A haudenosaunee woman with the support of anishinaabe, métis and non-indigenous women and supporters shut down public consultations in occupied kanien’keha:ka ohontsa:ke, socalled “montreal quebec”. transKKKanada seeks to violate the kaniensera’kowa, the Great Law of Peace which unites the haudenosaunee confederacy as six nations, and seeks to trespass on our lands without our consent. we denounce the process of “public consultation” as inherently exclusionary of onkwehon:we people and lacking any credibility within its own settler paradigm. there is no democratic process for negotiating genocide. it is clear that such a project violates kaniensera’kowa and threatens onkwehon:we’neha, our indigenous life ways itself. as indigenous women we have a responsibility to the faces not yet born to protect our mother against these violations. we must understand that cultures of rape: raping our lands, raping our people, must end. so must end the settler occupation of indigenous lands. reclaim our lands, reclaim our lifeways.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 6, 2015
Grassroots Indigenous People say they will be the ones to decide if Tarsands Oil can cross their Territories.
Kenora—Today is day 5 of the Anishinaabe Water Walk, and already more than 40 walkers have covered 100 km of the route that TransCanada wants to use for the Energy East Pipeline project that will pump tarsands bitumen through a 40 year old gas pipeline where it crosses and threatens more than a dozen waterways in Treaty 3 Territory. The Anishinaabe Water Walk, organized by Grassroots Indigenous Water Defence (GIWD), will pass through downtown Kenora today, and will be joined by supporters for a rally at Market Square at 3pm, and will then march through the streets of downtown Kenora to McLeod Park for a community meal, from which the Water Walkers will continue to their final destination at Shoal Lake 39 on Saturday.
Fawn Wapioke is Chief of Iskatewizaagegan (Shoal Lake 39) First Nation and a mother who has been one of the lead walkers since Sunday. “The bravery and the strength of our young people, Elders, men and women in collectively opposing the proposed Energy East project is admirable,” she says.
“The walk has created awareness, unity, and a stronger connection to one another as well as to the lands, waters, and to our responsibilities as the Anishinaabeg who are indigenous to this territory,” says Wapioke.
With the Federal election campaign having commenced, and with TransCanada pushing ‘divide and conquer’ “communication and engagement funding agreements” (CEFA) on cash-strapped First Nations revealing a deeply flawed consultation framework, grassroots Indigenous voices that can hold government accountable to Treaties that affirm inherent Indigenous rights are positioned as a powerful voice against. Supporting those grassroots Indigenous voices right now is one of the most effective things the climate movement can do to challenge Canada’s environmentally destructive and backwards energy strategies.
“The CEFA consultation deals that TransCanada is using to manipulate First Nations Band Councils and Treaty advocacy groups exemplify the way that the Federal Government is devolving their fiduciary and legal obligations like the Duty to Consult with Indigenous Nations to giant corporations—the very people who stand to profit from these environmentally destructive projects,” says Clayton Thomas-Muller, Indigenous Climate Campaigner for 350.org, who has been on the Walk for its entirety.
“The Anishinaabe Water Walk in Treaty 3 Territory against the path of the Energy East Pipeline project is one of the most important grassroots initiatives to support in this major fight to protect our water, land and collective rights against the agenda of big oil and the Harper government,” says Thomas-Muller. “It will be up to those grassroots voices to decide whether or not this and other similar projects are actually allowed to be completed,” he says.
Today’s rally and march are organized by Transitions Initiative Kenora (TIK) in support of the Anishinaabe Water Walk.
“It is startlingly clear that we are at a breaking point environmentally; not only our water, but all it is connected to is at risk,” says Ashley Bennet, a member of TIK.
“The Indigenous Women who are leading the Water Walk are our teachers, our leaders, our inspiration; they are where my hope lies and my support lands,” says Bennet. “These women are forging a new path which they are challenging us all to follow; a path that calls us to change the direction of thinking in Canada,” she concludes.
