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Communique from The Sons of Riel to all Indigenous People in Canada and across the World: November 19, 2003

Take Back Your Sacred Land and Sacred Places – Support the Occupation of the Genocidal "Churches"!

We, the heirs of Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont, who loved and defended the land given to them by the Creator, welcome and applaud the recent occupation by indigenous youth of an Anglican church building on unceded Coast Salish territory, in the place known as "Vancouver" to the pale invaders.

In taking back a place unlawfully stolen from Coast Salish people by the Anglo-Canadian state and its priests, these brave warriors have acted on behalf of the 100,000 of our children who were murdered in the death camps known as “Indian Residential Schools”, and whose spirits still wait to be heard.

The Anglican Church of Canada was not only a participant in this mass murder, but a prime organizer of it Along with the Roman Catholic, United and Presbyterian churches, the Anglicans led the genocidal war against indigenous peoples across Canada, and killed, sterilized, and tortured them in their “residential schools” in order to deprive them of their lands and resources.

The Anglicans, like the other false churches that bear the name of Christ but deny him by their deeds, have refused to admit all of the crimes they knowingly committed against our peoples. They continue to protect the rapists and murderers in their ranks: the men who whipped Kootenai and Osoyoos children to death in their Lytton residential school; the missionary doctors who sterilized Bella Coola and Kwakuitl people against their will, or who experimented on their children and then buried their mutilated bodies in secret mass graves at their Alert Bay residential school.

Twenty young warriors stood up last Sunday and said with their bodies: These Crimes must be exposed. The Lies and Denials must end.

With great devotion and courage, the twenty spoke of these crimes to the pale congregation of St. James Anglican Church, and demanded justice for the dead, and for the living: for their aboriginal friends and neighbours in Vancouver’s downtown eastside, who suffer each day from addictions, poverty and suicide caused by the Genocide inflicted on their nations by the Anglican church, and others.

In response to this witness, the Anglican priests called the police and had the twenty evicted from the church.

And yet despite the fear and denial of the false churches, a new chapter in our struggle for freedom was opened last Sunday, by this first occupation and naming of truth. For those of us who have survived European Genocide have been shown that it is possible to confront the Lie garbed in religion on its own terrain, in its very sanctuary. And we have been shown that it is essential that we do so.

Morally, we must confront these "churches" because they are sick and lost souls who have denied their own Creator and Teacher in order to conquer others and enrichen themselves in alliance with a Genocidal state. They must be healed with the painful yet cleansing truth of what they have become.

Politically, we must confront them in this way because we have learned from bitter experience that it is only when these false churches stand to lose their money or property that they respond to our suffering and admit their responsibility for their crimes. Decades of appeals for compassion fell on their deaf ears until 1996, when the first lawsuits from residential school survivors forced the Anglicans and other churches to begin issuing pseudo "apologies" and scraps of compensation to their native victims.

The Anglicans believe that they stand before their god on Sunday mornings during their worship time. And so there alone is the place where they must be confronted with the truth that comes from God, and from the innocent ones in whom Christ suffers and dies each day.

It is with this recognition and love that we, the Sons of Riel, are joining with the indigenous youth who began this campaign to plan and enact more direct occupations of church buildings belonging to the Anglican, Roman Catholic, United and Presbyterian congregations.

We therefore call upon all indigenous peoples across Canada and around the world to support and organize this campaign of mass non-violent civil disobedience in the buildings of those churches and the government that exterminated so many of our people.

We call upon you to engage in this witness in a spirit of love and truth, so that the fear, greed and violence of the pale invaders and their churches can be overcome by the power of our devotion to our ancestors, to the silenced victims, and to our suffering neighbours today.

As our brother Martin Luther King teaches us,

"Mass civil disobedience seeks to create such a crisis in a system of oppression that it is no longer able to function. In so doing, evils that normally lie buried and accepted are forced into the light of day, and can be healed. But none of this can happen without persistent confrontation, and the willingness of the oppressed to place their own bodies on the machinery of power and bring it to a halt."

We, the Sons of Riel, are commencing a series of church occupations in the future, in alliance with other aboriginal groups and their supporters. We urge indigenous peoples and organizations across Canada and around the world to join with us by engaging in similar actions in your own communities, according to these three demands, which were raised by the twenty warriors during last Sunday’s occupation:

1. An End to the Cover-up and Denial. The Anglican, Roman Catholic, United and Presbyterian Churches and their head officers must answer the charges of Genocide and murder brought against them by hundreds of eyewitnesses. (see the website below)

2. An International War Crimes Tribunal in Canada. The Anglican, United, Catholic and Presbyterian churches, the RCMP, and the federal government, must be put on trial by the United Nations for their attempt to exterminate all non-Christian Indians in Canada, and for their causing the deaths of at least 100,000 Indian children in the residential schools between 1890 and 1984.

3. A Public Boycott of these Criminal Institutions. People of conscience are required by international law to shun organizations that planned, committed and concealed crimes against humanity, as the mainline churches and government of Canada have done. These churches must have their charitable tax status revoked, and all financial offerings to them should be withheld, until justice is achieved for their aboriginal victims. And an international boycott of them must be undertaken by the world community and affiliated churches.

In the spirit of Louis Riel and the suffering innocents, we commit ourselves to this sacred duty and honour, with God’s help, and with the solidarity of all people of conscience, of every nation, race and creed.

For the Council of Elders of The Sons of Riel,

Jeremiah Jourdain (email: hammer_131@hotmail.com) Written and Issued on Unceded Coast Salish Territory, November 19, 2003

The Sons of Riel is a Metis community that is formally allied with The Truth Commission into Genocide in Canada, a multi-ethnic coalition to document, expose and confront the genocide of native peoples in Canada, both past and present.

We urge all persons and groups of good conscience to affiliate with The Truth Commission, and to contact them through their website:


cc: world media
International indigenous and human rights groups
The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN)