Russell Diabo on Canada's War on First Nations

by February 19, 2011

Russell Diabo, a member of the Mohawk Nation at Kahnawake, talks about "Canada's War on First Nations". This talk was a part of Indigenous Sovereignty Week 2010 in Ottawa, unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin Territory.

Russell Diabo is a member of the Mohawk Nation at Kahnawake, Quebec. He worked as an Advisor to the Algonquins of Barrier Lake. He was a founding member of the Defenders of the Land Network, also bringing his experience as editor of the First Nations Strategic Bulletin.

In his talk, Russell Diabo explores various aspects of Canada's war on the Innu, Haudenosaunee, Algonquin, Cree, Dakelh, Miq'maq, Inuit, Metis and other Indigenous Peoples in Canada.

Even though this war has been going on for centuries, it is no longer a conventional war, like the kind we see on television. Rather than battlefields, this "war" is waged from lush offices buildings around the country. And rather than rifles and grenade launchers, Canada's weapon of choice is nothing more than pen (though they reserve the right to use guns whenever they see fit).

In any event, one thing that hasn't changed is Canada's goal in the war. Whether we're talking about Residential Schools or BC Treaties, that goal has always been to extinguish the Indigenous population legally, culturally, economically, and politically.

To learn more about some of the specific issues that Russell Diabo brings up in his talk, including Harper's plan to "privatize" reserves and AFN's recent proposal to remove the Indian Act, spend some time reading the First Nations Strategic Bulletin. Here's the two lasted editions:

You may also want to watch:

  • Dancing Around the Table - A documentary about the Conferences on the Constitutional Rights of the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada (1983-85), focusing on the concept of self-government.
  • Genocide, Assimilation or Incorporation? - Dr. Bonita Lawrence explores institutionalized racism, cultural genocide, and the history of aboriginal policy in Canada.
  • From Noble Savage to Righteous Warrior - Kanien’kehaka Educator, Author and Activist Taiaiake Alfred talks about the realities and challenges of nativism, decolonization and indigeneity
  • Eric Mitchell
    March 21, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    I'm only sorry that I hadn't seen this before today, March 11 2011.

    Russell very clearly, and in simple easy to understand language has described what First Nations are facing today, and the last 200 years or more.

    The analogy of "war" is so perfect, and not a "conventional" war, but a war none the less.
    Every dedicated "traditional" politician, and every community "leader" needs to see this and take action.

    The same call for action, and the same passion needs to be presented here, today, as happened when "the white paper" was addressed in 1969.

    If it isn't there, what has happened. Are our people and leaders so complacent as to not see what is going on?? Have we given up ???

    Hell no. Get the word out and make a call for action.

    Thank you Russell and all folks of like mind for doing what you are doing, keep it up.

    Eric Mitchell
    Okanagan/St'at'imc ancestry


  • carol louie
    March 21, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    This has been happening right under chief/ council’s noses for all long time!! I see the effects of this genocidal tactics right here on my own reserve. The majority of so called natives on this reserve shouln’t even be living out here!1 The highway out here is taken over by the provincial government!! Non natives speed all through this reserve hitting horses, cattle and even people out here!1 They have no respect for anything out here!! They rent beach properties out here and some live out here all year long. They pay their taxes to the city of vernon, not to this native band!! There are white developers running rental trailers all over the place! It is a fight out here to keep one’s culture, traditions, language and property!! We must never give up as native activists to stop all of this!1 Way7.


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