Grassroots Indigenous Water Defence (GIWD) was founded in 2014 by Anishinaabe Women from Treaty 3 communities as a response to the threats posed by TransCanada’s Energy East Pipeline project. The fight against the pipeline and the initiative taken by GIWD is just one example of grassroots Indigenous People taking bold new actions to protect water and land from destructive industrial development, for future generations.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 10, 2015
Traditional Ceremony taking place despite Threats and Intimidation from Police and Industry
Highway 671, Ontario—Today at 1pm, the Grassy Narrows Women’s Drum Group will be hosting a traditional Anishinaabe Water Ceremony near the CN Mainline at Mile 106 near Highway 671 between Kenora, Ontario and Grassy Narrows First Nation in Treaty # 3. The location is in an area where the rail line passes directly by several lakes and river tributaries as it runs along the southern boundary of Asubpeeschoseewagong (Grassy Narrows) Traditional Territory and multiple Anishinaabe families’ traplines.
Today’s ceremony is being held to protect the local waterways from increasing threats posed by the rapidly expanding transportation of tarsands bitumen, natural gas, and other explosive and toxic chemicals across and through our Territories.
Originally, the Water Ceremony was planned to take place right on the tracks in order to protect the local waterways from the potential of a disastrous major spill from one of the many oil and gas trains that pass through daily. However, yesterday community members received calls from CN Rail Police and Aboriginal Relations officials promising a heavy handed response and threatening arrests. OPP Liaison Officers were also in Grassy Narrows today, questioning band members about the planned Ceremony and attempting to serve a preemptive injunction secured by CN Rail against the Ceremony.
In response to these threats and intimidation, a Grassy Narrows Elder asked that the railway stoppage be called off. Local organizers, respecting these wishes, are moving the ceremony to a location beside, not on the tracks.
Recent train derailments near Mattagami First Nation (Gogoma, Ontario), as well as last year’s devastating explosion in Lac Megantic have drawn attention to an increasing threat from expanding traffic of increasingly explosive and toxic oil and gas shipments. Much of that oil is tarsands bitumen.
Local waters are also at threat from expanding transport of tarsands bitumen through the proposed TransCanada Energy East Pipeline project. Whether by rail or by pipeline, increased transport of tarsands bitumen represents a terrible risk to waters across Treaty # 3 Territories.
As Indigenous people we have a sacred connection and responsibility to our lands and to our waters. We have spiritual connection to all life through our teachings. Our land has provided for us since time immemorial and we will maintain our waters for the next 7 generations as our Ancestors did for us.
Locally, waters have already been greatly impacted by industrial spilling—in the 1960’s, the waters of the English and Wabigoon River Systems were poisoned when over 9000 Kgs of mercury were dumped into the Wabigoon River by the Dryden Pulp and Paper Mill. Today, while newborns in Grassy Narrows continue to exhibit symptoms of mercury poisoning, the waters are threatened with more mercury contamination from proposed industrial logging operations in Grassy Narrows Territory as well as proposed gold mining expansion in Dryden and at Red Lake.
The ongoing expansion of tarsands development poses a threat, not only to waters and communities along the pipeline and rail routes used for its transport, but communities downstream from the tarsands are the most directly impacted, enduring a range of brutal environmental and health impacts. Tarsands expansion and its accompanying carbon emissions is also a massive contributor to global climate change.
The date for this Ceremony was chosen in solidarity with the ‘Act on Climate’ march taking place in Quebec City this weekend.
We know from our own experience in Grassy Narrows, that industry will not be responsible to clean after it has damaged the waters and lands through their reckless ‘development’. We no longer trust these industries to come onto our land and further damage our home for economic reasons. The companies have no interest or consideration for our lives and livelihood which has provided for us for thousands of years.
CN Rail’s refusal to accommodate the Water Protection Ceremony (which would have only required relatively brief delays), in light of recent environmentally disastrous derailments, shows a firm commitment from the company (and the OPP) to protect industry schedules and profits over protection of the environment and the safety of communities.
We need to stand together for the protection our future generations for our children and grandchildren to stop the development of the Energy-East pipeline and other water destroying industry, so life can continue as we know it and continue to provide for the same clean waters and undeveloped lands for our own survival.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kenora—Dozens of Anishinabe Women, their families, and supporters converge today on Market Square at noon to deliver a message against the proposed Energy East Pipeline that will deliver tarsands oil right through the City and through all of Treaty 3 (and other First Nations) Territory.
Monday’s Family Day demonstration, with a focus on protecting the water for future generations, is intended to be highly visible—with drumming, singing, placards and speeches—and to inform and engage the local public about the immense threats posed by the likelihood of oil spills to local water sources, ecosystems, animal habitat, and human health, as well as broader environmental impacts from proposed tarsands expansion.
