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~~~~~~ Learning a better world ~~~~ with Greg Macdougall

A compilation of links, quotes, videos and audio against the development planned for the sacred Asinabka / Akikodjiwan / Chaudiere Falls site on the Ottawa River (Kichisibi) on unceded Algonquin territory.

Photo by Vela Description: A handmade picket sign with the words "Free the Falls! No condos on stolen Algonquin Land!" sits directly on top of a corporate orange Zibi logo sign.

Photo by Vela
Description: A handmade picket sign with the words “Free the Falls! No condos on stolen Algonquin Land!” sits directly on top of a corporate orange Zibi logo sign.
 

 

Note: Alongside the ‘Zibi’ condo/commercial development plans, Hydro Ottawa / Energy Ottawa has recently started destruction/construction (photos here & here) on a new hydroelectricity plant at the falls, and this is also being opposed.

 

New update since this was originally posted:

Nine Algonquin chiefs, AFNQL oppose ‘Zibi’ condos and resolve to protect sacred area

 

 

Introduction

The main company behind the development is Windmill Development Group Ltd. Their talking points in the media include “It’s clear that the Algonquin Nation as a whole is divided on the issue” (Jeff Westeinde, on CBC Nov 3rd), “We know that 99 per cent of the people were overwhelmingly in favour of the project happening. There’s a strong vocal one per cent [opposing it]” (Rodney Wilts, in Ottawa Business Journal Nov 6th), and “There’s a very small group of people that have a different view of what should happen with these lands, and that’s not at all unexpected” (Jeff Westeinde, Ottawa Citizen video Nov 8th); also, “Weistende challenged [Douglas] Cardinal’s interpretation of history and what constitutes a sacred site” (Ottawa Citizen Nov 3rd).

The only status Algonquin chief supporting the development, Kirby Whiteduck of Pikwakanagan, wrote in the Ottawa Citizen on Aug 14th, “I speak of a small but vocal number of groups and individuals that have come out speaking against the Zibi project, purportedly on behalf of the Algonquin-Anishinabe. I note that most within this movement are not First Nations, let alone Algonquin, yet they are aggressively advocating for the conversion of the Zibi land on Chaudière and Albert Islands to park land, and returned to the stewardship of the Algonquin people. Ironically, the groups and individuals behind this campaign have not consulted the Algonquin-Anishinabe community before taking this position on our behalf. Had they consulted us, we would have asked them to support our decision to partner with Windmill: a decision made by Algonquin Anishinabe for Algonquin Anishinabe within Algonquin Anishinabe territory.”

It is clear that the development-friendly media are uncritically carrying such messages to help marginalize the project’s opposition.

As well, opponents of the development have been targets of ‘lateral violence’. One of those recently affected by such personal attacks – that in this case came from members of Windmill’s four-person Anishinabe advisory group the Memengweshii Council – was Gabrielle Fayant, who wrote poignantly afterwards on Twitter: “We need to stand up to bullies, in a loving way, knowing that they may also be hurting” and also “I can only hope that I was able to bare the burden of these attacks so you can now speak your #truth. You’re not alone. #notmyzibi”

 

 

Collection of links / quotes / videos / audio

 

Call for support from Four Algonquin First Nations & with backgrounder (Oct 2015) from Timiskaming, Eagle Village, Wolf Lake, and Barriere Lake

“Our Algonquin First Nations were not legally or meaningfully consulted or accommodated on this matter as per the directions of the Supreme Court of Canada in the Haida, Delgamuukw or Tsilhqot’in decisions. Moreover, we are calling on all parties to respect the Articles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’, in this case Article 11, among others, clearly applies:
 
Indigenous peoples have the right to practise and revitalize their cultural traditions and customs. This includes the right to maintain, protect and develop the past, present and future manifestations of their cultures, such as archaeological and historical sites.
 
… We are calling for those islands and waterfront to be designated an Algonquin Cultural Park and Historic Commemorative Site and we are actively seeking national support for our Algonquin land use vision as a step towards reconciliation with our legitimate Algonquin First Nations, which we believe is consistent with the vision of the late Kitigan Zibi Elder, William Commanda who advocated for the return of this Algonquin sacred waterfalls area, including the Chaudiere, Albert and Victoria Islands.
 
… our four Algonquin First Nations are looking for individuals, groups and organizations to ENDORSE OUR LIST OF DEMANDS in order to build pressure on the federal, provincial, municipal governments and corporations, particularly the Windmill Development Group.“

 

Long Point First Nation letter to the Ontario Municipal Board (July 2015)

“These islands on the Ottawa River are unceded Anishinabe Territory and do belong to the Anishinabe, the sale of these lands which were expropriated for industry should be returned back to the Anishinabe and not sold to a private developer.”

 

Algonquin Elder Evelyn Commanda speaking at a press conference along with Douglas Cardinal & John Ralston Saul (Nov 2015)

 

Collection of blog posts from Algonquin Elder Albert Dumont “South Wind”

“Asinabka (Akikodjiwan), our most sacred site, was stolen from us at a time when no one except the good spirit Mino Manido and Creator cared what the Algonquins had to say about it. We are told over and over again in recent times that a “new relationship of honour and mutual respect is at hand” between us, the First Nations and the settler communities. If Canadians are OK with a sacred site such as Asinabka (Akikodjiwan) being violated in the most despicable manner by the construction of highrise buildings upon it, then their warped definition of ‘reconciliation’ is very different than mine. My mind is not strong enough to even imagine what will be lost to us spiritually if highrises do end up getting built there. I only know with all certainty that our future generations, yours and mine, will suffer the most because of us allowing a place of prayer and ceremony to be raped before our very eyes.”
 
ALSO: Video interview with Albert Dumont (Feb 2014)

 

Canada, Free the Dam Falls!” A compilation of 40 annotated resources (Sept 2015) – by Dr. Lynn Gehl, Algonquin Anishinaabe-kwe

“During this time of “reconciliation” Canada is permitting the further destruction of an Algonquin Anishinaabeg sacred site located in what is now called the Ottawa River, more specifically a site that is known to be the place of Creator’s First Pipe and the islands located downstream which historically were a meeting place where many Indigenous Nations converged to ceremonially discuss peace and friendship. This continued destruction is part and parcel of the land claims process where the Algonquins of Ontario (AOO) are being forced to extinguish their land and water rights through Canada’s land claims policy. While there are many contentious issues with this desecration, and with the AOO who had to agree to leave private property ownership outside the scope of their land claims, it is most important to understand that the Ontario-Quebec provincial border is a colonial construction and as such the voice of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg in what is now Quebec must not be ignored or dismissed. This sacred place was and remains the jurisdiction of all Algonquin. Indeed corporate colonial Canada is a creep!”
 
