The Algonquin Nation issued a joint statement Wednesday saying it’s not in support of the “Truckers Convoy” or events that took place in Confederation Park on Wednesday.
“For greater certainty, this Joint Press Release from the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan, the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council and Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg is to inform other Indigenous Nations, the public, corporations, the government of Canada, Ontario and their respective municipalities that the following Chiefs listed here do not support what is happening on our traditional territory,” the statement starts.
Since Saturday, thousands of people and hundreds of vehicles have occupied downtown Ottawa – the traditional territory of the Algonquin Peoples, in part, to get the federal government to end its vaccine mandate.
While the protest, also attended by an unknown number of Indigenous people, was sparked by the mandate – the protest has been marred by people carrying swastika and confederate flags, calling for the overthrow of the government and jamming the downtown and blowing horns at all hours of the day and night in the city’s core where thousands of people live.
On Wednesday, a ceremony took place in Confederation Park, a short walk from the national cenotaph where one person was filmed dancing on the tomb of the unknown soldier on the weekend. It’s not clear who the participants were in the ceremony – but the Algonquin chiefs didn’t like what they were watching.
“The actions that are taking place on our Territory (Ottawa, ON) is unacceptable,” the statement says. “For those who are participating in these actions, the Algonquin Nation does not support the set up of a teepee, the pipe ceremony and sacred fire in Confederation Park in support of the “Freedom Convoy.”
“The Algonquin Nation did not give consent to these ceremonial practices and could cause more harm to who we are as First Nations/Algonquin peoples. First Nations and Non-Indigenous people should always remember protocol and that permission from us is needed to proceed.”
Joint Press Release Re: the Confederation Park and Truckers Convoy pic.twitter.com/rXv5wYB4g7
— Chief Dylan Whiteduck (@DylanWhiteduck) February 2, 2022
According to police, who have been largely standing by and monitoring the protest, the number of people in the city is decreasing – but still a few hundred remain.
“This letter is to serve notice that the Algonquin Nation does not support or endorse these actions at Confederations Park.”
The letter is signed by Chief Wendy Jocko, Algonquins of Pikwakanagan, acting Grand Chief Savannah McGregor, Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council and Chief Dylan Whiteduck, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg.
The police are defending their strategy in dealing with the protest saying officers are dealing with various groups within this one protest including “lone wolves” who are not communicating what their actions are going to be police chief Peter Sloly.