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CURRENT NEWS  

June 16, 2017



Greetings,

HERITAGE RIVER DAY AND THE URGENT CALL OF THE KICHISIPPI, THE OTTAWA RIVER

Well, 2017 has continued to be a hectic anniversary year for  Circle of All Nations since our March report.

We are still compiling our reports on our many activities, including participation in the CASCA-IAEUS International Anthropology Conference hosted at the University of Ottawa, and we shall share these soon.

But in the meanwhile, unprecedented spring flooding throughout the Ottawa River Watershed, compelled us to write to the Queen, Prime Minister, and several representatives of the Office of the Governor General, regarding our on going efforts to raise awareness of the critical need for shift from business as usual - with respect to the Asinabka Site - to environmental, Indigenous and peace, harmony and healing.


CIRCLE OF ALL NATIONS commemorates 50 years since Grandfather William Commanda introduced his campaign for Indigenous wisdom, reconciliation, peace, and healing in an "international" gathering in Eganville, Ontario  - that is how he launched Indigenous energy back into the centre on Canada's 100th birthday, with folk from both Canada and the United States.  Borders dissolved between Ontario and Quebec, and Canada and the United States, and Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples at that moment; and DID YOU KNOW THAT THE THEN PRESIDENT OF WEYERHAUSER, THE DOMINANT LUMBER COMPANY, ATTENDED THE GATHERING, AND WAS MADE AN HONORARY CHIEF?? I attach an excerpt of Grandfather's 2007 correspondence which makes reference to this; note the section in blue (this is from during the days of the North American Indian Nations' Government, before there was an AFN, while the White Paper was being developed, and before Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau assumed leadership).

Following this introduction, we include our latest correspondence on the Asinabka Sacred Chaudiere Site work - this with respect to THE HONOUR OF THE CROWN.

In September 2007, ten years ago, Elder Commanda wrote to then Weyerhauser/Domtar president Steven Rogel regarding his vision for the Sacred Chaudiere Site; this is during the period when he, consistent with the discussions at the 2006 Water Life Conference, with Algonquin and non-Indigenous water stewardship colleagues) also launched a massive campaign to stop the expansion of the Chaudiere dam (see www.asinabka.com for details.)

For this vision to materialize, we need Weyerhauser to relinquish the "lease in perpetuity" to Chaudière Island, and oversee the return of the stewardship of the area to the original caretakers, the Algonquin Peoples of the Ottawa River Watershed. I believe it is of crucial global importance for us to rekindle our ancient ties with the area with sacred ceremony, as an expression of our spirituality and as a symbolic gesture of reconciliation with Mother Earth.
 
Now may I get more specifically to the reason I am writing to you at this time.
 
First, I need to appeal to a heart and head beyond bureaucracy, whether within industry or government, to help me advance the work at this time.  I need corporate leaders such as yourself to join with me and countless others to support an Indigenous vision for a legacy of hope for all the world's children, in an age of environmental crisis and strife.
 
Second, I write to you because I too worked for many years in the lumber industry during its developing years, both in Canada and the United States, and I have also, over many decades, worked hard to rebalance some of the negative ramifications of this work. Now my work is primarily focused on strengthening indigenous heritage, environmental stewardship and peace building locally and globally.
 
In 1960, when employed by Weyerhaeuser Company, I had the good fortune to meet your predecessor, Mr. Jack Hobelsberger.  I am enclosing old correspondence between us that will give you a glimpse into the relationship we shared at that time. Mr. Hobelsberger was interested in our aspirations as Indigenous Peoples, graciously accepted our hospitality, and, upon being warmly received by Indigenous Peoples at our special assembly of the North American Indian Nations Government, was declared Honorary Chief of North American Indian Nations Tribes.  He expressed deep appreciation of this honour, and in turn, he offered us a token of support to advance our efforts. 
 
But the relationship of respect went even further.  When he understood my work, commitment and nature, he expressed his trust in me and support of my larger work, by strengthening my position as employee - I was given a company car and a cheque book, and I went out alone thereafter to secure veneer logs for the company, in both Canada and the United States - that was a significant status for a native person fifty years ago.  I worked for Weyerhaeuser till my retirement at the age of 65.  I am now almost 94.
 
I have continued to work steadily over the years, but now, my efforts are focused on promoting Respect for Mother Earth and strengthening a Circle of All Nations.  In 2005, I was presented with an Honorary Doctorate Degree by the University of Ottawa, in recognition of these efforts; in 2006, I, a resident of Maniwaki, Quebec, was presented with the Key to the City of Ottawa, Ontario, the capital city, and I see this as a commencement of the healing of the wounds of division that have separated Indigenous Peoples from our sacred heartland and the newer inhabitants of our ancestral lands.
 
