Chief Spence Announces Hunger Strike in Ottawa

Attawapiskat First Nation

Chief Spence Announces Hunger Strike in Ottawa

ATTAWAPISKAT, ON – 11 December 2012. Chief Theresa Spence of Attawapiskat First Nation began a hunger strike today in protest of continuing governmental abuses against First Nations. Chief Spence stated: “Canada is violating the right of Indigenous peoples to be self-determining and continues to ignore our constitutionally protected Aboriginal and treaty rights in their lands, waters, and resources.”

Chief Spence is profoundly concerned with the hostile and adversarial approach of the Federal Government which is characterized by an intimidating and unilateral approach to working First Nations. Instead of being an advocate of First Nations, the Minister’s office is used to mislead the public about the facts of First Nation social realities and often deflects responsibility by casting blame on First Nations themselves.

First Nations are already severely and chronically underfunded on basic essential services like housing, water, food and education. These discriminatory practices have led to the current poverty crisis which impacts many First Nations which often suffer from multiple over-lapping crises in housing, water, sanitation, food insecurity, health and education.

Attawapiskat First Nation previously declared a State of Emergency in housing as some of their members were living in unheated sheds. Instead of offering assistance, Canada illegally placed the community into third-party management despite there being no problems with their audits. Shortly after the court case confirming Canada’s illegal actions, their proposal for housing was denied, leaving many community members without homes this winter.

Canada has since embarked on an aggressive, assimilatory legislative agenda without having first consulted, accommodated and obtained the consent of First Nations as required by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Further, Canada has attempted to silence First Nation voices by cutting essential funding at both the organizational and community levels. This is not what was envisioned in the treaty relationship.

Chief Spence feels that this backwards approach is not only poisoning Canada’s relationship with First Nations, but will irrevocably destroy the lands and waters that all Canadians need for sustainability and balance. Canada’s actions against First Nations will impact the future generations of all Canadians. She feels that Canada must withdraw the recent suite of legislation being imposed without First Nation consent and reverse its decision to cut funding to First Nation organizations and communities.

Chief Spence is encouraging First Nation leaders to support her on this hunger strike. She will remain on this hunger strike until both Her Majesty the Queen and the Canadian government agree to meet with First Nation leaders and engage in meaningful dialogue on our rights.

Attawapiskat First Nation is a remote, isolated First Nation in North Eastern Ontario, whose traditional territory includes lands around the Attawapiskat and Ekwan river systems in Northern Ontario. They form part of the Cree Nation and are affiliated with the Mushkegowuk Tribal Council.

Attawapiskat First Nation comprises 3,429 band members with approximately 1,800 on-reserve members. Chief Spence also sent an open letter to her membership yesterday (which is attached).

For further information, please contact Chief Theresa Spence (807) 629-6704), or by email to Theresa.spence@attawapiskat.org.
 
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UPDATED:
 
Exclusive CBC interview on 8th day of hunger strike (Dec 18th) – 17min:
 


 
Article by IPSMO member Greg Macdougall:
Idle No More: What does Chief Spence’s hunger strike mean?
 

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Online book: Honouring Indigenous Women: Heart of Nations Vol.2

Click the book cover to download this Vol.

Following the success of Honouring Indigenous Women: Hearts of Nations Vol.1, published earlier this year, the Indigenous Peoples’ Solidarity Movement Ottawa (IPSMO) has now launched the second volume!

Sixty-two women and men from various nations contributed to this book. Indigenous women shared their lived experiences with regards to their relationships with the land, their birth mothers, families, communities, and themselves. Their Indigenous and non-Indigenous allies shared their thoughts on responsibilities to (re)build relationships with Indigenous women.

We are very grateful for the authors and artists who courageously shared their stories with us, and are honoured to publish their work. A list of our contributors is provided below.

We also would like to express our gratitude to Under One Roof Properties who generously donated us the layout by Nancy Reid from NR Grafix.

