On Monday, October 1st at 8pm on 1610 AM Voces Latinas English language program called a Drink of Water, Floyd and Ruby Montour, land defenders from the Six Nations Grand River Territory will be guests of Joyce Aldrich, the show's host. Floyd and Ruby will talk about the importance of the land defence struggles of the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations) people. Steve Watson, who recently retired from the staff of the CAW, will join them to talk about what allies can do. Here's the link to listen live on line to CHHA 1610 AM: http://www.chha1610am.ca/radio.html
July 3rd, 7pm OISE Rm 5260
Public info night featuring speakers from Six Nations, and James Cooke of citizen groups Stop the Waste Park and the Southgate Public Interest Research Group.
How would you like to eat food that was fertilized with hazardous human waste? What if that same waste leaks into our local rivers?
The April 28th Coalition invites you to learn about the unfolding events and struggles against a dangerous project to build a new waste processing (‘sludge’) plant at the headwaters of the Grand River, on Six Nations territory, as well as resistance to this project from those at the frontline of a struggle concretely linking environmental justice and Indigenous sovereignty.
What is happening in Dundalk is the realization of the spirit of the Two-Row Wampum. Residents of Dundalk as well as Six Nations land defenders are maintaining a blockade, erected in early April, against a sewage sludge processing plant. With vast community support, they are calling for governments and corporations to respect the treaties and Six Nations’ sovereignty over the territory.
Don’t miss the chance on July 3rd to learn about this significant issue and mobilization, as well as the treaties which are the basis for this powerful relationship of solidarity.
Also, get on the bus for the EcoWalk to protect the headwaters of the Grand River: http://april28coalition.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/get-on-the-bus-for-dundalk-on-saturday-july-7th/
This event is organized by the Toronto First Nations Solidarity Working Group / CUPE 3903 FNSWG
Facebook event for July 3rd Info Night: https://www.facebook.com/events/354137824659861/
Facebook event for July 7th March in Dundalk: https://www.facebook.com/events/313530572071860/
In February 2012, residents of Southgate township and the town of Dundalk, Ontario drove their vehicles onto the access road leading to a construction site. The so-called “eco-park”, located near a school at the edge of town, was to be developed into a sludge-to-fertilizer processing plant.
This land protection action, 145km northwest of Hamilton, Ontario at the head waters of the Grand River (O:se Kenhionhata:tie), has stopped construction of the plant which would have processed the human sewage, industrial and medical waste that would be shipped in from Toronto. The out-sludge would then be sprayed on fields as fertilizer for our food.
With the support of Haudenosaunee land defenders, and a mobilized and highly knowledgeable local community, the blockade’s energy and strength continues to grow and there is grounds for optimism about the impending court date in July which would see the zoning rules disallow further development.
This is Toronto’s waste (everything that goes into YOUR toilet, sinks, and drains) that is being shipped to Dundalk, 350 meters from the town’s elementary school. And it is for this reason that WE need to support the residents of Dundalk and Six Nations land defenders. WE have an opportunity to halt any further environmental devastation of Six Nations territory and demand justice for us all.
The April 28 Coalition would like to invite you to a speaking event to launch the new Six Nations Land Defenders Legal Defence Fund, followed by a day of court support for Francine “Flower’ Doxtator and Alex Hundert.
On June 25, the April 28 Coalition will be launching a new Six Nations Land Defenders Legal Defence Fund to support front line Haudenosaunee land defenders who have been criminalized and targeted by the state.
On June 26, Francine “Flower” Doxtator and Alex Hundert will both be in court, in Cayuga and Toronto respectively. The April 28 Coalition would like to invite you to attend both court hearings, and for a bus ride to and from Cayuga for Flower’s afternoon hearing.
Launch Event for Six Nations Land Defenders Legal Defence Fund, Speaking event with Francine “Flower” Doxtator, Alex Hundert, more speakers TBA
7pm, June 25 – San Lorenzo Latin American Community Centre, 22 Wenderly Drive, Toronto
Court support for Alex Hundert, G20 Main Conspiracy Group, sentencing hearing: Alex is expecting to start a 13.5 month jail sentence.
10am, June 26 – Metro West Etobicoke Courthouse, 2201 Finch W:
Get on the bus to Cayuga: Support Flower and Six Nations Land Defenders.
