Saturday, February 21, 2009

Coming up this March 7 at the Red Road Lodge, 631 Main St., a fundraiser to support Roberta Keesick. Here's the details.
The Boreal Action Project / Friends of Grassy Narrows / WIPSM Friends in Solidarity Coffeehouse Fundraiser: Standing with Grassy Narrows:
Support Roberta Keesick
Causes - Fundraiser

Time and Place
Start Time:

Saturday, March 7, 2009 at 7:00pm
End Time:
Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 12:00am
Red Road Lodge
631 Main Street @ Logan (side entrance)
Winnipeg, MB

Contact Info
Co-sponsored by Sweet Spot Productions

7:00 - Doors
7:00 to 7:55 pm - 'Meet & Greet'
8:00 to 8:10 pm - 'Words of Welcome'
Alon Weinberg, Winnipeg Indigenous Peoples' Solidarity Movement
8:10 to 8:15 pm - Spoken Word
Shayla Elizabeth, Aboriginal Writer's Collective
8:15 to 8:45 pm - Musical Guest TBA
9:00 to 9:15 pm - Guest of Honour
Gwawich, Anishinabek from Asubpeeschoseewagong, Friends of Grassy Narrows speaks about her experiences on asserting Aboriginal rights on traditional territories.
9:15 to 9:30 pm - Gwawich Q&A
9:30 - 9:35 - Film Excerpt 'Scars of Mercury'
Tadashi Orui and Thor Aitkenhead present an excerpt of 'Scars of Mercury' about mercury poisoning in Grassy Narrows, White Dog and Japan.
9:35 to 9:45 - Thor Aitkenhead & Tadashi Orui Q&A
9:45 to 10:00 pm - Guest Speaker TBA
10:10 to 10:15 pm - Spoken Word
Werner Van Harder, Political Wordist
10:15 to 10:45 pm - Musical Guest
A Choir of Rog – One man. One Voice. One intention... influenced by the Tuvan voice, the wind, Buddhist monks, Inuit games, and Dextar – a soul mate who has come to pass in this life...
10:55 to 11:00 pm - Spoken Word
Kitty, Poet
11:00 to 11:45 pm - Musical Guest
Jason Tuesday, Singer Songwriter (Facebook)
11:45 to 12:00 pm - Silent Auction, Raffle, Thank Yous - Alon Weinberg, Susanne McCrea, Paulette LaFortune

$5 in advance at the following outlets:

Mondragon Bookstore and Coffeehouse, 91 Albert

Organic Planet, 877 Westminster

Neechi Foods, 325 Dufferin

Info Booth, University of Winnipeg, Main Floor


$10 to $5 sliding scale includes one complimentary beverage and healthy foods snacks

Boreal Bounty Dinner also available.

Silent Auction.

The organizers of this event thank you in advance for your support of Roberta Keesick and her campaign.
Who is Roberta Keesick you may ask. Here's a little more information from the Facebook group set up to support her.
Support Roberta Keesick:
We are a group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people supporting Roberta Keesick in her defense of Anishinaabek land rights.
Contact Info:
Recent News
January 27, 2009
In early June, 2008 news that Grassy Narrows First Nation's demand that industrial logging on their territory stop was met when Abitibi-Bowater announced that they would not be seeking a licence in the Whiskey Jack Forest. However the struggle is not over. While the chainsaws have stopped at Grassy Narrows, persecution of those that assert their traditional rights on the land has not ended.

Roberta Keesick, a Grassy Narrows clan mother, trapper, blockader, and grandmother, is facing charges in Red Lake Ontario for building a trappers' cabin on her traditional family lands without a Provincial permit. She has been a tremendous force in the grassroots struggles at Grassy Narrows to reclaim traditional land and assert the right of self determination. The act for which she now faces criminal charges is part of a process of reclamation and revival for Grassy Narrows where people are using the land on their territory as their ancestors have for generations; it is a critically important piece of the work that is being undertaken by the people of Grassy Narrows to empower themselves and to sustain their families, revive their culture and heal their community-this access to land is crucial for the healing of First Nations, and it is this right that is being challenged by the court with the charges that have been brought against Roberta Keesick.

Roberta's trial date is in the spring, and while she has found a lawyer donating his services, he needs his costs of travel, and filing documents with the court covered. These costs will be approximately $4000. She is seeking donations for a legal defence fund. The assertion of rights on traditional land is one of the most important components of the ongoing struggle for Indigenous rights. This case has the potential to set an important precedent; Indigenous people have a right to traditional land use on their traditional territories. This case represents an example of the way that governments disable First Nations from sustaining and empowering themselves. Roberta Keesick's actions-the building of a trapping cabin on her own family's trap line-is a perfect example of how people from Grassy Narrows are asserting their rights through the straightforward actions of living an Anishnaabe life. It is of the utmost importance that any and all of us who are concerned with Indigenous rights and the well being of First Nations communities, support the grassroots struggles at Grassy Narrows and in other communities and to support Roberta Keesick in her struggle to simply live her life on her land. Please donate generously.

To make a donation to Roberta Keesick's legal defense fund you can send an email money transfer to Leah Henderson: . With the security question: what is your favourite flower Answer: sunflower.

You can also email to find alternative ways of donating (ie cheque, cash etc).

The following is a statement from Roberta's brother:
We should not have to explain ourselves to the government and the court . The
Anishinabek of Asubpeeschoseewagong have always lived in this part of the world.
The creator placed us here to live in freedom and harmony with the land, without
boundaries and interference . We can’t make a boundary around ourselves and
limit our way of life. The paddles of our ancestors have touched the waters of
every lake and river across this land. The feet of our relatives have touched
the soils of the earth from here to the horizon. Our Ancestors have placed their
hands on the rock face of every cliff along these lakes and rivers. The red hand
prints left on this earth forever are the signatures of our grandfathers and
grand mothers, this part of the world belongs to us. What the creator gives our
people, we do not change or question. Look at the forest and you see the trees,
the water, the animals and us . In the silence of your minds you recognize and
accept what is true and what has always been . We are a part of this land and
that is the truth.

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