[scroll down for event info]
June 21st is a significant day.
First, it is the Summer Solstice. Here is a story for all to relate to:
During this time, in the third century B.C., a Greek scholar named Eratosthenes calculated the first known measurement of the size of the Earth. He simply used the shadow of the sun as it cast in two cities during the Summer Solstice. His measurement was so accurate that it could not be improved upon for centuries until more accurate measuring tools were created. In fact, his experiment calculating the circumference of the Earth is still used in science classes today. In this way, children are meant to understand how our relationship with the Sun and Earth can reveal great things about our World.
Below are pictures of students around the world replicating Eratosthenes’ experiment.
Second, June 21st is National Aboriginal Day in Canada. This year is particularly important because there are several events which will converge in Ottawa on June 21st, officially kicking off SOVEREIGNTY SUMMER. Click on the photo of the event below, and it will link you to more information.
A SACRED JOURNEY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
Walking to Ottawa in a show of opposition to changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act in the federal budget, a group of First Nation protestors from Northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba are walking a total distance of 3,426 kilometres.
Calling themselves ‘A Sacred Journey for Future Generations’, Stanley Mission’s Bruce McKenzie says the effort began on March 16 in temperatures of -37 degrees celcius with four members of his community who recently discovered that the Churchill River – upon which their community relies for fishing, trapping and traditional activities — was no longer a federally-protected waterway.
Their ranks have since grown to 11 members along the way and the group is among several First Nations groups currently staging long distance protest walks to the nation’s capital over recent environmental legislation’s effects on Treaty rights. (Photo by Debbie Mihalicz)
FOLLOW THE WALKERS: https://www.facebook.com/groups/333809070054114/
JOURNEY FOR THE EARTH
This group of 5 Dene Nation Walkers from Saskatchewan that were originally with a larger group , “A Sacred Journey for Future Generations”, who are making their way across Canada to Toronto, and on to Ottawa for June 21st Nat’l Aboriginal Day.
They have diverged to double the ability to spread awareness of the devastating attack on our Environment – Land, Air, Water – through Harper’s Omnibus Bills and the illegal international deal known as FIPA, as these will have disastrous consequences for Earth if treaty obligations to protect the land are diminished. Their territory in Saskatchewan is home to Canada’s uranium extraction, and possible home to Canada’s nuclear waste. Toronto is another stop in the nuclear fuel chain industry.
INFO ON THEIR TORONTO VISIT: https://www.facebook.com/events/157283251111210/
HIGHWAY OF BROKEN DREAMS
“Beginning in The Pas, and walking back to Winnipeg, we will stop every kilometre to place a Dreamcatcher in memory of our missing and murdered women and girls. Blaine has been making many Dreamcatchers, and has been planning this event for a year, now. He has asked me to join him on this walk, and I am very honoured to do so. We understand that this walk will be emotionally charged for us, and, more so, for the families of missing and murdered women and girls who must always be remembered. Never forgotten.”
FOLLOW THE WALKERS: https://www.facebook.com/events/499524960095325/
TREATY FREEDOM CARAVAN
On June 6, 2013, Grand Chief Derek Nepinak of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, along with former Chief Norman Bone of the Keeseekowenin Ojibway First Nation in the Treaty 2 lands of Riding mountain, along with technical and communications support staff, began a trip across the ancestral lands and treaty territories within the contemporary political constructs of Manitoba, Saskatchewan & Alberta.
The Treaty Caravan is an extension of an existing mandate of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs to ensure that we begin re-establishing the treaty relationship on a nation to nation, treaty territory by treaty territory basis. This necessarily involves transcending contemporary provincial boundaries and promoting the treaty renewal message far and wide, without consideration of artificial boundaries created by settler society governments. It is anticipated that there may be other treaty people across the land that may join us on the treaty caravan. The caravan must be completed before June 21st, 2013. (Photo by Ben Raven)
FOLLOW THE CARAVAN: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1376742512537522/
JOURNEY TO THE TAR SANDS
HALIFAX, MI’KMAQ NATION – Beginning Wednesday, June 12, 2013 a single bicyclist shall embark from the Mi’kmaq Nation to begin a Journey to the Tar Sands. Dion Tootoosis from the Poundmaker Cree Nation of Saskatchewan is riding across the better part of Canada to participate in the 4th Annual Tar Sands Healing Walk that is scheduled for July 5 & 6, 2013 in Fort McMurray, Alberta.