Fawn Wapioke is Chief of Shoal Lake #39. She says, “I am deeply concerned about the pipeline and believe that our responsibility is to the land, the water, and future of our People. Our responsibility is upholding the law of the land to ensure survival of our Mother Earth.”
TransCanada, speaking to the possibility of a major oil spill in the area, has said that it would take a minimum 22 minutes to shut down the Energy East pipeline in case of a leak. Any spill from the pipeline could allow as much as 2.7 million litres of oil to spill in that time.
It wouldn’t be the first major industrial spill in the region.
“Being from Grassy Narrows, I know firsthand how damage to the water can poison our families and our kids, not just now, but in the future, too,” said Corrisa Swain, a Youth from Grassy Narrows where families continue to watch newborn children exhibit the brutal symptoms of mercury poisoning, a Dryden pulp and paper mill having dumped over 9000 kgs of Mercury into the English and Wabigoon River System over 40 years ago. “We know from our own experience how these kinds of projects can have terrible impacts on future generations and how unlikely it is that government or companies will ever clean up afterwards,” says Swain.
The environmental impacts from the Energy East Pipeline also extend far beyond the local effects on the Winnipeg River, Lake of the Woods and local ecosystems.
“The project is a climate nightmare, demanding as much as a 40% expansion of tarsands extraction, releasing millions of tonnes more carbon pollution, just when we’ve been told that 75% of tarsands oil needs to stay in the ground to avoid catastrophic climate impacts in the next century,” said Teika Newton, a representative of Kenora Transitions Initiative (TIK), a Kenora-based environmental advocacy group. “There is also the reality that tarsands extraction, like pipeline spills, have terrible impacts on downstream communities across the continent,” Newton says.
Trancanada’s new pipeline project has already been opposed across the entirety of its route, from local tarsands impacted communities to the Mohawk community of Kanesatake and Mi’qmak communities on the East Coast. In Treaty 3 Territory, Grand Chief Warren White has already clearly stated that the pipeline will not carry tarsands oil across the territory without express consent from affected First Nations. Local grassroots communities have echoed those sentiments.
“The Energy East Pipeline is going to affect us all, we together as Peoples need to prevent this project. For the sake of the water, wildlife, and land,” says Alicia Kejick, a Youth from Shoal Lake #39. “For our Peoples and future grandchildren,” Kejick says, “it is momentous that we protect what is ours to begin with. We will be out on Family Day, not just to raise awareness, but to speak for those who can’t.”
Anishinaabeg and fellow Energy East pipeline resisters made a presence inside and outside Lakeside Inn on Tuesday, Aug. 12 for TransCanada’s second Kenora, Ont., open house
This time, the people weren’t interested in hearing TransCanada’s “information session” pitch. The tradeshow set-up had booths, corporate fact-sheets, and enough staff for one-on-one interactions to keep concerned citizens unaware of each other’s objections to the proposed Energy East pipeline.
Many in attendance had already made up their minds against the Energy East project proposal to convert the 50+ year-old natural gas carrying “Canadian Mainline,” and build new pipeline sections, into what could be North America’s largest tarsands pipeline, with 1.1 million barrels of diluted bitumen per-day from Hardisty, AB to marine terminals at Saint John, NB for international export.
Kenora Transition Initiative, 350.org, and Kenora community members began with a picket across the street from the Inn, with signs and leaflets to counter TransCanada’s.
But, after two patient hours outside the hotel, Anishinaabeg led the walk inside with song and did not allow TransCanada reps and contracted Garda security to take their signs away.
“I’m here to speak for my children and my grandchildren and there’s not going to be any oil going through this land, even when I die my kids are going to stand up after me, and that’s it, no pipelines,” first announced Shawanoong Noodin Ikwe (Chrissy Swain) of Grassy Narrows to the captive audience of TransCanada staff.
VIDEO: Strong woman warrior song and Chrissy speaks up
“What do you project for the future? In 50 years, 25 years, 100 years, what is going to happen to the pipe? It’s going to corrode…It doesn’t matter what you say, there is going to be leaks in there…. What is going to happen to our water…our children are not going to be able to drink it,” said elder Nancy Morrison, 85, originally from Onigaming who challenged TransCanada’s “Gary” with the people standing behind her.
