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An internal Report from the Canadian Border Services Agency, warned that arming border guards at a controversial border crossing could result in violence.
According to a story in the Toronto Star, the crossing on Akwesasne Mohawk land at the Ontario-Quebec-New York border was to be staffed by armed guards in May 2009.
Six months before, the report claimed that doing so could lead to violence and "further damage the border agency's relationship with local Akwesasne Mohawks".
The day before guards were to get guns, 400 Mohawks had camped near the border crossing. According to the guards, threats of violence were issued causing the guards to abandon their posts.
Mohawks make up 70% of the cross border traffic at the crossing and demonstrated against the arming of the guards stating that it was a threat to their sovereignty and that they would evict the federal government if the guards were armed.
Speaking in the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder Akwesasne Mohawk Grand Chief Tim Thompson said MP Stockwell Day, Public Safety Minister at the time, refused to meet with the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne over the issue.
WHAT: 1 day conference about mining issues within Canada and abroad
WHEN: Sunday, April 26, 2009, 10:00am - 7:30pm
WHERE: Earth Sciences, Room 1050 (ES 1050), University of Toronto, 5 Bancroft Avenue
Moderated by Judy Rebick
$10 (sliding scale) to cover cost of meals; free for students. No registration required. Donations gladly accepted (available seating for 400 in auditorium).
Hosts: UTERN, Science for Peace, Students Against Climate Change / Toronto Mining Support Group, Aboriginal Students Association of York University
With the intention of building a movement for change within Canada we are hosting a conference on mining issues at the University of Toronto. This conference will provide the space for people within Canada to interact with affected communities and each other, and the conference format prioritizes facilitating conversations focused on solutions to ending corporate impunity.
“The Question of Sustainability” is a conference dedicated to examining the Canadian mining industry through the lens of sustainability within ecosystems, human rights, culture, and economics.
Featuring speakers from Papua New Guinea, Chile, the Congo, Guatemala, Tanzania and Peru, as well as many First Nations speakers and academics from Canada. This conference brings together indigenous people from the global south and the global north, and serves to address some of the complex social, political and environmental issues that relate to the imposition of extractive industries on traditional cultures.
Major issues include water use and contamination, human rights violations by Canadian companies operating abroad, the question of corporate social responsibility, and the autonomy and preservation of traditional cultures.
Friends, Kichesipirini Citizens
Kichesipirini leadership, in accordance with our uncompromised and specific Title and Jurisdiction, and with reference to the principles established in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, after years of assertions and refusing in any way to abrogate or derogate our inherent rights, is pleased to announce that the various documents and letters submitted by the Kichesipirini to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, The Hague, have now been, as of March 30, 2009, "duly entered in the Communications Register of the Office."
The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court is specifically mandated to respond to crimes against humanity, most specifically genocide, discrimination and persecution in accordance to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Thank you to all those who have supported and encouraged us through this difficult process.
Kichesipirini Algonquin First Nation
Kichi Sibi Anishnabe
A 2005 report, Transformation: From Myth to Reality, commissioned by Canada, B.C., and the In-SHUCK-ch, calls the First Nation's communities "as isolated as any one can find in Canada", noting that the reserves lack safe road access and land-line telephones and aren't connected to the power grid. Without cellphone coverage, residents who have them communicate by two-way radio.
One hundred and eighty-seven, or 20 percent, of the In-SHUCK-ch Nation's 933 members live on its reserves, while the rest live in Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, and elsewhere. In a survey conducted for the 2005 report, most members residing off-reserve cited housing and employment as reasons for doing so. Sixty-five percent of off-reserve respondents said they want to live in the valley.
"Despite being relatively close to the Lower Mainland and to the 2010 Olympics in Whistler, the lower Lillooet River Valley has been left to economically stagnate—a direct result of the lack of basic infrastructure," the report states.
Shawn Brant has had 7 of the charges against him dropped by the Ontario Crown.
He has plead guilty to 3 of the other charges against him and according to CBC will "receive a sentence of time already served in pretrial detention, plus a 90-day conditional sentence to be spent on his reserve."
A presentation made in August of this year in Napanee, Ontario by Brant's lawyer, Peter Rosenthal, warned that Brant was going to expose police actions if taken to trail including alleged illegal wire tapping by the OPP and the reversal of previously granted immunity.
The crown was seeking a 12 year jail sentence for Brant.
*Correction: In the original edit of this posting, Peter Rosenthal was incorrectly said to have made a presentation in Caledonia. The presentation was in Napanee.
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.
The Aboriginal People's Television Network's latest newscast notes some interesting details about Shawn Brant's arrest on Friday.
Worth a look.
Photo by Clarkwork Orange
I've never actually watched the Aboriginal People's Television Network, but judging from their coverage of the recent arrest of Shawn Brant, I'll likely be tuning in to their online newscasts far more often.
The dominant narrative surrounding Brant's arrest, one of the many sparks that has ignited the standoff currently underway between hundreds of heavily armed Ontario Provincial Police officers and an estimated hundred Mohawk demonstrators and supporters at a blockade in Tyendinaga, is that of Brant breaching his bail conditions from his arrest following June 29th. Brant, of course, was one of the organizers of the one-day blockade of Mohawks of a stretch of the 401 highway between Montreal and Toronto during last year's June 29th national day of action. His bail conditions prohibited him from taking part in protests or acts of civil disobedience.
According to the Globe and Mail's account, Brant was arrested "during a traffic stop" and that "during Mr. Brant's arrest, two officers were allegedly confronted by a group of people and assaulted." Apparently, police then "noticed several suspects who were wanted in connection with protests in Deseronto on Monday and Tuesday," after which their attempt at arrest was foiled. Police then noticed a Mohawk demonstrator at the Tyendinaga site "pointing a long gun" at them. The CTV has reported
From Mohawk Nation News at around 5PM Friday:
Mohawks surrounded at the quarry in Tyendinaga. Ontario Provincial Police OPP [are]fully armed with guns drawn. They are yelling through blow horns ordering the Rotiskenrekete to come down with their hands up, or else they are going to take them out. The Rotiskenrekete have told the OPP they are not coming down from there. We have been informed that help will probably not arrive in time. The OPP have said they are coming right away. There are 20 left at the quarry. Many have already been arrested.
The stand-off began last Monday following the initial stages of construction by a dubiously legal condo development on Mohawk territory. The OPP's claim that officers had seen a "long gun" carried by Mohawk protestors bears an eery resemblance to Ipperwash. MNN points out that the area around Tyendinaga seems to have special significance for the Harper governments current plan for "continental integration" of the Canadian Forces.
This situation could be more complicated than appears at present. The Canadian Special Forces, which is the main military unit that would be active in the United States under the "Civil Assistance Plan", is moving the so-called Joint Task Force 2 to the Trenton area, just 25 miles from Tyendinaga. They will be forming a new special forces battalion. Land in the Trenton area is being secretly bought up by the government for a base and training site. A total of 400 hectares (1.5 square miles) will be purchased.
OCAP Action on September 26:
Raise the Rates! Mass Panhandle!
11:30 A.M. METRO PARK
(Queen and Church)
City-Wide Demonstration converging @ Queen's Park
On Wednesday, September 26, a broad coalition of community
organizations, trade unions, health providers and low income people will be challenging Queen's Park to increase social assistance by 40%, raise the minimum wage, build affordable and accessible housing, and implement a Don't Ask-Don't Tell policy .
There will be a rally at the Ontario Legislature under the name of ˜Toronto Anti Poverty". Many of the organizations participating in the event, will hold their own actions on that day before marching on the Legislature for the united event.
For more information about the Day of Action HERE.
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.