W̱SÁNEĆ territory — Members of the W̱SÁNEĆ Nation and allies in the community will commemorate the one-year anniversary of the reclamation of PKOLS (the name of the mountain formerly known as Mount Douglas) with a community picnic on Thursday May 22, 2014.
The public is invited to gather at the base of the mountain (where Shelbourne meets Cedar Hill Road) at 5pm, walking to the summit for the picnic at 6pm.
“We want to make sure that people remember that the name PKOLS was put back on the mountain,” says Eric Pelkey, hereditary chief and treaty officer for the Tsawout Nation, part of the broader W̱SÁNEĆ Nation whose territory includes the Saanich Peninsula and southern Gulf Islands. “We want to keep it in the forefront of people’s minds. We don’t want it to be forgotten.”
“For us, it is the re-telling of the history behind the signing of the treaty. The treaty is still there. People still have rights under the treaty,” Pelkey says.
Members of the W̱SÁNEĆ Nation are working with other Coast Salish Nations and indigenous and non-indigenous allies to commemorate PKOLS and other indigenous place names in the territory.
“The thunderbird is a spiritual entity,” says Charles Elliot, an artist, carver and community activist from Tsartlip Nation who designed the thunderbird on the wooden sign installed at the PKOLS summit in a ceremony attended by 800 people on May 22, 2013. “It is a high-up symbol which we think is fitting for the action that we are taking. The thunderbird symbolizes the importance of what we are doing.”
People are welcome and encouraged to attend the community picnic on Thursday May 22nd.
For further information, please contact:
Eric Pelkey, Tsawout Nation, 250-480-8526
Charles Elliott, Tsartlip Nation, 250-652-9564
Download the announcement here and spread the word.
Use the #PKOLS hashtag on social media to share your photos, videos and solidarity!
Featuring contributions from: Leanne Simpson, Luam Kidane, Brandy Nālani McDougall, Sandra Collins, David Winfield Norman, Celeste Pedri-Spade, Jenell Navarro, Susy J. Zepeda, Jade E. Davis, Susan D. Dion, Angela Salamanca, Wanda Nanibush, Rubén Gaztambide-Fernández.
And interviews with Rebecca Belmore, Tania Willard, Tom Greyeyes, and Walter Mignolo.
Cover art: “Yikáísdáhá” by Tom Greyeyes (Diné). Follow him on Tumblr: greyeyesart
Check out this amazing issue featuring Indigenous media, art, music and activism in struggle!
DECOLONIZE YOUR READING LIST.
Indigenous Nationhood Movement 4-Colour Logo T-shirt.
100% heavyweight cotton. Black. Unisex sizing
Available in: S-XXL. $20
ORDER INFO: HERE
Colonization is a femicide machine that kills Indigenous women with impunity. It is designed to dispossess Indigenous people of who we are and what we imagine is possible. Its goal is to eliminate our power and our nationhood; and to deceive us into believing it can be reformed, if only we wait long enough and keep chanting reconciliation.
The Zapatista Escuelita (Zapatista Little School) project, which opened in August 2013, has now made available the first of several books, translated into English, as free PDF downloads.
The first in the series is the text, Autonomous Government 1: Freedom According to the Zapatistas. Download the PDF here.
Forthcoming books will be released in the coming months, at one month intervals, if not sooner, as follows:
• Autonomous Government I (Available now: click here)
• Autonomous Government II (Will be published no later than April 8th)
• Participation of Women in Autonomous Government (Will be published no later than May 8th)
• Autonomous Resistance (Will be published no later June 8th)
Over the past two weeks, we have been running a series of posts confronting the crisis of violence against Indigenous women and girls, to declare: #ItEndsHere. We are committed to eliminating all forms of violence within Indigenous communities, including violence based on gender and sexual identity and orientation. Please read and share these powerful words.
