about ipsm
get involved!
contact info
:::Canadian Decolonization & Indigenous Sovereignty Struggles:::
== a free university film and lecture series ==
:: January 11 - May 15 ::

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"Canadian Decolonization & Indigenous Sovereignty Struggles" is a free,
12-week film and lecture series intended to increase public access to
information regarding Canadian/Indigenous relations. Canada's history and
ongoing attempts to fully colonize, or "assimilate" Indigenous Nations
into the Canadian political, economic, legal and social framework
represents the biggest social justice issue of our times. Increasing costs
have made post-secondary education inaccessible to a majority of
Canadians, and our public schools do not teach about Canadian/Indigenous
relations, especially from an Indigenous point-of-view. This Free
University series is not only free as in not having to pay fees, but also
free as in "free speech" - focusing on Indigenous voices and those of
their supporters typically marginalized from the mainstream.

In the last 20 years of Federal & Supreme Court rulings which increasingly
recognize Aboriginal Rights and Title, our goverment have continued to
legislate in contempt of these rulings. Today we as Canadians must be
informed of these issues in order to compel our government to abide by its
own, and international laws. Because Canadian colonialism is primarily
bureaucratic, rarely relying on military force, it is for the avrage
Canadian, invisible. The corporate controlled media does not aid settlers
in understanding Indigenous issues; rather, it obscures Canadian and corporate
lawlessness and misleads the public into victim blaming.

Like the current situtation in Kanehsatake. The Canadian and Quebec
governments have not followed the 1994 Memorandum of Understanding they
signed with Kanehsatake on how negotiations are to be conducted. Canada,
Quebec and Grand Chief James Gabriel have held secret meetings and signed
secret deals without sharing information or obtatining consent by the
community, or 3 duly elected Chiefs, as is required by the MOU. The media
paints all those upset and engaged in protest against these secret deals as
criminals and thugs. Instead of focusing on how Cnada has undermined the
Mohawk comunity's political self-determination, most journalists have relied
on a modern-day social Darwinism to advocate governance trusteeship by the
Department of Indian Affairs. They said the Mohawks are just too "troubled"
to rule themselves.

The mainstream media also tend to misrepresent justice for Indigenous Peoples
as a loss, or threat, to Canadians. Liek the lobster fishery disputes in
Burnt Church, New Brunswick. There, non-native fishers were whipped into a
racist frenzy by th presentation of Mi'gmaq fishing rights as infringing on
their livelihoods. Meanwhiles, the federal government has passed legislation
increasing the operating costs of fisheries to such an extant that all but
large corporations were put out of business. The Mi'gmaq of Burnt Church
operate an ecologically sustainable fishery, taking a mere 1% of the annual
harvest to ensure the resource is available for generations to come. The
truth not told by the media that Indigenous Title and Rights are mostly a
threat to the very same transnational corporations who are displacing
non-native fishers; whose governemtn subsidies come from the pockets of
Canadian tax-payers, and whose large profits benefit no one but themselves -
Indigenous nor Canadian. This is a typical divide and conquer strategy.

Like the South African Anti-Apartheid movement, if Canada is to truly
decolonize Canadians must be informed about both past and continuing
injustices perpetuated against Indigenous Nations. We must develop a mass
movement to hold our government accountable. Last December 2004, as Andy
Mitchell took over the Indian Affairs Minister portfolo, he was handed
briefing notes from the federal goevrnment urging less press on Native
issues. "Aboriginal issues are traditionally a low priority for the Canadian
public" the notes say, "unless the media forces public attention on them."
The heavily censored documents blamed the news media' focus on "flash points
...conflict, accountability and the persistence of poor socio-economic
conditions among aboriginal people" for derailing the objectives of the
Department and tarnishing its image. The briefing notes stated that in 2002
the public's awareness of Aboriginal issues decreased "thanks to dwindling
media attention."

This 12-session course "Canadian Decolonisation & Indigenous Sovereignty
Struggles" will focus attention on Canadian colonial legislation and
"objectives" of the Department of Indian Affairs; it will show the devestating
effects the Department has had on Indigenous Peoples' day-to-day lives; and
focus on "flash point" which are typically points of Indigenous resistance
against colonial incursion or state repression against the exercise of
Indigenous Rights. This course will focus on the links between colonisation
and what Canadians commonly know as "corporate globalization" - a term that
has gained popular currency due to its direct deleterious effects on the
nation's majority. The loss of jobs, job security, control of health, safety
and environemtnal regulations, cuts to social services, education, and the
privatization of public resources have all shifted Canadian's perceptions
regarding unfettered capitalist expansion.

