Canada

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: Shabbat at the Powwow

The powwow drum played in the distance while two members of our delegation to Grassy Narrows First Nation led our group in Kabbalat Shabbat, a Jewish prayer service. As the first interfaith Indigenous Solidarity delegation of Christian Peacemaker Teams, we welcomed the Jewish day of rest to mark the beginning of our journey together. While the sun set over the English-Wabigoon River, we battled a growing swarm of mosquitoes and sang prayers while watching the powwow.

Grassy Narrows members crawl across Bay Street in Toronto as a symbolic witness

On 20 June, several members from Grassy Narrows First Nation crawled across Bay Street in downtown Toronto toward the front doors of the building holding the office of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Their chief and elders, many in wheel chairs, looked on. They were enacting how the Canadian government forced them to beg for help and restitution from the effects of mercury poisoning.  Once they reached the entrance on their hands and knees, they collapsed, demonstrating how even when they crawl and beg, they are left in the street to die.  This action took place in the middle of the 2019 River Run, in which hundreds of people joined the members of Grassy Narrows march through the streets of Toronto demanding justice.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: Anishinaabemowin—a gentle language

I spent hours trying to learn to say the name of the place where I was staying in Anishinaabemowin, the language of the people who live there. It is Asubpeeschoseewagong, and even now, as I hear it come off my Anglo lips, it sounds completely unlike any language I know. It is so soft and gentle that you could mistake it for the rustling of the wind in the leaves of the birch trees, or the waves rolling in and out over the sandy beach of the lake.

Supporters of Wet’suwet’en water protectors respond to 7 January attack by RCMP

“Divide and rule them” seems more central to Canada’s relationship with Indigenous Peoples than ever in northern British Colombia. TransCanada (TC) Energy Corporation touts twenty agreements with Indian Act Band Councils on Wet’suwet’en territory, but last week demonstrated that it is prepared to use force to override the anti-pipeline position taken by Hereditary Chiefs.

Niagara community affirms Indigenous sovereignty as Trudeau speaks at Brock University

As part of a series of public actions opposed to the Canadian invasion of sovereign Indigenous nations and in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Nation, Niagara regional community members, including members of Christian Peacemaker Teams, and the Six Nations Men’s Fire blocked an entrance to Brock University where the Prime Minister was speaking. The recent RCMP raids against the Unist’ot’en Camp, enforcing a court injunction to clear the way for construction of the Coastal Gaslink pipeline, have drawn outrage and condemnation across Turtle Island. 

Prayers for Peacemakers 22 August 2018 Indigenous Peoples Solidarity

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Working together to build a powwow drum at Mamawe Ota Ashihk camp