Article by Mohawk Nation News
Photos: Barriere Lake community
Oct. 12, 2008. On Monday, October 6, 2008, the Algonquins of Barriere Lake had enough and blocked Highway 117 in Northern Quebec. They want Canada and Quebec to live up to the "trilateral agreement" signed in 1991 between the 3 parties. The Algonquins have a right to sustainably develop and co-manage their traditional territories and to have a share in resource revenues. Canada and Quebec obviously believe in stealing but not sharing. Isn't that the "slippery slope" that multinational corporations are sliding into right now? They refuse to comply with the agreement which would save the environment.
Rotten to the core, Canada and Quebec responded to the blocked road by sending in almost 100 Quebec police, some fully-equipped riot police, to attack the Algonquins to get out of negotiations. Tear gas was shot into a group of youth and elders. One canister hit a handicapped person in the chest. Nine people, including; an elderly women, a pregnant woman, and two minors, were arrested. Severe "pain compliance" techniques were used on peaceful men, women and children who had secured themselves to concrete-filled barrels. The cops twisted their arms, dislocated their jaws, left them with bruised faces and sore necks and throats from the tear gas.
The Algonquins of Barriere Lake intend to demonstrate until Canada's Conservative government and Quebec honor signed agreements and Barriere Lake's leadership customs.
Allies and supporters are needed as witnesses. From Montreal: Take #15 North to St. Jerome where it turns into #117; drive north past Mt. Laurier and 1 hour after Grand Remous to LaVerendrye Park; turn right on "#362 km" sign; drive 8 kms to the community of "Rapid Lake". Needed are camping equipment, food, phone cards, cameras; volunteers, equipment and everything necessary for makeshift schools. See contacts at end.
To view the video of the brutal police attack, go to www.barrierelakesolidarity.blogspot.com.
In 1996, Indian Affairs tried to hijack the agreement by sneakily replacing the legitimate chief and council with their outside nominees [sort of creating "New'gonquin appointees] to stop the agreement.
Algonquins, who are not part of the colony of Canada, do not come under the Indian Act. Elders nominate eligible leaders who are then approved, by consensus if possible, in assemblies. Participation is open only to those who live in the community, speak the language, and have knowledge of and connection to the land. Since they rejected the colonial "implants", the majority have been deprived of employment, education and social assistance. Electricity is being run by local generators. The parents of more than half of the children refuse to send them to Indian Affairs funded schools. The reason is because the curriculum, no Indigenous language instruction and no say in the running of the school. Volunteer community members are educating the children. They need school and food supplies. There are no phone lines. They subsist on bush food and donations. This sounds like Kanehsatake. We wouldn't be surprised if the same players are involved in Barriere Lake. See the list of slimy bureaucrats at end of this article.