No 2010 speaking tour
Wednesday, February 13, 200818 Comments
No 2010 poster image
Kanahus spoke at the Guelph Youth Music Center two nights ago as part of the No Olympics On Stolen Native Land speaking tour. In front of a packed crowd, she passionately explained why native groups all over Canada are mobilizing against the Olympics.
"The main issue is land... in B.C. we've never signed any treaties or surrendered anything. The games are coming to our territory." She went on to say that; "We are not fighting for land so we could build a McDonalds or mine for diamonds to make a lot of money. Were fighting so we can have freedom, so we can walk on the land like our ancestors did."
The Olympics would involve extensive construction and expansion into currently wild areas. Therefore, land has become a flash point between corporate entities and politicians interested in winter tourism and indigenous resisters. One example is when the Sun Peaks Ski Resort wanted to expand from 4, 000 to 24, 000 rooms. The Native Youth Movement, blockaded roads and set up protest camps. Their actions were met with the arrests of many participants and the destruction of homes and sweat lodges built on the mountain. Kanahus stressed that it was not only Sun Peaks who they are fighting but any business that intends to encroach on and profit from destroying native traditional land. The places and mountains of which she spoke are used by her people every day for medicine, food, water and much more.
When asked if she thought it might be possible to create a compromise between Indigenous peoples and the Olympics Kanahus was very clear. "No" she said; "because anywhere it goes it's about capitalism and fun and games for the rich...they are prostituting our culture for money."
She, and the groups she represents, are calling for a boycott on the Olympics, on B.C. tourism, and any of the companies that support it, like the Royal Bank of Canada outside of which she held a press conference earlier in the day. During the press conference, a banner was dropped from the bank of Montreal across the street, it read "Capitalism is Colonization: Every Bank is a Colonizer". In 2010 there will be a massive convergence of natives and their supporters in B.C. with the intention of disrupting Olympic events. "People are willing to riot." Kanahus says.
The website gives a history about the negative side of the Olympics as well as information about the upcoming convergence. In the closing statement it says; "We must be a part of a broader international movement... to expose the role of the Olympics industry in urban displacement, privatization of public space, displacement of indigenous peoples, and increasing profits for the rich. Saying NO! to the Olympics means saying no to nationalism and militarism, to political repression, to racism, to corporate greed, and to the suppression of indigenous rights.
In the morning following this talk, the new Delta Hotel at Stone Rd & Gordon St. had six of it's windows broken. It was claimed in support of the No2010 campaign.
If you'd like to hear Kanahus talk about the Native Youth Movement a pod cast is available here.