CUPE 3903 First Nations Solidarity Working Group

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Documentary Screening of “Biimadasahwin: Reclaiming Land Reclaiming Home”

Join us for food, discussion, and a documentary screening of“Biimadasahwin: Reclaiming Land Reclaiming Home.”
December 4, 2:30-4pm, 109 Atkinson, York University.
 last am trapline
Biimadasahwin means “life” in Ojibway. It is the name given to a place and project led by Darlene Necan, elected spokesperson of off-reserve members of Ojibway Nation of Saugeen no.258. She began to make her courageous vision of reclaiming her ancestral Anishinabek territory a reality, by returning to live on her trapline.
In June 2013, CUPE 3903’s The First Nations Solidarity Working Group, supported a log cabin home build led by Darlene  and other women who are rebuilding community power. The cabin sits on Darlene’s trapline and serves as a meeting place for community political organizing.
In August, Darlene and her organization, Northern Starlights Citizens of Saugeen, led the building of infrastructure for Biimadasahwin to be a gathering and teaching place for youth, community members and supporters.
On December 4, 2:30pm, 109 Atkinson, we will screen a short documentary which shares Darlene’s story and showcases the collective home building project, Saugeen land and people in Northwestern Ontario. Come learn about and support this inspiring project!

November 28, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Call out for Court Support November 27th

Wednesday November 27th 10am
Cayuga Courthouse, 55 Munsee St. N., Cayuga

                                   Rides leave from Keele Subway, Toronto at 8:15 am                                       

Cayuga Court House, Summer 2013

Cayuga Court House, Summer 2013

                                                                     See below for info for other cities.

Facebook event:

Support Six Nations land defender Theresa “Toad” Jamieson at the Cayuga courthouse on Wednesday November 27th at 10am.

At the last court date, Toad “read Deskaheh’s last speech in its entirety to the court. She spoke of the past and present strategies used by the Canadian government in attempting to assimilate and disorganize traditional societies and to annihilate entire nations and their relationship to their land. Her statement emphasized the injustice found in the imposition of colonial law against a people, a confederacy of original nations, living on their own land, and following their own system of laws – the Great Peace”.  Read more:

On Wednesday Nov.27th, we will show support for and celebrate the strength of Toad and all other criminalized land defenders who only continue to fight. We will hear the final submissions to the court.

Toad has been defending Indigenous land rights and Kanonhstaton, the Six Nations Reclamation site, ever since the land near Caledonia, ON was reclaimed by Six Nations in February 2006. Toad is being dragged through the courts because of charges stemming from anti-Native rights activist Gary McHale’s provocations. (See below for more info).

Toad is defending herself in court, asserting that the Canadian justice system violates both the Two Row Wampum treaty and the rightful law – the Great Law of Peace – of the stolen land on which the courthouse stands.

Since 2006, hundreds of thousands of dollars have gone towards policing and court costs for McHale’s actions which result in criminalizing Indigenous women, such as Toad, for defending the land and responding to direct racism. The Two Row Society wants to call attention to the discrepancy between this approach and the complete lack of government resources dedicated to a national public inquiry into the hundreds of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

As Toad fights for the land, she fights for all of us. Packing the court with supporters, sends a powerful message. Join us!

-The Two Row Society, First Nations Solidarity Working Group, The Two Row Society #FreeToad

If you can drive or need a ride from any of these cities:

cities, please contact:

Sara 416-708 9300

Dylan 289-969-5730

Kalin 226-600-5245

Laura 416-888-9704


Additional info:

·   In reaction to the Six Nations reclamation of 2006, Gary McHale and his followers, under the name of Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality, set about a campaign against what they call “native lawlessness,” “land claim terrorism,” and “race-based policing”.

·   Beginning in October 2006, McHale has been trying to force his way onto Kanonhstaton. On February 18, 2012, McHale succeeded in entering Kanonhstaton, with a small escort of OPP. Toad and several other Haudenosaunee land defenders were charged as a result of their anger at his racism and his trespassing on Kanonhstaton.

·    In 2009, leaders of CANACE played leading roles in trying to establish a “Caledonia Militia” to stop land defenders.

