Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa – www.ipsmo.org

November 25, 2012

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)

July 8, 2012

First Voices! First Women Speak! A Teach-in and Community Gathering

You are invited to attend First Voices! First Women Speak! A teach-in and community gathering featuring renowned Indigenous scholars, writers and artists Lee Maracle and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, as well as Claudette Commanda, Viola Thomas, Vera Wabegijig, Moe Clark, and others!

Please click the image to download the poster.

1:30 ~ 9 pm
Friday August 24, 2012
Odawa Native Friendship Centre
12 Sterling Ave.
Ottawa, Unceded Algonquin Territory 

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/409497419085733/

We will meet, share knowledge and generate ideas about how we – as Indigenous and non-Indigenous people – can work together in solidarity to the benefit of all living beings.

There will be a lecture, a book launch, discussion circles, spoken word performances, traditional drumming and a feast!

Please register by August 17th – space is limited! Click here (http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/firstwomenspeakto confirm your spot. The registration fee is $20 or pay what you can. You can pay in advance or at the door. 

EVERYONE IS WELCOME!

This is an amazing opportunity to have so many inspiring women in the same place, sharing their wisdom and experience! We especially want to encourage youth to participate. If you are a youth and/or non-waged, registration is free.

If you are unable to attend but would like to support this event, please make a donation by clicking here. Once the cost of the event has been covered, any additional funds will be put towards the publication of ‘Honouring Indigenous Women: Hearts of Nations- Vol. 2’, an initiative of IPSMO. For details on this publication, please see: www.ipsmo.org.

Programme

MC: Viola Thomas

Part I

1:30 Opening and welcome by Claudette Commanda with drumming by Greg Meekis and Brad Picody
2:00 Lecture by Lee Maracle: There is a direct connection between violence against the earth and violence against women: looking to the past to restore our future.
3:00 Break
3:15 Circle responses, reflections and crafting plans of action (circles lead by Claudette Commanda, Lee Maracle, and Leanne Simpson)
5:00 Spoken word and poetry performance by Vera Wabegijig
5:30 Closing for the afternoon with drumming by Greg Meekis and Brad Picody

5:45 Feast!

Part II 

7:00 Ottawa Launch of Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s recent book: Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back: Stories of Nishnaabeg Re-Creation, Resurgence and a New Emergence with an opening by Greg Meekis and Brad Picody
8:00 Performance by Moe Clark and Leanne Simpson
8:40 Closing remarks from Lee Maracle
9:00 Closing for the day by Claudette Commanda 

*If you are unable to come for the whole day you are welcome to come only for the launch of Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s new book ‘Dancing on our Turtle’s Back’ which will be happening from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

This event is a collaboration between Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa (IPSMO) and KAIROS Canada.

About our guests and presenters:

Claudette Commanda is the Executive Director of the First Nations Confederacy of Cultural Education Centres, where she works tirelessly in the preservation and maintenance of First Nations languages, cultures, and traditions. She is also a part-time professor for the Common Law Section of the Faculty of Law, the Institute of Women’s Studies, the Aboriginal Studies Program and the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa. (from the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa)

Lee Maracle is a writer, activist and performer from the Stó:lō nation located in the area now known as British Columbia. She is currently the Aboriginal Writer-in-Residence for First Nations House, and an instructor in the Aboriginal Studies Department at the University of Toronto. Lee is one of the founders of the En’owkin International School of Writing in Penticton, BC, and Cultural Director of the Centre for Indigenous Theatre in Toronto. She mentors young people on personal and cultural healing and reclamation. (from CBC 8th Fire)

Books written by Lee Maracle:

  • Bobbi Lee: Indian Rebel – 1975 (revised 1990)
  • Sojourner’s Truth and Other Stories – 1990
  • Oratory: Coming to Theory – 1990
  • Sundogs – 1991
  • Ravensong – (Press Gang Publishers)1993
  • I am Woman: A Native Perspective on Sociology and Feminism – 1988; Press Gang Publishers 1996
  • Daughters are Forever – 2002
  • Will’s Garden – 2002
  • First Wives Club: Coast Salish Style – (Theytus Books Publishing) 2010

