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KI takes nonviolent approach with defense project

I choose this article because, though many exist, people don't usually hear about aboriginal non violent movements. This article in particular deals with an aboriginal group in Canada. A group was arrested for refusing to let there be mining exploration on their native lands. As a result of the arrests, the local tribe decided to make a non violent defense program to protect themselves and their land. I thought it was really interesting that they would collectively agree to use non violent actions as the means in which they would defend their people.

http://www.wawataynews.ca/archive/all/2008/9/4/KI-takes-nonviolent-approach-with-defense-project_13960

The recent incarceration of the KI 6, sentenced to six months in jail for refusing mining exploration on their land, has prompted Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug community leaders to create a non-violent defense program that will protect its people and homeland.

September 4, 2008: Volume 35 #18

“Around the world, there’s conflict between Aboriginal people and government. The only option we have available to us is protesting,? Jacob Ostaman, director of the land and environment unit for KI, said.

“In our case, our people were incarcerated. Our leaders that were incarcerated protested in a nonviolent way. During their time of incarceration, our people also protested in a nonviolent way. We will not budge.?

Ostaman said the community would continue to approach protests with non-violence with the creation of the KI Defense Project.

The idea of the project is to establish KI jurisdiction and self-determination over its homeland to protect its right to lands and waters in KI traditional territory.

“It is our primary goal to train our youth leaders and community citizens to assert self determination, sovereignty and jurisdiction over our homeland through non-violence resistance and informative strategic action,? Chief Donny Morris said in his welcome address during training sessions on the project Aug. 18-27.

The first of three sessions discussed non-violent direct action planning and practice.

Participants were given the opportunity to reflect and learn from historical nonviolent resistance of First Nations and their struggle for sovereignty, to identify current problems and solutions and to prepare for future action.

Building

The second session, presented by Dr. Sharon Venne, focused on a rights-based approach. Venne is an international legal advisor for Indigenous people. She discussed sovereignty and treaty relations with an emphasis on the status of Treaty 9.

She also discussed Supreme Court cases that deal with Aboriginal rights and the legal impact of the KI decision.

Her session also discussed treaty lands entitlement and the overall importance of getting consent from a First Nation in regards to land use.

The third session was called Using the United Nations Systems to Defend Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights and Hold Countries Accountable.

Indigenous members from the International Indian Treaty Council were on hand for the final session on using the United Nation systems to defend Indigenous rights.

The organization has worked to build worldwide Indigenous unity, address human rights violations threatening indigenous peoples’ survival and to achieve the recognition of Indigenous rights internationally.

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