Indigenous Peoples Solidarity

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: “...To proclaim freedom for the prisoners” -- Settler colonialism and deaths in custody

CPTnet
23 December 2016
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: “...To proclaim freedom for the prisoners” -- Settler colonialism and deaths in custody

by Chuck Wright

Recently my team mate Kathy and I attended an information picket outside the Manitoba Government and Employees Union - representing correctional officers in Manitoba - to demand accountability for deaths in custody at the Winnipeg Remand Centre (WRC). MGEU has an opportunity to utilize their union’s power to exert real pressure on Manitoba Justice to make public the results of the WRC’s internal investigations and hold their members accountable. However, by shirking this responsibility, urging the public to “reserve judgment” until “all the facts are in” - facts that may never see the light of day - and passing the buck to government policies (many of which are a definite source of the problem), they have been complicit in these deaths.

Protesting in the snow

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: Call for solidarity from Standing Rock across different communities

CPTnet

19 December 2016

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: Call for solidarity from Standing Rock across different communities

by John Bergen

I first learned about CPT as a young child, when a member of my church joined a delegation to Palestine. This was the late 90s, and CPT was standing alongside Palestinians facing home demolitions (the Campaign for Secure Dwellings). I didn't fully understand why Israeli military forces were demolishing people's homes and taking their land but instinctively I knew that it was wrong.

Fast forward almost twenty years, and CPT continues to stand alongside people’s movements to protect community, water, and land. After I graduated from high school, I went on my own CPT delegation (to Grassy Narrows) and eventually trained with CPT and served with the teams in Kurdistan and Palestine.

People Gathering in Oceti Sakowin Camp

Photo published by Oceti Sakowin camp website. (©Toni Cervantes)

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: Short Hills Deer Harvest Becomes the Site of Reconciliation.

CPTnet

15 December 2016

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: Short Hills Deer Harvest Becomes the Site of Reconciliation.

By Rachelle Friesen, Peter Haresnape, Murray Lumley, and Allan Slater

For the last three years, the Haudenosaunee deer harvest in Short Hills Provincial Park has become a place of tension as animal rights advocates have protested the Haudenosaunee right to hunt. The protestors operate under the banner of animal rights and need for safety; however in actuality most of the protestors are local property owners.  This year, although the protests still happened and moments of tension occurred, the overwhelming feeling was one of reconciliation, learning, and decolonization.

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) has been involved in supporting the Haudenosaunee deer harvest in previous years, providing an avenue of witness, non-violent direct action, documentation and advocacy surrounding the harvest. CPT believes in the importance for the Haudenosaunee to have access to harvest the deer, as enshrined in the treaties. Although we admit that treaties were often signed under duress and deceit, we believe the implementation of the treaties is the basic minimum that Canadian society can do. 

Banners in the protest

Photo by Murray Lumley

Prayers for Peacemakers December 9, 2016


Pray with
 the water protectors at Oceti Sakowin camp as they nonviolently stand for our water, our earth, and our great grandchildren. Give thanks for their victories and steadfastness so far, and pray for them as they continue to build and develop their anti-colonial camp despite the frigid winter. 

Indigenous and non-indigenous people marching together at Oceti Sakowin Camp

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: The spiritual roots of resistance at Standing Rock run deep

The U.S. Army corps of engineers has today, December 4, 2016 announced that they will deny key permits for the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline and explore alternative routes, one day ahead of a deadline they'd set for the evacuation of Oceti Sakowin. As we celebrate this victory, it is important to name the sacred roots of the resistance at the camp, which is often portrayed with ugly caricatures drawing on centuries old stereotypes of Indigenous Peoples.

When I told my friend Erica Littlewolf that I was going to Standing Rock for a week as a reservist with Christian Peacemaker Teams, she encouraged me to reflect from "a mind space and also a heart space" as a white man in that setting. I heard this refrain again on my first morning in the camp during our orientation to Oceti Sakowin camp, when the facilitators invited us to focus on our heart space and "walk in touch with the land and with themselves." That might mean, for example, holding onto our questions instead of asking them immediately so that we can listen to the knowing in ourselves.

Again and again during my week there, I felt Oceti Sakowin pull me into that heart space.

Prayers for Peacemakers, November 2, 2016

Prayers for Peacemakers, November 2, 2016 

Give thanks for the world-wide solidarity the thousands of Indigenous Water Protectors in the Standing Rock encampments have aroused.  Pray for the healing of those brutalized by law enforcement officers this past weekend.  Pray that volunteers for the CPT – Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Team will become available to travel to Standing Rock, as the oppression of state actors and Dakota Access Pipeline security personnel becomes ever more violent.