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a writer and scholar of Michi Saagiik Nishnaabeg ancestry and is a member of Alderville First Nation. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba, is an Adjunct Professor of Indigenous Studies at Trent University and an instructor at the Centre for World Indigenous Knowledge, Athabasca University. Leanne has published three edited volumes including Lighting the Eighth Fire: The Liberation, Resurgence and Protection of Indigenous Nations (2008, Arbeiter Ring), and This is An Honour Song: Twenty Years Since the Barricades (with Kiera Ladner, 2010, Arbeiter Ring). Her recent book, Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back: Stories of Nishnaabeg Re-Creation, Resurgence and a New Emergence was published in May 2011 and turns to Nishnaabeg theory and philosophy for guidance in building and maintaining resurgence movements. It is her hope that this work will inspire the regeneration of Nishnaabeg systems of governance, language, and knowledge – systems that place women back at the centre of Kina Gchi Nishnaabeg‐ogaming. (from Leanne Simpson’s web site: http://leannesimpson.ca/)

Moe Clark. With humble beginnings as a Calgary native, Moe received mentorship from Sheri-D Wilson, who was integral in launching her career as a spoken word artist at the 2005 Calgary International Spoken Word Festival. Following the success of her debut, as well as winning the Calgary CBC Poetry Face-Off (2007), Moe released a debut album “Circle of She: Story & Song” (April ’08) and toured across Canada. Her award winning poem “Intersecting Circles” was made into a video poem in 2009 (Bravo!Fact, CCA, AFA) and became part of the permanent collection at the Peace River Museum, Archives and Mackenzie Centre. (from Moe Clark’s web site: http://www.moeclark.ca/. You can also listen to her on her web site!)

Vera Wabegijig is an Anishnaabe mother from the bear clan of the Mississauga First Nation and Wikwemikong Unceded Reserve. She is also a poet, writer and media artist. Her poetry has been printed in many anthologies including XXX NDN, Surviving in the Hour of Darkness, Breaking the Surface, Our Words, Our Revolutions, Reclaiming the Future, and Sweetgrass Grows All Around Her. Currently, Vera has completed a collection of poetry, Manomin – Wild Rice Dreams, and with her daughters Storm and Grace, will launch a new media website this summer called Ishkode/Fire. You can read her blog at: http://verawaabegeeshig.wordpress.com/.

This event is also supported by Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), OPIRG-Carleton (the Ontario Public Interest Research Group at Carleton University), Quakers, Project of Heart, Amnesty International Canada and Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative and Arbeiter Ring Publishing!

     

   

April 11, 2012

Cancelled!!! All Violence against Earth is Violence to Women, How We must Look at the Past to Restore Our Future, a teach-in with a Celebrated Indigenous Woman, Lee Maracle!

This event is cancelled. 

We are so sorry for this cancellation but both Lee and Claudette are sick so we have to cancel it and hopefully we’ll organize another one in the future.

Thanks.

 

All Violence against Earth is Violence to Women,  
How We must Look at the Past to Restore Our Future, a teach-in with a Celebrated Indigenous Woman, Lee Maracle! 

Woman is the reflection of the Earth. – Grandmother Isabelle Meawasige

7pm – 9pm
Thursday, April 26, 2012
PSAC boardroom, 233 Gilmour St. Ottawa Unceded Algonquin Territory

MC: Michael Desautels, Metis & PSAC Aboriginal Program Officer

Opening by Claudette Commanda, Algonquin Nation

Drumming by Nancy Myatt

Followed by a circle response, discussion and poetry / spoken word performance by Vera Wabegijig, David Groulx and Angle Nsenga!

Admission: pay what you can ($5 suggested donation to cover the costs of this event).

To invite your friends vis facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/209333109176706/

As a part of our Honouring Indigenous Women campaign, we are inviting you to join us in a short lecture with Lee Maracle, a highly respected woman from the Stoh:lo Nation and acclaimed author, poet, educator, storyteller and performing artist.

