Reclamation & resurgence with Giibwanisi Dizhnikaaz of Oshkimaadziig Unity Camp; & Tarsands, Treaties & Neil Young with Eriel Deranger

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In the first half of the show, Giibwanisi Dizhnikaaz (Richard Peters) of Oshkimaadziig Unity Camp returns to Indigenous Waves to speak about the work they have been doing over the last two years of reclaiming land and the resurgence of culture and tradition, and their fundraising campaign to keep the work going.

In the second half, Eriel Deranger, Communication Coordinator for Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation returns to Indigenous Waves to discuss the legal defense fund, the Honor the Treaties tour and fundraiser for the ACFN legal defense fund, and the impacts of resource extraction on traditional Treaty 8 territory.

Giibwanisi Dizhnikaaz bio:

Windigokaan…Windigo-clown…Wendygoclown.

Giibwanisi Dizhnikaaz (my name is Red-Tailed Hawk)

Mkwa Dodem (I belong to the Bear Clan)

Shkukim-ikwe doonjibaa (I come from Mother Earth)

Anishinabek ndow (Anishinabek-this is who I am)

Oshkimaadziig ndow (The New People of the 7th Fire-this is who I am)

Windigokaan ndow (Contrary Clowns-This is who I am)

I am also a cofounder of the ACTION and the Oshkimaadziig Unity Camp

My entire life has been one backwards struggle. I have been into the depths of darkness and despair. I have seen and felt the things too disturbing to think or talk about. I am windigokaan. I have suffered greatly, to show you how things shouldn’t be done. Don’t drink, don’t do drugs, don’t do what I have done.

I have started to make the changes in my life, and that first change was to quit drinking. The second change was to make a conscious effort to learn about who I was so that I could better innerstand who I a was not.

 I am Anishinabek, loosely translated it means “The good people lowered from above to the Earth”. Learning who I am as an Anishinabek man, meant that I had to learn who I was as man, a member of the Bear Clan, the Oshkimaadziig, and the Windigokaan. I belong to other societies, but I will not speak of them here.

As a member of the Anishinabek Nation, I am expected to live Bimaadziwin, which means “the good way of life.” I have interpreted that as the “Good Red Road” as living the teachings that have been robbed from us. These teachings come directly from the land.

 As a member of the Bear Clan, I serve to roles, one is the protector and defender of people, but also the protector of the medicine. I have only just begun my medicine and defender path. So I have lots to learn yet.

 Who are the Oshkimaadziiig? Well in short, they are the New People referred to in the 7th Fire Prophecy who will “pick up the many things left on the trail” (abandoned or colonized out of the previous generations)

 What is Windigokaan? Well we are the contrary people, who are sometimes clownish, but they are also very terrifying. This society was developed after the last ice age when people used to cannibalize each other. We are tasked with the duty of showing people “what not to do” but not all the time, we sometimes have to show people “what to do”. Oshkimaadziig Unity Camp, is our way of Biiskaabiiyaang-We are Returning (Decolonization). In this case we recognize that this colonial way of life, as described in the 7th Fire Prophecy as the “wrong way” of life. We use Oshkimaadziig Unity Camp to begin creating that path back to the “right way”

Eriel Deranger:

Eriel Tchekwie Deranger is a Dene Indigenous activist and member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. Eriel is currently employed as the Tar Sands Campaign and Communication Coordinator for ACFN. Her work focuses on creating greater awareness about the impacts of the Alberta Tar Sands and demanding that all levels of government and the private sector fully implement the unique Indigenous rights her people hold as described by Treaty 8, and the United Nation Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples. Eriel is a wife and mother of two.  She comes from a family that has long battled industrial and sometimes illegal activities on their traditional and treaty lands.

Playlist:

Buffy Sainte-Marie – Cho Cho Fire

Cris Derksen – Our Home on Native Land

Fawn Wood – Love Is Real

Ode’min Kwe Singers – A.I.M. Song

Originally Aired January 13, 2014

Image Credits: Jamaias DaCosta (Oshkimaadziig); Shepard Fairey (Honor the Treaties)

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