Walk to Protect Akikodjiwan Sacred Site in Ottawa - Chaudiere Falls
[Daniel Bouchard, Radio-Canada]: The Algonquins and other Indigenous people and Faith leaders are concerned about the future of the Chaudière Falls. For this reason, today a few hundred people walked from Victoria Island to the Parliament to call for their protection for future generations.
[Gilles Taillon, Radio-Canada]: Women, children and Faith leaders joined with numerous Indigenous people to draw attention to the majestic beauty of the Chaudière Falls. It is a jewel of nature in the heart of what has been an industrial site for two centuries. However, the neighboring islands will soon be taken over by a new condo and commercial complex, straddling Ottawa and Gatineau, named the Zibi project.
[Rachèle Prud’homme, Algonquin]: We never ceded our lands so I don’t understand how a government can sell lands that don’t belong to them. This is our temple. We are there to protect the sacred waters, where our ancestors performed ceremonies since time immemorial.
[Gilles Taillon, Radio-Canada]: The symbolic meaning of the three Chaudière islands were on everyone’s mind.
[Alex Akiwenzie, Chief]: What’s at stake here is really based on spirituality and pride and protection of a sacred place.
[Gilles Taillon, Radio-Canada]: We must free the Falls affirm the activist, even if development has begun.
[Anne-Marie Hogue – Ally of indigenous people - Free the Falls]: This is not a done deal because these lands are federal lands, lands which belong to all Canadians.
[Larry Rousseau, Canadian Labour Council executive VP]: This land was always occupied by industrialists for industrial purposes, and now that the industrial era is over, the government has given permission to develop a residential project on Crown land. This makes absolutely no sense.
[Gilles Taillon, Radio-Canada]: In closing, architect Douglas Cardinal reminded the gathering that it is the women who have always taught the importance of living in harmony with nature. Those opposing the condo project promised to return and demonstrate again next year.
Translation by Anne-Marie Hogue. Original video in French from Radio-Canada ('fair use') was broadcast on the Gatineau/Ottawa 6pm TV newscast, 22 June 2018.