VIDEO: Elder Nancy Morrison talks inside Kenora TransCanada open house
Morrison later turned to her comrades: “As Anishinaabe people we have to stick together…keep in touch…we have to work hard to try and prevent that pipeline from going through.”
“Gary” responded to the women, “Thank you for coming…we’re interested in talking to you and providing information,” Winnipeg’s Lorraine Clements interjected, “Your information is lies…you’re not listening to the women…”
VIDEO: TransCanada’s Gary spoken to by the women
Swain directed an assertion to TransCanada staff: “You are not welcome here on Treaty 3 territory.”
“There is a genocide that is happening to our lands, that you are a part of destroying”, exclaimed Jo Seenie, of Roseau River whose kids are from Shoal Lake 40. “You guys (TransCanada) think momentarily all the time, why?…and we’re tired of being sold out…shame on all of you for sitting here talking like it’s normal to rape the land.”
Seenie who vocally shut-down Phil Fontaine’s speech at the University of Winnipeg in Janurary vowed to keep speaking out and put her life on the line in order to stop the project. Fontaine’s consulting group Ishkonigan is contracted by TransCanada to engage with 185 first nations communities along proposed corridor.
TransCanada expects to file it’s regulatory application to the National Energy Board this September before it can be approved. The company aims to have the pipeline pushing diluted bitumen by 2018.
VIDEO: “The Water Song,” sung inside the TransCanada open house
From Suzanne Patles
Our Mi’kmaq warriors are requesting the assistance of the people for help. They are requiring some assistance with their canteen funds. Germain junior Breau and Aaron Francis, members of the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society have been incarcerated and held as political prisoners of war since the raid of their encampment in incensed unsurrendered Mi’kmaq territory on October 17th, 2013. They were both found guilty of weapons-related charges on June 26th 2014. Their sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 25th, 2014.
Junior Breau was found guilty of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and 5 counts of pointing a firearm. Not guilty of 5 counts assaulting police with a firearm.
Aaron was found guilty of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose. He was found not guilty of throwing Molotovs, intent to do bodily harm by causing an explosive device to explode, possession of explosives while prohibited to do so, and committing an offense while having his face masked.
They are currently the only two political prisoners of war in so-called Canada. They made a stance to not only protect the indigenous women, elders and children in their inherent territories but they were also defending the sacred land and waters for all people. They made their stance for the liberation of the Mi’kmaq nation and for the liberation of all indigenous people all over the world. To support our warriors please contact Suzanne Patles 902 217 0608 or Patty Crow 506 229 0373 or via Facebook inbox
Email transfers can be sent to healing_crow2010 [at] hotmail [dot] com
You can also organize a letter writing night, send in reading materials (like awesome zines from ZigZag but no staples, glue, glitter or adhesives) or host a fundraiser!
Money can be sent directly to our men via Canada post money order and sends money order along with your letter of support
You could also write a warrior:
Germain junior Breau / Aaron Francis
S.R.C.C; 435 Lino rd; Shediac NB; E4P 0H6 Canada
Update from Unist’ot’en Camp:
“A few days ago, a helicopter touched down in the back end of Unist’ot’en territory.
This incident marked the fifth flyover in the last two weeks. We jumped in a truck and gave chase to where we thought they might be heading – a proposed work-camp for the Pacific Trails Pipeline. As we approached the area, the helicopter flew back the way it came.
The next day we investigated the area and the ground was obviously disturbed.
Needles and leaves were blown away from the area that we suspected the helicopter landed in. After searching, it was decided that trees were to be fallen at the landing site, and helicopter blockades were erected to prevent helicopters from landing in the future. We left a sign, for those flying over, that says: “Unist’ot’en Territory: NO TRESPASS.”
The situation at Unist’ot’en is starting to escalate and more sentries are needed to stand guard”
– Ambrose Williams, Gitxsan, Unist’ot’en supporter
Asserting Indigenous Law Over Unceded Lands
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 18th, 2014
[Unist’ot’en Territory – near Smithers, BC] Amid threats of a raid and impending pipeline approvals, the Unist’ot’en Clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation are prepared to continue to defend their territories against the incursion of government and industry. A soft blockade was erected in 2009, which remains today, to insure that pipeline projects which violate Wet’suwet’en Law would not trespass onto Wet’suwet’en territories to develop projects without their consent.
