WE WILL MAKE THEM AWARE OF US
London, Ontario June 29th, 2017 – The Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians calls for calm, and prays that the situation remains peaceful as we support the demonstration by youth to bring attention to Indigenous issues. The evening of June 28th was meant to be a peaceful demonstration by youth from First Nation communities on Parliament Hill, and the installation of a tipi was part of a ceremony to bring attention to the ongoing plight of Indigenous peoples in light of the upcoming Canada Day 150 celebrations. The mood escalated with the arrival of the RCMP who began to handcuff some of the youth, and would not allow the tipi to be set up where originally planned on Parliament Hill. The youth arrested were later released and were able to rejoin the group, but the RCMP barricaded access to Parliament Hill.
The Tipi was set up again early Thursday morning but on different grounds. While notice of trespass were served to many individuals, the peace was kept and violence did not occur. The purpose is to create an awareness that while Canada celebrates 150 years, to the Indigenous people it is a mark of 150 years of oppression, discrimination and ignorance. Their only wish is to educate the public on what has happened behind Canada’s flag and what continues to go on today.
Grand Chief Joel Abram stated, “We applaud the leadership of our youth who are once again at the forefront showing us the way, and implore all Canadians to listen to their message and consider the meaning of Canada Day 150 from a different perspective. Reconciliation begins with understanding, and understanding begins with listening with open minds and hearts. Indigenous peoples in this country are not in the mood to celebrate their own genocide on July 1st, and people need to hear that.”
AIAI will continue to monitor the situation as it progresses, and again repeats the call for peace and calm. Despite moments of heated exchange violence did not occur. The youth are to be acknowledged for not allowing negativity to rile them or break their spirit. We support their peaceful efforts and will continue to do so.