There have been a series of recent events that have directly affected indigenous communities, within the Latin American and continental context. This is not a new occurrence; everything started more than 500 years ago, and everyone knows what the armed, cultural invasion brought to our continent. The damage has not been repaired, despite all the time that has passed by, and the regrets that have been said by western civilization.
The dignity of the indigenous peoples and nations of the continent has not been crushed, despite the planned genocide of assimilation imposed upon these millennial cultures. On the contrary in the last few decades, the organization and struggle for their intrinsic rights has been more vigilant with each passing day, as with the increasing grades of consciousness and disposal to struggle for their sovereignty and self-determination. Some more than others, but incentive is alive and has begun to go forward.
We see it end to end in our continent, in the south beyond the Andes; that long and narrow stretch of land, bathed along a contaminated ocean by transnational corporations known as Chile. Those who lust for power have taken over our territories, thanks to the permission given by the cowardly governments that have opened their doors to these companies in exchange for the scraps the empire throws at them, so they can thicken their dirty filthy pockets. They are traitors to their people and to their roots; they wallow in their corrupt state of lies and unbounded ambition. Inheritors of the Pinochet regime, and administrators of his politics and fascist constitution.
Immoral, racist representatives of a sick society that have launched themselves against an unarmed people; intimidating, incarcerating and murdering youth and elders. Assaulting and terrorizing entire communities, on the search for young liberators wearing military boots, worse than in the times of the dictatorship. Mapuche is the name that is criminalized; their courageous organizations, the men and women dignified of their race. What a historical shame for those in the government calling themselves socialist. What a shame for women to have representatives as deceitful as that who leads the country of Chile. You would have to be deceitful to lie and say to the UN that the Mapuches incarcerated by her neo-liberal system are not political prisoners, but “common delinquents.”
The shame that they forgot about their history. The shame of being the legal crooks of lands that do not belong to them; for wanting to develop a second colonization on Mapuche territory, that is nothing more than the extermination of a noble millennial people. One day they will be judged by history. Meanwhile, we leave the natural forces to look after and protect the ancient people with their part in this history. We men and women hold the other part, those that are not willing to let a second colonization happen in Arauco, in Malleco, nor in any other part of Mapuche territory.
Here in Canada, the same thing is happening. Perhaps in a different form, but the pillaging is seen despite the camouflage of grand terrains of flora; immensities of incalculable beauty. Large… everything is large. When one comes to this country everything shines, deceiving, as were the colonizers, as is the current empire, unnecessarily large, inflated with arrogance…. Savage; when it arrives at the indigenous reservations in the darkness, assaulting, clawing, submitting defenseless beings, seizing children, hitting elders and women, arresting youth… Advancing through ancient territory with their infernal machinery. Their factories poisoning the water. The contamination and indigenous poverty makes you shudder in the north, where the great cellulose companies destroy the forest and turn the water that runs through the streams into the color of oxide; burning eyes as you look, and your insides as you drink….
This may seem like a fable, an odyssey, but it is not. It is present north to south, east to west, in this immense show model known as Canada. Here as in the south of the continent, history repeats itself. The repression and displacement of cultures and territories are the product of the same patron of values: money. Universal corrupter of consciouses. The most horrendous injustices that a human being could conceive have been committed in its name. However the peoples and nations have said enough, and have begun to go forward as Che Guevara once said; their march of giants will not be detained. Forced for years to dwell in sacrifice and misery, the indigenous Nations throughout the entire territory have begun their march…
A little more than a year a ago on February 28, 2006, Hadonashonee, Six Nations of the Grand River Territory had to take over their own lands to stop the illegal construction of a housing development (the Douglas Creek Estates), in Kanonhstaton, the protected place. To this day, men and women confront with great courage and dignity, the defense of their territory in harsh climatic conditions and economic pressures on behalf of the government in the talks to recover their land. They are in constant harassment from the police authorities, and the racist population in its surroundings. Despite all the pressures and efforts remove and divide them, Six Nations of the Grand River Territory are more solid and united as ever under the banner of truth, dignity, and solidarity of their own people, and of brotherly peoples that have not been absent from the Reclamation site.
Recently, another front of struggle has arisen from the heart of the Mohawk peoples in Tyendinaga, in defense of their territory and displacement… The taking over of land in their own territory, protest through highway and rail blockades; the different actions of the indigenous peoples have the same cause:the struggle for the defense of their ancient territories, the preservation of their culture, autonomy and the right to decide and influence in their own matters.
That is why we say with much strength: yesterday Kanonhstaton, today Tyendinaga, tomorrow Beyond the Andes. The prophesy of the Eagle and the Condor will yet be realized.
The Women’s Coordinating Committee Chile-Canada