Johnny Hawke arrested for exercising his rights in bringing attention to stolen Anishinaabe land

Anishinaabe man is charged with “mischief” for exercising constitutionally protected Aboriginal and Treaty Rights through use of a “Mobile Heritage Centre” to draw attention to Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister’s cottage on stolen native lands.

UN-SURRENDERED TERRITORY OF THE CHIPPEWAS OF LAKE HURON AND LAKE SIMCOE – On Sunday July 25, Kaikaikons Atik Doodem or Johnny Hawke was arrested on the charge of “mischief” for having set up a tipi as a “mobile heritage centre” to educate local settlers and draw attention to Minister Carolyn Bennett’s cottage on stolen Indigenous lands. The OPP claimed that camp was on private lands in Tiny Township, but the municipality’s own maps show the land as part of a public beach.

Hawke had occupied the site for a week. On Saturday July 24th, Hawke met with the OPP Aboriginal Liaison team and they agreed to meet again on Monday to discuss the possibility of removing the tipi. On Sunday, July 25th, strong wings blew down his tipi, and when Hawke arrived to check on the site, he was arrested by OPP officer Mike Burrows. In a video recorded by Véronique Lacroix after he was released from jail, Hawke said, “They’re not to be trusted these cops. They said they would have a meeting on Monday and we would discuss this, but they were right there to arrest me. Their word is not honorable” said Hawke.”

Interview with Johnny Hawk after he was released from jail

Hawke has been very active recently in organizing with local non-natives to defend rights to beach access. Hundreds of supporters came out to a “This ain’t Canada Day” event organized by Hawke on July 1st and marched across the beaches wearing orange shirts to draw attention to Canada’s genocide of Indigenous children.

According to Hawke, elected Band Council Chief Joanne Sandy discussed his Mobile Heritage Camps with the Chief Administrative Officer of Tiny Township and Commander Evans of the Georgian Bay OPP Detachment. Hawke says that he was informed by someone privy to the discussion that elected Chief Sandy told the officials that BFN Chief and Council do not support the camps and Hawke’s efforts. He says that BFN Chief Joanne Sandy also told the officials that “There are no such things as sacred fires.” Real People’s Media tried to reach elected Chief Joanne Sandy and Commander Evans to confirm their position on the matter, but we did not receive a reply to our request for an interview.

In a statement released on Facebook by Hawke, he wrote that “Tiny Township, Thunder Beach, Tiny Beaches are on Unsurrundered Lands, of the Clan Council Fires of the Peoples who make up Chippewas of Beausoleil, Chippewas of Rama and Georgina Island. Kaikaikons was arrested for Mischief for being on so called Private Property and removed which is not only a violation of international laws Canada is signatory to but also 2018 Williams Treaty Settlement Agreement where we have a right to use our “Traditional Lands” for sustenance and harvesting rights. We need to hold Tiny Township and all involved such as OPP accountable. They are the ones on Private Property in usurpation of Anishinabek Nation Jurisdiction”

Hawke is now calling for Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett to meet with to discuss the issue. Bennett has a cottage on the unceded lands near where Hawke has erected another Mobile Heritage Camp.

For more information on this issue, visit the Facebook group of the Negik Clan Mobile Heritage Encampments on UnCeded Anishinaabe Territory.

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