Why We Wrote the “Statement of Apology”

Why We Wrote the “Statement of Apology” We Wish Had Been Written By the Defenders of the Land Organizing Committee. (April 27th, 2011)

It has been seven days since we published a satirical “statement of apology”,  from the organizing committee of Defender’ of the Land. A group of women and grassroots land defenders wrote the statement, because our voices had been silenced. We feel that what we have to say here must be heard, and so we will continue to speak.

In Spring 2010, we blocked consensus of a “June 24th Day of Action” call-out for a march during the G20 week in Toronto. We were ignored and silenced. That march was the only indigenous-led event for that important week of public dissent. We had one day for our voices to be heard in the streets. We believe in consensus as a traditional way of guarding against elitism and privilege in our communities, and we believed that by blocking consensus, especially as a group of native women, we would at least be given the chance to speak and be heard. Not only were we ignored and silenced, but the organizing committee blocked communication between us and several native communities. We were told they were “afraid” of us, as though indigenous peoples need protection from each other when our voices speak different opinions.

We blocked consensus because we felt that the call out for the “June 24th Day of Action” (which was sent out by Defenders of the Land) would criminalize and disempower grassroots land defenders and erode our autonomy to defend ourselves and our land and communities. We felt that the heavy use of “non-violence” wording was a slippery slope toward co-operation with the Canadian government and police…who also desire us to be “non-violent” so that we are less of a threat to the realities that we face daily: our children being stolen, our lands being exploited for profit, murder and brutality at the hands of police and racist settlers, the disappearance and murder of thousands of indigenous women.

We felt that this was not an issue of semantics, that this was deliberately being taught to our peoples, our youth and our communities by the interests of government and corporations, who we began finding out more and more, were actually helping to fund well-paid activists who ran well-funded workshops, training and retreats on “non-violence” and “civil disobedience”. Some of this was traced back to funding which came from “ethical oil” strategies, and that’s when we started realizing the sickening accuracy of our premonitions.

The June 24th “Day of Action”, although well attended and successful in bringing people together to demonstrate resistance, was also extremely compromised. Undercover police and informants who came to the organizing meetings were “justified” in being there, people were told that because of “trouble makers”, we should cooperate with the police. These “trouble makers” were several indigenous people who were standing up and questioning the way the organizing was being increasingly straitjacketed.

“Non violence” was used to narrow the parameters of our ability to speak and express our struggle: we were barred from wearing camoflage, barred from wearing masks, barred from carrying the Unity flag or from any “warrior” images or symbols. On the day of the march, undercover police were permitted by the organizers to infiltrate the march, and those of us who had questioned the organizers were told that we would be turned over (by the march’s own security team) to the police.

Members of the Defenders of the Land organizing committee were present at these meetings, they helped to organize and promote the march and they did not speak up in defense of those who were criminalized and targeted, just as they did not listen to the voices of women who had blocked consensus of the original call out.

That has been our experience and involvement with the organizing committee of the Defenders of the Land, a network that began with the dream of a woman: a clanmother and Elder from one of the most exploited communities on Turtle Island which has been devastated by mercury poisoning and logging: Grassy Narrows.

We believe in honouring the dreams of women, in freeing ourselves from judgement and bias, decolonizing our minds and our hearts. We believe in being action-oriented, not paper-oriented. We don’t need Canada’s approval or consent, and we don’t need government or corporate funding. We have always had what we will always need: the Kaianerenkowa, the Medicine Wheel, our teachings, our clan systems, our languages, our ceremonies.

We can empower ourselves, we don’t need to wait for an NGO or a suit to tell us how to feel empowered. We aren’t the ones who need “non violence training”, the ones who need to stop using violence are the ones in power: police, government and corporations.

We absolutely believe in non-violence: when the cops lay down their weapons, the mining and logging companies abandon their industries, when the government returns the land to the people who belong to her, when racist settlers lay down their racism and patriarchy, when we vomit up the internalized racism from generations of abuse and torture at the hands of the government and can feel good in our own skin, can feel loved by each other, comforted, proud of and nourished by our beautiful brown skin, instead of vying for the attention of white thighs, settling for the white lie.

When the violence against us stops, maybe then we can begin to return to a time of peace. But to adopt a strategy of non-violence during a time of war is suicide: and we already have enough children and youth killing themselves because their innate resistance to genocide is stifled by white Canadian education, media, foster homes, jails and poverty food. Native children and youth do not need to be taught how to defend themselves: they need to be given the freedom to do what their spirits already understand is necessary.

