Kwáḵwíy was sitting quietly, too quietly which is what drew us closer. We sat by ḵwáḵwíy calmly, trying to determine what was the matter without frightening them. Soon ḵwáḵwíy rose to stretch and we quickly discovered what the problem, cords were tightly wrapped around both legs. We worked together to remove the cords, remaining calm and working quickly so we would not distress ḵwáḵwíy anymore than they already were. Kwáḵwíy was not happy and bit one of their rescuers several times, but none of us could really blame ḵwáḵwíy for this, I would be in a nasty mood if I was suffering that badly. It was sickening to see how deeply that cord had cut into ḵwáḵwíy’s leg, almost right to the bone. After ḵwáḵwíy was freed they flew a short distance to the water and set to washing themselves but none of us are sure if ḵwáḵwíy will survive but we are hopeful. Personally I have a great respect for ḵwáḵwíy, we share the same territory. Sadly due to the reality of modern life and loss of natural habitats and foods, more and more of them forage in landfills along with the eagles and ravens which is far from ideal. Please take great care with what you send to the landfills, remember it is now a source of food for many creatures.No one knows for sure how many of these beautiful and important creatures suffer and die to this failure in humans to comprehend the potential harm that something seemingly benign can cause. This happens far too often so please take the time to properly dispose of all cords, wires, strings and ribbons by cutting them into tiny little bits that cannot become entwined around the legs and wings of ḵwáḵwíy or any of the other beautiful creatures we share our Mother with. Ulnumsh
Black Seed issue 5 is now available at Little Black Cart. This journal is free however Little Black Cart does charge a small fee for shipping and handling.
This issue includes my contribution ‘The Bones of Mayuk’ along with much more good material created and shared by some very excellent people.
Republished from Unsettling Canada 150
In honour of Arthur Manuel, we call for a National Day of Action in support of Indigenous self-determination over land, territories and resources
JULY 1, 2017
On January 11, 2017, our mentor, colleague, friend and brother, Arthur Manuel passed onto the spirit world at the age of 65.
Arthur Manuel was organizing to defend his Secwepemc peoples’ and all Indigenous Peoples’ Rights up to the day he was admitted into the hospital. In the last article he wrote before his passing he referred to the Canada 150 celebrations by stating: “I do not wish to celebrate Canada stealing our land. That is what Canadians will be celebrating on July 1, the theft of 99.8% of our land, leaving us on reserves that make up only 0.2% of the territories given us by the Creator.”
As part of his campaign against the 150th celebration in Canada, Arthur was also planning to go to Geneva to appear before the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in August 2017 when Canada is scheduled to report on its treatment of Indigenous Peoples. He was preparing a counter-report to inform the world that the Trudeau government is maintaining the colonial Indian Act and its immoral, illegal land claims policies that deny Aboriginal collective title, treaty rights and our right of self-determination. We will send our own delegation to, in Arthur’s words, “escalate the assertion of our rights from a purely domestic strategy to an international strategy across nations.” (http://redrisingmagazine.ca/what-are-you-going-to-do-about-it/.)
JULY 1 NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION
In the spirit of Arthur Manuel, we want to make July 1 a National Day of Action. This day of action is to celebrate our Indigenous and human rights to self-determination, our lands, territories and resources. It is also to educate Canadians about how their constitutional framework, first established 150 years ago in the British North America Act (1867), illegally confiscated our lands, territories and resources, spawned the post-confederation Indian Act and attempted to write Indigenous jurisdiction— and Indigenous Peoples— out of existence.
This assault has not stopped. If anything, it has accelerated under the current government. Prime Minister Trudeau has been approving pipeline projects and continues to bank on the exploitation of our resources. He does not want to recognize Indigenous land rights. The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls continues to fall short and fail many families. We will be demanding that the Trudeau government respect our internationally recognized right of land and body self-determination, including our absolute right to Free, Prior, Informed Consent to any activities in our territories, as set out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
This is a grassroots movement that will never accept any behind-the-scenes attempts to weaken our rights, like the closed door meetings of the Cabinet and a Ministerial Working-Group now underway with the three National Aboriginal Organizations (Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Metis National Council), led by Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.
Instead of backroom manipulations, we demand:
1) a new open truly Nation-to-Nation recognition process that begins by fully recognizing collective Indigenous rights and Title, and our decision-making power throughout our territories.
2) full implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Calls for Action, including rejecting the colonial doctrines of discovery and recognizing Indigenous self-determination.
3) full implementation of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on the ground.
We recognize and affirm that jurisdiction over our lands, territories, and resources is inseparable from the issue of self-determination over our peoples. Violence against women, trans, and two-spirit Indigenous people is connected to the loss of authority over our lands. It is worsened by extraction industries that attempt to claim ownership to our lands and our people through acts of violence.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED:
We ask that you, your community, and your organization join us to send a loud and clear message to Canada and the world that we will no longer accept the colonial system of dispossession, dependency and repression that Canada has imposed on us for the past 150 years.
