Indigenous Peoples Solidarity

Oraciones para les Constructores de Paz, 12 de Febrero del 2020 Kurdistán Iraquí

Hoy, recordemos en nuestras oraciones las luchas de los pueblos Indígenas para detener la destrucción continua de sus tierras ancestrales en el Kurdistán Iraquí, en la Isla Tortuga, en Palestina y alrededor de todo el mundo. La sed insaciable del mundo por los recursos que las industrias transnacionales y locales buscan satisfacer es más fuerte que el respeto de los gobiernos por los derechos humanos—incluyendo los derechos de los pueblos Indígenas—y los derechos de Pachamama/Madre Tierra. La semana pasada vimos un ejemplo de esta falta de respeto cuando la policía Canadiense, fuertemente militarizada, protegió a una compañía de combustibles fósiles que destruía la tierra de Wet’suwet’en, tal como las compañías petroleras han hecho con las granjas y aldeas Kurdas en Kurdistán.

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.

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. 

Indigenous Peoples Solidarity: Justice for Grassy Narrows

In the 1960’s the Dryden pulp and paper mill dumped ten tons of mercury into the Wabigoon River system upstream from Grassy Narrows.  This contaminated the walleye fish that the people ate, resulting in slurred speech, tremors, impaired hearing, tunnel vision and lost muscle coordination— all signs of Minamata disease.  It also destroyed their fishing tourism industry.
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