Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Barriere Lake Algonquins: Taking a Sovereign Stand


Call for Support from the Algonquins of Barriere Lake to Defenders of the Land

By Barriere Lake Defenders
Photo 2008: Police fire tear gas at Algonquins at Barriere Lake

(Nov. 18, 2008) In the upcoming week, the Algonquins of Barriere Lake will be taking action on our traditional territory. We realize that many of you have consensus decision making processes that may take time, but we are urgently requesting your community's support in the form of endorsements and a letter sent to key government officials on the day-of or in the days following our actions.
We are demanding that Canada and Quebec honour our signed resource co-management deal, the Trilateral and Bilateral agreements, and that Canada appoints an observer to witness and respect the outcome of a new leadership selection in Barriere Lake in accordance with our Customary Governance Code in order to normalize our leadership situation and our relations with the government.
The Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec have replaced our Chief and Council because our leaders were continuing to demand that they honour the agreements they entered into with our First Nation. This is a repeat of what they tried to do to us in 1996-1997, when the Canadian government recognized and tried to impose a minority faction on us. To prevent future interference in our customary governance, we codified our customs at the time into Mitchikanibikok Anishinabe Onakinakewin (the Barriere Lake Customary Code), but this has proved little deterrent to more government meddling. But our Customary Chief and Council continue to be recognized by our Tribal Council, the Algonquin Nation Secretariat.
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