A Statement from the Indigenous Solidarity Coaltion@Brock
Posted July 8th, 2016 on Niagara At Large
The following statement was delivered by Coalition representative Celeste Smith this July 7th at a rally organized by the Indigenous community to save a large tract of forest and wetlands in Niagara, Falls, Ontario from developers’ chainsaws and bulldozers.
“The Indigenous Solidarity Coalition @ Brock is dedicated to providing people in the Brock and Niagara community the opportunity to engage in events that raise awareness and foster activism surrounding Indigenous issues.
Through our work we aim to create a more inclusive and respectful environment toward Indigenous Peoples on campus and the surrounding region. From this standpoint we recognize the importance of bringing attention to, and actively engaging in, efforts to eradicate systemic discrimination against Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
The Coalition is honoured to have been asked to stand with our community in support of saving the Thundering Waters Forest. This is why we here today, because we all need to stand together and take action!
The Coalition stands in solidarity with the Niagara community to Save the Thundering Waters Forest!
We ask for proper and meaningful consultation with Niagara’s Indigenous people.
We also ask for proper and meaningful consultation with Niagara’s Non-Indigenous people.
And, we fully support the communities call for a “moratorium on the development of the Thundering Waters Forest until a clear, transparent, public process can decisively establish the full social, environmental and economic benefit of this forest remaining completely intact”.
We see this as a taking up our responsibilities in support of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s calls to action – Indigenous and Non-Indigenous peoples working together to create better communities and more peaceful relations.
On behalf of the Indigenous Solidarity Coalition @ Brock University, Nya:weh Kowa, Miigwetch, Merci, Thank you.”
Celeste Smith, Wolf Clan, Oneida, Haudenosaunee, Six Nations of the Grand River
For more from the Indigenous Solidarity Coalition click on –
Some Parting Thoughts from Karl Dockstader, a rally organizer and member of the Indigenous community in the Niagara area
“The day we all felt the Spirit of Mother Earth. She heard our songs, and blessed us with rain. It was beautiful. I felt her tears…tears of joy..that we haven’t forgotten about her.” – Zhoonge De Kwe Shawana reflected to the Strong Water Women.
Joanne McDonald in her picture captured the heart and soul of a spiritual, emotional, and powerful coming together of minds for a closing circle planned by Leigh Ann Hill with words spoken by Lester Green.
Jay Zhooshkwade Nini Shawana and Sabrina Shawana need to be praised as much as possible for bringing hope, love and kindness to life with the power of our music groups. If Niagara Falls needs better ideas than demolishing forests for long term planning they should talk to these gifted siblings about their respective ways of building something important. I know I speak for a lot people when I say I don’t know what my life would be like if it weren’t for the drumming circle.
Celeste Smith, John Bacher, Allan Jamieson Sr, Leigh, Lester Green, and Kelly Frantastic Davis were as sharp as any national panel and spoke nothing but powerful truths about why this 200+ acres is worth saving.
My gratitude is earnest but my reflection is bitterweet because the plan is still to destroy the forest. I don’t know why the leaders of western culture can’t figure out how to make it work with the abundance they already have. The endless growth model needs to be re-engineered to look more like the cooperative event that took over city hall courtyard yesterday.
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