Indigenous Sovereignty Week in Ottawa Oct 27-Nov4

Oct 23, 2010

Indigenous Sovereignty Week in Ottawa Oct 27-Nov4


Indigenous Voices Call for Justice, Self Determination and Revitalization

Ottawa, (Unceded AlgonquinTerritory), October 21, 2010:

From October 27 to November 4, diverse voices will speak in Ottawa on Indigenous struggles across Canada. The events are part of Ottawa’s second annual Indigenous Sovereignty Week. The week is a part of a national grassroots initiative to build relationships and raise awareness about the issues and struggles of indigenous people that are often marginalized in Canadian society.

The Ottawa events feature speakers who have distinguished themselves in their work towards Indigenous self-determination, cultural revitalization and environmental justice. The focal point of the week is a full-day Indigenous Sovereignty Symposium on Sat October 30. Presenters during the week include:

  • Sharon McIvor who won a landmark case that challenged Canada’s gender discrimination as set out in the Indian Act; 
  • Bob Lovelace, who served time in jail for defending the Ardoch Algonquin Territory, west of Ottawa from uranium exploration;
  • Ellen Gabriel, president of Quebec Native Women Inc. who was a spokesperson during the defence of Kanesatake (Oka Crisis).
  • Marylynn Poucachiche, community spokesperson for the Algonquins of Barriere Lake who are fighting to protect their lands, language and customs from policies imposed by the Quebec and Canadian governments. 

During the October 30 symposium Clayton Thomas-Muller of the Indigenous Environmental Network will be addressing the disconnect between mainstream environmental groups and frontline Indigenous communities. Thomas-Muller comments that “for far too long, the mainstream environmental movement has been advocating solutions like the Canadian Boreal Forest Accord that do not reflect the on-the-ground needs of frontline Indigenous communities” .

"We are all treaty people" says Greg Macdougall, a member of the ISW planning committee and an Indigenous solidarity activist. "This week is an opportunity for everyone to find ways to work towards a more just and respectful relationship between Indigenous peoples and Canadian immigrant society”.


Full information is online at: - all events are free/by donation



  • Bob Lovelace, 613-374-5594
  • Marylynn Poucachiche, 819-441-4923
  • Clayton Thomas-Muller, 218-760-6632
  • Greg Macdougall, 613-656-5498,


FULL SCHEDULE: more details will be available online -

Wednesday Oct 27, 7:00pm
Film - Schooling the World: The White Man's Last Burden
… at PSAC building JK Wylie boardoom, 233 Gilmour

Friday Oct 29, 7:00pm
Seeking Justice: A National Call for an Public Enquiry for the Murdered and Missing Women
* Sharon McIvor, successful challenger of sex discrimination in the Indian Act
* Laurie Odjick, mother of Maisy Odjick (missing since Sept 2008)
* Yasmin Jiwani, Concordia University
… at Lamoureux Hall room 122, University of Ottawa

Saturday Oct 30, 9:00am-5:30pm
Indigenous Sovereignty Symposium
featuring: Clement Chartier, Clayton Thomas-Muller, Marcelo Saavedra-Vargas, Ben Powless, representatives from the Algonquins of Barriere Lake, Native Youth Sexual Health Network, National Association of Friendship Centres, and more...
* opening and closing ceremonies
* plenaries: Climate Justice, Defending the Land
* concurrent sessions: Indigenous Peoples Space, Working as an Ally, Indigenous Sovereignty in an Urban Context, Reclaiming Indigenous Youth Self-Determination, Land Conservation and Indigenous Sovereignty
… at Lamoureux Hall (1st floor), University of Ottawa

Tuesday Nov 2, 5:00pm
Undermining Indigenous Rights: Conflicts with Mining Companies in Canada and Guatemala
with Ramsey Hart of MiningWatch
… venue to be confirmed (on campus of Carleton University)

Wednesday Nov 3, 11:30am-2:00pm
The Oka Crisis – 20 Years Later: Is Reconciliation Possible? (bilingual event)
* Ellen Gabriel, Présidente, Femmes autochtones du Québec
* Francine Lemay, Traductrice agréée, “À l’orée des bois” | “At the Wood’s Edge”
* Pierre Trudel, Chercheur, Peuples autochtones et gouvernance, CRDP Université de Montréal\CEGEP Vieux-Montréal
* Jessica Yee, Chair, National Aboriginal Youth Council, Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network
… at Desmarais Building room 3120, University of Ottawa

Thursday Nov 4, 7:00pm
Film - A Windigo Tale
Ottawa premiere, with director Armand Garnet Ruffo in attendance
… at National Library and Archives auditorium, 395 Wellington St