Call for Action: Anti-Native journalist from The Globe and Mail, Christie Blatchford, is soon coming to Your Community!!!

The First Nations Solidarity Working Group (FNSWG) of Toronto is issuing
a call for communities to organize and respond to Christie Blatchford as
she makes her way across Canada promoting her new book, /Helpless;
Caledonia’s Nightmare of Fear and Anarchy, and How the Law Failed All of
Us/ releasing on October 26th 2010.
(http://www.randomhouse.ca/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780385670395)

In her book Blatchford chronicles the events starting in 2006 at
“Douglas Creek Estates” in Caledonia where the Haudenosaunee (Six
Nations) people of the Grand River reclaimed land that has been in
“dispute” for over 150 years.  In the years, months and days leading up
to the reclamation, and for more than a century, Six Nations people have
educated, warned and entreated governments and residents to resolve the
unlawful development of their land. Drawing upon some centuries-old
colonial and racist tropes, Blatchford portrays Six Nations people, who
were compelled to respond to the continual corporate development and
theft of their land, as “criminals.” Ignoring the rampant anti-Native
rallies that became weekly occurrences in the early part of the
“crisis”, where police were often stretched to their limits controlling
the crowds who chanted around barrels of fire “burn natives burn”,
Blatchford champions white Caledonia residents as hero-victims, rendered
helpless and traumatized by “native lawlessness.”  Christie Blatchford
does not speak for Caledonia.  The residents of Caledonia hold a variety
of diverse opinions, and certainly not all of them asked to be portrayed
as “Helpless” by an irresponsible journalist.  Blatchford is in close
contact with leading anti-Native organizers in south-western Ontario and
her coverage of the “Caledonia Crisis” has been compared to “a zombie
movie. The Six Nations get to be the undead.”

Blatchford conveniently and very actively erases the fact that between
1951 and 2006, Six Nations has filed 29 land claims recognized as
legitimate by the Canadian government, and out of which, only one
claim,  has been resolved. Equally important, Blatchford ignores the
colonial context of the violences of residential schools (behind the
former Mohawk Institute in Brantford,  Six Nations children who did not
survive the violences, were buried) , the massive incarceration of
Aboriginal peoples, deaths in police custody, the Indian Act, over 800
missing and murdered Aboriginal women, and other outside-imposed
governance structures under which Six Nations peoples have been living
and surviving for centuries.  Today, the current Six Nations land base
represents only 5% of the 950,00 acres outlined in the Haldimand
Proclamation of 1784 as their sovereign territory.  Blatchford says her
book is not about “aboriginal land claims”, but “the failure of
government to govern and to protect all its citizens equally.”
Blatchford is thus reproducing the colonial logic of erasing the
histories and present context of violence done to Indigenous nations and
peoples.  This erasure does not belong to Blatchford alone, mainstream
media accounts of the reclamation have been largely distorted with
sensationalistic accounts that portray Caledonia as an ongoing warzone.

When the root of the “Caledonia Crisis” is the ongoing land-theft of Six
Nations territory, we need to ask Blatchford what she means by stating
that her book is not about land claims. We need to show people reading
or listening to her , how the erasure of land claims decontextualizes
the very root of the issue, and works to portray Indigenous land
defenders as “thugs” bent on chaos and anarchy.  We need to go out in
our communities to underline that in order to uphold the “rule of law” ,
Treaties – the foundation of Canadian law – must be upheld and respected.

Christie Blatchford is taking her book on a tour across Canada and will
be selling her book at your local bookstores and/or be making an
appearance in your community.  We must not allow Blatchford’s account of
the events at Caledonia to go unchallenged.  We are calling on you to
respond to Blatchford’s appearance in your community and educate others
about the context of Six Nations reclamation, land-claims, and colonialism.

Let us also show Blatchford that she does not speak for all Canadians
and that we will not let her speak in our name. Organize and respond to
Blatchford’s presence in your community at bookstores and everywhere she
is making speaking appearances.

For questions, information, resources or to share ideas with other group
who are organizing responses please contact info@6nsolidarity.ca
<mailto:info@6nsolidarity.ca&gt;

For more background information and context please go to:
https://6nsolidarity.wordpress.com/

Here is a list of Blatchford’s currently advertised Book Tour appearances:

McNally Robinson, WINNIPEG. Grant Park in the Atrium. Nov 3, 2010. 7pm
Chedoke Presbyterian church, HAMILTON. 865 Mohawk Road West. Nov 6,
2010. 7pm
Aurora Public Library, AURORA. Nov 9 2010, 7pm
University of Waterloo, WATERLOO. Humanities Theatre, Hagey Hall. Nov
12, 2010, 7pm
Ramsay Breakfast, George Restaurant, Verity Women’s Club, TORONTO. 111C
Queen Street East, November 17th, 7:30 am.
Books & Breakfast series,  Le Centre Sheraton Hotel, MONTREAL. 1201 Rene
Levesque Blvd. W. Nov 28, 10 am
UofT – Wordsworth College, TORONTO. March 14th 2011, 6pm

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1 Comment

Filed under Anti-Native Activism, Caledonia, Haldimand Tract, Racism, Uncategorized, White Supremacists

One response to “Call for Action: Anti-Native journalist from The Globe and Mail, Christie Blatchford, is soon coming to Your Community!!!

  1. Blatchford Speaking Event in Hamilton: Tuesday November 16th

    ** not Saturday the 6th!– the date is widely posted as the 6th but this is incorrect! **

    for more info contact:
    hamilton.6n.solidarity@gmail.com

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