1) Join a national action – find one near you
2) Take Local Action
Host an event, such as a rally, or a public forum. Email us to let us know what you are planning. Use the subject “Indigenous Day of Action Event.” We’ll promote it on our Idle No More events calendar and post your pictures on social media on July 1, 2017.
3) On July 1, 2017, wherever you are in Canada, take to social media
Tag us @IdleNoMore4 & the Prime Minister @JustinTrudeau and any other government official or agency related to your issue (see attached list)
Change your Facebook banner to promote this campaign and your activism (see attached banner)—keep it up as long as you like!
Wear Indigenous Rights red & post a picture of yourself taking action to the Idle No More Facebook page.
NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION (JULY 1, 2017) ENDORSED BY:
Family of Arthur Manuel
Defenders of the Land Network
Idle No More Network
Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade
The Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples
Indigenous Climate Action
Secwepemc Women Warrior Society
No More Silence
The Shuswap Lake Coalition
No One Is Illegal – Toronto
No One Is Illegal – Vancouver Coast Salish territories
Rising Tide North America
Immigration Legal Committee – Law Union of Ontario
Algonquins of Barriere Lake First Nation
Wolastoq Grand Council
Dr Lynn Gehl
Barriere Lake Solidarity
Mining Injustice Solidarity Network
Water is Life: Coalition for Water Justice
Red Nation (Albuquerque)Eagle and Condor Community Center
Decolonize this Place
NYC Stands with Standing Rock Collective
The Latinx, Afro-Latin-America Abya Yala Education Network (LAEN)
The Great Lakes Commons
Fossil Free Guelph
Native Land 150
Critical Race Relations Consulting
Aamjiwnaang and Sarnia Against Pipelines (ASAP)
Mi’kmaq Warrior Society, Mi’kmaQ territory
Indigenous Women’s Association of the Maliseet and Mi’kmaq Territories Inc.
Justice for Migrant Workers (J4MW)
The Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu and Mining Injustice (WCCC)
The Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Network
Silence No More
Metis Empowered Together In Solidarity
The LEAP Organizing Team
Between The Lines Press
The Council of Canadians
International Human Rights Association
of American Minorities (IHRAAM)
Jean Arnold – The Analog Forestry Network
The Punch Up Collective
Canadian Dimension magazine
In Solidarity with all Land Defenders
We Love This Coast .com
Graphic History Collective
Toronto Network of Engaged Buddhists
Buddhist Civil Liberties Association
Toronto Buddhist Peace Fellowship
Divest Mount Allison University on Mik’maq territory
Climate Justice Montreal
IPSMO (Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement -Ottawa)
Have your group join us by endorsing the Day of Action!
Beatrice Hunter is an Innu Grandmother who had been battling with the community against the crown corporation Nalcor Energy to protect her traditional territory of Nitassinan. The community has been protesting over flooding as well with concerns over methylmercury contamination. Beatrice was sentenced to 10 days for participating in a protest on May 22nd of this year.
Despite the fact that Beatrice is serving a very short sentence for non-violent peaceful protesting and exercising her constitutional rights the crown has relocated her 1,000 kilometers from her community and placed her into a maximum security men’s prison.
The following message is from Beatrice Hunter who is presently incarcerated in Her Majesty’s Penitentiary, St John’s Canada.
Please show your support for Beatrice Hunter and all other imprisoned activists, revolutionaries, warriors and other political prisoners.
Thank you Matthew Behrens for creating this graphic and post (from Ottawa: Make Muskrat Right)
Following statement was issued from the Labrador Land Defenders on May 29, 2017.
While Trudeau tries to make it look like he cares about Indigenous people while meeting with the Pope, back at home, an Indigenous woman, Beatrice Hunter is thrown in jail for trying to save the future of her land and people from a Trudeau-backed megaproject at Muskrat Falls.
Please write and call the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador Dwight Ball, who is ALSO Minister of Labrador, Intergovernmental, and Indigenous Affairs
Demand of Premier Ball
1. Immediate release of Beatrice Hunter
2. Dropping of all charges against Labrador Land Protectors and lifting of the anti-democratic injunction against land protectors brought by NALCOR Energy
3. Cancel the Muskrat Falls hydro project because it is too dangerous in the short and long term, whether from catastrophic collapse of the North Spur (which is built on quick clay, which moves) or from methyl mercury poisoning.
