le 3 janvier 2017 – Solidarité à Val d’Or avec les femmes authochtones

(ENGLISH FOLLOWS) En réponse aux poursuites de 2,3 millions entamées par 41 policiers de Val d’Or contre ICI Radio-Canada pour avoir couvert les accusations des femmes autochtones de 37 cas d’agressions sexuelles, une démonstration aura lieu à la station de police de Val d’Or le 3 janvier 2017. Cette démonstration servira aussi de réponse à la récente marche en support aux dit policiers, impliquant quelques citoyens de Val d’Or.

QUOI : Blancs (et autres) en solidarité avec les femmes autochtones
QUAND : Mardi 3 janvier 2017, 11h30am-1h00pm
OU : Val d’Or –1151 rue d’Escale (en dehors de la station de police)
POURQUOI : Démontrer notre support envers les autochtones qui ont dénoncées les injustices

  • Des lettres de support envoyées par différentes personnes ou organisations à travers du Canada seron lues sur place.
  • La démonstration demande spécifiquement aux blancs de démontrer leur support avec les femmes autochtones.
  • Le thème de démonstration assertera que :
    o Nous croyons les femmes autochtones et dénonçons la culture du viol qui laisse la vaste majorité des agressions sexuelles jamais dénoncées et/ou impunies.
    o Que la violence policière contre les personnes autochtones, peu importe la forme qu’elle prend, est une manifestation contemporaine de la suprématie blanche et du colonialisme d’occupation dans le présent.
    o Qu’il y a des alliés non-autochtones qui suivent et dénoncent ces injustices partout au Canada

CONTACT: Trycia Bazinet tryciabazinet@gmail.com

Facebook for live video and more information: @IPSMO (Indigenous People’s Solidarity Movement Ottawa
Page de l’évènement : https://www.facebook.com/events/1689759581338008/

January 3, 2017 – Solidarity in Val d’Or with Indigenous Women

In response to the lawsuit launched by 41 police officers against the news outlet (ICI Radio-Canada) that aired the testimonies of Indigenous women denouncing sexual assault (37 cases recorded), a demonstration will take place at the Val d’Or police station on January 3rd 2017. This demonstration is also a response to the citizen’s march in support of police officers, which recently took place in Val d’Or.

WHAT: Non-native Solidarity rally for Indigenous women attacked by police in Val d’Or
WHEN: Tuesday January 3rd (2017) 11:30am – 1:00pm
WHERE: Val d’Or – 1151 rue d’Escale (outside the police station)
WHO: Non-native (especially whites) in support of those confronting and exposing mistreatment by police
WHY: To show support for those risking their own safety to stand up for justice

  • Letters of support, sent by various individuals and organizations, will be read on spot.
  • Main messages of the rally:
    o We believe Indigenous women and denounced rape culture, which results in the the vast majority of sexual assaults of ever being denounced and/or punished.
    o That police violence against Indigenous peoples, in whichever forms it takes, is a contemporary manifestation of white supremacy and ongoing colonialism of occupation.
    o There are allies all accross Canada following this case and denouncing the injustices

CONTACT : Rally coordinator Trycia Bazinet tryciabazinet@gmail.com

Facebook for live video and more information: @IPSMO (Indigenous People’s Solidarity Movement Ottawa)
Facebook event page : https://www.facebook.com/events/1689759581338008/

jan3-valdor

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Aug 24: Show Up, Shout Out and Shut Down the Tar Sands!

Show Up, Shout Out and Shut Down the Tar Sands!
Demonstration and Festivities

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Dundonald Park
(Somerset and Lyon)
Saturday, August 24, 2:00pm
Bring your banners, pots, pans, drums and whatever!

