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June 17, 2008 Weblog:

APOLOGIZE THIS

Arlo Yuzicapi Fayant response to the apology

Well here I am recovering 36 hours after receiving the Apology.

Apparently, I appear to be one of few who felt quite unsatisfied with the long awaited and quite eloquent script from Prime Minister Stephen Harper regarding Indian Residential Schools in Canada. It was like one of those moments where one truly needs, and is ready, to sneeze and then is suddenly circumvented.

I guess it is because in any other country, these past actions would be considered genocidal, outright war crimes or just plain mean.

Don’t get me wrong. I do not doubt the sincerity in every word issued in the Apology. It brought tears to my eyes along with most everyone who witnessed this epic event at the House of Commons or on big screens throughout Canada. Or for others who faithfully reviewed and re-winded for hours on CPAC and CBC just to make sure one heard it accurately.

The pomp and pageantry just made me want to weep with pride. Especially the old Inuit doing his first drum dance ever, live on national TV with a humidex of 38 degrees to boot. And the beautiful Metis violinist who defied the code by playing something other than the Red River Jig.

The interviews with the survivors were especially poignant. I would know, I come from 4 generations of them.

What makes me crazy is they only said sorry. I should feel elated like my many relations who travelled here to our nation’s capital to hear the mea culpa in person. We have been demanding some kind of a formal apology since the 80’s and yesterday we got what we wanted. A big fat one.

» continue reading "APOLOGIZE THIS"

June 13, 2008 Weblog:

Québec Native Women's Association responds to Harper's apology for residential schools

Ellen Gabriel.jpg

The Québec Native Women's Association has called upon the Canadian government to acknowledge that residential schools were an act of genocide.

Statement by Quebec Native Women's Association/Femmes Autochtones du Québec

Re : Government of Canada's Residential School Apology
June 11, 2008, Kahnawake

Quebec Native Women recognizes the Prime Minister's official apology concerning the genocidal experience of Aboriginal people in the history of the Residential School system. While the apology to Aboriginal peoples is long overdue it is contradicted by the oppressive policies of the Indian
Act.

The heinous crimes committed against Aboriginal children who were victims and survivors of the Residential School experience must be dealt with beyond mere apologies and monetary compensation.

» continue reading "Québec Native Women's Association responds to Harper's apology for residential schools"

June 1, 2008 Weblog:

Two Christie Blatchfords?

"A National Day of Action? After yesterday, a national day of insurrection sounds more in order."

Is it possible that this article and this one (and what about this one?) were written by the same former National Post senior columnist named "Christie Blatchford" who once penned one-sided racist sob stories about the Caledonia occupation?

May 30, 2008 Weblog:

From Chile to the Quinte Detention Centre

Sandra Cuffe has an epic, but very worthwhile article that starts with an Indigenous rights activist from Chile visiting Shawn Brant in jail and follows the concentric circles of mining and indigenous resistance outwards.

April 28, 2008 Weblog:

Open Letter to Julian Fantino

[Received via email from Shelley Brant]

I would like to address the myths that Police Commissioner Julian Fantino has perpetuated in the media since the arrest of Mr. Shaun Brant on Friday April 25, 2008 and the events that have transpired since regarding police action at the Mohawk protest in Deseronto:

An Open Letter to Police Commissioner Julian Fantino:

First of all Shawn Brant was not arrested during a routine traffic stop as explained by Fantino:

“Tensions boiled over in eastern Ontario near Deseronto, Ont. Friday, when one of the protesters of a land claim dispute near that community, Shawn Brant, was arrested during a traffic stop.”

Mr. Brant was arrested while giving an interview with APTN the Aboriginal People’s Television Network. This can be proven by watching their news footage on April 25, 2008 which shows Mr. Brant’s arrest and also verifies he was arrested while doing an interview with them.

Also there are no weapons on the site as reported by your men obviously when yours were drawn and pointed:

“Police say they saw a “long gun” being pointed at them from a location inside an occupied quarry, which protesters have controlled since March, 2007.”

“An order was issued to all police personnel on the scene to take cover, and guns were drawn by officers crouching behind their vehicles, but no shots were fired.”

‘The protesters said they had no weapons at the quarry.’

You also say that you are not trying to remove anyone from any land and that this has nothing to do with land claims, however, this comment shows that the protesters have indeed been ordered to leave the land they have been occupying now for close to a year.

» continue reading "Open Letter to Julian Fantino"

April 18, 2008 Original Peoples

Coup d'état in Indian Country

Community members say traditional leadership ousted by the Canadian government

April 12, 2008 Original Peoples

Consultation Not Consent

The first interview with KI political prisoner Cecilia Begg

March 13, 2008 Weblog:

Freezing Death of Robert Maurice (OCAP advisory)

Reposted from an OCAP email

(Please see Robert Maurice's ex-wife's response at bottom)

On March 4, OCAP held a protest in city council around the freezing death of a homeless Native man named Robert Maurice which had been reported in various media. Twelve days earlier OCAP, and a number of agencies attended a committee meeting to express our concerns about the closing of over 300 shelters beds, which has led to serious overcrowding in Toronto hostels. We expressed our anger at Mayor David Miller and city politicians who had remained silent around Robert’s death.

