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[Photo (2008) by Sandra Cuffe of an old Glamis mining claim stake in an area of traditional Quechan territory that is an ancient sacred trail between two sacred mountains.]
June 9, 2009
Fort Yuma, CALIFORNIA/ARIZONA -- Today, the NAFTA Tribunal in the Glamis Gold dispute against the United States released its long-awaited decision.
The Tribunal found that the State of California's and the United States' actions in regulating hard rock mining on public lands did NOT violate provisions of NAFTA.
"We were the first tribe to have our briefs accepted in a NAFTA claim dispute" stated Mike Jackson, Sr., President, Quechan Nation. "The award shows that the Tribunal understood that the Indian Pass area is a sacred area to the Quechan people, worthy of protection from hard rock mining. After battling the mining company for nearly fifteen years, it is good to have this decided. We encourage Glamis (now GoldCorp) to take immediate steps to put the matter behind all of us."
Such steps could include GoldCorp not appealing the decision and abandoning or otherwise relinquishing its mining claims so that the existing withdrawal of the area from new mining claims would absorb the area proposed for the mine. Glamis must also pay two-thirds of all proceeding costs.
Kichesipirini Algonquin First Nation post open letter to Stephen Harper insisting he honour their numerous expressions of interests in unceded territory without their having to agree to domestic policy and title extinquishment. Kichesipirini insists that at least equal resources are owed those Indigenous Nations wishing to remain sovereign as is given other communities for claims.
Kichesipirini asserts that these are international rights. If these processes are supposed to be nation-to-nation treaty negotiations then they are of international character and deserve appropriate third party adjunction by appropriate third party experts. Otherwise these negotiations are a breach of Constitutional and international law and are a misappropriation of public monies and would require an investigation.
If they are not genuinely nation-to-nation and are not of international character then be honest and clearly state so, and then explain to taxpayers why you have been misleading them into thinking that the expenditure of billions of dollars is legitimate when it is actually of no lasting or legal merit, and create a process that will reimburse Canadians' their wasted monies.
Kichesipirini further asserts that since these discriminations and persecutions have the effective result of exterminating actual nations there is a moral and legal responsibility to protect required of Mr. Harper, and because of their "crimes against humanity" nature these discriminations become a matter of concern for the world, that could result in financial sanctions. Taking such risks at this time of fiscal challenge would be extremely irresponsible.
Canadian government plays divide and conquer with Algonquin indigenous peoples over logging
Video Description: The indigenous Algonquin community of Barriere Lake has been fighting with the provincial government of Quebec and the federal government of Canada for nearly twenty years over their land. Blockades they have set up in the late 1980s stopped illegal logging on their land and led them to sign a Trilateral Agreement with the two governments. Today, the community claims the agreement and all others that followed have not been honored, while logging companies plan to resume operations. In an effort to exert pressure on the government and the logging industry, the community has set up several blockades in protest. In response, the community's spokespeople and leaders have been arrested. Benjamin Nottoway, Barriere Lake's customary chief has been arrested at the last blockade and sentenced to two months in jail.
By Lia Tarachansky and Jesse Freeston
Vaughan, ON- On Thanksgiving Sunday, October 12th, 2008 roughly two dozen protesters blockaded the Canadian Pacific Rail just north of Toronto.
The blockade began at 5:30 p.m. and ended just after 8:00 p.m. Winnie Small, 20, attached herself to the rails in order to delay removal by police.
Alex Hundert, police liaison for the varied group of protesters, negotiated with the local police service, which was taken by surprise by the bridge blockade.
The group, consisting of Anti-War @ Laurier organizers, native organizers from the Six Nations reservation by Caledonia, and various individuals, was allowed to leave the blockade without arrests or conflict.
According to the police, who were in communications with CP rail on site, the blockade caused millions of dollars of economic damage and delayed trains all along the rail line.
Please stay tuned for The Real News Network video report later this week
Blockaders Set up lock down
Winnie Small, 20, locked down to the tracks with a "v" shaped metal bar
"No Olympics on Stolen Native Land" banner laid out by protesters
Chiefs of Ontario intervene on behalf of Barriere Lake Algonquins.
Please see attached
NOTE: NORMAN MATCHEWAN, SPOKESPERSON FOR THE BARRIERE LAKE ALGONQUINS WAS PUBLISHED TODAY IN THE MONTREAL GAZETTE!
TORONTO, Oct. 8, 2008 /CNW/ - On Monday, October 13, the Canadian Pacific Spirit Train will bring Olympic spirit to the Cooksville GO Station and surrounding community with a free festival from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Six-time Juno award winner Colin James headlines the event, while Olympic and Paralympic athletes bring the excitement of the games to this traveling outdoor festival promoting the Vancouver 2010 Games.
GO Transit is proud to have the Cooksville GO Station in Mississauga as the location for this festival stop. "We are happy to work with Canadian Pacific and help encourage national pride for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games," said GO Transit Managing Director Gary McNeil.