“This is what I believe, if any of the Labrador Land Protectors server jail time than it’s to show that we’re fearless and to make us stronger, it’s not to teach us a lesson.” – Beatrice Hunter, May 26, 2017
“I am going to the gate tomorrow at 10 am hope to see you there, have to stand by a good honest man, Darren Hill, he’s put his job and livelihood on the line for his people. Stand beside him. I will not live in fear of court or arrest anymore, we are doing the right thing, saving lives, and babies who aren’t even born yet, innocents.” – Beatrice Hunter, May 19, 2017
A petition demanding the release of Beatrice Hunter can be found here.
Links to the Labrador Land Defenders page as well as their legal expense fund raiser can be found here.
Following statement issued from the Unist’ot’en People, traditional Wet’suwet’en Territory on May 24, 2017.
Image courtesy of Unist’ot’en Camp
‘And so it begins! the skies are busy above camp today. The Construction Crew who are working on the Healing Center are constantly being interrupted by chopper activity flying overhead.
To date we know that TransCanada (with the Coastal Gas Link pipeline) as well as Chevron (with the Pacific Trails pipeline) have issued public notices stating that they intend to survey for their pipeline projects and construct service roads to the proposed pipeline Right of Ways. The BC government issued a letter about 2 months ago to the Unist´ot´en People stating that they wanted the steel gate removed from the bridge so that they can access ¨their¨ resources. Despite the Final Investment Decision for the LNG Plant facilities in Kitimat being put on hold indefinitely these pipeline companies want to force unwanted work onto the unceded lands of the Wet´suwet´en.
Doing so would be ignoring Supreme Court of Canada case law as well as (and more importantly) breaking Wet´suwet´en Laws on occupied territories.
If you had thought about coming up to offer your support please visit the https://unistotensolidarity.com/page or if you want to help us protect these lands from Oil and Gas but cannot find the time or logistical support to physically join us please visit us at the https://unistoten.camp/support-us/page to look over ideas on ways that you can employ to join us in our fight.
End of statement!
From what I understand Wet’suwet’en Territory does not get much if any air traffic so this is highly unusual, however sadly it is not unexpected. The Unist’ot’en Camp is something I have long supported because preventing pipelines from reaching our coastline is something I am very much in favor of as well as something I am presently benefiting from and wish to continue doing so. I am not in favor of having tanker traffic or oil spilled on our traditional waters, not many are.
The Unist’ot’en have not been shy in regards to expressing their opposition to having any pipelines, bitumen or lng, on their territory. That is exactly why they constructed that gate, to keep oil and gas employees from accessing their territories without their consent as it seems they are fully intending to do.
The Unist’ot’en are not alone in their position either, globally there is a massive amount of opposition to these industries, the products they produce and the destruction they cause! There is far too much for us to lose to allow these projects to proceed, they will harm our communities, ecosystems, industries and economies.
The Unist’ot’en do not have a treaty with the government’s that are claiming ownership of their territories and resources as they have been doing for the past 150 years. The Wet’suwet’en People have also established title to their territories through the Canadian Supreme Court’s Delgamuukw decision. Despite the Wet’suwet’en People’s legal rights it appears as the government are intending to force these pipelines upon the Wet’suwet’en People’s territories, violating their constitutional rights and a Supreme Court of Canada decision in the process.
Are these people who are spinning ‘reconciliation’ as part of their big ‘150’ celebration going to actually apply the UN declaration on rights of Indigenous Peoples and cease with their colonial nonsense as they promised they would? Or is this ‘reconciliation’ spin nothing more than the manufacture of consent for a relationship in which no consent has actually ever been given?
Well if you consider the heavy RCMP presence at the Imperial Metals Investors Meeting in Coquitlam yesterday and the fact that they used force against Secwepemc People in order to prevent them from attending the meeting my guess would be it is only spin, don’t get your hopes up. When you consider the fact that the taxpayers had to foot the forty million dollar bill for Imperial’s Mount Polley Disaster you have to wonder where all those normally angry taxpayers are? Whatever side you stand on it is not in anyone’s interest that this type of corporate welfare continues. It is harming our environment, contaminating the water, destroying our economies along with our communities, the responsibility to stop it falls upon all our shoulders.
Not long ago I was honored to be present at an assembly of Warriors, Land Defenders and Settler Supporters which took place in Pánkúpa (so called Vancouver). Indigenous Warriors came from many different Nations Occupied North America to share their wisdom with us all. It was good to be in their presence and to be able to share knowledge, support and advice with other all of the other Indigenous Warriors, Land and Water Defenders and Settler Supporters at these extremely troubled times. I would like to thank the organizers and volunteers for their hard work and the excellent job they did juggling so many events people into those few successful days.
There were a great number of people present but this is hardly surprising considering the looming threats being directed at us by the oil and gas industry’s! Presently there are many Indigenous Land Defense Actions that are in need of supporters, some of them urgently so in order to appeal on all their behalfs as well as our own I have created a list of links to Land Defense and support groups created to aid Indigenous People’s in their struggles. This list will be updated regularly and any additions that people wish to add can be shared in the comments section of that page.
