IPSMO homepage – www.ipsmo.org

June 15, 2010

Barriere Lake Algonquins protest Conservative government’s assimilation of their traditional political governance system: Political parties, major unions, Indigenous groups call for respect for community’s Inherent rights

OTTAWA, traditional Algonquin territory, June 15 /CNW Telbec/ - A broad crypto philippines network of political parties, unions, human rights and Indigenous organizations are rallying today with the Barriere Lake Algonquins in Ottawa at 11:30 am, in front of Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl’s office at Bank and Wellington, demanding that the Government of Canada stop attempting to assimilate the community’s traditional political governance system.

Barriere Lake is one of the few First Nations in the country that have never been under the Indian Act’s electoral system, continuing to operate under a traditional political governance system that is connected to their use of the land. Despite there being a broad community consensus opposing Indian Act elections, Indian Affairs has announced they will try to impose them on August 19, 2010.

“Community members refuse to accept this unilateral and draconian attempt to wipe out the way we govern ourselves. The government is attacking our governance system because it is intimately tied to our continuing use and protection of the land. We will defend our rights and customs for the sake of our generation and the generations to come,” says Tony Wawatie, a Barriere Lake community spokesperson.

“The federal government has consistently tried to violate agreements and interfere with the internal affairs of this First Nation, all in an effort to access the natural resources of their traditional territory. Obviously, they hope to weaken this community to the point where the logging companies can take over. It is shameful,” says Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada.

Canada and Quebec bitcoin broker philippines are refusing to implement binding agreements dating back to the 1991 Trilateral Agreement, a landmark sustainable development agreement praised by the United Nations and the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. Canada has been in breach of the Agreement since 2001. Quebec is violating the agreement by refusing to implement the 2006 joint recommendations of two former Quebec Cabinet Ministers, Quebec special representative John Ciaccia and Barriere Lake special representative Clifford Lincoln. The 2006 recommendations include giving Barriere Lake a $1.5 million share of the $100 million in resource revenue that comes out of their territory annually, and forest plans to harmonize logging operations with the Algonquin’s land use. Quebec has just issued cutting permits to logging companies in Barriere Lake’s traditional territory, while refusing to respect the terms of the Trilateral Agreement.

“We’re joining the community in demanding that the Harper government respect the inherent right of First Nations to self-determination and customary self-government,” says Denis Lemelin, National President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

Representatives from the New Democratic Party and the Indigenous Environmental Network will be attending, and the demonstration is endorsed by KAIROS, Polaris, and the Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement of Ottawa.

The Algonquin Nation Secretariat has also issued a press release supporting the community.

For further information: Media contacts: Norman Matchewan, best crypto exchange philippines community spokesperson: 514-893-8283; Tony Wawatie, community spokesperson: 819-860-4121

June 5, 2010

Harper Erasing Algonquin Traditional Government with Indian Act, Sect 74


Join the campaign to prevent Canada’s Department of Indian Affairs attempts to eliminate Barriere Lake Algonquin Traditional Governance System

Feast and Celebration of Customary Governance

6:30PM, Monday, June 14, 2010
Mac Hall, Bronson Centre at 211 Bronson Avenue Ottawa, ALGONQUIN TERRITORY

Demonstration: Stop Harper’s Elimination of Algonquin Traditional Government

11:30AM, Tuesday, June 15, 2010
In front of Indian Affair’s Minister Chuck Strahl’s office
Bank St and Wellington St, ALGONQUIN TERRITORY

Everyone is Welcome!

The Canadian government is preparing to forcibly assimilate Barriere Lake’s customary governance system using an archaic and rarely invoked piece of Indian Act legislation – Section 74. This strategy is a draconian, last ditch attempt to sever the community’s connection to the land, which is at the heart of their governance system.  By breaking their connection to the land, the Canadian and Quebec governments hope to get away with violating resource-use agreements and illegally clear-cutting in their traditional territory.

Section 74 hasn’t been forcibly imposed on a community since 1924, when the Canadian government unilaterally deposed the traditional government of Six Nations, padlocking shut the Haudenosaunee Confederacy lodge.