·   In 2012, several Six Nations land defenders have faced charges as a result of the actions of McHale and the Ontario Provincial Police.

The Two Row Society

Twitter: @TwoRowSociety

November 19, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

First Nations Solidarity Working Group – November/December Meetings

Upcoming Meetings:
November 14 – 6pm, Beit Zatoun (612 Markahm St.) – 7pm Two Row Times Event @ Beit Zatoun
November 21 – 7pm, OISE Lobby (252 Bloor St. West)
November 28 – 7pm, OISE Lobby (252 Bloor St. West)
December 12 – 7pm, OISE Lobby (252 Bloor St. West)
Email if you’re a new member attending a meeting. Hope to see you there!

November 12, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Event to Support and Learn about the Two Row Times, Nov 14, 2013, 7pm, Beit Zatoun

Two Row Times

November 14, 2013, Beit Zatoun, 612 Markam Street, 7pm

Jon Garlow (publisher and owner of the Two Row Times) and Nahnda Garlow (renowned “Scone Dogs and Seed Beads” columnist of the Two Row Times), will speak on Indigenous resurgence and grassroots media, and their vision for the Two Row Times newspaper.

This event is anto learn about and discuss the new, weekly mass circulation newspaper coming out of Six Nations and covering content far beyond. It is working to bring respect for and renew relationships with the Two Row Wampum throughout the Dish with One Spoon Treaty Territory.

Whether you are curious or uninformed about the paper, interested in supporting or contributing to it, or just generally understand the importance of grassroots media – don’t miss this evening of exciting discussion. Let’s build media that speaks the voice of the people, together.

For a short video clip describing the paper, and to support

The Two Row Times

In the words of its publisher and owner, Jonathan Garlow, “the goal of the Two Row Times is to provide timely and relevant news and information to Native communities as well as to serve as a bridge between all nations by promoting and demonstrating the values of the Two Row Wampum.”

The Two Row Wampum – the original agreement between Onkwehon:we people and the new arrivals on this continent – is the guiding light for the paper. The Two Row Times pledges that our actions will be consistent with the principles of the Two Row Wampum and the Kaianerekowa – “the great peace” – a philosophical and constitutional framework that is the basis of the Onkwehon:we worldview and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy.

The Two Row Times provides a unique Onkwehon:we news source that can unify and uplift all people. We believe that a coming together of native and non-native people to express our common interests in healing the earth, honouring diversity and creating respectful and dignified conditions of life for all is the only way to ensure our continued survival as human beings.

The paper is circulated throughout the Dish with One Spoon, which covers a huge territory surrounding the Great Lakes region and encompasses much of Ontario, New York State, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. The paper currently has a distribution of 20,000, with a vision to grow in number and locations throughout the territory.

The Two Row Times exists because of the need to develop media institutions that can express the interests and experiences of Onkwehon:we people and promote unity with all who want to stop harming each other and to start healing our mother the earth. Communication is an indispensable part of this process. Unlike mainstream media, Onkwehon:we communication is based upon a practice of decolonization. It upholds the Onkwehon:we way of life, it educates the un-informed, and it contributes to the defence of our territories by drawing attention to the actions of Onkwehon:we peoples.

November 4, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

FNSWG Upcoming meetings November/December 2013

Upcoming Meetings:
October 31 – 7pm, OISE Lobby (252 Bloor St. West)
November 14 – 6pm, Beit Zatoun (612 Markahm St.) – 7pm Two Row Times Event @ Beit Zatoun
November 28 – 7pm, OISE Lobby (252 Bloor St. West)
December 12 – 7pm, OISE Lobby (252 Bloor St. West)
Email if you’re a new member attending a meeting. Hope to see you there!

October 30, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Protest Gary McHale’s Anti-Native “Anti-Racism” rally in Caledonia, Sunday, March 21 at 1pm.

March 21st is the International Day for the Elimination of Racism — a day that grew out of anti-colonial resistance to South African apartheid. Increasingly, it is also becoming a day which neo-nazi groups are trying to co-opt by claiming it as “World Wide White Pride Day”

Now Gary McHale, the noted anti-Native activist who has made a career for himself by stirring up tensions between people in Caledonia and Six Nations is getting in on the action. On March 21 he and his followers are organizing a so-called “Anti-Racist Rally” in Caledonia, claiming that white people in the town are the victims of ongoing “racism” at the hands of people from Six Nations and the provincial government.

