April 22 – HONOUR YOUR WORD: Celebrating the Defense of Mother Earth!


Click image to print poster
Click image to print poster
Movie Screening and Fund Raiser for the Algonquins of Barriere Lake

With special guests: Barriere Lake community members including Norm Matchewan and Elder Michel Thusky, and (via Skype) filmmaker Martha Stiegman

Tuesday, April 22 at 6:30pm (doors 6pm)
at the Mayfair Theatre
1074 Bank St. (near Sunnyside)
Buses # 1 & 7 (Bank) or # 5 (Riverdale)

$5-15 suggested donation
(no one turned away for lack of funds)
Fundraiser for Barriere Lake: Click to donate


Honour Your Word is a new documentary film – an intimate portrait of life behind the barricades for the Algonquins of Barriere Lake, an inspiring First Nation whose dignity and courage contrast sharply with the political injustice they face.

Presented in Ottawa by the Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa, with Diffusion Multi-Monde and co-sponsors MiningWatch Canada, OPIRG-Carleton, OPIRG/GRIPO-Ottawa and OSSTF District-25 Human Rights / Status of Women Committee.


Honour Your Word – trailer


9-minute interview with filmmaker Martha Stiegman, from CHUO 89.1FM radio show Click Here with host Mitchell Caplan:


Accessibility Notes:

  • The Mayfair Theatre has side entrances that are wheelchair accessible.
    The washrooms are not, but Shoppers Drug Mart (located next door) does have accessible washrooms.
  • Please refrain from wearing perfumes, colognes or other scented products
  • Please contact us if you require ASL/LSQ
  • Please contact us if you require bus tickets

Contact: ipsmo@riseup.net – www.ipsmo.org

Please help us promote this event!


Celebrating the Defense of Mother Earth!

This movie screening of Honour Your Word is the IPSM Ottawa’s 3rd “Earth Day” event Celebrating the Defense of Mother Earth!

Last year we were honoured to work with Defenders of the Land and Land Defenders from Six Nations and we raised $1405 for the legal defense of activists from Six Nations, and in 2009 we organized our 1st event with Minwaashin Lodge, the Tungasuvvingat Inuit, and others.


More about the movie – Honour Your Word (2013, 59min):

New Algonquin leaders are followed as their community fights to protect their land, their way of life and their language.

The title refers to the Algonquins of Barriere Lake’s campaign slogan demanding Canada and Quebec honour a precedent-setting conservation deal signed in 1991. Director Martha Stiegman spent four years shooting this poetic, heartfelt documentary that challenges stereotypes of “angry Indians.” Honour Your Word juxtaposes starkly contrasting landscapes—the majesty of the bush, a dramatic highway stand-off against a riot squad, daily life within the confines of the reserve—to reveal the spirit of a people for whom blockading has become a part of their way of life, a life rooted in the forest they are defending.

For more information:


VIDEOS: Our Land, Our Identity – Algonquins of Barriere Lake Fight For Survival

Michel Thusky and Jacob Wawatie speaking at the event Oct 10, 2012 at the Odawa Native Friendship Centre, Ottawa on unceded Algonquin territory.

Michel Thusky:

Jacob Wawatie:

Event hosted by: Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement of Ottawa (IPSMO), MiningWatch Canada and the Friends Service Committee of Ottawa.

3 mars – Les Algonquins du Lac Barrière, au l’Université d’Ottawa


Le département de sociologie et d’anthropologie, le programme d’études autochtones et la Chaire de recherche du Canada sur la diversité juridique et les peuples autochtones

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology, the Aboriginal Studies Program, and the Canada Research Chair on Native Peoples and Legal Diversity

… présente / presents …

« Les Algonquins du Lac Barrière : Des siècles de lutte pour le respect et la coexistence »

“The Algonquins of Barriere Lake – Hundreds of Years of Struggle for Respect and Co-Existence”

(presentation in French with whisper translation)

Michel Thusky
Ancien directeur général des Algonquins du Lac Barrière
Member of Algonquins of Barriere Lake

Jeudi 3 mars 2011, 11 h 30
Thursday, March 3 2011, 11:30 a.m.
Pavillon Vanier Hall, salle/room 2095, l’Université d’Ottawa, www.uottawa.ca/maps

Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=183423951693614#!/event.php?eid=183423951693614


Depuis plus de deux décennies, les Algonquins du Lac Barrière démontrent un leadership environnemental au reste du Canada, faisant campagne pour arrêter les coupes à blancs destructives et pour implémenter un plan de développement durable dans leur terre native du nord-ouest du Québec.

