Journey of Nishiyuu – Youth walker/warriors arrive in Ottawa

Click photo for album of photos taken by Ben Powless.

 

Indigenous youth trekking to Ottawa from northern Quebec arrived by the hundreds on Monday, March 25. In mid January, six Cree youth from Whapmagoostui began a 1,600 kilometre “Quest of Wisjinichu-Nishiyuu”, a “Quest for Unity” as part of the burgeoning Idle No More movement. (read full article by Andy Crosby posted on ottawa.mediacoop.ca)

 

Check the official Journey of Nishiyuu website

 

Video of the final leg of the journey (7min)
(ends with speech by David Kawapit on Parliament Hill):

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Video interview: Harsha Walia on Anti-Oppression, Decolonization and Responsible Allyship

“Given the devastating cultural, spiritual, economic, linguistic and political impacts of colonialism on Indigenous people in Canada, any serious attempt by non-natives at allying with Indigenous struggles must entail solidarity in the fight against colonization.

Non-natives must be able to position ourselves as active and integral participants in a decolonization movement for political liberation, social transformation, renewed cultural kinships and the development of an economic system that serves rather than threatens our collective life on this planet.

A growing number of social movements are recognizing that Indigenous self-determination must become the foundation for all our broader social justice mobilizing.”

– Harsha Walia, from the article Decolonizing Together
 

 
This 10-min interview was conducted at the PowerShift Canada 2012 conference in Ottawa, unceded Algonquin Territory, on October 28 2012 by Greg Macdougall, EquitableEducation.ca, for IPSMO
 


 

Coverage of Algonquins of Barriere Lake logging protest

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SQ (Sûreté du Québec) threatening Barriere Lake community members with arrest

This page will continue to be updated with media from the protest of illegal logging near Poigan Bay on the traditional territory of the Barriere Lake Algonquins. Action items, press releases, media coverage, photo albums, and videos.

Further clarification – August 21

Clarification – August 2nd

Facebook post by Tony Wawatie, Gabriel Wawatie’s (Gabriel Wawatie is one of the main harvesters in the Poigan bay area) son.

Update – July 31

WIN! Resistance by Barriere Lake and supporters results in Quebec concession over logging

Update – July 24

From Barriere Lake Algonquin Community Spokesperson, Norman Matchewan:

Hello People,

I want to thank everybody for their support, on Friday we met with MNR and the family agreed to do a harmonization measures, to protect the moose yards, bear dens, sacred sites, medicinal sites and other sites. MNR and Resolute had over 70 cut blocks and 15 priority cuts, and the main harvesters agreed for the 7 cut blocks that was already started to be completed, and the harmonization to be carried out by community members.

Press releases:

Selected media coverage:

Photo albums:

Videos:

Background videos:

Tanya Tagaq at Women’s Worlds 2011: ‘Breaking Cycles’

Tanya Tagaq was invited to participate in the first plenary, entitled ‘Breaking Cycles’, of the international Women’s Worlds 2011 conference, Her inspiring and heartfelt words touched on the topics of how traditional Inuit ways of keeping healthy communities were repressed under colonialism, about strong role models, residential schools, imposed community relocations, healing and breaking the cycles of sexual abuse, and even publicly announcing her 12-weeks-in pregnancy – plus she brought the plenary to a close with some beautiful singing.

She was on the panel with Andrea Smith, Devaki Jain, and moderator Joanne St. Lewis. She was there in place of Monica Chuji Gualinga from Ecuador, who had difficulties with her travel visa and was unable to attend.

See the full video of the plenary: http://vimeo.com/25984077

This was one of four plenaries, and around 300 sessions overall, during the five-day international women’s congress which is Women’s Worlds, celebrating it’s 30-year history in 2011. It was held this year in Ottawa, Canada, and over 2,000 women from around the world attended. More: www.womensworlds.ca

Video: Algonquins of Barriere Lake VS Section 74 of the Indian Act

Algonquins of Barriere Lake vs Section 74 of the Indian Act from Barriere Lake Solidarity on Vimeo.

Barriere Lake Solidarity has produced this video to help bring attention to the current struggle by the Algonquins of Barriere Lake (ABL) against the Canadian Government’s imposition of Section 74 of the Indian Act. By enacting this obscure piece of the Act, the Canadian Government is attempting to take control of the community by imposing band council elections on the community. The ABL have always had their own customary government.