This free, all day event has something for the entire family to enjoy from musical performances to interacting with Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Visitors can also enjoy many activities and explore various exhibits. The Kids' Zone will offer workshops where families and kids can build their own mini Olympic wooden Inukshuks in honour of the Vancouver Olympic emblem. Other activities include trying out sledge hockey, a challenging Paralympic sport, or creating a video postcard message for Canadian athletes at the video booth.
For more information on the CP Spirit Train village, please visit
www.cpspirittrain.com for up-to-date event details, including concert and performance schedules, and an in-depth look at CP's historical involvement with the Olympics.
UPDATE: An Algonquin man is hospitalized the morning after Quebec police shot him in the chest with a tear-gas cannister. A disabled teenage girl was also treated with oxygen in the local Health Clinic. Twenty two children under eight and two babies were caught in the tear gas shot by the police.
To view photos
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October, 7, 2008
Canada and Quebec use riot police, tear gas, and "pain compliance" on peaceful Algonquin families to avoid negotiations: 'pain compliance' perfect description of Conservative's aboriginal policy, say community spokespeople
Kitiganik/Rapid Lake, Algonquin Territory / - Yesterday afternoon, the Conservative government and Quebec used riot police, tear gas, and "pain compliance" techniques to end a peaceful blockade erected by Algonquin families from Barriere Lake, rather than negotiate, as requested by the community. The blockade on Highway 117 in Northern Quebec began at 6:00am Monday, with nearly a hundred community members of all ages and their supporters promising to remain until Canada's Conservative government and Quebec honoured signed agreements and Barriere Lake's leadership customs. Around 4pm, nearly sixty Quebec officers and riot police encircled families after a meal and without warning launched tear gas canisters, one of which hit a child in the chest.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 6, 2008
Quebec police threaten to mass arrest peaceful Algonquin road blockaders: Community determined to maintain blockade until Canada and Quebec honour their agreements and respect leadership customs
Kitiganik/Rapid Lake, Algonquin Territory / - Families from the Barriere Lake First Nation in Northern Quebec set up a peaceful blockade at 6:00 am this morning, promising to maintain it until Canada and Quebec respect and implement widely praised agreements, and Canada appoints an observer to witness a leadership reselection in the community, and respects its outcome.
"We maintained a peaceful presence all day, but Canada and Quebec would now rather have the Quebec police arrest youth, elders and mothers, than deal in good faith with our community," said Norman Matchewan, a youth spokesperson, from the site of the blockade, as riot police from Montreal prepared to make arrests.
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Norman Matchewan, Barriere Lake spokesperson : 647 - 227 - 6696, 514 - 831 - 6902
Michel Thusky, Barriere Lake spokesperson: 819 - 435 - 2171
For more information: www.barrierelakesolidarity.blogspot.com
Collectif de Solidarité Lac Barrière
Christian Peacemaker Teams Canada
25 Cecil St., Unit 307
Toronto ON M5T 1N1
Tel: 416-423-5525; Fax: 416-423-7140
October 6, 2008
Contact: Joel Klassen (613) 331-0969 (English & French);
Christine Downing 647-296-0969 (English)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Barriere Lake Algonquins peacefully blockade highway 117:
Community loses patience with broken agreements and coup d'etat on Algonquin territory
Brief description: After exhausting all political avenues, the Algonquins of Barriere Lake and many non-native supporters have just blockaded highway 117. They will maintain the peaceful blockade until both the Canadian and Quebec governments honour their signed agreements that would allow co-management of their traditional territory and resource revenue sharing, and until Canada respects their leadership customs by appointing an observer to witness a leadership selection in accordance with their Customary Governance, and in good faith recognize the outcome.
Click here for the Algonquins' full list of demands
Quotes from Barriere Lake Algonquin Spokespeople:
Michel Thusky, community spokesperson: "To avoid their obligations, the federal government has deliberately violated our leadership customs by ousting our Customary Chief and Council. In what amounts to a coup d'etat, they are recognizing a Chief and Council rejected by a community majority. The Quebec government is cooperating with the federal government too because they are using the leadership issue as an excuse to bury the 1991 and 1998 Agreements they signed with our First Nation."
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 29, 2008
Barriere Lake slows down traffic on Highway 117: continues to pressure Minister Lawrence Cannon and his Conservative Government to respect Barriere Lake's agreements and leadership customs
Kitiganik/Rapid Lake, Algonquin Territory Territoire Algonquin /- On the National Day of Political Action, at 1:30 pm, the Algonquins of Barriere Lake will slow down traffic on highway 117 to distribute flyers and raise awareness about the Conservative government's violations of their rights.
"The federal government must accept reasonable demands we've spent years trying to reach them about – that the government honour agreements they've signed with us and stop undemocratically propping up an illegitimate Chief and Council in our community," says Norman Matchewan, a youth spokesperson for Barriere Lake.
