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Date: Fri, 13 Oct 1995 17:45:46 CDT
Reply-To: Jim Davis <jdav@mcs.com>
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.missouri.edu>
From: Jim Davis <jdav@mcs.com>
Subject: Canada's First Nations
yy To: Multiple recipients of list ACTIV-L <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.missouri.edu>

Spirit of rebellion sweeps Canada's First Nations

By Allen Harris, 13 October 1995

In Canada, the native people are known as the First Nations, but under the present economic and social system there, they are the last and among the poorest.

It is no surprise that this year has seen an upsurge in revolutionary actions taken across that country. This is a continuation of the trend that came to international attention in 1990 with the armed confrontation between Mohawk warriors and the police in the town of Oka, Quebec.

This year, in the western province of British Columbia, Native peoples have blockaded forestry companies and a ski resort. In eastern Canada, First Nations in Labrador have protested the use of their land and airspace by NATO warplanes.

In September members of the Sushwap Nation occupied part of a ranch at Gustafsen Lake, while members of the Nuxalk nation blockaded a logging operation at a place called Fog Creek.

At the same time, First Nations fighters blockaded a park at Ipperwash, Ontario, on the shores of Lake Huron. There, police shot and killed one young blockader and wounded two others during what police said was a gunfight.

Common to many of these struggles is the aim of recovering traditional, sacred ancestral lands which were stolen by European settlers.

Here in the Western Hemisphere, 500 Years of Resistance has become a battle cry of our times, referring to the arrival of Christopher Columbus on October 12, 1492 and the five centuries of African slavery and the genocide of the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Capitalism eventually swallowed up our part of the world, but its first victims have never given up the fight for their existence and dignity.

Today, from the rain forests of Brazil, to the villages of Chiapas, Mexico, to the Dakota prairies to the lakes and mountains of Canada, a spirit of resistance, rebellion and of revolution is sweeping the Native peoples.