ALSO: video of Lynn Gehl’s public talk (April 2015)

 

Reconciliation as Real Negotiations or Termination Table? The Algonquin Land Claim in Eastern Ontario” (Nov 2015) by Heather Majaury, Non-Status Algonquin Anishinaabe-kwe:

Point #18 from the letter reads:
“The Chaudiere Falls is a sacred site of the Algonquin people from both sides of the Kichisibi (Ottawa River). All properties within and under the riverway carry special significance as the heart of the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin as a whole and need to be protected as such. Therefore any attempt to build condominiums through a private arrangement at this time is highly suspect regardless of private patents illegitimately acquired over time. If the Government of Canada has over time sold sacred lands for private use then it is the Government of Canada that must rectify this problem with the land holders that are now harmed by its failure over time to respect Algonquin lands and people from molestation. If promises have been made to employ Algonquin companies then those arrangements need to be fulfilled and another site chosen for the actual development.”

 

Open Letter to the Memengweshi Council re: their Windmill Development Partnership” (July 2015) from Sab Godin, Anishinaabekwe-Algonkin

“I would expect the Memengweshi Council, as you say, “Inspired by ancestral Algonquin-Anishinabe practices”, has advised Windmill executives of this decision-making heritage? If not, as you claim to represent only yourselves, who has Windmill Development Group, the Cities of Ottawa and Gatineau, and the National Capital Commission (NCC) consulted with and what was the feedback of their consultations? Could you advise the Anishinabeg public of that?

As this sacred site is in unceded territory for which there is no previous deed of sale, how does the Memengweshi Council traditionally support the sale of federally stolen land to private industry?

PLEASE rethink your position on this once-in-a-life time opportunity to do what is morally, ethically, culturally and eternally right. You would be celebrated heroes, if you did.”

 

Kitigan Zibi chief says he won’t support Windmill development” (Feb 2015)
Then-chief of Kitigan Zibi, Gilbert Whiteduck, in the Ottawa Citizen

“Gilbert Whiteduck, chief of the Kitigan Zibi reserve located in Maniwaki, said elders did not approve Windmill Development’s use of the word, and proper protocols were not used to seek that approval.

Its use, he said Wednesday, implies the Kitigan Zibi band endorses the massive urban renewal project on Chaudière and Albert islands and the nearby Quebec shoreline, which he said is not the case.

“(It is) once again, by a corporation, the appropriation of our Anishinaabe language.””

 

Ottawa City Council approves rezoning of sacred Algonquin site near Parliament” (Oct 2014) with printable edition (2pg pdf) – A news / background article that features the late Elder William Commanda‘s vision for the site, and quotes from then-chief of Kitigan Zibi Gilbert Whiteduck and also Elder Albert Dumont (plus video of Douglas Cardinal).

“Ottawa City Council has approved a rezoning application for private and commercial development on two islands at the Chaudière Falls, about a kilometre upstream from the Parliament buildings on the Ottawa River. The decision, made at a council meeting on Oct. 8 2014, came despite numerous objections from citizens as well as a formal request for further dialogue from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Chief Gilbert W. Whiteduck.

William Commanda’s vision in danger

A broadly supported vision for the site, which includes the falls and the full group of interconnected islands that are directly downstream from them, was championed over the past decades by the late Algonquin hereditary chief and elder Grandfather William Commanda, who was awarded both the key to the City of Ottawa and Officer of the Order of Canada. Commanda passed away in 2011 with the vision still to be fulfilled.”
 
ALSO: audio interview with Gilbert Whiteduck (Oct 2014) mp3 file

 

Website of the late Algonquin Elder William Commanda’s vision for the site: www.Asinabka.com

The Legacy Vision of William Commanda for The Sacred Chaudiere Site and The Indigenous Centre at Victoria Island

Elder William Commanda’s vision for the development of a healing and peace building centre on the traditional spiritual meeting grounds of the Anicinabe people, with the lands to be held in trust by Algonquin elders.

Dr. Commanda’s bold four-fold vision calls for
1) Freeing the Chaudière Falls,
2) Creating a City Park and Historic Interpretive Centre
3) Building a Peace Building Meeting Site, and
4) Building an Aboriginal Centre

 

 

Events:

 

Anishnabe Cultural Demo to Protect our Sacred Site

Friday Nov 13, 11am at Victoria Island

Info: freethefalls.ca/news/join-elders-from-the-anishnabe-people-in-a-demonstration-of-culture/
on Facebook: www.facebook.com/events/906805976034420/

 
The Circle, Power and Healing” – Talking circle & feast

Saturday November 21, 10am
advance RSVP required

Info: http://albertdumont.com/the-circle-power-and-healing/

 

 

Related:

 

FREEING CHAUDIÈRE FALLS AND ITS ISLANDS

Care for this water and land. Create an indigenous presence in the capital.

www.FreeTheFalls.ca

 

Petition: Honour the Indigenous Stewardship of the Chaudière Falls and its Islands

4239 signatures as of Saturday Nov 21

https://www.change.org/p/to-the-federal-party-leaders-honour-the-indigenous-stewardship-of-the-chaudi%C3%A8re-falls-and-its-islands

 

Petition: Save Asinabka/Chaudiere ancestral sacred site, for a Native Healing Center in Ottawa

534 signatures as of Saturday Nov 21

https://www.change.org/p/to-the-honorable-prime-minister-of-canada-justin-trudeau-and-the-government-of-canada-save-asinabka-chaudiere-ancestral-sacred-site-for-a-native-healing-center-in-ottawa

 

Poetry: A Draft For Asinabka – by Lital Khaikin

“A narrative mirror of appropriation and erasure reveals the rhetoric of legal and public discourse around Windmill’s corporate ZIBI development on unceded Algonquin land. A vision of a nation sold – rivers dammed, water privatised, the sacred disremembered, the rich honoured. A project of documentary and archival reconstruction, A Draft for Asinabka references experimental poetics, where fragmentation tells a history on the precipice of past and present.”

http://www.continentcontinent.cc/index.php/continent/article/view/202

 

A summary and download of a letter from Heather Majaury to the Algonquins of Ontario organization; an in-depth critique of the Proposed Agreement-In-Principle that will be voted on in the coming months. The letter is cc’ed to relevant provincial and federal government representatives and ministers. Scroll down for context, summary and links, also with related resources at the bottom.

