Indigenous Artists and Writers Collective

Archive for May, 2011|Monthly archive page

UPDATE from Six Nations Youth Centre Reclamation

In Uncategorized on May 24, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Sacred Fire still going strong.

Had good (long)youth meeting on site. About 30 youth were there. People coming going all day. Rained a bit, teyethinonwaraton ne kahneki:yo ne ki ne etho entewe tayotennyonhatye tsi yonhwentsya:te (We give thanks for the good waters for it is this where it comes from the continual change on Mother earth). Support has come in the form of tents, teepees, water, food, tobacco, wood and friendship (among other things). Tekwanonwaratons tsi she:kon takwahretya:ron. (We thank those who continue to show their support)

The youth at the new reclaimed youth center space respectfully ask for continued support. Here are some things we are asking for: flash/flood lights, cell phone minutes (VIRGIN mobile), Healthy Home-Cooked food (mostly chips and cookies right now), flags (kahswentha, unity etc), folding tables, Letters of Support, blankets/sleeping bags, umbrellas, tarps, bugspray, sunscreen(NOTE: Check sunscreen has no Retinyl palmitate or Vitamin A palmitate as studies have shown it to cause cancer in sunlight, in case you are unaware), projector for movie nite, megaphone, and SOLIDARITY ACTION skennen akenhakh (it will be the peacefullness)

The youth would like to thank all who have contributed so far. There have been donations of water, food, tobacco, medicine, drum/singing, audio equipment usage, gas, tents, blankets, wood, teepee, picnic tables, time and friendship (among other things) and for this we the Youth @Six Nations thank you. tekwanonhwaratons tsi she:kon takwahretsya:ron. skennen akenhakh. ta’ ne’e etho. (we give our thanks/respects/and minds for your continued support. it will become the peace. and that is it.)

NOTICE to all Youth and Supporters
Meeting today (24th)
4:00pm indian time or is that standard time, I don’t know know time zones…
band council elect commons
Bring your youth. Bring your voice. Bring yourself. Bring a friend…
skennen akenhakh ta’ ne’ etho.

Six Nations Youth Reclaim Old Police Station in “Ohsweken” for a Youth Centre

In Uncategorized on May 23, 2011 at 1:12 pm


At about 6:00pm yesterday (Sunday May 22nd) Six Nations youth and supporters reclaimed the old Police Station in “Ohsweken”, following a march which demanded immediate action on what has been a 20 years+ struggle with Band Council for a youth-led, youth-directed centre for Six Nations youth to gather, a still unrealized dream … until today.
A Sacred Fire was lit to mark the beginning of the reclamation, and the station’s flagpole now flies the Confederacy flag and the Unity flag. A banner which reads “Welcome to the Onkwehonwe Youth Centre” now covers the former “Police” logo on the front of the building! All youth are welcomed at this reclaimed space, and supporters are being asked to help out with food, wood, medicines, tents, blankets, etc. More information can be found on the FB group “Six Nations Youth Reclamation” or by contacting
Contact: 226 388 9831 (text only or call after 7pm)
226 381 0428


In the spirit of our ancestors, honoring the memory of all those Youth who have died unjustly and in respect to all our relations, We the Six Nations Youth Movement are TAKING ACTION and RECLAIMING the old Police Station as the temporary site of the Onkwehon:we Youth Centre.

This action declares: NO ONE SPEAKS FOR THE YOUTH BUT THE YOUTH, no matter their level of education or claim to knowledge, the wisdom and voice of the Youth can only be found in the Youth.

We declare that the Band Council superstructure (including its services) cannot handpick our representatives nor determine the direction of the Six Nations Youth Movement.  WE are the Six Nations Youth Movement, ALL of us together – not any one group or any one person alone.

