London, Ontario February 4th, 2022 – Among the many images of the convoy protest in Ottawa are videos of people dancing using Indigenous hand drums, participating in a mock peace pipe ceremony, and the use of what appears to be a sacred fire. All of these actions have been done without the consent and permission of the Algonquin Peoples, whose Traditional Territory is where this protest is taking place.
Grand Chief Joel Abram states “This is completely unacceptable and it’s making a mockery of all Indigenous Peoples. This is not about whether we support or condemn the actions of this protest. This is about the abuse of our ways for a political position and using them as a prop to lend credence to their actions. There are proper procedures that must be followed when certain ceremonies are done on the Territory of another Nation’s land and by not following proper protocol can cause harm not to just the people but to our medicines.”
Deputy Grand Chief Stacia Loft states “We cannot support the appropriation of Indigenous cultures and ceremonies particularly when it is being trivialized and used to further a political agenda. These issues and concerns are not about the protest but about the improper use of sacred items and ceremonies, that are of deep cultural significance and meaning which must be respected.”
The Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians stand behind and support other Indigenous Nations in their call for the cease and desist of cultural appropriation and request for these actions by the protest to stop.