Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa – www.ipsmo.org

December 29, 2012

Resources: #IdleNoMore Indigenous Sovereignty Movement

“I once asked an Elder in Barriere Lake if there was an Algonquin word for “solidarity.” He said there was no direct translation, but that the closest approximation was Widj-i-nia-mo-dwin — which means “walking together toward a common aim.” I love this. It captures for me the essence of solidarity. Solidarity is about a conscious choice to join together, to share a struggle, while remembering that the burdens, especially in collaborations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, always remain unequal.

Solidarity means meeting the people whom you wish to organize with where they are—and taking that as a starting point for the path you’ll travel together, rather than imposing your own idea about how a struggle should proceed. When walking, you’re not in front of someone, as a guide, as a vanguard. You’re side by side.

When two people go walking, they talk, and solidarity at its most respectful and responsible is essentially a conversation. This is how you discover a community’s vision for itself, how it would like to determine itself. The principle of self-determination really is the foundation of solidarity. That forms the basis of the struggle. Solidarity is also a never-ending process to better understand each other’s norms, limitations and boundaries—whether political, cultural, psychological, or material. The exchanges we have help us know when the trust is strong enough to let us push each other, push those boundaries. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! That’s often how we learn best.

And speaking of “walking together” hints at the commitment and stamina involved in meaningful solidarity. The process of winning campaigns, expanding people’s rights and liberties, and changing society, is not a sprint. Getting to that place we want to go will take time—we’ll get there by walking.” – Martin Lukcas in Widj-e-nia-mo-dwin: Walking together for Indigenous rights, Norman Matchewan in conversation with Martin Lukacs.

December has been a very active month with the #idlenomore Indigenous Sovereignty movement across Turtle Island (aka North America) and Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike for a nation-to-nation meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper (pm@pm.gc.ca) and the Queen’s representative in Canada – Governor General David Johnston (info@gg.ca). The #idlenomore Indigenous Sovereignty movement and Chief Spence’s action are both inspiring and significant, culminating in an international day of action on December 21, where  thousands converged in Ottawa.

While Indigenous peoples continue to lead struggles against environmental degradation and social injustices, non-Natives have an important role to play in the success of the Idle No More movement. As Pamela Palmater said “After all, First Nations, with our constitutionally protected aboriginal and treaty rights, are Canadians’ last best hope to protect the lands, plants and animals from complete destruction — which doesn’t just benefit our children, but the children of all Canadians.”

Below are some resources on the importance of the #idlenomore movement and understanding of Indigenous struggles.

Please share via your networks, and help us educate other Canadians on the significance of supporting Indigenous Sovereignty for our collective future.

Why we are Idle No More By Pamela Palmater http://bit.ly/RnJWG9

Idle No More pamphlet ‘Resetting and Restoring the Relationship’ authored by Taiaiake Alfred and Tobold Rollo (PDF file): https://ipsmo.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/idle-no-more-pamphlet/

Aboriginal Issue Primers by âpihtawikosisân http://apihtawikosisan.com/aboriginal-issue-primers/

Wab Kinew on the Stereotypes about Natives in Canada

Taiaiake Alfred – Part 1 – Acimowin

Taiaiake Alfred – Part 2 – Acimowin

Aambe! Maajaadaa! (What #IdleNoMore Means to Me) By Leanne Simpson http://bit.ly/VgT37x

“Our Ancestors were very astute at reading landscapes. So let’s recognize the value of this technique and apply this technique to the Canadian political landscape. Let’s stop and take a look around and focus on those visual cues, not what settler governments are saying, but the evidence of what they’ve done. When I do this, I see that Bill C-45 isn’t an isolated incident. Canadian environmental legislation was gutted in the first omnibus bill and barely anyone noticed. We have known this was coming since Harper was elected and Flanagan proved so influential to him in First Nations issues. Bill C-45 is not a blip on the political landscape. It is just one part of a much larger political project that the Conservatives, the NDP and the Liberals are all party to because none of them have ever articulated an alternative model to working with First Nations based on our sovereignty, nationhood and our treaties. None of them have ever seriously considered the recommendations of the Final Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. This conflict between Canada and Indigenous nations started long before the White Paper. It even started before the first Indian Act. It started at the moment the colonizers stopped seeing us as sovereign nations and started seeing us as an obstacle to lands and resources, obstacles they could legislate out of existence.” – Leanne Simpson

