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Riot Police Target Barriere Lake Algonquin Blockade

October 6, 2008

Riot Police Target Barriere Lake Algonquin Blockade



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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Media Contacts:

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)

Christian Peacemaker Teams sends human rights observer team to Barriere Lake Algonquin Territory

Rapid Lake, Quebec: – Christian Peacemaker Teams Canada has established a human rights observer presence this morning at a peaceful blockade erected by Algonquins of Barriere Lake and supporters on Highway 117 between Maniwaki and Val D'Or, Québec, three hours north of Ottawa. Christian Peacemaker Teams will be monitoring the blockade with a hope to reduce the potential for violence by the Sureté du Québec police patrolling the region.

The Algonquins of Barriere Lake signed a Trilateral Agreement with the federal and Québec governments in 1991 to share resources derived from their traditional territories. Since then the federal government has refused to implement the agreement, has undermined local governance practices on several occasions, and cut off much needed funding to the community. The level of poverty in the community is very high in a territory from which scores of millions of dollars of resources are extracted annually, and from which the community does not benefit. Among other things, the Algonquins are calling on the government to honour the Trilateral Agreement.

Carolyn Hudson, a CPTer at the blockade observed, "more and more First Nations, Metis and Innu people are taking non-violent direct actions and saying, Enough! Governments must take heed, listen with respect, and honour past agreements and obligations. It seems "the powers that be" only listen when they are inconvenienced. Let's hope this peaceful blockade, this inconvenience, will have positive results."

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