Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa – www.ipsmo.org

September 27, 2011

Fundraising Raffle for BARRIER LAKE LEGAL DEFENSE FUND, Supporting the Algonquins of Barriere Lake 
who are keeping a way of life alive!

size: 48 x 24 inches 
with white background

Barriere Lake Solidarity Collective presents
Fundraising Raffle for BARRIER LAKE LEGAL DEFENSE FUND

Spread the word and join the raffle!

Grand Prize: Dakhlawedi 
(Eagle: High Honour), art work by Brad Henry
Raffle ticket: $5.00 each or 3 for $10.00
Draw on Oct. 27, 2011

at the Canadian Union of Postal Workers’ (CUPW) National Convention held in Toronto. You need not be present to win.
If you wish to purchase raffle tickets, 
please contact Dave Bleakney at dbleakney@cupw-sttp.org.

About The Algonquins of Barriere Lake:

The Algonquins of Barriere Lake have been fighting for years to ensure Canada and Quebec honour the Trilateral Agreement, a landmark resource co-management agreement signed in 1991. The governments are determined to quash the agreement and are now trying to seize sensitive community documents supporting the fight for the Trilateral Agreement. These documents include research on traditional land use & occupancy, wildlife habitat studies, and land claims research.

Barriere Lake is being forced to take costly legal action to protect themselves against the actions of the Canadian government. They cannot succeed without your support!

Monthly legal costs that the Algonquins of Barriere Lake must incur will rise into the tens of thousands of dollars by the end of the year, amounting to approximately $30,000 by December 2011.

For more information about Barriere Lake, please visit 
http://www.barrierelakesolidarity.org

About the artist, Brad Henry:

Brad was born in Whitehorse, Yukon and raised in Vancouver and has had a lifetime of exposure to, and experience with, Northwest Coast Aboriginal art. His artwork strives to bring positive energy into the world and pass on the legends and beliefs of his Tlingit and Vuntut Gwitch’in ancestors. On various occasions, he has lectured at the University of Ottawa on present day Tlingit culture and art. In addition, his artworks can be found in collections worldwide. Check out his web:  http://www.peoplesofthelonghouse.com/

For more info on Barriere Lake Legal Defense Fund: https://ipsmo.wordpress.com/2011/08/17/barriere-lake-legal-defense-fund/

and watch this video:

February 24, 2011

Algonquin Union hand-delivers urgent letter of appeal to stop clear-cutting of South March Highlands in Ottawa

Update:

Open Message to Ottawa Mayor Watson and City Council
The letter being hand-delivered to Minister Chan today (Feb. 24, 2010)

Information on the archaeological artifacts found on South March Highlands

Note: Algonquin Firekeeper Daniel Bernard has been invited by NDP leader Andrea Horwath to speak in the Ontario legislature today.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, February 24, 2011

Algonquin Union hand-delivers urgent letter of appeal to stop clear-cutting of South March Highlands in Ottawa

(Toronto) Despite several respectful but failed attempts to schedule a meeting with Ontario’s Minister of Tourism and Culture Michael Chan, representatives of the Algonquin Union are hand-delivering a letter today to his office. The letter, to be delivered by Algonquin Firekeeper Daniel Bernard (Amikwabe), contains new archeological information that provides Minister Chan grounds to stop the clear-cutting of South March Highlands in the Ottawa suburb of Kanata.

Tree cutting and heavy construction equipment continue to devastate this urban forest, which has been repeatedly identified as a site of significant archeological heritage, in addition to being of major environmental and ceremonial importance. The entire area has the potential to be recognized as Provincially Significant Cultural Heritage in accordance with Ontario Regulation 10/06.

“It is very disturbing that during the United Nations’ Year of the Forest the city of Ottawa is permitting one of the most amazing old growth forests located in an urban setting anywhere in the world to be destroyed,” Bernard says.

Algonquin people from across the Ottawa River Watershed in both Ontario and Quebec have called for an immediate halt to the KNL housing project at the site, while an independent archeological review is carried out to determine the cultural significance of the land. KNL’s own archeological study was accepted by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture in 2004, despite being described as ‘fatally flawed’ by Dr. Robert McGhee, past president of the Canadian Archeological Association. Many other reviews and studies have concluded that the site is of high importance from a cultural standpoint.

