Zibi Condo Sales – An Objection

Thanking the youngest picketer

Thanking the youngest picketer

It was important for me, as an Algonquin, to stand yesterday (Nov. 7) with the good people who object to the planned destruction of Asinabka (Akikodjiwan), our ancient sacred space, at the ‘Zibi’ sales site (3 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Québec). I wanted my protest to be documented so my grandchildren’s grandchildren will know something about me which will spiritually endear them to me long after the drumming of my heart has disappeared forever from this domain. My many faults are what they are. Like all of us I need a place to heal from a world, often seemingly to me, gone totally mad.

Asinabka (Akikodjiwan), our most sacred site, was stolen from us at a time when no one except the good spirit Mino Manido and Creator cared what the Algonquins had to say about it. We are told over and over again in recent times that a “new relationship of honour and mutual respect is at hand” between us, the First Nations and the settler communities. If Canadians are OK with a sacred site such as Asinabka (Akikodjiwan) being violated in the most despicable manner by the construction of highrise buildings upon it, then their warped definition of ‘reconciliation’ is very different than mine. My mind is not strong enough to even imagine what will be lost to us spiritually if highrises do end up getting built there. I only know with all certainty that our future generations, yours and mine, will suffer the most because of us allowing a place of prayer and ceremony to be raped before our very eyes.

Akikodjiwan_7Nov2015

Akikodjiwan. Will we choose profit or sacredness?

I stand in full support with Algonquin elder Evelyn Commanda’s statement, “Mother Earth is not for sale. If someone was to offer me all the money around the world, no.” Money is nice to have, but when we see our children’s minds swallowed up and destroyed by technology or see them hopelessly addicted to a party and drug lifestyle, what good will money do us then? Would we spread money on the floor and roll in it in the hope of it bringing us peace? When we replace a spiritual base, the natural thing to do on our earth walk, with the one laid before us like a snake in the throes of anguish by the almighty dollar, we will find at the end of our time what a terrible mistake we made. What explanation will we give? “I did it for the money” won’t impress anyone in the land of our noble forebears!

I find the strength occasionally to travel into the swirling darkness, where my life’s most painful memories live like grotesque birds waiting for the opportunity to consume what is left of my sanity. God knows I was brought to the edge of mental breakdown many times by what severe alcohol addiction and the acts connected to it did to my mind. What I survived is not something I ever want my descendants to experience. The spiritual beliefs of my beautiful ancestors saved my life and I became a fit parent because of it. I want spirituality, and the healing it can do, to be there for my loved ones, now, always and forevermore. Akikodjiwan must return again to us as a place of sacredness.

This is what I would have told the people in the Zibi sales office (sales staff and potential buyers) had I had the opportunity to do so. But when Douglas Cardinal and I, two old men, made our way towards the building housing Zibi’s sales office, we were blockaded by Zibi owners, the police, and members of the Memengweshii Council (see the second video on the page, titled “Protesters and Zibi employees share their views”). Still, the experience was worthwhile. Next time, and there will definitely be a next time, I call on our supporters to come out. This is just too important. If you really care about the spiritual wellness of our future generations, then take the time to make a stand.

Keep the Circle Strong,
South Wind.

What you can do to help protect our sacred site:
-> Read, act upon, and share this call for support from Four Algonquin Communities: http://bit.ly/1RJB5d2
-> Sign and share this petition: http://chn.ge/1VB6x3w

9 Nov Update: I posted “A Clarification” here. Please read it. I did not feel disrespected on Nov 7. And I hope everyone, regardless of their views on the future of our sacred site, will be treated with respect.  There is no need for personal attacks.

Douglas Cardinal & myself after our peaceful encounter with Windmill supporters

Douglas Cardinal & myself after our peaceful encounter with Windmill supporters

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4 Responses to Zibi Condo Sales – An Objection

  1. Cathy Remus says:

    Thank you Albert for your powerful and clear words. You are a leader and a touchstone for what it means to be human in this place and these times.

  2. Jo-Anne Harvey says:

    You, Douglas Cardinal and Evelyn are a strong champions and shinning examples protecting the sacred land and the falls. You are inspiring and I totally support your views. I am praying that our new Prime Minister gives full attention to the letter you sent and exercises his power to put an end to this terrible struggle and returns the land and the falls to First Nations. I hope and pray that Grandfather’s vision becomes a reality. Canada, the world needs this Sacred Place of Healing fir the prople and for Mother Earth’ healing, for the water and all our relations.
    I have no doubt that your grandchildren and all their children stand proud of you.
    Meegwetch fir all your time, effort and passion

  3. Pingback: Zibi Condo Sales – A Clarification | Albert Dumont

  4. What does it say to the state of the health of our democracy at the municipal, provincial and Federal level that Windmill Developers is acting like the land issue is a done deal and inviting perspective buyers to come and make offers to purchase land still in dispute?

    Why are not any of these levels of government speaking up to protect perspective buyers to not invest up to half a million dollars per condo if the land on which it is being built is being contested? And the public at large are lead to believe it is a done deal?!!!

    Many citizens in this region are not aware that since Oct. 2014 over 108 individuals and organisations spoke up and officially appealed to the Ottawa Planning Committee not to send to Ottawa City Hall the motion to rezone this public land so it could be sold to Windmill for profit.

    Since then five official appellants have formally appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board and the decision of that body is still being awaited sometime in Feb. Also Four Algonquin Chiefs have spoken up to ask to be included in consultations.

    As Author John Ralston Saul has said: “I wonder why after hundreds of years of this land being used by others there is all of a sudden a big rush to build condominiums?! ”

    For citizens interested in learning more of the History and Heritage and Culture of this land. And to understand its spiritual significance as an ancient sacred Mecca and a meeting place. And to also see the input of all appellants go to http://www.asinabkca.com and also sign the petition at http://www.freethefalls.ca and write letters to PM Justin Trudeau and your MP to say No to concrete and Yes to returning the earth and water in this sacred area back to it’s original magnificence!

    Let us imagine a Canada where the land and water of this sacred area is once more under the love and stewardship of the original peoples of Canada.

    Let us see this happen for future generations and for all Canadians and citizens of the world to visit in 2017. Let us honor, and love and care for the land and water of our One home the Earth not just for the very few and the very rich.

    Let us welcome the world to celebrate our 150th anniversary as a healthy thriving Nation. A Society of Peace where our democracy speaks up for mutual fairness, equality and justice. A Circle of Many Nations.

    Let us help the world to see a new Canada becoming a beacon of light of our own healing and lived reconciliation with our past for a better more healthier future.

    Let the voices of the people inspire healthy governments to work together for the common good not just for the very rich. Let us walk as One changing ourselves as we inspire a healthy government and a healthy society to work together in solidarity and in mutual respect, fairness and equality. To create the peace that we all yearn to see for our world and our future generations! Tell the press No to Zibi the voices of the people now must be heard.

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