The purpose of this Journey is to interact with peoples of various cultures living in Canada and bridge the gap of understanding of the reality that First Nations people face due to Natural Resource extraction.
“First leg of my ride by bicycle starts Wednesday – June 12: Leaving from traditional Mi’kmaq Lands, to Truro,NS to Moncton, NB to Fredericton,NB to Rivière Du- Loup,QC to Montreal,QC and then Ottawa, ON for June 21” -Tootoosis (Photo by Dion Tootoosis)
FOLLOW THE BIKER: https://www.facebook.com/events/180183348799892/
PADDLING FOR OUR WATERS
Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg members have expressed interest in taking a canoe excursion using our traditional travel route along the Gatineau River as a demonstration to place attention on the need to protect water and eco-systems along the Ottawa River watershed.
The canoe trip would begin in Wakefield, Quebec and arrive on Victoria Island in Ottawa, Ontario on June 21, 2013.
The purpose of the canoe trip is to raise awareness of the need to protect our waterways for everyone and we welcome everyone to join this group with a shared value of protecting water and our watershed.
INFO ON THE PADDLERS: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PaddlingforOurWaters/
CALLING ALL JINGLE DRESS DANCERS
To all of those who came out for #J28, grab your friends and join us on the Hill for June 21st for Aboriginal Solidarity Day. This is an invitation to ALL Dancers to come out and dance for your people, our rights, and our future!
“As Jingle Dress Dancers it is part of our responsibility to dance for those who need healing, it is also our role as women to protect our waters. Our waterways are the life blood of Mother Earth, even the smallest creek helps to filter our water and keep it clean. With out fresh water life on this planet will cease to exist.” Azure Smith-Spencer
INFO ON JINGLE DRESS DANCERS: https://www.facebook.com/events/464033973678929/
MILLION FIRST PEOPLES’ MARCH
A mass gathering for all First Peoples’ to be held at Parliament Hill in Ottawa on June 21st, 2013 to raise awareness about Indigenous sovereignty and treaty rights.
The conservative government has pushed through hundreds of pages of legislation that go against treaty rights of aboriginal people without consulting First Nations or canadians. The latest omnibus Bill C-45 is being criticized by canadians, environmentalists and Aboriginal groups. It’s a bill that effects mother earth drastically and as stewards of the land and mother earth we must stand up against these reforms which are being made under the guise that they will make things better for our society economically and financially when in reality they are detrimental to the life, spirit and longevity of mother earth and so to ourselves!
So we ask you to come from wherever you are in solidarity and unity, to bring your prayers, your drums, rattles, voices, regalia and spirits to this event! An event that will bring awareness, education, a sense of unity, responsibility and community to the people!
This will be a peaceful protest, a day for prayer, ceremony, community and enlightenment. Please share this with all your friends across turtle island and let’s come together as one for the first Million First People’s March on Turtle Island! Idle No More!
EVENT INFO: https://www.facebook.com/events/198256696982467/
NATIONAL ABORIGINAL DAY
This year Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) has produced a poster featuring the turtle. The CUPW Human Rights Committee Aboriginal working group chose the turtle.
“The turtle represents strength and longevity. First Nations, Métis, and Inuit members want the strength of their clans to have a presence within the union; this presence will strengthen each member to stand strong in their struggle for our rights as people.”
CUPW National office mailed the posters to locals earlier this month. The union also asked locals to consider holding information sessions on the importance of supporting the Idle No More movement.
INFO ON CUPW IDLE NO MORE: http://www.cupw.ca/index.cfm/ci_id/14567/la_id/1
(Cover Photo by Fred Chartrand / THE CANADIAN PRESS)