South March Highlands is an old growth forest and one of the most bio-diverse areas remaining in urban Canada. It offers critical habitat to more than 675 species of life, including 240 species of wildlife, more than 135 nesting birds and 20 species at risk.

Contact:
Daniel Bernard, on behalf of the Algonquin Union: Cell: 416-876-3051   Email: dan_bernard@rogers.com
Paul Renaud  Cell: 613-277-5898    Email: paul@renaud.ca
Algonquin Union: http://www.union-algonquin-union.com

February 23, 2011

Algonquin Union seeks urgent action from Tourism and Culture Minister Michael Chan

Media Advisory for Thursday, February 24, 2011

STOP DESTRUCTION OF SOUTH MARCH HIGHLANDS
>> Algonquin Union seeks urgent action from Tourism and Culture Minister Michael Chan
Firekeeper Daniel Bernard (Amikwabe), on behalf of the Algonquin Union, will hand-deliver an urgent letter of request to the Honourable Michael Chan, Ontario’s Minister of Tourism and Culture on Thursday morning, seeking an immediate halt to the clear-cutting of South March Highlands (SMH) in Ottawa.

Despite numerous appeals to the Minister, Mr. Chan has yet to respond to the Algonquin request for a meeting to share new archeological information about the SMH site. This new information will provide grounds for Mr. Chan to stop the further devastation of land now being developed and considered sacred by First Nations people.

A sacred ceremony will be performed prior to delivery of the letter at 11 a.m. outside the Ontario Legislature at Queen’s Park “in the hope that the Minister and his officials will open their hearts and minds to preserve what remains of this sacred place,” Daniel Bernard states.

From: The Algonquin Union
When: 11 am, THURSDAY, February 24, 2011
Where: Main entrance, Ontario Legislature
Queen’s Park, Toronto

Contact:

Daniel Bernard, on behalf of the Algonquin Union
Cell: 416-876-3051
Email: dan_bernard@rogers.com

Paul Renaud
Cell: 613-277-5898
Email: paul@renaud.ca

For more information:
• Algonquin Union: www.union-algonquin-union.com

February 9, 2011

Feb 14 – Day of Justice: Rally for Sisters in Spirit

Monday February 14, noon-1:30pm
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Algonquin Territory
(Facebook page)

Also events in Vancouver and Winnipeg, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal

Come out and show support for the survival of the Native Women’s Association of Canada’s (NWAC) unprecedented Sisters in Spirit campaign (SIS), which, since it’s inception in 2004, has worked to raise awareness about violence against Native women and girls in Canada–namely, those who have gone missing or been murdered.

SIS not only compiled a data for over 583 cases of missing and murdered Native women in five years time, but also identified key patterns integral to understanding the systemic nature of the violence: media neglect or racial bias, police racism or negligence, victimization of Native women by the Justice system, and governmental apathy and enforcement of cycles of poverty for Native communities, to name a few. In a relatively short period of time, SIS also managed to raise the profile of the issue in the media and in the minds of the population at large, while providing indispensable support to the families of victims and creating a cross-country network.

This October 86 communities organized the 5th annual memorial Sisters in Spirit March and Vigil, including one in Nicaragua.

In spite of this progress, and the ongoing collection of new data (indeed, grassroots groups have put the number of missing and murdered women much closer to 2000), the government has held SIS in funding limbo for the past 8 months, ever since the release of Canada’s 2010 budget back in March, when $10 million was promised to “address the issue of missing and murdered Native women.” It wasn’t until November 2010 that the government finally made the announcement that confirmed the worst fears of many activists, organizers, and even opposition MPs: the money would not go to fund SIS research, but would instead fulfill the government’s new idea of safety for women, and include requirements for enhanced police power: amendments to the Criminal Code to allow police to wiretap without warrants in emergencies and obtain multiple warrants on a single application. This will not only increase the likelihood of criminalization of women, Native communities, and other vulnerable sectors of the population, but will be expected to operate without the backbone of research and data collection. Add to this the historical and ongoing relationship of distrust between many Native communities and police, who are themselves implicated in a number of documented violent altercations with Native women. Gladys Tolley, for instance, was killed by the Surete du Quebec in 2001 and no one was ever brought to justice. Her daughter Bridget Tolley has pushed for an independent investigation for years and was recently refused.

