Katsi’tsakwas Ellen Gabriel: Where Are We Coming From? Where Are We Going?
Human rights activist and visual artist Katsi’tsakwas Ellen Gabriel made a lasting impression as the spokesperson for her community during the 1990 Mohawk Crisis. She will lay the foundations of this Decolonial Ecology Day, linking past, present and future.
This activity is part of the Decolonial Ecology Day
About the artist
Katsi’tsakwas Ellen Gabriel (Kanehsatà:ke)
Katsi’tsakwas Ellen Gabriel was well-known to the public when she was chosen by the People of the Longhouse and her community of Kanehsatà:ke to be their spokesperson during the 1990 “Mohawk Crisis”; to protect the Pines from the expansion of a 9-hole golf course in “Oka”/Kanehsatà:ke.
Since 1990 she has advocated for the collective and individual human rights of Indigenous peoples and has worked diligently to sensitize the public on the history, issues and realities of Indigenous peoples. She has been working on the frontlines to protect Kanien’kehá:ka nation Homelands and mentored by many Indigenous elders to break the silence of the brutality of colonialism and its genocidal acts.
Katsi’tsakwas Ellen Gabriel believes that land – Mother Earth is the key pillar to the identity and survival of Indigenous peoples. The challenge of overcoming the impacts of ongoing colonization Land dispossession remains a challenge requiring combining Indigenous traditional knowledge and international human rights norms.
She is passionate on addressing the issue of Indigenous human rights to self-determination, the climate crisis and environmental rights, Ellen continues to advocate through her involvement with Indigenous Climate Action.
She believes that decolonization will be achieved through the respect of Indigenous laws, language revitalization, and the eradication of systemic racism. She is also a staunch supporter for the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples with the full and effective participation of Indigenous peoples. She believes that education controlled by Indigenous peoples based upon our languages and culture and traditional forms of governance are paramount to the recovery and reconciliation from colonial legislation and assimilation.
Ellen lives in Kanehsatà:ke and is currently independent documentary film maker.