Yesterday the Federal government approved the Northern Gateway Pipeline, but the Uni’stot’en Camp still remains in the path of the proposed pipe as well as several others. The Northern Gateway is intended to expand the Athabasca Tar Sands facilitating the export of bitumen to international markets via supertankers off the West Coast.
The Uni’stot’en Clan is part of the hereditary chief system which has governed Wet’suwet’en lands since time immemorial and is not subject to the Indian Act or other impositions of colonial occupation.
“Harper is illegal, Canada is illegal. The Provincial and Federal governments are illegal because they don’t have jurisdiction in our peoples territory. We have never signed any treaties, this land is unceded.” states Freda Huson, Unist’ot’en Clan member and spokesperson for the camp. Huson references a Supreme Court ruling in the Delgamuukw vs. British Columbia case that clearly states the ownership of unceded territories remains with the Indigenous peoples and that Band Council Chiefs and Indian Act Agents have no authority over these lands. In fact, consultation and consent must be given by the traditional and hereditary governance systems. Huson explains, “They’ve tried to get our consent and our Chiefs have said no to these projects and no means no. Wet’suwet’en law applies to these [projects]. Developers can go ahead and try and put their projects through here but they will be considered trespassers and we’ll enforce Wet’suwet’en law against trespassers… We’re not afraid of the Harper government, we’re not afraid of anyone who is going to try and forcefully put their project through our territory when we’ve already said no.”
Indigenous peoples across Turtle Island have been standing up against resource extraction projects which infringe on our collective sovereignty and attack our territories, our peoples and our nations. Continued pushes for pipeline project approvals, tar sands expansion and fracking by the Federal government will only result in increased mobilization by Indigenous peoples. “Our numbers are quite high across Canada, Indigenous people probably out-number settler people and you can guarantee that if there is an uprising in one community – especially with a bigger project that impacts the whole world through global warming – you’re going to have a lot of upset people across Canada, this impacts every body.”
Temporary highway, rail and port blockades have been used to show support with other Indigenous communities across Turtle Island and Huson asserts that any attack on the Unist’ot’en will result in widespread, global support. “We had people make vows that they will shut down major highways to impact the Canadian economy if the Harper government is going to ignore Indigenous people.” Dini Ze Toghestiy, a Hereditary Chief for the Likhs’amisyu Clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation and member of the Unist’ot’en Camp asserts, “Supporters are repositioning themselves in surrounding towns to help build local support, and people in the cities are mobilized now. There’s individuals all over the world who have pledged to do what they can to help us.”
Concerning the threat of a raid on the camp, there was no police presence on Unist’ot’en territory on June 15th – the date set for the anticipated raid. A tip from the BC Civil Liberties Association informed the Unist’ot’en Camp that there’s a rumour going around Victoria that the government, rather than file an injunction against the camp, file a charge for trespass using the Crown Lands Act.
“But this is not Crown land” stated Toghestiy, “this land is unceded and we’re still here. We’re not going anywhere. People are showing up to the camp every day, our numbers are growing. This war is far from bring over and we’re going to win this one. We’re going to win it decisively.”
Media Contact: Freda Huson: 778-210-1100
The Mi’kmaq Warriors, Germaine Jr Breau & Aaron Francis who have been held in custody since the day of the raid on Oct 17th, are now facing trial in Moncton courts. They are currently facing indictable charges for being true to their inherent responsibilities as L’nu people by protecting the lands and waters against corporate imperialists, SWN. We are unsure how much longer Aaron & Jr will have to sit in jail, having already served over 5 months without conviction. The financial burden of supporting imprisoned warriors has been carried solely by the family and loved ones and it’s time that changed. Again we are uncertain as to the outcomes of sentencing, but Jr & Aaron have plead to a number of charges. Support funds will be used for canteen, phone calls (which are both collect & long distance), gas for visits, etc. Please donate here http://www.gofundme.com/jailedwarriors Thanks to everyone for their ongoing and continued support!!
For a full update on all of the charges (those that were dropped, plead to and now on trial) please go here. To get a feeling of how court is going so far, check out the court roundups from the Halifax Media Coop, RCMP Tactical Officer Cross Examination: “My function is not to negotiate”, and Crown’s first eyewitness, RCMP ERT member “My report writing is just sub-standard.”. To continue to follow the trials, follow @mileshowe on Twitter as he is releasing daily courtroom roundups and @defendourlands #WarriorsCourt for sneaky-live-tweeting and other updates.