CBC interview with Pam Palmater http://bit.ly/Y0Mt7F

Chief Theresa Spence Interview:

Idle No More Sweeps Canada and Beyond as Aboriginals Say Enough Is Enough By David P. Ball http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/article/idle-no-more-sweeps-canada-and-beyond-aboriginals-say-enough-enough-146516

Ryerson University Indigenous Governance professor Pamela Palmater, Mik’maq, attended the 4,000-person rally on Parliament Hill, the largest of the Idle No More events.

“Being in Ottawa at the rally, amongst thousands of our brothers and sisters from indigenous nations all over Canada, dancing, singing and drumming was a spirit-filling moment for me,” she told Indian Country Today Media Network. “You could feel the pride in our peoples standing shoulder to shoulder to protect our future generations. The energy was palpable and you could feel that our ancestors walked with us. The wind blowing through our Nations’ many flags was symbolic of our collective strength. Despite the cold, snow and wind, the spirit that has been relit in our peoples has enough heat to keep us in this grassroots movement for the long haul.”

Canada’s First Nations protest heralds a new alliance
The grassroots IdleNoMore movement of aboriginal people offers a more sustainable future for all Canadians
By Martin Lukacs http://bit.ly/UJn41j

“But here’s the good news. Amidst a hugely popular national movement against tar sands tankers and pipelines that would cross aboriginal territories, Canadians are starting a different narrative: allying with First Nations that have strong legal rights, and a fierce attachment to their lands and waters, may, in fact, offer the surest chance of protecting the environment and climate. Get behind aboriginal communities that have vetoes over unwanted development, and everyone wins. First Nations aren’t about to push anyone off the land; they simply want to steward it responsibly.” – Martin Lukacs

Toronto Star: Why Idle No More is gaining strength, and why all Canadians should care By Jeff Denis http://is.gd/eOt7zN

“Why should non-Indigenous Canadians care?

First, it is a matter of social and environmental justice. When corporate profit is privileged over the health of our lands and waters, we all suffer. When government stifles debate, democracy is diminished. Bill C-45 is just the latest in a slew of legislation that undermines Canadians’ rights. In standing against it, the First Nations are standing for us too.

Second, as Justice Linden of the Ipperwash Inquiry said, “we are all treaty people.” When our governments unilaterally impose legislation on the First Nations, they dishonour the Crown, they dishonour us, and they dishonour our treaty relationship. We are responsible for ensuring that our governments fulfill their commitments. If our governments do not respect Indigenous and treaty rights, then the very legitimacy of the Canadian state — and thus of all our citizenship rights — is in doubt. That’s what Idle No More is about.

So, yes, Harper should meet with Spence. But a meeting alone will not suffice. Change requires action. It requires a shift in public consciousness. It requires all of us being there, Dec. 21 and beyond, to “live the spirit and intent of the treaty relationship, work toward justice in action, and protect Mother Earth”. – Jeff Denis

Idle No More: Women rising to lead when it’s needed most By Muna Mire http://bit.ly/RdItC4

“Sounds like a long shot, but we’re used to that. We don’t think in quarterly statements and yearly projections. We think in terms of generations,” Paquette said.

As Chief Spence starves, Canadians awaken from idleness and remember their roots By Naomi Klein http://bit.ly/V1s55U

“The greatest blessing of all, however, is indigenous sovereignty itself. It is the huge stretches of this country that have never been ceded by war or treaty. It is the treaties signed and still recognized by our courts. If Canadians have a chance of stopping Mr. Harper’s planet-trashing plans, it will be because these legally binding rights – backed up by mass movements, court challenges, and direct action will stand in his way. All Canadians should offer our deepest thanks that our indigenous brothers and sisters have protected their land rights for all these generations, refusing to turn them into one-off payments, no matter how badly they were needed. These are the rights Mr. Harper is trying to extinguish now.

