The Ontario Committee of the Communist Party of Canada demands immediate action by the Trudeau and Ford governments to uphold the treaty rights and human rights of Indigneous peoples. Continued inaction will lead to the further theft of Indigenous land, further suffering and displacement and write another shameful chapter in Canada’s ongoing genocidal history.
In particular, the federal government must provide clean drinking water to the Neskantaga First Nation in Northern Ontario, and must negotiate a just and peaceful resolution regarding the land reclamation at 1492 Land Back Lane, Six Nations.
The federal government has been promising to end boil water advisories and provide clean drinking water to Indigenous communities for decades. Most recently, the Trudeau government was elected in 2015 on a promise to do this within five years. On approximately the five year anniversary of the Trudeau government this fall, Neskantaga, a First Nation 450 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, declared a state of emergency after an oily substance was discovered in the reservoir and running water was entirely cut off. Almost all of Neskantaga was evacuated to Thunder Bay. However, this is not the beginning of the water treatment problems that Neskantaga First Nation has had to endure. Their tap water has not been safe to drink since 1995. Indigenous Services Canada reports that 61 other boil water advisories still exist in other communities.
Across the province to the south, Haudenosaunee Land Defenders have been holding a land reclamation site for over four months. 1492 Land Back Lane is on a piece of land where Foxgate Developments is constructing residential buildings. The planned development is part of the Haldimand Tract, land that the British colonial government agreed to recognize as belonging to the Haudenosaunee in 1784. This included 10 kilometers on either side of the Grand River. However, the Six Nations of the Grand River now has less than five per cent of this land.
The Communist Party demands: that the provincial government immediately stop the OPP’s repression of the Haudenosaunee Land Defenders; that all attempts to construct housing on the territory stop; and that the federal government immediately negotiate a just and peaceful resolution with the Haudenosaunee people on an equal, nation-to-nation basis.
These are just two examples in Ontario that underscore the fact that reconciliation does not describe the Canadian state’s relationship with Indigenous peoples. The main goal of governments continues to be unfettered access to Indigenous land and resources in order to further enrich the monopoly corporate interests the state serves. The Ontario government is fairly obvious in this approach with the Minister of Indigenous Affairs being the same man as the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines.
However, Indigenous peoples continue to resist and solidarity movements have grown across Canada. It is becoming impossible for governments to ignore the struggles of the Neskantaga and 1492 Land Back Lane. The Communist Party of Canada stands in solidarity with all struggles fighting for sovereignty and self-determination of Indigenous nations and other oppressed nations in Canada. We fight for a socialist Canada based on an equal and voluntary partnership of First Nations, the Métis, the Inuit, Quebec, English-Canada and the Acadian Nation. This can only be achieved through the struggle for the full sovereignty and self-determination of all nations.
Special Resolution of the Ontario Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of Canada, November 29, 2020.