SPECIAL EVENT AND FUNDRAISER – Our Land Our Identity: the Algonquins of Barriere Lake

Our Land Our Identity:

The Algonquins of Barriere Lake Fight for Survival 

October 10, 2012 6 to 8 pm
Odawa Native Friendship Centre, 12 Stirling Ave. Ottawa Unceded Algonquin Territory

With Michel Thusky (Elder) and Norman Matchewan (Councilor and Youth Spokesperson)

and Music by David and Aurora Finkle and Andy Mason.

A light meal will be shared.

Sliding scale suggested donation $10 – $20

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/109267862562163/

“I am a survivor of a residential school. I don’t want that kind of life experience for my children. I want my grandchildren to have a face and a mouth that they will be proud of, not an empty face. I want them to have an identity. This is what we are fighting for.”
– Michel Thusky (from CounterPunch: Sustainable Colonialism® in the Boreal Forest)

Just a few hours up the Gatineau River from Ottawa is the Algonquin Community of Barriere Lake. Access to the forests lakes and rivers of their territory is a vital to this Algonquin community’s identity and for generations they have fought to protect it from destructive resource projects, while also finding ways to co-exist with Quebec and Canadian society. Though there have been many challenges, the language and traditions in Barriere Lake remain strong.

In 1991 the community signed a landmark and historic agreement with Canada and Quebec that should have created a process for co-management of their territory and modest revenue sharing with the community. As with many other agreements made with Indigenous peoples in Canada, Barriere Lake’s tri-lateral agreement has not been respected.

This summer, Resolute Forest Products, a logging company based in Montreal, has been clear cutting in an environmentally and culturally important area of the Barriere Lake’s territory without consultation and consent of the community. After 3 weeks of protest against the clear-cutting the community is going to court to assert their rights and jurisdiction to protect their land. They are asking for your moral and financial support! It is a difficult situation for the community since they have few financial resources.

“You know, this land is important to us, especially the people who harvest off this territory. Because right now they’re destroying a huge moose habitat, bear dens, sacred sites. They don’t care about the stuff that is out there, our medicine. And when the land is destroyed, we’re destroyed.
– Norman Matchewan (from Dominon Paper Issue #84: September/October 2012)

For background information about the Algonquins of Barriere Lake: http://www.barrierelakesolidarity.org/2008/03/resources.html and https://ipsmo.wordpress.com/barriere-lake-posts/.

SPONSORED BY: Canadian Union of Public Employees, Public Service Alliance of Canada, Indigenous People’s Solidarity Movement of Ottawa, MiningWatch Canada and the Friends Service Committee of Ottawa.

More info contact Ramsey Hart, ramsey@miningwatch.ca / 613-298-4745.

 

Book launch – Fractured Homeland by Bonita Lawrence – Aug 13

Launch of Fractured Homeland: Federal Recognition and Algonquin Identity in Ontario. Featuring author Bonita Lawrence, Bob Majaury (Ottawa Algonquins), Daniel Bernard Amikwabe (Algonquin Union) & other speakers!

UPDATE – Watch the video recording of the event:

Monday August 13, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Minwaashin Lodge, 424 Catherine St (2nd floor)
Ottawa, Unceded Algonquin Territory

Free admission; copies of the book will be available for purchase.

Hosted by Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa (IPSMO), co-sponsored by Minwaashin Lodge and Octopus Books.

Click here for event on Facebook. Click here to download poster (pdf).

Fractured Homelandis about non-status Algonquins in Ontario — their diverse struggles around identity and nationhood — set against the backdrop of the Algonquin comprehensive land claim

About the author:Bonita Lawrence (Mi’kmaw) teaches Indigenous Studies at York University in Toronto. She is the author of “Real” Indians and Others: Mixed-Blood Urban Native People and Indigenous Nationhood.

More about the book:In 1992, the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan, the only federally recognized Algonquin reserve in Ontario, launched a comprehensive land claim. The claim drew attention to the reality that two-thirds of Algonquins in Canada have never been recognized as Indian, and have therefore had to struggle to reassert jurisdiction over their traditional lands.

Fractured Homeland is Bonita Lawrence’s stirring account of the Algonquins’ twenty-year struggle for identity and nationhood despite the imposition of a provincial boundary that divided them across two provinces, and the Indian Act, which denied federal recognition to two-thirds of Algonquins. Drawing on interviews with Algonquins across the Ottawa River watershed, Lawrence voices the concerns of federally unrecognized Algonquins in Ontario, whose ancestors survived land theft and the denial of their rights as Algonquins, and whose family histories are reflected in the land. The land claim not only forced many of these people to struggle with questions of identity, it also heightened divisions as those who launched the claim failed to develop a more inclusive vision of Algonquinness.

This path-breaking exploration of how a comprehensive claims process can fracture the search for nationhood among First Nations also reveals how federally unrecognized Algonquin managed to hold onto a distinct sense of identity, despite centuries of disruption by settlers and the state.