Last summer, we were very honoured to have Lee contribute a short piece of her writing to our Honouring Indigenous Women: Hearts of Nations Vol. 1 booklet. This Spring, we are very excited and feel so privileged again that Lee is coming to Ottawa to talk to us about a very important connection. A connection that cannot be missed, oversighted or disregarded. Because our survival and our freedom depend on it:

There is a direct connection between violence against earth and violence against women.

Please click on the image to download the poster.

Then there is another connection Lee wants us to pay attention to:

There is also a connection between the past and our future; a relationship that allows us to turn around, to heal ourselves and our communities.

Are you intrigued?

Come and join us on April 26th at 233 Gilmour St. in Ottawa, Algonquin Territory! We promise it’s going to be a fascinating evening that will transform your heart, mind and spirit!

This event is brought to you by Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa – www.ipsmo.org

A little be more about Lee Maracle:

Lee is currently the Aboriginal Writer-in-Residence for First Nations House, and an instructor in the Aboriginal Studies Dept. at University of Toronto. She is one of the founders of the En’owkin International School of Writing in Penticton, BC, and Cultural Director of the Centre for Indigenous Theatre in Toronto. She mentors young people on personal and cultural healing and reclamation. (CBC, 8th Fire)

Books by Lee Maracle

  • Bobbi Lee: Indian Rebel – 1975 (revised 1990)
  • Sojourner’s Truth and Other Stories – 1990
  • Oratory: Coming to Theory – 1990
  • Sundogs – 1991
  • Ravensong – (Press Gang Publishers)1993
  • I am Woman: A Native Perspective on Sociology and Feminism – 1988; Press Gang Publishers 1996
  • Daughters are Forever – 2002
  • Will’s Garden – 2002
  • First Wives Club: Coast Salish Style – (Theytus Books Publishing) 2010

“Embodied in my truth is the brilliance of hundreds of Native women who faced the worst that CanAmerica had to offer and dealt with it. Embodied in my brilliance is the great sea of knowledge that it took to overcome the paralysis of the colonized mind. I did not come to this clearing alone. Hundreds walked alongside me – Black, Asian and Native women whose tide of knowledge was bestowed upon me are the key to every CanAmerican’s emancipation.”

– Lee Maracle in I am Woman: A Native Perspective on Sociology and Feminism

Lee Maracle speaking at May Day Assembly 2011

The Silence is Broken, But the Violence Continues: Now What? event at the Native Canadian Centre in Toronto on July 20, 2011

The Silence is Broken, But the Violence Continues: Now What? Part II event at the Native Women’s Resource Centre in Toronto on November 24, 2011

All dis-empowered people seek empowerment. Patriarchy defines empowerment as the equivalent of power – over someone. This is the unifying philosophy that binds racism and sexism together. Power over the natural world, power over people, power over the seas, the air, time itself. Empowerment is the personal quest for oneness with nature, oneness with people, the seas, the skies, and time. The quest for power dis-empowers the very people who need to be empowered in order to alter the course of our story. 

– Lee Maracle (Racism, Sexism and Patriarchy in Returning the Gaze Essays on Racism, Feminism and Politics: p.129)


March 9, 2012

Honouring Indigenous Women Campaign Launch Party!

The Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa (IPSMO) is inviting you to the launch of its Honouring Indigenous Women Campaign and its Honouring Indigenous Women: Hearts of Nations – Vol. 1 booklet!

Click to download the poster and spread the word!

7 – 9 PM. Monday, March 19, 2012
Arts Court Studio, 2 Daly Ave. Ottawa
Unceded Algonquin Territory

Join us for a night of poetry, drumming and more, in celebration of the Power of Indigenous Women and their Special Relationship to Water!

To invite your friends via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/320011758055132/

MC: Cindy Gaudet (Métis)

Opening ceremony and women’s teaching by Verna McGregor (Algonquin) and Elaine Kicknosway (Swampy Cree from Northern Saskatchewan)

Featuring …..