During this season of light and magic, something truly magical is spreading. There are round dances by the dollar stores. There are drums drowning out muzak in shopping malls. There are eagle feathers upstaging the fake Santas. The people whose land our founders stole and whose culture they tried to stamp out are rising up, hungry for justice. Canada’s roots are showing. And these roots will make us all stand stronger.” – Naomi Klein

Idle No More Is Not Just an “Indian Thing” By Wab Kinew  http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/wab-kinew/idle-no-more-canada_b_2316098.html

“To me this conversation is more than just an “Indian Thing.” It is one that Canadians of all backgrounds should pay attention to, if not participate in. The ideals that are underlying this action are ones to which we all aspire, even if we may disagree on how exactly to pursue them. ” – Wab Kinew

 5. #IdleNoMore is about Engaging Youth

4. #IdleNoMore is about Finding Meaning

3. #IdleNoMore is about Rights

2. #IdleNoMore is about the Environment

1. #IdleNoMore is about Democracy

#IdleNoMore Campaign http://www.ammsa.com/content/idlenomore-campaign

A collection of articles, commentary and events listings showcasing the #IdleNoMore campaign and it’s efforts to change government legislation, policy and funding for Canada’s Indigenous people.

For Indigenous news:

http://rabble.ca/issues/indigenous

http://aptn.ca/pages/news/tag/idlenomore/

Ally Bill of Responsibilities by Lynn Gehl: http://www.lynngehl.com/settler-ally-resources.html

For more resources: https://www.facebook.com/notes/settlers-in-support-of-indigenous-rights-idle-no-more/resources-for-non-native-folks-looking-to-relate-get-involved-and-act-in-solidar/578516912164905

By Andy Everson, Northwest Coast Artist

November 26, 2012

Tues 4pm Nov 27 – Ottawa Solidarity Rally with Unis’tot’en and Grassroot Wet’suwet’en

 

Ottawa Solidarity Rally with Unis’tot’en and Grassroot Wet’suwet’en

Tuesday November 27th, 2012 @ 4pm, 

Prime Minister’s Office (corner of Wellington & Elgin)

FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/497971450224037/

#nopipelines

This Tuesday, November 27th, communities from coast to coast are taking action in solidarity with the Unis’tot’en and grassroots Wet’suwet’en, to reaffirm and amplify the message that no proposed pipelines will proceed on their territories!
No to PTP! No to all pipelines on Unis’tot’en land!

On November 20th, Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief Toghestiy intercepted and issued an eagle feather to surveyors from the Can-Am Geomatics company who were working for Apache’s proposed natural gas Pacific Trails Pipeline (PTP). In Wet’suwet’en law, an eagle feather is used as a first and only notice of trespass. The surveyors were ordered to leave the territory and the road leading into the territory has been closed to all industry activities. The Unist’ot’en are against all pipelines slated to cross through their territories, which include Enbridge Northern Gateway, Kinder Morgans northern proposal, Pembina, Spectra, and Pacific Trails Pipelines.

The Unis’tot’en are now calling for solidarity and support actions to get the message out loud and clear to corporations, investors, and government that they have no right or jurisdiction to approve development on Unist’ot’en lands.

So this Tuesday, November 27th, on unceded Algonquin territory, join in solidarity and resistance with Unist’ot’en in front of the PMO (Wellington and Elgin). Let’s tell them that we support Unist’ot’en and grassroots Wet’suwet’en and say no to all pipelines slated for their territories!

Bring banners, signs, noisemakers to make our voices loud and clear and reaffirm our solidarity with Unis’tot’en!

Invite friends and allies and help spread the word!

Let us know asap if you can help support and organize:
email stan.kupferschmidt at gmail.com or lena at lena.ca

—————————————————-

For more information please see links below:

The Unist’ot’en website, including news releases, backgrounder, and videos from latest events: http://unistotencamp.wordpress.com/

BC First Nation members evict pipeline surveyors:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bc-first-nation-members-evict-pipeline-surveyors-set-up-road-block/article5547325/

Raising Resistance – Global Action Solidarity with Unis’tot’en: https://www.facebook.com/events/279802322123507/

Pamphlet to print and handout: http://unistotencamp.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/ptp-flyer2.pdf

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:

December 20, 2011

Canadian Colonialism: The Attawapiskat Humanitarian Crisis – an Example of Continuing Oppression and Genocide by Canadian Government

source: bermudaradical.wordpress.com

Setting the Context: It’s all about the land

In a harsh and regressive display of colonial paternalism, the Canadian government has used the acute housing crisis in Attawapiskat, a Northern Ontario Cree First Nation, to deny the community’s inherent right to handle its own affairs. The Federal government has done this by imposing Third Party Management (TPM), seizing complete control of all the community’s financial decisions for programs and services on the reserve. TPM is the most extreme and intrusive step the department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) can impose financially on a First Nation community. It is a shameful act of colonialism — one imposed on at least 10 other First Nations communities in Canada. The Algonquin First Nation of Barriere Lake whom IPSMO have been supporting for over three years is also under Third-Party Management.

Denial: The Oppressive Shape of Canadian Colonialism Today

Instead of providing immediate support for Attawapiskat to overcome their inhuman living conditions, the Harper government insinuated that the problem was due to financial mismanagement by the band council and imposed TPM. By doing so he blamed the victims, denied his responsibility and ignored the urgent needs of the people. He knows that to accept responsibility and act for Attawapiskat would mean accepting responsibility for many other similar situations in Canada.

We need to remember how long it has taken, and continues to take, for the government to accept responsibility for the horror of residential schools. The response of the Minister to the situation of Attawapiskat and other First Nations is similar in its pattern of denial.

Attawapiskat First Nation (Treaty 9, Ontario) is not the only community suffering from housing crises and other dire living conditions including lack of clean running water, sanitation services, electricity and health care. Many other communities such as Pikangikum (Treaty 5, Ontario), Kashechewan (Treaty 9, Ontario), Sandy Bay (Treaty 1, Manitoba), and Kwicksutaineuk-Ah-kwa-mish (BC) are also in the same predicament as Attawapiskat. This has been going on for years and the list of communities could be expanded.

Why do the First Nations communities live in such dire conditions in a country that is rich in natural resources and whose human development index is ranked No. 6 in the world in 2011?

The answers are simple. 

The root causes behind the crises facing Attawapiskat and many other First Nations communities across Canada, and their treatments from both the federal and provincial governments might seem complex, however, they can be traced to a few important points:

  • Racism. The original peoples of this land have been treated as they do not seem to exist when making decisions on the use of their home territory. Their existence as peoples, as part of the lands, have not been respected.
  • Canada’s continuous colonial policies of dispossession and exploitation of native lands, as well as assimilation, displacement and genocide of native communities.
  • Dishonour of the Crown, Canada and Provinces in the signed nation-to-nation treaties and agreements.

Canada’s ”Indian” policy is all about the wresting control of the land and its valuable “resources” from the land. How can you take the Land? The following two articles explain it.

Attawapiskat and colonialism: Seeing the forest and the trees
By Robert Lovelace | December 6, 2011

But there are reasons behind this suffering. There is a history. There is a structure to oppression, denial and indifference that houses this suffering and there is a system that perpetuates it. – Robert Lovelace

Colonialism and State Dependency
By Gerald Taiaiake Alfred | Novembre 2009

The solution to the problem of First Nations psychological and financial dependency on the state caused by colonialism is the return of land to First Nations and the re-establishment of First Nations presences on and connections to their homelands. – Taiaiake Alfred

Overview – What have been going on?