For more information, visit:
http://www.barrierelakesolidarity.org

Algonquin Native Lights Sacred Fire to Denounce Anticipated Forest Destruction

UPDATE: As of Sunday Jan 23, the Sacred Fire has been passed on to be kept up by the community (and volunteers are needed to take shifts) – click here for more …

OTTAWA –  Algonquin Daniel Bernard “Amikwabe” set up a camp this morning to keep a Sacred Fire burning round the clock next to the entrance of the Beaver Pond forest at the end of Walden Drive in Kanata.  This is a personal initiative “to denounce the massacre of the wildlife and this sacred forest” in response to a declaration by Algonquin Elder William Commanda that the forest is sacred.

The landowner, KNL Developments, moved tree-clearing equipment on to Beaver Pond lands January 18 after receiving City of Ottawa approval to proceed with plans to build a housing development.  Development plans have been contested by citizens for decades, and protest has peaked in recent months.

Grandfather William Commanda, the most senior Algonquin Elder, has stated that the area is sacred to his people, and has written letters to all levels of government urging protection of the land.  Four First Nations groups, Chiefs, and Elders have written similar letters of concern (see links below).

Archaeological artifacts have been found nearby that show evidence of pre-contact civilization.  Natives and non-Natives alike are calling for a comprehensive archaeological assessment and meaningful consultations with Aboriginal peoples before any development proceeds.

On January 12, the City’s Aboriginal Affairs Advisory Subcommittee passed a resolution noting that the City of Ottawa “should be seen as an example role-model to other municipalities in Canada in respecting Aboriginal affairs” and asked the City take the lead in conducting a new archaeological survey of the entire South March Highlands.

Gordon O’Connor, MP for Carleton-Mississippi Mills, recently asked the National Capital Commission to include the Beaver Pond forest in its upcoming revision of the Greenbelt master plan. Carleton-Mississippi Mills MPP Norm Sterling wrote letters January 17 to the Premier of Ontario and several other Ministers in support of protecting this land.

Robert Lovelace, former Chief of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, recently wrote that “If Mayor Jim Watson were a real leader, he would know enough to realize that the incremental destruction of the last wildlands in the city needs to stop.  As a real Chief, he would be on the side of the people and the land.” (see link below)

A Sacred Fire is a peaceful religious observance.  Bernard, of the Algonquin Beaver Clan, invites others to join him and pray for the forest and the animals.  He plans to keep the fire burning until Sunday, January 23.

Members of the community are providing support to Bernard, and will be joining him throughout the protest.  All are committed to protecting the Beaver Pond forest and other environmentally sensitive areas of the South March Highlands, which is home to more than 675 species, including 19 species at risk, and recognized by the City as one of the most biodiverse areas in Ottawa

– 30-

For more information:
Steve Hulaj — 613 878-1135

Directions:
Exit Highway 417 at Terry Fox Drive and go North past the shopping centers.  Turn Right and take Kanata Avenue up the hill.  Proceed past Goulbourn Forced Road on the left and high school on right, to Walden.  Turn Left on Walden and proceed to the very end.

BACKGROUND:

Letters sent by First Nations to-date:
http://www.renaud.ca/public/Letters_of_Support/2011-01-09-Kinounchepirini_Algonquin_FirstNation_Letter.jpg
http://www.renaud.ca/public/Letters_of_Support/2011-01-09-SMH_Ottawa_Algonquin_FN_Support.pdf
http://www.renaud.ca/public/Letters_of_Support/2011-01-10-AAFN_letter%20to_Ottawa.pdf
http://www.renaud.ca/public/Letters_of_Support/2011-01-14-Ottawa_Letter_From_Kichesipirini_Algonqiun_FN.pdf

And by Grandfather William Commanda:
http://www.renaud.ca/public/Letters_of_Support/2010-08-24_Circle_of_Nations-South_March_Highlands.pdf
http://www.renaud.ca/public/Letters_of_Support/2010-12-20-GWC_Letter_To_Council.pdf
http://www.renaud.ca/public/Letters_of_Support/2011-01-05-GWC-Message_Regarding_Development_at_South_March_Highlands

And by other Grandfathers:
http://www.renaud.ca/public/Letters_of_Support/2010-08-14-A_plea_for_the_forest-Grandfather_Albert_Dumond.pdf
http://www.renaud.ca/public/Letters_of_Support/2011-01-14-Grandfather_Lovelace_Letter_to_the_Editor_Revelation18.pdf

