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:

 

URGENT: Chaudière Falls & Islands sacred site – Proposed condominium rezoning hearing, City of Ottawa

URGENT: 4pm Wed Oct 1st deadline to register to speak or submit to the City of Ottawa Planning Committee, that is meeting Thurs Oct 2nd 9:30am at City Hall to consider a rezoning proposal for two of the islands in order to allow the Windmill condominium development

Overview of planning vision for Indigenous & Peace Centres on sacred islands at Chaudiere Falls.
Overview of vision for Indigenous & Peace Centres on sacred islands at Chaudiere Falls.

Continue reading / scrolling for registration instructions & background information, along with compelling new 10-min video of renowned Aboriginal architect Douglas Cardinal.

The Planning Committee will decide upon a recommendation to put forward for voting on by the full City council on Oct 8th, but there will be no opportunity for public input at the Oct 8th meeting.

Giving the go-ahead to building condominiums on these islands would detrimentally impact the ability to achieve the full vision of the late Algonquin spiritual leader Grandfather William Commanda for this religious / sacred site.

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TO REGISTER: Contact Committee Coordinator, Christopher Zwierzchowski at 613-580-2424 extension 21359, in advance of the meeting, by at least 4:00 pm on Wednesday, to register to speak to the committee (presentations of 5 minutes maximum).

Or, you can email him a written submission, by the same deadline (or possibly anytime before midnight on Wed Oct 1st), at: christopher.zwierzchowski@ottawa.ca – also cc: hieu.nguyen@ottawa.ca

OF NOTE: If a person or public body does not make oral submissions at the public meeting or make written submissions to the City of Ottawa before the proposed official plan amendment is adopted or the zoning by-law is passed, the person or public body is not entitled to appeal the decision of the Council of the City of Ottawa to the Ontario Municipal Board.

ALSO: Call or email your local councillor, especially if they are on the Planning Committee, to express your concern. Members of the Planning Committee are: Peter Hume, chair; Jan Harder, vice-chair; Stephen Blais; Rainer Bloess; Rick Chiarelli; Catherine Hobbs; Allan Hubley; Bob Monette; Shad Qadri; Tim Tierney. Contact information for councillors is at: http://ottawa.ca/en/city-council

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BACKGROUND INFORMATION on Grandfather William Commanda’s vision for the Sacred Chaudière Site, and on the City’s rezoning proposal:

VIDEO – Architect Douglas Cardinal explaining things (link to watch on youtube)

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Regarding William Commanda’s Legacy Vision for the Sacred Chaudiere Site

June21doc-coanlogoJUNE 21, 2014 CIRCLE OF ALL NATIONS MESSAGE REGARDING WILLIAM COMMANDA’S LEGACY VISION FOR THE SACRED CHAUDIERE SITE – FROM ROMOLA V. THUMBADOO

Download the document here (25-pg pdf)

june21doc-gwcwwampumCONTENTS:

SECTION ONE – AN OPEN LETTER

  1. A Personal Preamble
  2. Open Letter on behalf of the Legacy Vision of Indigenous Spiritual Leader and Elder, Dr. William Commanda, OC, Carrier of the Sacred Wampum Belt Heritage

SECTION TWO – THE SACRED CHAUDIERE SITE AND VICTORIA ISLAND ISSUES PAPER – Key Information

  1. William Commanda – 11 November, 1913 – 3 August, 2011
  2. Sacred Cultural Heritage Site
  3. June21doc-overviewmapDevelopment of the Vision for the Sacred Chaudière Site
  4. The Sacred Chaudière Site and the vision and the commitment of three exemplary Indigenous rights leaders of international renown and relevance – William Commanda, Douglas Cardinal and Donald Marshall Junior
  5. Current Challenges
  6. A Critical Consideration – First Peoples/Canada Relations in 2014

SECTION THREE – THE LEGACY VISION FOR THE SACRED CHAUDIERE SITE

  1. Mandate
  2. The Core Vision (first presented in 2003)
  3. Critical Imperatives
  4. Expected Key Results

SECTION FOUR – AN INVITATION TO DREAM BIG TO SAFE GUARD AND ANIMATE THE LIVING LEGACY OF WILLIAM COMMANDA

  1. Blueprint for the future: William Commanda’s Legacy Vision for Asinabka in a Nutshell
  2. Recommendation/Exhortation

.