They want the Government of Canada to uphold an internationally lauded sustainable development agreement Barriere Lake signed with Quebec and the Conservative federal government in 1991. The Government of Canada has been in breach of the agreement since 2001.
To resolve the situation, Barriere Lake is demanding that the Government of Canada send observers to witness a leadership re-selection, in accordance with Barriere Lake's Customary Governance Code, in good faith recognize the outcome, and then cease all interference in their internal affairs.
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Norman Matchewan, Barriere Lake spokesperson: 819-435 - 2171
Michel Thusky, Barriere Lake spokesperson : (819) 435-2171
Collectif de Solidarité Lac Barrière
This morning, the Brantford Police arrested two young activists from 6 Nations, aged 17 and 19. The two were arrested in transit while trying to leave the campsite on Fen Ridge Court. Twenty cops in 8 unmarked cars pulled over the vehicle they were travelling in, and arrested the two teenagers who are currently in jail. Activists at the site in Brantford have asked for supporters to come to the site tonight and/or tomorrow.
The Hampton Inn site on Fen Ridge has been shut down completely for two weeks. It had also been shut down several times over the last few months by various representations from 6 Nations including Ruby and Floyd Montour, the Confederacy Council, the Men's Fire, and now grassroots activists including Boots Powless and a newly dubbed NYM-6 Nations. The current callout comes directly from the activists on site.
The group has maintained the site beside the Hampton Inn development site in a tepee for over 60 days, upholding the declaration put forward by the Men's Fire that these sites should be shut down pending settlement of outstanding land disputes. Further, all three sites that have been targeted from the base camp have been sited as posing ecological threats; the Fen Ridge industrial development area and the Oak Park Road development site are located in an environmentally sensitive area less than a kilometre from the Grand River.
A Callout for supporters to be physically on-the-ground as early as tonight has been issued from the camp. They are also asking for food and phone cards ("solo" brand).
To get to the site:
The past month has been a hotbed of indigenous social justice activity in Ottawa. The Algonquin community of Barriere Lake has organized and carried out several actions alongside local organizers and ally groups.
On June 26th, 2008 a dozen Algonquins and supporters occupied the office of MP Lawrence Cannon, Stephen Harper’s Quebec Lieutenant. Cannon is the also the Minister of Transportation and MP Responsible for the Pontiac Region in Quebec, in which Barriere Lake is located.
“We came here today to demand a meeting with the minister,” said Acting Chief Benjamin Nottoway in front of the MP’s office in Buckingham, QC. His demand of the minister was “to call for a leadership reselection in our community. We hope to get a response by today, or we will stay here as long as it takes.”
The aboriginal activists and allies unfortunately could not stay, as by five in the evening they were forced to leave the office. Six were arrested, detained, and released later in the night, greeted by a crowd of cheering supporters.
The chief’s promise to continue putting pressure on the minister was not in vain as on July 16th almost a hundred members of the reserve of 450 came to Ottawa for a three-day protest and camp-out.
We’re here to demand the minister live up to the promise that he made to us,” said former chief Jean-Morice Matchewan. “They never kept one promise that they made to us,” he continued.
OTTAWA-Located two hours north of Montreal, the Algonquin community of Barriere Lake came to Ottawa to protest government interference in their reserve.
Demanding a meeting with MP Lawrence Cannon and a government-overseeing of governance reselection on their reserve, the community aims to correct a March coup d'etat carried out on their reserve.
The community's Customary Chief, Benjamin Nottoway, speaks with RabbleTV about the recent events on the reserve, the governance difficulties, and the struggle to protect the land.
Terry Matchewan, an Algonquin man who was part of the delegation to Ottawa was attacked alongside four other Algonquin men by Gatineau police and speaks of their targetting and wounds.
Prior the G8 Summit in Japan this year indigenous peoples from around the world gathered in Ainu Mosir. This is the official declaration they have prepared.
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.
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...
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.”
After a week of tension the police services have declared withdrawal from the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. Though announcing today all Ontario Provincial Police barricades are to be removed, cruisers and helicopters continue to survey the area.
Satisfied with the outcome, the Mohawk defenders of the Quarry have declared victory, consequent to which all solidarity blockades at Six Nations in Caledonia have also been removed.
Three members of the Tyendinaga Mohawks remain in custody though two were released on Monday, April 28th, 2008.
Supplies, a trailer, a barbecue, food, and some vehicles belonging to the Mohawk community have been taken by the police forces and are still not returned.
Meanwhile, non-Native allies have been assembling and delivering supplies from various Ontario cities to support the Mohawks in their struggle since Friday, April 25th, 2008.
The community estimates police surveillance will continue until Thursday when the remaining detainees are scheduled to appear in court.
For this purpose they are requesting monetary assistance with legal fees and will be holding various fundraisers.
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.