Organized by DecLine 9 Ottawa
This is not a permitted march

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Free Food and Drinks
There will be music and drumming

===========================================

Speakers:

Ben Powless (Mohawk), Ecology Ottawa
Vanessa Gray (Ojibway), Anti-Line 9 Organizer

Musicians:

Vela
Adam III

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On August 24th, land defenders, activists and allies are putting their bodies on the line by blockading Alberta’s Highway 63, which is the MAIN ARTERY that services the tar sands production sites north of Fort McMurray! They have made a call for an international day of action against the tar sands, and Decline 9 Ottawa is organizing a protest in solidarity with the blockaders.

It is essential to support the people who will be on Highway 63 this day, both to honour their actions and to let the authorities know that people across Turtle Island, and around the world will be watching
them.

We are everywhere! We want to build a world where everyone fits!

We want to celebrate all of the creative, beautiful and loving ways Indigenous and non-Indigenous people have been protecting Mother Earth, waters, animals and future generations. We will be coming together as a community, to show our solidarity with the protestors, and our commitment to building a better world together. We want a movement that is stronger in numbers, less apathetic, and more empathetic with each other and with the natural world.

——————————————

YouTube, “Shut Down the Tar Sands Highway”:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGTQ2gI3pMk (Preview) (Preview)
Vancouver Media Co-operative, “Shut Down the Tar Sands Highway:
http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/fr/video/shut-down-tar-sands-highway/18211

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Highway 63 is the main artery that services the Tar Sands production sites north of Fort McMurray. The Tar Sands are one of the most, if not THE most, environmentally destructive projects that exists today.

The Tar Sands exist due to the historic and ongoing colonization of Turtle Island (North America) and the Treaties made between the Canadian Government and Indigenous Nations. The Canadian government has never honoured the spirit in which the treaties were made, and in practice has unilaterally violated virtually all the agreements which it made.

We are all downstream from the tar sands, whether that’s literally or through exposures to the many pipelines that are being built to service tar sands industry. We are all effected: worker’s are forced
to work in dangerous and toxic environments; migrants workers are denied citizenship rights, super-exploited, segregated from and paid less than Canadian citizens, and often experience racism; women and women workers have said that they frequently experience physical and sexual violence; women who live close to the industries and refineries are subjected to dangerous toxins that damage their reproductive systems, and have more risks of miscarriage; children are born with birth defects, and have much higher instances of serious physical health issues; both children and adults in affected communities experience grave physical and mental health issues, including cancers, post traumatic stress, developmental disabilities; animals are disappearing, as more and more are being killed or chased away from their natural habitats.

It is important to remember that the ecological degradation wrought by the tar sands happens everyday, and that the scale of the destruction is so great, and with such dire impacts for everyone, especially the environment and directly effected communities, but also in terms of climate change and global warming, that the Tar Sands need to be a political priority for every person, and movement in Canada.

The movement against tar sands is at a critical juncture. Currently the expansion of the tar sands is being significantly impeded by the fierce resistance that pipelines have attracted continentwide. The industry’s difficulties in moving their product West and South has led to Enbridge’s Line 9 Reversal project and TransCanada’s Energy East Pipeline Project, both of which cut through Ontario & Quebec on their way to the East coast. The time has come for people in our region to come together, declaring that we will not be complicit in the exploitation of Mother Earth and that we do not want these pipelines carrying Tar Sands oil running through our communities.

Join us!

=======================================

This event has been endorsed by:

The Indigenous Peoples’ Solidarity Movement – Ottawa (IPSMO)
350 Ottawa

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For more information on:

Indigenous People: http://canadiandimension.com/articles/1760

Environment:
http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/magazine/jun08/feature_tar_sands.asp

Migrant workers:
http://oilsandstruth.org/increase-migrant-workers-canada-opens-door-abuses

Women: http://www.dominionpaper.ca/articles/1468

Racism:
http://oilsandstruth.org/racism-tar-sands-exploiting-foreign-workers-and-poisoning-indigenous-people

Children: http://thetyee.ca/News/2013/03/22/Alberta-Family-Flees-Oil-Sands/

Health: http://oilsandsrealitycheck.org/facts/human-rights-3/

Animals:
http://oilsandstruth.org/twomouthed-fish-discovered-near-alberta-tar-sands-two-stories

General: http://desmog.ca/2013/05/15/10-reasons-canada-rethink-tar-sands

================

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

Spend 5 minutes to support the Barriere Lake Algonquins as they take action to protect their inherent right to govern themselves according to their customs!