Motion passed unanimously by Ottawa’s Aboriginal Affairs Advisory Subcommittee: http://www.renaud.ca/public/Letters_of_Support/2011-01-12-Unanimous_AHCAC_Motion_on_SMH.pdf

Background info:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZBcLvtcJBY (4 minute documentary video)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhSU5heJl5o (cultural and natural heritage video)
http://www.renaud.ca/public/Presentations/2011-01-13-SMH-1-SMH_Overview_v16.pdf (SMH Overview presentation)
http://www.renaud.ca/public/Presentations/2010-12-07-SMH-2-Stewardship_Plan_Overview_v4.pdf

Other Letters of Support (e.g. David Suzuki Foundation, MP Gordon O’Connor, MPP Norm Sterling) may be downloaded from
http://www.renaud.ca/public/Letters_of_Support/

Submission to NCC on South March Highlands:
http://www.renaud.ca/public/Presentations/2010-09-07%20Greenbelt%20Coalition%20Position%20Paper%20App5%20-%20SMH.pdf

www.ottawasgreatforest.com (website for the stewardship plan to protect the SMH)
www.southmarchhighlands.ca (website for the coalition to protect the SMH)

Seeking Justice for Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women

2010-isw-mmiw-justiceSEEKING JUSTICE panel discussion: A National Call for an Public Inquiry for the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women. Featuring speakers: Sharon McIvor, Maria Jacko, and Yasmin Jiwani

Held Friday Oct 29, 2010
Lamoureux Hall room 122, University of Ottawa

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Are Canadians complacent and complicit on the issue of the Indigenous Murdered and Missing women? Does Media play a role in perpetuating stereotypes about Indigenous women? Do media cultivate indifference because of the lack of critical and investigative reporting? What are the International Human Rights violations of Indigenous women? What are the challenges families, mother’s face when police do not take the investigations seriously? Are Indigenous women merely a political scapegoat by politicians because they do not believe a National public enquiry is necessary? Seeking Justice; A National Call for a Public Inquiry on the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women will be a lively discussion that will provoke you to action to support Indigenous women in their plight for a National Call for a Public Inquiry in Canada .

 

SHARON MCIVOR:
Sharon has devoted her life to improving the conditions of Aboriginal women, and all women in Canada. Sharon is a member of the Lower Nicola Band in British Columbia , a practicing lawyer, and a Professor of Aboriginal Law at Nicola Valley Institute of Technology. She has spent over two decades fighting to end sex discrimination under the status provisions of the Indian Act. At the same time she has been tireless in her work to end violence against Aboriginal women.

 

MARIA JACKO:
Maria Jacko’s niece Maisy Odjick, along with Maisy’s friend Shannon Alexander went missing together on Sept 6 2008 from Kitigan Zibi, unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin territory, 135km north of Ottawa in Quebec. They were 16 and 17 years of age, respectively, at the time, and have not been since since. For more info, please see www.findmaisyandshannon.com

 

YASMIN JIWANI:
Yasmin Jiwani is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University , Montreal . Her publications include: Discourses of Denial: Mediations of Race, Gender and Violence, as well as a co-edited collection titled: Girlhood, Redefining the Limits. Yasmin is also a co-founder of RACE, Researchers and Academics of Colour for Equity, a Canadian based organization. Her work has appeared in various journals and anthologies. Her research interests include mediations of race, gender and violence in the context of war stories, femicide reporting in the press and representations of women of colour in popular television. In 2006, she co-wrote an article tracing Aboriginal women’s representations in The Vancouver Sun. That article is available and can be accessed at: at www.cjc-online.ca/index.php/journal/article/download/1825/1932 … Email: yasmin.jiwani@gmail.com … Webpage: http://coms.concordia.ca/faculty/jiwani.html

 

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This event was part of Indigenous Sovereignty Week 2010 in Ottawa, Oct27-Nov4 – for full details please see www.bit.ly/iswottawa

Organized by: Defenders of the Land; Indigenous Environmental Network; Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa (IPSMO); Bolivia Action Solidarity Network; MiningWatch; Project of Heart; Public Service Alliance of Canada

Sponsors: Canadian Union of Public Employees; Public Service Alliance of Canada; Canadian Union of Postal Workers; OPIRG/GRIPO-Ottawa; PSAC NCR Aboriginal Action Circle; PSAC National Women’s Department; CUPE Local 4600 (at Carleton University); Carleton University Graduate Students Association; PROMdemonium Fund; Canada Council for the Arts