 

Note on title terminology:
“The termination tables are negotiation tables between the Federal Government and mainly First Nations Chief and Councils. These negotiations are called “Comprehensive Land Claims” and/or “Self-Government” negotiations, the final agreements will — within Canadian constitutional law — extinguish Aboriginal Title and convert “Indian Bands” into municipal type governments where federal and provincial powers will dominate First Nations powers.” from Idle No More website

 

Image description: Resembles the Canadian flag, with red bars on each side and white it middle. Where maple leaf would be, is outline of the territory under negotiation, with little bits of coloured sections that are the 1.3% of the land that will be kept by the Algonquin. Words in left red bar: "Because this is what 1.3% of our land looks like & requiring land surrender is Genocide." Words in middle: "Don't Comply... Just Vote NO". Words in right red bar: "The Algonquin Landclaim A.I.P. (Agreement in Principal)"

Image description: Resembles the Canadian flag, with red bars on each side and white in the middle. Where the maple leaf would be, is an outline of the territory under negotiation, with little sections in colour that are the land that will be kept by the Algonquin under the agreement. Words in left bar: “Because this is what 1.3% of our land looks like & requiring land surrender is Genocide.” Words in middle: “Don’t Comply… Just Vote NO”. Words in right bar: “The Algonquin Landclaim A.I.P. (Agreement in Principal)”.

 

Heather Majaury is an Enrolled Non Status Algonquin Anishinaabe-kwe of mixed ancestry from the Ottawa River Valley. She has been a working actor, singer, song writer, director, playwright, and popular theatre worker for over 25 years. She served in 2001 as Communications Officer as part of the Land claim Negotiation Team located at Pikwakanagan Reserve. At the time, the staff were employees of the Algonquin Nation Negotiation Directorate, an Ontario Corporation that handled and processed all land claim funding until negotiation broke down in 2002, prior to the forming of the current Algonquins of Ontario negotiating body. Her website is www.HeatherMajaury.com

 

The ‘Algonquins of Ontario’ (AOO) was created in 2006 as an organization to carry out the land claims process; the AOO decision-making body consists of the chief and six council members of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation, along with one elected ‘Algonquin Negotiation Representative’ (ANR) for each of the nine non-status Algonquin communities included in the claim. This land claim process was initially started by Pikwakanagan in 1983, with the provincial and federal governments accepting the claim to negotiate in 1991 and 1992 respectively.

 

The land under negotiation (click for map) has never been ceded or surrendered. It consists of approximately 36,000 square kilometres of eastern Ontario (although unceded Algonquin territory does not stop at the Quebec border): the southern boundary goes from North Bay in the northwest, southeast almost all the way to Kingston, and then northeast to Hawkesbury, with Brockville and Cornwall excluded. The northern boundary is the Ottawa River aka the provincial border; the city of Ottawa is included in this territory, as is almost all of Algonquin Park.

 

Majaury’s letter includes a list of 18 points as to why the current Proposed Agreement-In-Principle should be rejected. These points include:

 

  • An unsatisfactory one-time “buy out” amount of $300 million, with no ongoing revenue streams or revenue-sharing agreements concerning the territory’s natural resources or land, nor any recompense for the hundreds of years of damage, pain and suffering inflicted upon many generations of Algonquin people.

 

  • “Microscopic” amounts of ‘fee simple’ land; only 117,500 out of approximately 9 million acres.

 

  • The comprehensive land claims process not being acceptable under international legal standards, not including Algonquin Anishinabeg language and legal concepts, and lacking engagement from many of the enrolled Algonquin people.

 

  • The issue of the debt incurred by the Algonquins to participate in the process with no way to pay it off other than from the money in the final settlement.

 

  • Lack of recognition of the overlapping land title and rights of other Algonquins who are not included in the negotiations.

 

  • Indemnity of the Canadian state from any actions taken in advance of the final agreement that have or will have violated the Algonquins’ constitutional Section 35 rights; and no mention of Section 25 protections.

 

  • Lack of agreements to ensure proper ongoing genealogy, enrolment, housing, education, and affirmative employment action; inadequate agreement on hunting rights and jurisdiction.

 

  • The issue of the sacred Chaudiere Falls site in Ottawa being treated as private land, the proposed condominium development (the ‘Zibi’ project by Windmill Development Corp), and the vision of the late Algonquin Elder William Commanda for the site.

 

 

Read all 18 points and the letter in its entirety:
—- click here for 7-page PDF file —-

 

 

 —

Related resources:

 

 

 

 

 

  • Interview with policy analyst and Algonquin Nation Secretariat advisor Russell Diabo on this land claims process (Feb 2015) mp3 file linkWebpost with audio & transcript
    (with correction: 6,000 non-status enrolled members, not 16,000)

 

 

 —

 

In honour of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women – a collection of links to media resources: written articles, downloadable anthologies, and video & audio of interviews and public talks.

Photo by The Indignants' Zach NoCameco Ruiter

Photo by The Indignants’ Zach NoCameco Ruiter

 

2015 marks the 10th year of SIS vigils on October 4th honouring the lives of MMIW.
((UPDATE: removed descriptions and links for 2015 event listings))

Art work of Angela Sterritt. Angelasterritt.com

Art work of Angela Sterritt. Angelasterritt.com


 

The following media are either produced by me, or alternatively are from events or projects where I was a member of the group involved in hosting/producing it.
 

ARTICLES

 

ANTHOLOGIES

 

VIDEO – PUBLIC TALKS

  • The Law’s Role in Canada’s Disgrace: Murdered & Missing Indigenous Women & Girls (2015, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law: Shirley E. Greenberg Chair speaker series)
    Speaker: Pamela Palmater.
    Videos posted here.
  • SEEKING JUSTICE: A National Call for a Public Inquiry for the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (2010, as part of Indigenous Sovereignty Week – Ottawa)
    The speakers were Sharon McIvor, Maria Jacko, and Yasmin Jiwani.
    Videos posted here.

 

AUDIO – PUBLIC TALKS

  • The Epidemic of Continuing Violence against Indigenous Women (2009, hosted by Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa)
    Speakers were Sylvia Smith, Verna McGregor, Kate Rex of NWAC, Derek James, Doreen Silversmith of the No More Silence Network, and Bruce Sinclair and Steve Martin of Brothers In Spirit.
    Audio posted here.

 

VIDEO – INTERVIEWS

 

trc- cover image The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada on Indian Residential Schools closes its multi-year mandate with events here in Ottawa over the next few days. Here are listings of official TRC events open to the public as well as others being held independently that are related in theme.

These listings may change and are not guaranteed to be accurate. The official TRC website for the event program can be found at this link or the full PDF version here and includes more details/description on the official TRC events. Unless noted, all events listed below are free. ** The listings here do not imply my association/involvement with or endorsement of any of these events.

Note also that the TRC is providing live webcasting, at this link.

Please scroll down for the listings.


 

First –  a video clip of TRC Chair Murray Sinclair speaking about how the residentials schools constituted an act of genocide against Indigenous peoples in Canada (you can see the full video interview with Sinclair, along with an interview with Barney Williams Jr of the TRC Survivor Committee, and an article from the Montreal TRC event, at this link).

 

Also of note: these events are all taking place on unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin territory. There is currently a lands claim process underway for much of Eastern Ontario that would make the land ceded. You can listen to this interview with policy advisor Russell Diabo on the injustice involved.
(As Thomas King writes in The Incovenient Indian, “Land. If you understand nothing else about the history of Indians in North America, you need to understand that the question that really matters is the question of land.”)

 

Ongoing events:

The Witness Blanket, a large art installation designed by Master Carver Carey Newman. The Witness Blanket incorporates almost 900 fragments of personal and national history to tell the story of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit children and their families who were impacted by the Indian Residential Schools from the 1870s to the 1990s. It will be on display at Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave West, until July 9 as part of a planned seven-year cross-Canada tour.

Kisemanito Pakitinasuwin, The Creator’s Sacrifice, a series of stunning paintings by Cree artist Ovide Bighetty, will be displayed until June 3 at St. Joseph’s Parish, 151 Laurier Ave East.   Visit during opening hours (generally 9am – 7pm) to view the art work and reflect on the journey of reconciliation.
 

‘Day 0’ – Saturday May 30, 2015

at St. Richard’s Church, 7 Rossland Ave (off Merivale Rd; city bus #176):

  • Noon-8pm – Indian Residential School Survivors Powwow and Feast
    Food donations needed; Come and support this event
    Contact Doug Comegan 613-710-2796 (text) / dcpowwow@yahoo.ca

at University of Ottawa Jock Turcot University Centre:

at The Bronson Centre, 211 Bronson Ave:

  • 6:30-10pm – Bi-Giwen Indigenous Adoptee Gathering Fundraiser
    An evening of entertainment with a very special guest Juno Award winning musician and nominee, Grand Chief Of Muskegowuk Council Lawrence Martin – Wapistan, and other performers. Admission by donation, suggested $10. Also bring $ for food and raffle tickets. Facebook event link

 

Day One – Sunday May 31, 2015

at Victoria Island:

  • 4:30am(?) – Sunrise Lighting of the Sacred Fire Ceremony
    Pipe Ceremony and Water Ceremony

trc walk imageWalk for Reconciliation:

  • 9:40-11:40am – Shuttle buses leaving continuously from Ottawa City Hall / Marion Dewar Plaza, 110 Laurier Ave W, to Victoria Island and to École secondaire de l’Île, Gatineau
    (more info on shuttle and parking at this link)
  • 11:15am – Walk for Reconciliation Stage Program Begins
    at École secondaire de l’Île, 255 Saint-Rédempteur Street, Gatineau
  • Noon – Start of Walk for Reconciliation
    from École secondaire de l’Île
  • 12:30pm (approximate) – Start of Walk for Reconciliation, Short Route
    from Victoria Island
  • 1:30(approximate)-5pm – Walk for Reconciliation Stage Program and Entertainment
    Marion Dewar Plaza, 110 Laurier Ave. West, Ottawa

At the Human Rights Monument (Elgin St at Lisgar)

  • 5pm – Circle of Prayer, led by KAIROS

At St. Joseph’s Church, 151 Laurier Ave E:

  • 5pm – Celebrating Reconciliation – reForming Relationships (sponsored by the Christian Reformed Church)

At the National Gallery of Canada, 380 Sussex Dr:

  • 7pm – Film Screening of Trick or Treaty by Alanis Obomsawin,  with panel discussion afterwards featuring Obomsawin and TRC Commissioner Marie Wilson

 

 Day Two – Monday June 1, 2015

At Victoria Island:

  • 5:15am(?) – Sunrise Ceremony at the Sacred Fire

At the Delta Hotel, 101 Lyon St N:

  • 8:30am – Grand Entry
  • 8:45am – Opening Prayer
  • 9am–4pm – Special Walking with our Sisters Memorial to Remember the Children
  • 9am–5pm – Learning Place (organization info tables)
  • 9am–5pm – Archival Displays
  • 9am–5pm – Private Statement Gathering
  • 9am – Welcome and Induction of Honorary Witnesses
  • 9–Noon – Sharing Circle with Survivor Committee Members
  • 9-10am – Pike Head Teachings
  • 10:30am-Noon – KAIROS Blanket Exercise
  • 10:30am–Noon – Actions of Reconciliation
  • Noon-12:30pm – Update on Day Schools Litigation
  • 1-3pm –  Panel: The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Justice, Reconciliation and Hope
    Introduction: Commissioner Wilton Littlechild; Moderator: Jennifer Preston; Panelists: Grand Chief Ed John; Ellen Gabriel; Paul Joffe; David Langtry
  • 3:15–4:30pm – Inspiring Reconciliaction: Creating a New Way Forward
    Panelists: Chief Dr. Robert Joseph; Jessica Bolduc; Mary Simon; Bob Watts; Todd Khozein

At the Museum of History (Douglas Cardinal Room),100 Rue Laurier, Gatineau:

  •  3:30-5pm – Childhood Paintings from the Alberni Indian Residential School: A story of return and reconciliation

At Parliament Hill:

At Christ Church Cathedral, 439 Queen Street:

  • 7pm – Overcoming Adversity: Edmund Metatawabin and Armand Garnet Ruffo In Conversation with CBC’s Shelagh Rogers

At the National Arts Centre, 53 Elgin St:

  • 7:30pm (doors open 7pm) – Reconciliation Through the Arts
    Royal Winnipeg Ballet brief performance of ‘Going Home Star’ followed by a discussion panel – Advance registration required, email: invitation@nac-cna.ca

At Marion Dewar Plaza (Ottawa City Hall) 110 Laurier Ave W

  • 8–9:30pm – Play: The Voice of Silence (La voix du silence)

 

Day Three – Tuesday June 2, 2015

At Victoria Island:

  • 5:15am(?) – Sunrise Ceremony at the Sacred Fire

At the Delta Hotel, 101 Lyon St N:

  • 9am–5pm – Learning Place (organization info tables)
  • 9am–5pm – Archival Displays
  • 9am–5pm – Private Statement Gathering
  • 9am –  Induction of Honorary Witnesses
  • 9–11am –  Sharing Circle with Survivor Committee Members
  • 11am – Official Release of TRC findings on Indian Residential Schools
    also available by webcast at www.trc.ca
  • 11:30–1:30pm –  Survivor Luncheon
  • 1:30–3:00pm – Response from Parties to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement
  • 3:00–4:30pm –  Passing the Torch: Pledges of Reconciliation

At 473 Cumberland St (St. Paul’s Eastern United Church):

At First United Church Ottawa, 347 Richmond Road:

  • 6:30pm – Truth, Reconciliation and Mining: A Challenge by Mayan Women
    ​​Hear Ana Guadalupe Matzir Miculax and Crisanta Perez’ views on the impacts of Canadian mining companies in Guatemala.

