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October 17, 2008 Weblog:

Interview: Indigenous resistance and state repression in Colombia

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Update from Cauca, Colombia: Indigenous resistance and state repression is an 8 minute interview with Manuel Rozental, recorded on the evening of Thursday, October 16th.

Rozental talks about the status of the mobilizations and their significance on a national level, the repression faced by the movement, and the five point agenda being demanded by the communities in resistance.

More info at radio4all.

Photo by Simone Bruno.

Canadian Mining in Guatemala

After indigenous peoples' houses were burnt to the ground on land owned by a Vancouver mining company, Avi Lewis gets the company's version of events.

October 16, 2008 Oct 16 2 comments
October 14, 2008 Weblog:

Update - massacre 'imminent': Indigenous uprising continues in Colombia

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This just in from Mario Murillo:

"...all the communities gathered in the locality of La Maria, in the department of Cauca, are completely surrounded by the Colombian Army. Apparently, the security forces are preparing to carry out an armed assault against the civilians involved in the protest, which began on Sunday, October 12th. Organizers estimate that there are over 10,000 people currently at La Maria and surrounding areas."

After a two-day minga, or popular mobilization which included the participation of over 12,000 people in the Cauca region of Colombia, Indigenous movements are continuing to maintain highway blockades and demand justice and reparations.

From today's communiqué:

"We are risking life for liberty. We have dignity and we reclaim respect. The order that has obligated to take these actions is violent. We are not prepared to continue dying alive. No More."

Other sectors have announced or enacted their solidarity with the Indigenous uprising in Cauca including workers' unions, and the striking sugar cane sector. They are currently asking folks to put pressure on the Colombian government to ensure that their resistance is not met with brute force. Update: your support is urgently needed. Please take a moment to write or fax the Colombian ambassador, Jaime Girón Duarte.

To contact the Colombian Embassy in Canada:

360 Albert Street, Suite 1002
Ottawa, ON. - K1R 7X7
Tels: (613) 230-3760/1
Fax: (613) 230-4416
Email: embajada@embajadacolombia.ca

September 23, 2008 Original Peoples

Land & Jail

Ipperwash, official racism and the future of Ontario

September 21, 2008 Canadian News

Protesters Disrupt "Spirit Train" Sendoff

Two arrested, festivities cancelled

September 18, 2008 Weblog:

Barriere Lake takes over Lawrence Cannon's press conference

Or: The Coup D'Etat vs. The Liberal Plane

Members of the Algonquin community of Barriere Lake crashed Lawrence Cannon's press conference in Maniwaki yesterday, demanding a meeting with Cannon, an immediate leadership reselection process in the community, and for the Federal Government to uphold the shared use agreement it signed with the community. (Check out this photo essay for some background).

[If you're looking for election newsy, gossipy, scandalous coverage, don't despair. Read on. The juicy stuff is at the bottom.]

In June, people from Barriere Lake and several supporters occupied Lawrence Cannon's office in Buckingham, QC. Then, Cannon refused to meet, and two Algonquins and four supporters were arrested for refusing to leave until Cannon met with them. (Full disclosure: I was one of the supporters.)

Several other demonstrations were held, before and after, targeting Cannon and various other government officials. It all stems from when, in 2006-2007, the Feds imposed a minority faction as the government.

The background to this story is extensive. It is worth looking into, as it reveals some elementary but shocking truths about Canada's colonial policies and how they are intimately tied to control of natural resources.

» continue reading "Barriere Lake takes over Lawrence Cannon's press conference"

August 23, 2008 Weblog:

Peru: Indigenous occupations end with victory in Congress

On August 22nd, the Peruvian Congress repealed two legislative decrees at the root of the indigenous demonstrations that paralyzed various roads and energy installations from August 9th through 20th. The indigenous movement of the Amazon, home to 65 different indigenous nations, declared victory.

[note: several of the hyperlinks are to articles and websites in Spanish.]

Background

Peruvian President Alan Garcia approved more than 100 legislative decrees in the first half of 2008, making use of special powers bestowed upon the Executive branch by the Congress in order to bring the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the US and Peru into effect. The FTA was signed in 2006 and passed - despite opposition - by the US House and Senate in late 2007.