On August 12, the Canadian and Quebec Governments are using the Quebec police to impose the Indian Act election process.  The Algonquins of Barriere Lake are boycotting!

Say NO to Canada’s armed-imposition of an unconstitutional regime!

Send an online letter to the new Minister of Indian Affairs John Duncan and Indian Affairs Quebec Regional Director Pierre Nepton here: http://barrierelakesolidarity.blogspot.com/2007/10/blog-post.html

Call Minister of Indian Affairs John Duncan: 1-800-667-280, 613-992-2503,

—> If you can DONATE to or ENDORSE Barriere Lake’s campaign, please contact us: barrierelakesolidarity@gmail.com

PRESS RELEASE

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Barriere Lake Algonquins mount boycott of government-imposed election poll in face of threats of arrest by Quebec police

Kitiganik, Rapid Lake, Algonquin Territory / – On August 12, the Algonquins of Barriere Lake will protest and boycott a nomination poll for Indian Act band elections that the Department of Indian Affairs is unilaterally forcing on their community.

The Quebec Police, the Sûreté du Québec, will be guarding the polling stations in the community’s territory and have threatened to arrest anyone who tries to interfere or set up blockades.

After community members peacefully blockaded a federal government electoral officer from entering the reserve on July 22, the Department of Indian Affairs rescheduled the nomination poll for August 12.

“The Canadian and Quebec Governments are shamefully treating our community like criminals for peacefully protecting our inherent right to govern ourselves according to our customs,” says Tony Wawatie community spokesperson. “The Canadian government is attempting to unconstitutionally abolish our traditional leadership selection. They claim imposing this regime is a democratic move, but the overwhelming majority of our community members are opposed and want instead to maintain our own system of government.”

The government officer is seeking nominations for a Chief and Council that would be voted for in an election the Department of Indian Affairs has planned for September 26, 2010. Barriere Lake is one of the few First Nations in the country who have never been under the Indian Act’s electoral system, continuing instead to operate under a Customary Governance Code that they have used for generations.

During the July 22nd nomination meeting only 4 nominations were sent by mail-in-ballot – and all from individuals who have never lived within Barriere Lake’s traditional territory.

“The Canadian government claims they are imposing Indian Act elections because our traditional system doesn’t work, but it’s in fact the government’s interference in our internal affairs that has destabilized our governance,” says Marylynn Poucachiche, another community spokesperson. “The real reason they are imposing band elections is to sever our connection to the land, which is maintained by our traditional political system. They don’t want to deal with a strong leadership and a community that demands the governments honour signed agreements regarding the exploitation of our lands and resources.”

Barriere Lake’s inherent right to customary self-government is protected by section 35 of the Canadian Constitution and is enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. A May, 2010 report by the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples affirmed that First Nations have the right to maintain control over their internal
affairs and be free to pursue their vision of customary government.

The Assembly of First Nations has passed a unanimously-backed resolution condemning the government and demanding that the Minister of Indian Affairs rescind the band elections, imposed through section 74 of the Indian Act.

Under Barriere Lake’s customary governance code, participation in leadership selections is open only to those band members who live in the traditional territory and have knowledge of and connection to the land.

-30-

Media contacts:
Tony Wawatie, community spokesperson: 819 – 860-4121
Marylynn Poucachiche, community spokesperson: 819-441-4923
To arrange interviews you can also email :
barrierelakesolidarity@gmail.com

Action Alert!