By reclaiming this site, we are calling attention to the fact that still, after twenty years of campaigning, asking, pleading, there is NO YOUTH CENTRE on Six Nations , even after many attempts to work with Band Council.  That process has taught us that to work with  Band Council is to work under Band Council, and the Youth (and our Youth Centre) will no longer be controlled by that colonial system.  We are creating a Youth Centre FOR the people and BY the people.  We are not interested in collaborating with any colonial structures:  Band Council, Police, CAS or corporations.

We recognize the effects of colonization: trauma, suicide, abuse and violence against our people.  We, the Youth, will no longer be tools of oppression against ourselves and our people:  merely victims and statistics.  From this day on, we will take up our responsibilities, move forward and carry on this struggle.  We will not be silenced!

We are reclaiming this site for a Women’s and Youth Sacred Fire,  started from ashes collected from sites of struggles and ceremony all over Turtle Island.   These ashes hold the memory and spirit of Site 41, Grassy Narrows, and many Full Moon Ceremonies;  Sacred Fires which were lit and kept by Women.  This fire is our strength and our healing.  We are using these medicines to call YOU to the Sacred Fire.  You, the Youth tired of waiting, whose voices have been silenced, Youth sick of pointless meetings, Youth with that warrior spirit living inside you.  Whatever nation or territory, whether on-reserve or not, raised in our traditions or not,  Handsome Lake or Great Law, down-below or upper-end WE NEED YOU!

So after school, when you get off the bus, during lunch, on the weekends, whenever you can – come join us and SPREAD THE WORD!  Join us as we finally take a stand as youth and show our nations, our people where the true power lies: within each and every one of us.  Let us UNITE to start the process of fulfilling the PEACEMAKERS prophecy:  for the Youth to stand up the Tree of Peace.  To all Youth in all territories: TAKE ACTION, raise your voices and stand with us.

We invite supporters of the Youth, adult allies, Elders, holders of our traditions and ceremonies and all of our people to the Sacred Fire.  Come with your songs, drums, dances, teachings, food, wood, medicines.  We need your support.  We will be hosting socials, film screenings, concerts, speakers, etc.  while at this site, so if you have any ideas or have nothing to do come down and be empowered.  All are welcome.


for more information/updates:

or find us on facebook: Six Nations Youth Reclamation

Grassy Narrows: Forty years later

In Uncategorized on May 16, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Originally Posted in :  The National, May 14th

**NOTE** Sourced from mainstream news, beware of colonial bias!!

CBC video journalist Peter Wall returns to Grassy Narrows, 40 years after the community was poisoned with Mercury.

Forty years after Dryden Chemical Company dumped 20,000 pounds of mercury into the Wabigoon River, with the Ontario government’s expressed consent, the people of Grassy Narrows continue to suffer the effects of mercury poisoning.

Dryden Chemical Company, a chloralkali process plant, supplied both sodium hydroxide and chlorine for the Dryden Pulp and Paper Company. Dryden Chemical company discharged their effluent into the Wabigoon-English River system. 20,000 pounds of mercury was dumped into the river between 1962 and 1970.

In 1970, the government of Canada stepped in, informing commercial fishermen and tourist-lodge owners along the English-Wabigoon River that fish were testing for extremely high levels of mercury.

After the warning was made public, the Ontario government told the people of Grassy Narrows, Wabaseemoong, and Wabauskang First Nations to stop eating the fish– their main food staple–and further advised Grassy Narrows to shut down its commercial fishery. In the blink of an eye, Grassy Narrows’ economy was devastated.

The government, however, claimed that it would only take a few months for the mercury to wash out of the river system. Yet, forty years later, the effects are still being revealed.

For more information on Grassy Narrows and their struggle, please visit:

Lubicon Lake Nation Youth Respond to PMC Oil Spill

In Uncategorized on May 16, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Originally Posted in:, May 8th, 2011.

