*Please note that this event will take place at the School of Community & Public Affairs (CI Building)
To underline Montreal’s 375th anniversary the First Peoples Studies Program (School of Community and Public Affairs, Concordia University), in collaboration with the Center for Oral History and Digital Storytelling (Concordia University) and DIALOG (Aboriginal Peoples Knowledge and Research Network), is organizing a series of round tables to honor and acknowledge the role of Indigenous peoples in the city’s history and collective identity of the province.
Montreal as site of Solidarity against development aggression
In February the City of Montreal launched a new report: Montreal, city of international solidarity: a secret well kept. Montreal is one of eight cities in the world that houses specialized UN institutions, is the 2nd most important consular city in North America and counts 60 organizations working in international development. Yet the repot omits that long before the ‘flagship event’ of EXPO ’67, Montreal was an important site of diplomacy and trade. In 1701 the Great Peace of Montreal was signed by almost 40 First Nations putting an end to Franco-Iroquois wars underlining the long history of transnational diplomacy inherited from both the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and Anishinaabe kindship practices. Today, Montreal is a place and space of solidarity and activism that welcomes and supports Indigenous peoples in their fight for waters, lands, and peoples. This second panel will explore the experiences of such organizations and individuals and critically reflect on the concept of ‘solidarity across borders’.
About the speakers
Martha Priscylla M. J. Martins is currently pursuing a PhD in Law at Université de Montreal. Her doctoral research examines the potential gaps between the legal framework perspectives and the legal perspectives of indigenous women on territorial rights in environmental conflicts situation, through a comparative study Canada-Brazil. Martins has several years of professional experience on human rights, as lawyer and consultant in non-governmental organizations, and as government employee, especially in the areas of children and women’s rights. She takes part of a non-profit national network of human rights lawyers (“RENAP – Rede Nacional de Advogadas e Advogados Populares) from Brazil, in which she develops activities related to advocacy, legal advice and human rights education.
Agnes M. Calgo is a Filipino Indigenous Woman who worked in a local government unit and was forced to go abroad to support a family of six. She worked as a domestic helper in Hong Kong and went through a bad work experience. Agnes came to Canada 8 years ago though the Live-in-caregiver program where she was taken advantage of by her previous employer to work among her relatives for free. In Montreal she met Pinay, a Filipino Women organization which empowered her to organize the Filipino Indigenous People’s Organization of Quebec. FIPOQ has been working with other progressive organizations in Montreal, such as Migrante International, QPIRG Concordia, and initiated a connection with the Wenawac Community at River Rouge. FIPOQ will be continuously in solidarity with other groups in the protection of Life, Land and Natural Environment.
Norman Matchewan is a teacher, organizer, community spokesperson, and band councillor of the Algonquins of Barriere Lake. Since a young age he has witnessed and participated in the long battle to protect the community’s ancestral territories and pressure the governments to honor the agreements signed with the community.
He is accompanied by Michel Thusky, community elder, knowledge holder and land protector.