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August 13, 2008 Weblog:

Political Street Theatre at Indian Affairs

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As the day dragged on, Algonquins of Barriere Lake community members and supporters moved north to Gatineau and performed political street theatre in front of the Department of Indian Affairs. The scene depicts Chief Norman orchestrating a coup d'etat on Michael Wernick's territory with help from an Ontario police officer.

*Photo taken by Charles Mostoller

August 13, 2008 Weblog:

Letter Delegation

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A delegation including Louisa Ratt, Norman Matchewan, and some children from Barriere Lake delivered a letter to Michael's house. The package contained a press release from the event and a letter, addressed from Grand Chief Norman Young of the Tribal Council to Indian Affairs Minister, Chuck Strahl, calling for Indian Affairs to oversee and respect the outcome of a new leadership selection in Barriere Lake.

*Photos taken by Charles Mostoller

August 13, 2008 Weblog:

Algonquins of Barriere Lake hold up posters outside of Wernick's home

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*Photo taken by Charles Mostoller

August 13, 2008 Weblog:

Media Ring

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Norman Matchewan is interviewed by a ring of journalists outside of Michael Wernick's home.

*Photo taken by Charles Mostoller

August 13, 2008 Weblog:

Direct Action: Barriere Lake Algonquins Struggle for Justice

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On Friday, August 8th Barriere Lake community members and supporters gathered at Deputy Minister Michael Wernick's house. After appeals to their federal representative, Minister Lawrence Cannon, and protests at the offices of Indian Affairs were ignored, the community felt they were left with no choice.

*Photo taken by Charles Mostoller

July 7, 2008 Weblog:

Barriere Lake Algonquins Interviews

GATINEAU- on June 26th, 2008 Algonquin representatives from Barriere Lake reserve in Quebec came to Gatineau. A protest was called outside the Northern and Indian Affairs building to demand the governemnt reverse the recent coup d'etat it imposed on the reserve. The protest turned out to be a diversion for a peaceful sit-in which took place in MP Lawrence Cannon's office in Buckingham, QC. In spite of the indigenous and solidarity activists demands to see the MP they were ignored and six members were arrested. They were released later in the night.

Correction: unnamed Algonquin representative of Barriere Lake in video is former Customary Chief Jean-Maurice Matchewan, under whose leadership Canada and Quebec signed the reserve's Trilateral Agreement in 1991.

June 27, 2008 Weblog:

Barriere Lake Algonquins arrested, jailed, and released

Short video of the arrests, by Bill Clenet, ROCG

After a six hour occupation of MP Lawrence Cannon's Office in Buckingham, QC, yesterday, six Algonquin activists and allies were arrested by Sûreté du Québec police officers.

The arrestees were detained for four hours and were finally released at 9:30 p.m. into the arms of cheering family and friends outside the Gatineau Police Department building.

Among the awaiting crowd was Customary Chief Benjamin Nottaway (seen in video) whom the government attempted to revoke from power in the Barriere Lake reserve by imposing a minority appointed government. The so called Coup D'etat was the latest in a long series of governmental interventions in the impoverished reserve and led to the office occupation which took place yesterday. Previously, the indigenous representatives attempted to raise awareness of neo-Colonial internvention in their community by camping on Parliament Hill one year ago.

More information soon...

June 26, 2008 Weblog:

Barriere Lake Algonquins Occupy MP Office

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GATINEAU - On Thursday, June 26th, Algonquin representatives from Barriere Lake and allies assembled outside the Gatineau offices of Indian Affairs, across the river from Ottawa. The demonstration was a diversion, intended to draw attention from peaceful occupation of Lawrence Cannon's office, MP for the Barriere Lake region. The Algonquins demanded a meeting with Cannon to discuss the recent government ousting of the Customary Chief and Council as well as a re-election monitored by outside observers.

The Barriere Lake Solidarity Collective, based in Montreal, as well as Algonquin representatives from Barriere Lake itself have vowed they will not leave the office until their demands are met. They have been threatened with arrest, and are welcoming support from anyone willing or able to assemble in Buckingham, QC.

Algonquin media liaisons inside the office occupation were unreachable, but Django, a spokesperson of the Solidarity Collective answered a few questions. Speaking to the situation on the ground he noted that “on the inside the police have asked some of the people to leave peacefully. There were three people that left [because they] weren’t willing to be arrested. [Those were] a cameraman and two Algonquins.” When asked what he predicts will take place later in the day, he replied “we’re still waiting for the demands to be met. The office normally closes at 4:00 p.m. or 4:30 p.m. so we’re thinking that’s probably the time [the police are] going to try and do the arrests.”

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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