Cependant, des compagnies de foresteries multinationales et des bureaucrates gouvernementaux refusent d’honorer les accords qui ont été signé avec le Lac Barrière. À tout bout de champs, ils tentent de saper les efforts de cette petite communauté, une des plus pauvres dans le pays, et de prévenir que cette communauté implémente et réalise sa vision pour la protection et la bonne intendance des forêts.

Cette histoire de David contre Goliath vient de se tordre encore plus: le gouvernement conservateur et les bureaucrates des Affaires Indiennes et du Nord Canada sont en train d’intervenir dans les affaires internes du Lac Barrière, utilisant la section 74 de la Loi sur les Indiens pour forcément assimiler et détruire le gouvernement traditionnel de la communauté – un gouvernement traditionnel qui existe depuis d’incalculables générations et qui maintient la mode de vie de chasseurs et de respect pour l’environnement.

Venez entendre Michel Thusky nous expliquer ce qui se passe dans la communauté des Algonquins du Lac Barrière au nord d’Ottawa.


Michel Thusky est un membre des Mitcikinabikok Inik qui parle la langue algonquienne, l’anglais et le français. Il est un survivant du pensionnat indien à Amos, où, comme la majorité des survivants, il a subi l’abus psychologique réservé aux enfants autochtones.

Malgré l’abus, il a pu maintenir sa langue maternelle et son identité comme membre des Algonquins du Lac Barrière en poursuivant des activités culturelles et traditionnelles et en entretenant des relations avec la terre. Il a 3 filles et 3 garçons et plusieurs petits-enfants qui suivent ses pas.

Il a été le directeur général des Algonquins du Lac Barrière pour plusieurs années. Il a également été membre du comité de négociation de l’accord trilatéral de 1991 avec les gouvernements du Québec et du Canada. Il est maintenant dédié à rendre service à sa communauté en tant que bénévole. Il s’engage principalement comme porte-parole de celle-ci.


For more than two decades, the Algonquins of Barriere Lake have been demonstrating environmental leadership to the rest of Canada, campaigning to stop destructive clear-cut logging and to implement a sustainable development plan in their homeland in north-western Quebec.

But multi-national forestry corporations and government bureaucrats have refused to honour any of the agreements signed with Barriere Lake. They have tried at every turn to undermine the small community, one of the poorest in the country, and to prevent them from implementing and realizing their vision for the protection and stewardship of the forests.

The David-vs-Goliath story now has a new twist: the Conservative government and bureaucrats in Indian and Northern Affairs Canada are interfering in Barriere Lake’s internal affairs, using section 74 of the Indian Act to forcibly assimilate and destroy the community’s traditional government — a traditional government the community has used for countless generations and one that maintains their hunting way of life and respect for the environment.

Come hear Michel Thusky explain what’s going on in the community of Barriere Lake, just north of Ottawa.

Biographical notes:

Michel Thusky is a member of the Mitcikinabikok Inik who speaks fluently in Algonquin, English and French. He is also a residential school survivor, where he attended school in Amos. Like most of the survivors, Michel had to endure psychological abuse as a child and as a member of the First Nations.

Despite the abuse, he managed to maintain his language and keep his identity as an Algonquin of Barriere Lake through cultural and traditional pursuits and by maintaining a connection to the land. He has a family of 3 daughters and 3 sons, and many grandchildren who follow in his footsteps.

He was the community’s band manager for many years, when he had to teach himself about the programs and services available to the community. He was also a member of the negotiating team that led to the development of the 1991 Trilateral Agreement signed with Canada and Quebec. He is now dedicated to helping his people on a voluntary basis, including as a spokesperson for the community.