Support for Chaudière Falls Area

Posted by Denise Deby.

It is sacred poster

Three Four upcoming events are focused on protecting the area around Chaudière Falls in the Ottawa River.

They’re prompted by concerns about development proposals for the area, which is considered sacred by many Indigenous peoples.

On Wednesday, June 8, 2016, a panel discussion will take a critical look at the “Zibi” development project. “Reconcilation Needs Justice – Stop Windmill’s ‘Zibi’ Condos on Sacred Algonquin Land” will be at 7 p.m. at the Ottawa Public Library’s Main Branch (120 Metcalfe St.) Speakers are Algonquin Elder Albert Dumont, former Ottawa city councilor Clive Doucet, and Stop Windmill group co-founder Cathy Remus.

On Monday, June 13, 2016, Albert Dumont will talk about the protection and restoration of the Sacred Site at Chaudière Falls and the Islands, through the lens of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It’s at 7 p.m. at First United Church (347 Richmond Rd.).

Added: On Thursday, June 16, 2016, Circle of All Nations will present Elder William Commanda’s vision for the site. It’s at Rideau Park United Church (2203 Alta Vista Dr.).

On Friday, June 17, 2016, a Sacred Walk with Anishnabe / Algonquins Elders will travel from Victoria Island to Parliament Hill. Everyone is welcome to participate and show support. Details and RSVP at http://www.itissacred.ca/#in-solidarity-with-algonquin-grandmothers-save-ottawas-sacred-site-from-development and https://www.facebook.com/groups/1718291061762475/.

From the website:

Did you know that Canada has its very own ancient and crucial sacred site of waterfalls and islands right behind Parliament Hill? Akikodjiwan is the Algonquin name of our Sacred Site – the Chaudière Falls & islands; the area is also known as Asinabka.

As the Traditional Elders who represent customary and traditional leadership in the Algonquin Nation we request your support. Grandmothers and Elders are the knowledge and wisdom-keepers and it is our responsibility to protect the traditions of our sacred site since time immemorial.

June 17th, 2016 is one of those moments in history where we must all act together. We reach out to you and to all levels of government (Canadian and Indigenous) as the traditional spiritual voice committed to holding the sacred – sacred – a place for our great-grand-children and yours.

We ask for your support, your attendance, your prayers, your banners, flags and your act of listening and witnessing. Please: on June 17th join us in large numbers for a ceremony and walk.”

Also on the website:

There are many alternatives for the site that could be developed by engaging Algonquins in the actual visioning and planning process. The federal government has a responsibility to make this happen.

As it turns out, moreover, there has been a long-standing plan on the books that is consistent with the Gréber Plan for the capital: Algonquin Elder William Commanda’s vision for the falls. Commanda’s Asinabka vision calls for a city park, historic interpretive centre, a “peace building meeting site”, and an aboriginal centre. The federal government even commissioned famous Aboriginal architect Douglas Cardinal, who designed the Museum of History in Hull-Gatineau, to produce a plan consistent with this vision for the islands. The City of Ottawa website also hosts a report on this alternate vision.”

For more on the issue, see:

Maurice Switzer’s op-ed in the Ottawa Citizen. http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/switzer-zibi-project-will-show-whether-indigenous-people-have-a-real-say-in-development

Douglas Cardinal’s interview in Canadian Geographic: http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/blog/posting.asp?ID=1955

A backgrounder and overview: http://www.stopwindmill.ca/qa.html#10

Update: Letter from Suzanne Keeptwo calling for a Talking Circle to reach consensus on a way forward for the site among all stakeholders: https://freethefalls.ca/news/letter-to-justice-murray-sinclair-pleads-for-moratorium-and-talking-circle/

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One thought on “Support for Chaudière Falls Area

  • Reblogged this on Deep Blonde Thoughts and commented:
    During the winter of 2016 I sat beside a woman on the city bus on my way home after a long day’s work. We talked about the recent heavy snowfall, the little plastic shovel I purchased at the dollar store, apartments, balconies and our cats. I found another kindred spirit!

    The conversation turned to the purpose of her evening bus ride to attend a meeting for an important cause. She introduced herself as one of the Indigenous Grandmothers. She shared the history and the sacred importance of the Chaudière Falls then handed me some literature containing more information and site links.

    I have been following the issue since, mentioning it to others who might listen. On Wednesday evening, I attended the information session, panel discussion on saving the Chaudière Falls from further commercial development and planning for the June 17th walk.

    Although I do not like being in the middle of noisy crowds, I am willing to join them and to invite others along. With good conscience and spiritual respect, I feel I must.

    Grandmother Christine’s story: https://freethefalls.ca/news/a-grandmothers-story-from-asinabka/

    With a collective conscience, we must ask if Ottawa really needs more condos, if the federal government has the political will, compassion to repair damage by the former governments and flawed development approval processes at all levels. Ask if it is finally time to return this sacred land to our indigenous people, a place for sharing with all people.

    Thank you.

    T

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