land and their hunting way of life. The band council electoral system the Harper government has imposed destroys the sacred governance bond the community has with the land. By breaking Barriere Lake’s connection to the land, the Canadian and Quebec governments hope to get away with violating trailblazing environmental agreements and with illegally clear-cutting in Barriere Lake’s traditional territory.

The overwhelming majority of community members want to protect their traditional governance system, but the bureaucrats in Indian and Northern Affairs Canada are spreading the misinformation that they are only a small group.

Through the summer, the Indian and Northern Affairs Canada bureaucracy ran an illegal process, imposed by the Quebec police, to bring the new system into the community. Fewer than a dozen ballots were sent in to nominate candidates for an Indian Act Chief and Council, who where then seated by acclamation. Meanwhile, almost 200 community members had signed a resolution rejecting this process! That represents a majority of community members who are eligible to participate in their political process.

Even the acclaimed Chief resigned in protest, refusing to break ranks with the community’s majority. But four rogue band councillors with no community support have been illegally making decisions on behalf of Barriere Lake ever since. Shuttled to secret meetings with forestry companies and government officials, these councilors are being usined by the government to derail Barriere Lake’s precedent-setting environmental agreements and to facilitate illegal clear-cut logging.

Youth in the community are leading the movement to protect their traditional government and to heal and overcome the community divisions created by the internal meddling of government bureaucrats.

They are demanding the Harper Government cancel the imposition on Barriere Lake of the section 74 Indian Act band council system and respect their right to select leaders according to their traditional system of government.

DEC 13, OTTAWA: Day of Action to Support the Algonquins of Barriere Lake

DEMAND THAT CANADA RESPECT BARRIERE LAKE’S TRADITIONAL GOVERNMENT AND TRAILBLAZING ENVIRONMENTAL AGREEMENTS

Monday December 13, noon, Parliament Hill

MARCH STARTS AT NOON, PARLIAMENT HILL, ENDS AT THE OFFICE OF THE MINISTER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, CONFEDERATION BUILDING (BANK AND WELLINGTON)

Supported by: Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Public Service Alliance of Canada, Council of Canadians, KAIROS, the New Democratic Party, Green Party, Christian Peacemaker Teams, Mining Watch, Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement-Ottawa, Barriere Lake Solidarity-Toronto, Barriere Lake Solidarity-Montreal

Facebook Event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=168050586559745&num_event_invites=0#!/event.php?eid=168050586559745

For more info and to download flyers: www.barrierelakesolidarity.org

What if a foreign regime was destroying your system of government, so it could then steal your resources and prevent you from environmentally protecting your homeland? This is what the Harper Government and federal bureaucrats are doing to the First Nation of Barriere Lake.

For more than two decades, the Algonquins of Barriere Lake have been demonstrating environmental leadership to the rest of Canada, campaigning to stop destructive clear-cut logging and to implement a sustainable development plan in their homeland in north-western Quebec.

But multi-national forestry corporations and government bureaucrats have refused to honour any of the agreements signed with Barriere Lake. They have tried at every turn to undermine the small community, one of the poorest in the country, and prevent them from implementing and realizing their vision for the protection and stewardship of the forests.

The David-vs-Goliath story now has a dark new twist: the Conservative government and bureaucrats in Indian and Northern Affairs Canada are interfering in Barriere Lake’s internal affairs, using section 74 of the Indian Act to forcibly assimilate and destroy the community’s traditional government — a traditional government the community has used for countless generations and which maintains their hunting way of life and respect for the environment.

Led by Barriere Lake youth, the overwhelming majority of the community are struggling to preserve their traditional government, so they can continue protecting the watersheds, forests, wildlife and lands for all future generations, Native and non-Native.

The Harper government is violating the Canadian Constitution, which protects the Aboriginal right to self-government. They are violating the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples, even though they have now endorsed it.

Join the Algonquins of Barriere Lake on Parliament Hill as they demand the Harper government and federal bureaucrats reject the use of section 74 and respect the community’s traditional government and  vision for environmental protection!

Background: How is the Government Destroying Barriere Lake’s Traditional Government? and Why?

The government has used an archaic section of the Indian Act – section 74 – to unilaterally impose a different system of government on Barriere Lake.

Barriere Lake’s traditional government – open to community members who have connection to the land, and in which Elders guide potential leaders and safeguard their customs – ensures that community members maintain their connection to the land and their hunting way of life. The band council electoral system the Harper government has imposed destroys the sacred governance bond the community has with the land. By breaking Barriere Lake’s connection to the land, the Canadian and Quebec governments hope to get away with violating trailblazing environmental agreements and with illegally clear-cutting in Barriere Lake’s traditional territory.

