Land Fight for Cowichan Indigenous Lands

Sharon Lewis
Posted March 18, 2018 from Canada
Coast Salish law of the land VS Internal Band Policy and Elective Chiefs
We are struggling to remove oppressive band policies and person's that over-threw our native peoples of Cowichan through poverty and taking hereditary Chief's children through child welfare; poverty is very real for native peoples of Cowichan, yet we are the richest reserve of Canada. We seek world-wide support!

I got up and spoke for my family to get Somena Estates back! I took a verbal beating on the floor! Ex elective Chief Harvey Alphonse got up and tore into me, along with his family. Though they were arguing against each other for a couple acres of lands, they all turned on me like barking dogs. I took it and tried to keep talking about the owners of the lands and families it belonged to, right to the bitter end. Harvey got up and stole the microphone away from me. Then my son got up and tore into him. It was a hard meeting. The gloves were off! If you ever been to an Indian Lands meeting, believe me its not for the weak or faint of heart! My cousin took me out for lunch the next day, and said "Sharon I am so proud of you" I said "for what, I didn't do anything" ..."they kicked me out of the room, with my elders because Harvey was crying around on the floor" and she said "because your strong, your strong enough to get up by yourself and speak the truth, and I am just proud of you"...I couldn't believe how kind she was, words of kindness, yet I don't think I phased the Cowichan Band lands investigators one bit at the table. My family took a beating, from elective and administration from the internal Cowichan Band Lands policy, from drifters and non-native peoples that legally steal our lands (within). My families been though so much; so have I!!! They are a shameless lot! Those land thieves, I wish they would pack up and go back to their reserve, their countries, and leave us alone in peace, and stop stealing multi-millions through their ghost businesses. They sold so much of my families lands, stole so much money. I am just tired of them, and just dirty down tired from this fight. No money, sorry poor raggedy ass broke now, but this is only the beginning and I am gonna drag my raggedy poor ass, broke and hungry to the bitter end of this land fight, to take my families lands back! They aren't Cowichan, they aren't even Native! Watch me! Those dirty colonial thieves pretending to be Indian. That is how I feel today, and I am tired. But everyday, I keep getting up and keep saying I am happy its a beautiful day under the Creator. When your not afraid to die, your not afraid to speak the truth either! They are dirty ass thieving people, stealing all the Hereditary Chiefs children and putting them all in foster care, one generation to the next; just making me madder! When I am mad I just work harder! This is my "Leap of Faith" and I pray for the day we get our justice even though its so darn slow. Five years of land and financial research, those dirty cowards; Harvey not even a man, just a thieving sell-out, drug addict and a big cry baby! Narcissistic child, not even a man! I made two men cry (land investigators for Cowichan) and leave the table when I went backwards on lands and land owners; and Harvey had a big ol' tantrum in front of everyone! He isn't an Elective Chief anymore - and he can't get his hands on our money anymore! Well, well, well, whose weak now! I may be poor, sorry ass hungry, but I am still gonna get up and fight for my family. Dirty shameless peoples, pushing my family into poverty and stealing our lands through their made-up land policies at band level to steal it! I thought you would like to know, this fight is the fight of my life! My intellectual and cultural abilities are pushed over the max. I keep praying everyday when I wake, and they won't kill my spirit! But, if that is all I have left and the truth, this is my "leap of faith" then I leap with profound spiritual faith in my heart! I walk in the path the Creator has put in front of me! I am unafraid....

We are a Matriarchal Society, longhouse and Coast Salish Peoples

After using foreign elections to place a paper Chief, our Hereditary Chiefs have been pushed into deep poverty with our lands systemically becoming stolen over 60 years

Our culture and longhouse ways have become seriously bastardized over the last 60 years

Our Hereditary Chiefs and their families are pushed into silence

Please help, donate and support our fight for our cultural and inherent rights on our lands and territory, before we become wiped out,

Aho....

https://www.gofundme.com/IndigenousWomensResearch

Comments 13

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Jill Langhus
Mar 19, 2018
Mar 19, 2018

Hi Sharon. Thanks for sharing your sad story. You are so strong. You can't give up. You are passionate about your land for a reason. It is your's, and it should remain your's. Stay strong... always:-) I will share your fundraising campaign again. I hope it helps.

Sharon Lewis
Mar 19, 2018
Mar 19, 2018

Thank you, not sure what is going to happen but I am surely hated today for speaking up. Its a new experience to talk at a lands investigation meeting, with all parties all attending and gloves were off! To gain my grandparents lands back, and other peoples lands back was down "war" with words. I had no idea, but glad to know how the meetings were held. Thank you for your support.

Jill Langhus
Mar 20, 2018
Mar 20, 2018

You're welcome! It doesn't matter whether you are hated or not. What matters is you did what you thought was right and went after what you want, regardless of the fear. It's sounds like you did a great job.

chimdirimebere
Mar 20, 2018
Mar 20, 2018

My dearest Sharon, Indeed you are an amazon! A warrior and defender of the voiceless!! Don't give up and fight to the finish. We at Worldpulse are with you in prayers.

Cheers!!!

With love,
Chimdirimebere Harriet Okoro

Sharon Lewis
Mar 25, 2018
Mar 25, 2018

I need prayers, thank you so much.

Sister Zeph
Mar 21, 2018
Mar 21, 2018

Dear Sharon yes you are very brave and I am so proud of you, we are living in a same culture and I understand how difficult it is to deal with land matters specially when you are woman in India and Pakistan but you are a power of those women in our surroundings who think they are weak because they are women, thank you very much for everything my dear and you are not alone believe me

Sharon Lewis
Mar 25, 2018
Mar 25, 2018

Thank you, may the Creator grace me with light. I deal with so much darkness. Your words lift me up! I feel alone most times. Its a lonely journey. :) thank you

Nnenna Hannah okoh-Metu
Mar 24, 2018
Mar 24, 2018

Keeping fighting,your dreams are a step away

Sharon Lewis
Mar 25, 2018
Mar 25, 2018

Most native women do not have a dream, the life is one of serious drudgery. I seriously need help, I too deal with poverty: please help.
https://www.gofundme.com/IndigenousWomensResearch

Colleen Abdoulah
Apr 18, 2018
Apr 18, 2018

Sharon you are so right to be doing what you are doing. I cannot stand the multitude of injustices there are in our world but if we do not fight against them then we become part of the problem and not part of a solution. I wonder if there is any way to negotiate with these awful people - find a way to compromise and get a bit of a WIN for both sides? Perhaps that is ridiculous thinking and a stupid question. I just feel that when I hit a wall trying to deal with an 'either/or' situation, if I can make it into a 'both/and' outcome it works better for those involved. I am not sure that can be done here.
Keep your spirit, your courage and your determination. bless you. Colleen

Kika Katchunga
May 24, 2018
May 24, 2018

It's horrible my sister what you've been going through; but the truth will always remain the truth I also hope that one day you will recover what you belong. Continuing with this courage does not give up

julia_4
Jun 01, 2018
Jun 01, 2018

Dear Sharon
Reading your story gives me strength. It lets me feel the power that lives through us women. I hear your courage and your rage. I think your rage gives you power and determination; it makes you strong. It is important to fully feel the injustice done. Keep up your fight!
If certain men act ridiculous and childish, they are just that. Then it is time for women to step up. Your culture was so systematically broken, that probably a lot of people got quite damaged. So much healing needs to be done! I believe that what you are doing - fighting for the land, the earth and for respecting women and matriarchal laws, is a powerful way to bring healing through the power of women back to your land and your people.
Here are some networking ideas that maybe will make you feel less lonely in your fight and build your skills and support your courage.
https://whidbeyinstitute.org, I would just reach out to them, tell your story and see if you can connect in any way that may help you.
Here is an inspiring talk you may like
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rycqVPANBKQ
Blessings. Julia

Kat Haber
Jul 17, 2018
Jul 17, 2018

Sharon, indigenous people all over the planet are drumming for their lands to be returned. I support you in standing strong. If you qualify and are interested, might you be interested in applying for a scholarship to get a Masters Degree in Peace Studies? Full scholarships are awarded by Rotary International in a very competitive process. There are 1,100+ Rotary Peace Fellows who have attended one of 6 universities. You would need a local Rotary Club to support your nomination at a district level. Here's the info, if you are interested. https://www.rotary.org/en/our-programs/peace-fellowships

The world needs to correct the theft of native lands throughout the developed/developing worlds. Climate consequences demand that those who have remained close to the ground be entrusted once again with their own lands. Multinational corporations, religious groups, and politicians have corrupted the stewardship of Earth's elements. Be brave. We stand with you. Speak your truth. Be clear and birth a new age for native people.

You might find this article interesting: http://www.wri.org/blog/2018/07/indigenous-groups-wait-decades-land-titl...