Download the book here:

We are now looking for funds to print it in preparation for our book launch and to offer our contributors paper copies of the book in early 2013. We plan to have this book available for individual purchases, in local libraries and community resource centers, and for use as part of school curricula.

If you would like to help us with distribution, please us at ipsmo@riseup.net.

To make a donation to the campaign, please click this PayPal button

or make a cheque to ‘Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa’ with ‘HIW-Vol.2’ in the memo line. Cheques can be mailed to: IPSMO, c/o OPIRG-Carleton, 326 Unicentre, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON, K1S 5B6.

The contributors featured in the book are:

Adelle Farrely, Angela Ashawawasegai, Angela Mashford-Pringle, Arlene Bowman, Belinda Daniels, Carrie Bourassa, Catherine M. Pulkinen, Catherine McCarty, Cecelia LaPointe, Cristina Afán Lai, Dawn Karima Pettigrew, Deanna StandingCloud, Donna Roberta Della-Picca, Dvorah Coughlin, Emilie Corbiere, Eva Apuk Jij, Faith Turner, Francine Burning, Greg Macdougall, Heather Shillinglaw, Helen Knott, Janet Marie Rogers, Janine Manning, Jodie-Lynn Waddilove, Lana Whiskeyjack, Leanne Simpson, Lesley Belleau, Linda Lucero, Lisa M. Machell, Lorri Neilsen GlennLouise Vien, Lynn Gehl, Marcie Riel, Margaret Kress-White, Mariel Belanger, Mikhelle Lynn Rossmulkey, Miranda Moore, Mona-Lisa Bourque-Bearskin, Nehi Katawasisiw, Nicole McGrath, PJ Prudat, R. Saya Bobick, Raven Sinclair, Robert A. Horton, Rosie Trakostanec, Samantha Elijah, Shauneen Pete, Simone Nichol, Susan Smith Fedorko, Tamara Pokrupa-Nahanni, Tamara Starblanket Neyihaw, Teresa Rose Beaulieu, Theresa Meuse, Waaseyaa’sin Christine Sy, Yolanda Teresa Philgreen and Zainab Amadahy.

Ottawa Organization Launches New Book Collection Honouring Indigenous Women

For Immediate Release: November 22, 2012

Ottawa Organization Launches New Book Collection Honouring Indigenous Women 

Ottawa, Unceded Algonquin Territory – On November 25, 2012, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Indigenous Peoples’ Solidarity Movement Ottawa (IPSMO) will launch a new book collection Honouring Indigenous Women: Hearts of Nations Vol.2. The book will be available at http://www.ipsmo.org.

Following the success of Honouring Indigenous Women: Hearts of Nations Vol.1, published earlier this year, IPSMO launched its “Honouring Indigenous Women Campaign” and released a call for submissions for the second volume of Honouring Indigenous Women. Through this initiative, the campaign organizers aim to re-centre our understanding of society based on the experiences and perspectives of Indigenous women. They also aim to create a venue where Indigenous peoples and their allies can express themselves through writing and art.

Sixty-two women and men from various nations contributed to this volume. Indigenous women shared their experiences about their relationships with the land, their birth mothers, families, communities, and themselves. Their Indigenous and non-Indigenous allies shared their thoughts on (re)building relationships with Indigenous women.

“We are very grateful for the authors and artists who courageously shared their stories with us, and are honoured to publish their work. We also would like to express our gratitude to Under One Roof Properties who generously donated us the layout by Nancy Reid from NR Grafix. This book was made possible thanks to them,” said Pei-Ju, one of the campaign organizers.

The book is available online free of charge. IPSMO is now looking for funds to print it in early 2013. The book will be available for individual purchase, in local libraries and community resource centers, and for use as part of school curricula. If you would like to help us with distribution, please contact IPSMO at ipsmo@riseup.net. To make a donation, please visit our PayPal website or send a cheque to ‘Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa’ with ‘HIW-Vol.2’ in the memo line. Cheques can be mailed to: 326 Unicentre, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON, K1S 5B6.