The overwhelming majority of community members want to protect their traditional governance system, but the bureaucrats in Indian and Northern Affairs Canada are spreading the misinformation that they are only a small group.

Through the summer, the Indian and Northern Affairs Canada bureaucracy ran an illegal process, imposed by the Quebec police, to bring the new system into the community. Fewer than a dozen ballots were sent in to nominate candidates for an Indian Act Chief and Council, who where then seated by acclamation. Meanwhile, almost 200 community members had signed a resolution rejecting this process! That represents a majority of community members who are eligible to participate in their political process.

Even the acclaimed Chief resigned in protest, refusing to break ranks with the community’s majority. But four rogue band councillors with no community support have been illegally making decisions on behalf of Barriere Lake ever since. Shuttled to secret meetings with forestry companies and government officials, these councilors are being used by the government to derail Barriere Lake’s precedent-setting environmental agreements and to facilitate illegal clear-cut logging.

Youth in the community are leading the movement to protect their traditional government and to heal and overcome the community divisions created by the internal meddling of government bureaucrats.

They are demanding the Harper Government cancel the imposition on Barriere Lake of the section 74 Indian Act band council system and respect their right to select leaders according to their traditional system of government.

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

OTTAWA, traditional Algonquin territory, June 15 /CNW Telbec/ – A broad network of political parties, unions, human rights and Indigenous organizations are rallying today with the Barriere Lake Algonquins in Ottawa at 11:30 am, in front of Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl’s office at Bank and Wellington, demanding that the Government of Canada stop attempting to assimilate the community’s traditional political governance system.

Barriere Lake is one of the few First Nations in the country that have never been under the Indian Act’s electoral system, continuing to operate under a traditional political governance system that is connected to their use of the land. Despite there being a broad community consensus opposing Indian Act elections, Indian Affairs has announced they will try to impose them on August 19, 2010.

“Community members refuse to accept this unilateral and draconian attempt to wipe out the way we govern ourselves. The government is attacking our governance system because it is intimately tied to our continuing use and protection of the land. We will defend our rights and customs for the sake of our generation and the generations to come,” says Tony Wawatie, a Barriere Lake community spokesperson.

“The federal government has consistently tried to violate agreements and interfere with the internal affairs of this First Nation, all in an effort to access the natural resources of their traditional territory. Obviously, they hope to weaken this community to the point where the logging companies can take over. It is shameful,” says Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada.

Canada and Quebec are refusing to implement binding agreements dating back to the 1991 Trilateral Agreement, a landmark sustainable development agreement praised by the United Nations and the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. Canada has been in breach of the Agreement since 2001. Quebec is violating the agreement by refusing to implement the 2006 joint recommendations of two former Quebec Cabinet Ministers, Quebec special representative John Ciaccia and Barriere Lake special representative Clifford Lincoln. The 2006 recommendations include giving Barriere Lake a $1.5 million share of the $100 million in resource revenue that comes out of their territory annually, and forest plans to harmonize logging operations with the Algonquin’s land use. Quebec has just issued cutting permits to logging companies in Barriere Lake’s traditional territory, while refusing to respect the terms of the Trilateral Agreement.

“We’re joining the community in demanding that the Harper government respect the inherent right of First Nations to self-determination and customary self-government,” says Denis Lemelin, National President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

Representatives from the New Democratic Party and the Indigenous Environmental Network will be attending, and the demonstration is endorsed by KAIROS, Polaris, and the Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement of Ottawa.

The Algonquin Nation Secretariat has also issued a press release supporting the community.

For further information: Media contacts: Norman Matchewan, community spokesperson: 514-893-8283; Tony Wawatie, community spokesperson: 819-860-4121

Delivery to Barriere Lake pt2

** URGENT ACTION:  Please take FIVE MINUTES to demand that the Algonquins of Barriere Lake have their legitimate leadership recognized! SEND A MESSAGE BY CLICKING HERE : http://barrierelakesolidarity.blogspot.com/2007/10/blog-post.html
A packed car and trailer full of supplies, ready to go
A packed car and trailer full of supplies, ready to go

Four IPSMO members visited Barriere Lake Reserve in Lac Rapide QC, on unsurrendered Algonquin Territory on June 27, 2009.  The purpose of visiting the community was to deliver things needed for Kitchi Megwam, a community, volunteer-run school.  The items we collected and delivered included food, cleaning supplies, a fridge, a DVD player, a VCR, a TV, hot plates, computers, monitors, school supplies and clothing, weighted about 1500 ~2000 kilograms.  More than $1100 was also donated towards the school.  $506.85 was spent on purchasing food supplies for the school’s breakfast program.

