CALEDONIA – Members of the Six Nations Men’s Fire have informed the OPP that Highway #6 at Forth Line Road, will be closed and remain closed from 9am on Saturday Oct 4th until 9 pm, Sunday October 5th in a protest demanding that Prime Minister Stephen Harper order an independent inquiry into the cases of missing and murdered indigenous women.
Invitations are going out to other reserves as well, in an attempt to organize others to join in a common and coordinated weekend of protest.
Lester Green, representing the Rotiskenrakehte or Men’s Fire, told the Two Row Times that the government must change its ways and that even if an inquiry were called for, it would have to be independent in nature.
“We don’t want the government doing its own investigation of itself,” said Green. “There are reports that some of those missing women were raped by OPP or RCMP officers. That’s not to say they are all like that, but some are and that creates a conflict of interest,” says Green.
He explains that the aim of the protest is to bring awareness, not only to the missing and murdered women, “but also, as men, we want to share our roles and responsibilities as well. We want to make sure the government is going to do something.”
Stephen Harper has ignored all requests and demands for a national inquiry into the cold case files of more than 1,000 cases of Onkwehonwe women who have either gone missing, or been murdered without proper investigation or closure to the families of the victims.
By contrast Green points out the manhunt that was conducted in the case of Tim Bosma. In that case, a man was abducted while accompanying someone for a test-drive of a vehicle he was selling. There was a huge police dragnet set up that spread across southwestern Ontario over several days until his remains were found and the perpetrators arrested.
“We are all aware of the Tim Bosma case and how much media attention that got for one man. Meanwhile, we have hundreds and even thousands of people missing in our community too and they want to turn a cold shoulder to it,” says Green. “Why don’t we see that kind of police attention and media coverage when one of our women or men go missing,” he asks.
According to Green, there are also more than 2,000 unsolved murders or missing persons cases involving Aboriginal men as well as women.
He recalls when the American Indian Movement aka AIM started in the United States, it was due in part to a growing list of missing and murdered Native men and women across the USA whose cases were never properly investigated.
“This problem has been around for a long time, and we want to bring that to the forefront,” says Green. “Our responsibility as men, no matter what Nation we come from, is to protect our women and children.”
The group has been in discussion with similar Men’s Fire-like groups from other reserves as well and reports that October 5-6 will also see similar actions throughout the region.
“This could be just the first of many,” Green adds.
We must stand united with other Onkwehon:we people across Turtle Island,” adds Bill Monture, a member of the Six Nations Men’s Fire group. “This could lead to a chain reaction across Canada.”
The OPP have been informed of the two-day closure being planned so there will be no surprises or misunderstandings when it happens.
The group has issued an official statement, which reads as follows:
“Am I next? The haunting question that runs through the minds of our women across Canada. The murdered and missing indigenous women from every community are considered our sisters despite what nation or clan they belong to. Our responsibility as men and community members is to protect the women and children.
The Rotiskenrakehte of the Grand River territory are holding a series of meetings in regards to our murdered and missing women. We are inviting other territories to discuss a day of action demanding an inquiry take place with Harpers government.
We will discuss ways to work together putting together a strategic plan in getting this severe issue put on the front burner. Thousands of women have lost their lives or have yet to be found, leaving families without their mothers, daughters, sisters and aunties. Justice and an investigation into why so many of our women keep disappearing is required.
It’s time we all stand up and come together as one voice, with one message… No More! No More murders. No More missing and No More ignoring our women.”
The group invites the community to attend a meeting on the subject this Saturday, Sept. 20th, at 11 am at 724 Chiefswood Rd.
“Our women deserve to be looked at as more than a piece of paper filed away as just another statistic,” says Green. All of these women have families they are mothers, cousins, aunts and daughters, all of which deserve to have justice and closure to them and their families.”
For more information or input, the community is invited to call Lester Green at 226-387-2151.[box type=”error” fontsize=”14″]The name Tim Boswell was incorrect in the print version and the correct name is Tim Bosma, this change has been made to the TRT website. Thank you for informing us of this error.[/box]
I believe the reason that the Tim Bouma case got so much attention from the police and media is because the Bouma family started a huge awareness via social media to find Tim and his missing truck! They were very active and a vital part of pushing for police involvement at the very early stages! I understand the reason behind this road closure and i hope that something more becomes of this issue, everyone deserves to have justice served, but why is it our community is always the one to suffer the consequences! Maybe Highway 54 at Chiefswood might be a better location or better yet……take it to parliament hill! Screw up their weekend!
Sorry I typed in Bosma and auto correct changed it!
The deplorable comments made by ‘Joseph’ are the reasons why we may never have true reconciliation between natives and non natives. They are uneducated incendiary comments bordering on racist remarks.
The atrocious wrongs committed against the native community over hundreds of years in the name of Christianity is appalling and will never be made right. However understanding, Respect and peace can come from both sides. There’s no simple overnight easy fix of tensions and disharmony between both sides.
I am of British descent which I am appalled to admit due to the actions of my ancestors towards the native communities in the past. Is there anything I can do to change that? No. History is written. It’s present and future actions that see results. I consider myself a friend and ally to the Native Community and wish to express that the ‘views’ expressed by ‘Joseph’ definitely do not reflect the views of all non Native persons. There should be a full independent active investigation, not just an inquiry, into the hundreds, if not more, missing & unnamed natives. It is simply shameful and disrespectful of the Harper government not to do so.
So, who’s going to pay for this police investigation. The white people like me who gets a tax bill every month from the city. Start paying taxes and then maybe the police will give a crap about your people. We have more than paid you back for your land. Suck it up, get off the crack and get a job and start paying taxes you wahoo bums!!!!
You can’t be serious right? You are well aware that natives do indeed pay taxes right? But regardless…. You are saying you are content with a sick and disgusting plague that pollutes Canadas and the US society that seeks out to rape, kidnap and murder women… Because you feel entitled it? Seriously?!?
This is such a terrible way to go about gathering support- don’t punish our community for the government’s lack of action! Shouldn’t they be working to gather support from non-Aboriginal people too? They obviously don’t want the support of this community. It’s going to drive yet another wedge between Caledonia and the First Nations community
I find it rather appauling that the only comments this article recieved were involving the misspellings of Tim Bosma’s name, opposed to the real issue at hand. The comments themselves further prove the point that the Six Nations people are trying to address here.
Errors definitely happen from time to time and the Two Row Times website has been corrected. I think the point is that thanks to all kinds of media, we all know the names (even if we sometimes get it mixed up) of certain victims in our country. How many names do we know of the missing and murdered indigenous women?
I believe you are referring to Tim Bosma, not Boswell….
Jus FYI…..Its Tim BOSMA, not Tim Boswell….
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