ENOUGH is ENOUGH!! We will not stand for the continued stripping down of First Nations programs essential to the physical safety and mental and emotional health of Native women and Native communities, as we have seen earlier this same year with the Aboriginal Healing Foundation and First Nations University.

RALLY FOR JUSTICE on February 14th. SHOW YOUR LOVE!

~~~~

Volunteers needed!

We are looking for volunteers who would like to help out on the Hill, February 14th from noon to 1:30 pm (shorter if windchill warning in effect).

There are a number of tasks available:

– Handing out rally signs
– Handing out memorial armbands
– Being a part of our human billboard (by holding 1 of 19 letters to send a clear message to Stephen Harper)
– Helping to coordinate the human billboard on the steps of the Hill
– Taking photos/video of the event (to be posted online afterwards)

If you are interested in volunteering please email Kristen at familiesofsistersinspirit@gmail.com

In love and resistance!

February 8, 2011

Sacred Fire for Beaver Pond Forest starts Wed in Toronto

Media Release ~~ February 8, 2011 ~~ For Immediate Release

SACRED FIRE WILL BURN AT QUEEN’S PARK FOR OTTAWA’S SOUTH MARCH HIGHLANDS

(Toronto) Daniel Amikwabe Bernard, Algonquin Firekeeper, will keep a Sacred Fire burning at Queen’s Park from Wednesday 9th to Sunday 13th February to urge the province to halt tree-clearing and to promote understanding about Ottawa’s most important ecological and cultural heritage area.

The South March Highlands is one of the most bio-diverse areas remaining in urban Canada, with more than 675 different species of life, including 240 species of wildlife and over 134 different types of nesting birds.

For the past year local citizens, environmentalists and First Nations groups representing over 14,000 people have mounted a vigorous campaign to save undeveloped lands in the 10,000-year-old, ecologically unique, South March Highlands.  In the 1970s it was protected as a Natural Environmental Area but urban development has steadily eroded it until less than 1/3rd remains protected.  Citizens have actively opposed development since 1981 because the South March Highlands is an old-growth forest having the densest bio-diversity in Ottawa and provides critical habitat for 20 species-at-risk.

In the latest assault on the forest, KNL Developments recently began clear-cutting trees for a subdivision in an area known locally as the Beaver Pond Forest, even though development depends on planned water diversions without Environmental Assessment and a questionable archaeological study.

The principal Algonquin Spiritual Elder, Grandfather William Commanda, Ancestral Carrier of the 3 Sacred Wampum Belts, Officer of the Order of Canada, recognized as a spiritual leader and founder of the Circle of All Nations, considers the South March Highlands to be Sacred and sees this as an opportunity to renew our sustainable relationship with Mother Earth.

Algonquin across the Ottawa River Watershed in both Ontario and Quebec have called for a comprehensive archaeological assessment of the area.  KNL’s archaeological study was accepted by the Ministry of Culture in 2004 despite being described as ‘fatally flawed’ by Dr. Robert McGhee, past president of the Canadian Archaeological Association.  A review of the KNL study by Groupe de recherche archéologique de l’Outaouais (GRAO) led by Marcel LaLiberté, concurred that the area “can no longer be ignored as of low archaeological potential”.

In addition to questioning many irregularities in development approvals, the Coalition to Protect the South March Highlands has put forward creative proposals for stewardship of the South March Highlands that the City of Ottawa and the Provincial Ministries of Environment (MoE), Natural Resources (MNR), Culture (MTC), Aboriginal Affairs (MAA) and Municipal Affairs (MMHA) have to-date declined to discuss.

“We are also asking why the MNR has yet to confirm the area as a provincially- significant Area of Natural and Scientific Interest despite the fact it was recommended for that designation in 1992, and why the MMHA has yet to enforce the Provincial Policy Statement that prevents development in ecologically significant areas such as ANSI candidates,” says Paul Renaud, of the Coalition to Protect the South March Highlands.

