Indigenous Peoples Solidarity

Prayers for Peacemakers August 4, 2015 Indigenous Peoples Solidarity

Prayers for Peacemakers August 4, 2015   Indigenous Peoples Solidarity

Pray for the safety of the Anishinaabe Water Walkers who are hiking this week from Eagle Lake to Shoal Lake in Treaty #3 territory to call attention to the danger the TransCanada Energy East Pipeline poses to water systems in the region.

photo: Rae Louise Breaux

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: IPS team supports Anishinaabe Water Walk from Eagle Lake to Shoal Lake, Treaty 3


Push 1.1 million barrels of diluted bitumen (tar sands oil) from Hardisty, Alberta to St. John, New Brunswick through a 40-year old natural gas pipeline. What could go wrong?

On 3 August Anishinaabe walkers and their allies will begin walking on the eastern edge of Treaty 3 territory at Eagle Lake First Nation and proceeding along Transcanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline to Shoal Lake, Ontario. The five-day walk is planned by the Grassroots Indigenous Water Defence (GIWD) to draw attention to the threat TransCanada, Inc project poses to the water and mobilize people in surrounding Anishinaabe communities.

“Transcanada’s pipeline is going through the process of consultation and approvals to push the oil through these lands,” said GIWD organizer and Grassy Narrows First Nation’s environmental advocate, Judy da Silva, at this year’s World Water Day in Kenora, ON. “These are the kind of serious water issues people need to look at in Kenora and in Treaty 3 if they want to keep the water pristine for the future generations.”

Prayers for Peacemakers, June 17, 2015 Indigenous Peoples Solidarity

CPTnet
June 17, 2015
Prayers for Peacemakers, June 17, 2015      Indigenous Peoples Solidarity

Pray for Canadian institutions to take seriously the ninety-four recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission regarding the atrocities committed against Indigenous people in the residential school system. Give thanks for the healing journey thus far, for the dedication of the survivors, and for the opportunities for genuine reconciliation created by their testimony. 

 *Epixel for Sunday, June 14, 2015
He does not forget the cry of the afflicted. Psalm 9:12b
 
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: IPS team attends Judy Da Silva’s court hearing, reconnects with partners, visits Shooniversity campus

 

Randy Fobister, Chuck Wright Carrie Peters, and ally Jon Benson 
                 
Photo by IPST intern Aly Ostrowski

May members of IPS team journeyed to Treaty #3 territory of northwestern Ontario to visit friends and partners of the project.  They timed the visit to attend the 14 May hearing about a pre-emptive injunction served to Judy da Silva of Grassy Narrows First Nation following a water ceremony originally planned on Canadian National (CN) Railway tracks running through Grassy territory.  At the request of an Elder, ceremony participants moved the 10 April ritual away from the railroad.  Although a Kenora court dissolved the injunction, da Silva awaits another court hearing on June regarding CN’s lawsuit against her.

While in Grassy, CPT-IPS had the opportunity to visit with a few long-time friends and partners. Local trapper, Shoon, shared about his passion for passing on traditional practices and showed the team a locally produced video entitled titled “Shooniversity,” which documented a workshop he led in the community on tanning hides. The team also hosted Band Councilor Randy Fobister for a pancake breakfast at the local Trapper’s Centre, where he shared about his efforts to assert sovereignty within Grassy territory and mobilize First Nation members, particularly youth, to advocate for protecting of the forest.  â€œWhy would you want to destroy that which makes Grassy strong?” Fobister asked rhetorically. After a few nights in Grassy greeting people and receiving updates, the team returned to Kenora.   

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: Aboriginal Justice Team changes its name to Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Team

 

The Christian Peacemaker Aboriginal Justice Team has undergone a transition to a new team name, after much deliberation and discussion. Although the mandate and vision for the team remains the same, the name change represents an effort to maintain currency within Indigenous movements for self-determination, and the team feels Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Team better captures the desired scope of its work. The team has floated this change past some of its Indigenous friends and partners who have welcomed it. 