I am now working hard to ensure that the spirit of the sacred Three Figure Sharing Wampum Belt, which I have carried since 1970, with which my ancestors signified their commitment to share the grand natural resources of the continent and their values with the newcomers in 1700, is ignited again to guide us into a future reflective of their fundamental prayer - Respect for Mother Earth and All Our Relations - that is, environmental stewardship and harmony.
 
I invite you to help me light a fire for a Historic Centre at Asinabka that will contribute to the healing and strengthening of Indigenous Peoples, celebrate relationships with all other peoples, promote environmental stewardship, and commemorate our ancient and modern history.
 
Your personal engagement in this effort, as your predecessor's support in the past helped once before, will contribute tremendously to advance the vision for a global Circle of All Nations and a Culture of Peace to be entrenched at the Sacred Chaudière Site, Asinabka.
 

50 years, 10 years, and now today - What has changed in Canada and the world? We are perhaps the most diverse country in the world, and with that comes promise and challenge. We have climate change, environmental devastation, war and violence, and physical and mental health crises.  How might we have evolved had William Commanda and his colleagues not been obstructed repeatedly in his visionary quest for something better for earth and all humanity - something that acknowledged and respected the fact that the world has something it needs to learn from Indigenous voices? As much as he was aware of the oppression of his peoples, Grandfather did not see Indigenous as victims, when he began his conscious program of reconciliation. Reconciliation is surely not about showcasing people as one lets them into the clubs of the privileged; to us it is about reflecting deeply on our sometimes shameful histories, finding ways to forgive ourselves, fighting for justice, and then working to create a future of hope for all the children of Mother Earth, for all creation. Consistent with the Three Figure Wampum Belt, Grandfather stated repeatedly that his ancestors had welcomed the newcomers to North America, and so he continued to affirm that gesture of friendship.  But his greatest passion was advancing respect for Mother Earth, in the face of advancing environmental devastation; and he was passionately concerned about the plight of the Ottawa River.  Rivers are the veins of Mother Earth, he said, and Trees are her lungs; everywhere she is blocked by dams. Today, we deal with the unprecedented flooding throughout the Ottawa River Waters shed, waters at the Canada/US Cornwall border presents challenges, where once the American Eel was decimated.  

Here is a memory about the impact the Moses Saunders dam and pulp mill configuration had on the lungs and health of late Mohawk Elder Ernie Benedict - he was in very bad shape, and he called for William Commanda's prayer for his healing.




Attached please find our May/June correspondence regarding the Spring Floods of the Ottawa River Watershed and the Honour of the Crown.




In June, we celebrate Heritage River Day:

GRANDFATHER IGNITED THE FIRST HERITAGE RIVER DAY PRAYER IN 2003: SEE WHAT RIVER STEWARDSHIP WORK HE INITIATED AND SUPPORTED IN OUR COMMEMORATIVE REPORT


As former Liberal MP Rick Lalliberte said, Canada is a Nation of Rivers and a River of Nations - May we find peace together.

 

With best wishes for the SUMMER from

Circle of All Nations!


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Circle of All Nations Legacy Work 
of G randfather William C
ommanda 
11:11:13 - 3:8:11
Indigenous Elder, Algonquin of the Ottawa River Watershed, Sacred Wampum Belt Keeper, Canoe Builder, Recipient of Two Honorary Doctoral Degrees, Officer of the Order of Canada, and 
Encore Vivant!

PRIORITIES 
Mother Earth and People
Environmental Stewardship and Peace! 
CAN TEACH 
Circle 
of All Nations 

Training
Education
Advocacy
Communications
Healing
       
GINAWAYDAGANUC
ALL IS RELATED!

Grandfather William C ommanda's 
Circle of All Nations
The Circle of All Nations is a global eco-community unified by Elder Commanda's fundamental and unshakeable conviction that as children of Mother Earth, we belong together and with nature, irrespective of individual colour, creed or culture  


Respect for Mother Earth
Promotion of Racial Harmony and Peace Building
Advancement of Social Justice
Recognition and Honouring of Indigenous Wisdom

We must come together with 

one heart, one mind, one love and one determination

to create

Circle of All Nations, A Culture of Peace


www.asinabka.com
LEGACY VISION
SA CRED CHAUDIERE SITE
I ndigenous Centre - healing, heritage, spiritual and cultural expression
Peace Building - reconciliation, cultural exchange, peace and eco think tank conference centre
Central Eco City Park - sanctuary for individuals and communities; biodiversity; Indigenous plants
Historical Park  showcase for ancient Indigenous and recent collective history
Circle of All Nations
(613) 599-8385
circleofallnations@sympatico.ca
www. circleofallnations.ca