Download the document here (25-pg pdf)

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In Commemoration of Grandfather William Commanda and Jack Layton

Dear Friends,

This past month, two well-known people in our community – Grandfather William Commanda and Jack Layton – along with many more unknown heroes around the globe, went to the Spirit world. It is sad time for us but we know that they are in a peaceful place now. We send our love and prayer to all of their relatives and wish them strength to continue the work of these two men and countless others for peace. Grandfather and Jack had very different world views but they both spent most of their life working for their people. It is an honour to work for the people.

Photo Credit: Charline Dequincey

Grandfather William Commanda, the respectful spiritual leader of the Algonquin Nation, passed away on the morning of August 3. He would be 98 years old on November 11 this year! Ojigkwanong is the name his mother gave to him because he was born under the morning star. Even though Grandfather isn’t here physically with us anymore, he, like the morning star, will always look after us and lead us in a good way. We, the folks at this small grassroots group called IPSMO, had the honour to meet Grandfather three years ago.  Grandfather was one of our very first supporters for our work trying to learn and act in solidarity with Indigenous peoples.

On March 3, 2009, we had our first big event in the National Library and Archive. We screened the documentary “Invisible Nation – The Story of The Algonquin” and had Grandfather open the event for us. His Granddaughter, Claudette Commanda, was our special guest speaker. Grandfather’s presence was a big reason why close to 500 people showed up, overflowing the auditorium’s seating capacity and requiring the setting up of a second screen in the foyer! It was a big success and we did what we intended to do – creating an opportunity for native and non-native peoples, who’ve been separated by colonial measures like the reserve system, to get to know each other.

Six months later, Grandfather surprised us by coming to another big event we held – The Epidemic of Continuing Violence Against Indigenous Women, to raise fund for Maisy Odjick’s family. Maisy and her friend Shannon Alexander, both from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, went missing on Sept 6, 2008.

And at the beginning of this year he was active in supporting the efforts to protect the Beaver Pond Forest and South March Highlands in Kanata.

Grandfather has inspired us and many others. He taught us about forgiveness. It was hard to understand at first how he could forgive after so many years of colonization by the white settlers. But now, we understand: it is only through forgiveness, the white settlers / colonizers can have a way out of white guilt for what they have done to Native peoples.  It is only through forgiveness, the white settlers can have the chance to transcend their guilt and start their decolonization process, and the Natives can get a possibility for co-existence.

Please read here for more: http://bit.ly/GWC-passing and for a tribute from Organizing For Justice, including links to many media articles: https://organizingforjustice.ca/?p=623

Photo Credit: Mark Barber

Jack Layton, another respectful man, passed away on the morning of August 22.  We did not know him well, to be honest. But, at our recent direct action to support the Algonquins of Barriere Lake in front of the Minister of Indian Affairís office on a cold December day, he surprised us by showing up and speaking to the crowd in support of Barriere Lake’s inherent right to self-determination and customary governance. We thank him and respect him for his support for Indigenous rights and other social justice issues. RIP Jack.

To continue the legacy of these two great men and countless others, please continue supporting our solidarity work.  Here is how:

CALL FOR SUPPORT: ALGONQUINS OF BARRIERE LAKE

The Algonquins of Barriere Lake have been forced into a costly legal battle with Canada to protect their land rights. They cannot succeed without your support.

Please donate! You can either make checks out to “Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa” with “Barriere Lake Legal Defense Fund” in the memo line, or through PayPal – http://bit.ly/barrierelake.  Everything counts. Please give what you can.

For details on Barriere Lakeís legal battle and where to mail your cheque, please go to our previous post: https://ipsmo.wordpress.com/2011/08/17/barriere-lake-legal-defense-fund.

In solidarity,

Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa
On Unceded and Unsurrendered Algonquin Territory