Wednesday, November 12, 2008


For Immediate Release: November 12, 2008


WINNIPEG— Spokespeople from Indigenous communities involved in land struggles across Canada will issue a national challenge to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative government's policies when Harper attends the Conservative Convention in Winnipeg this week, delivering a letter to Harper on Thursday at 6pm, and following up with a press conference on Friday at the Winnipeg Convention Centre.

Indigenous organizers, leaders and membership will be meeting in Winnipeg for the Defenders of the Land Gathering from November 12-14th, 2008 to share strategies and solutions for achieving land rights and self-determination.

The Defenders of the Land Gathering will feature special presentations by members from the Algonquins of Barriere Lake, Six Nations, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, Secwepemc First Nation, while many others will be in attendance.

The Defenders of the Land Gathering will focus on several key principles including recognition and respect for Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty rights; opposition to arbitrary, one-sided federal and provincial legislation, policies and practices that negatively affect Indigenous Peoples; stopping the environmental degradation of Indigenous lands; a fair and just interpretation of section 35 of Canada's constitution, including the elimination of the racist, outdated concepts of the Doctrine of Discovery and Terra Nullius; and the application of the Articles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.

The Press Conference will be held:
Date: Friday November 14, 2008
Location: Winnipeg Convention Centre
Time: TBA


For more information, please contact:
Courtney Kirkby 514.893.8283 (c)
Harmony Rice: 204.510.9899 (c)