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For more information on the campaign or to find Vol.1 of Honouring Indigenous Women, please visit: https://ipsmo.wordpress.com/honouring-indigenous-women-campaign/

For more information on the book, the campaign or to help with distribution, please contact Pei-Ju, Rachel or Lindsey at ipsmo@riseup.net (English or French)

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.

 

Canadian Mining and Indigenous Self-Determination: Perspectives from Panama and Ontario

Canadian Mining and Indigenous Self-Determination:
Perspectives from Panama and Ontario

Tuesday September 25th, 7pm to 9:30pm

University of Ottawa, Desmarais Building, Room 1110
55 Laurier Ave E.

Celestino Mariano Gallardo Gallardo is Chief of the Nidrini region of the indigenous Ngäbe-Buglé comarca, or special admininstrative area, in Panama. In 2011, in the wake of violent repression and after years of struggle, the Ngäbe-Buglé won a law to protect their comarca and Cerro Colorado in Western Panama from mining development. Celestino will talk about their struggle and Canadian industry involvement as a catalyst of conflict.

Robert Lovelace is an adjunct lecturer at Queen’s University in the Department of Global Development Studies, an activist in anti-colonial struggles and a retired chief of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation. He lives in the Algonquin highlands at Eel Lake in the traditional Ardoch territory, has travelled to Ecuador and Bolivia, and speaks widely about the impacts of Canadian mining on Indigenous peoples.

Event presented by MiningWatch Canada, Territorio Libre, the Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa (IPSMO) and the Latin American Law Students Association (LALSA) and the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa

Facebook event link

Pillage and profit, from the Amazon to Ardoch

Pillage and profit, from the Amazon to Ardoch: An evening of film, music, and discussion about the exploitation of Indigenous peoples’ lands by Canadian companies

Click the image to download the Issue Brief: The Achuar and Talisman Energy prepared by Amazon Watch

Monday April 23, 2012 
5:30 to 7:30 pm

Auditorium of the Ottawa Public Library, Main Branch
120 Metcalfe St. (at Laurier)
Ottawa, unceded Algonquin Territory 

Join us for an evening of discussion with Indigenous peoples resisting the exploitation of their lands by Canadian oil and mining companies.

To invite your friends via facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/210214175756207/

The event will be opened with a Blessing by Algonquin Elder Albert Dumont. There will be a screening of the award-winning documentary “Chumpi & the Waterfall”. This film explores the way of life of an Achuar community in the Peruvian Amazon – a way of life that’s under threat by Canadian oil company Talisman Energy’s plans to drill oil in their hunting and fishing grounds.

“I have told the CEO of Talisman, John Manzoni, that the Achuar people do not want oil operations in our ancestral territory, but Talisman refuses to respect our right to live in peace and harmony,” says Achuar leader Peas Peas Ayui.

The film will be followed by a panel discussion with:

Peas Peas Ayui, Lucas Irar Miik, Lucas Chayat Ayui, and Puwaanch Kintui Antich, leaders from Achuar communities in the Amazon rainforest

Gregor MacLennan, Peru Program Coordinator for Amazon Watch

Mireille Lapointe, former chief of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, who have resisted uranium mining on their land

Marcelo Saavedra-Vargas, of the Quechua-Aymara nation and professor of Aboriginal studies at the University of Ottawa

Musical performances by Three Little Birds, and by Julie Comber, Ógui, & Josh Myles.

Admission is free; donations to support the Achuar community will be accepted.

This event is hosted by Amazon Watch, Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa, and the Indigenous and Canadian Studies Students Association of the University of Ottawa.

Can’t make it to the event? Please visit https://www.achuarmovie.org to:

  • learn more about the Achuar
  • Sign a petition demanding that Talisman Energy halt oil exploration in Achuar territory
  • Donate to support the Achuar’s cause

“Leave us in peace. We want to live free, breathe pure air. The Creator made this land here so we could live peacefully.”
Pitiur Unti Saant, Achuar elder and leader

Achuar v. Talisman Energy: The struggle continues

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: