Home News Frigo Vert hosts series on indigenous rights, kicked off by ‘Thanksgiving’

Frigo Vert hosts series on indigenous rights, kicked off by ‘Thanksgiving’

by Archives October 16, 2007

Le Frigo Vert is putting a spin on its Annual Anti-Colonial Thanksgiving Dinner this year, turning it into a Film and Speaker series to celebrate the milestone of its fifteenth anniversary.
The focus will remain on celebrating resistance to colonialism, educating people on the origins of Thanksgiving and examining the links between the treatment of First Nations today and during colonialism.
The yearly dinner is used as a channel where they can discuss what they are going through. “There [are] different [Native] communities in Canada that are fighting against different forms of that genocide and so different people from different communities come to talk about the particular struggle they’re engaging in at this moment,” says Agnew.
Some of the films that will be presented deal with current or recent events. Last week’s Five Ring Circus is a documentary that showcases the potential negative impact the Olympics could have on the city of Vancouver and its Native communities.
According to Shelly Bazuik, also with Le Frigo Vert, those roots go back to the arrival of British Pilgrims in America. The

Pilgrims led a hostile takeover of the land thanks to extermination-driven offensives, as they considered Natives to be “natural instruments of the devil,” she says.
“Many Thanksgiving Day declarations to follow would become celebrations of the mass murder and enslavement of Indigenous Peoples. The Pilgrims thanked God for new lands and resources obtained through genocide,” adds Bazuik.
With its series Le Frigo Vert wants to show that this culture of “violence and exclusion” against Natives still exists. The consequence of these practices is the scattering of more and more Natives as their people and traditions are slowly becoming extinct.
In some cases, the films will display struggles that have occurred years earlier. Invited speakers will then be giving an update on recent developments since the release of the films.
“We have an extensive social justice and anti-oppression mandate that guides both what we carry in the store, and how to make sure our services are accessible to all people,” explains Baziuk. Colonialism enables theft and privatization of land and its resources “which is why Le Frigo Vert feels holding an anti-colonial Thanksgiving is so important. If we do want social justice in this world, we’ve got to break down and abolish all colonial relationships.”
The speakers and films series is being held at the Native Friendship Center of Montreal, a non-profit, community development agency that serves the aboriginal community of Montreal.

The series will resume every Thursday at 7 p.m. The Anti-Colonial Thanksgiving will be held at the same place and will start at 6 p.m. on Nov. 1.

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