Nonviolence as a mass political strategy was never part of our traditional ways of being on Turtle Island. We laid siege to forts, we picked up arms, we mounted riots and uprisings and full scale guerilla wars against colonial governments, militaries, corporations. We ate the hearts of our enemies. We did not curry favour from rich white men, we fought and killed them.

The most successful military campaign against Amerikkka was waged and won by the Oglala Sioux at Little Big Horn in 1876 and in 1973, they defended it again against the FBI, military and goon squads. Our people were often were masked in ceremonies and in battle, just look at the indigenous Zapatista movement–“masking up” is a practice rooted in indigenous movements and indigenous resistance.

Non-violence may be one strategy, and true to our nature, if it works, we’ll use it. If it doesn’t, we won’t. The bottom line is that we defended our land and our families with whatever we could. We owe our very existence to our ancestors who resisted total extermination and genocide by fighting back, and we will continue to honour those who gave us life by resisting the ongoing colonization of our lands and our peoples. If we have breath, we owe each one not only to our ancestors but to the land they fought and died to protect, and to the next seven generations.

-Indigenous Women of the Movement

Posted on April 28, 2011, in Decolonization, Defending Territory, Indigenous Women and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. i’d like to talk to someone about this. will someone please contact me.

  2. Benny Blanco

    These are good women! Learn from them!

  3. This is brilliant and beautiful, thank you!

  4. question – did DOTL organize the day of action, or were they part of the organizing, and one of many organizations that sent the call out?

    if they were not the primary and sole organizers of the day of action, then perhaps they should not be the primary and sole recipients of criticism of what took place

    (good to hear the criticisms though, for sure)

    • DoL was one of the organizers of the G20 day of (in)action but had released their own statement dictating pacifism as the only acceptable means of struggle. That’s partly why they’re receiving flak. The other organizers of the DOA were typical state-funded collaborator groups, so no one expects much from them. DoL, on the other hand, alleges it is a genuine grassroots movement. Rarely mentioned in critiques of DoL and the G20 Indigenous DOA were organizer’s collaboration with police and efforts to marginalize genuine warriors (and this includes DoL).

  5. I saw the programs of the G20. I didn’t like the protests or the coverage. Writing here in after-sight I saw that the issue of agents provocateurs was a part of this involvement. The black block were wearing masks and I was concerned about the racist goals as to abuse children in my area.An increased idea of security necessitated by supposed danger allows Children’s services already to apply more physical restraint and greater use of force as well as lowering of the threshold for excessive intervention attack and suspicion of some intention of violence or an angry look to abuse children and youth. In Edmonton children are under extreme assault. The issue of a pretense of violence or violent intent supposed security risk is the method that has been used. The attacks are done against singular women/girls who have already been abused in most cases. The women who are attacked and terrorized and the girls are generally assaulted in the center of the city kill zone. The assaults by the gang members which are supported by the Police are enabling the murders of many girls and children here. In the Children’s services network a government sponsored attack model called the Alberta Response Model is at the root of the attacks on girls and women by the Alberta Gov’t. This is criminal assault and it is directed specifically at First Nations girls and women. The accusation involved some future intent to commit a violent act by a woman who has reported abuse or reports of abuse by a man as in emotional abuse. The programs called Homefront and Edmonton Community Services ( FCSS funded programs) as well as the shelters and several collaborator groups are involved in attacking and terrorizing women and children. the issue is often mixed marriage or children with a father who is non-First nations. The offenses are occuring as a result of an attack by several of the major gangs on the First nations. The programs include the Bandidos the Hells Angels ( +many varied associates) and Bloods and Cryps. Several of the newer gangs are involved in terrorizing the community along with the police such as the Crazy dragons. These gangs are set up in the center of the city for a meat grinder. The police and children’s services set them up knock them down and then the gangs kick them. The programs involved are not involved in providing genuine services to the women. They have a code jargon for the women and children they terrorize and attack. The jargon for recently beaten is rapid decompensation. The jargon for false accused is Unstable or labile. In these definitions used by the entire group including both Metis Children’s Services and Aboriginal Consulting Services as well as Native Counseling services is a program of ongoing abuse of these women.

    The attacks are often done as well through John Howard where women false accused of potential violence are sent as a part of diversion along with the Aboriginal Consulting services assault. In these cases the women who are often long term victims of abuse are forced to allow themselves to be treated sometimes without their children. Children’s are placed with their batterer or attacker. In several cases the offender is also a gang member. In cases where the male is not a gang member he is a First nations father the abuse is directed at the entire family. If he is committing an offense such as emotional ( Under the domestic violence act) or psychological abuse it is mild and part of expected domestic disharmony at the decision to separate, and should not be dealt with by a forced program of treatment and the abuse of the child by apprehension. The issue of forced treatment of these individuals is that it often involves a series of assessments and at each assessment the matters are extreme exaggerations of the issue. ( see Powerless CTV)For example a person who should be treated on an out-patient basis with weekly counseling after developing a binge drinking issue during a period of grief the demand is to enter treatment and to wait in line for it while a child languishes. In cases where neither parent drinks or has any substance abuse problem the attack is on their psychological well being with false allegations of mental illness. Often these are dual allegations with the children or a target child also accused and at least one parent.

    This ideal is forced treatment which is not required and the prey is the child or children. The program is mismatched to the needs of the individual and is in each case a gross exaggeration or a complete false accuse. Each one of the family members faces a set of allegations. This is more common to those who own property as they can be fleeced for their property by the Police who access the data base for property taxes and usually have a real estate agent assess the property along with Justice department team Family Law Office officials in order to access legal aid. The theft of the home is the plan or the taking of any savings and property.,The legal fees for a series of false accuses eat up all the equity in the home and a forced sale is made so this is more common in the gentrification areas. The home is purchased by a property developer ( with a gang or police investment package some of the judiciary also own stock or have a relative offering high interest loans to those who are desperate to get their children out from under the abuse at Children’s services especially by Ambient psychological abuse or gas-lighting and their teams of offenders.)or a police flipper. They realize the escalation in value. Another technique of money making is by the forced use of supervised visits which are totally unnecessary. In addition team psychologists make many thousands of dollars usually at least five thousand per assessment for making the false accuse as expert witnesses ( Perlitta Torres/ Les Block) Note that Aubrey Levin also sexually assaulted his clients ( FACS). The offenders demand that visits be supervised and that the parents pay for the supervision. The attacks also include the reduction of visit time between separated parents from a court ordered 20 hours per week to a single hour in a program of supervision more stringent than the maximum security federal penitentiary at the family service association. These programs of attack on parents are an offering of assault against them by search and by demanding that no toys no cell phone no purse and no contact with the other parent take place;/. the use of this tool is done in order to escalate violence with the attackers at Children’s services assuring the offender especially the father that he is being accused by someone and they will not tell who but they suggest it is the mother. It is not this is done by the case manager or the investigator. These Children’s services workers are aware that the calls are false. They choose to use this plan to inflate the number of children in care and the number of apprehensions both to create a method to force Non-First nations care on First nations children and to overwhelm kinship care to disorganize and disrupt or destabilize the First nations community, as well as to use in negotiations for the AUPE as political footballs. In some cases she has received an anonymous phone call. The usual culprit is a police informant in the neighbourhood or a local flipper. No evidence need be presented and none of the programs involved does advocacy for any of the families. The issue of assault on First Nations children in this play one off against the other attack is to take both their home and their child. In cases where it is the child taken only the victim is usually a young single mother and the SYSTEMIC ABUSE plan is to force her into prostitution. The attacks begins with the Snugg program Taking in nearly four hundred girls in the first year, in which a special definition just for First Nation girls and women is applied. ( Since 1999 at the Aboriginal Committee by the Municipality of Edmonton and gay rights activist Derek Chewka as Chair and Youth worker) The trade for sex. The attacker a Police or informant abuses the woman at any of the downtown KILL ZONE agencies. She may be afraid. A friendly person who seems to be all right asks her if she would like to say at his place. Then the trap is sprung. She is considered to be a prostitute and can be accused of prostitution on that basis. In the case of a younger girl she is forced into a Snugg program and in the case of the older woman she is told that she has been reported and is suspected of prostitution. In some cases confidential informant beat and attack women and rob them as well. In cases where a girl turns 18 a charge by an offender confidential informant is made against her. At age 18 a charge is made so that her record as a minor can be transferred to adulthood. She can be held without bail for running away while in care at age 12 years old or a failing to appear. That is the reason most girls are now dead by age 24 the magic year when her adulthood takes hold and criminal charges are more likely to be entered in lengthy jail sentences and she can no longer be expected to take the fall for the older gang members.She is arrested then attacked the Police charge her with assault on the male attacker and assaulting a police officer. Often the attack is also a simulated rape by the Police and an attempted rape by the informant. The Police member strips her clothing at cells after an already agreed strip search with a female Police officer. His partner a female helps in the attack and is often the person who makes the charge.The offenders withdraw only the charge by the informant the assaulting a Police officer charge sticks and the woman is released. That is when the pimp makes contact either within the prison or as soon as the girls or very young woman gets out. In most cases the life is snuffed out among the more resistant within a year and for the more resilient woman by the time she is 24 years old. This program of turning out prostitutes and trafficking children has been ongoing in Edmonton Alberta for about thirty years. Some of the repatriates raised in the Non-First nations gangs or cults ( Mormons) and sects are difficult to repatriate the ones raised in cults and sects are often on the run and the gang members are initiated often before they run.
    Note that Police and prison guards are also involved in running prostitution rings directly out of the Multi-level women’s prison in the west end of Edmonton to catch the noon and after work trade. The drive by tricks can be seen from the front windows of the Institution. Women are 60% HIV Positive in prison.
    Girls who are taken directly from their families are often approached first at about age 11 years. They are brought in by older Non-First nations teens. ( In some cases The Edmonton Prostitute Action and Awareness grant recipients from Grant MacEwan University /Norquest College are involved in targeting and abusing teens mainly in nursing/social work programs by diploma. The educational grant recipients are often drug dealing gang hookers but have no criminal record as they are in diversion programs organized by the Police and Alberta Justice.) The attackers support the older gang members to drug and rape the girl. In some cases the girl does not tell and does not blame her attacker. In many cases the girl is held away from her family and often is indoctrinated in a pimp cycle ( drugs alcohol and gambling). the attacker then demands payment. Often the girl has a child which is then hostaged through abuse by Alberta Children’s Services teams. ( Terra / Bosco Homes are usually the ones who force the custody transfer. In many cases the transfer of custody does not work out with a very abusive gang member and the child is then taken by Children’s services permanently as planed and trafficked into the Mormon programs by private adoption.) He can then force the girl into prostitution using the child. He is generally at least twenty years older than his victim. The attacker is often bringing in family members who care for the child. ( The grandmother). In care children of First Nations descent are murdered at six times the rate for the general public and are less than 4% of the population they are also more often injured. Women are murdered by strangers and acquaintances at the rate of 7 times more often than non-First Nations women.