Ruby Arnga-naaq (Inuit)
Earth Mothers women drumming group
Water teaching by Grandmother Francine Payer
Vera Wabegijig (Ojibwe),
Suzanne Keeptwo (Métis – Algonquin/French & Irish descent),
Jaime Koebel (Métis),
David Groulx (Ojibwe/Métis)

* There will be items made by Indigenous peoples for sale at this event.

About our campaign:

Our Honouring Indigenous Women Campaign aims at raising awareness on and putting an end to the violence perpetrated against Indigenous women. As a group mostly composed of non-Indigenous peoples who have participated or been complicit in the past and present colonization of Native peoples and lands, it is of utmost importance for us to support the work of Indigenous peoples in this regard. This campaign is an act of solidarity, and aims at supporting existing efforts from Indigenous women. As such, we are hoping to mobilize over 500 people to take part in the annual Families of Sisters in Spirit Vigil organized in Ottawa on October 4th.

This campaign also aims at understanding the links between violence against Indigenous women, colonialism, land and Indigenous Sovereignty. We echo the demands for equity, justice, and decolonization formulated by Indigenous women whom we have tremendous respect for.

We support self-determination of Indigenous peoples and work towards creating and maintaining respectful relationships with the First peoples of this land.

The campaign would not be as strong without the publication of the Honouring Indigenous Women: Hearts of Nation-Vol. 1 . The booklet, composed of five sections – Struggle, Resistance, Power, Liberation, and Be Solidarity, gives to Indigenous women their due space to express their lived realities through various art forms. Through this publication, we strive to augment the voices of Indigenous women in their many efforts to break the silence surrounding the systemic violence perpetuated by colonialism. It is, for us, a concrete and creative form of solidarity.

As a wise woman told us, we cannot achieve the ethic of respect by formulating demands, we will clearly state our hopes and expectations for this campaign and beyond, as well as announce our upcoming projects at our March 19th event. Stay tune!

To download Honouring Indigenous Women: Hearts of Nation-Vol. 1:  https://ipsmo.wordpress.com/honouring-indigenous-women/

Understanding violence against Indigenous women:

February 4, 2012

Occupy Talks: Indigenous Perspectives on the Occupy Movement

Repost:

Occupy Talks took place in Toronto, at Beit Zatoun, on January, 23rd, 2012.  It was sponsored by the Canadian Auto Workers, Canadian Labour Congress, CAW-Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy Ryerson University, Environmental Justice Toronto.

Description of the event:

What does it mean to ‘Occupy already occupied lands?’. How does Occupy relate to 500 years of resistance on Turtle Island? Please join speakers Tom B.K. Goldtooth, Clayton Thomas-Muller and Leanne Simpson with MC Tannis Nielson to explore and discuss these dynamics of the Occupy movement.

Below are videos of speakers at the event.

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson: 

“And so I say to you today, that if you wish to align yourselves with the disposed and the marginalized, reject the language and ideology of colonialism, conquest and exploitation. As my colleague Waziyatawin told Occupy Oakland “distinguish yourselves from the builders and players of Wall Street”. Place decolonization at the centre of your movement and abandon the language of occupation. And if you want to be really brave and radical, place the concerns and the issues of Indigenous women at the centre of your de-occupation.” – Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a writer, activist, and scholar of Michi Saagiik Nishnaabeg ancestry and is a band member of Alderville First Nation. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba, is an Adjunct Professor in Indigenous Studies at Trent University and an instructor at the Centre for World Indigenous Knowledge, Athabasca University. She has also lectured at Ryerson University, the University of Victoria, the University of Manitoba, and the University of Winnipeg. Leanne has worked with Indigenous communities and organizations across Canada and internationally over the past 15 years on environmental, governance and political issues. She has published three edited volumes including Lighting the Eighth Fire: The Liberation, Resurgence and Protection of Indigenous Nations (2008, Arbeiter Ring), and This is An Honour Song: Twenty Years Since the Barricades (with Kiera Ladner, 2010, Arbeiter Ring). Leanne has published over thirty scholarly articles and raised over one million dollars for community-based research projects over her career. She has written fiction and non-fiction pieces for Now Magazine, Spirit Magazine, the Globe and Mail, Anishinabek News, the Link, and Canadian Art Magazine.