Author: Lubicon LakeNation Youth Council

Dene Suline of Cold Lake First Nation win interim injunction

In Blockades and Land Defense, Cold Lake Blockade, News, Occupations, Uncategorized on May 16, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Originally Posted in:

Author: Krystalline Kraus

The Dene Suline of Cold Lake First Nation (CLFN) Alberta  have won an interim injunction to halt construction on campground improvements to be made on Sacred Land — Sacred Land that was being occupied by a “cultural camp” set up on May 6, 2011 by the Dene Suline to prevent the construction of an RV park on their traditional territory.

The interim injunction was granted by Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Don Manderscheid and will continue until the courts can hear an injunction application that was filed by the Cold Lake First Nations back on May 10, 2011. As part of the injunction, members of the cultural camp must remove all signs or blockades from the road into the campground and allow representatives of the Ministry of Tourism, Parks and Recreation to access the area.

“We’re not going to relinquish our access or our rights to this land,” said Chief Cecil Janvier. “We’re going to voice our opposition to their proposed development.”

The contested campsite in the English Bay Provincial Recreation Area, locally know as Berry Point, is on territory used by the Dene Suline for fishing, hunting and gathering medicines since time immemorial. The earth also cares for the bones of their ancestors buried in gravesites there. For these reasons, the area slated for construction holds tremendous cultural and historical significance for the CLFN.

On the location, a small campground has been operating since the 1950’s, which the Province of Alberta seeks to expand into a larger and more extensively developed campground suitable for large recreational vehicles (RVs).

The expansion project was stopped soon after it began in 2006, when historical artifacts were discovered on the land — some over 4,000 years old — which prompted a wider archaeological study of the site. The project received the go ahead again earlier this year.

While the Alberta government did perform some local consultation, it was not described as extensive or in good faith. Described by the Dene Suline community, the new construction “would include extensive surveying of the area, further removal of natural resources such as trees, plants and wildlife, the creation of a modern road into the area, large gravel pads and paths throughout the park as well as any other number of disturbances which may arise from the expansion.”

“The Province will also impose barriers upon the Dene Suline. For instance, fire bans will interfere with smoke houses; gates and fences will physically restrict Dene Suline access; and payment of fees may be required.”

CLFN has this message for its allies in the struggle to protect Indigenous Sacred land:

“Attention all Nations:

We the Dene Suline of Cold Lake Alberta are presently occupying a proposed provincial park on our traditional territory.

We are asking the nations for verbal support on our position. We are denying contractors and the Alberta government access to our territory.

We are protecting burial sites and many other cultural significant areas.

We may be forced by the RCMP to leave or worse.

We need our people across country to support our position.

We are being supported by CLFN chief and council

In the spirit of total resistance CLFN.”


The CLFN is asking for supporters to write letters to:

Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation (Alberta)
Cindy Ady

Phone: (403) 256-8969

Sample Letter:

To the Honourable Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation Cindy Ady:
cc’d Premier Stelmach
Phone: (780) 427-2251

Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Len Webber
Phone: (403) 288-4453

I want to register my support for the Cold Lake First Nation and their right to full consultation before any development occurs on their traditional territory. The area that the Province is seeking to develop, the English Bay Provincial Recreation Area, holds tremendous cultural and historical significance for the Cold Lake First Nation. The expansion of recreational areas is not as important as respecting the rights of First Nation peoples. Every level of government must acknowledge and protect the constitutional rights of Aboriginal peoples.

I hereby urge you as Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation to suspend all development of this area until proper consultation has been conducted with the Cold Lake First Nation and their concerns have been properly addressed.

Thank you for your attention in this matter and I look forward to your reply to my concerns.

<your name & address>

Kahne:koteh! People are speaking out in defense of the land! Get involved now! NO Melancthon Quarry

In Blockades and Land Defense, News, NO Melancthon Quarry on the Haldimand Tract!!, Uncategorized on May 6, 2011 at 3:24 am

(The above photo is of the Hanson Permanente Quarry in Western California, which is the traditional territory of the Muwekma Peoples (the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe, the Amah-Mutsun Band of Ohlone/Costanoan Indians and the Ohlone/Costanoan Esselen). 1/3 of the cement used in Western California comes from this cement quarry.)