Barriere Lake is one of only two dozen Native communities still operating with a recognized traditional governance system. They attribute the strength of their community, language, knowledge and protection of the land to its endurance. The impacts of losing their customary governance system would have devastating consequences on their way of life.

There is a broad consensus in Barriere Lake in favour of retaining their customs and against a Section 74 order erasing their Customary government.

Take a stand today!
Support the Barriere Lake Algonquins and their inherent right to govern themselves according to their customs:

EVERYWHERE: Write/call/fax Minister of Indian Affairs Chuck Strahl and Indian Affairs Quebec Regional Director Pierre Nepton: http://barrierelakesolidarity.blogspot.com/2007/10/blog-post.html

OTTAWA: JOIN Barriere Lake community members in Ottawa on June 14 and 15 2010

June 14: Feast and Celebration of Customary Government: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=125575680806297
June 15: Demonstration: Stop Harper and Strahl’s Elimination of Algonquin Customary Government: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=128467113839884

TORONTO: Come MARCH with community members at the Indigenous Day of Action Against the G8/G20 on June 24th in Toronto: http://www.defendersoftheland.org/story/179

June 24: Day of Action for Indigenous Rights!
11:00AM, March start point: Queen’s Park, South Lawn
To arrange a bus ride from Ottawa to Toronto for June 24, please send your request at http://g20.torontomobilize.org/ottawatranspo

—> For more info, to donate, or to endorse the campaign: please email barrierelakesolidarity@gmail.com

www.barrierelakesolidarity.blogspot.com, www.ipsmo.org

:::: BACKGROUND ::::

The Algonquins of Barriere Lake live on their unceded territory 300 kilometers north of Ottawa, in Quebec. They govern themselves by a customary system, the Mitchikanibikok Anishinabe Onakinakewin. Unlike most First Nations, they have never had band elections imposed on them by the federal government through the Indian Act.

Section 74 of the Indian Act states that the Minister of Indian Affairs can impose an electoral system on First Nations with customary leadership selection processes:

“Whenever he deems it advisable for the good government of a band, the Minister may declare by order that after a day to be named therein the council of the band, consisting of a chief and councillors, shall be selected by elections to be held in accordance with this Act.”

On April 8, 2010, Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl signed off an order to invoke section 74, initiating the process to impose Indian Act band elections on Barriere Lake. The federal government has already hired an electoral officer to oversee this process, meaning the federal government aims to hold elections within a matter of months.

Despite its inclusion in the Indian Act, section 74-imposed band elections would be a violation of Barriere Lake’s Indigenous customs, a draconian interference in their internal affairs, a breach of their constitutionally-protected Aboriginal right to a customary system of government, and a violation of the minimum standards included in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It is an attempt to politically weaken the community, by destroying the way they have governed themselves since time immemorial.

The affirmation of Aboriginal and Treaty rights in Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution in 1982 guarantees Barriere Lake’s right to maintain their customary system of government. There has been absolutely no case-law since 1982 that would indicate that the Minister has the power to infringe on Barriere Lake’s rights.

The Government move also contradicts a recent Federal Court decision concerning Barriere Lake’s leadership. On February 17, 2010, Federal Court Judge Robert Mainville concluded in the case of Ratt v. Matchewan that Barriere Lake can “select their leadership in accordance with their customs unimpeded by any conditions or requirements which the Minister may deem appropriate.”

But the Canadian government, even if they had Canadian law on their side, would have no authority to interfere with Barriere Lake’s inherent jurisdiction over their lands, which precedes Canadian sovereignty claims by thousands of years. Barriere Lake has never ceded their lands by treaty or agreement and continue to exercise their jurisdiction over their lands by responsibly managing the territory.

Barriere Lake’s customary government is tied to their use of the land – their hunting, fishing, trapping, harvesting over their vast traditional territories. Only those band members who live within their territories and have knowledge and connection to the land can participate in their customary system of government. The position of Chief is based on hereditary entitlement, but other factors are equally or more important, including leadership abilities, knowledge of the land, and community support. Elders have a key role in the leadership selection process, ensuring the customs are respected. They oversee a blazing ceremony, nominating potential leadership candidates who are then approved or rejected by community members in public assemblies. Leadership requires the consent of the governed, meaning leaders can be removed at any time. Such a directly democratic form of government accords well with the community’s decentralized organization.

For the Algonquins of Barriere Lake, their governance system is one of the sources of their political strength and assertiveness: eligible community members have a stake in the land, and they will select leaders who ensure its protection and responsible management.

But if the Canadian government can impose section 74 Indian Act band elections, this will change. Elders will lose customary responsibility for cultivating leaders and for shepherding leadership selections. Voting by secret ballot would undermine the consensus-based, directly democratic process. Fixed terms for elections would destroy the hereditary elements of their system. Indian Act elections would open eligibility for selecting leaders to people on the band registry list, not just those who live and use the traditional territory. As in many First Nations across the country, off-reserve band members who have no stake in the land’s protection but a say in elections or referendums concerning agreements or modern treaties will likely vote for cash deals that may extinguish Inherent, Aboriginal, or Treaty rights to the land.

The federal government’s attack on the community’s inherent right to a customary governance system has served the ends of the Quebec government, which has been allowing forestry companies to illegally log in Barriere Lake’s traditional territory, without consulting and in areas that are supposed to be off-bounds under the terms of the 1991 Trilateral agreement. Quebec has just issued cutting permits for a new period of logging.

—->Please take a moment to support a community that has protected their territory from extractive industries for decades at great expense and sacrifice to their lives.


SEND AN EMAIL VIA THE BARRIERE LAKE SOLIDARITY WEBSITE: http://barrierelakesolidarity.blogspot.com/2007/10/blog-post.html

500 Years of Indigenous Resistance

500 Years of Indigenous Resistance
Talk and Book Launch by Gord Hill

Decolonial Study Group
Sunday, June 13 at 2pm
Exile Infoshop
256 Bank St. (2nd Floor)
Everyone Welcome!

The Decolonial Study Group is a project of the IPSM Ottawa. We will be deepening and broadening our understanding and analysis of indigenous struggles for decolonization, social justice and revolution. We will be doing this through readings, workshops, oral presentations, movies and so on.

The June 13th Study Group will be a talk by Gord Hill on “500 Years of Indigenous Resistance”. The talk is part of a speaking tour and book launch for his new graphic book, “500 Years of Indigenous Resistance”.

After his talk there will be time for further discussion.

There are no core readings for this Decolonial Study Group.

However there are a number of articles and books that we encourage people to read:

500 Years of Indigenous Resistance by Gord Hill (Available at Exile Infoshop and the OPIRG-Ottawa resource centre)

500 Years of Indigenous Resistance graphic book by Gord Hill

Colonization: A War for Territory: http://www.warriorpublications.com/?q=node%2F28

Contact us if you have mobility issues and want to attend

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=116434218399783

May 25, 2010

Canadian Human Rights Tribunal

PURPOSE: To witness the motion to dismiss the Human Rights Hearings on whether or not the federal government is treating First Nations children fairly.
DATE: June 2 and 3, 2010 (9:30-5:00)
LOCATION: The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, 11th floor, 160 Elgin Street, Ottawa ALGONQUIN TERRITORY

First Nations Child and Family Caring Society is trying to get as much support out to 160 Elgin Street as possible on June 2nd and 3rd.  The hearings begin at 9:30, break at 12:00 for lunch and then go until 5:00.  If people could come even for a part of that time (like an hour or so) it would be great.

Please click here to read the message from Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director of the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society.

This is a historic case because it would be the first time in Canadian history that a Tribunal hearing has dealt with a whole people being discriminated against (systemic discrimination), not just individuals.  The impact would be immense.  Please come out and show our solidarity with First Nations children and families.


On Feb. 26, 2007, the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society (FNCFCS) filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) alleging that Canada is racially discriminating against First Nations children by providing less child welfare funding, and thus benefits, on reserves.

However, the government of Canada is trying to use a legal loophole to request a dismissal of the case.  The loophole is that Canada is saying that they “fund” the services to the First Nations children, they do not “provide” the services. Canada says its funding, no matter how inequitable, is not a service and thus they should not be held accountable under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

On Nov. 24, 2009, a Federal Court Prothonotary (legal person) rules that Canada’s application to strike the tribunal should be stayed (held up) until after the tribunal is over.  On January 8, 2010, Chair Shirish Chotalia (who was newly appointed by the Conservative Government on November 2, 2009) postponed all tribunal hearing dates for January and February 2010 and has decided to hear Canada’s motion to dismiss the tribunal. Cindy Blackstock, Tom Geoff, Elsie Flett, who issued their affidavits to oppose Canada’s application to dismiss the tribunal, were cross-examined in the months of February and March.  On June 2 and 3, Canada’s lawyer and the Human Rights lawyer will be presenting their arguments to the Tribunal chair and a decision on the motion to dismiss the Tribunal will be made.  AFN, Caring Society, Amnesty International and the Chiefs of Ontario will be present to state their opposition to Canada.

The fact that Canada has been unable to find even one social worker to testify that their funding leads to good things for children and families is indicative of their culpability. They only have one expert witness and he is a chartered general accountant with no known credentials or experience in child welfare. If Canada loses on this legal loophole then the First Nations children and families will have equal opportunities to the rest of Canadians because the Government will have to “make it right”.

The more people, especially youth that come to witness this event, the greater the message to Canada that the government cannot get away with violating basic human rights of these children (according to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child), which underfunding of First Nations Child and Family Services represents.  This is an opportunity for non-Aboriginal people to show that we care!

For the latest news on the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal: http://www.fnwitness.ca/

JUNE 2 & 3

The proceedings will open with Canada saying why they want to have the tribunal dismissed.  Then AFN and the Caring Society will say why they oppose what Canada is asking for and why we feel it is so important to have this heard on the merits and not decided on the legal loophole.  Amnesty International and the Chiefs of Ontario will go next and they have both said they oppose Canada’s application.  Canada then responds.

There will be some discussion of the cross examinations but in general it will be lawyers testifying.  This is a crucial step however as we believe Canada has a very weak case on the merits given that their own documents admit they under fund child welfare and that under funding drives children into child welfare care.  There is also the Auditor General Report and our experts to contend with.  Canada has been unable to find even one social worker to testify that their funding leads to good things for children and families. They only have one expert witness and he is a chartered general accountant with no known credentials or experience in child welfare.

This in many ways is the case – if Canada loses on this legal loophole then they are sunk and the kids are in great shape.  If you are wondering what the legal loophole is it is that the Canadian Human Rights Act covers discrimination on the basis of goods, services and accommodation. Canada says its funding, no matter how inequitable, is not a service and thus they should not be held accountable under the act.  We worry deeply about this tactic as it appears to prioritize government’s desire to escape accountability over the needs of very vulnerable children.


Beating up on kids in court of decency: http://www.edmontonsun.com/comment/columnists/mindelle_jacobs/2010/05/14/13948786.html

Interview with Cindy Blackstock on CBC Radio’s “The Current”: (scroll down to “Child Welfare – Native Kids” and click on “Listen to Part 2″).

“Aboriginal kids suffer while governments bicker”: http://www.carleton.ca/Capital_News/03042009/n2.shtml

Interview with Cindy Blackstock, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada: http://previous.ncra.ca/exchange/dspProgramDetail.cfm?programID=86115

Lisa Abel interviews Cindy Blackstock on the First Nations Child Welfare Tribunal, September 17, 2009: http://previous.ncra.ca/exchange/dspProgramDetail.cfm?programID=90196

Before You Say You’re Sorry, The government apologizes to one generation of aboriginal Canadians while wronging another: http://www.walrusmagazine.com/articles/write-the-wrong2009/

May 24, 2010

Celebrate the Arrival of MARCHE AMUN / AMUN MARCH

Update: check the link here - http://picasaweb.google.com/peiju.wang/MarcheAMUNByNikGehl# to see photos from the feast and rally by Nik Gehl

On June 1, 2010, after nearly one month of walking, the AMUN March will arrive on Parliament Hill to draw attention to ongoing legislative sexism in the Indian Act, and to call people of conscience to join the struggle against it.

AMUN March kicked off its 500 km march from Wendake, QC to the Parliament Hill in Ottawa on May 4, 2010 to pursue the fight that was undertaken by Sharon McIvor (see Sharon McIvor’s fight for gender equality in the Indian Act), and to request that the Canadian Government resolve the injustices created by the Indian Act.  The Government of Canada introduced Bill C-3 to bolster gender equity in the registration provisions of the Act.  However, this Bill is just another continued failed remedial legislation, it partially corrects discriminatory aspects of the Indian Act registration rules (See Sexist Bill C-3 is racist and fatally flawed).