Updates on July 22:

Media Coverage on Algonquins of Barriere Lake prevented elections officer from entering reserve this morning:

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

Spend 5 minutes to support the Barriere Lake Algonquins as they take action to protect their inherent right to govern themselves according to their customs!

Send an online letter to Minister of Indian Affairs Chuck Strahl and Indian Affairs Quebec Regional Director Pierre Nepton here: http://barrierelakesolidarity.blogspot.com/2007/10/blog-post.html

Call Minister of Indian Affairs Chuck Strahl:  (604) 847-9711, 1-800-667-2808

—> If you can DONATE to or ENDORSE Barriere Lake’s campaign, please contact us: barrierelakesolidarity@gmail.com

For more information: www.barrierelakesolidarity.org

PRESS RELEASE

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Barriere Lake Algonquins set up peaceful blockade to stop unconstitutional attack on their customary government; AFN passes emergency resolution condemning Minister Strahl

Kitiganik, Rapid Lake, Algonquin Territory / – This morning Barriere Lake community members set up a peaceful blockade on the access road to their reserve to prevent an electoral officer from conducting a nomination meeting for Indian Act band elections.

The electoral officer aims to implement the federal government’s plan to abolish Barriere Lake’s traditional leadership selection system by holding nomination meetings in the community for a band election imposed through section 74 of the Indian Act. Barriere Lake is one of the few First Nations in the country who have never been under the Indian Act’s electoral system, continuing instead to operate under a Customary Governance Code that they have used since time immemorial.

At its General Assembly in Winnipeg on Wednesday, the Assembly of First Nations passed an emergency resolution condemning Minister of Indian Affairs Chuck Strahl and demanding that he rescind the section 74 order to impose Indian Act band elections.

“We reject the Minister’s unconstitutional attempt to assimilate our leadership selection customs by imposing a foreign regime on us. The community is unanimously in favour of continuing to be governed by our customs,” says Marylynn Poucachiche, a community spokesperson. “Because the government has not heeded its constitutional obligations or our community’s wishes, we are turning to peaceful direct action. We will be preventing the nomination meeting from proceeding and are demanding the federal government immediately cease and desist in their attempt to abolish our customs. The government is breaking the law, but through our actions we are protecting it.”

Barriere Lake’s inherent right to customary self-government is protected by section 35 of the Canadian Constitution. A May, 2010 report by the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples affirmed that First Nations have the right to maintain control over their internal affairs and be free to pursue their vision of customary government.

“The Canadian government is trying to forcibly assimilate our customs so they can sever our connection to the land, which is at the heart of our governance system,” says Tony Wawatie, another community spokesperson. “They don’t want to deal with a strong leadership, selected by community members who live on the land, that demands that the federal and Quebec governments implement the outstanding agreements regarding the exploitation of our lands and resources.”

Under Barriere Lake’s customary governance code, participation in leadership selections is open only to those band members who live in the traditional territory and have knowledge of and connection to the land. This ensures that people who have a stake in the land and it’s health select leaders. But Indian Act band elections would open voting to individuals on the band registry list who do not live in the community’s territory.

The federal government has slightly delayed the date for the Indian Act band elections, announcing they will try to hold them on September 8, 2010.

-30-

Media contacts:

Tony Wawatie, community spokesperson: 819 – 860-4121
Marylynn Poucachiche, community spokesperson: 819-441-4923

SAY NO to Indian Act Section 74

Take a stand today!
Support the Barriere Lake Algonquins and their inherent right to govern themselves according to their customs:

Write/call/fax Minister of Indian Affairs Chuck Strahl and Indian Affairs Quebec Regional Director Pierre Nepton: http://barrierelakesolidarity.blogspot.com/2007/10/blog-post.html

—> For more info, or to endorse the campaign: please email barrierelakesolidarity@gmail.com, www.barrierelakesolidarity.org, ipsmo.org

The Canadian government is forcibly assimilating Barriere Lake’s customary governance system using an archaic and rarely invoked piece of Indian Act legislation.

