Native Alliance for Red Power – Eight Point Program (1969)

Cover of Issue #3, Jan-Feb 1969, Vancouver, BC

The Native Alliance for Red Power (NARP) was an organization formed by Indigenous women in 1967 in Vancouver, BC (Coast Salish / Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Səl̓ílwətaʔ and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm territories).

NARP Eight Point Program

[From Issue #3, Jan-Feb 1969]

1. We will not be free until we are able to determine our own destiny. Therefore, we want power to determine the destiny of our reservations and communities. Gaining power in our reservations and communities, and power over our lives will entail the abolishment of the “Indian Act,” and the destruction of the colonial office (Indian Affairs Branch).

2. This racist government has robbed, cheated and brutalized us, and is responsible for the deaths of untold numbers of our people. We feel under no obligation to support this government in the form of taxation. Therefore, we want an end to the collection of money from us in the form of taxes.

3. The history of Canada was written by the oppressors, the invaders of this land. Their lies are perpetrated in the educational system of today. By failing to expose the true history of this decadent Canadian society, the schools facilitate our continued oppression. Therefore, we want an education that teaches us our true history and exposes the racist values of this society.

4. In this country, Indian and Métis represent three percent of the population, yet we constitute approximately 60 percent of the inmates in prisons and jails. Therefore, we want an immediate end to the unjust arrests and harassment of our people by the racist police.

5. When brought before the courts of this country, the red man cannot hope to get a fair hearing from white judges, jurors and court officials. Therefore, we want natives to be tried by a jury of people chosen from native communities or people of their racial heritage. Also, we want freedom for those of our brothers and sisters now being unjustly held in the prisons of this country.

6. The treaties pertaining to fishing, hunting, trapping and property rights and special privileges have been broken by this government. In some cases, our people did not engage in treaties with the government and have not been compensated for their loss of land. Therefore, for those of our people we want fair compensation. Also, we want the government to honor the statutes, as laid down in these treaties, as being supreme and not to be infringed upon by any legislation whatsoever.

7. The large industrial companies and corporations that have raped the natural resources of this country are responsible, along with their government, for the extermination of the resources upon which we depend for food, clothing and shelter. Therefore, we want an immediate end to this exploitation, and compensation from these thieves. We want the government to give foreign aid to the areas comprising the Indian Nation, so that we can start desperately needed programs concerning housing, agricultural and industrial cooperatives. We want to develop our remaining resources in the interests of the red man, not in the interests of the white corporate elite.

8. The white power structure has used every possible method to destroy our spirit, and the will to resist. They have divided us into status and nonstatus, American and Canadian, Métis and Indian. We are fully aware of their “divide and rule” tactic, and its effect on our people.

RED POWER IS THE SPIRIT TO RESIST.
RED POWER IS PRIDE IN WHAT WE ARE.
RED POWER IS LOVE FOR OUR PEOPLE.
RED POWER IS OUR COMING TOGETHER TO FIGHT FOR LIBERATION.
RED POWER IS NOW!


Dear Narp;

I would like to say how much I enjoyed my trip to Vancouver and meeting several NARP members. I think that we have a great deal in common and that our objectives are pretty well the same. In spite of the adverse circumstances, I felt the Saturday night meeting was reasonably successful. I felt it was a real privilege to meet with the Indians from Frank’s Landing and to learn of their problems. I hope that our meetings on Saturday and Sunday produced some worth while results. I would like to see your movement grow. I have just returned from a trip to the Maritimes where I met some Indians; they are thinking along the same lines we are. We should start making plans for a national meeting to be held sometime next spring or summer. Regards to all the fellow members.

Fraternally,

Howard Adams

[From Issue #3, Jan-Feb 1969]


EDITORIAL

[From Issue no. 5, February-March 1970]

The unity of our brothers and sisters to fight for our human rights by any means necessary is what RED POWER is to us. We believe that Red Power is the only alternative that we as Indian Americans have for survival. We are a group of Indians who have made our home in the city. It may be an idea for our brothers and sisters on the reserves to consider that half of our Indian population is now situated in cities and towns. Despite the fact that we are no longer on the reserves, we are still your brothers and sisters and we cannot afford to divide ourselves.

NARP (Native Alliance for Red Power) is a small tightly knit group. One function at this time is corresponding with brothers and sisters all over the Americas through our newsletter and letters. The content of our newsletter is information and ideas of the past, present, and future (History, current news—local and external, and what we feel are alternatives for the future). Another function is working with our brothers and sisters by giving moral and active support wherever we can. One thing that should be pointed out also is that we are not particularly interested in recruiting campaigns. The reason for this is simply that we only want brothers and sisters who are truly dedicated to their people. We are interested only in those who are willing to struggle hard in personal and political lives. Dedication of one’s life to the people is very necessary.

We believe that this system under which we live is not in the interests of the majority of the people. A few people have full control over the money, the courts, the news media, and the police. These few people will not be so willing to give up their power and money so that all people might live equally in human dignity. We see that we are going to have to put up a hard struggle to get what we deserve as human beings. We cannot go on existing like strangers in a land that has seen many generations of us.

CONTRIBUTE MATERIAL

NARP is having a lot of trouble getting news about Indian people to the Indian community by ourselves. We believe the Indian community to have many concerned and talented people who could help us, by providing news articles, poems, cartoons etc. If you have any information about what is happening in your community please send it and we will publish it.


More on NARP and Howard Adams:

Capitalism, the Final Stage of Exploitation – Lee Carter (1970)

Overview of Red Power Movement in Vancouver – 1967-1975, by Ray Bobb

NARP newsletter (issues 3, 4, 15)

Native Movement newsletter (three issues)

The Fight for Indigenous Self-Determination in Canada, by Angela Sterritt (in the 2016 book, “The Canadian History of Social Change”)

Bobbi Lee Indian Rebel, by Lee Maracle (1975 book, with two updated editions)

Native Alliance for Red Power, by Henry Jack (from the 1970 book “The Only Good Indian : Essays by Canadian Indians”, edited by Waubageshig)

Slash, by Jeannette Armstrong (1985 book)

Introduction: A Fourth World Resurgent, by Glen Sean Coulthard (from the new 2018 edition of the 1974 book, “The Fourth World”, by George Manuel)

Once were Maoists: Third World currents in Fourth World anticolonialism, Vancouver, 1967–1975, by Glen Sean Coulthard (in the 2020 book “Routledge Handbook of Critical Indigenous Studies”)

Land Back: The matrilineal descent of modern Indigenous land reclamation

Canadian Imperialism & Institutional Racism: Connections between Black & Métis resistance movements (2019/2020)

Marxism and Native Americans – Reviewed by Howard Adams (1984)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s