Still in popular use, the term “aboriginal” refers to First Nations, MĂ©tis, and Inuit peoples. However, as Mohawk scholar Taiaike Alfred and Cherokee professor Jeff Corntassel (2005) indicate, while some Indigenous people have embraced this label, “this identity is purely a state construction that is instrumental to the state’s attempt to gradually subsume Indigenous existences into its own constitutional system and body politic” (p. 598). In 2008, the Union of Ontario Indians and later Grand Council of Treaty #3 representing the Anishnaabek passed resolutions and launched a campaign to eliminate the inappropriate use of the term "aboriginal." To many, “aboriginalism is a legal, political and cultural discourse designed to serve an agenda of silent surrender to an inherently unjust relation at the root of the colonial state itself” (Alfred & Corntassel, p. 599). To the chagrin of many First Nations, in 2011 Canada's Conservative government changed the minister and department title responsible for “Indian Affairs” to “Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development,” embodying this discursive tactic. 

Prayers for Peacemakers, May 20, 2015 Indigenous Peoples Solidarity

Prayers for Peacemakers, May 20, 2015 Indigenous Peoples Solidarity

Give thanks that a judge in Kenora, ON dissolved the injunction calling for the arrest of Grassy Narrows member Judy Da Silva, if she tried to block the CN rail line.  Nevertheless, CN railway is still threatening to sue her.

*Epixel for Sunday, May 17, 2015
photo 2013
For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen?But if we hope for what we
 do not see, we wait for it with patience. Romans 8:24-25
 *epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's  Revised Common Lectionary
  readings.

Prayers for Peacemakers, April 15 2015 Indigenous Peoples Solidarity

Prayers for Peacemakers, April 15 2015 Indigenous Peoples Solidarity

Pray for the community of Grassy Narrows and Judy Da Silva.  On Friday, April 10, 2015 water protector and Elder, Josephine Mandamin, held a traditional Anishinaabe Water Ceremony on the shores of Wild Lake, near the CN railway mainline between Kenora and Grassy Narrows along with other Grassy Narrows community activists. Despite the fact the group called off a blockade of the railway—which transports toxic tar sands bitumen over local waterways—CN still served Da Silva with an injunction against impeding trains and/or trespassing on CN property, and/or ‘counselling’ others to do the same. The injunction will be before the court on April 16 at 10 a.m. in Kenora.

Anishinaabe water ceremony targeted with injunction

Epixel* for Sunday, April 18, 2015
photo by Alex Hundert

How long, you people, shall my honor suffer shame? How long will you love vain words,
and seek after lies? Psalm 4:2

 *epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary
 readings.

Prayers for Peacemakers, March 18, 2015

Prayers for Peacemakers, March 18, 2015

Give thanks for the Grassy Narrows First Nations Members who remain strong in their determination to resist logging on their traditional lands, despite recent court rulings allowing corporate exploitation of these lands.  On 16 March 2015, youth groups, Band Councilors, Drum Groups, Elders and others engaged in protests at the Weyerhaeuser Mill, Kenora Forest Products and the local Ministry of Natural Resources office. 


Photo: Alex Hundert

Prayers for Peacemakers, December 10, 2014

Prayers for Peacemakers, December 10, 2014

Pray that the citizens of Winnipeg, Mantoba repent of their injustice to the Shoal Lake 40 First Nation.  Winnipeg’s access to clean water comes at the expense of the residents of Shoal Lake, who have been under a boiled water advisory for eighteen years.

Epixel for Sunday, December 14, 2014
61:4 They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall
repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations

For I the LORD love justice, I hate
 robbery and wrongdoing; I will faithfully give them their recompense
Isaiah 61:4,8
 
 *epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's  
Revised Common Lectionary  readings.

ABORIGINAL JUSTICE REFLECTION: Thoughts on the children of Grassy Narrows First Nation to commemorate Universal Children’s Day

Judy Da Silva, Slant Lake Blockade, 
Asubpeeschoseewagong (Grassy Narrows) 
October 2011

Grassy Narrows Clan Mother, and long-time partner of CPT’s Aboriginal Justice Team (AJT), Judy Da Silva wrote the following for United Nations Universal Children’s Day ( 20 November 2014.) 

In Grassy Narrows, we have children and youth that outnumber the adults in our total on-reserve population of 800 people. 

These children and youth are true survivors as they inherit the legacy of a land devoured by consumerism, namely from the logging industry.  This industry is also what dumped 9,000 kgs of mercury into the English/Wabigoon river system, effectively poisoning water that is supposed to be life-giving and is now life-taking.