Originally Posted: May 5th, 2011

Author: Thomas Powless

Lake Ontario Waterkeeper

Waterkeeper Objects to Melancthon Mega Quarry Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, April 19th, 2011

Lake Ontario Waterkeeper has filed a formal objection to the application by 3191574 Nova Scotia Company (aka The Highland Companies) for a Class A licence to remove more than 20,000 tonnes of aggregate annually from a pit or quarry in Melancthon Township. Our objection reads as follows:


Craig Laing, Aggregate Inspector

Ministry of Natural Resources, Regional Operations Division

Southern Region, Midhurst District

2284 Nursery Road

Midhurst, ON L0L 1X0

3191574 Nova Scotia Company (The Highland Companies)

477476 Third Line

Rural Route Delivery 2

Shelburne, ON L0N 1S6

April 19, 2011

Dear Mr. Laing and Directors, 3191574 Nova Scotia Company:


EBR No. 011-2864 (Melancthon Quarry)

Objection, Aggregate Resources Act s. 11(3)

Application for Class A licence to remove more than 20,000 tonnes of aggregate annually from a pit or quarry, Aggregate Resources Act s.7(2)(a) 

Lake Ontario Waterkeeper objects to the application by 3191574 Nova Scotia Company for a Class A licence to remove more than 20,000 tonnes of aggregate annually from a pit or quarry in Melancthon Township. Waterkeeper makes this objection pursuant to s.11(3) of the Aggregate Resources Act.

Waterkeeper has been an active intervenor in the proposal by Nelson Aggregate to expand that company’s Burlington Quarry since 2005. We are currently participating in the joint Ontario Municipal Board and Environmental Review Tribunal hearing into that proposal.

Nelson’s proposed quarry expansion was the subject of a Joint Agency Review Team [JART] Report, which examined the potential impact of the quarry on the environment, surrounding land use, and social and recreational value in the area. It provided invaluable information on the expected effects on hydrogeology, aquatic life, and ecology, including threatened species discovered on the site by local residents. New information continues to arise in the context of the hearing, indicating the inadequacy of relying solely on proponent-produced and commissioned reports for a project of this type.

The proposed Melancthon Quarry would occupy 937.1 hectares of land just outside of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper’s watershed. The proponent’s application indicates that one billion tonnes has been identified for extraction. Like the proposed Nelson quarry, the aggregate that would be extracted in Melancthon is part of the Amabel Formation, a layer of dolostone that constitutes a valuable aquifer. The bedrock includes karst features, which are formed when groundwater moves through limestone or dolostone bedrock, slowly dissolving the rock and increasing its permeability.

The proposed quarry would reach depths of close to 60 metres or 200 feet, requiring extraction below the water table. The proponent would be required to dewater the quarry to keep it dry for excavation, causing drawdown of surrounding groundwater and potentially impacting local surface water courses. The floor of the existing quarry would continue to be dewatered in perpetuity to allow it to be used for farming post-extraction.

The proposed Melancthon Quarry is many times larger than Nelson’s proposed expansion site. No detailed, site-specific external review of the potential impacts of a quarry of this size and depth has been conducted.

Waterkeeper is concerned about the potential impacts of this project, both during extraction and during the proponent’s proposed post-extraction quarry floor farming operations. The dewatering and pumping that will be required to facilitate the project could have devastating effects on the flow and supply of ground and surface water to lakes, streams, and rivers within and beyond the watershed.

Waterkeeper objects to the approval of this application and respectfully requests that 3191574 Nova Scotia Company’s proposal be denied. In the alternative, Waterkeeper requests that the proposal be referred to a hearing to allow for the examination of scientific evidence by an independent decision-maker and for meaningful public participation.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. Please contact Joanna Bull, Counsel for Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, if you have any questions or concerns about this objection.