Indian Act: Sect 74 (1) (Elected Councils)
Whenever he deems it advisable for the good government of a band, the Minister may declare by order that after a day to be named therein the council of the band, consisting of a chief and councillors, shall be selected by elections to be held in accordance with this Act.

This strategy is a draconian, last ditch attempt to sever the community’s connection to the land, which is at the heart of their governance system. By breaking their connection to the land, the Canadian and Quebec governments hope to get away with violating resource- use agreements and illegally clear-cutting in their traditional territory.

Section 74 hasn’t been forcibly imposed on a community since 1924, when the Canadian government unilaterally deposed the traditional government of Six Nations, padlocking shut the Haudenasaunee Confederacy lodge.

Barriere Lake is one of only two dozen Native communities still operating with their traditional governance system. They attribute the strength of their community, language, knowledge and protection of the land to its endurance. The impacts of losing their customary government would have devastating consequences on their way of life.  There is a broad consensus in Barriere Lake in favour of retaining their customs and against a Section 74 order erasing their Customary government.

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

UPDATES: Indian Affairs announces election date; SQ harassment escalates; Canadian spies visit Barriere Lake solidarity activist

a) The Department of Indian Affairs has circulated a notice in Barriere Lake announcing they intend to hold section 74 Indian Action band elections on August 19, 2010, and nomination meetings for a Chief and six Counselors on July 8th. The community has every intention of resisting Indian Affairs’ attempts to abolish their traditional governance system.                      

b) There has been an escalation in harassment by the Quebec Police, known as the Surete du Quebec (SQ), who have been policing Barriere Lake’s reserve since April 1, 2010. Community members have been regularly pulled over on the highway and on the access road to their reserve. Some women have recounted being pulled over by an SQ officer and being made the subject of sexist remarks. “What have you got there in back seat? Got something for me?” they were asked. The officer then followed them home in his cruiser after telling them, “I’m going to come over and sleep with you guys.”

The escalation is an indication that the Canadian and Quebec governments may attempt to use the Quebec police to impose their political dictates, as they’ve done in the past. Barriere Lake’s supporters will need to be vigilant and hold their governments to account, lest they attempt to push through section 74 Indian Act elections with brute force.

c) Read a description of how CSIS agents visited and harassed a member of the Barriere Lake solidarity collective in Montreal, an indication of the lengths the federal government is willing to go to to undermine the community’s struggle for their rights: http://www.mediacoop.ca/blog/martin-lukacs/3622

d) The Green Party of Canada issued a press release on June 9th endorsing Barriere Lake’s struggle to protect their traditional governance system: http://greenparty.ca/media-release/2010-06-09/algonquins-barriere-lake-trying-protect-governance-system

e) The Assembly of First Nations put out a supportive if vaguely worded press release (they also didn’t send it out on the press wire, but only posted it online):  http://www.nationtalk.ca/modules/news/article.php?storyid=32735

f) APTN coverage of the demo on June 15, the segment is about 10min in:  http://www.aptn.ca/pages/news/index.php?wmv=tuesday/six

:::: BACKGROUND ::::

The Algonquins of Barriere Lake live on their unceded territory 300 kilometers north of Ottawa, in Quebec. They govern themselves by a customary system, the Mitchikanibikok Anishinabe Onakinakewin. Unlike most First Nations, they have never had band elections imposed on them by the federal government through the Indian Act.

Section 74 of the Indian Act states that the Minister of Indian Affairs can impose an electoral system on First Nations with customary leadership selection processes:

“Whenever he deems it advisable for the good government of a band, the Minister may declare by order that after a day to be named therein the council of the band, consisting of a chief and councillors, shall be selected by elections to be held in accordance with this Act.”

On April 8, 2010, Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl signed off an order to invoke section 74, initiating the process to impose Indian Act band elections on Barriere Lake. The federal government has already hired an electoral officer to oversee this process, meaning the federal government aims to hold elections within a matter of months.