“We are asking why the MoE is allowing development to proceed without Environmental Assessments and why the MAA has yet to uphold the Canadian Constitution which requires the Crown to consult and accommodate the interests of First Nations,” adds Renaud.

Starting Wednesday, a Sacred Fire will burn as a beacon of hope within the provincial capital to promote understanding and to request support from the Ministry of Tourism & Culture, to issue a Ministerial Order to halt the clear-cutting, in light of the two independent archaeological reviews, and the discovery of potentially significant sites since the 2004 MTC approval.

In an unprecedented recognition of aboriginal religious practices by the Provincial Legislature, permission has been granted to keep the Sacred Fire burning day and night. The Sacred Fire is an altar for prayer and visitors are invited to approach respectfully and spend time with the Firekeeper to learn more about the South March Highlands and to discuss our relationship with Mother Earth.

On Sunday, February 13th, the Sacred Fire will go out at mid-day.  There will be Closing ceremonies, with drumming, prayers, and singing, a message from Grandfather William Commanda, and from other First Nations elders and chiefs.  Everyone is invited to join with us regardless of religion, race, or culture.

PLEASE NOTE:  There is a protocol regarding filming and photography at the Sacred Fire and media are kindly asked to speak with the Firekeeper before recording or photographing.

-30-

The Sacred Fire will be directly in front of the Provincial Legislature at Queen’s Park.

For more information:

Daniel Amikwabe Bernard – 416-876-3051

Liaison for Daniel Bernard: Peter Haresnape, Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) Aboriginal Justice Team – 647-838-8455 or office 416-423-5525

Paul Renaud, Coalition to Protect the South March Highlands  —  613-277-5898

Background Info:

UPDATE:

On the morning of Tues Feb 8th, approximately 20 community members staged an action in the forest, surrounding the cutting machines and temporarily preventing them from further destroying the forest:

June 11, 2009

Update re:Peru situation

NEW!

AND – NEW NOTICE – Protest at Peruvian Embassy, 130 Albert St, on THURSDAY JUNE 18 beginning at 11:30 – see you there!

PLUS – contact Canadian senators and urge them to block Bill C-24, the law to implement Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement:  http://www.canadians.org/action/2009/11-June-09.html

Canadian actions:

OTTAWA: Demonstration and information picket
Thursday June 11 11:30-1:30
In front of Peruvian Embassy
130 Albert between O´Connor and Metcalfe
ipsmo@riseup.nethttps://ipsmo.wordpress.com
Note: Organizations endorsing the four demands on the Peruvian government include: Common Cause Ottawa; Common Frontiers; Council of Canadians; MiningWatch Canada; OPIRG/GRIPO-Ottawa; Ottawa-Outaouais Industrial Workers of the World (IWW); Rights Action; Students Against Israeli Apartheid -Carleton (SAIA); and Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement -Ottawa.

TORONTO Protest activity
Thursday, June 11, 1pm
Consulate of Peru, Toronto
10 St. Mary’s St. (just south of Bloor St. at Yonge)
More info: Carlos Torchia, Coordinator, Latin American Solidarity Network-Toronto, torontoboliviasolidarity@gmail.com

MONTREAL: Demonstration for Life in Bagua
Friday, June 12
12:00 Noon / à midi
Peruvian Consulate
550 Sherbrooke West,
Metro McGill
Organized by: Action Créative, Société Bolivarienne du Québec, Hands Off Venezuela et Mohawk Traditional Council of Kahnawake

PETITIONS:
http://www.avaaz.org/en/peru_stop_violence/?cl=250248179&v=3461
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/Amazon/index.html

FACEBOOK GROUP: Solidarity With Peru
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=89605273186

ARTICLES/WEBSITES:
* Reports by Ben Powless, IPSMO member currently in Peru
http://rabble.ca/taxonomy/term/2686
* In depth analysis of the situation, by Gerardo Rénique:
https://nacla.org/node/5879
* News from AmazonWatch.org – includes action items
http://www.amazonwatch.org/peru-protests.php
MESSAGE FROM BOB LOVELACE:

Another Day in the – Life of Peru and Canada
June 10th

While in the Amazon region of Ecuador a few weeks ago I wrote to a friend, “At least now I can say that I have seen the Garden of Eden”. My worst fear, the gnawing secret I would not have dared to breathe, was that the beautiful courageous people that we met and shared stories with would one day be murdered for their land and the hidden metals of which they had no need of themselves. Just over the hills was Peru. As I looked south I had wondered who lived there. Now I know.

