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Gathering of Mother Earth Protectors starts this Monday

May 25th, 2008     by Jessica Yee     Comments

The buzz has been circulating for what will be an IMMENSE gathering of activists, front-line fighters, and allies alike for the protection of Mother Earth. Starting this Monday, hundreds (hopefully thousands!) will descend on Queen’s Park in Toronto to stand up for the rights of Indigenous peoples to govern and take care of our own land.

I’ll be facilitating Wednesday, so I hope to see you there!

OFFICIAL INFO AND WORKSHOP SCHEDULE:

On May 26th Indigenous communities and our supporters will gather at Queen’s Park to uphold our duty to protect the land, forest, water, and air and to promote respect for our Indigenous rights to say no to economic exploitation and environmental destruction. It is time to end the jailing and harassment of our people for protecting mother earth and traditional ways. Please come to our large rally on May 26th at the legislature. We are also inviting supporters to join us in four days of ceremony, speakers, workshops, music, and a three night sovereignty sleep-over directly on the front lawn of the legislature.

Right now Indigenous communities across Ontario are taking a stand to assert our right to protect our traditional territories and the future of our peoples. Our communities are peacefully protesting destructive industrial projects that the government is permitting on our traditional lands without community consent.

Workshops:

  • Protest Barrick o protestbarrick.net is an international network of groups fighting barrick gold. Will be showing films about mining conflicts abroad, or a slideshow/presentation about their tour, which took them from the UN Permanent forum on indigenous issues, to Barrick’s AGM in Toronto, to Ottawa with Indigenous communities from the U.S., Australia, Papua new Guinea, and Chile.

  • Tyendinaga Support Committee o The Tyendinaga Support Committee is a group in Toronto working to gather support for the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte (Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory) in their struggles for land and justice and against criminal prosecution. o www.ocap.ca/supporttmt

  • Mining Watch Canada o Joan Kuyek, Mining Watch’s National Coordinator is presenting a workshop/teach-in on the impacts of mining related to Indigenous struggle. o www.miningwatch.ca

  • “No Olympics on Stolen Land - Resistance to 2010” o A workshop-presentation on the issues and growing resistance to the 2010 Vancouver-Whistler Olympics. o Peoples Global Action Bloc Ottawa has already been organizing for 2010 since early this year. www.resistance2010.net

  • Algonquin of Barriere Lake and the Trilateral Agreement: 20-years of Struggle o The Algonquin of Barriere Lake Caravan will be traveling to Toronto as part of a three-city tour to speak out about the history of the current crisis in their community. Spokesperson Marylynn Poucachiche and former Chief Michel Thusky will describe how, for twenty difficult years, the small Algonquin community of Barriere Lake, 5 hours north of Montreal, has been struggling to hold the government to their word. In 1991, they signed a pioneering resource co-management and sustainable development agreement with Canada and Quebec to protect Algonquin land uses, conserve the forest and wildlife, and give them a share in the resource revenue from the logging and hydro projects on their traditional territories. The Canadian government walked away from the agreement in 2001 and the Quebec government has sat on recommendations for implementing its side of the agreement since 2006. Instead of fulfilling their obligations, the Federal Department of Indian Affairs, with the support of the Quebec government, has been playing divide and rule in Barriere Lake, wreaking havoc in the community by ousting the Customary Chief and Council and illegally appointing a small faction as the leadership. o www.barrierelakesolidarity.blogspot.com

  • EnJOI o The Environmental Justice Organizing Initiative and Clayton Thomas-Muller of the Indigenous Environmental Network will host a discussion about Indigenous peoples on the front lines of fighting environmental destruction in Ontario, across Canada, and around the world, examples in Canada including the struggle of Cree and Dene Nations against the tar sands, Mackenzie Valley Pipeline, and coal bed methane in northern BC. o Will look at how climate change threatens the survival of humanity and most species on earth and how Indigenous people are going to be key to stopping this threat, with the solidarity of social justice and environmental activists, but we need to name the economic order that drives this destruction and imagine alternatives, and what would a green economy look like and how might decentralized, renewable energy production (eg) help Indigenous communities achieve sustainable sovereignty while helping the rest of the world fight climate change. o http://enjoi.org, www.ienearth.org

  • “Haudenosaunee Women and Youth Mobilization” o Jessica Yee, founder of the Native Youth Sexual Health Network and current chair of First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Committee for Canadians for Choice, will facilitate a workshop on mobilization from a Haudenosaunee perspective, specifically for youth, with the emphasis on women as the land title holders in our matriarchal culture. This would speak to the violence and marginalization that women and children specifically face in our communities and the reclamation of our rights to organize and speak out to respect ourselves and Mother Earth.

  • Political Prisoners o Skyler Williams, from Six Nations will talk about his experience as a political prisoner and resisting state oppression. He may be joined by others.

Tags: eco speak, event listings, race and racism

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