The Chief of Pikwàkanagàn (Wendy Jocko at the time) tells the Ottawa Citizen’s readers (March 20, 2023) that the AOO (Algonquins of Ontario) is “here to stay”. Thousands of ‘Algonquins’ removed from AOO membership roles in recent years, thought they were here to stay as well when the AOO first came into being not all that long ago. They’re gone now, never again to be recognized as Algonquins by the AOO nor by the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation, who never accepted them as such in the first place! Suspect members were thrown out like last week’s garbage by the AOO when they (outcast members) could not provide real proof of their claim to have Anishinabe Algonquin blood in their hearts. But how on God’s green earth did they ever get on AOO membership lists in the first place? I want to know!
Hundreds of the evicted members had voted to accept the ‘Agreement in Principle’ (AIP) put forward by governments (Ontario and Canada) negotiating with the AOO to settle the Algonquin Land Claim. I say this to the AOO members who believe that they have a right to sit at any table where Algonquin Land Claim negotiations are taking place: “Go ahead, pretend to be Algonquin to your heart’s content but know with all certainty that not even one square centimetre of Algonquin land is yours to sell, trade or to surrender in a treaty. The land belongs to the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation, not to you!” Hundreds more members will soon be thrown out of the AOO membership because of false/ridiculous claims to Algonquin bloodlines. I believe this fact alone renders the AIP null and void!
The AOO! They endorse nuclear waste initiatives at Chalk River, Ontario (bloody sickening).They clear-cut segments of their membership like they do a forest (without heart, without regret). They go about their business as if the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation didn’t exist. They feel that they are not required to answer to no one other than the Bay Street lawyers who control them like puppets. Strange conduct for people who identify as Algonquins!
Early in March the AOO clear-cut a forest adjacent to where the proposed Tewin Project will stand. (A project said to be an act of reconciliation with the Host Nation by former Mayor Jim Watson but is in reality the worst offence against the Anishinabe Algonquin committed in modern times.) They did the clear-cutting on the sly and under cover of darkness. What a slippery bunch! The AOO is stating now that they should have notified the City of Ottawa of their intention to cut thousands of trees before doing so. According to the former Chief (Wendy Jocko), they will do so in the future. Notifying the City of an intended massacre of trees is one thing but I wonder, why they didn’t feel it necessary to inform the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation leadership of their decision to clear-cut a forest. It would have been in accordance to the Nation’s protocol to do so. They didn’t because the AOO doesn’t give a damn about the authentic Algonquins. The wellness of the Algonquin Nation as a whole is something the AOO wants nothing to do with.
Most of the AOO members have ‘cards’ acknowledging a claim that they are Algonquins. The cards most of them carry are NOT ‘status’ cards but are in fact ‘membership’ cards (membership to the AOO). There is a world of difference.
How could it be that people who could cut down thousands of trees without conscience call themselves Algonquin? They did it under cover of darkness. Shame! They gave no thought to the animals hibernating in the forest. They call themselves Algonquins but their actions are more in line with that of greedy pirates. Did they conduct a ceremony honouring the life of ‘all our relations’ before the timberjacks fired up? I think not.
Since making the statement “we are here to stay”, Wendy Jocko has herself been voted out by Algonquins at Pikwàkanagàn. Chiefs will come and go! So will organizations like the AOO! What is truly here to stay is the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation. Make no mistake about it!
Keep the Circle Strong,
South Wind (Albert Dumont)
Albert, these are excellent reflections on AOO and its activities.
It’s astounding to me how an organization created in 2003 to continue a land claims process started a decade earlier by Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation has turned into a big fat cash cow for non-indigenous lawyers, staff and researchers. Why would these folks want to finalize the land claim? Their salaries would go poof!
And who understands why AOO is now in the real estate/house-building and farming businesses? Oh, and mechanized deforestation, so farming can happen on land where 25,000 trees once stood. Talk about diversification! Seems there are so many ways to make a buck….hand in hand with Ottawa’s largest and most powerful construction & real estate corporation. The future promises profits–for whom? Such a sorry, tangled web.