Despite its inclusion in the Indian Act, section 74-imposed band elections would be a violation of Barriere Lake’s Indigenous customs, a draconian interference in their internal affairs, a breach of their constitutionally-protected Aboriginal right to a customary system of government, and a violation of the minimum standards included in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It is an attempt to politically weaken the community, by destroying the way they have governed themselves since time immemorial.

The affirmation of Aboriginal and Treaty rights in Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution in 1982 guarantees Barriere Lake’s right to maintain their customary system of government. There has been absolutely no case-law since 1982 that would indicate that the Minister has the power to infringe on Barriere Lake’s rights.

The Government move also contradicts a recent Federal Court decision concerning Barriere Lake’s leadership. On February 17, 2010, Federal Court Judge Robert Mainville concluded in the case of Ratt v. Matchewan that Barriere Lake can “select their leadership in accordance with their customs unimpeded by any conditions or requirements which the Minister may deem appropriate.”

But the Canadian government, even if they had Canadian law on their side, would have no authority to interfere with Barriere Lake’s inherent jurisdiction over their lands, which precedes Canadian sovereignty claims by thousands of years. Barriere Lake has never ceded their lands by treaty or agreement and continue to exercise their jurisdiction over their lands by responsibly managing the territory.

Barriere Lake’s customary government is tied to their use of the land – their hunting, fishing, trapping, harvesting over their vast traditional territories. Only those band members who live within their territories and have knowledge and connection to the land can participate in their customary system of government. The position of Chief is based on hereditary entitlement, but other factors are equally or more important, including leadership abilities, knowledge of the land, and community support. Elders have a key role in the leadership selection process, ensuring the customs are respected. They oversee a blazing ceremony, nominating potential leadership candidates who are then approved or rejected by community members in public assemblies. Leadership requires the consent of the governed, meaning leaders can be removed at any time. Such a directly democratic form of government accords well with the community’s decentralized organization.

For the Algonquins of Barriere Lake, their governance system is one of the sources of their political strength and assertiveness: eligible community members have a stake in the land, and they will select leaders who ensure its protection and responsible management.

But if the Canadian government can impose section 74 Indian Act band elections, this will change. Elders will lose customary responsibility for cultivating leaders and for shepherding leadership selections. Voting by secret ballot would undermine the consensus-based, directly democratic process. Fixed terms for elections would destroy the hereditary elements of their system. Indian Act elections would open eligibility for selecting leaders to people on the band registry list, not just those who live and use the traditional territory. As in many First Nations across the country, off-reserve band members who have no stake in the land’s protection but a say in elections or referendums concerning agreements or modern treaties will likely vote for cash deals that may extinguish Inherent, Aboriginal, or Treaty rights to the land.

The federal government’s attack on the community’s inherent right to a customary governance system has served the ends of the Quebec government, which has been allowing forestry companies to illegally log in Barriere Lake’s traditional territory, without consulting and in areas that are supposed to be off-bounds under the terms of the 1991 Trilateral agreement. Quebec has just issued cutting permits for a new period of logging.

—->Please take a moment to support a community that has protected their territory from extractive industries for decades at great expense and sacrifice to their lives.

DEMAND THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RESPECT BARRIERE LAKE’S CUSTOMARY GOVERNANCE SYSTEM

SEND AN EMAIL VIA THE BARRIERE LAKE SOLIDARITY WEBSITE: http://barrierelakesolidarity.blogspot.com/2007/10/blog-post.html

Three-Figure Wampum, an agreement between the Barriere Lake Algonquine, the Church and the settlers
Three-Figure Wampum belt, dated back to around 1760, is an agreement between the Barriere Lake Algonquine, the Church and the settlers. The belt depicts an acknowledgement whereby, under the sign of the cross, no interference would be made into the local native ways of life.

