A friend on Facebook alerted me to an item:
COME ONE, COME ALL TO A PROTEST ON SEPTEMBER 27, 2014 AT THE GATES OF ST. PAUL’S UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO, WATERLOO, ONTARIO, CANADA.. A FINAL ATTEMPT WAS MADE TODAY TO CHANGE THE MINDS OF THE UNIVERSITY PUNDITS. MOONSTONE REMAINS OUT OF THE POWWOW.
BELOW IS THE MEDIA RELEASE, THAT WENT OUT THIS EVENING.
On July 21, 2014, the Thunderbird Women’s Big Drum Group and their drum Moonstone, were invited to participate in a powwow hosted by St. Paul’s University College, University of Waterloo on September 27, 2014. The participation would take the form of sitting in the main arbour with the men’s big drum groups. The invitation was subsequently rescinded by the University, when at a secret meeting held on August 26, 2014, witnesses reported that if Coast Tsimshian Elder, Shannon Thunderbird, keeper of Moonstone came to the powwow she would be “forcibly removed or worse.” The threat was issued by Mark Lavallee, Chippewa Traveller’s Men’s Big Drum. Twenty-four hours earlier, when Elder Thunderbird requested to come to the meeting to speak for herself and her drum, she was ordered by a University administrator to stay away.
Three days prior to the secret meeting, Ms. Tamie Coleman, University of Waterloo Graduate Student, was called at her home and threatened, that if she attended the secret meeting, she would never walk again. This threat was issued by Franklin Van Woudenberg, Cedar River Men’s Big Drum. Subsequent to the meeting, another member of the Thunderbird Women’s Big Drum Group, Ms Pauline Moon was threatened with eviction from Aboriginal housing by the sister of Mark Lavallee. As a witness in attendance at the secret meeting, Ms Moon was also told, by Mark Lavelle, that, “If I was a Cree, I’d smash you in the face.” All of these threats have been reported to the Waterloo police.
After nearly three weeks of protests, via emails and letters from both Canada and the United States, Principal Graham Brown, St. Paul’s University College, and Dr. Diana Parry, Special Advisor to the President on Women’s issues and Gender Issues continue to sanction violence towards Aboriginal women by permitting the abusive men’s big drums to remain in the powwow, while banning an innocent women’s big drum group. Furthermore, the University is in Haudenosaunne territory, yet it was only unsanctioned Anishinaabe Elders who decided that Elder Thunderbird and Moonstone were unsuitable based on faulty information and teachings. Moreover, the so-called Elders who made the decision were not the University’s Elders of Record, they were not invited, nor were any Haudenosaunne Elders consulted.
Despite our efforts to right this grievous wrong, the Thunderbird Women’s Big Drum Group and all interested people, have no choice but to protest at the gates of St. Paul’s University College on September 27, 2014, 11AM (10AM for set up). It is my understanding that protesters will be coming from as far away as Ottawa.
Shannon Thunderbird, M.A. Coast Tsimshian First Nations Elder E: firstname.lastname@example.org URL: www.shannonthunderbird.com
**Even if your teachings don’t align with women at the big drum, you can support us in stopping violence against women. Violence is violence and it has to stop!**
#VAW #INM #IdlenNoMore