» continue reading "Peru: Indigenous occupations end with victory in Congress"

August 15, 2008 Environment

Mad as a Hatter

Canada's mercury pollution on Indigenous lands

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

August 12, 2008 Weblog:

Video: Plan of Aggression in Northern Cauca, Colombia

This brand new video may help put into context yesterday's threats on these communities and their leaders.

The five minute short was scripted, filmed and edited by members of the communication network of the Association of Indigenous Authorities of Northern Cauca (ACIN).

August 12, 2008 Weblog:

Nasa communities in Colombia on Maximum Alert

The following was translated to English by La Chiva:

ALERT: CAMPAIGN OF TERROR BEGINS AGAINST INDIGENOUS NASA IN CAUCA, COLOMBIA

11 August 2008

Earlier this afternoon, the Association of Indigenous Authorities of Northern Cauca (ACIN) received the text of a threat by email, which we are attaching below for you to read. This letter of terror, signed by the CEC (Campesinos Embejucados del Cauca, or ‘Furious Peasants of Cauca’), announces that “at approximately 00:00 tonight, you will receive information regarding the murders at the hands of peasants of paHECES [1] and the ex-guerrilla heads of the CRIC, which will be confirmed by phone and a consequences of their disrespect.” In this threat, we are referred to as paHECES, or ‘excrement,’ exposing the racism of the author(s).

The 7-page threat states throughout its hateful and false content the decision to defame the indigenous process and the commencement of a campaign of terror and death. The context in which this letter has been sent is that of the parapolítica [2], with the clear collusion of the Colombian government:

The threats against the indigenous movement made by the President of the Republic, who has ordered the payment of rewards for the arrest of indigenous Senator Jesús Piñacué, who is mentioned in the threat;

The recent confession of the paramilitary member Orlando Villa Zapata, involved in the 1991 massacre in El Nilo [Cauca], that said massacre was planned in the Hacienda La Emperatriz in the presence of the landowners;

» continue reading "Nasa communities in Colombia on Maximum Alert"

August 11, 2008 Photo Essay

The Coup in Context

A look behind the removal of Barriere Lake's traditional government

August 9, 2008 Weblog:

3000 women missing. They're saying we should do something.

A dedicated group is walking across the country to demand an inquiry into the 3000 women, mostly Indigenous, who have gone missing.

August 7, 2008 Original Peoples

Dammed if You Don't

Hydro-Quebec turns its back on wind power

August 1, 2008 Month in Review

July in Review

G8 feasts, pancakes go dry and "yellowcake" soars

July 30, 2008 Original Peoples

Boiling Point!

Polaris report finds water in First Nations communities a “violation of fundamental human rights”

July 18, 2008 Weblog:

listen online: Indigenous Environmental Network conference in Newe Segobia

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Greetings from the 15th Indigenous Environmental Network gathering to Protect Mother Earth in Newe Segobia (Western Shoshone territory)!

LISTEN ONLINE LIVE HERE: http://www.earthcycles.net/
Info & program here: http://www.ienearth.org/

The first panel of the day - about mining & the extractive industries - is about to get started, with amazing speakers from all over, INCLUDING KI!!! There are 2 smaller workshops on mining today & a field trip tomorrow to Barrick Gold's Cortez gold mine, which is threatening to expand into Horse Canyon, one of the most important Western Shoshone sacred sited.

On that note, the photo is of the Havasupai (Grand Canyon area) delegation at the Longest Walk 2's arrival in DC, The Manifesto for Change, the Resolutions, and the 1978 Longest Walk Manifesto are all now posted as PDF files on the main Longest Walk site: www.longestwalk.org

I'll get more writing up on all these events & issues at some later date...

saludos,
Sandra

July 18, 2008 Opinion

"Sorry" For Genocide?

Residential school apology in context

July 17, 2008 Weblog:

First Day of Protests by Barriere Lake Algonquins

OTTAWA- The Barriere Lake Algonquins are once again back in Ottawa for a three day protest. Camping out on Victoria Island, the community, alongside Montreal and Ottawa activists, has organized a panel discussion, a series of protests, marches, and events including a panel discussion, film screening, and poetry show.