Furthermore, the government of Canada failed to consult with Indigenous Peoples and accommodate their concerns prior to introducing Bill C-3, which violates Section 35 of Canadian Constitution Act of 1982.  Not only Bill C-3 does not end discrimination against Indigenous women and their descendants, it also does not address the underlying issue of the Indian Act – categorization of Indian status.  If Canada is SINCERE in its promise of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples following the Apology of June 11 2008 and in the recent Throne speech, Canada must recognize and respect the INHERENT RIGHT of Indigenous peoples to govern themselves, to define who can be a citizen of their nation.

Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa is one of many groups, including the Native Women’s Association of Canada, and Québec Native Women Inc., calling allies to come out and greet the march as it arrives on Parliament Hill.

Community Feast to Welcome AMUN March

L to R: Vivane Michele, Danielle Guay, Sharon McIvor, and Michèle Audette with her son Yocoisse Sioui. Photographer Gwen Brodsky

6 PM Monday, May 31, 2010
Odawa Friendship Centre, 12 Stirling Ave.  Ottawa, Algonquin Territory
Everyone is Welcome to the fest!

Opening ceremony by Elder Annie St. Georges

Michèle Audette and Viviane Michel, Marche Amun Organizers,
Sharon McIvor,
Jeanette Corbiere Lavell, and
Lynn Gehl, Giizhigaate-Mnidoo-Kwe, Makinag Ndoo-dem

Rally & Press Conference

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

11:45 AM   Victoria Island
(end of Middle Street, off Chaudière Bridge, follow signs for “Aboriginal Experiences”)

12 PM    Welcome
Jeanette Corbiere Lavell, President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada
Michèle Audette and Viviane Michel, Marche Amun Organizers
Sharon McIvor, McIvor v. Canada
Dawn Harvard, President of the Ontario Native Women’s Association
Kathleen McHugh, Women’s Council Chair of the Assembly of First Nations

12:45    Closing

1-1:30 PM    Press Conference (Charles Lynch Room, 130S, Centre Block) ALL MEDIA WELCOME

Further Information

What to do:

Write to you MP and the key politicians below about your opposition to Bill C-3:

Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Chuck Strahl;
Opposition party leaders: Duceppe, Ignatieff and Layton;
Members of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs: Bruce Stanton, Rick Clarke, LaVar Payne, John Duncan, Earl Dreeshen, Greg RickfordAnita Neville, Todd Russell, Larry Bagnell (Liberals); Jean Crowder, Carol Hughes (NDP); Marc LeMay and Yvon Levesque (BQ).


The Federal Government had until April 6th, 2010 to amend the Indian Act, but requested the Court of Appeal of British Columbia an extension till July 5th, 2010. It must act. The Indian Act discriminates and marginalizes the Native Peoples since 1876. Ms Sharon McIvor, a Native woman from British Columbia, questioned in Court one of the discriminatory outcomes of this Act, that is the impossibility for a Mother to hand down the Native status to her grand-children when the father of the children is not Native, when this right is recognized for Native fathers in the same situation. It is thanks to 25 years of legal procedures that things will change.

However, the women will go on being subjected to discrimination in such domains as:

  • The Right to Indian status for themselves and their children (abolish categories)
  • The Right of Membership to the Band for themselves and their children;
  • Registration of children whose paternity is questioned or not recognized;
  • The Right to live in the reserve for themselves, their spouse and their children;
  • The clause on distribution of lands and services on the reserve;
  • Property division following a breach/break-up in the relationship;
  • The Right of Ottawa to determine who is Native

Through history, discrimination founded on sex towards women of First Nations becomes official as soon as 1868, legislative measures then enacting that the Indian status could be handed down only by men. A man who married a non-Native kept his Indian status conferred by the Indian Act, his wife and their children became Indians according to the Law. A woman from a First Nation who married a non-Native or a non-registered Indian lost her aboriginal and treaty rights, as did her children. In the Indian Act jargon, she lost her status.

