Monthly Archives: February 2016

Peaceful rally for the Akikodjiwan Falls and Islands

Photo : Freeing Chaudière Falls and its islands

Photo : Freeing Chaudière Falls and its islands

poster_MA_150dpi_ENWHEN : Sunday, February 28th, 13:00
WHERE: Victoria Island in so-called Ottawa (google maps)
Facebook event

There will be a bus going there from Montreal (read below).

Join us for a peaceful rally in solidarity with ANORW (Anishnabe Nation of the Ottawa River Watershed), as well as with other First Nations and Environmental activists to protect Akikodjiwan against the mega-housing development project called Zibi, which is already underway, and against Hydro Ottawa’s ambitions.

Akikodjiwan is a place of great spiritual significance which covers the so-called “de la Chaudière” Falls as well as three islands nearby: so-called Victoria, Chaudière and Albert. From this area, in so-called Ottawa, we will walk to the Parliament to demand that the colonial government respect, without delay, the will of First Nations who want to protect the site. During the gathering, we will invite you to sign a large number of postcards with the ANORW logo to represent the Anishnabe sovereignty on the land of the Ottawa River Watershed. The cards will be sent to key players in the project.

BUS FROM MONTREAL – free or donate-what-you-want (reserve your seat here: http://tinyurl.com/autobusaki)
Meeting point : Sunday, February 28th at 9:00, corner of Lajeunesse and Crémazie, North side of Crémazie (close to the FTQ building and the metro)
Return in Montreal : Sunday, February 28th at 21:00, same location

Approximative schedule:
13:00 – Gathering on Victoria Island. Food and ANORW postcards to sign.
14:00 – Start of the walk to the Parliement.
15:00 – Arrival at the Parliement. Speeches by elders.
16:00 or 16:30 – Start of the walk back to the Island.
17:00 or 17:30 -  Return to Victoria Island.

** There will be free food for all (with meaty and vegetarian options), but bring your own lunch if you have specific needs beyond that.
** Also, please bring your own cup, plate and utensils!

To find out more about ANORW:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/we.are.anorw/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfStZ1ukpQ-XZzHVeCDB8Ow

About Solidarity with ANORW group:
solidaritenabro.org

AKIKODJIWAN:

Traditionally, the de la Chaudière Falls were a place of gathering of great spiritual significance for over 65 First Nations. The Falls, with their vertical drop of 15 metres (49 feet) and width of 60 metres (200 feet) have been compared to the Niagara Falls for their splendour! The Anishnabe who came from the East, the West, the North and the South to meet there compared its swirling vortex to the cup of a great sacred peace pipe.

In the 19th Century, a round dam was built there to provide electricity to the industry. This era ended in 1997 with the shutdown of the Domtar plant, but the dam stayed, along with shambles of abandoned industrial buildings.

This site has traditionally been an important place for gathering, healing and peace education. Today, many Original people and others wish to make it a center for reconciliation and unification between all nations. If completed, the Zibi project would prevent this from ever being possible

THE THREAT:

Rather, what started in last December is the construction of a mega-housing development project called Zibi, by Windmill and Dream corporations. It is destined to be a 37 acre complex occupying both islands that will include restaurants, residential buildings and commercial spaces. And even if the promoters are bragging that they will give the public access to the de la Chaudière Falls, the dam that is blocking them will not be dismantled. On the contrary, Hydro Ottawa announced its plans to expand its hydroelectric production in this area.

Promoters are trying to give their project a nice green varnish. They even integrated references to the Anishnabe culture (for starters, by giving the project the name Zibi, which means “river”) in order to win the support of the communities concerned. They are also playing the “divided people” card to avoid having to acknowledge the traditionalists’ claims. And the project is going forward anyway, without the legitimacy of this decision being questioned by the authorities and developers.

Nonetheless, the voices of those who have at heart the preservation of the natural and sacred vocation of this site are already making themselves heard. And it will be the case even more on February 28th, when we will be walking to the parliament to increase the pressure.

This rally is organized by Solidarity with ANORW in collaboration with ANORW, SOS Territoire and the GRIP-UQÀM, Freeing Chaudière Falls and its Islands, Student Labor Action Coalition (SLAC) and Rebel! Rebuild! Rewild!

Freeing Chaudière Falls and its islands on the Web:
www.FreeTheFalls.ca
https://www.facebook.com/FREEINGCHAUDIEREFALLSand3ISLANDS/?fref=ts