McHale’s followers are planning to gather for a “rally” outside the Lion’s Hall in Caledonia and then according to one of the organizers, they are considering trying to march onto the Six Nations controlled former Douglas Creek Estates in order to have a “potluck” – a move calculated to raise tensions and produce further conflict in the area.

As far as we know, Gary McHale has no formal connection with neo-Nazis, but his constant attempts to portray white people as ever present victims of “land claim terrorism,” his painting of activists from Six Nations as ‘violence prone thugs’, and his misrepresentation of the colonial reality that indigenous people face every day in Canada, lays the groundwork for openly racist groups and individuals to spread a message of hatred and fear in white communities surrounding Six Nations. There is documented video evidence that prominent Canadian neo-Nazi Paul Fromm has attended McHale’s rallies in the past, as have members of the neo-nazi Northern Alliance group

The CUPE 3903 First Nations Solidarity Working Group took the initiative to organize against McHale and his followers when he organized the “Caledonia Militia” group for the purpose of carrying out citizens’ arrests of Six Nations people defending their land rights last summer.“militia”-in-caledonia/ Now that he is again organizing a public rally, we call on all anti-racist activists and supporters of indigenous struggles to stand in solidarity with Six Nations and show that Gary McHale does not speak for all non-natives, and that his political program and political activities are most certainly not “anti-racist”.

Please join us in gathering outside of the Caledonia Lions Hall at 100 Haddington St, Caledonia starting at 1pm.

The CUPE 3903 FNSWG.

March 22, 2010 Posted by | far right, FNSWG Events, protests | 1 Comment

2009 Annual Report of the FNSWG

CUPE 3903 FNSWG Report for 2009


The CUPE 3903 First Nations Solidarity Working Group was created at the local’s March 2007 AGM. The mandate of the working group is as follows:

1. To educate and organize the CUPE 3903 membership about issues relating to matters of indigenous sovereignty and solidarity and to encourage membership participation both within the working group and the local on this issue.
2. To work within and to help build rank and file networks of union activists working on issues of indigenous sovereignty and solidarity.
3. To co-ordinate efforts in support of indigenous sovereignty with other local, regional and national (union and non-union) projects in support of indigenous sovereignty and solidarity.
4. To actively participate in supporting indigenous struggles such as (but not limited to) the Six Nations struggle to reclaim the Haldimand Tract.

Since its existence, the FNSWG has been one of CUPE 3903’s most active working groups, and has been at the forefront of indigenous solidarity work in southern Ontario. As per its mandate, the main focus of the working group has been on educational activities, building connections with activists within other trade unions and indigenous solidarity groups, and well as working directly with indigenous activists. Although the working group is not exclusively focused on solidarity work with Six Nations, this has for the most part tended to be the indigenous community with which we most closely work. This is due to the following reasons: Six Nations is located less than a one hour drive from Toronto and is the largest indigenous community in Canada; while other solidarity groups in Toronto focus on supporting indigenous communities in Tyendinaga or Barriere Lake, there are no other groups explicitly focusing on Six Nations; Six Nations is also one of the most politically active indigenous communities in the area and there are a variety of grassroots indigenous organizations wanting to build relations with non-native activists. Our working group has been most closely working the Hoskanigetah (the Six Nation’s Men’s Fire) and Young Onkwehonwe United, a youth group on the territory.

The efforts of our working group in the past year can be categorized as follows.

1. Publicizing the day-to-day struggles taking place at Six Nations.

a. The website. The working group has developed the 6nsolidarity website, which serves as an information clearinghouse on Six Nations struggles. Although there are a number of popular websites on Six Nations land issues, the vast majority of these sites are non-native websites highly critical of indigenous land rights. The aim of our website is to provide a source for information coming directly out of Six Nations but also to give our analysis of the conflict and to counter a lot of the right-wing anti-native backlash that is being promoted by the mainstream media.

