Indigenous Artists and Writers Collective

Archive for the ‘Occupations’ Category

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>

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:

An Open Letter to White “Indigenous Solidarity Activists”

In Blockades and Land Defense, Glen Cove Encampment, Migrant and Undocumented Persons Movement, Nazi/Islamophobic/Anti-Native Hate Watch, News, NO Melancthon Quarry on the Haldimand Tract!!, Occupations, South Fraser Protection Camp, Tar Sands, Uncategorized on April 22, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Dear Well-Intentioned White People:


Miigwetch for getting in touch! I’d like to ask you to tell me a bit more about your organization, since we are really interested in connecting with indigenous peoples and communities out that way. But I need to communicate something to you first, which I hope you can hear with an open mind and heart.

Many of us are beginning to see the extent to which as native peoples, we depend on indigenous solidarity groups (which are largely controlled by white/non-native folks) and in taking on this project, we’re seeking to give into and take from within the strength and skills of our own peoples and our own communities. Much like Black Power in the 60’s, we need to build this struggle with our own hands, we need to write our own shit, and we need to connect directly with each other across our territories, as sovereign peoples.

When these relations and connections are mediated or facilitated by non-native peoples, it actually weakens and disempowers us, and that is why we feel that this balance of power needs to shift and be transformed into something new, more parallel than “inclusive”.

Government seeks to “include” us (assimilation policies), militaries and police seek to “include” us (recruitment programs), public school systems seek to “include” us (tokenizing and consuming our histories), and all these, one way or another, want us dead, either in body or in spirit. Is this also what we should expect of solidarity groups, or the movement?

So while we appreciate the support of solidarity groups, and would really love to connect with people of colour and poor communities, because we do face a lot of the same struggles, what would be much more appreciated are the contacts of the indigenous peoples/communities and organizations you have come to know. We’d really like to connect with them directly.

One thing you can do, which there is a very great need for, is to take this message and communicate it (talk about it, start conversations about it, organize around it, think about it, collectively reflect on it, do a workshop/education night on it) to the many well-intentioned white and non-native folks you work and live with, because it should never be the responsibility of the oppressed to educate the oppressor. Or you could just give back the land. That would be GREAT!

(not) Yours,

the Original Peoples.

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