Posts Tagged ‘Algonquin’

Algonquins of Barriere Lake – Land Defenders – Videos

December 11th, 2016

Three videos, two current re No Mining, and one feature film now available pay-on-demand, are EMBEDDED BELOW or clickable: 5-min Nov 21 GroundWire News feature; 11-min Nov 22 Quebec National Assembly press conference (French w English subtitles); and 59-min 2013 Honour Your Word documentary (English w French subtitles, $4.99 on-demand).
UPDATE: Urgent call to action (Dec 16) – Appel à la solidarité (le 16 dec)

No Mining on Algonquin Territory, by Waylon Nottaway

“No Mining on Algonquin Land”, painting by Waylon Nottaway

Since the start of October 2016, Barriere Lake community members have set up a Land Defenders Camp to protect their territory from mining, from Copper One and other mining companies. Read more at ou en Francais,

Here are ways to support the efforts:


Recent articles

Mining Companies Encounter Barrier at Barriere Lake
by Sarah Nixon (The Leveller, Nov 23 2016)

Lac Barrière: l’assaut des minières
by Norman Matchewan (Le Devoir, Nov 21 2016)

Forthcoming book…

Grounded Authority: The Algonquins of Barriere Lake against the State
by Shiri Pasternak – based on the work contained in her 2013 thesis

Video #1: No Mining – Algonquins of Barriere Lake Land Defenders Camp – GroundWire News (5min)

  • November 21 2016, featuring interviews with Norm Matchewan (via The Circle, CHUO 89.1FM Ottawa) and Chief Casey Ratt (via OPIRG Roots Radio, CKCU 93.1FM Ottawa)

Video #2: Lac Barrière et Malartic – L’acceptabilité sociale des projets miniers? (11min, Fr w Eng sub)

  • November 22 2016 press conference at the Quebec National Assembly, featuring Amir Khadir of Quebec Solidaire, Priscille Trudel of Comité de citoyens de la zone sud de Malartic, and (starting at 5:25) Michel Thusky of the Algonquins of Barriere Lake.

Video #3: Honour Your Word (2013, 59min, directed by Martha Steigman; Eng w Fr sub; $4.99 ondemand)

  • The film draws us into the lives of two young leaders: Marylynn Poucachice, a mother of five, and Norman Matchewan, the soft-spoken son and grandson of traditional chiefs. Both spent their childhoods on the logging blockades their parents set up to win a sustainable development plan protecting their land. But it turns out signing the agreement was the easy part. Now, 20 years later, Norman and Marylynn are taking up the struggle of their youth, to force Canada and Quebec to honour their word.

Tribute: Grandfather William Commanda

August 7th, 2011
Photo from 2010  Circle of All Nations gathering –

Algonquin Elder Grandfather William Commanda passes on to the spirit world

On Wednesday (Aug 3rd), respected Algonquin elder and spiritual leader Grandfather William Commanda left this world after 97 years.

His life and the legacy he leaves with us are amazing. His work to bring people together, to foster love, forgiveness, justice and a better way of being for all people, have inspired many around the world.

In 2008, at the first Organizing For Justice conference, Grandfather conducted the opening ceremony where he offered prayers and blessings, and shared some of his story and insights with us. This was one of many, many ways that he offered support to varying efforts aimed at bringing about a better world.

We want to thank and honour him, for being there and helping us launch O4J in a good way, and also for all the other work he has done.

“In lieu of flowers, please look for ways to support his vision for the National Indigenous Centre at the Sacred Chaudiére Site.”


This weekend (Aug 5-7) marked the annual Circle of All Nations gathering at Grandfather’s residence in Kitigan Zibi, which has been held for over forty years. It turned out to be his going away party, and a time to reflect upon and celebrate his life and what he brought to so many of us.