    The other technique is the attack on boys by the gang hookers. In several cases girls posing as religious program adherents or as very friendly youth program members begin a relationship with a youth who is about to receive a windfall payment of any sort. The attacker introduces the youth to the adult gang members and they attack him by involvement in criminal activity and with drugs. He is blamed as the only First Nations person and is held to a higher standard of accountability. The abusers often enjoy a relationship with him until the girl is able to produce an anchor baby ( to both Canada and to the reserve) and the youth grown to adulthood has been run through the clip joint program. In some cases gay members of the gang attempt to turn out attractive young men to prostitution at this stage. In many cases these prostitution relationships are not with gangs but with several business men in the city or youth workers ( these include a variety of group types including religious). Trips and clothes and apartments in high rises are provided to the youth. These are never dealt with unless the youth gets caught bringing a younger boy then he is charged and not the adult.

    Entry by some of the adherents to these gangs are actually done through the youth hostel programs in the south side of the city. Immigrants are involved in these. They are also involved in several cases with approaching unwary youth and girls. They are requesting help and friendship at school. If any issue arises they are not targeted but First nations children and youth or young adults are targeted with both rape propaganda via local news contacts and with refusal of protection or child witness attacks and aggression by children’s services in attempts to false accuse mental illness and to create a pharmaceutical market manipulation campaign. Activities by other gangs and among gang involved teens are ignored except that of those who are First nations then a gross exaggeration and intervention permitting abuse is often done. The First nations child or youth is forced out of the school. The other child is allowed to stay. The demand that all issues be settled off school grounds creates an impetus to violence among the favored groups and many murders take place which involve this action program of intentional aggravation and escalation of violence by Police liasons. The intention to create violence in this manner has lead to Edmonton Police services being the largest per capita ratio of Police to residents and the best paid as well as the most inactive and with the greatest unsolved murder rate. A money and power grab gas promoted a false social work approach to the services of Policing. the untrained officers do a very poor job and create more problems than they solve. They are at best busy bodies and trouble makers and at worst they are criminals and harassers as well as racists and gang supporters accessing teen prostitution by coercion and dealing drugs.In an international program of attack called the UN Safer Cities ( Surrey / Thunder bay/ Edmonton) Used in South America as well as other bases predicated in a culturally and business or corporate development biased preventative strategy and spread through-out the world the programs focus on prevention and on a non-enforcement program. in every case violence and gang development has been the outcome as people attempt to protect themselves when the Police won’t provide effective Policing services. Lazyness and a yellow streak ( Ie represented by a yellow dog union accepting unpaid contracts with the province in order to create Police social worker nurse teams.)prevents them fro taking complaints and dealing with criminals.

    Regards,

    Anne Fox

    Please see info in the facebook groups re corruption in each area of concern.

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