For a sample Chapter:

http://www.ubcpress.ca/books/pdf/chapters/2012/FracturedHomeland.pdf

HONOURING INDIGENOUS WOMEN VOLUME 2 CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

For Vol. 1, please see Honouring Indigenous Women: Hearts of Nations – Vol. 1 

As part of IPSMO’s Honouring Indigenous Women campaign, we aim to make space to actively listen to Indigenous women’s voices as well as to critically reflect our relations to colonialism. For these reasons, we are inviting you to tell us your stories through photography, graphics, art work, cartoon, poetry, and short writing.

We are inviting Native women from all nations – First Nations, Métis and Inuit – to tell us your stories about:

  • Your life experience as Native woman;
  • Your resistance to negative definitions of being;
  • Your actions to reclaim your traditions;
  • How you construct a positive identity by translating tradition into the contemporary context;
  • How you act on that identity in a way that nourishes the overall well-being of your communities; or
  • What being a Native woman means to you.

Those topics above are borrowed from and inspired by Kim Anderson’s book Recognition of Being, Reconstructing Native Womanhood (Anderson 2000: p.15).

We are also inviting non-Indigenous women, as well as both Indigenous and non-Indigenous men and Two-Spirit peoples to tell us about your relations to colonialism and your responsibilities to (re)build relationship with Indigenous women.

Submission Guideline:

  • Please limit your submission to one page (feel free to send us more than one submission however.)
  • Please include a short autobiography. If you are Indigenous, please also include your nation and community. Your name can be a name in your chosen language or a pen name, it’s up to you!
  • For non-written submission, please send us your work in the highest resolution possible.

Deadline for submission:

June 30, 2012

Our Principles:

It is our understanding that Indigenous women, as givers of life and carriers of their cultures, were highly respected in their communities. The prevalent and various forms of violence experienced by Indigenous women are the outcomes of colonization. Its ultimate objective is to facilitate the existing capitalist, patriarchal and racist system within which we live in today. The destruction of Indigenous communities and by extension, their lands, is only possible through deprivation of the power and violation of the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being of Indigenous women.

Furthermore, it has been said by many Indigenous activists and scholars that reclaiming the roles and responsibilities of women (as well as men) in their community is integral to reclaiming self-determination of their people and nationhood.

As non-Indigenous peoples who have participated or been complicit in the past and present colonization of Native peoples and their lands, it is paramount for us to support the work of Indigenous peoples in this regard. The survival of our species is interconnected with the healthy existence of Indigenous women because of their special relationship with the Earth.

The 2nd volume of Honouring Indigenous Women’s booklet is the continuation of our solidarity efforts not only to broaden our (i.e. all peoples) understanding of the struggle of Indigenous women and their importance to our existence, but also to explore our responsibilities as non-Indigenous women in our own decolonization and self-determination process and take actions accordingly.

Our goals are consistent with those of the Vol. 1 – we strive to break the silence on the systemic violence experienced by Indigenous women and the racial stereotypes that have been perpetrated and perpetuated by colonialism. We aim at (re)building relationships with Indigenous women.

Contact Us:

To send us your submission or ask us any questions, please e-mail: ipsmo@riseup.net. Please indicate: Honouring Indigenous Women in the subject line.

Thank YOU!!

Potluck Feast & Fundraiser! In Celebration of Algonquin Resistance to Assimilation

SRPEAD THE WORD!

Potluck Feast and Fundraiser!
In Celebration of Algonquin Resistance to Assimilation 

A dinner with a talk by Michel Thusky, a community spokesperson from the Algonquin Community of Barriere Lake and musical performance by Three Little Birds.

photo credit: Mike Barber

6:00 to 9:00 pm
Thursday, March 1, 2012
PSAC, J.K. Wyllie Boardroom, 233 Gilmour St., Ottawa, Unceded Algonquin Territory

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/284074431660322/

Come share a meal and help support the long-standing resistance of Mitchikanibikok Inik, the Algonquins of Barriere Lake, to forced assimilation and extinction. This event is a fundraiser to help cover the community’s legal costs incurred in a costly court battle they’ve been forced into by the Canadian government.

Michel Thusky, a spokesperson from the Algonquin community of Barriere Lake, will talk about community identity in the context of his people’s struggle to defend their land, their way of life, and their traditional governance system against attacks by the colonial governments of Quebec and Canada.

Please bring either a dish to share, or a suggested minimum donation of $5 to 20 to ensure the costs of this event are covered. Some extra food will be prepared to make sure there is enough to feed everyone.

All proceeds after costs are covered, will go to the Barriere Lake Legal Defense Fund.

Download the poster and spread the word!

The event location is wheelchair-accessible.

For more information about the Mitchikanibikok Inik community and their current legal action, please see:
http://www.barrierelakesolidarity.org/https://ipsmo.wordpress.com/mitchikanibikok-inik/

For musical performance by Three Little Birds:
www.threelittlebirdstheband.comhttp://www.myspace.com/threelittlebirdstheband

* This event is part of Barriere Lake Speaking Tour in Ontario and Quebec in March 2012: Ottawa (March 1), Waterloo (March 3), Toronto (March 5) and Montreal (Date: TBD)

Algonquin Resistance to Assimilation: Barriere Lake Speaks in Toronto
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham St., Toronto

Snacks and refreshments will be available at the event.

For a good background video on Section 74 and the Barriere Lake struggle, see this short 4-minute film: