Splitting the Sky
27 min 30 sec - 10/09/2005
Splitting the Sky
Operation Enduring Resistance: Remembering 9-11
Simon Fraser University, Harbour Centre
September 10, 2005
First of all, who is Splitting the Sky? He is an activist, struggling for justice for the indigenous peoples of the Americas. His Mohawk name, Dacajeweiah, translated into English, is "Splitting the Sky". He was born in Buffalo, New York, colonized as "John Boncore", and also became known as "John Hill". From the age of seven, Splitting the Sky survived many years in New York foster homes and youth detention centers which sought to brutalise him with numerous depredations. Eventually he would become the only man convicted as a ringleader of the infamous 1971 Attica State Prison rebellion in upstate New York, in the course of which 43 inmates were killed. This event has inspired several movies -- "Against the Wall" (1994) starring Samuel L. Jackson, and "Attica" (1980) starring Morgan Freeman -- and documentaries including "Attica" (1974), and "The Ghosts of Attica" (2001). He was listed by former UN Ambassador Andrew Young of the Carter administration as the number one political prisoner in the USA in 1975.
Splitting the Sky founded an organization to unite all Indigenous Peoples into a great confederation called the League of Indigenous Sovereign Nations of the Western Hemisphere (LISN). In 1995 Splitting the Sky was the Sundance Chief at Gustafson Lake, British Columbia, and headed the armed defensive standoff there against Canada's illegal occupation of that First Nations land. Most importantly, Splitting the Sky raised the whole question of so-called Aboriginal Title according to international law, or the 1763 Royal Proclamation, which is validated as an enshrined aboriginal right in section (35) of the Canadian constitution. With his wife Sandra Bruderer, whose Cree name translates to "She Keeps the Door", he co-wrote a 653 page book titled "The Autobiography of Dacajeweiah Splitting the Sky John Boncore Hill; From Attica Lake to Gustafsen Lake: Unmasking the Secrets of the Psycho-sexual Energy and the Struggle for Original People's Title". Splitting the Sky currently resides in British Columbia, Canada. Note: The preceding synopsis is based on [http://www.spidel.net/justice/speakers.htm]. For a review of Splitting the Sky's autobiography, please look here or here (local copy).
Secondly, what was "Operation Enduring Resistance: Remembering 9-11"? It was a three day event that was "organized by an anti-imperialist coalition of community-based organizations fighting for justice for peoples of the global South and for such migrant communities in Canada" , including the Vancouver branch of No One Is Illegal. The second day of this event, September 10, 2005, was a public forum hosted in a lecture hall at Simon Frazer University's Harbour Centre. The talks were not only centred around September 11 of 2001, but also other coinciding dates, including the CIA backed military coup of Salvador Allende's democratically elected government on September 11, 1973; hence the phrasing "Remembering 9-11".
Third, what was Splitting the Sky's address about? Splitting the Sky's fiery speech covered various topics including 9-11 of 2001 being an inside job; indigenous people's land rights, via a "historical 101"; two 9-11's, ones in which he was personally involved, including the Gustafsen Lake Siege of 1995 (the largest paramilitary operation in Canadian history with over 77,000 rounds of ammunition fired at 18 traditional Ts'Peten* defenders), and the 1971 insurrection at Attica State Prison (organized by predominantly political prisoners from the American Indian Movement, the Black Liberation Army, and anti-war activists).