b. Hoskanigetah Speaking Tour. In the spring of 2009 we organized a major speaking tour of representatives from the Hoskanigetah (the Six Nations Men’s Fire). The speaking tour was aimed at raising awareness about a number of ongoing issues faced by the people of Six Nations including the criminalization of Six Nations land defenders in Brantford, the Brantford city injunction, the efforts of the people of Akwesasne to block the arming of Canadian border guards in their community, and the problems posed by the reopening of the Edwards landfill in Cayuga. The tour went to several different locations in Toronto, as well as Hamilton, Guelph, Ottawa, Montréal, Orangeville, and Kitchener-Waterloo.

c. Brantford TRUE. The working group has built a close relationship with a non-native solidarity organization in Brantford known as Two Row Understanding through Education (TRUE) which has organized over a dozen public talks in Brantford aimed at educating local non-natives about the real situation with the land claims in Brantford. TRUE events are usually attended by between 50 and 100 people, and FNSWG members have attended many of these meetings and been featured as speakers on TRUE panels.

2. Support around specific issues

a. Anti Militia Rally. In June of 2009, some alarming news came out of Caledonia, Ontario, which has been a major flash point between Six Nations and local non-natives since the 2006 reclamation of the Douglas Creek Estates. A grouping of right wing anti-native activists announced that they were holding a public meeting to form a “militia” to carry out “citizen’s arrests” of native people who were “obstructing” property developments on contested lands. On very short notice, the working group sprang into action and organized a major protest of over 200 people opposed to this militia. The efforts of the working group received large amounts of coverage in the press, and we held a very successful event which received a lot of support from both local residents and people from Six Nations. As a result of the protest, and the supportive media coverage, the Caledonia “militia” was discredited. They changed their name to the “Caledonia Peacekeepers” before lapsing into inactivity. The protests saw members of the working group organize with other non-native activists in a variety of different cities.

b. Cayuga Dump. Non-native residents near the town of Cayuga and people from the nearby Six Nations community have long resisted the reopening of the Edwards landfill — a toxic waste dump that contains large amounts of improperly disposed of waste from a nearby resin plant. The working group has produced video reports on the dump and has also worked closely with Six Nations activists from the Hoskanigetah to publicize the issue. The working group has also built relationships with members of the group Haldimand Against land Transfers (HALT) the non-native group that has been spearheading legal resistance to the reopening of the landfill site. As it became more evident that the dump was going to be reopened, working group members participated in the creation of a rapid response network that could bring solidarity activists together with people from Six Nations to non-violently block access to the dump. These actions have so far proved successful, and the dump has yet to be reopened.

c. Brantford Rally for Six Nations Land Rights. The working group played a central role in the launching of the Six Nations Solidarity Network – an organization made up of a number of community groups and trade unions (including several CAW locals, CUPE locals 3903, 3906 and 3902 and members of USW 1005). One of the first initiatives of this network was to organize a public rally in support of Six Nations land rights on November 7, 2009. The rally consisted of a series of presentations from union activists and people from Six Nations about what the issues at stake in Brantford and why they supported Six Nations land rights. The rally attracted about 300 people, garnered significant local press coverage, and strengthened the ties being made between unions, community groups, and the people of Six Nations. The event culminated in a potluck that was attended by over 100 people. Video footage of the event is available on the Six Nations Solidarity Website at

d. Media Centre. One area of specific support that members of the Hoskanigetah requested has been assistance in setting up an Independent Media Center with computers, an Internet connection, video equipment, etc. that could use to report on their own struggles and better disseminate news and information about their community. The Media Center is envisioned as a place for activists from Six Nations to learn how to build and develop websites, edit video, and design posters and leaflets for their events. The Media Center is housed in one of the community’s central gathering places, the Six Nations council house, which is operated by the Hoskanigetah. The working group has put out a call for donations of computer and video equipment, and is also organizing workshops and training sessions for Six Nations activists. So far this work has been organized on a shoestring budget, with donated equipment and 100% volunteer labor. In the future it is expected that we will require funds to buy needed equipment that we have not been able to receive as a donation, and also to cover costs that some of the technical trainings.

3. Financial support for other indigenous struggles

a. Requests for financial support. The working group regularly receives requests for funding support from other groups and individuals doing important work in support of indigenous self-determination. In 2009 the working group made contributions to a variety of initiatives, including the before mentioned TRUE group in Brantford; the “No More Silence” group draws attention to missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada; the protest Barrick Gold group which is opposing the dispossession of indigenous people on a global level by multinational resource extraction companies — many of whom are based in Canada; the indigenous community of Grassy Narrows, Women’s Coordinating Committee Chile-Canada who have been focused on linking the struggles of the indigenous Mapuche people in Chile along with doing solidarity work with people in Six Nations; the Hamilton-based Practical Solidarity group which has been working in solidarity with Six Nations; as well as support for a public event hosted by Upping the Anti on the Alberta Tar sands which featured indigenous activists.

Proposed Future Work in 2010.

a. Educational Speaking Tour. The need for education is a continuous one, and the working group would like to follow up on its past successes by organizing a speaking tour with Six Nations activists and members of the working group which could go to various unions and community groups to provide them with information about the history of colonialism in this part of Canada and how union struggles connect to indigenous rights. The idea with this speaking tour is that it would be geared particularly towards union locals and be aimed at increasing union participation for Six Nations struggles for self-determination. A number of different CUPE and CAW locals have expressed interest in hosting events with this tour.

b. Door to Door in Brantford. Because the city of Brantford is so intent on promoting development on numerous sites of unresolved land claims within the Brantford city limits, Brantford is currently “Ground Zero” in the struggle for Six Nations land rights. Importantly, there has been a significant amount of non-native support by local residents for the actions of Six Nations in opposition to local development, as much of these developments are being planned on ecologically sensitive land along the city’s waterfront. This land is currently parkland and many residents want to keep the land as it is. One of the main initiatives that our working group seeks to take in conjunction with the Six Nations Solidarity Network is to organize door-to-door canvassing at a number of locations in Brantford which are close to major land claim struggles and to assess the possibilities for building solidarity across native and non-native communities.

c. Visits to Six Nations. One of the things that has made our working group so effective has been our consistent commitment to making regular visits to Six Nations. We have developed many close relationships with people there, and these visits have been made possible by the fact that the working group has paid for the transportation costs of such visits. On average, members of the working group go to Six Nations a couple times a month.

d. Facilitation and training. The working group is becoming an excellent place for union activists to develop skills and inform themselves about the politics of indigenous solidarity. One area that we would really like to concentrate on in the future is the further development of the skills by organizing “train the trainers” style workshops for working group members to help develop skills in meeting facilitation, anti-oppression awareness, and practical skills such as video filming and editing, public speaking, and press release writing.

In conclusion, we feel that the CUPE 3903 FNSWG is at an important crossroads. With more three years of experience in doing consistent solidarity work with the people of Six Nations, we are at the forefront of some of the most innovative and consistent union/indigenous solidarity building work in Canada. Not only do we have a proven track record of being able to organize hundreds of people in major protests, but we have been working behind the scenes in much less glamorous ways to do the nitty-gritty solidarity of educating rank-and-file members about indigenous land rights while also building personal and political ties with indigenous activists at Six Nations.

We encourage all members of CUPE 3903 to get involved with our working group and to become a part of this important work.

In solidarity and struggle,

The CUPE 3903 First Nations Solidarity Working Group

March 4, 2010 Posted by | reports | Leave a comment

FNSWG 2008 Report

Report of the CUPE 3903 First Nations Solidarity Working Group to the 2009 AGM

by Tom Keefer and Tyler McCreary (Working Group Co-ordinators)

The First Nations Solidarity Working Group was created as a CUPE 3903 working group at our March 2007 AGM. The mandate of the working group is as follows:

1. To educate and organize the CUPE 3903 membership about issues relating to matters of indigenous sovereignty and solidarity and to encourage membership participation both within the working group and the local on this issue.

2. To work within and to help build rank and file networks of union activists working on issues of indigenous solidarity and solidarity.

3. To co-ordinate efforts in support of indigenous sovereignty with other local, regional and national (union and non-union) projects in support of indigenous sovereignty and solidarity.

4. To actively participate in supporting indigenous struggles such as (but not limited to) the Six Nations struggle to reclaim the Haldimand Tract.

In the second year of the working group’s existence, we have continued to be quite active, primarily in supporting the struggle at Six Nations and in working closely with the Haudenesaunee Men’s Fire at Six Nations. Unfortunately, working group activity largely ceased during the strike and resulted in us losing some momentum, but things are now picking up again with a variety of new initiatives on the horizon. There are currently 30 formal members of the working group and about a dozen active members. The working group plans to meet monthly, so if you would like to get involved, please e-mail to get added to our mailing list.

Working Group Activities

Although the land claim struggle and Six Nations has generally moved to Brantford as conflict over development has intensified there, California remains an important flashpoint. Following OPP aggression against the Mohawks of Tyendinaga in April of 2008, people from Six Nations blockaded the Highway 6 bypass near Caledonia. Members of the working group were present on the barricades, produced a short five minute video update of the action that was distributed online, and also contributed several hundred dollars in food and supplies for the action. See for the video.

On May 10, the working group organized an event entitled “Building Solidarity Across Struggles: A Conference on Supporting the Struggles of the People of Six Nations.” The half day conference was held in conjunction with the Black Action Defense Committee and the Anarchist Black Cross Federation – Toronto Chapter. The event included film screenings of several short films on the Six Nations reclamation, a panel of Six Nations community members (Wes Elliott, Ruby Monture, Melissa Elliott, Doreen Silversmith) who provided context and background information about the struggle of Six Nations, a panel discussing the role of non-natives support for Six Nations including Chris Harris from the Black Action Defense Committee, Joanne Webb of the CUPE National Aboriginal Council, and Tom Keefer from the CUPE 3903. The final panel focused on issues of incarceration and resistance and included a statement from former Black Panther party member and political prisoner Robert Seth Hayes on the Six Nations struggle, as well as panelists Skyler Williams (a former Six Nations political prisoner), Sarah Dover (a lawyer for Six Nations activists) and Sara Falconer (of the Anarchist Black Cross). The venue was filled to capacity and was successful in providing a space for members of the local and interested community activists to find out more about the struggle of Six Nations and the opportunities for being involved in solidarity work.

One of the most significant areas of working group activity in 2008 was focused upon organizing the August 2008 Peace and Friendship gathering at Six Nations in coordination with the Haudenesaunee Men’s Fire. The working group was an absolutely central part of organizing this event, and members attended ongoing meetings at the Onondaga language center in Six Nations from April until August. One of the most central contributions of the working group was in raising almost $5000 from local trade unions to support the gathering. Contributions were received from locals including: CAW 27, CAW 2458, OPSEU 349, CUPE 3908, CUPE 3902, CUPE 4156, CEP 975, CEP 34, CUPE 4400, CUPE 4207, USW 1998, CUPE 3261, CUPE 2331, and CUPE 2316. Getting this kind of support from local unions was an important way of connecting union struggles to indigenous struggles, and it helped us build the beginnings of a relationship with other locals around supporting indigenous struggles. One major challenge for the working group will be to follow up on these links and to try and bring out actual participation as well as financial support from these locals. The Peace and Friendship gathering itself was a great success, as over 600 people came to a weekend of discussions and workshops on a wide variety of issues relating to indigenous struggles and solidarity building. Organizing for the festival in the four months leading up to it provided an ongoing way for the working group to build relationships with activists in Six Nations and also to connect with other local community organizations.

The other major area of work that the working group has been involved in has been in supporting and working with a group of non-natives solidarity activists in Brantford (Brantford is a town of hundred thousand people adjacent to the Six Nations reserve). The Brantford group, known as the Two Row Understanding through Education (TRUE) has organized regular meetings on a wide Friday of educational events in Brantford that are geared to educating the local non-native population about the real issues behind the lamp. These events have included talks about the local residential school, environmental issues, the history of land claims in Brantford area, and media representations of the conflict. Working group members have been involved in organizational and planning meetings of TRUE and have also attended and spoken at TRUE public events.

In the spring of 2008, the working group applied for and received a $3000 grant from the anarchist Freedonia foundation to support antiracist organizing and non-native communities surrounding Six Nations. So far, $1000 of that grant has been disbursed to TRUE to help cover the cost of their public events while the other $2000 will be spent in 2009. To date, TRUE has held over a dozen events, with the average attendance at meetings being between 100 and 200 people.