Mark Mattson

President and Waterkeeper

*Launched in 2001, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper works hard to create a watershed where you can safely swim, drink, and fish. Our charity engages in legal processes to enforce environmental laws and help to inform wise decision-making. We educate and mentor people who want to learn more about water quality challenges and environmental law, including student volunteers from many of Canada’s top law schools. We conduct research to identify threats to water quality and natural habitat and to monitor trends in environmental law. We celebrate Lake Ontario and its history by promoting arts events and opportunities.

Our emphasis on due process stems from our strongly-held believe that clean water depends on an empowered public. Too often, citizens are shut out of decision-making, cannot access important information, or cannot appeal to impartial judges. Lake Ontario Waterkeeper triggers or creates new forums for public participation. We train citizens to contribute. We collect, publish, and disseminate the vital information they need. At all times, we fight for just decisions.

Lake Ontario Waterkeeper is a grassroots, non-profit, public interest organization. We rely on our membership and the support of individuals and organizations who share our vision of a swimmable, drinkable, fishable future. All contributions are tax-deductible according to Canada Revenue Agency’s rules (#86262 2750 RR0001).

Lake Ontario Waterkeeper is also a member of the internationally-recognized Waterkeeper Alliance. This New York-based group is led by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and provides a link between the world’s 180-plus independent Waterkeepers.

Residents, including children, sick after large oil spill in the Peace Region

In News, Tar Sands, Uncategorized on May 4, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Originally Posted in: UK Tar Sands Network, May 4th 2011.

Author: No Tar Sands

4 May 2011 (Edmonton) — Little Buffalo community members, including school children, continue to experience nausea, burning eyes and headaches after one of the largest pipeline spills in Alberta history last Friday by Plains All American leaked nearly 30,000 barrels of oil into Lubicon traditional territory in the Peace Region of Northern Alberta.

Instead of attending an in-person community meeting, the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) faxed a one-page fact sheet to Little Buffalo School. The fact sheet indicates that 28,000 barrels of crude oil, or 4,500 cubic metres, has spread into nearby stands of “stagnant water.” The spill, April 29 at 7:30 a.m., occurred only 300 metres from local waterways. The ERCB said the spill has been contained, but community members report that the oil is still leaking into the surrounding forest and bog. The ERCB also said to the community that there is “no threat to public safety as a result of the leak.” Yet people are still getting sick, the local school has been shut down and children ordered to stay at home. An investigation into the incident is underway.

“It has been four days since classes were suspended due to the noxious odours in the air. The children and staff at the school were disorientated, getting headaches and feeling sick to their stomachs,” said Brian Alexander, the principle of Little Buffalo School. “We tried to send the children outside to get fresh air as it seemed worse in the school but when we sent them out they were getting sick as well”.

“The company and the ERCB have given us little information in the past five days. What we do know is that the health of our community is at stake,” said Chief Steve Nosky. “Our children cannot attend school until there is a resolution, The ERCB is not being accountable to our community; they did not even show up to our community meeting to inform us of the unsettling situation we are dealing with. The company is failing to provide sufficient information to us so we can ensure that the health and safety of our community is protected.”

The ERCB fact sheet states that air monitors are in place on site and have “detected no hydrocarbon levels above Alberta Ambient Air Quality guidelines.” But this is little consolation for a community that is scared to breathe the air. Veronica Okemow has six children, the youngest one attending the school, and she is very worried. “We are deeply concerned about the health effects on the community,” Okemow said. “It is a scary thing when your children are feeling sick from the air. People are scared to breathe in the fumes.”

Pipeline Companies are constantly trying to ensure the public that these massive pipelines crossing North America are safe.