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s web site – http://leannesimpson.ca/

Clayton Thomas-Muller:

Clayton Thomas-Muller, of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation also known as Pukatawagan in Northern Manitoba, Canada, is an activist for Indigenous rights and environmental justice. With his roots in the inner city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Clayton began his work as a community organizer, working with Aboriginal youth. Over the years Clayton’s work has taken him to five continents across our Mother Earth. Based out of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Clayton is involved in many initiatives to support the building of an inclusive movement for energy and climate justice. He serves on the board of the Global Justice Ecology Project and Canadian based Raven Trust. Recognized by Utne Magazine as one of the top 30 under 30 activists in the United States and as a “Climate Hero 2009” by Yes Magazine, Clayton is the Tar Sands Campaign Director for the Indigenous Environmental Network. He works across Canada, Alaska and the lower 48 states with grassroots indigenous communities to defend against the sprawling infrastructure that includes pipelines, refineries and extraction associated with the tar sands, the largest and most destructive industrial project in the history of mankind.

Tom B.K. Goldtooth:

Tom B.K. Goldtooth is the Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), headquartered at Bemidji, Minnesota. A social change activist within the Native American community for over 30 years, he has become an environmental and economic justice leader, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Tom co-produced an award winning documentary film, Drumbeat For Mother Earth, which addresses the affects of bio-accumulative chemicals on indigenous peoples, and is active with many environmental and social justice organizations besides IEN. Tom is a policy advisor on environmental protection, climate mitigation, and adaptation. Tom co-authored the REDD Booklet on the risks of REDD within indigenous territories and a member of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change — the indigenous caucus within the UNFCCC.

September 9, 2011

Event: Indigenous People and Resistance to Police Violence and Prisons

Indigenous Women, Two-Spirited People and Resistance to Police Violence and Prison

Monday, Sept. 26 at 7pm
Somerset West Community Health Centre

55 Eccles St.

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=217053778350444

Speakers:

Tania Dopler, Ontario Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Strategy
Kim Pate, Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies
Other Speakers TBC.

This event will focus on the violence experienced by indigenous women and two-spirited people by the police and prisons, their resistance to this violence and alternatives to both the police and prisons.

“Aboriginal women are over‐represented in the federal correctional system, representing only 2% of women in Canada and 29% of women in federal prisons in July, 2003. In July, 2003, 60% of Aboriginal women serving federal sentences were in prison.”

“Native peoples’ experiences are often completely erased from mainstream discussions of law enforcement violence. Yet, since the arrival of the first colonists on this continent, Native women and Native Two Spirit, transgender and gender nonconforming people have been subjected to untold violence at the hands of U.S. military forces, as well as local, state and federal law enforcement. Movement of Native peoples across borders with Canada and Mexico has been severely restricted, often by force, separating families and communities. Integral to the imposition of colonial society and enforced assimilation, the notion of “policing” was forced on sovereign nations and cultures that had previously resolved disputes within communities.”

“Developing community-based responses to violence is one critical option. Community accountability is a community-based strategy, rather than a police/prison-based strategy, to address violence within our communities. Community accountability is a process in which a community – a group of friends, a family, a church, a workplace, an apartment complex, a neighborhood, etc – work together to do the following things:

  • Create and affirm VALUES & PRACTICES that resist abuse and oppression and encourage safety, support, and accountability
  • Develop sustainable strategies to ADDRESS COMMUNITY MEMBERS’ ABUSIVE BEHAVIOR, creating a process for them to account for their actions and transform their behavior
  • Commit to ongoing development of all members of the community, and the community itself, to TRANSFORM THE POLITICAL CONDITIONS that reinforce oppression and violence
  • Provide SAFETY & SUPPORT to community members who are violently targeted that RESPECTS THEIR SELF-DETERMINATION”