In the last six days we have learned who lives there. Mostly they are indigenous people whose genes have flowed through the region as long as the rivers have. They are not poor, because they are at home, because they are among their families and clans, because they walk in the footsteps of their ancestors, because the land that has sustained hundreds of generations will continue to care for them. They are frightened now. Six days ago they were worried that their land would be destroyed; now they fear that everything will perish. They are courageous. They do not hide when the helicopters fly over. They watch them come and go. And they will watch them go, watch them go.

Tomorrow will be the seventh day. Tomorrow, Thursday June 11th, our job is to make the world aware of what has happened in Peru. In Ottawa, we will be at the Peruvian Embassy. In Toronto, we will be at the Peruvian Consulate. Where ever you are tomorrow you must make your voice heard. Call your local Canadian Bank and tell them to stop investing in extractive industries, mining, drilling, forestry and agri-business that are overlooking or participating in human rights abuses. Call your local MP and MPP and tell them that you are tired of them selling your soul for an economy that places so little value on human life. Call your neighbour and ask them to join you in denouncing the media for keeping you ignorant of the truth that Canada is complicit, as a free trade partner, in the murder of people this week in Peru.

You see, we can do something. We may not be on the frontline but we can make a difference. We can save lives by making our names, faces and attitudes known. If you have a camera, take pictures at a demonstration, of yourself and friends holding signs, of sidewalk chalk messages that you write on Bay Street, use your imagination and then post those pictures on the web where people in Peru can see them. Tell them with pictures that they are not alone. And then send those pictures to the politicians and to the mining companies and to the Banks, to the US Embassy, the Peruvian Embassy, so that they will know that our brothers and sisters in Peru are not alone. You are not alone.

We can also share our wealth or a portion of our poverty with indigenous people in Peru. They can use it right now.

I have spoken with Grahame Russell of Rights Action (Canada). Rights Action is an NGO that works primarily in Central America with communities opposing mining and resource extraction. Grahame has agreed that 100% of the donations that are made to Rights Action in the name of “current conflict in Peru” will go directly to indigenous peoples’ organizations in the affected area. I will work with my contacts in Ecuador and Peru to direct the money where it will do the most good. Please encourage people on your e-lists to give something to support healing for people in Peru. And please give something yourself.

TO MAKE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS for indigenous organizations in Peru resisting the harms of large-scale “development” projects (mining, tourism, hydro-electric dams) and promoting their own development, human rights and environment projects, make check payable to “Rights Action” and mail to:

* CANADA: 552 – 351 Queen St. E, Toronto ON, M5A-1T8
* UNITED STATES: Box 50887, Washington DC, 20091-0887

CREDIT-CARD DONATIONS: http://rightsaction.org/contributions.htm

NB – Write “Peru–Indigenous Rights” on the cheque’s memo line, or in the appropriate field of the on-line credit card donations. This will ensure that every dollar you donate will go directly to the people it is intended to help.

Questions? Contact Grahame Russell, director, info@rightsaction.org, 1-860-751-4285

The Ben Powless Interview on CBC, “The Current” has been switched to Friday morning. Get in and listen because Ben is now at Pagua, Peru conducting interviews and helping search for evidence.

Support those demonstrations tomorrow. I will see you there!

Please forward this email to all of your e-lists. Since mainstream media is playing this down or not even present we need to be the news.

Migwetch,
In peace and Friendship,

Robert Lovelace

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