ASSEMBLY OF MANITOBA CHIEFS STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH ELSIPOGTOG FIRST NATION & ALL COMMUNITIES IN RESISTING STATE SPONSORED VIOLENCE AGAINST UNARMED PEOPLE
Winnipeg, MB. Oct 18-2013 The executive Chiefs of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) have given their unanimous support to those communities across Turtle Island who are standing up against state-sponsored violence and terrorism of unarmed & peaceful indigenous and non-indigenous persons on their ancestral lands.
A statement from Grand Chief Derek Nepinak on the events of October 17th, 2013;
I have reviewed much of the social media coming out of the events in Elsipogtog First Nation today and I am extremely disheartened by the unabashed violence and terrorism inflicted by RCMP officers against our indigenous Mi'kmaq and non-indigenous brothers and sisters who were peacefully assembled on their ancestral lands in a place many people call 'New Brunswick'. The AMC Executive Council of Chiefs have given me a mandate to speak and become present in a discussion on what I see as a great and ongoing injustice against people who stand for freshwater, safe environments and a livable world for future generations of our children and grand-children. It should be alarming for everyone who calls themselves 'Canadian' to see that their federal and provincial governments have put corporate interests from other parts of the world ahead of the safety of our lands and people who have to live here. These actions against peaceful people are a breach of the very Constitution that many agents of government are tasked to maintain and represent a breach of the rule of law. This is not the world we are trying to build for our future generations and I encourage every indigenous and non-indigenous person to stand up for Elsipogtog First Nation and stand against government and corporate elites who have no vision for the future and only short-term and near-sighted economic greed.
Considerable confusion remains as to what actually transpired on the ground by the big water today. Large network television has depicted peaceful demonstrators as inciting the outburst with provocative imagery of burning police cars, while social media has captured what appears to be a full-scale assault on unarmed and peaceful demonstrators who were showing no signs of resisting. Social media has also called into question whether it was a peaceful demonstrator who torched RCMP vehicles, or if it was actually an inside informant or plant of the RCMP themselves who torched the vehicles in order to provide strong imagery and a justification for the state-sponsored violence inflicted upon otherwise peaceful people. This confusion in television reporting deepens the state of distrust as many feel that objective media has given way to state-sponsored propaganda and misinformation.
In the last 48-72 hours we have seen a very colonial throne speech depicting a confused and romanticized Eurocentric understanding of the historical foundations of the Canadian nation state, followed by an assault on the peaceful communities that helped make Canada a reality. I feel sadness and empathy for Canadians and non-Canadians who call these lands their home, yet are forced to live under the autocratic rule of a confused federal government.
I encourage all people who will not stand for state sponsored violence against indigenous and non-indigenous persons to stand strong, stand peaceful, stand in great love for your children and your neighbours children over the next several hours, days, weeks, months, years as we challenge the colonial structure and short-term visions of colonial governments that continue to inflict a legacy of persistent and long-term violence against many generations of indigenous peoples and nations.
We applaud the resilience of Chief Sock & Council and the Mi'kmaq people who are asserting their territorial sovereignty and right to a safe environment.