At Marion Dewar Plaza (Ottawa City Hall) 110 Laurier Ave W:

  • 7–9pm – Talent Night Performances

At the National Gallery (380 Sussex Dr):

  • 7-9:30pm – Film Screening and Discussion Panel
    Older than America” by Georgina Lightning

At University of Ottawa, GSAED seminar room 307 (above Cafe Nostalgica, 601 Cumberland St):

  • 7-9pm – Hidden Generations: On the Road with Colleen Cardinal
    Community activist and Indigenous adoptee speaks about the connections between Residential Schools, the Sixties Scoop, and Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women. With special Guest Dr. Raven Sinclair. Admission: pay-what-you-can (suggested $10)

 

Day Four – Wednesday June 3, 2015

At Victoria Island:

  • 5:15am(?) – Sunrise Ceremony at the Sacred Fire

At the Delta Hotel, 101 Lyon St N:

  • 9am-noon – “Healing With Humour and Music” presented by Winston Wuttunee

At Rideau Hall grounds, 1 Sussex Dr:

  • 1:15pm – Honouring Memories; Planting Dreams Ceremony

At Marion Dewar Plaza (Ottawa City Hall), 110 Laurier Ave W:

 

Pam Palmater on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls; Walking With Our Sisters; and, Extending the Conversation. As published in the Leveller Vol 7 No 6 (March 2015)

Also available with a fourth article, “Survivors Lead in Fighting Indigenous Women Crisis” by Francella Fiallos, in online viewer or as a printable two-page 11×17 pdf file
 

by Greg Macdougall, EquitableEducation.ca

 

Pam Palmater on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women & Girls

mmiw-palmater

Root Causes, Public Discourse, and Call for a National Inquiry and Emergency Action Plan

The following three sections consist of direct quotes and paraphrased summaries of what Pam Palmater had to say in a talk and interview on Feb. 24, 2015 at the University of Ottawa. She is a Mi’kmaw lawyer from Eel River Bar First Nation, Chair of Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University and a well-known activist for her role in the Idle No More movement, among other things.

The talk was entitled “The Law’s Role in Canada’s National Disgrace: Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls.” Videos of both the talk and interview are available at EquitableEducation.ca/2015/pam-palmater-mmiwg

On the root causes of the problem of MMIWG:

“This issue around missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls didn’t just crop up a couple of years ago when it got all [this] media attention,” said Palmater. “This has actually been a problem since contact.”

Palmater feels we need to “address the root causes of why these Indigenous women and girls are vulnerable to begin with, and that’s a crucial place to start the dialogue.”

Her talk included a chronology of Canadian governments’ policies, motivated by genocide, towards Indigenous people. She said that the present problem of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls is indicative of “a discussion that Canadians have yet to have [on] the second method [aside from assimilation] of obtaining [Indigenous] lands and resources, and that’s the elimination of Indigenous peoples in this country, targeting Indigenous women.”

To the long and continuing history of the Canadian state’s racism, violence, neglect, perpetual victim-blaming and settler colonialism – of which forced relocations and dispossession of land, the Indian Act of 1876, the Residential School system and the Sixties Scoop, and smallpox blankets are only the most well-known abuses – Palmater added a list of other atrocities intended to eliminate what was then referred to as Canada’s “Indian problem.”

Beginning in 1749, Nova Scotia began offering scalping bounties, beginning at 10 guineas (over $3,750 CAD) per head and rising to 50 guineas per head by June 1750. “That,” said Palmater, “is how you decimate a nation by upwards of 80 per cent.”

She also highlighted the theft and murder of many Indigenous children from their own communities through Residential Schools and more recently provincial care, and the forced sterilization of Indigenous women in the past.

This legacy has direct descendants today, among them the “chronically maintained and legislated poverty by the federal government which makes these women more vulnerable, makes them homeless.” According to Palmater, the vast majority of cases of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls happen in urban areas, not home communities.

This cycle of poverty is self-sustaining, she said, and creates and maintains the conditions for violence.

Current public discourse:

Palmater says that there is a big problem when it comes to educating Canadians about these “uncomfortable truths.” She feels that misinformation dominates public discourse.

Palmater takes issue with a 2014 RCMP report which pegs the number of missing and murdered Indigenous women at 1,181. She says the number is actually much higher – 1,181 is “all that’s known” or reported.

She also said she doesn’t trust the RCMP to be the ones to honestly deal with or assess the situation. She cited both the Pickton inquiry findings, which report that the RCMP consistently fails to adequately follow-up on and investigate cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and a 2013 Human Rights Watch report that found that RCMP officials have been perpetrators of rape and violence against Indigenous women and girls.

There is even a case of a sitting judge (David Ramsay, from British Columbia) who was found guilty of sexual assault causing bodily harm to Indigenous girls aged 12-17.

Palmater also says she feels that the discourse around criminality, victim-blaming and the ‘othering’ of Indigenous peoples creates a separation from potential allies in Canadian society on this issue.

The call for a national inquiry and an emergency action plan:

Palmater backs the wide call for a national inquiry into the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. She says that such calls have been “almost unanimous – not just by the families of the murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls, and all of the First Nation and women’s rights groups and organizations, but also by the majority of the provinces and territories, by all of the international human rights committees that have ever looked at the issue, by legal experts – there’s a reason why everyone is calling for a broad expansive national inquiry, and that’s because we need to know about all the things we don’t know.”

Such an inquiry, she suggested, should be “expansive in scope, with very targeted investigatory powers, done in partnership with those impacted and First Nations…At the same time [the government ought to develop] an emergency action plan to protect Indigenous women and girls right now, in terms of not just their personal safety, but also in terms of their mental health, their health, their social well being, all of those things need to be addressed…it can’t be a scenario where we do a national inquiry and just wait and see what happens.”

Calls for a national inquiry are, she said, “about giving Canadians the truth, the facts, so that they can analyze their own solutions for how we move forward, in addition to giving First Nations a voice.”

 

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Walking With Our Sisters

Art installation comes to Ottawa in September

Walking With Our Sisters is an art installation which commemorates the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women of Canada and the United States.

In June 2012 a call was put out for people to create moccasin tops, or “vamps,” to honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women. 13 months later over 1,600 vamps had been sent in.

This large, grassroots collaboration began touring in late 2013. It arrives in Ottawa this fall, hosted by Gallery 101 from Sept. 25 through Oct. 16, 2015.

According to the installation’s website, “The work exists as a floor installation made up of beaded vamps arranged in a winding path formation on fabric and includes cedar boughs. Viewers remove their shoes to walk on a path of cloth alongside the vamps.

“Each pair of vamps (or “uppers” as they are also called) represents one missing or murdered Indigenous woman. The unfinished moccasins represent the unfinished lives of the women whose lives were cut short. The children’s vamps are dedicated to children who never returned home from residential schools. Together the installation represents all these women; paying respect to their lives and existence on this earth. They are not forgotten. They are sisters, mothers, aunts, daughters, cousins, grandmothers, wives and partners. They have been cared for, they have been loved, they are missing and they are not forgotten.”

A group of women of diverse backgrounds and ages have come together locally to organize Walking With Our Sisters community conversations in Ottawa – the fourth one happened Thursday Mar. 26 at Carleton University: see photos on Facebook.

Find more information on Walking With Our Sisters at www.walkingwithoursisters.ca – and “Walking With Our Sisters Ottawa” on Facebook and Twitter, or by email at wwosottawa@gmail.com.

 

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Extending the Conversation

Gender-based violence is not restricted to women. Widening discussion about the violence inflicted upon Indigenous women to include other gender identities exposes how deep and how wide gender-based violence runs in Canada’s Indigenous communities. Below, we shed some light on the plight of missing and murdered Indigenous men and trans and Two Spirit-identified people.

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Two Spirit & Trans People

Groups like It Starts With Us, a campaign to support victims of violence and their families and loved ones, aim to “expand the dialogue…to include those [First Nations, Inuit and Métis Two Spirit, or trans identified people] who fall outside of Eurocentric male/female gender and sexuality binaries.”

According to the group, violent deaths and disappearances of Indigenous people who are part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning intersex and asexual (LGBTTQQIA) community not only face increased violence but are often ignored by mainstream media and public discourse simply because they are so marginalized.

The group exists as a partnership between three other groups: No More Silence, Families of Sisters in Spirit, and the Native Youth Sexual Health Network. Some of the group’s most important support work involves the maintenance of a community-run database, publicizing disappearances and cataloguing violent deaths of Indigenous women and members of the LGBTTQQIA community.

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Men

Although there is much popular and media attention given to the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women, and justly so, the documented murder rate of Indigenous men in Canada is actually higher than that of Indigenous women.

Both the Toronto Star and APTN have had stories reporting on Statistics Canada’s figures of Indigenous murder victims between 1980-2012. StatsCan documented 745 Indigenous female homicide victims and 1,750 Indigenous male homicide victims. That’s 14 and 17 per cent of all female and male homicide victims, respectively, despite the fact that, as of 2011, only 4.3 per cent of Canada’s population self-identified as Indigenous.

The female figure of 745 Indigenous female homicide victims differs from the 2014 RCMP report of 1,017 murdered and 164 missing Indigenous women since 1980. (The RCMP has yet to provide such a figure for murdered and missing Indigenous men.) Regardless, these figures still show a disparity between Indigenous and settler Canadians’ experiences of violence.

Such violence scars communities all across Canada. Lydia Daniels, whose son Colten Pratt has been missing since November 2014, told APTN that “we also wanted to make a statement that we also have murdered and missing men in our communities.” Sandra Banman, whose son Carl was murdered in 2011, stated “In balance and unity with our people, we also need to think about our men. We don’t love our daughters more than we love our sons, so when our sons go missing or are murdered, it hurts the families just as much.”

 

Click for 2pg PDF 11x17

Click for 2pg PDF 11×17

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Reminder:

If you would like to print these three articles, along with a fourth one, “Survivors Lead in Fighting Indigenous Women Crisis” by Francella Fiallos, for use as a handout/resource, they are available in a two-page 11×17 pdf file

The anti-authoritarian current: sophisticated politics with powerful implications – a book review of “Another Politics: Talking Across Today’s Transformative Movements” by Chris Dixon (University of California Press, 2014). Including 17min video interview embedded at end.

by Greg Macdougall

9780520279025[1]With such widespread challenges and injustice facing our society, combined with the shifting energies and momentum of people power, the ‘another politics’ Chris Dixon documents in Another Politics: Talking Across Today’s Transformative Movements offers perhaps the most promising and exciting approaches to collectively addressing these problems while simultaneously moving us into the world in which we wish to live.

The book is based on in-depth interviews with 47 anti-authoritarian activists and organizers in major Canadian and U.S. cities and is organized into three main sections: politics, strategy and organizing.

The ‘another politics’ Dixon describes is most simply put as the ‘anti-authoritarian current’ in leftist social movements. It is also identified as being anti-capitalist, anti-oppressive and anti-imperialist in what it stands against. And it is pre-figurative in what it stands for, meaning that the ways in which the organizing is done in the present already contains the elements of the social relations and other aspects of the world that ‘another politics’ is working to build.

This book offers to readers who identify as belonging within this current the stirrings of a ‘political home’ a term referencing community where shared analysis, reflection and support can be developed on the work being done. And to readers who may not identify themselves specifically in this anti-authoritarianism, it still provides a good understanding of this approach and what and how it contributes to broader movements for social justice and social change.

As Dixon writes, in the best light, the anti-authoritarian current is a large set of projects and groups that play a leading role in many ongoing struggles and periodically kick off wider mobilizations. He also offers that the ‘worst light’ view might see the current as mostly tending to ineffectiveness and insularity.

The book addresses such challenges and brings out the best of what the current has to offer learning from best practices, a grounding of principles and a setting of priorities, the insight and reflection developed over decades of experience, and the tensions and experimentation taking place.

Dixon situates ‘another politics’ as an embodiment of the intertwining of key elements of anti-racist feminism, prison abolitionism and reconfigured anarchism, and drawing upon more historical movements as well. He notes ‘another politics’ does not yet fully exist and its elements are neither entirely new nor unique, but the ways in which the anti-authoritarian current is bringing them together indicate an increasingly sophisticated politics with powerful implications.

He describes its development in part from the global justice movement, highlighted by the 1999 Seattle protests against the World Trade Organization and other such mobilizations, as organizers perceived the limitations of such large convergences and realized the need for more long-term, intentional and visionary organizing grounded in communities.

One of the criteria Dixon used in selecting interviewees was their grassroots organizing work outside of activist circles, which points directly to the movement-building approach and the understanding that it is only through large-scale participation that we can actually create the change we’d like to see.