“With TransCanada and Enbridge pipeline corporations vying to build massive pipelines to the Pacific and Gulf Coasts, First Nation and American Indian Tribes near the path of these pipelines currently have tribal resolutions opposing the construction of these pipelines.  They foresee that these proposed pipelines would endanger their water, air and lands, for future generations.  Alberta’s big oil companies are putting our communities at risk for a short ranged economic gain”, Says Clayton Thomas-Muller of the Indigenous Environmental Network.

Melina Laboucan-Massimo, a member of the Lubicon Cree First Nation and also a Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner said:

“The Plains All American spill marks the second pipeline spill in Alberta in just a week, with Kinder Morgan spilling just days before. This is an alarm bell for Alberta residents. If this 45-year-old pipeline were to break elsewhere along its route there would be more safety and health hazards. Communities across Alberta and B.C. are demanding an end to this type of risky development; yet the government refuses to listen. Instead it continues on as business as usual without plans for the cleaner, healthier, sustainable future that is possible.”

See CBC News article on pipeline-leak here.

For more information, please contact:

Steve Nosky, Chief of the Lubicon Cree, (780) 649-4466
Brian Alexander, Principle of Little Buffalo School, (780) 629 -2210 (h) (403) 397-9779 (c)
Melina Laboucan-Massimo, member of the Lubicon Cree and Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner, (780) 504-5567
Jessica Wilson, Greenpeace communications, (778) 228-5404

California: Day 18 Update From Spiritual Encampment At Glen Cove

In Blockades and Land Defense, Glen Cove Encampment, News, Occupations, Uncategorized on May 3, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Originally Posted in:, May 1st 2011.

Author: SSP&RIT

*** Day 18 update – May 1st, 2011

It was a very social Sunday. Internationally acclaimed actor Michael Horse and his partner Pennie Opal Plant from Gathering Tribes Art Gallery in Berkeley paid us a visit and donated much needed supplies. Artists from Oakland donated two spray-painted banners. A limo pulled up to the gate, full of DJs from a local radio station, who visited and brought us fruit. Then a trio of Mormons appeared–after being informed that proselytizing to our participants was forbidden, they joined us for a short while.

Doug and Clayton Duncan from Robinson Rancheria and Gary Thomas of the Elem Pomo Roundhouse shared the story of the massacre of their ancestors at Bloody Island and offered songs. Their family members sang healing songs and danced in honor of the women, accompanied by prayers offered by a Taino Elder from Puerto Rico.

The Security Committee, which includes youth from several California tribes, introduced the new “Sogorea Te” song to the group circle. People from our encampment spoke at May Day rallies in San Jose and San Francisco, distributing flyers and getting the word out about our spiritual defense of these sacred grounds.

Local Glen Cove Residents showed up to support our vigil and provided us with BBQ meat and lasagna for dinner. Phil Klasky, American Indian Studies professor at San Francisco State also brought generous dinner donations. The Red Boy Singers offered Prayer songs at the end of this hot Sunday.

Prayer and attention is being directed towards our friend and long time activist John Powers, who despite deteriorating health, has been participating in our ongoing ceremony to protect Sogorea Te.

We again wish to express our gratitude to everyone who has participated in our struggle, on the land or from a distance.

*** Announcements:

– A Mothers Day / Honoring Mother Earth event will take place this coming Sunday, the 8th at Sogorea Te. Details TBA.

– A walk to visit Oakland Shellmounds will take place on Saturday May 7th at 9am, Starting at Union Point Park – 2311 Embarcadero, Oakland. Bring comfortable shoes, a sack lunch and water to carry.

– The Twelth Annual Bloody Island Memorial in honor of the Pomo Indian people that perished and those who survived the Bloody Island Massacre will take place on Saturday, May 14th in the Clear Lake area.

– Also, a reminder that ride-sharing from the Bay Area is being coordinated by these two supporters – let them know if you need, or can offer, a ride out to Glen Cove: Casey – 609-317-3480 Dylan – 415-810-9930

For more information & updates:

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