12:30pm – 2201 Finch W, Toronto:
Court support for Francine “Flower” Doxtator, Six Nations Land Defender, grandmother, and a member of the April 28 Coalition.
2pm – Cayuga Courthouse, 55 Munsee St N, Cayuga:
You can sign up for the bus at by clicking here.
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/355150111223624/
Francine “Flower” Doxtator is a Haudenosaunee Land Defender, grandmother and a member of the April 28 Coalition from Six Nations. She is in court on June 26 in Cayuga to continue dealing with charges stemming from a February 18 incident at Kanonhstaton, the Six Nations reclamation site near Caledonia, where she and others confronted racist agitator Gary McHale’s planned incursion onto the site known as “the Protected Place.” She was later recharged for allegedly “breaching” unjust bail conditions when she attended the April 28 walk for “Peace, Respect and Friendship,” where people from Six Nations marched with allies under the banner, “We Are All Treaty People.” For more info on Flower’s case see: http://april28coalition.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/support-flower-stop-the-criminalization-of-six-nations-land-defenders/
Alex Hundert, a long term Indigenous solidarity organiser and activist, was one of 21 people who were hit with a series of conspiracy charges related to planning for the Toronto G20 protests in the summer of 2010. The G20 Main Conspiracy Group and many other activists and organisers were the targets of one of the biggest policing/intelligence/security operations in Canadian history, as the state and the cops sought to smash a burgeoning network of anti-colonial, anti-capitalist, and anarchist activists and organisers across the country. For more info on Alex’s case see: http://alexhundert.wordpress.com/
At Six Nations, the last six years have seen a harsh criminalisation of Haudenosaunee Land Defenders. Dozens of people have faced criminal charges, several have served substantial time in jail. In Brantford an injunction was passed, making it illegal for anyone from Six Nations to be involved in a land claims protest within the city; in Flower’s case, we see the further criminalization of land defenders with bail conditions that attempt to keep her away from already reclaimed land.
The G20 in Toronto saw an unprecedented mobilisation—including the June 24 Day of Action for Indigenous Sovereignty and Land Rights—followed by an unprecedented intelligence and security operation and crackdown on dissent. Alex Hundert and 20 others were hit with conspiracy charges as the state sought to criminalize the very acts of organising protests and promoting solidarity.
The intelligence/security operation targeted a growing network of social movements, particularly anarchists, migrant justice activists, and Indigenous sovereigntists and their allies. However this criminalization is nothing new; the state has always criminalized Indigenous, racialized, and poor communities, and especially the resistance movements that spring from them.
Over the last two years, some of the G20 defendants and some of those convicted have received unprecedented levels of support from the activist community—which only goes to show how much potential for support there is in our communities. Currently as the Quebec student strike receives massive outpourings of solidarity and huge contributions to their legal defense funds, it is important to remember that the same level of financial and physical support has not arisen for Indigenous Land Defenders and other front line struggles. This needs to change.
On June 25, come to the San Lorenzo Latin American Community Centre for a speaking event with Six Nations Land Defender Francine “Flower” Doxtator, solidarity activist and G20 “conspirator” Alex Hundert, and other speakers to be announced later. We will be launching a new Six Nations Land Defenders Legal Defence Fund and talking about the current state of land defense struggles at Six nations and the need for social justice movement solidarity with Indigenous struggles.
On June 26, come pack the courts for Flower and help send the message that we are all indeed “Treaty People,” and that we will support our allies and neighbours against the colonial practices of the Canadian state and the so-called justice system. It is time that Six Nations Land Defenders felt the full support of all of our social justice movements.
On Tuesday May 29th, Francine “Flower” Doxtator – a Haudenosaunee [Six Nations] land defender, grandmother and member of the April 28th Coalition – appeared in court in Cayuga, Ontario, as a result of charges stemming from an incursion by Gary McHale and the OPP at Kanonhstaton – the Six Nations reclamation site in Caledonia – on February 18th, 2012. As Flower and a group of about 15 of her supporters left the court room, they were approached in the lobby by a group of OPP officers, one of whom grabbed Flower by her broken arm and tried to re-arrest her.
Flower and her supporters were outraged and demanded to know what the new charges were. After a tense discussion in the lobby of the court-house, the officers finally explained that they had evidence that Flower had been present at Kanonhstaton on April 28th during the walk for “Peace, Respect, and Friendship” and that because this constituted a “breach” of her conditions, they were going to charge and arrest her.
They claimed that by being at Kanonhstaton on April 28th, Flower had breached conditions stemming from charges of February 18th when anti-native rights activist, Gary McHale, marched onto Kanonstaton. Escorted by OPP officers, McHale had succeeded yet again in instigating conflict by unexpectedly marching towards the house at Kanonhstaton and disturbing the Haudenosaunee people living there. As tensions rose, charges were laid against several Six Nations land defenders for allegedly “obstructing” and “assaulting” OPP officers.
After she was arrested in late April on charges relating to February 18th, restrictive bail conditions were placed on Flower aimed at preventing her from standing up for Six Nations land rights. Serious procedural and legal issues abound about the manner in which those bail conditions were imposed on Flower, and she intends to challenge those conditions on a number of different grounds.
Because of the powerful stand made by Flower and her friends and allies in the lobby of the courthouse on May 29th, the crown agreed to discuss the matter with Flower and her supporters. As a result of the discussions that followed, the court was reconvened to hear this matter and to review Flower’s bail conditions.
This intervention led to a decision by the courts that although she would technically be re-arrested in the courtroom and charged with a breach of her conditions, Flower would be released immediately, with a Toronto based CUPE 3903 member acting as her surety. While the police and court system have again criminalized Flower for exercising her treaty rights and refuse to allow her to return to Kanonhstaton, a victory was nonetheless won as supporters stopped Flower’s incarceration.
However, we must continue to build support for Six Nations land defenders and resist the actions of the colonial courts in criminalizing Six Nations land defenders. Flower is still not legally allowed to return to Kanonhstaton and in order to avoid jail she had to agree to live with her surety in Toronto – away from her home, her community and friends, her daughter, and her four grandchildren. All of us living on this land are treaty people, and we as treaty people must overcome such outrageous and heartbreaking violations of treaty and human rights by building support for our friends and allies at Six Nations.
In terms of a legal strategy, money is urgently needed in order to hire a lawyer to overturn Flower’s restrictive bail conditions, appoint a new surety from Six Nations and lift the condition stating that she cannot reside at her home on Kanonhstaton. Because the crown refuses to change these conditions, they must be appealed to a higher court. This will require raising money to pay for transcripts of Flower’s previous hearings as well as $3000-$5000 in legal costs for the court challenge.
The April 28th Coalition is asking for your help to support Flower in a number of ways:
• Pass a motion within your union or political organization denouncing this political repression of indigenous land rights activists.
• Invite Flower and other members of the April 28th Coalition to come and speak to your group about her case and the larger issues of Six Nations land rights and activism in support of treaty rights.
• Raise money to help cover the legal costs of appealing the court’s decision to ban Flower from Kanonhstaton.
• Send money to help Flower cover the cost of replacing the glasses the police broke while arresting her and to aid with her living costs while she is in Toronto.
• Come to Flower’s next court appearance at 2pm on June 26th in Cayuga, Ontario.
• Get involved in the April 28th Coalition.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with us and tell us how you can help with any of these matters. Cheques can be made payable to “First Nations Solidarity Working Group” and mailed c/o Laura Lepper to 193 Tansley Rd., Thornhill, ON, L4J 2Y8. You can also donate money via credit card or paypal by clicking on the “donate” button at the http://www.april28.net website.
The April 28th Coalition.
The following text along with an invitation peace walk and a series of “frequently asked questions” was mailed to more than 5000 homes in and around Caledonia by the April 28 coalition.
For hundreds of years, the Haudenosaunee confederacy of the Six Nations (consisting of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscacora nations) has exerted their influence over eastern North America. Originally based in the Fingers Lake region of what is now New York State, the Haudenosaune confederacy controlled land and resources including much of Southern Ontario. The confederacy was originally created to bring peace to its warring member nations. It still meets and functions today as the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Council.
In 1613, Five Nations made their first trans-Atlantic diplomatic agreement with the Dutch. After the British defeated the Dutch half a century later, they adopted the same treaties. The British knew that if they wanted to trade and make settlements in North America they needed the support and friendship of the Haudenosaunee.