It was later discovered that although Robert had been homeless on and off for many years, he did have housing at the time of his death. Robert had been living in a private Habitat boarding home for psychiatric survivors since late summer 2006. He was forced to share a small room. We were told that up to thirty people lived in the house. Robert would have had very little privacy in that boarding home. Most of Robert’s income would have gone to pay for his room and board leaving him very little money.

» continue reading "Freezing Death of Robert Maurice (OCAP advisory)"

February 4, 2008 Month in Review

January in Review

News from social movements

January 28, 2008 Weblog:

Tobique Fed Up With Indian Act

[Press release, passing it on]

For immediate release
January 28, 2008

PRESS RELEASE

The self-determining people of the Tobique First Nation (TFN) are saying loud and clear that we have had enough of the racism and bureaucratic bullying that our community has received from the Department of Indian Affairs since the first Indian Act and the first Indian Reservations were forced upon our people. Why is it that ONLY Indians are forced to live on government-made reservations and under the government-made Indian Act? Why is there no government act or government reservation for the French or Germans etc? Everyone knows why, and it has nothing to do with Indians wanting it that way and everything to do with the theft of our homeland.

Our people are fed up and are organizing to take our self-respect and our self-determination back in order to fulfill our responsibility to the Seventh Generation. We are meeting in order to develop a strategy and an action plan.

Both the strategy and action plan are to create a better and equal relationship with our political and bureaucratic "rulers". A relationship that is based on mutual respect, mutual tolerance, mutual understanding and mutual acceptance. As opposed to how it has been: distrustful, adversarial, confrontational and acrimonious.

The straw that broke the camels back was the recent action by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) officials to fire the consulting firm that was hired by INAC to assist the Tobique First Nation as it works to straighten out its longstanding financial/fiscal mess.

INAC’s action to fire this consultant firm was done without cause. It was done highhandedly with no prior consultation with neither our community, nor its elected officials nor the consultant firm.

» continue reading "Tobique Fed Up With Indian Act"

January 23, 2008 Original Peoples

Indigenous Rights and the Mayan Victory in Belize

Implications for Indigenous Title Rights in Canada

January 16, 2008 Month in Review

December in Review

Halted deportations, Lakota secession, and social tension in Latin America

January 12, 2008 Weblog:

No Olympics on Stolen Land! Great Lakes & East Coast Speaking Tour

camo2.jpg

[FYI...]

With Kanahus Pellkey from the Native Youth Movement and Dustin Johnson

With the 2010 Winter Olympics scheduled to occur on unceded Coast Salish, St'at'imc and Squamish territory in two years, the spectacle surrounding them continues to wreak havoc on Indigenous people, poor people, and the Earth. In the spirit of resistance to colonialism, with the 2010 Olympics as a main target, Kanahus Pellkey of the Native Youth Movement and Native youth Dustin Johnson are touring throughout the Great Lakes and East Coast in January and February 2008.

"By them choosing to have the Olympics here, it's opening up our land, our sacred sites, our medicine grounds," says Kanahus Pellkey. "We want investors to know our land is not for sale." Pre-Olympic fever occupies the province of BC, and the economic excitement has massively accelerated gentrification and the building of highways, resorts, and condos. The construction of infrastructure for the 2010 Olympics itself is adding to extensive destruction of traditional homelands of the local Indigenous peoples.

In October 2007, more than 1500 Indigenous people representing communities across this hemisphere held the Gathering of the Indigenous Peoples of America, on Yaqui territory in Vicam, Sonora, Mexico. They stated in their final declaration, "We reject the 2010 Winter Olympics on sacred and stolen territory of Turtle Island–Vancouver, Canada." This speaking tour is strengthened by this momentum, and by the knowledge that hundreds, if not thousands of Indigenous people now plan to attend the Olympic Games, not in celebration, but in resistance to the danger the Olympics poses to Indigenous lands, identity, culture, health, livelihoods, and to future generations.

» continue reading "No Olympics on Stolen Land! Great Lakes & East Coast Speaking Tour"

January 9, 2008 Weblog:

Out of the Algonquin Frying Pan and into the Mohawk Fire

[The following is a letter to the editor received on Jan 8, 2008]

From the beginning, the Crown, Ontario and agents wanted the farcical mediation meetings to be held behind closed doors. They wanted to isolate the Ardoch and Shabot Algonquin "leadership" to make secret $deals$ over a supposed uranium mine. According to Indigenous law, such meetings that concern the people should be open to the people as the Algonquins have repeatedly insisted.

Suddenly, Ontario says the meetings are open to the public but now they are to be held in Kingston, outside of Algonquin territory, two hours away from the affected community. Moving the mediation out of Algonquin territory is also a breach of Algonquin law.

However, this is a clear case of the proverbial, "Out of the frying pan and into the fire!" Kingston is in Mohawk territory!

Why, we must ask, would the meetings be moved to Kingston? For whose convenience? We hear rumours of Crown agents who need city night life and their accustomed type of "watering hole", not available in the remote areas of Sharbot Lake. The new location was certainly handy for the Mohawks, perhaps too handy. When they changed the venue, the mediation team knew Kahentinetha Horn of MNN was planning to attend - Randy Cota and Bob Lovelace had invited her!

(In July 2007, the Algonquins sent a wampum to the Mohawks seeking their help in the blockade against uranium mining at Robertsville. Nuclear development on Algonquin land would affect Mohawk communities downstream. This official nation to nation agreement is ongoing.)

» continue reading "Out of the Algonquin Frying Pan and into the Mohawk Fire"

December 31, 2007 Features

What the Tar Sands Need

Processing requires massive inputs of water, energy, land, labour

December 18, 2007 Weblog:

Lakota Sioux withdraw from treaty with US

Lakota Freedom: "We are the freedom loving Lakota from the Sioux Indian reservations of Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana who have suffered from cultural and physical genocide in the colonial apartheid system we have been forced to live under. We are in Washington DC to withdraw from the constitutionally mandated treaties to become a free and independent country. We are alerting the Family of Nations we have now reassumed our freedom and independence with the backing of Natural, International, and United States law."

November 12, 2007 Original Peoples

The Richest First Nation in Canada

Ecological and political life in Fort MacKay

October 23, 2007 Opinion

We Speak for Ourselves

Indigenous peoples challenge the fossil fuel regime in Alberta

October 19, 2007 Original Peoples

Gateway to Solidarity?

Pipelines and Indigenous communities in Northern BC

October 12, 2007 Ideas

Genocide Denial and North American Academia

An interview with Ward Churchill

September 19, 2007 Weblog:

Navajo Caravan Detained for 48 Hours by Ontario RCMP

According to this story, it appears that a group of Navajo were detained without a warrant or arrest by the RCMP using antiterrorism legislation.

were on their way to Deseronto in nine vehicles with 10 horses in tow to show support and respect for a group of Tyendinaga Mohawks, said Spata Desareau, 64, a member of the tribe. They travelled across western Canada without incident, but once in Ontario, were stopped by law enforcement three times - Wawa, Sault St. Marie and finally Kaladar, where they were taken into police custody Sunday, he said.

September 17, 2007 Weblog:

T-Star: Right to Self-Determination "Troubling," "Worrisome"

Toronto Star Editorial: "Particularly troubling is the 'right to self-determination' in article 3. Notwithstanding last-minute changes to the declaration that purport to protect the territorial integrity of existing states, could this phrase go beyond encouraging legitimate aspirations for native self-government and empower full-blown secessionist movements? Based on the declaration, it's hard to tell. That's worrisome."

September 15, 2007 Weblog:

Universal Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Passed...

You may have heard that the United Nations recently passed the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

You may have also heard that only four countries voted against it. Any guesses?

Here's the list:

  • Canada
  • USA
  • New Zealand
  • Australia

» continue reading "Universal Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Passed..."

August 22, 2007 Opinion

Refusing to be Silent

Economic Disruption in Indian Country

August 4, 2007 Canadian News

AFN Supports Direct Action?

Day of Action discussed, criticized at AFN General Assembly

July 31, 2007 Weblog:

Indigenous Struggles in July

Ahni at Intercontinental Cry has this month's roundup of coverage of indigenous struggles around the world.

July 27, 2007 Original Peoples

Reaching the Breaking Point

Mixed results on First Nations Day of Action

July 27, 2007 Weblog:

Gord Hill on the Indian Act and the AFN

I just transcribed these remarks by Gord Hill in this interview for a story, and thought they might be worth posting. The whole interview is worth listening to.

» continue reading "Gord Hill on the Indian Act and the AFN"

July 23, 2007 Weblog:

Algonquin Response to Ottawa Citizen Article

[Received via email]

by Paula LaPierre

In Response to “Our natives must evolve into an economic force in Canada”, The Ottawa Citizen, published: Friday, July 06, 2007, by Fred Maroun of Ottawa, Re: “Turning guilt into billions of dollars”, July 1, and “We can't keep native communities on life-support forever”, June 29.

» continue reading "Algonquin Response to Ottawa Citizen Article"

May 30, 2007 Weblog:

"Indian Act is Racist": Owen Sound Sun Times

The editor at the Owen Sound Sun Times wrote an amazingly frank editorial (for a CanWest-owned paper), entitled "Indian Act is racist at heart and should be abolished". His opening line: "Canada is a an apartheid state."

More:

Most reserves (the exceptions are communities that have negotiated self-government) still operate under the rule of the Indian Act, first authored in 1876 and "updated" several times since then.

» continue reading ""Indian Act is Racist": Owen Sound Sun Times"

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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