Last time the Algonquins came to Ottawa, they peacefully occupied MP Lawrence Cannon's office, demanding the end of a March coup d'etat the government enacted on their reserve.

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Press Release

Friday, July 16, 2008

Algonquins to demonstrate in front of Department of Indian Affairs and march through downtown Ottawa: demand Government of Canada end illegal interference in community governance and oversee new leadership selection

Ottawa, ON / – Algonquins from the Barriere Lake First Nation will end three days of demonstrations in Ottawa by picketing in front of the Department of Indian Affairs in Gatineau at 11:00am and marching through the downtown core at 1:30pm, demanding that the Government oversee a leadership re-selection in accordance with Barriere Lake's customs, and honour its signed agreements with the community.

» continue reading "First Day of Protests by Barriere Lake Algonquins"

July 9, 2008 Original Peoples

Imaginary Lines

Mohawk grandmothers assaulted at border, refuse court charges

July 8, 2008 Weblog:

The Longest Walk 2 in Baltimore, Quechan Sacred Sites, and Other Wanderings

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Greetings from a teepee in Delaplane, Virginia...

The Longest Walk 2 (www.longestwalk.org) for Mother Earth, health, sacred sites & indigenous rights is rapidly approaching Washington, DC, after thousands of miles of walking and running from Alcatraz on the west coast. Thirty years ago, in 1978, the American Indian Movement's original Longest Walk walked into DC to present their manifesto: Affirmation of Sovereignty of the Indigenous People of the Western Hemisphere.

Four days from now, the 2008 Longest Walk 2's Manifesto for Change "All Life is Sacred" will be presented to the United States government when both the southern and northern routes of the Walk converge in DC, after the July 8-10 Cultural Survival Summit in Greenbelt, MD.

The day before yesterday, a small group of us from the southern route traveled to Baltimore to meet up with the northern route for a press conference in the middle of a plaza in the city's Inner Harbour district. A photo-essay about the event will be online on my other blog - thistidehasnoheartbeat.wordpress.com - very soon, likely before you read this one. The photograph above was taken at the press conference of the young girl who carries the lead staff of the northern route: the children's staff, for the future generations.

I was invited to go along to Baltimore to take a break from the 18-hour workdays. I haven't been able to walk for over a week now because of a foot injury (the doc says achilles tendonitis, but then again he also tried to inject me with something I had just told him I was allergic to), so I've been working with the Manifesto writing & editing team. Luckily there's usually a steady stream of coffee.

» continue reading "The Longest Walk 2 in Baltimore, Quechan Sacred Sites, and Other Wanderings"

July 7, 2008 Media Analysis

Apology Accepted?

Survivors, Indigenous observers respond to apology

July 4, 2008 Accounts

The Road Begins at the Bottom of Your Feet

The Longest Walk 2 speaks out for Mother Earth

June 25, 2008 Media Analysis

Missing Voices

Media coverage of Harper's apology left obvious holes

June 21, 2008 Accounts

Gravel and Gold

In the Quinte Detention Centre, Indigenous spokespeople compare stories of resistance

June 21, 2008 Weblog:

Sandra's new blog, Tyendinaga & the Longest Walk 2

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Hello fellow Dominion readers!

I thought I'd get this blog started while standing in an office store with free wireless somewhere in North Carolina while the American Indian Movement driver of the trash pick-up crew van sleeps a while in the parking lot...

Thanks to the Dominion for editing & posting 'Gravel and Gold', a narrative article about a prison visit with Tyendinaga Mohawk spokesperson Shawn Brant, Barrick Gold's Pascua Lama project in Diaguita territory ('Chile'), and related issues.

The longer (as in 16-page long) version (PRISON NOTES: They Came First For the Mohawk, and I Didn't Speak Up Because I Wasn't Mohawk...) is available on my other blog.

My most recent article, THE ROAD BEGINS AT THE BOTTOM OF YOUR FEET: The Longest Walk 2 Speaks Out for Mother Earth) is about the Longest Walk 2, the Dooda Desert Rock resistance and uranium mining in the Navajo Nation, the Y-12 National Security Complex & nuclear plant, and the bombing and mining of Western Shoshone territory.

» continue reading "Sandra's new blog, Tyendinaga & the Longest Walk 2"

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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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