On October 28, Theresa Spence, the chief of Attiwapiskat First Nation declared a state of emergency due to a chronic, systemic housing crisis and poor living conditions in the community. About 300 families and 90 people on this Northern Ontario reserve are living in makeshift housing such as unheated tents, sheds, and trailers, many with no running water, heat, plumbing or electricity. Many of the houses in the community are infested with mold. The medical workers there say peoples’ lives are at risk from the coming winter cold and health problems, such as infectious diseases, scabies, lice, respiratory problems and acute depression, associated with the crowded, unsanitary living conditions. Substance abuse and suicide often follow.

source: Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press

The chief estimated at least 268 new houses are needed, and many other houses are in need of major repair.

Since a state of emergency was declared almost two months ago, instead of receiving immediate supports from both the federal and provincial governments, the community has received:

  • Jurisdictional wrangling between the federal government and Ontario on who should be responsible for the emergency, who should pay for the needs of the people
  • Blaming from the feds on their financial mismanagement, which isn’t true
  • Punishment with third-party management
  • Red tape & bureaucracy in order to have their state of emergency recognized and needed funds allocated

While the spotlights were on the Attawapiskat’s state of emergency and the governments’ illogical, irrational victim blaming and finger pointing on who should be responsible for the emergency, other news also brought to light that the federal government has spent tones of money in spying on a respectful First Nations child welfare advocate – Cindy Blackstock – as well as many other Indigenous peoples and their supporters for defending Indigenous Peoples’ self-determination and land rights.

Canadian Government Keeps Close Tabs on Child Advocate Cindy Blackstock
By ICTMN Staff November 16, 2011

RCMP spied on protesting First Nations
Intelligence unit collaborated with partners in energy and private sector
By TIM GROVES and MARTIN LUKACS

It is very clear that Canada has not changed its colonial attitude and its ultimate objective of genocide of the First peoples of this land, even after its Residential School Apology issued on June 11, 2008. The actions of the Canadian government speak louder than its words.

Attawapiskat Band Office, photo credit: Paul Lantz

Read about Attawapiskat: https://ipsmo.wordpress.com/attawapiskat-first-nation/

On December 1, Attawapiskat First Nation issued a press release in response to the fed’s decision on putting the community under third-party management and its misinformation on the community’s financial situation. In this release:

Chief Spence has said. “On our traditional lands, that we once shared in the past with the visitors to our land, our lands, have proven to be bountiful in natural resources, and have been a benefit to all of Ontario, and Canada, but we were left behind. In our territory, we have a world class diamond mine, the pride of the Canadian, and Ontario governments, as well as De Beers Canada. They have every right to be proud of that mine, but each party has failed to acknowledge the First Nation peoples who continue to use the land as our grandparents did.

While they reap the riches, my people shiver in cold shacks, and are becoming increasing ill, while precious diamonds from my land grace the fingers, and necklaces of Hollywood celebrities, and the mace of the Ontario Legislature.

My people deserve dignity, humane living conditions, for that our community asked for the assistance from my fellow citizens, for our simple request for human dignity, the government’s decision was to impose a colonial Indian Agent.”

Source: http://www.attawapiskat.org/wp-content/uploads/Press-Release-Afn-Third-Party-Intervention-Nov-30-2011.pdf (emphasis added)

For other insightful analysis of the crisis in Attawapiskat:

Colonial foundations to blame in native crisis by David McLaren: http://www.stratfordbeaconherald.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3400812

Dealing with comments about Attiwapiskat by âpihtawikosisân: http://apihtawikosisan.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/dealing-with-comments-about-attawapiskat/

Compare and contrast: Those Attawapiskat numbers vs. Toronto numbers by Lorraine Land: http://rabble.ca/news/2011/12/compare-and-contrast-those-attawapiskat-numbers-vs-toronto-numbers

Brave Leadership Spreads Hope: Attawapiskat Takes on the Ultimate Bull by Pam Palmeter http://indigenousnationhood.blogspot.com/2011/12/brave-leadership-spreads-hope.html

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