The corporations are relentless, and the oil and gas industries are not the only problem, they are simply amongst the most looming. The fentanyl crisis is also looming, on top of the already long list of terrifying substances that have been created for our well being many of which are still being distributed to the population despite their deadly effects. Why is it still assumed that the way to tackle these health care created issues is through violence and incarceration rather than through offering the afflicted person proper support and aid them in their recovery? The housing crisis is far beyond looming it continues to grow by leaps and bounds which is hardly surprising as it was spawned from the colonialism and genocide which have continued unabated since their conception. The looming issues with police violence and corruption along with the looming issue of ongoing war, bombings and terror being inflicted upon innocent people all in the name of greed. Ironically all these problems have been brought to you by the government’s who allegedly serve the population’s and are funded by your tax dollars. We all know live in a reality in which corporate welfare is the norm and the population’s are under serviced and over taxed, not just in a monetary sense but also physically, mentally and spiritually, and this reality effect quality of life, things could be so easily done so much better.
We have all witnessed the great deal of energy, resources and time that growing numbers are being forced to commit in order to attempt to protect Our Mother from being destroyed by corporations who are being backed and supported by their own elected officials and their military agents, this is absurd! We have witnessed ongoing assaults against peaceful, non-threatening, frightened people being perpetuated by agents of the government and it is the horror of witnessing these and the injustice behind in to become involved in working to put a stop to these practices and help preserve life instead of allowing it to be destroyed for greedy agendas. I would like to offer my appreciation to all of the people who are putting themselves at risk and through hardship in order to protect our Mother from more senseless destruction and contamination.
There are many different ways people can get behind these actions, one way is by becoming being a front line supporter, a camp supporter, through donations of goods and supplies, in fund raising for Indigenous and Land Defenders legal expenses, arranging and/or participating in rallies in your area, sharing information on social media, pressuring your elected officials, boycotting key players and the banks funding the destructive project. Any and all efforts are needed so please continue doing all you can, together we can and will overcome any obstacles.
For those of you who are able to and would like to join in as Land Defenders at active camps you need to contact the Traditional Nation and obtain their consent first. You should also do research first, regarding the history of the camp, of the Nation or Nations the camp represents, on colonialism and its effects and about the threat to their territory as well as the parties involved. Do not fail to spend sometime looking into the legal issues regarding the situation, if you are an activist in so called BC, Civil Disobedience: A Legal Handbook For Activists has been provided for your use courtesy of the UVIC’s Environmental Law Center, it is a good guide for any who are planning to protest the pipelines or any other resources extraction on any of our unceded territories. It is also very important to consider your psychological, spiritual and mental fitness as well. Look for guidance as to what to expect through the shared experiences of other people who have been on the front lines. Use this knowledge to prepare yourself for whatever may come, and by prepare yourself make sure that you will be able to take care of your spiritual and emotional support needs when the time comes.
As to what to expect when you arrive in a Land Defense Camp, expect to contribute your labor for the betterment of the community. Also I am not aware of any Indigenous people calling our for colonizers to come help them, you will be expected to learn and follow the cultural, protocols and adhere to laws of the Nation who are the true custodians of their lands you are defending. Land/Water Defense is not a vacation, if you do go you will be required to help out with the daily work load in this camps. This means cutting and hauling firewood, hauling water, cooking, cleaning, hunting, fishing, construction all while maintaining respectful relationships with other people and the world around you.
We have all had the common experience at all Land and/or Water Defense actions where people show up unprepared, unskilled and at times unwilling to share in the workload. This of course creates a greater burden on the rest of the community who really do not need added responsibility of taking care of you while we are also struggling against colonialism and genocide.
So please before you take this step consider your physical condition, will you be physically capable of participating in the types of work and survival activities that will be required of you? Also ensure that you have the right clothing and equipment which will aid you in your survival on the territory you are defending. Consider your skills and abilities, will you be able to perform your share in the work, what are you best at that will be beneficial to the community. Perhaps you can cook but will require training in other areas, that should not be a problem as long as you come willing to learn new skills. Your research and communications with the Nation you are interested in supporting will provide you with the information you will need to have on their territories. Do not ever attempt to invite yourself to one of the camps, you should make contact and follow the traditional people’s protocols in order to gain legal entry to their lands.
In most traditional cultures the people who stand the front lines are the Warriors. Our responsibility is not create harm or do harm but instead to protect harm from being committed against others as well as to care for the other members of our communities. This definition and these practices will be applied at the camps so you should expect to respect and follow them in practice while you are there, do not bring your definition of other peoples nation and attempt to impose it on them.
These are very dire times indeed but there is nothing that we cannot overcome if we work together respectfully and with the common goal of righting the wrongs of colonialism, imperialism, inequality and put an end to the destruction and harm being committed against Our Mother for our Grandchildren.