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Much as indigenous Palestinians have been resisting displacement from their lands since 1948 and even before, the original peoples of Turtle Island (“North America”) have been struggling against colonization since 1492. This panel discussion will bring together Native activists from different parts of the country to talk about their own communities’ struggles against colonialism and erasure. Links will be drawn between the current situation in Palestine and indigenous communities in Canada. Speakers will address various topics such as the impacts of the Alberta tar sands on native communities, residential schools, and anti-mining struggles on the Kanehsatake Mohawk territory.
Clifton Arihwakehte Nicholas is a Kanienkehaka (Mohawk) from Kanehsatake. Clifton is active in his community as both an activist and as a defender of his people. Clifton was one of the people who defended the community of Kanehsatake in 1990, he has been a staunch advocate of Indigenous resistance throughout Canada and the Americas. Since 1990 Clifton has been an outspoken supporter of Palestinian human rights and a critic of Israeli abuses and occupation of Palestine.
Audrey Redman is a Dakota Cree now based in Toronto. She is the former host of “Honour the Earth” on CKLN community radio. These days she is a freelance writer, and continues to speak out about her experience as a residential school survivor.
Ben Powless is Mohawk from Six Nations in Ontario, currently living in Ottawa, Canada. He is currently studying Human Rights, Indigenous and Environmental Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. He is heavily involved with IEN, focused on climate change and resource extraction in Indigenous territories. He has spent time working in Mexico, Guatemala, and Nicaragua on human rights and development issues. He is also a founder of the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition and on the national council for the Canadian Environmental Network.