It is to continue the struggle undertaken by Ms McIvor and request the Canadian Government to settle these injustices of the Indian Act that the AMUN March is held.


Le gouvernement fédéral avait jusqu’au 6 avril 2010 pour modifier la Loi sur les Indiens, mais a demandé une extension jusqu’au 5 juillet 2010 à la Cour d’appel de Colombie- Britannique. Il doit agir. La Loi sur les Indiens discrimine et marginalise les peuples autochtones depuis 1876. C’est ce qu’a décidé la Cour dans la cause de Mme Sharon McIvor, femme autochtone de la Colombie-Britannique qui a contesté l’un des effets discriminatoires de cette loi, soit l’impossibilité pour une mère de transmettre le statut autochtone à ses petits-enfants lorsque le père des enfants n’est pas autochtone, alors que ce droit est reconnu pour les pères autochtones dans la même situation. C’est grâce à plus de 25 ans de démarches légales que les choses vont changer.

Toutefois, les femmes continuent de subir la discrimination de la Loi sur les Indiens dans les domaines tels que:

  • Le droit au statut indien pour elles-mêmes et leurs enfants (abolition des catégories);
  • Le droit à l’appartenance à la bande pour elles-mêmes et leurs enfants;
  • L’inscription d’enfants dont la paternité est contestée ou non reconnue;
  • Le droit à résider dans la réserve pour elles-mêmes, leur conjoint et leurs enfants;
  • La clause de distribution de terrains et de services dans la réserve;
  • Le partage des biens suite à la rupture de la relation,
  • Le refus d’ajouter des nouveaux argents pour les nouvelles inscriptions,
  • Le droit exclusif d’Ottawa de déterminer qui est indien.

Dans l’histoire, la discrimination fondée sur le sexe à l’égard des femmes des Premières Nations devient officielle dès 1868, des mesures législatives décrétant alors que le statut d’Indien ne pouvait être transmis que par les hommes. Un homme qui mariait une nonautochtone conservait son statut d’indien conféré par la Loi sur les Indiens, sa femme et leurs enfants devenaient indiens au sens de la Loi. Une femme des PN qui mariait un non-autochtone ou un Indien non-inscrit perdait ses droits ancestraux et issus de traités, tout comme ses enfants! Dans le jargon de la Loi sur les Indiens, elle perdait son statut.

C’est pour continuer la lutte entreprise par Mme McIvor et demander au gouvernement canadien de régler ces injustices dans la Loi sur les Indiens que la Marche Amun aura lieu.

May 23, 2010


Monday, 31 May 2010
Human Rights Monument

Corner of Elgin and Lisgar
Ottawa, ON

In support of the Ottawa Palestine Solidarity Network – Protest Netanyahu’s visit to Ottawa


At the end of May, Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu will be coming to Canada, including visits to Ottawa and Toronto. The Ottawa Palestine Solidarity Network is organizing a protest of Netanyahu’s visit on Monday, May 31, starting at 5pm, at the Human Rights Monument in Ottawa. We need you to join us and to bring all your friends.

The occupation. The wall. The siege. The Settlements. The impunity. The Israeli occupation is becoming increasingly brutal with the unflinching support of the Canadian government. For all these reasons and more, it’s crucial for all Canadians who believe in justice and peace and justice to take a stand.

The illegal siege of Gaza continues to suffocate the Palestinians who live there, preventing them from rebuilding from Israel’s attack on last year that killed 1400 people (half of them children). The recent legislation giving the Israeli military discretion to deport Palestinians from the West Bank is an affront to human rights and democracy.

The OPSN is calling on groups from coast to coast to organize local solidarity demonstrations on or near May 31, to protest Netanyahu’s upcoming attempt to re-brand Israel in Canada, and the complicity of the Canadian government in Israel’s violations of international law.

Let us join together in solidarity to oppose occupation and take a stand for justice, peace and human rights!



May 6, 2010

Deh Cho “Fighting for our Land”

Update: Watch the video on DFN Grand Chief Samuel Gargan‘s Talk after the screening of the film “FIGHTING FOR OUR LAND”on May 17, 2010

Deh Cho “Fighting for our Land”

Join us for an evening of conversation and solidarity with leaders of the Deh Cho First Nation. The Deh Cho, KAIROS, the IPSM Ottawa and the Polaris Institute are hosting a screening of the film “Dehcho Ndene Gha Nadaotsethe: Fighting for our Land”, a community based video by Rebecca Garrett and Dehcho First Nations, on Monday May 17th at 6pm in Ottawa.