This is our second visit to the community school to help equip them with basic supplies.  Krishna, one of the four people who went up to the reserve stayed overnight in order to assess their computer capacity and needs.

During the process of soliciting donations, we approached the owner of GoodMinds.com, a Native owned and operated Native educational resources business that is located on the Six Nations Reserve at Brantford, Jeff Burnham, to see if we could open an account for the Kitchi Megwam school so that the volunteer teachers could easily obtain Anishnaabe language books and culturally appropriate literatures.  Jeff Burnham agreed and generously offered 25% off from all the purchases from the school.

More, in the month of collecting supplies for the school, the owner of Thyme and Again, a local catering business, Sheila Whyte, was very kind donating bulk food such as flour, potatoes, sugar and rice to Kitchi Megwam school and opened up her store as a drop-off point for the public.  Please see the article about her action – http://wellora.jungle.ca/?p=1000 on Wellington Oracle.

The task of collecting and delivering items to the school is very time and labour consuming and not very sustainable, though we got a chance to educate the donors about the Algonquin of Barriere Lake’s situation.  Our next objective is to help the school finish setting up their computer facilities.

Special thanks to Sylvia and Warren for their hard work on this project.

The volunteer-run school
The volunteer-run school

Background Information

The Algonquins of Barriere Lake (4 hours north of Ottawa) have been fighting for years to have their land, their language, and their constitutionally guaranteed right to sovereignty recognized by the Federal and Provincial governments.  These Governments have ignored the Tri-lateral agreements that were signed in 1991 and have left the community in a state of poverty while their lands and resources are exploited by large corporations.  Last October and November, the community held peaceful protests to request for the governments’ responses to their demands, which have put many of the community leaders in jail.

Furthermore, serious disagreements over eduction and curriculum have led to strained relations between community parents and the teachers hired by Barriere Lake’s Third Party Managers to run the local Indian Affairs funded school.  When parents discovered that one of the teachers was withholding rewards to punish students who spoke their Algonquin language during class, they took matters into their own hands and started an alternative school.  The volunteer-run Kitchi Megwam school combines the usual curriculum with traditional knowledge and language to ensure these are passed on to future generations.

Recent Article

Minister’s Memo Exposes Motives for Removing Algonquin Chief

INAC expected collaboration with new Chief but feared legal repercussions and perception of government sponsorship by Martin Lukac

http://www.dominionpaper.ca/articles/2560

See more articles at http://www.dominionpaper.ca/topics/barriere_lake

Solidarity Links

Upping the Anti: Algonquins Defend the Forest

Join us to celebrate the launch of UPPING THE ANTI number eight!

Panel Discussion: Algonquins Defend the Forest
Featuring:

  • Norman Matchewan, Barriere Lake Community Spokesperson
  • Martin Lukacs, Barriere Lake Solidarity Montreal
  • Matt Kristjansson, Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa

Tuesday June 9, 8:00 pm
Exile Infoshop, 256 Bank Street Suite 200 (Second Floor)
Suggested Donation: $5.00; $10.00 with journal
No one turned away for lack of funds

[[[ IN THIS ISSUE ]]]

—————————————
Upping the Anti number eight includes:

  • Interviews with David McNally, Sam Gindin, and Leo Panitch on the economic crisis
  • Interview with Deborah Gould on the legacy of ACT UP
  • Interview with Helen Hudson on building sustainable movements
  • John Clarke on anti-poverty organizing during the economic crisis
  • Shourideh Molavi on Palestine solidarity organizing after the assault on Gaza
  • Shiri Pasternak on the struggle at Barriere Lake
  • Roundtable with members of the Student Liberation Action Movement (SLAM)
  • Roundtable on activist study groups

and more…  http://uppingtheanti.org

[[[ WHO WE ARE ]]]

UPPING THE ANTI: A JOURNAL OF THEORY AND ACTION is a radical journal published twice a year by a pan-Canadian collective of activists and organizers.

We are dedicated to publishing radical theory and analysis about struggles against capitalism, imperialism, and all forms of oppression.

In our first seven issues, we’ve published articles by and interviews with renowned activists and intellectuals, including Aijaz Ahmad, Himani Bannerji, Grace Lee Boggs, Ward Churchill, Michael Hardt, John Holloway, Sunera Thobani, and many more.

In every issue, activists and organizers reflect on the state of contemporary organizing in Canada and beyond. We publish theoretical and critical articles, interviews and roundtables. UPPING THE ANTI also includes a book review section where activists assess new writing on the Left.

For more information please e-mail utaottawa@gmail.com or visit www.uppingtheanti.org