Biimadasahwin means “life” in Ojibway, and is the name that Darlene Necan and her organization – Northern Starlights Citizens of Ojibway – have given to the project of building a home and community gathering place on her ancestral hunting grounds. The Two Row Society is excited to write to you to report a hugely successful cabin build in Saugeen territory and with news of our next steps forward.
On Aboriginal Day June 2013, after decades of homelessness, Darlene Necan moved into her new home and base for organizing for housing and treaty rights, on her trapline.This powerful act of reclaiming land and rebuilding home was made possible because Darlene Necan stepped out to trust the International League of People’s Struggles Indigenous Commission (ILPS-IC), and because the CAW, CUPE 3903 and 80 grassroots donors saw this project as necessary to support.
Join us at Beit Zatoun (612 Markham St) on July 27th at 7pm, where we will screen a short documentary that shares Darlene’s story and showcases the collective home building project. The event will also feature a photo exhibition including beautiful stills of this project, and the Saugeen land and people in Northwestern Ontario. The photos will be sold as part of fundraising for the next phase of work. We’ll host a short discussion with ILPS members who participated on the trip. See poster above. Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/545596872166365/.
While the cabin finally gives Darlene a home from which to further her organizing for housing and treaty rights, it is only the beginning. She will be creating a gathering and teaching place for youth, community members and supporters on her land to further the vision of the Northern Starlights Citizens of Saugeen. It will function as a summer camp for Indigenous youth, a meeting place, and a school for treaty teachings, crafts, music, and more. In August 2013, the ILPS-Canda Indigenous Commission will bring a delegation of union members and ILPS member groups to build relationships and infrastructure on Darlene’s trapline. The timing of support for this community building movement is crucial given the current commercial interest in the region’s natural resources, especially because of its proximity to the Ring of Fire.
Please watch and share our video and campaign for the next phase of work! This video includes a heartfelt thankyou from Darlene to all the donors: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/biimadasahwin-gathering-place/x/3163352
Check out our website for videos, local and national media coverage on the project: www.ilpsindigenouscommission.wordpress.com
Check out our facebook for photos: https://www.facebook.com/IlpsIndigenousCommissionCabinBuild/photos_stream