Indigenous Tour: Canada to England/Scotland/Ireland

Mark mark at
Sat Jun 2 15:03:28 BST 2007

Indigenous Tour: Canada to England/Scotland/Ireland

Women representatives from the Six Nations on the Grand River community in
Ontario, Canada will be touring England, Ireland and Scotland between June
13th – 30th to give talks about taking back a piece of stolen Indigenous
land from development and struggling for Indigenous Sovereignty.

The speakers will be a representative from the site of an ongoing (since
February 2006) land reclamation and a Oneida Nation Clan mother- a
representative from the traditional government. They will speak about the
experience of reclaiming and defending a piece of land from development.
Their action has been incredibly successful, having prevented the
development and protected the land from an armed police incursion. They
will also talk about defending their community against colonisation and
the struggle for Indigenous sovereignty. The Haudenosaunee have been
living as a Confederacy of nations organised by direct consensual
democracy since 1142, although there have been systematic attempts by the
colonial state to obliterate them as self-governed sovereign people.

The tour will visit:
Friday the 15th of June –Crossroads women’s centre, 230 A Kentish Town rd
Kentish Town, London 7.30pm
Sunday the 17th of June- Dublin (tbc)
Monday the 18th of June- Belfast: Cultúrlann centre at 216 Falls Road 7pm
– 9pm
Tuesday the 19th of June- Derry (tbc)
Thursday the 21st of June- Rossport Solidarity Camp, County Mayo.
Saturday the 23rd of June – Cork (tbc)
Sunday the 24th June – Kebele centre, Bristol
Monday the 25th of June – Dale farm (Traveller community) St Peters Hall,
Wickford, Essex 2.30 pm
Wednesday the 27th of June – Sumac Centre, Nottingham, 7.30 pm
Friday the 29th of June- Seminar at Leeds University, Masters in Activism
and Social Change course (4pm)
Saturday the 30th of June- Edinburgh Forum, Edinburgh.

Background info:
Six Nations of the Grand River (a Haudenosaunee reserve in Ontario,
Canada) reclaimed forty acres of land on the 28th of February 2006 that
had been sold by the Canadian government to a housing development company.
The land is part of the Haldimand Tract (1784) granted by the British in
return for some of the Haudenosaunee fighting against the soon to be
United States, and thereby losing their lands. Led by the Clan Mothers,
(their traditional female leadership) they set up camp on the burial
ground and stopped the bulldozers’ work. A year later the land reclamation
still stands and the Six Nations community is asserting their sovereignty;
not only by taking back land that was sold by the government without title
to do so, but by practising their right to govern themselves and their

The land reclamation has survived due to a tremendous show of solidarity
by a large part of the 20,000 strong Grand River indigenous community.
150-armed police were walked back off the site when hundreds of people
arrived in response to the dawn raid, indignant that the police had
arrested and beaten the handful of people who were sleeping there.
Blockades and barricades were erected that protected the reclamation land
from further attack and also were a powerful tool in forcing the Canadian
government to take the reclamation seriously. In June 2006 the government
bought the land back from Henco, the developer. The site has also
weathered many ongoing right wing demonstrations that play on local, non –
native peoples’ fears and racism.

The success of the reclamation at Kanonhstaton (the protected place)
encourages indigenous sovereignty struggles across Canada and the United
States. The Haudenosaunee are reasserting their traditional ways, which
include their surviving system of direct, consensus based democracy
(dating from 1142). Marx’s vision of a classless society was based on a
early anthropology essay describing Haudenosaunee governance. Women take
an equal and leading role in the traditional government. On New Years Day
the Clan Mothers and Confederacy Council reoccupied the traditional
government meeting house for the first time since its forced closure in
1924, when the Band council system was imposed on the reserve. The
colonial attack on Indigenous people has meant systematic attempts to wipe
out their languages, government and identity as distinct peoples, as well
as taking their land base. However, these things, though not undamaged
still survive. Near and far to Six Nations Onkwehonweh (original people)
are taking action to halt development, mining, and environmental
destruction on their land.

Contact: indigenoustour at

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