This collective organizing work is described as being ‘revelatory’ that through transformative processes of action, we learn who we can be, how we can work and what we can achieve rather than prescriptive; as one interviewee notes, at the most basic level, people don’t join movements because we tell them how to think, but because we suggest how they can participate.

A ‘correct line’ or ‘purity’ politics is outweighed by a focus on the importance of actually achieving change; Dixon describes this as dynamic experimentation in messiness, and highlights the connection of being in the world but not of it or in other words, engaging with people’s current lives and social realities while still remaining committed to transformative visions.

Dixon sums up the ‘another politics’ organizing orientation of widening participation, creating collectivity, fighting strategically, and building power a set of practices for creating more activists and organizers. It is a non-instrumental organizing that brings people together as collaborators, rather than using them as mere instruments to obtain a predetermined goal.

Dixon describes a growing attempt to be clear, conscious, and collective about leadership in describing different approaches to building non-dominant leadership, that include challenging power relations and ensuring skill-building, political education, and ’empowerment’ aka having each individual experience and understand their own agency.

Anti-authoritarian organization- and institution-building is examined as an area that needs work, to stay out of the ‘ruts’ of problematic models while still embracing the need for structures that meet both the context of the situation and the aims of the work. It sees them as different types of vehicles which can each have their own usefulness at different times, and it also urges a shift in focus from organizational forms to important features that can be included in whatever form may be used.

But organizing without strategy is like watching pee-wee soccer, as one of the interviewees puts it, referencing the ad-hoc, unorganized rush of activity also seen in many activist settings. Another Politics examines the primary obstacles to anti-authoritarian strategy development prioritizing principles over plans; the fetishization of certain tactics; and a tendency towards a ‘crisis’ mode of organizing while putting forth what it means to have a long-term movement-building orientation that takes the work seriously and with intentionality.

The question of developing strategy is in part, as Dixon puts it, about fostering a movement culture that enables collective and constructive strategic reflection.

And later in the book, he adds, … far too rarely do we more deeply explore the political assumptions underlying our efforts, what we believe we are accomplishing (rather than what we want to accomplish), what we’ve learned through our work, how we’ve made changes based on what we’ve learned, and what those lessons mean for our visions for change.

Collecting together these reflections and insight that come from so much diverse experience in anti-authoritarian organizing, Dixon adds a great deal to this needed kind of movement-generated theory, offering affirmation, clarity, and challenging questions that can help move ‘another politics’ forward.

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Chris Dixon’s website is www.WritingWithMovements.com

Greg Macdougall writes and does multi-media work aimed at social justice and social change, based in Ottawa, unceded Algonquin territority. His website is www.EquitableEducation.ca

This review originally published on rabble.ca

 

Video interview with Chris Dixon about the book (17min):

pam photo 1bVIDEOS: 12-min interview and 73-min talk with Pam Palmater discussing root causes / historical context, the current situation and public discourse, and furthering the urgent call for both a national inquiry and an emergency action plan on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada.

“So the reason why I’m talking about Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls today is because Canada is killing our people, and if Canadians don’t stand up and stand beside us and stand in partnership with us, more people are going to die.”

Dr Pam Palmater is a Mi’kmaw lawyer from Eel River Bar First Nation and holds the position of Chair in Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University. Pam was one of the spokespeople, organizers and educators for Idle No More movement and a well-known social justice advocate.

The talk was titled “The Law’s Role in Canada’s Disgrace: Murdered & Missing Indigenous Women & Girls” and was part of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law Shirley E. Greenberg Chair for Women and the Legal Profession – Speaker Series.

pam photo 2From Tuesday February 24, 2015 in Ottawa, unceded Algonquin territory. Interview and filming by Greg Macdougall, EquitableEducation.ca

 

~ Connect with Pam Palmater online ~
Twitter: @Pam_Palmater
Facebook: Pam Palmater
Indigenous Nationhood Blog & website: indigenousnationhood.blogspot.ca

 

 

Interview – 12 minutes, also at youtu.be/_dULLnpG9Hg

 

 

“The Law’s Role in Canada’s Disgrace: Murdered & Missing Indigenous Women & Girls”
73 minutes, also at youtu.be/6g665LSQpX0 – pls contact me if you’d like the file to burn to DVD
The talk (minus intros and Q&A) is also posted as a 55min rabble.ca podcast – or download the mp3

 

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cosmophiliaThis appendixed poem on mental health and belonging was written for / originally published in the astrological PlanetWaves.net 2015 annual edition, Cosmophilia: You Belong Here.

 
~~~~~
 

PSYCHOVARIANT BELONGING
by Greg Macdougall

disassociation
when you feel that you don’t belong
don’t want to belong in what’s going on
leave this world, find other reality
literally or ‘just’ in your mind

and then you’re different
because you know different
than them

‘them’ is when you don’t belong
when the enforced normalcy of normal
doesn’t belong on you, to you,
anywhere near you

you’ve known different-ly
feelings that really connect
with leverage points of the soul
spirit imbued with life
and the consensus don’t fit

fit you into their place
is what they know to do
their place is the place they have for you
because that’s what they fit in to

belong-ing, a yearning
but mostly out of place

but find that, when not yearned for
there is that sense of being found
of being in place, right place
at the right time
the right time is when you’ve let the yearning go

when the fears don’t rear up
and the loneliness no longer in your heart
gone along with the other clouds,
claws that threaten to shed a furtive peace

born from inhabiting a sense of wrongness
of invalidation, discredited
because your currency doesn’t seem accepted

so learning to feel your own way through
because the advice in the guise of should and ‘need to’
doesn’t feed any of what makes you you

the semblance of everyone is a master in the know
only buoyed by the sense that everyone’s bought in
to the way it’s fixed up to be

this psychotic plague known as normal
‘just the way things are’
the what you’re being taught to adapt in to

 

FOR FURTHER REFERENCE / APPENDIX:

psychovariant
“I identify as “psychovariant” because that label recognizes my atypical brain functioning as a source of both distress and a gift to be nurtured. This is an umbrella term that can be claimed by anyone whose brain operates divergently (ex: depression, schizophrenia, ADHD, anxiety, bipolar, DID). Identifying as psychovariant is an attempt to recast what is commonly referred to as “mental illness” through a framework that destigmatizes and celebrates neurological diversity.”
– Amanda Gelender, http://grownuptruth.com/diary-of-a-young-pro-amanda-gelender/

disassociation (dissociation)
“[P]sychological trauma results in alterations of consciousness in the domains of time, thought, body, and emotion … [A]s the levels of dissociation increase, a person is more likely to experience identity fragmentation and flashbacks/reliving (time), voice-hearing and confusion (thought), depersonalization (body), and numbing/compartmentalization (emotion). … [T]rauma effects the brain and makes one more likely to become addicted to alcohol or benzodiazapines at a neurochemical level … [E]xperiencing multiple traumas (unlike a single trauma) results in a shutting down response rather than hyperarousal and increased physiological activity. This includes: loss of emotion, loss of memory and language, shutting off of cognitive processing, deactivation of the brain, loss of physical sensation, social disengagement, miscommunication, and social withdrawal.”
– Noel Hunter, http://www.madinamerica.com/2014/11/trauma-schizophrenia-ultimate-political-battle/

leave this world
“From 2,429 suicides and 50,323 controls, the researchers found that taking psychiatric medications during the previous year made a person 5.8 times more likely to have killed themselves. If a person had made contact with a psychiatric outpatient clinic, they were 8.2 times more likely to have killed themselves. Visiting a psychiatric emergency room was linked to a 27.9 times greater likelihood of committing suicide. And if someone had actually been admitted to a psychiatric hospital, they were 44.3 times more likely to have commited suicide within the year.”
– Rob Wipond, http://www.alternet.org/personal-health/research-suggests-psychiatric-interventions-admission-mental-facility-could-increase?paging=off

fit you into their place
“Scott London: Symptoms are so often seen as weaknesses.
James Hillman: Right, so they set up some sort of medical or psychotherapeutic program to get rid of them, when the symptoms may be the most crucial part of the kid. There are many stories in my book that illustrate this.” http://thesunmagazine.org/issues/439/conversations_with_a_remarkable_man

when the enforced normal of normalcy doesn’t belong on you
“The problem of selfishness has a particular bearing on psychotherapy. The neurotic individual often is selfish in the sense that he is blocked in his relationship to others or overanxious about himself. This is to be expected since to be neurotic means that the integration of a strong self has not been achieved successfully. To be normal certainly does not mean that it has. It means, for the majority of well-adapted individuals that they have lost their own self at an early age and replaced it completely by a social self offered to them by society. They have no neurotic conflicts because they themselves, and, therefore, the discrepancy between their selves and the outside world has disappeared. Often the neurotic person is particularly unselfish, lacking in self-assertion and blocked in following his own aims. The reason for this unselfishness is essentially the same as for the selfishness. What he is practically always lacking is self-love. This is what he needs to become well. If the neurotic becomes well, he does not become normal in the sense of the conforming social self. He succeeds in realising his self, which never had been completely lost and for the preservation of which he was struggling by his neurotic symptoms. A theory, therefore, as Freud’s on narcissism which rationalises the cultural pattern of denouncing self-love by identifying it with selfishness, can have but devastating effects therapeutically. It increases the taboo on self-love. Its effects can only be called positive if the aim of psychotherapy is not to help the individual to be himself; that is, free, spontaneous and creative – qualities conventionally reserved for artists – but to give up the fight for his self and conform to the cultural pattern peacefully and without the noise of a neurosis.”
– Erich Fromm, http://digilander.libero.it/mgtund/eric_fromm.htm

you’ve known different-ly
“All war is first waged in the imagination, first conducted to limit our dreams and visions, to make us accept within ourselves its terms, to believe that our only choices are those that lay before us. If we let the terms of force describe the terrain of our battle, we will lose. But if we hold to the power of our visions, our heartbeats, our imagination, we can fight on our own turf, which is the landscape of consciousness. There, the enemy cannot help but transform.”
– Starhawk, The Fifth Sacred Thing

there is that sense of being found
“For those of us involved with this work, and for those of us who are coming into it, if this work does not transform you then you are not paying attention. If you are immune, complacent, indifferent, and untouched by the horror of human avarice and aggression, then you are not paying attention. It is not possible to be engaged in this work and not behave differently. It is not possible if we are really doing what we are supposed to be doing with this work.”
– gkisedtanamoogk, Finding Our Way Despite Modernity; in Alliances: Re/Envisioning Indigenous-non-Indigenous Relationships (Lynne Davis, ed)

a sense of wrongness
“A person who has not been completely alienated, who has remained sensitive and able to feel, who has not lost the sense of dignity, who is not yet “for sale”, who can still suffer over the suffering of others, who has not acquired fully the having mode of existence – briefly, a person who has remained a person and not become a thing – cannot help feeling lonely, powerless, isolated in present-day society. He cannot help doubting himself and his own convictions, if not his sanity. He cannot help suffering, even though he can experience moments of joy and clarity that are absent in the life of his “normal” contemporaries.”
– Erich Fromm, http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/41805-a-person-who-has-not-been-completely-alienated-who-has

sense of wrongness – pII
“Nothing is so apt to challenge our self-awareness and alertness as being at war with oneself. One can hardly think of any other or more effective means of waking humanity out of the irresponsible and innocent half-sleep of the primitive mentality and bringing it to a state of conscious responsibility.”
– Carl Jung, as quoted by Jonathan Zap, http://www.zaporacle.com/thoughts-on-jung

sense of wrongness – pIII
“Dissonance / (if you are interested) / leads to discovery.”
– William Carlos Williams

along with the other clouds
“i have kept quiet about feelings of unworthiness, loneliness, feelings of isolation, dissociation and craziness because i am scared of being left behind. and the reality is, our community leaves people behind sometimes.”
– ngọc loan trần, http://www.nloantran.com/blog/2014/6/26/fearingfueling-silence

claws that threaten
“It took many years of vomiting up all the filth I’d been taught about myself, and half-believed, before I was able to walk on this earth as though I had a right to be here.”
– James Baldwin, Collected Essays

learning to feel your way through
“In the end, there is nothing more that I can do to prove this, so therefore I just have to take the leap of faith and believe in the things that are invisible, that I can’t prove to anyone else, because they seem real to me.”
– Soren Kierkegaard

learning to feel your way through – pII
“As you consider other ways to approach what you require of yourself, let how you feel about each idea guide you. Feeling good and an inner sensation of calm are clues that a concept matches with your own genuine boundaries and personal requirements.”
– Genevieve Hathaway, PlanetWaves.net

because the advice
“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”
– Oscar Wilde, De Profundis

because the advice – pII
“It’s extraordinary how much of this [judging] comes down to “why don’t you change your life, because it inconveniences me or makes me uncomfortable.” People don’t want to admit that, so they throw a lot of other judgmental ornaments around the edges and hope no one will see their version of the ninja double reverse.”
– Maria Padhila, PlanetWaves.net

psychotic plague known as normal
“The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority.”
– Martin Luther King Jr, Strength To Love

what you’re being taught to adapt in to
“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.”
– Audre Lorde, Zami: A New Spelling of My Name

what you’re being taught to adapt in to – pII
“Only the strong go crazy. The weak just go along.”
– Assata Shakur

 
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