These treaties and all subsequent ones that the Haudenosaunee made with European nations were based on the concept of the Gus-wen-tah or “two row wampum,” which guaranteed “respect and equality” between the nations making the treaty. The historian Ray Fadden describes the two row this way:
We will not be like Father and Son, but like Brothers. [Our treaties] symbolize two paths or two vessels, travelling down the same river together. One, a birch bark canoe, will be for the Indian People, their laws, their customs and their ways. The other, a ship, will be for the white people and their laws, their customs and their ways. We shall each travel the river together, side by side, but in our own boat. Neither of us will make compulsory laws nor interfere in the internal affairs of the other. Neither of us will try to steer the other’s vessel.
The Two Row is symbolized in a wampum belt by two purple rows against a white background. The white beads symbolize the principles of Peace, Respect, and Friendship. The two purple rows symbolize the independent paths of the Haudenosaunee and the new comers to the Americas.
The two row said that both European and Indigenous peoples can use this land, but only on the basis of mutual respect and non-interference with each other’s way of life.
Unfortunately, the British crown and the Canadian government have not lived up to the principles of the two row. In 1784, due to their role as allies to the British Crown, Six Nations was granted some 950 000 acres of land along the Grand River in the Haldimand proclamation. The document stated that Six Nations “and their posterity are to enjoy [these lands] forever.”
Six Nations was forced off of much of their land by squatters. In other areas of the Haldimand tract they leased the land to non-natives, but they never received payment. Corrupt government officials stole from the Six Nations trust fund, and money was diverted for other purposes. Today, Six Nations is upset to see developments taking place across their lands without compensation or consultation.
Nor were the British and Canadian governments content to simply steal Six Nations land. They also wanted to extinguish Haudenosaunee language and culture. Six Nations’ children were taken away from their families, put in residential schools where they were beaten for speaking their own languages, and often sexually assaulted and abused. Through a combination of violence and neglect many children died in these schools.
The organizers of the April 28 peace walk believe that in order for there to be a real and lasting peace between our communities, there must be justice. And in order for there to be justice, the wrongs that the Canadian government and the British Crown have committed against the people of Six Nations must be redressed. Our walk will draw attention to these issues. If we can resolve them we believe that we can create the basis for true and lasting peace, respect, and friendship.
We think that non-native people need to return to the principles of the two row. The two row belongs to us as well as to the Haudenosaunee people. All non-native people living on these lands are treaty people. It was these treaties which give us the right to live here in North America. We must honour and uphold the agreements our ancestors made with the Haudenosaunee people to respect their way of life and their lands and resources.
We also know that there are many ways in which we as working people can benefit by standing together with the people of Six Nations. We don’t want our rural communities destroyed by suburban sprawl. We don’t want local businesses driven out by big box stores. We don’t want developers and the corrupt politicians they have purchased to be running our towns. We all benefit from the actions that Six Nations takes to stop toxic waste and increased pollution on the Grand River watershed. Over the past six years many non-natives have stood with Six Nations in supporting their land rights and they have stood with us – on our picket lines when we were on strike, and together when we have tried to stop the pollution of our shared environment.
Over the past six years, we have helped to build solidarity between natives and non-natives. We have sought a peaceful resolution to conflict and recognized the importance of native land claims.
While some of this work has been public, much more happens without being covered by the media. Coalitions and friendships have been made. Union members, Six Nations people, non-unionized working people in Caledonia, and working people from elsewhere in the Haldimand region have all come together to work for justice. Many meetings, marches, conferences, potlucks, and information events have taken place. Join us on April 28th and work with us in the months and years to come. By honouring the treaties and respecting the principles two row, we can achieve justice and reach the goals of peace, friendship, and respect that we all hold dear.
Bus Locations, Times, Contacts:
Toronto: Keele Subway Station 12:15pm
St. Catherine’s: CAW Hall 124 Bunting Rd 11:45 am
London: Centennial Hall, 550 Wellington St 11:45 am
Hamilton: McMaster pick-up at 12:45 Downtown GO Station pick-up at 1:15pm
Guelph: Market Fresh parking lot at 12:15pm
Kitchener-Waterloo: Kitchener City Hall on Duke Street (across from Faculty of Social Work) at 11:45am
Dunnville: Wingfield Park – 302 Main St. 1:15pm
Brantford: Victoria Park at the corner of Market St. and Darling St. at 12:15pm
Ohsweken: Veterans Park at the corner of Chiefswood and 4th line at 12:45pm