Sources:

http://www.elizabethfry.ca/eweek06/pdf/aborig.pdf
http://www.incite-national.org/media/docs/5676_toolkitrev-native.pdf
http://www.incite-national.org/index.php?s=114

August 28, 2011

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

May 23, 2011

ROLL WITH THE DECLARATION – “THE LAND, OUR LIFE”

~~ Please spread the word ! ~~

ROLL WITH THE DECLARATION – “THE LAND, OUR LIFE”
Participatory Indigenous Solidarity Workshop with KAIROS, IPSMO – Barriere Lake Solidarity Collective and FAMILIES OF SISTERS IN SPIRIT

We will be making BANNERS!

1 pm – 5 pm
Saturday, June 4 2011
PSAC boardroom, 233 Gilmour St. Ottawa
Unceded and Unsurrendered Algonquin Territory

This workshop is open to everyone!  Refreshment and snack will be provided.

Please R.S.V.P. through this facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=164532860277728.  Thanks!!

Special guests: Ed Bianchi, Kristen Gilchrist, Bridget Tolley, Tillis Wawatie Keye and Marcelo Saavedra-Vargas!

Come and learn about the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), Mitchikanibikok Inik (the Algonquins of Barriere Lake) and Violence against Indigenous Women in Canada.  As a part of the discussions, we will do a powerful exercise that explores the experience and impacts of colonization – the BLANKET exercise.

In the 2nd part of the workshop, we will collectively make banners to express our solidarity with the Algonquins of Barriere Lake and Indigenous Women in this country.  These banners are a way to urge Canada to get to work on implementing this historic international agreement – UNDRIP – the minimum standard for the governments to fulfill their obligations for the right of Indigenous peoples to self-determination.  These banners will then join other banners from across the country in a demonstration and march on June 20 Day of Action organized by KARIOS.

** We will ask for donations to cover the costs of materials for this event.

For more info:

Mitchikanibikok Inik (the Algonquins of Barriere Lake): http://www.barrierelakesolidarity.org,
Violence against Indigenous Women in Canada: http://www.amnesty.ca/campaigns/sisters_overview.php,
Families of Sisters in Spirit: https://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_126522944087041&ap=1,
Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa: http://www.ipsmo.org,
KAIROS: http://www.kairoscanada.org, and

UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/en/drip.html

March 31, 2011

No More Stolen Sisters: Safe Shelters, Safe Housing, Safe Services

** Please forward and read below on three IMPORTANT ways you can support **

Over the past two months a growing group of women residents of the Downtown Eastside (DTES) in Vancouver as well as a coalition of DTES and women-serving organizations have been raising the urgent issue of women’s safety in shelters in the Downtown Eastside. This has come in response to a number of reported sexual assaults in DTES shelters.

We have been dismayed by the lack of response by all levels of government about the ongoing violence committed against women in the Downtown Eastside. We have been outraged that all four of our correspondences have been ignored. We have been shocked that our delegation to BC Housing in March 2011 was met with a heavy presence of police and we were shut out from any dialogue on this issue. All this suggests to us that BC Housing as well as city and provincial officials do not consider women’s safety a priority within their funded facilities.

Sexual assaults against women in this neighbourhood are normalized as we have seen with the ongoing tragedy of missing and murdered women. Women should not have to “choose” between the indignity of homelessness and being warehoused in shelters, and the high-risk of assault associated with both. We will not remain silent or complicit and are continuing a grassroots campaign based on three core demands that we believe can and should be met in a timely manner.

We are calling for:

1) A 24 hours low-barrier women-only (includes all self-identified women) drop-in space and shelter in the Downtown Eastside, ideally on Hastings Street between Main and Jackson. The establishment and operation of this service should be done through an accountable process including a transparent call for tenders and in consultation with community organizations and DTES resident women.

2) Housing for homeless women and children with at least 100 new units to be made available immediately.

3) Clear provincial standards for women’s safety in co-ed shelters to be implemented immediately in all existing and new shelters, including but not limited to:

• Women-only facilities in co-ed shelters with adequate women-only beds and services within those spaces.