*Epixel for Peacemakers  November 2, 2016 
Photo by Unicorn Riot
Hear a just cause, O LORD; attend to my cry; give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit.
From you let my vindication come; let your eyes see the right…
Guard me as the apple of the eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings,
from the wicked who despoil me, my deadly enemies who surround me. Psalms 17:1-2, 8-9
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings. Psalm 17:1-2, 8-9

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: All the way to the top--CPT Steering Committee endorses UNDRIP (United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples)


We have described to you a mountain. We have shown you a path to the top. We call on you to do the climbing-Judge Murray Sinclair (Commissioner for Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission)

One spring day, CPT Iraqi Kurdistan team climbed a Kurdish mountain. Our partners planned the day and, at the beginning of the path, villagers came out to wave at us as we began the trek. Our vegetarian teammate graciously carried the pot of meat for the barbeque. We thought it made sense to hike partway and then lighten our load by burning the wood to cook the chicken, which we would eat with all the other food we hauled.  Although we thought we knew how to do this, it became apparent that despite our good intentions, we had no idea how the day would go. When we wanted to stop, our Kurdish partners told us to keep going— all the way to the top! 

The trail was a goat track with stones and holes in the way. We had to clamber over large rocks in the pathway. It would have been easy to turn an ankle or to fall off the side. Yet our partners told us that our goal was the top ridge, when finally we could rest, put down the burdens of the meat pot, firewood and a huge stack of bread and have a feast together. 

Now CPT is again climbing a mountain—the one described by Judge Murray Sinclair at the end of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in Canada through which the world was exposed to the reality and horrors of 150 years of residential schools in Canada. The commission spent six years traveling to different parts of Canada to hear the testimony of approximately six thousand Indigenous people. They heard of children as young as three years taken away from their families and placed in residential schools to assimilate them into European settler society—a policy Justice Sinclair would declare “cultural genocide.” As a response, the commissioners of the TRC laid out ninety-four calls to action that communities and institutions on Indigenous lands can take to work for reconciliation. 

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Full-time Indigenous Peoples Solidarity field team member sought

 

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is accepting expressions of interest for the position of: Full-time Field Team Member.  All members of CPT’s Peacemaker Corps and qualified people from outside the corps are eligible to apply.

Team: Indigenous Peoples Solidarity (IPS)

Reports to Project Support Coordinator

Status: Full-time, stipended, three year term

Stipend: $1000US/month (independent living – no “team house”)

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada) – Turtle Island

Start Date: December 1, 2017

Indigenous Peoples Solidarity: CPT-IPS team visits No Dakota Access Pipeline camps


"The Creator is our weapon," a speaker said at a community meeting in the Sacred Stone Spirit camp, "and we need no other." 

Responding to an inquiry about presence at the No Dakota Access Pipeline camps near Cannonball, ND, the CPT-Indigenous Peoples Solidarity team recently organized a short trip to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation to explore what support they could offer water defenders. The camps have become a gathering place for many peoples opposing the threat the Bakken oil pipeline poses to the Missouri River and other shared waterways.   

Our small delegation camped at the Sacred Stone Spirit Camp, the first of three camps to be established at Standing Rock. Ladonna Brave Bull Allard, a Lakota tribal historian on whose land the camp is located, described the objectives of the camp as protecting the water, preventing the Dakota Access Pipeline, building a community of people who care for and respect one another and the land, and bringing about a shift in world thought with regard to humans' relationship with the earth. During our time there, we heard repeatedly that "this is a camp founded on prayer."  

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Applications sought for Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Project Support Coordinator postion

 

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is accepting expressions of interest for the position of IPS Project Support Coordinator 

Participants in the 2015 Anishinaabe Waterwalk against the Energy East pipeline

Team: Administrative Team

Reports to: Program Director

Status: Stipended, half-time, 20 hours/week

Stipend: $1,000 USD/mo

Location: Turtle Island  (Canada–preferred—or United States)

Start Date: December 1st, 2016

Application Deadline: October 30, 2016

Position Purpose: This half-time (20 hours/week) position supports CPT’s Indigenous People Solidarity Program efforts to amplify the voices of and support Indigenous nations, communities and movements in Turtle Island seeking justice and defending lands against corporate and government exploitation, as well as a commitment to undoing colonialism in churches.