"First, I want to cite Susan Blight: ‘It is not about you being inclusive, [decolonization] is about you being included under our laws, relations, and ways of being’. The killing of Indigenous women is an extension of the genocidal practices of the colonial mother country and it is intended to eliminate the decolonization of Canada as a mother country. It is not simply about “ending violence”, the violation is the colonial order, that rests on our lands, our homes, our lives and kills either overtly [killing young women, slaughters our lineages forever] or covertly, assimilation, reconciling without restoring our nations. The people in this country need to own up: this is not Europe, Africa or Asia, it is Turtle Island. Political struggle is the struggle of one set of laws versus another. In this country that means our laws must prevail, our sensibility must prevail. We are all about “all my relations”, this is the centre point of our legal systems, everyone in this country, in order to be a ‘decolonized’ citizen must ascribe to this and protect the mothers of our nations and the future mothers of our nations, so that we may live within and transmit to everyone our laws and our relational teachings, that we may all live in peace. Anything else contributes to genocide." — Lee Maracle
READ THE SERIES HERE:
This is a collaborative response from Families of Sisters in Spirit (FSIS), No More Silence (NMS) and the Native Youth Sexual Health Network (NYSHN) to the calls for a national inquiry by some family members of missing and murdered women. We come together here to name specific forms of state violence – as much of the violence we face as communities, nations, and families stems from colonial nation-states like Canada and the US and the laws themselves. Structures of colonialism (i.e. state governments, foster care, prisons, social services) are responsible for and contribute to ongoing violence against Indigenous women, girls, Two Spirit, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning intersex, and asexual (LGBTTQQIA) people.
Gender based violence also impacts Indigenous women and Indigenous people who are part of the LGBTTQQIA community. LGBTTQQIA people often don’t fit gender binaries, or other Western categories of relationships and identities dictated by mainstream culture and as a result experience increased amounts of violence. This has resulted in the continuance of hundreds, if not thousands of disappearances and deaths across these lands.
As grassroots organizations, we have also provided some concrete suggestions about working collaboratively across Turtle Island towards the resurgence of Indigenous knowledge while supporting each other to address these issues.
State Responses and Inquiries
With the recent disappearance and murder of Loretta Saunders, a pregnant Inuk university student living in Halifax, support for a national inquiry has grown stronger than ever before.
During the past three years, FSIS has engaged with and appealed to state institutions and government bodies. This included providing testimonies at both the Senate Committee in 2011 (which did not result in meaningfully implemented recommendations) and the Special Committee in June 2013 (whose findings were released Friday March 7th). This past fall, FSIS and NYSHN also participated in meetings with the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous People. We’ve gone through ”the proper channels” and it hasn’t got us any closer to justice that we are seeking.
“In my own mother’s case, I have been petitioning the province and federal government for an ‘independent investigation’; after 12 years I have gotten nowhere. So I did my own. The only way that I was going to find truth or answers about my mother’s death was to find them myself. It is what so many families across Turtle Island have been forced to do because they don’t have support from colonial agents in government, policy-making, media, police, and the legal systems. But as Indigenous women, the grief and trauma of experiencing crisis after crisis in our families and communities can overwhelm us; and the best we can do is just try to stay alive each day.” Bridget Tolley, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation – Co-founder of FSIS
Our concerns and responses as families and community based organizations regarding a national inquiry come from these types of experiences. It is not an endorsement of the federal government’s position to not have an inquiry, it’s exactly the opposite. It is because we are ourselves family members who are affected by disappearances, murders and violent deaths, as well as community organizers who have seen the harms of state-led interventions. We call attention back to ourselves: we have the answers and solutions. We always have. We are the experts in enacting those solutions too. Collaboratively we are interested in nurturing self-determined and community-led solutions to interpersonal and structural violence. This is where our hearts are; in resistance to colonialism and in fostering our solutions as Indigenous peoples with the support and consensual allyship of our non-Indigenous friends and family members in the struggle.
READ MORE: http://nationsrising.org/it-starts-with-us
VIDEO of Minister of Injustice Peter MacKay throwing documents relating to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women…on the floor of the House of Commons.
Now, who wants an inquiry?
NEW POST: “Against the Crisis” - by Jarrett Martineau
“I have been disappointed by how few Indigenous men have been willing to speak out in support of this series—and how few have done so in public. I want to work toward eliminating all forms of violence in Indigenous communities, and I want to know that my brothers will have my back. Our sisters can’t be the only ones doing the heavy lifting. They are already fighting. We need to fight with them.”
Please read and share.
Today, in Toronto. Organizers blocked a railroad demanding justice for all Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.