Harper Erasing Algonquin Traditional Government with Indian Act, Sect 74

ANNOUNCING A CAMPAIGN TO SUPPORT THE ALGONQUINS OF BARRIERE LAKE
OPPOSE SECTION 74 of the INDIAN ACT:
HARPER, STRAHL TO WIPE OUT BARRIERE LAKE ALGONQUINS’ CUSTOMARY GOVERNANCE SYSTEM

Join the campaign to prevent Canada’s Department of Indian Affairs attempts to eliminate Barriere Lake Algonquin Traditional Governance System

Feast and Celebration of Customary Governance

6:30PM, Monday, June 14, 2010
Mac Hall, Bronson Centre at 211 Bronson Avenue Ottawa, ALGONQUIN TERRITORY

Demonstration: Stop Harper’s Elimination of Algonquin Traditional Government

11:30AM, Tuesday, June 15, 2010
In front of Indian Affair’s Minister Chuck Strahl’s office
Bank St and Wellington St, ALGONQUIN TERRITORY

Everyone is Welcome!

The Canadian government is preparing to forcibly assimilate Barriere Lake’s customary governance system using an archaic and rarely invoked piece of Indian Act legislation – Section 74. This strategy is a draconian, last ditch attempt to sever the community’s connection to the land, which is at the heart of their governance system.  By breaking their connection to the land, the Canadian and Quebec governments hope to get away with violating resource-use agreements and illegally clear-cutting in their traditional territory.

Section 74 hasn’t been forcibly imposed on a community since 1924, when the Canadian government unilaterally deposed the traditional government of Six Nations, padlocking shut the Haudenosaunee Confederacy lodge.

Barriere Lake is one of only two dozen Native communities still operating with a recognized traditional governance system. They attribute the strength of their community, language, knowledge and protection of the land to its endurance. The impacts of losing their customary governance system would have devastating consequences on their way of life.

There is a broad consensus in Barriere Lake in favour of retaining their customs and against a Section 74 order erasing their Customary government.

Take a stand today!
Support the Barriere Lake Algonquins and their inherent right to govern themselves according to their customs:

EVERYWHERE: Write/call/fax Minister of Indian Affairs Chuck Strahl and Indian Affairs Quebec Regional Director Pierre Nepton: http://barrierelakesolidarity.blogspot.com/2007/10/blog-post.html

OTTAWA: JOIN Barriere Lake community members in Ottawa on June 14 and 15 2010

June 14: Feast and Celebration of Customary Government: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=125575680806297
June 15: Demonstration: Stop Harper and Strahl’s Elimination of Algonquin Customary Government: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=128467113839884

TORONTO: Come MARCH with community members at the Indigenous Day of Action Against the G8/G20 on June 24th in Toronto: http://www.defendersoftheland.org/story/179

June 24: Day of Action for Indigenous Rights!
11:00AM, March start point: Queen’s Park, South Lawn
To arrange a bus ride from Ottawa to Toronto for June 24, please send your request at http://g20.torontomobilize.org/ottawatranspo

—> For more info, to donate, or to endorse the campaign: please email barrierelakesolidarity@gmail.com

www.barrierelakesolidarity.blogspot.com, www.ipsmo.org

:::: BACKGROUND ::::

The Algonquins of Barriere Lake live on their unceded territory 300 kilometers north of Ottawa, in Quebec. They govern themselves by a customary system, the Mitchikanibikok Anishinabe Onakinakewin. Unlike most First Nations, they have never had band elections imposed on them by the federal government through the Indian Act.

Section 74 of the Indian Act states that the Minister of Indian Affairs can impose an electoral system on First Nations with customary leadership selection processes:

“Whenever he deems it advisable for the good government of a band, the Minister may declare by order that after a day to be named therein the council of the band, consisting of a chief and councillors, shall be selected by elections to be held in accordance with this Act.”

Continue reading “Harper Erasing Algonquin Traditional Government with Indian Act, Sect 74”