A year ago, hundreds of kindred souls joined in a walk from Victoria Island to Parliament Hill.
We were protesting the condo development that was being allowed due to various cracks in the system of our courts and unfair, unclear zoning laws.
This year, the Faith is Peace march on June 23rd was championed by interfaith leaders who supported the movement to protect this sacred place. We were accompanied by clouds and intermittent rain which seemed appropriate for the tears of disbelief that this demonstration is still necessary during Canada’s 150th birthday year.
We gathered on the Hill for almost two hours, listening to drummers, singers and speeches. We heard once again about the sacredness of Akikodiwan, the importance of clean water, spiritual ceremonies, partnership of men and women – and with reassurance, the importance of the role of women in Indigenous communities.
Through the rattling and banging of the Canada Day stage construction, the faith leaders’ sound system persevered.
We heard speeches from representatives of various faith groups who reinforced the importance of recognizing and respecting sacred spaces.
We heard young people speak their views on the issue.
During the final week of June, Canadians observed interesting developments as a group of Indigenous People, water protectors and their allies made it past Parliament Hill security to erect a ceremonial teepee. After some dispute with police, they were allowed to set up on the East side of the hill. The day before Canada Day, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited the demonstrators.
Officials allowed the teepee to remain on the Hill throughout Canada Day celebrations. Progress…
Not many people were eager to participate joyfully in the 150th milestone of colonialism while Indigenous people’s rights were still being ignored. Some downright boycotted it.
Personally, I avoided the crowded downtown Ottawa streets and observed celebrations from the comfort of my dry, humble home and watched online or through the various television broadcasts.
I consider myself a settler descendant. I accept no responsibility for atrocities committed in the past by governments and other institutions. I will accept the opportunity and responsibility to learn more about the issues and offer my voice in support.
You can learn background information through these resource links:
- United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) – https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/declaration-on-the-rights-of-indigenous-peoples.html
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) – http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/index.php?p=10
- Akikodjiwan – the sacred islands and waterfalls – https://www.akikodjiwan.ca/
- Free the Falls – https://freethefalls.ca/
Sign the petition to the House of Commons in Parliament Assembled
- The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples declares that indigenous people have a right to protect their sacred places. This must be done for the Sacred Falls and the Islands.
Thanks for dropping by and reading about this issue. Please share with family and friends.
I hope it won’t be necessary to join another walk and demonstration again next year. If it is, I will be there.