For more information, please contact Ed at ebianchi@kairoscanada.org.


May 17th, 2010
6 – 9 pm
PSAC Building, 233 Gilmour (at Metcalfe), Ottawa

DFN Grand Chief Samuel Gargan
DFN Elder Pat Martel
Members of DFN Negotations Team
and Filmmaker Rebecca Garrett

The Decho First Nations have been involved in formal negotiations with the governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories for over thirty years.

We, the Dehcho Dene have been struggling since 1969 for rightful recognition of our rights in a just and fair manner. When an Agreement with the territorial and federal governments is reached, we will have the governing authority and the resources to protect our lands and ensure that we can continue to live according to Dene values and principles in all aspects of our lives.

“Dehcho Ndehe Gha Nadaotsethe: Fighting for our Land,” is a project of the Dehcho First Nations (DFN) Communiciations team. It brings together in one film key moments of Dehcho history, and explains our struggle to retain control of our homeland.

This film is an invaluable educational and mobilization tool to inform and involve all members of our communities in the process of reaching an agreement that allows future generations to continue to live in a way that honours and respects the land of our ancestors.

Media Contacts: Rebecca.garrott@rogers.com, ebianchi@kairoscanada.org
Dehcho First Nations information: www.dehchofirstnations.com
Video distribution information: vtape.org

Presented by:
Amnesty International
Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC)
Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa (IPSMO)
Polaris Institute
and Dehcho First Nations


May 5, 2010

Community & Indigenous Resistance to Harmful Gold Mining in Guatemala & Honduras

UPDATES – May 13, 2010

Special thanks to Tito Medina for bringing music to this talk (click here to see Tito’s performance) and Ramsey Hart for translating our speakers’ presentations from Spanish to English.  Also joining us in this talk were Francois Guindon from NISGUA and Feliciano Orellana, a former employee of Goldcorp subsidiary Entre Mares working in the Cerro Blanco Mine, Goldcorp’s second large mine in Guatemala.

Carlos Amador:
Another world is possible only if we work together
Borders are dividing us … Conscious men and women shouldn’t let borders divide us …
Borders are for Capitalism


  • Canadian government is pressuring the new Honduran government following the coup to open its arms more widely to the investments of Canadian mining companies
  • The current prime minister of Canada is a big friend of the mining companies
  • With the opening of new investments in mining, we are facing a new form of colonization
  • 90 mining concessions in 80 counties (in Honduras) are owned by Canadian mining companies
  • Canadian Pension Plan has $500 million dollars invested in Goldcorp Inc.
  • Our problems are your problems … we have the moral and ethical obligations to fight for the dignity of people, therefore we should unite ourselves
  • Public funds from Canada are going towards companies that are damaging human rights, are violating the fundamental right, that is right to life, for instance, in Guatemala
  • Near Marlin mine in Guatemala 120 homes have been damaged because of the effects of explosion used to blast the rocks out of the pit, 80 streams have dried out, the river below the mine is contaminated …
  • When a mining company arrives, it often creates conflict, divides communities, tears apart the social fabrics that tie people together
  • Over 1 million people in 42 different communities across the country (Guatemala) don’t want mining in their territories
  • In the area of Marlin mine (Guatemala), 24 communities have sent a clear message that they don’t want the activities of Goldcorp to continue
  • The ILO (International Labour Organization) said all mining operations in Guatemala should be suspended because the mining companies have violated the right to free, prior, informed consent of Indigenous communities.