Unfortunately, however, most anti-globalization movements see this structual
adjustment to the economy as something new - a break from traditional
prosperity and democracy. This settler-centric version of history begins only
when we start feeling the negative impacts of corporate globalization. A
struggle Indigenous Peoples have been engaged in for over 500 years. As
anti-colonial activist Aziz Choudry points out: "The doomsday scenario of
corporate rule, transnational plunder, enviromental and social disaster which
many opponents of the global free market economy warn of has long been
everyday reality for Indigenous Peoples. Modern transnational corporations
are, after all, the heirs to the Hudson Bay Company, the New Zealand Company,
the East India Company - major players in earlier waves of colonialism and the
commodification of peoples, lands and nature."

The anti-globalization movement cannot be succesful unless it goes to the
roots of this globalize economy. Sharon Vene, Cree lawyer and scholar states
in Same Beast, New Name: "Colonizers believe that they can use our lands and
resources without acknowledging those resources and lands belong to others.
Now, the colonizers are being used and consumed by their own sorporations and
companies. Their govements cannot protect them. There is an assunmption that
this is a new process. Rather, it is colonization continues. It is a beast
who knows no has turned on its own people. In an attempt to
understand, the colonizers have called it 'globalization.' For Indigenous
Peoples, it is not a new concept. It is just the continutation of the
colonization that began in 1492."

This centures-old culture of colonization holds the key to understanding and
defeating corporate globalization. Building a Canadian decolonization
movement to confront our governments' ongoing atempts at "extinguishing"
Indigenous Nations for their own profit isnot only a fight for Idnigenous
Peoples' rights to self-determination, but for our own. We have two choices.
We can continue to allow our government to define the relationships we have
with Indigenous Peoples, submit to the process of cultural genocide and
corporate globalization; or, we can kick the state out of our relationship, be
self-determining, and begin to build new relationships based on a shred respect
for cultural diversity, autonomy, mutual aid, ecology, the environment, and
social, economic and legal justice. The objective of "Canadian Decolonization
& Indigenous Soovereignty Struggles" is to move its participants towards this

for more information contact:
Shelly @ Le Frigo Vert, 2130 Mackay St. (Metro Guy), 848-7586,
LFV at

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


>>Friday, January 14th, 4pm @ Le Frigo Vert<<
Films: "Duncan Campbell Scott: the Poet and the Indians" & "No Turning
Back: The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples"



>>Wednesday, January 19th, 7pm @ Maison de l'Amitie<<
Report Back: Native Youth Delegation to Zapatista Territory and Indigenous

>>Tuesday, January 25th, 7pm @ Cafe Petite Gaule<<
Canadian Colonialism: From Kanehsatake to Haiti



>>Friday, February 4th, 4pm @ Le Frigo Vert<<
Films: Skwelkwek'welt Protection Center series of 3 short films

>>Friday, February 11th, 4pm @ Le Frigo Vert<<
Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance



>>Friday, March 4th, 4pm @ location TBA<<
"Our Nationhood" - Listuguj Mi'gmaq Peoples fight for the use and
management of their resources (96 min)



>>Friday, March 11th, 4pm @ location TBA<<
"Justice Denied" - the case of falsely imprisoned Mi'gmaq Donald Marshall
Jr. (98 min)

>>Friday, March 18th, 4pm @ location TBA<<
"Above the Law, Part 1 & 2" - State racism against Sundancers at Gustafson
Lake, BC



>>Friday, March 25th @ location TBA<<
"As Long as the Rivers Flow" - effects of logging on the community of
Grassy Narrows

>>Friday, April 1st, 4pm @ location TBA<<
"Hunters and Bombers" - NATO low-level flights over Innu hunting
territories (54 min)



>>Friday, April 8th, 4pm @ location TBA<<
"Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss" - Ward Churchill lecture on


May 13-14 Conference: Land, Freedom, & Decolonization
May 15: Decolonization March through the Streets of Montreal
>> more info TBA soon!!!<<<

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

for more information contact: Shelly @ Le Frigo Vert
2130 Mackay St. (Metro Guy), 848-7586, LFV at