Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Barriere Lake's List of Demands

1. That the Government of Canada agree to respect the outcome of a new leadership re-selection process, with outside observers, recognize the resulting Customary Chief and Council, and cease all interference in the internal governance of Barriere Lake.

2. That the Government of Canada agree to the immediate incorporation of an Algonquin language and culture program into the primary school curriculum.

3. That the Government of Canada honour signed agreements with Barriere Lake, including the Trilateral, the Memorandum of Mutual Intent, and the Special Provisions, all of which it has illegally terminated.

4. That the Government of Canada revoke Third Party Management, which was imposed unjustly on Barriere Lake.

5. That the Province of Quebec honour signed agreements with Barriere Lake, including the 1991 Trilateral and 1998 Bilateral agreements, and adopt for implementation the Lincoln-Ciaccia joint recommendations, including $1.5 million in resource-revenue sharing.

6. That the Government of Canada and the Province of Quebec initiate a judicial inquiry into the Quebec Regional Office of the Department of Indian Affairs' treatment of Barriere Lake and other First Nations who may request to be included.

7. The Government of Quebec, in consultation with First Nations, conduct a review of the recommendations of the Ontario Ipperwash Commission for guidance towards improving Quebec-First Nation relations and improving the policing procedures of the SQ when policing First Nation communities.

We are currently seeking group endorsements, please email barrierelakesolidarity@gmail.com

Letters of Endorsements:

Green Party of Canada gave their support on November 21st and called for an investigation into the infringement of the rights of the Mitchikanibikok Inik, in particular their right to peaceful assembly.

Boyce Richardson author, journalist, filmmaker. His books include Strangers Devour the Land, and People of Terra Nullius: Betrayal and Rebirth in Aboriginal Canada. He was a recipient of the Order of the Canada in 2002.

Arthur Manuel is spokesperson for the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade (INET), former Chief of the Neskonlith Indian Band, chairmen of the Interior Alliance and the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council.

Group Endorsements:

Association for Progressive Communication
Aktionsgruppe Indianer & Menschenrechte
American Indian Movement of Colorado
Arbeitskreis Indianer Nordamerikas
Association for Threatened Peoples
Block the Empire-Montreal
Brampton Coalition for Peace and Justice
Building Bridges Human Rights Project-Vancouver
Canadian Union of Postal Workers
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid
Comité de Solidarité avec les Indiens des Amériques-Nitassinan
Common Cause-Ottawa
Collectif pour L'Autonomie du Peuple Mapuche
Le Collectif Opposé à la Brutalité Policière (COBP)
Edmonton Small Press Association
Educators for Peace and Justice, Toronto
Flemish Centre for Indigenous Peoples
Haiti Action Montreal
Indonesia Fisherfolk Union / Serikat Nelayan Indonesia
Industrial Workers of the World–Vancouver
Infringement Festival
Kichesipirini Algonquin First Nation
Latin America Connexions
Menschenrechte 3000
Mouvement des Jeunes Communistes du Québec
No One is Illegal Kingston
No One is Illegal Montreal
No One is Illegal Ottawa
No One is Illegal Vancouver
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
Nova Scotia PIRG
Olympic Resistance Network
OPIRG Carleton
OPIRG Ottawa
OPIRG Toronto
Optative Theatrical Laboratories
Ottawa-Outaouais IWW
Parti marxiste-léniniste du Canada
Peterborough Coalition Against Poverty
Public Service Alliance Canada
QPIRG Concordia
Queen's Coalition Against Racial and Ethnic Discrimination
Rassemblement Outaouais contre la guerre (ROCG)
Solidarity Across Borders-Montreal
Sierra Youth Coalition
Teachers for Palestine, Toronto
Toronto Bolivia Solidarity
Verein zur Unterstutzung nordamerikanischer Indianer
Venezuela We Are With You Coalition

Message from the Community

"We, the Barriere Lake traditional people have always lived under our customary laws, which we have codified as our Mitchikanibikok Anishinabe Onakinakewin (the Barriere Lake Customary Governance Code). This is what our great grandparents left for us, our children and grandchildren, and the coming generations. Our responsibility is to make sure that our customary laws will always be respected and protected.

Our Feast is where we give thanks for what we feed our families, the foods that come from our lands and waters. The Three String Wampum is a symbol for shaking hands with our Brothers and Sisters, their children and all living things. This is where our teachings come from. We have a big responsibility: To Protect Our Land, To Protect Our Animals, Fish and Birds. To defend our hunting way of life so our teachings and our feast will continue to exist for our children, grandchildren and the coming generations, along with our Language and Beliefs.

Today, as the traditional people of our community, we are fighting to defend our customary laws from being violated by individuals who no longer respect them, including how we govern ourselves. We will honor what our great grandparents left us. No one will take our customary laws and side with the federal government to gain money by compromising our rights and interests.

Our customary laws are meant to help us live in harmony on our Lands and with each other. It is only when individuals living in our community violate and disrespect our customs, that the harmony is broken. Despite repeated warnings to stop, a dissident faction has continued to violate and disrespect our customs and have broken our community's harmony. Therefore, on March 4, 2008, the majority of our eligible community members of Mitchikanibikok confirmed that we will not accept these dissidents living in our community. Now the federal government is trying to impose them on us by using the Surete du Quebec to bring them into our community.

The Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec want to replace our Customary Chief and Council because our leaders are demanding that they honour the agreements they entered into with our First Nation.

For the federal government, that is:

The 1991 Trilateral Agreement.

The 1997 Memorandum of Mutual Intent & Global Proposal to Rebuild our Community.

The Special Provisions inserted into our Contribution Agreements until the Third Party Manager took over our administrative affairs.

For the Government of Quebec, that is:

1998 Bilateral Agreement and the implementation of the Joint Recommendations adopted by the Quebec negotiator, John Ciaccia, and our negotiator, Clifford Lincoln, particularly paying our First Nation $1.5 million annually in Revenue Sharing.

The federal government is trying to impose a minority dissident group over our First Nation in order to try and get out of their obligations under the signed agreements with our First Nation. This is a repeat of what they tried to do to us in 1996-97."