Although activities of the working group slowed down during the strike, we were able to invite members from the native youth movement at Six Nations to speak on the picket lines on November 12. These NYM members walked to each picket line and after speaking with strikers gave out warrior and Haudenesaunee Confederacy flags to fly on the lines in solidarity with our struggle. The video of their talk on the Sentinel picketline is available at

Other activities of the working group involved cosponsoring and organizing the visit of a Solidarity delegation from Venezuela to Six Nations. We also sent a working group member to a weeklong visit in support of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation through a solidarity delegation organized by the Christian Peacemaker Teams. We attended and helped to publicize the “Mother Earth Protectors” sovereignty camp out at Queen’s Park in may of 2008 and also attended the Six Nations Youth Gathering in July of 2008.
We have also continued to work closely with the York Aboriginal Student Association, via their President, Melissa Eliott from Six Nations.

Looking forward to the future:

One recent initiatives of the working group has been to work closely with a variety of different groups in half a dozen cities in southern Ontario to organize a speaking tour of Haudenesaunee Men’s Fire activists to speak about their ongoing efforts to block development in the Brantford area. So far, we have commitments from activists in Brantford, Guelph, Hamilton, Toronto, Kitchener Waterloo, London and Six Nations, to organize a seven city speaking tour in May of 2008. The tour will feature local community activists and Men’s Fire members speaking together on the political issues they face in their struggles.
Another initiative that we are working on is to organize a panel on indigenous Solidarity at this years left forum in New York City which will feature activists from Six Nations.

We are also working with activists from TRUE to build a website/blog to cover news coming out of Six Nations in regards to the ongoing land claim struggles in Brantford as a way to get around the mainstream media’s failure to cover the details of this important struggle. To date, Six Nations community members have stopped over $2 billion worth of development, Haldimand Tract and the struggle is only likely to intensify over the coming months and years.

How to get involved:

The working group will be moving to a schedule of having regular monthly meetings. Our next meeting will be on Tuesday March 17 at the Black Horse (928 Bloor St. Across from the Concorde Café). Please come to the meeting if you’re interested in getting involved with the working group. Or contact us at . We are also developing the beginnings of a website for the working group at

November 15, 2009 Posted by | FNSWG Events, reports | Leave a comment

Fall 2009 – Indigenous Law and Marxism Reading Group

Reading Group: Indigenous Law & Marxism
Sept. 10 – Dec. 10, 2009
Thursday, 7-9pm
Location: OISE, University of Toronto, Room 2-227

The intersections of Marxism and Indigenous Law raise significant
questions around the political-economic aspects of contemporary
Indigenous and non-Indigenous struggles. Based on a successful summer
reading group that began to examine the significant tensions and/or
linkages between Marxist and Indigenous theorists, we have put
together a more intensified reading course for the fall. If you are
interested in taking part, please send us an email at: The reading group is open to all
who are committed to doing the readings, and to engaging in on-going

Please see attached list of readings below.

September 10

Wood, E.M. (2002). The Origin of Capitalism: A Longer View. New ed.
London: Verso.

September 17

Rosenberg, J. (1994). The Empire of Civil Society: A Critique of the
Realist Theory of International Relations. London: Verso.

September 24

Stewart-Harawira, M. (2005). The New Imperial Order: Indigenous
Responses to Globalization. London: Zed Books.

October 1

Luxemburg, R. (2003). The Accumulation of Capital. London: Routledge,
p. 307-447.

October 8

Smith, N. (1991). Uneven Development: Nature, Capital, and the
Production of Space. Oxford, UK: B. Blackwell, p. 132-211.

October 15

Hall, T. (2003). The American Empire and the Fourth World. Montreal:
McGill-Queen’s University Press, p. 295-426.

October 22

(1998). The Annotated Indian Act and Aboriginal Constitutional
Provisions. Ed. Shin Imai. Scarborough, Ont: Carswell.

October 29

Neu, H, Neu, D. & Therrien, R. (2003). Accounting for Genocide:
Canada’s Bureaucratic Assault on Aboriginal People. Black Point, N.S:
Fernwood; London: Zed.

