Monthly Archives: March 2011

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Towards the Reconstruction of the Country: The Constituent Assembly of Indigenous and Black People of Honduras

Written by Emma Volonté, Translation by Alex Cachinero-Gorman. This initially appeared on Upside Down World.

From February 21st to 23rd, the Constituent Assembly of Indigenous and Black People of Honduras (also known as the Constituent Assembly of the People that come from the land and sea) held a forum in San Juan Durugubuty. Called by the main civil society organizations of the country, the assembled communities sought to collect and systematize the proposals of the Garifuna people and of the seven indigenous groups of the country for a new Constitution.

Social movements in Honduras have been demanding a new Constitution which recognizes the rights of communities of indigenous and African descent, as well as women, for a long time now. “Listen, think about the fact that the current Constitution mentions women only one time, and that’s when it says that a man has to marry a woman”, Tomas Gómez Lembreño, of COPINH (Civic Council of Peoples’ and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras), told me. “To reconstruct the country, we have to change this Constitution that gives power only to the National Congress, the Executive Branch, the Supreme Court, and businessmen. Until today, the people haven’t had power: so the new Constitution needs to affirm that natural resources belong to the people, it needs to recognize multilingualism, the pluri-cultural nature of Honduran society, and the rights of women”. Read the rest of this entry

Update On The Situtation Of The Algonquins Of Barriere Lake

Barriere Lake Solidarity Collective has issued the following update on the situation of the Mitchikanibikok Inik, also known as the Algonquins of Barriere Lake.

In 2010, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) placed the Algonquin community under third party management, with the help of an obscure section of the Indian Act known as Section 74.

INAC says that it was forced to use Section 74–that is, intervene in the Algonquin community’s affairs and ultimately impose a new Chief and Council–because of an aging leadership dispute between two community members. However, it is believed that the government’s real goal was to get away from of a set of binding agreements with Barriere lake, including the landmark 1991 Trilateral Agreement.

As previously noted on IC, the government had been talking about a change in leadership since at least 2002, a whole seven years before the leadership dispute began.

In any case, “one thing is clear”, notes Barriere Lake Solidarity: “Barriere Lake is open for business now. Mining companies, logging companies, and costly Hydro electrification and reserve housing development have all been green-lighted by the [new] band council.”

For more information, please visit: barrierelakesolidarity.blogspot.com Read the rest of this entry