May 8 & 10 – Nonviolence Conference keynotes: Rajagopal P.V. / Clayton Thomas-Muller / Michel Thusky

Conference: Nonviolence: A Weapon of the Strong

TWO OF THE TALKS WILL BE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

May 8 – Thursday evening, 7:30 to 8:30 PM
with renowned nonviolent leader and activist, Rajagopal P.V.: Nonviolence, a Tool for Social Change.

May 10 – Saturday evening, 7:00 to 8:30 PM
with Clayton Thomas Muller of Idle No More, and Michel Thusky, an Algonquin Elder from Barriere Lake, both Indigenous leaders and activists.

LOCATION:
Both public talks will be in the Amphitheatre (room 1124),
Saint Paul University, 223 Main St, Ottawa.

The rest of the conference information can be found at: http://ustpaul.ca/en/conference-nonviolence-a-weapon-of-the-strong-mahatma-gandhi-advancing-nonviolence-spirituality-and-social-transformation_1601_17.htm

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About the speakers:

Rajagopal P.V. of Ekta Parishad is the foremost leader, teacher, and practitioner of nonviolence in India. From South India, Rajagopal began his work on nonviolence when he spent six years working in the Chambal region. He spent 15 years working with Indian rural youth through nonviolent and community building training programs. In 1993, Rajagopal became the Secretary of the Gandhi Peace Foundation. In 2007, he organized and led a large nonviolentmarch, Janadesh, where 25,000 people walked from Gwalior to Delhi. In 2012, after preparing for four years, Rajagopal organized a similar, although larger, nonviolent march where 100,000 people walked, again from Gwalior to Delhi, for land reform, and were successful in negotiating their requirements for sustainable land regulations. Rajagopal, along with the work of Ekta Parishad, is a world leader on nonviolent struggles, training and actions.

Clayton Thomas-Muller, of the Mathais Colomb Cree Nation (Pukatawagan) in Northern Manitoba, Canada, is an activist for indigenous self-determination and environmental justice. Based out of Ottawa, Clayton is the co-director of the Indigenous TarSands (ITS) Campaign of the Polaris Institute as well as a volunteer organizer with the Defenders of the Land-Idle No More national campaign known as Sovereignty Summer. Clayton is involved in many initiatives to support the building of an inclusive movement globally for energy and climate justice. He serves on the board of the Global Justice Ecology Project, Canadian based Raven Trust and Navajo Nation based, Black Mesa Water Coalition. Clayton has traveled extensively domestically and internationally leading Indigenous delegations to lobby United Nations bodies including the UN framework Convention on Climate Change, UN Earth Summits and the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Michel Thusky is an Elder and spokesperson from the Algonquin community of Barriere Lake. He is involved with the Barriere Lake Solidarity activities, and is often a spokesperson for his community. Several documentaries, including the recent film Honour Your Word, have been made about the issues in Barriere Lake, and the lack of attention paid to the injustices suffered by the Algonquin community who live there. Mr. Thusky often addresses the various struggles, blockages and 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.

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May 15 – Celebrate Land and Treaty Rights Defenders Grassy Narrows First Nation

 

On May 15th Grassy Narrows First Nation will be going to the Supreme Court of Canada in order to protect their lands and treaty rights.

The Keewatin appeal is the next major Aboriginal Law Case to reach the Supreme Court of Canada and covers issues of jurisdiction, duty to consult and accommodate, and treaty interpretation.

For Treaty Nations across the country, it is hard to over-emphasize the importance of the Keewatin appeal.” (First Peoples Law, Dr. Bruce Mclvor)

Join us to celebrate their efforts at a community feast.

 

Thursday May 15th, 5:30pm – 8:00pm
St. Andrews Hall, 82 Kent St. (at Wellington), Ottawa

 

Pot luck supper with presentations from community members.

https://www.facebook.com/events/318301988316981/
 

Please Donate

Please bring a dish to share if you are able. Please let us know what you plan to bring.

We are also seeking donations from supportive organizations and individuals to cover the costs of additional food, beverages and rental of the hall, honorarium for elder and drummers etc. Donations of any amount are appreciated.

Donations can be made through MiningWatch Canada’s PayPal account (*please be sure to add a “special instruction” when making the donation*). We will happily pick up cash and cheque donations or they can be made on the night of the supper.

 

Lend a Hand

Ahead of the event we can use help with fundraising and food donations.

The day of the event we would appreciate help with food prep, set up and clean up.

 

Contact

Ramsey Hart: ramsey@miningwatch.ca 613-298-4745

Tasha -Dawn Doucette: solacetash@yahoo.ca 613-371-8274

 

Background to the Case

The Grassy Narrows or Keewatin case (named for Andrew Keewatin who is named in the court documents) argues that because forestry licenses issued to a large forestry corporation (now Resolute Forest Products) directly impact their treaty rights, Ontario does not have the authority to grant these licenses. Grassy Narrows sees Canada, not Ontario as their principal treaty partner. At the Ontario Superior Court, Grassy Narrows successfully argued that only the federal government has the authority to “take up” lands in the Keewatin. The decision was reversed upon appeal from Ontario and the company. During the appeal Wabauskang First Nation joined the case as they share the same treaty rights and challenges with Ontario authorizing resource extraction on their territory.

The court case is just one of the approaches Grassy Narrows has used to try and protect their land. They also have the longest standing active road blockade in Canada. The blockade controls access to part of their territory and actively monitor the territory for logging activity. In addition to facing industrial clear cut logging across their territory, Grassy is still recovering from the effects of their watershed being poisoned by mercury that was released by a pulp mill in the 1970s. Grassy is a community whose resilience, determination and resistance are an inspiration.

 

Links for more information: