Victoria Day, or Dollard-des-Ormeaux Day, on May 24 saw the fire bombing of a Royal Bank of Canada. An anarchist group calling itself the FFFC-Ottawa has claimed responsibility. The group said the attacks were made against corporate “Kanada” in defense of Indigenous land rights and the environment.

Not only have non-Native Canadians come out against the action, so have First Nations.

Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee said he wants to make it clear that the Anishinabek Nation does not support or condone violence as a means to advance its political agenda.

“First Nations sometimes have to use peaceful direct action to get other governments to respect our inherent treaty and Aboriginal rights,” said Grand Council Chief Madahbee.  “We believe it is dishonest for people to commit violent acts in the name of supporting Aboriginal or First Nations causes or issues.”

He said both their communities and leadership were concerned about perceptions that could affect what people thought of First Nations. “Only cowards jeopardize innocent lives through random acts of terrorism,” said Madahbee. He said all the actions taken by First Nations have been peaceful whether they are traffic slowdowns, closures or other measures.

The FFFC went so far as to release a video of their actions. “It’s a pretty bold statement by the people who are claiming responsibility for it,” said Sgt. David Christie of the Ottawa police arson unit. “I mean to videotape yourself committing an arson…”

Ottawa police are going to release stills from the bank’s security-camera footage that show the individuals suspected of starting the fire.

A statement, signed by “FFFC-Ottawa,” said the group will be at the G20 summit in Toronto on June 26-27 and the G8 summit near Huntsville, Ont., June 25-26.

Damage is estimated at $300,000.