Winnipeg sits on the territory of Treaty One (1871), which was negotiated between the Queen and the Anishinaabeg (Ojibway) and the Nehiyawak (Plains Crees). Treaty One territories are also currently home to the Dakota people, and members of the Dene, and Inuit. Treaty One is also the homeland of the Red River Métis, and the traditional territory of the displaced Nakota (Assiniboine/Stoney). The Treaty One negotiations clearly demonstrate that the Indigenous peoples of this territory intended to keep the majority of their lands for their own traditional uses while offering non-Indigenous peoples a new home. Most importantly, they intended to keep full sovereignty and jurisdiction over their communities. The Canadian Government assumed and asserted jurisdiction and its ability to annex the land, demanding the Indigenous sign the treaty or lose everything. Even after gaining Indigenous acquiescence to these demands, the Government of Canada did not live up to the terms of the negotiation process, excluding significant provisions from the written draft, including outside promises for guaranteed income and education. Nor were the Indigenous peoples informed of the intended jurisdiction of the impending Indian Act, which directly breaches Indigenous sovereignty. The Government of Canada has continually broken a treaty it did not negotiate in good faith. The Canadian Government is in breach of Treaty One. To this day the Anishinaabeg and the Nehiyawak maintain they did not surrender and cede their lands to Canada or give up their sovereignty, instead they insist the numbered treaties were peace treaties based in customary Indigenous international law.
Understanding this, Occupy Winnipeg General Assembly demands the Government of Canada, and the Province of Manitoba, as well as the City of Winnipeg, fully respect and implement the written and outside promises of Treaty One that give us our rights and responsibilities to occupy this territory. Moreover, we call for all people in Treaty One to work towards a larger and more dynamic process of decolonization and revolution. This transformative process ought to include respecting the original Indigenous negotiating position and the ecological responsibilities that go along with inhabiting this territory that we were adopted into by the treaty process.
Occupy Winnipeg General Assembly acknowledge that the capitalist system advanced by the 1% is a primary driver of ongoing colonization and environmental destruction. In solidarity with Indigenous peoples fighting for justice and self-determination in Manitoba and around the world we demand:
1. Sovereignty: An immediate withdrawal of all state supported military, paramilitary, police, and security forces from all Indigenous communities.
2. Cultural Survival: An immediate implementation of fully funded and staffed language/cultural reclamation programs for all urban and rural/reserve communities for Indigenous peoples of all ages, in addition spots for professionals of other communities so indigenous languages can become part of the public sphere – a basic way to begin to actually reverse the results of residential schools world-wide.
3. Economic Justice: An immediate guaranteed material income (water, food, clothes, shelter, health care, education) for all peoples worldwide regardless of status, ethnicity, gender, age, etc – recognizing that this will proportionally affect Indigenous communities the most because of their levels of poverty.
4. Self-Determination: Immediate support and recognition for the revitalization of traditional and hybrid governance structures for all Indigenous communities that express interest in reviving these processes. Traditional systems of government and organizational structures are sovereign and based on traditional knowledge.
5. Ecology: An immediate end to imposed economic development, including the tar sands and associated pipelines; Manitoba Bi-Pole III; Nuclear waste disposal.
6. Social Justice: A complete end to the current child-welfare system that promotes apprehension and removal of Indigenous children from their families.
7. Rights and Responsibilities: Respect for and implementation of all oral, wampum, and written treaties and covenants between peoples.
8. Abolition: Immediate support for the prison abolitionist movement and complete support for transformative justice models based in Indigenous processes of reconciliation.
9. Decolonization: for every individual and people to actively and mindfully transform their beings and organization to promote ecological sustainability and relationships based on respect, and natural democracy.
Occupy Winnipeg advocates that all Occupy movements engage in a process of decolonization and alliance building with Indigenous communities. In this spirit, Occupy Winnipeg offers our minds, bodies and hearts in solidarity with Indigenous peoples in our common struggle against the policies of the 1%. We respectfully call all peoples to walk together with this spirit and join us at Memorial Park in Winnipeg. We call for a diversity of leadership roles in our own community and in all sectors of society. Please join us in our continuing struggles for justice and decolonization – a revolutionarily beautiful future. We affirm that decolonization will require both personal and collective transformation and liberation. Biskaabiiyang Winnipeg Nanaakawiidaa!
Passed by the Occupy Winnipeg General Assembly on Sunday November 6th 2011.