November 5
(1997). Supreme Court of Canada: Delgamuukw v. British Columbia.
Available online at

November 12

Cairns, A. (2000). Citizens plus: Aboriginal Peoples and the Canadian
State. Vancouver, Canada: UBC Press.

November 19

(1997). Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. Ottawa, Ont: Libraxus
Inc, Available online at

November 26

Widdowson, F. (2006). The Political Economy of Aboriginal Dependency:
A Critique of the Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. Available online
, part 1 & part 3.

December 3

Bedford, D. (2001). The Tragedy of Progress: Marxism, Modernity and
the Aboriginal Question. Halifax: Fernwood Pub.

Churchill, W. (1996). From a Native Son: Selected Essays in
Indigenism, 1985-1995. Boston: South End Press, p. 461-482.

December 10

Alfred, G.R. (1990). Peace, Power, Righteousness: An Indigenous
Manifesto. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press.

September 3, 2009 Posted by | FNSWG Events | Leave a comment

Callout for June 13, 2009 delegated meeting in support of Six Nations

Invitation to a delegated meeting to discuss building solidarity with
Six Nations — hosted by the CUPE 3903 First Nations Solidarity Working
Group (FNSWG) and the Hosgenegehta (Haudenosaunee Men’s Fire)

Dear Friends,

We would like to invite your organization to send two delegates to take
part in a special meeting that that the CUPE 3903 First Nations
Solidarity Working Group (FNSWG) is organizing in conjunction with the
Hosgenegehta (Haudenosaunee Men’s Fire). The aim of the meeting is to
introduce the Hosgenegehta — who have been leading Six Nations
resistance to development on traditional lands — to activist groups in
Toronto and to facilitate the sharing of information and support between
our different struggles for social justice and liberation.

As many of you might know, the CUPE 3903 FNSWG and the Hosgenegehta have
been organizing a seven city speaking tour with representatives from the
Hosgenegehta over the past month. One thing that is becoming
increasingly clear to us is the disconnect between activists in our city
and the very important and ongoing indigenous struggle that is happening
on the largest (by population) reserve in Canada — one that is less
than an hour’s drive away from Toronto.

Although people were familiar with the Caledonia reclamation, and many
Toronto activists went down to support it, there has been virtually no
support for activists at Six Nations since the reclamation transitioned
into a different and more protracted form of struggle. Over 30 people
from Six Nations have been arrested since then, and they have stopped
more than $2 billion worth of construction and development efforts.
Currently, the Canadian state’s strategy of criminalization of dissent
has reached a new level as key leaders within the community are facing
jail time for their refusal to abide by a variety of different
injunctions which seek to halt indigenous protest at construction sites
in the Brantford area.

Another frustration shared by both the CUPE 3903 FNSWG and the
Hosgenegehta is that while individual high profile events receive a
large scale turnout very little work is being done in concrete,
coordinated and ongoing ways to build the kinds of long-term
relationships that are necessary between indigenous struggles and other
anti-capitalist, environmental, anti-colonial and anti-imperialist

Consequently, as part of a speaking tour, we are organizing a one-day
event on Saturday, June 13, beginning at 4 p.m. that will have half a
dozen representatives from the men’s fire present to talk about the
current situation in Six Nations and what it is they need from various
groups that wish to support them. Instead of organizing this as a public
meeting we want to hold this as a closed “delegates only” meeting and
would like to request that your group send two delegates to the meeting.
This way, the delegates can report back to their organization and
hopefully ensure that solidarity with Six Nations is done in a more
ongoing and consistent fashion.

Following the completion of the tour we will be having a meeting at Six
Nations hosted by the Hosgenegehta, to which delegates from all the
different organizations that were involved in the tour will be invited
to talk further about building an ongoing support network around Six
Nations struggles. The various groups that attend the June 13th meeting
in Toronto will be invited to send delegates to the meeting in Six Nations.

Please let us know if you are interested in attending the meeting on
June 13th, and if you can think of some other groups that should also be
there. Please email to confirm your attendance at
the meeting or call Tom at 416-526-4255.

In solidarity and struggle,

The CUPE 3903 First Nations Solidarity Working Group

July 21, 2009 Posted by | FNSWG Events, six nations | Leave a comment