• Women staff and training for all staff by women’s organizations experienced in issues of sexual and gender violence. Shelter contractors must demonstrate the ability to ensure safety and security for women shelter users and all staff must be able to demonstrate an understanding of gender inequalities that contribute to violence against women.

We are calling on allied groups, communities, and individuals to support us. Please get involved and spread the word!

For more information email project@dewc.ca or call 604 681 8480 x 234. Website:
http://womensmemorialmarch.wordpress.com/

HOW TO SUPPORT

1) PETITION: Please sign our online petition. We are hoping to gather 5000 signatures in two weeks and need your help to make this happen! Link to petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/DTESsafe/petition.html

2) ENDORSE: If you are a member of a women’s group, social justice collective, community centre, union, service organization, or campus group, we request that you please endorse our three demands by emailing hwalia8@gmail.com or calling 778-885-0040.

3) WRITE-IN: We are requesting that everyone to please send an email along the lines of the below to all of the following people in BC Housing, City Council, MLA’s and MP’s.

RE: Safe Housing and Safe Services for Women in the DTES

It has come to my attention that for the past two months a coalition has been raising the urgent issue of women’s safety in shelters in the Downtown Eastside. I have been dismayed by the lack of response by all levels of government about the ongoing violence committed against women in
the Downtown Eastside. Sexual assaults against women in this neighbourhood in particular are normalized and their safety is not considered of highest priority as we have seen with the ongoing tragedy of missing and murdered women. This would never be acceptable in any other part of town. I support the call for a 24 hours drop-in space and shelter for women in the Downtown Eastside, housing for homeless women and children, and clear protocols to be established within co-ed shelters.

Sincerely,
(NAME, ADDRESS, CONTACT INFO)

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Open Letter to Mayor Gregor Robertson “Women Respond to Sexual Assaults in Downtown Eastside Church Shelter While Shelter and City of Vancouver Ignore Reports”: http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/newsrelease/6390

Press Release “Women Respond to Comments by Reverend Ric Matthews of First United Church; Reiterate Calls for 24-hour Women’s Shelter and Safe Housing in DTES”: http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/newsrelease/6496

Press Release “Women’s Action in Downtown Eastside for Women’s Safety” and Open Letter to BC Housing: http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/newsrelease/6692

SELECTED MEDIA

Video of press conference: http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/video/press-conference-women-respond-sexual-assault-dtes-shelter/6484

Podcast of Vancouver DTES women’s groups shut out of B.C. Housing office: http://rabble.ca/podcasts/shows/pivot-legal-society/2011/03/vancouver-dtes-womens-groups-shut-out-bc-housing-office

Women rail against violence in shelters: http://www.theprovince.com/news/assault+protest/4488619/story.html

Safe Housing, Safe Shelters and Safe Services for Women: http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/story/vancouver-politics-and-service-provision/6707

More emergency shelter spaces needed for women, Vancouver council hears: http://www.straight.com/article-382418/vancouver/more-emergency-shelter-spaces-needed-women-vancouver-council-hears

Women’s groups outraged over sexual assault comments: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2011/03/02/bc-first-united-church-sexual-assaults.html

This campaign has been endorsed by:

Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, DTES Power of Women Group, WISH Drop-In Centre Society, Walk4Justice, Battered Women’s Support Services, Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House, PACE Society, Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council, Vancouver Status of Women, Oxfam Canada, No One Is Illegal Vancouver, Vancouver Action, Council of Canadians, Association of Chinese Canadians for Equality and Solidarity Society, Aboriginal Women’s Action Network, West Coast Legal Education and Action Fund, Streams of Justice, Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement, Carnegie Community Action Project, Purple Thistle Centre, W2 Community Media Arts Society, Life Skills Centre , Ending Violence Association of BC, Portland Hotel Society, Pivot Legal Society, UBC Centre for Race Autobiography Gender and Age studies, Interfaith Institute for Justice, Peace and Social Movements, Women Against Violence Against Women, Aboriginal Front Door

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