What to do:

Write to Canadian Pension Plan, one of Goldcorp’s investors, to stop investing in Goldcrop and REALLY exercise socially responsible investing:

Canada Pension Plan
John H Butler, 416 868-1171, One Queen St. East, Suite 2600, Toronto ON, M5C-2W5 — $349,000,000 of shares in Goldcorp as of March 2010
CANADA PENSION PLAN Investment Board: csr@cppib.ca, 416-868-4075, Toll Free: 1-866-557-9510;
Manuel Pedrosa, Communications and Stakeholder Relations, 416-868-4682, mpedrosa@cppib.ca

Photos & Videos:

Video – Javier de Leon – Resistance to Harmful Gold Mining in Guatemala
JAVIER de LEON is a Mayan Mam community leader from the village of Maquivil, municipality of San Miguel Ixtahuacan, department of San Marcos. From his small home, he looks across at Goldcorp’s ever expanding open-pit, cyanide-leaching gold mine – the “Marlin” mine. Since 2004, Javier has been educating and organizing Mayan Mam communities and working to resist and demand justice for the health and environmental harms and human rights violations caused by Goldcorp’s mine.

Javier de Leon & Ramsey Hart


Video – Carlos Amador – Community Resistance to Harmful Gold Mining in Honduras
CARLOS AMADOR is a teacher and community leader in El Porvenir, 15 kilometres from Goldcorp’s open-pit, cyanide-leaching gold mine – the “San Martin” mine. Since 2000, Carlos has been educating and organizing local communities in the Siria Valley, and working to resist and demand justice for the health and environmental harms and human rights violations caused by Goldcorp’s mine.

Carlos Amador


Video – Feliciano Orellana (only the first half of Feliciano’s talk was filmed … my camera stopped working after the first half.)
Feliciano Orellana is a representative of the Commission for Justice and Peace of the Franciscan Family, in the Department of Jutiapa in eastern Guatemala. Employed by Goldcorp subsidiary Entre Mares in 1997 as one of the first employee, he later got hired in 2008 and suffered an almost Fatal accident on the job, for which he received no compensation. Now Feliciano is an active leader in his community and wants to share his experience on Goldcorp Human Rights Violations and the communities’ opposition to the Cerro Blanco Mine, Goldcorp’ second large mine in Guatemala.

Francois Guindon & Feliciano Orellana

Related to this topic:

Allan Lissner – Someone Else’s Treasure – Guatemala
CTV’s “W5” program: “ARE CANADIAN MINING COMPANIES GIVING US A BAD REPUTATION ABROAD?”  In it, W5 focuses critical attention on the harmful impacts of Goldcorp Inc’s gold mine in Mayan Mam communities, and HudBay Mineral’s nickel mine in Mayan Qeqchi communities.
Birarpatch Magazine – May/June 2010: Canada and the World
Publication from International Women and Mining Network – Defending Land, Life & Dignity, WOMEN FROM MINING AFFECTED COMMUNITIES SPEAK OUT
From Upsidedownworld.org – Scientists Find Elevated Levels of Potentially Toxic Metals in Some Guatemalans Living Near Goldcorp-owned Mine

The famous Marlin Mine located in municipality of San Miguel Ixtahuacan, department of San Marcos, Guatemala


May 4, 2010

“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

April 28, 2010

May 1st: Indigenous Solidarity for Settlers workshop

Workshop: Indigenous Solidarity for Settlers

Saturday, May 1st at 3pm
Jack Purcell Community Centre
320 Jack Purcell Lane (off Elgin, near Gilmour)
Part of the Organizing for Justice Mayday Weekend

The goal of the workshop is to …educate non-indigenous people about the importance of indigenous solidarity and to teach people and learn from them about what solidarity means and how to do it.

The IPSM Ottawa is a predominantly settler organization that works toward building a movement of non-indigenous people actively supporting indigenous people struggling for justice and decolonization.

Our workshop “Indigenous Solidarity for Settlers” consists of three parts:

1) Looking at colonization from an anti-oppressive framework.

We look at how colonization has historically and continues to be imposed through individual behaviour and institutional and cultural oppression.

2) What does solidarity mean?

We focus on what solidarity is and how to “do it”. The word solidarity is used a lot, especially in radical organizing, but it is not always easy to define or to do. Put simply we believe that it is essential in solidarity work to “listen, take direction and stick around”.

3) Case study

Using an example from the organizing that the IPSM has done, such as organizing in support of the Barriere Lake Algonquin, we will explore what solidarity work looks like in practice. Using concrete examples from our own experiences we analyze the strengths and weaknesses of this organizing in order to examine how to do solidarity work well.

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