No Olympics on Stolen Land! Great Lakes & East Coast Speaking Tour
With Kanahus Pellkey from the Native Youth Movement and Dustin Johnson
With the 2010 Winter Olympics scheduled to occur on unceded Coast Salish, St’at’imc and Squamish territory in two years, the spectacle surrounding them continues to wreak havoc on Indigenous people, poor people, and the Earth. In the spirit of resistance to colonialism, with the 2010 Olympics as a main target, Kanahus Pellkey of the Native Youth Movement and Native youth Dustin Johnson are touring throughout the Great Lakes and East Coast in January and February 2008.
“By them choosing to have the Olympics here, it’s opening up our land, our sacred sites, our medicine grounds,” says Kanahus Pellkey. “We want investors to know our land is not for sale.” Pre-Olympic fever occupies the province of BC, and the economic excitement has massively accelerated gentrification and the building of highways, resorts, and condos. The construction of infrastructure for the 2010 Olympics itself is adding to extensive destruction of traditional homelands of the local Indigenous peoples.
In October 2007, more than 1500 Indigenous people representing communities across this hemisphere held the Gathering of the Indigenous Peoples of America, on Yaqui territory in Vicam, Sonora, Mexico. They stated in their final declaration, “We reject the 2010 Winter Olympics on sacred and stolen territory of Turtle Island–Vancouver, Canada.” This speaking tour is strengthened by this momentum, and by the knowledge that hundreds, if not thousands of Indigenous people now plan to attend the Olympic Games, not in celebration, but in resistance to the danger the Olympics poses to Indigenous lands, identity, culture, health, livelihoods, and to future generations.
The Native Youth Movement is a Movement of Native youth that works to revive traditional knowledge and inspire Native youth to defend their Peoples and Territories.
Kanahus Pellkey is a Secwepemc and Ktnuxa Warrior and a spokesperson for the Secwepemc chapter of the NYM. She has been jailed before for fighting against the illegal occupation and theft of Secwepemc Lands for the Sun Peaks ski-resort, and is active in opposing the 2010 Olympics.
Dustin Johnson is a member of the Ts’mkiyen nation and is active in organizing anti-colonial resistance to the 2010 Olympics.
The Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement-Guelph did much of the core organizing of the tour. IPSM-Guelph works in solidarity with Indigenous struggles for self-determination and control of their traditional territories.
To get involved, help out, or ask questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tour Dates (a few are still in the works):
Windsor * Saturday January 19
Guelph * Sunday January 20
Six Nations * Monday January 21
Toronto * Tuesday January 22
Hamilton * Wednesday January 23
Six Nations * Thursday January 24
Peterborough * Friday January 25
Tyendinaga * Saturday January 26
Sharbot Lake * Sunday January 27
Kingston * Monday January 28
Kahnasatake * Tuesday January 29
Kahnawake * Wednesday January 30
Montreal * Thursday January 31
Ottawa * Friday February 1
Akwesasne * Tuesday February 2
Penobscot * Sunday February 3
Portland * Monday February 4
Boston * Tuesday February 5
Binghamton * Wednesday February 6
Ithaca * Thursday February 7
The Olympic organizers operate with a budget of almost $2 billion, and other costs to government surpass $6 billion. Despite all the Olympic-related mega development, Vancouver is now home to North America’s fastest growing homelessness crisis. Indigenous people account for 30% of this homeless population, despite making up only 2% of the total population in the province.
Dozens of low-income hotels and apartment buildings are being converted to unaffordable condominiums. As thousands of people are forced from their homes, they are then criminalized for being homeless. Private security firms are hired by the city to further police the streets, long-running squats are shut down, and social services are more stressed and threatened than ever. The solution of the municipal and provincial governments and the police is to ignore the root cause, and instead pay people to leave Vancouver and repress those who stay.
The darker side of the 2010 Olympics is further apparent by examining how their sponsors and supporters are some of the most destructive companies on Turtle Island. These include:
• Petro-Canada, one of Canada’s largest producers of oil and gas,
• TransCanada, one of the continent’s largest transporters of oil and gas,
• Canadian Pacific Railway, long an integral tool of colonization,
• Hudson’s Bay Company, another company responsible for the colonization and theft of Indigenous land,
• General Electric, one of the world’s top three producers of military aircraft engines and major producer of nuclear power plants,
• General Motors, long a top contractor for the Canadian military and now the world’s largest automobile manufacturer,
• Dow Chemical, the world’s second largest chemical manufacturer and cause of the Bhopal, India disaster,
• Bell Canada, who’s CEO is one of the top corporate architects of the Security and Prosperity Partnership.
There is of course so much more that could be said. For further reading, see: