“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

—-
 

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

 

Action items:

HYW-poster-jpg
 
Resources for Barriere Lake:

 

More about the film:


 

 

 

April 22 – HONOUR YOUR WORD: Celebrating the Defense of Mother Earth!

 

Click image to print poster
Click image to print poster
Movie Screening and Fund Raiser for the Algonquins of Barriere Lake

With special guests: Barriere Lake community members including Norm Matchewan and Elder Michel Thusky, and (via Skype) filmmaker Martha Stiegman

Tuesday, April 22 at 6:30pm (doors 6pm)
at the Mayfair Theatre
1074 Bank St. (near Sunnyside)
Buses # 1 & 7 (Bank) or # 5 (Riverdale)

$5-15 suggested donation
(no one turned away for lack of funds)
Fundraiser for Barriere Lake: Click to donate

 

Honour Your Word is a new documentary film – an intimate portrait of life behind the barricades for the Algonquins of Barriere Lake, an inspiring First Nation whose dignity and courage contrast sharply with the political injustice they face.
 

Presented in Ottawa by the Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa, with Diffusion Multi-Monde and co-sponsors MiningWatch Canada, OPIRG-Carleton, OPIRG/GRIPO-Ottawa and OSSTF District-25 Human Rights / Status of Women Committee.

 

Honour Your Word – trailer
 

 

9-minute interview with filmmaker Martha Stiegman, from CHUO 89.1FM radio show Click Here with host Mitchell Caplan:
 

 

Accessibility Notes:

  • The Mayfair Theatre has side entrances that are wheelchair accessible.
    The washrooms are not, but Shoppers Drug Mart (located next door) does have accessible washrooms.
  • Please refrain from wearing perfumes, colognes or other scented products
  • Please contact us if you require ASL/LSQ
  • Please contact us if you require bus tickets

Contact: ipsmo@riseup.net – www.ipsmo.org
 

Please help us promote this event!

 
——-

Celebrating the Defense of Mother Earth!

This movie screening of Honour Your Word is the IPSM Ottawa’s 3rd “Earth Day” event Celebrating the Defense of Mother Earth!

Last year we were honoured to work with Defenders of the Land and Land Defenders from Six Nations and we raised $1405 for the legal defense of activists from Six Nations, and in 2009 we organized our 1st event with Minwaashin Lodge, the Tungasuvvingat Inuit, and others.

——-
 

More about the movie – Honour Your Word (2013, 59min):

New Algonquin leaders are followed as their community fights to protect their land, their way of life and their language.

The title refers to the Algonquins of Barriere Lake’s campaign slogan demanding Canada and Quebec honour a precedent-setting conservation deal signed in 1991. Director Martha Stiegman spent four years shooting this poetic, heartfelt documentary that challenges stereotypes of “angry Indians.” Honour Your Word juxtaposes starkly contrasting landscapes—the majesty of the bush, a dramatic highway stand-off against a riot squad, daily life within the confines of the reserve—to reveal the spirit of a people for whom blockading has become a part of their way of life, a life rooted in the forest they are defending.

For more information:

 
 

Algonquins of Barriere Lake: New film and thesis project now out

 
A new film, Honour Your Word, and a 305-pg thesis document, highlight the ongoing efforts of the Algonuins of Barriere Lake community.

—-

On Jurisdiction and Settler Colonialism:
The Algonquins of Barriere Lake Against the Federal Land Claims Policy

In September, Barriere Lake Solidarity activist and PhD candidate Shiri Pasternak successfully completed her thesis project at the University of Toronto.

The result is a 305-pg thesis, available online in PDF format:
http://shiripasternak.com/Pasternak_Shiri_S_201309_PhD_thesis.pdf

—-

Honour Your Word
Director: Martha Stiegman • Documentary Feature • 56m • Canada

Marylynn Poucachiche and Norman Matchewan faced tear gas and police batons when they joined their parents on the barricades to defend the Barriere Lake Algonquins’ traditional territory in the 1980s. Little did Marylynn and Norman  realize they would still be on the barricades over 20 years later, this time with their own young children at their sides.

Honour Your Word, is the dramatic story of a tiny First Nations community in Quebec with big strength of character and determination, and follows new Algonquin leaders, as their community fights to protect their land, way of life, and their language.

Here is a link to the trailer

The film was screened at the American Indian Film Festival on November 3, 2013. Canadian screening dates pending – stay tuned!

Here is the film’s official website: honouryourword-film.ca

UPDATE:
The film has been added to the roster for Cinema Politica which has autonomous local groups across the country and internationally that show films.

An Ottawa screening is planned for Tuesday April 22:
6:30pm at the Mayfair Theatre, $5-15 suggested donation.
Info: https://ipsmo.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/april-22-honour-your-word/
or https://www.facebook.com/events/266953060131769/

—-