Turtle Island Solidarity Network

Winnipeg rally against proposed critical infrastructure act

On 23 March, Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) joined 200 people outside the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg to protest Bill 57, an act that would criminalize many forms of peaceful protest and disproportionately target Indigenous Land Defenders and Water Protectors.  CPT was among the many groups represented at the rally and also had a hand in planning the event.  Other groups involved included Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition, Winnipeg Police Cause Harm, and Idle No More Northern Manitoba.

TISN: US Department of Agriculture delays Oak Flat transfer

Immediately following a powerful week of prayer and action, including runs from the four directions by Indigenous nations to Oak Flat and danced prayers in that sacred land, the United States Department of Agriculture instructed the Forest Service to withdraw the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Draft Record of Decision (DROD) related to Oak Flat. As per a recent Presidential Memorandum on tribal consultation and strengthening nation to nation relationships, “the Department is taking this step to provide an opportunity for the agency to conduct a thorough review based on significant input received from collaborators, partners, and the public since these documents were released,” according to a statement from Acting Forest Supervisor Tom Torres.

TISN: Ecumenical Leaders Write to the Government and Police in Support of Land Defenders

Last week, church leaders from across Ontario sent letters to the Canadian government and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) condemning the criminalization of Land Defenders.  This open letter is one of many actions that the group, 'Clergy & Laity in Solidarity with #1492LandBackLane', has taken to support Haudenosaunee Land Defenders over the last few months.  With the endorsement of nearly 200 ecumenical leaders worldwide, the letter will reach the mailboxes of Justin Trudeau, Carolyn Bennett (Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations), Marc Miller (Minister of Indigenous Services), and the OPP.  

TISN: STATEMENT REGARDING THE MANITOBA GOVERNMENT’S PROPOSED CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE LEGISLATION

As an organization committed to human rights and Indigenous solidarity, Christian Peacemaker Teams condemns the PCIA and demands that the Manitoban Government withdraw Bill 57 from the Order Paper before second reading. We call upon: The provincial government to withdraw Bill 57 and ensure that Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples across Manitoba are able to enact their rights to peaceful protest  The Canadian government to recognize the sovereignty and self-determination of Indigenous peoples as outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples  Other organizations, churches, and communities to release similar statements opposing the PCIA

Stop and Pray

As I travelled to Oak Flat for the vigil on 15 January, I stopped to pray as Wendsler suggested. It was a very different way of arriving. I noticed the land so much more and the birds and the plants. There is a section of desert where there are ancient elders, grandparent saguaros with so many limbs that you can't count them at a glance. I needed to stop and give thanks for safe passage and then ask permission to enter the next area. 

Prayers for Peacemakers 13 January 2021 Turtle Island

We ask for prayers first for our Mother Earth and our sacred water which is our life blood. We ask for prayers for a cessation to the raping, murdering and killing of our mother by a "wendigo spirit" of greed and corruption which is manifesting itself in the development of an oil pipeline. This pipeline will carry tar sands oil through sacred water, wetlands, wild rice beds and forests to increase the profits of a Canadian corporation. 

Walk Humbly: Seeking Indigenous Rights in Contested Paths

Over the last five years, Christian Peacemaker Teams and Mennonite Church Canada worked tirelessly alongside Indigenous and ecumenical partners to support federal legislation to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. And this month, at long last, the Canadian government tabled Bill C-15: An act respecting the UN Declaration. A consensus international human rights instrument, the Declaration was crafted by Indigenous peoples and representatives of nation-states over 25 years. It affirms the inherent rights of Indigenous peoples; rights aren’t “special” but “the minimum standards for the survival, dignity, and well-being of the Indigenous peoples of the world” (Article 43, UNDRIP). 

Oak Flat is Sacred, and not only to the San Carlos Apache!

At the entrance to the womb-like valley of Oak Flat, near the deeply rooted ancient oaks, Wendsler Noisie, San Carlos Apache leader, spoke with me about some questions raised by an official of the U.S. Forestry. The official had asked why the Apache included non-Apache/settler voices regarding the sacredness of Oak Flat in their response to the Environmental Impact Statement. 
Subscribe to Turtle Island Solidarity Network