“You Are On Indian Land” Akwesasne’s Land Struggles Past and Present

Movie Screening and Speakers
An educational and fund-raising event

Speakers will include:
John Boots – Akwesasne People’s Fire
Nona Benedict – Akwesasne People’s Fire

NFB Movie, “You Are On Indian Land
The movie will have subtitles.

Wednesday, May 19 at 7pm
Exile Infoshop, 256 Bank St.
2nd floor
Contact us if you have mobility issues and want to attend

Both John Boots and Nona Benedict are part of the Akwesasne People’s Fire, a group that formed in response to the attempt by CBSA to arm border guards on the territory of the Akwesasne Mohawks.

They were although both involved in the 1969 Blockade that is covered in the movie “You Are On Indian Land,” and thy will also be talking about this protest and of the long history of the Akwesasne Mohawks struggle for sovereignty with Canada and the United States.

We will be showing the National Film Board movie, “You Are On Indian Land” which is “A film report of the 1969 protest demonstration by Mohawk Indians of the St. Regis Reserve on the international bridge between Canada and the United States near Cornwall, Ontario. By blocking the bridge, which is on the Reserve, and causing a considerable tie-up of motor traffic, the Indians drew public attention to their grievance that they were prohibited by Canadian authorities from duty-free passage of personal purchases across the border; a right they claim was established by the Jay Treaty of 1794. The film shows the confrontation with police, and ensuing action.”

on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=114414028575345

Akwesasne welcomes the Peace Caravan

On 1 July 2009, 15 of us from Ottawa went to Akwesasne in a trip organized by IPSMO to show solidarity with the indigenous people of that territory. We were joined by about a dozen people from Montréal, organized by No One Is Illegal. The previous couple of days, a Six Nations Peace Caravan had arrived.

Despite some controversy surrounding the caravan that dissuaded many people from coming on these trips, the Peace Caravan and settler solidarity visits were warmly welcomed by Akwesasne residents. We enjoyed plentiful food and traditional songs, and listened to speeches of representatives from Six Nations, Kahnewake, Grassy Narrows, Mapuche, and the Akwesasne Womens Fire which organized hosting for the event and support for the occupation of the CBSA posts.

The new Grand Chief, who had just had been elected, updated those assembled on the situation. He emphasized that the arming of CBSA agents was only one of many grievances (at least 12) they had with government departments. He told us that a process had started for negotiation, beginning with (relatively) senior representatives of the Canadian government meeting chiefs half way. Notably, he observed that local Cornwall business leaders were not angry with the Akwesasne Mohawks at all and sympathized with them.

* http://picasaweb.google.com/peiju.wang/Akwesasne?feat=directlink
* http://picasaweb.google.com/warren.mcbride/AkwesasneJuly12009PeaceCaravan?feat=directlink