#Occupy INAC Vancouver ends occupation
Posted by Zig Zag
Through their determination, courage and commitment the Council of Mothers have secured a meeting with both Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett and also Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly to discuss their demands.
They are ending their occupation on Saturday April 23, 2016 at INAC. If anyone has supplies at INAC they need to pick up please do so today from 5-9 pm.
Please see and share the press release and statement below and be sure to share and attend the victory press conference and rally on Monday April 25th at 10:30 am. FB: https://www.facebook.com/events/879500925505405/
OCCUPY INAC – VANCOUVER DECLARES VICTORY, EXITS INAC OFFICES
Press Conference and Rally: Monday April 25th, 2016 at 10:30 am
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) Offices, 1138 Melville Street
Speakers include Council of Mothers and Grand Chief Stewart Phillip
Monday April 25th, Vancouver, Coast Salish territories – Ten Indigenous mothers, children, youth and one father occupied INAC offices from Monday April 18th to Saturday April 23rd. For six continuous days, our families lived in the lobby of INAC offices, with no access to the outside, taking a strong stand for youth and future generations.
The occupation started on Monday April 18th as part of a national movement to Occupy INAC offices in solidarity with the youth of Attawapiskat. We are also in solidarity with all Indigenous children across Turtle Island who suffer from the effects of genocide. INAC offices have been occupied in Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, Gatineau, and elsewhere.
We, the Council of Mothers occupying INAC office in Vancouver, are also demanding that funding for Indigenous languages and Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth is re-established.
We confirmed a meeting with both Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett and Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly to discuss these demands and ended our occupation on Saturday April 23, 2016.
According to Nuxalk and Onodaga mother Jerrilyn Webster “We had to occupy INAC offices because the voices of our young people are not being heard. There is an urgency for young people in our communities. Because of Canada’s colonial baggage, Indigenous languages and cultures and not being prioritized by the government.”
“The meeting we have secured to discuss funding for Indigenous languages and Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth is a victory. But we know this is not about one meeting, we need long-term commitment and accountability from this government,” Webster further states.
According to the Council of Mothers, “We were fully determined with love in our hearts to support the youth in our communities in any way we can. We have been compiling a package of support letters, an in depth narrative of CCAY and an extraordinary amount of youth voices and solutions.
We are grateful to be a part of the supportive community who deeply care about the well-being of our youth. Thank you to all of the allies, families and friends who have supported us with food, donations, love and prayers during this urgent action.”
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, who visited the occupation, says, “I am honoured to stand with the Council of Mothers and their children. I greatly appreciate their courageous action to draw public attention and government action to the unacceptable circumstances for Indigenous youth across this province and country.”
Chrisse Oleman of the Council of Mothers says “Our kids who are part of this occupation are amazing. We are being the change we want to see. Council of Mothers is for the children, seven generations forward. To our children we say, with each breath you take, you become part of the resistance.”
Posted on April 23, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged #OccupyInac, Attawapiskat, Council of Mothers, INAC, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, Native suicides, Vancouver. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.