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Photos from Barriere Lake action on Parliament Hill, Dec. 13

by Photos by Mike Barber

Barriere Lake Dec. 13 - eternal flame
Barriere Lake Dec. 13 - drumming
Barriere Lake Dec. 13 - banner
Barriere Lake Dec. 13 - kids
Norman Matchewan delivers UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples to Harper's office

A mass demonstration by members of Barrere Lake First Nation and their supporters on Parliament Hill this afternoon (Mon Dec 13) was met by silence from Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Indian Affairs Minister John Duncan.

Members of the First Nation presented copies of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the community’s resolution against the government’s imposition of Indian Act elections to the offices of Harper and Duncan. No one from Harper’s office would accept the UNDRIP document from the Barriere Lake spokesperson, and at Duncan's office a police officer took the community resolution up to the front doors (which was barricaded off in a 'lock down' zone) where it was left sitting forlornly as no one from inside the building would open the doors to bring it in.

“We are here today because we don’t recognize the council that was imposed on us,” said Tony Wawatie, Barriere Lake community spokesperson, at the morning press conference. “The government used section 74 of the Indian Act to depose our customary government.”

For details on their demands, see

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waawaaskesh (Greg Macdougall)
Member since Juin 2009


181 words



An agreement that is supported by the 1987 BRUNDTLAND REPORT

Despite $100 million taken from territory & DIAND's machiavellian machinations & SQ swat tactics
DRUMBEAT: ANGER & RENEWAL IN INDIAN COUNTRY-ISBN# 0-929091-03-5 (pgs 140 & 142) The MITCHIKANIBIKONGINIK (People of the Stone Weir) has a direct memory of the relationship & agreement with the gov'ts of Canada & Quebec recorded in Wampum belts held by William Commanda right now - the Three-Figure Wampum Belt which during the last "First Ministers' Conference in 1987 was laid before the ministers during that final Constitional conference.This remains the basis on which they enter any negotiations with either level of gov't. They have never surrendered title or jurisdiction on self-gov't or self-determination. And, unlike the French, they have never been conquered. When the conquest of the French occurred, the Three-figure Wampum belt was affirmed in 1760 by the Articles of Capitulation, Article 40, & then reaffirmed by the Royal Proclaimation of 1763.


In 1991, they signed a landmark Trilateral Agreement with Canada and Quebec to protect Algonquin land uses, conserve the forest and wildlife, and to receive a share of resource revenue.I remember that I was working at AFN @ we protested on Parliament Hill & when all the media left, the RCMP came around to bust up the camp & of course over the yrs. they have been arrested on the road, in their community, at goverment offices facing the racism & insults from Quebec conservative MPs & DIAND officials.



Top Diplomat's report to Minister laid out strategy for government subversion of Algonquin community "A document recently released under court-order reveals a former prominent diplomat officially advised Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl to undermine the elected leadership of the Algonquin community of Barriere Lake and quash their signed Trilateral agreement - a course of action then pursued by Strahl and the Department of Indian Affairs.

The advice revolves around the threat that the agreement's implementation would pose to a key government policy controlling unsurrendered native lands.

My direct connection: a neice from Barrierre Lake..Alice Jerome

In Strength & Unity
Donna Meness
Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Community
Algonquin Nation
born member:
3rd generation Indian civil rights activist

former AFN worker ( Education, switchboard, Treaty & Aboriginal Rights Library)
former NCC worker (Aboriginal Childcare Commission & Aboriginal Justice Consulate)

The Federal and Provincial

The Federal and Provincial governments had signed an agreement that would have given the community a share of the resources that are extracted from its traditional territory.

They didn't want to uphold the agreement, so they violently imposed a minority faction on the community, using the Surete du Quebec as the goon squad.

From the flyer handed out by the demonstrators:

""For 20 years, the Algonquin community of Barriere Lake has been struggling to hold the government to its word. In 1991, they signed a landmark Trilateral Agreement with Canada and Quebec to protect Algonquin land uses, conserve the forest and wildlife, and to receive a share of resource revenue. To avoid its obligations, the Department of Indian Affairs has been playing divide and rule in Barriere Lake, ousting the Customary Chief and Council and illegally appointing a minority faction as the leadership.

• Despite several Quebec Hydro dams on their territory, the community is forced to use aging diesel generators to provide power.

• The housing crisis in the community has reached tragic proportions, with most living in moldy, often condemned houses. As many as 18 people live in one house.

• The Surete du Quebec has been used to forcibly impose and maintain the authority of the government-backed minority faction.

• Children have been prevented from speaking Algonquin in school by teachers hired by outsiders—a grim throwback to residential schools.

Barriere Lake has suffered enough.
No coups d’etat in Algonquin territory.
Respect the law and the Customary Governance Code.""

  Again- since I am


Again- since I am Algonquin (there are 10 communities in all) & worked in Indian Gov't for many yrs. in Ottawa -20 yrs. ago - I would encourage CANADIANS to read some books on contemporary Indian issues.

Should you wish to read with your own eyes the words of the MITCHIKANIBIKONGINI- "PEOPLE OF THE STONE WEIR" formerly known as RAPID LAKE" & now "Barriere Lake" find a copy of "DRUMBEAT: anger & renewal in Indian Country, ISBN# 0-929092-03-5 : the forward is as follows:

" In September 1989, after a year of fruitlessly trying to persude federal & Que. gov't s to listen to their complaints, the Algonquins of Barrierre Lake, who live in LA VENENDRYE WILDLIFE RESERVE, QUEBEC, ABOUT 320KM (200 MILES north of Ottawa, blockaded many newly built logging roads, & brought logging operations to a halt in their traditional hunting territory.

A year before, in an effort to force federal officials to meet with them, the BL people had pitched their tents on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, which they regard as unsurrendered Algonquin land. AT THAT TIME MANY WERE ARRESTED & CHARGED WITH COMMITTING A NUISANCE IN A PUBLIC PLACE.

Now, once again, the full force of the law was imposed in an effort to end their blockade of the loggers. CANADIAN PACIFIC, one of the largest corp. in the country, sought & obtained an injunction to prevent the blockades, & when the Algonquins defied the injunction, they were served with papers for contempt of court.

The BL demands were unusual: their sole hope is that they can persuade governments to WORK WITH THEM TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY within their traditional lands. The hunting & trapping life on which they depend has been undermined by clear-cut logging & outside sports hunting. They have NEVER BEEN CONSULTED ABOUT ACTIVITIES ALLOWED IN THEIR LANDS."

Their proposal was consistant with the recommendations in the report of the 'WORLD COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENT & DEVELOPMENT IN 1987- ALSO CALLED "THE BRUNDTLAND

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