OPP Raid Anniversary – A Ceremony, a Gathering, and an 48 hour blockade
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OPP Raid Anniversary – A Ceremony, a Gathering, and an 48 hour blockade

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John Ahni Schertow
April 20, 2007
 

One year ago today, the OPP raided a site occupied by Six Nations People, in a failed attempt to end the protest that began at the end of February 2006, to compel Canada and Ontario to uphold The Two Row Wampum — and Respect the Haldimand Proclamation by ceasing a development project and vacating the region, now known as Kanonhstaton.

The past year has been a consistently tense, empowering, and educational experience for people both in support of, and in opposition to the Reclamation Project, and Indigenous Peoples struggles everywhere.

From the Tekha: That day has been repeatedly portrayed as symbolic of Native unrest in Canada by much of the outside non-Native media. Mainstream media has shown footage of the burning tires and barricades ad nauseam to give viewers the inaccurate perception that is what goes on daily at the reclamation. However, many Haudenosaunee people view April 20th as the day that Canada declared war on the people.

Jamieson feels that day was one of unity for Onkwehonwe, and believes the anniversary should also be viewed as a day of Unity for Six Nations people and their supporters. ”

Also from the Tekha – Final touches are being made for the commemoration of the first anniversary of the April 20th OPP raid on Kanonhstaton.

The events of the day are being described as “œa day of peace and unity.”

All activities will take place at Kanonhstaton.

The tentative schedule, as of press time, begins at 4:20am with a Sunrise Ceremony at Kanonhstaton. The time marks the moment of the predawn raid on unarmed and unsuspecting Native and non-Native supporters at the reclamation site on April 20, 2006.

Between 8 am and 9 am there will be a potluck breakfast followed by a welcome and sharing circle.

A Corn Soup and Scone Cook-off will take place between 11 am and 12 pm followed by a potluck lunch served until 2 pm.

A White Pine Planting Ceremony will take place between 2 pm and 5 pm with a potluck supper and Iroquois social to follow with a closing ceremony set for around 8 pm.

Throughout the day, weather permitting, there will be volleyball games, horseshoe tossing, Ding-ball and lacrosse games.

A speaker’s corner will be set up where people can share their personal stories, pictures and videos taken chronicling the past “Year of Reclamation.”

“It’s going to be very emotional,’ said Janie Jamieson who, along with a small group of women supported by a few men, strung a hand painted banner across the entrance of Douglas Creek Estates early in the morning of February 28, which has evolved into the biggest Aboriginal rights story of the year. “I tried to look at some pictures taken last April 20, and I had to stop. It was just too painful to look at.”

There have been many changes at the site since then but one thing that has remained is the general resolve of the people of Six Nations to finally get the answers to 200 year old questions which have been ignored by the Crown and successive federal governments for generation.

An Anniversary Blockade

I don’t think this directly related to the Anniversary – that is, it’s “part of the ongoing rotational economic disruption campaign we promised” (source) as stated by Shawn Brant. But I thought It be appropriate to include it here…

A protest over disputed land is preventing CN freight and Via Rail passenger trains from travelling through eastern Ontario. The protest, by members of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, began at about midnight as is part of a land claims dispute in the region. (source)

“The track was one of the targets on a list because the quarry issues have not been resolved,” said protest leader Shawn Brant. The plan was to “close the tracks for 48 hours,” he said. (source)

See http://ocap.ca/firstnations/tyendinaga/culberston for recent news and background

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