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.
For the past few years, fifty to be precise a very twisted battle formed on top of the already twisted colonial occupation that is also an still an ongoing issue, the primary one in fact.
This lesser struggle which effects both indigenous and settlers alike is one against logging, which is not only destroying lands and is not only offensive due to it being visually less preferable. This logging is aiding in destroying waterways which is causing severe water shortages in the communities and is destroying fish spawning habitat and the only success’ that has ever had any success in preventing the destruction has been through direct civil disobedience and that is what is happening once again.
Yesterday a stand off once again occurred between the community members vs. Peninsula Logging who brought with them the RCMP who were there to enforce an Interim Ex-Parte Injunction Order!
What that means is Peninsula Logging applied for and received an Ex-Parte court order which is a court order which is one sided, the decision has been made with only the knowledge and input from one side, Peninsula Loggings side. The two men in the above photo whom I have never seen before are the recipients of the injunction ‘protection order’ against the community.
However with an Ex-Parte Court Order “Persons applying ex parte to the Court must use the utmost good faith, and if they do not, they cannot keep the results of their application.” and they are temporary, they only can be upheld for ten days.
Ex-Parte Orders were designed to be used in emergency situations in order to prevent injury to people or their property, basically they are created to provide Emergency Restraining Orders which to protect people from harm after threats, assaults, rapes, murder attempts and other horrific events.
An Ex-Parte is a stopgap which must be made on strong evidence that it is preventing serious irreparable harm and these claims must be made in good faith however both parties are expected to settle their dispute at a later date which is how is reasonable in emergency situations which involve potential violence from violent people.
I have not as of yet read the document however the injunction, (restraining) order which Peninsula Logging took out to protect themselves from the residents of the sunshine coast that the RCMP are actively carrying out does not appear to protect their homes or business offices as far as I know so we are allowed to do business with them, just not to prevent them from doing business. The RCMP are only arresting people who are within the boundaries of the area that Peninsula Logging is planning to clearcut, not only protesters but also people out for a walk, people gathering medicine, people praying will all be arrested within certain areas on our territories. The RCMP will be used for the next ten days at tax payers expense to protect unceded indigenous land from the people in the community who do not want the forest destroyed without fair and reasonable consultation and their very serious concerns to be addressed transparently.
Orders like this are very dangerous because they completely strip everyone of their rights and freedoms and that is suppose to only be allowable if someone does indeed commit or threaten to commit a serious violent act against another party. If such an actual threat was made to anyone at Peninsula Logging then I would hope that that person be singled out and punished however the community at large is very peaceful and do have constitutional rights and freedoms which cannot be erased without their having committed a legitimate criminal act, exercising your constitutional rights is not a crime. The injunction that is currently tearing a part this community was issued by a Justice who sits 500 km away in Vernon which is always the case. I have found no evidence of a local Justice ever signing such an order and I have found evidence of people who have been detained during one of these out of the blue police actions against the community that come from a Vernon Justice have had those charges overturned immediately by other Justices because they are unconstitutional. This is how the game is being played, the courts and police are being used by business and violating the rights of the members of the communities. Personally I would rather not have my tax dollars wasted subsidizing bad and unethical business practices which are distressing and weakening the community especially when I contributed in good faith and expect those resources to be better used to directly help the community. The RCMP clearly do not act in that capacity, I have not found any evidence that they are a positive factor, the mere presence of them triggers trauma in many people, so unhealthy.
At this time I have been informed that there have been seven arrested and one elder had to be attended by paramedics after police attempted to physically remove him, he was not arrested.
The contested area is still occupied by community members and they are asking for more supporters and witnesses to come and help with this struggle which will continue for the next eight days while the temporary order is in effect. The side which was not included in this decision would very much like a day in court to decide the issue before the forest is destroyed, not after.