Sun News : Mohawks march across international bridge to protest border

In the news: Mohawks march across international bridge to protest border.

CORNWALL, Ont. – Mohawk chiefs marched across both spans of the Seaway International Bridge on Friday to hand-deliver a request for a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The rally of an estimated 400 people stopped traffic on the bridge between Cornwall and the U.S. for more than three hours, as residents protested the border that splits their territory.

“These are your divisions,” said Chief Richard Mitchell, while speaking to Cornwall, Ont., Mayor Bob Kilger in the centre of the traffic circle. “…We should have the right to travel back and forth without impediments.”

The Mohawk leaders also met with Steve MacNaughton, a regional director of the Canadian Border Services Agency, offering a letter that outlined their concerns with the port-of-entry. They asked that the missive be passed along to Harper, as a first step towards a meeting to revisit treaties between the government and Haudenosaunee Six Nations Confederacy, which includes the Mohawks.

A chief from the Bear Clan said they didn’t walk across the bridges to “make trouble,” but as a reminder that the land still belongs to their people.

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Canadian and U.S. natives vow to block oil pipelines – Yahoo! News

In the news: Canadian and U.S. natives vow to block oil pipelines – Yahoo! News.

OTTAWA (Reuters) – An alliance of Canadian and U.S. aboriginal groups vowed on Wednesday to block three multibillion-dollar oil pipelines that are planned to transport oil from the Alberta tar sands, saying they are prepared to take physical action to stop them.

The Canadian government, faced with falling revenues due to pipeline bottlenecks and a glut that has cut the price for Alberta oil, say the projects are a national priority and will help diversify exports away from the U.S. market.

But the alliance of 10 native bands – all of whose territories are either near the crude-rich tar sands or on the proposed pipeline routes – complain Ottawa and Washington are ignoring their rights.

They also say building the pipelines would boost carbon-intensive oil sands production and therefore speed up the pace of climate change.

“Indigenous people are coming together with many, many allies across the United States and Canada, and we will not allow these pipelines to cross our territories,” said Phil Lane Jr, a hereditary chief from the Ihanktonwan Dakota in the state of South Dakota.

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Idle No More targets North America’s busiest border – Windsor – CBC News

In the news: Idle No More targets North America’s busiest border – Windsor – CBC News.

People participating in the Idle No More movement plan to target the Ambassador Bridge next week.

Members of the movement are organizing what they call “an economic slowdown” in Windsor on Jan. 16. Organizers insist it’s “not a blockade.”

“We don’t want to inconvenience people too much. But we want to be in places that are going to get us noticed and allow us to get our information out,” said organizer Lorena Garvey-Shepley.

She then quoted a sign she once saw at another Idle No More demonstration.

“Sorry for the inconvenience, but we’re trying to change the world,” Garvey-Shepley said.

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Idle No More Ceremony Planned for US-Canada Border | Indian Country Today

In the news: Idle No More Ceremony Planned for US-Canada Border January 5

The meet-up at the famous Peace Arch monument – described as a “peaceful prayerful gathering of Indigenous women, supported by our Indigenous men, standing united – will see Indigenous activists and supporters rally their drums, songs and prayers for change on both sides of the border.”

“It’s a peaceful, prayerful action,” Kat Norris, spokesperson for the Indigenous Action Movement, told Indian Country Today Media Network. “We, the organizers, want to ensure that we are going into this with good and strong hearts. Doing this at the border, with our relatives from the other side of the border joining, we’re making a statement that support comes north and south, and east and west to join this. It’s a symbol of support for Idle No More and everything it stands for – and for Chief [Theresa] Spence.”

Organizers of the border gathering emphasized the event is a ceremony, not a blockade or disruption.

“It’s a ceremony with smudging, drumming and singing,” Norris said. “We’re following protocol – the other side will sing a welcome song. We will sing our song and why we’re there (…). There are many stories my mother and grandmothers shared of visiting our relatives. That border divides our families.”

Norris said that crossing the border has painful significance for many Indigenous Peoples, who once freely roamed through their territories before the arrival of Europeans or enforcement of their boundaries.

“It’s also a symbol that we do not see the border as an actual border,” she said. “It’s a man-created border. Historically, as Indigenous people, we’re supposed to be able to cross the border freely; our people did: they travelled all over Turtle Island. Every time we have to cross a border, it hits our hearts. It only reminds us of what we once had.”

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