Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm (Himiona Grace) This year has been a challenging and inspiring one for Indigenous writers. When I look back on 2017, I see incredible accomplishments, opportunities, and movements to create, recreate, and reclaim. There are signs we’ve finally punched through to the light – after generations of writers working to hold space and create opportunities for Indigenous literatures; after decades of standing against those who spoke over us, about us, misrepresented us, and stole our stories as their own; after always resisting those who told us that our stories were simplistic, that readers were not interested, that our...Read More
Day: December 5, 2017
Every single one of us has a role to play in reconciliation, and tomorrow gives us that opportunity. Greenpeace has been trying to do its part by embedding a commitment to Indigenous rights in all we do. We are aware of the great potential for environmental justice as a result of meaningful alliances between environmentalists and Indigenous Peoples, and that such alliances can strengthen our collective capacities to advance the regeneration and protection of the water, oceans, forests and other species that we are all interdependent with. For us, and all Canadians, reconciliation also means guaranteeing that First Nations,...Read More
Johnny Meeko was found guilty of 27 of the 32 sex-related charges that date back to his time as a teacher at Nuiyak Elementary School in Sanikiluaq, Nunavut. (John Van Dusen/CBC News) Former teacher Johnny Meeko has been found guilty of the majority of the 32 criminal charges against him — for allegedly sexually assaulting several school children in Sanikiluaq, Nunavut, between 1980 and 2007. In the Nunavut Court of Justice Friday, Chief Justice Neil Sharkey convicted Meeko of 27 charges — including sexual assault, sexual touching and general assault. He was found not guilty of more serious allegations...Read More
WATCH: From crisis to chaos, who will fix B.C. daycare? The province has promised to fund 3,806 new licensed daycare spots across British Columbia at a cost of $33 million. Children and Family Development Minister Katrine Conroy said Monday the new spaces will be part of 103 projects in 52 communities. WATCH: NDP on child care The focus will be spaces for infants and toddlers, spaces on school grounds or in community hubs, employer-based spaces and indigenous child care, Conroy said. It will take one to two years for the new buildings or renovations to be completed. “We have...Read More
Anita Ross gives testimony about the disappearance of her daughter at the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls inquiry in Thunder Bay, Ont., on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017. A grieving mother, clutching a feather gifted to her by an elder, wiped back tears on Monday as she recounted the torment of losing her daughter — one of dozens of missing and murdered Indigenous women a public inquiry is investigating. As the first witness to testify at the start of three days of hearings in Thunder Bay, Ont., Anita Ross told the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous...Read More
We need a radical change to end systemic discrimination, writes Michael Bryant. One proposal: no Indigenous person should ever be incarcerated except for the most serious crimes. "Indigenous over-incarceration has bedevilled Liberal justice ministers Jean Chretien through Allen Rock to Jody Wilson-Raybould (above)," writes Michael Bryant. "It’s time for something radical. The number of Indigenous people jailed keeps going up and up, even while the overall number of inmates keeps going down." Another day, another Indigenous victim of violence, another Indigenous inmate. Indigenous people are two to three times more likely to be a victim of violence, as compared...Read More
Gord Downie is seen performing part of his solo project, ‘Secret Path’ at the National Arts Centre, in Ottawa. The album is a collection of songs which tell the story of Chanie Wenjack, who died fleeing a residential school 50 years ago. (Adrian Wyld/CP) I am a huge Tragically Hip fan. I have been ever since my friend Sheila put their self-titled EP cassette into the Pioneer stereo of my car back in 1989. Since then, I’ve seen them live more times than I can count. I shared the country’s grief when we found out about Gord Downie’s cancer...Read More
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson will perform as part of the New Constellations Tour show at Halifax’s Spatz Theatre on Wednesday. Also appearing are Joel Plaskett, Jenn Grant, Lido Pimienta, Jeremy Dutcher and George Elliott Clarke. From 1975 through 1976, Bob Dylan assembled some of his favourite musicians and artists and hit the road across the U.S. and Canada with the Rolling Thunder Revue. The raucous caravan with surprise guests like Joan Baez, Leonard Cohen, Sam Shepard and Gordon Lightfoot was a once-in-a-lifetime event, but it provided a helpful template for an endeavour that augments its entertainment with an even greater...Read More
Government should be honest about its support for UN Indigenous rights resolution | Julius Melnitzer
” src=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/tld-documents.llnassets.com/0005000/5256/julius_melnitzer.jpg”> Julius Melnitzer Why is it that after 150 years of persecuting our Aboriginal neighbours, we still insist on misleading them? Why do we keep shrouding their hopes in mist? Justin Trudeau pleased many when Canada announced that it was a “full supporter” of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in May 2016. Put aside that came some 10 years after the General Assembly’s adoption of the declaration with a huge majority that featured Canada as one of only four naysayers. If the truth be told, naysayers we should have remained. One of UNDRIP’s key foundations is the right of Indigenous people to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC). The trouble with that is that no one in this country has the right to free, prior and informed consent in all matters affecting them. If they did, the country would be ungovernable, as it would if anyone had what amounted to a veto over government policy. Yet many academics, and some of the more radical First Nations advocates, support Canada’s adoption of UNDRIP and FPIC in their broadest manifestations. The Harper government voted against UNDRIP, concerned about international principles that suggested incompatibilities with our Constitution. But the truth is that FPIC should not and will not never happen, and Trudeau should not continue to suggest that it will. The Liberals can, and should,...Read More
Sandra Inutiq, QIA’s chief negotiator for the Tallurutiup Imanga Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement and Stephen Williamson-Bathory, QIA’s director of major projects. (Rhiannon Johnson/CBC ) The Qikiqtani Inuit Association’s negotiators say the process of creating an Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement for what will be the nation’s largest marine conservation area will be precedent-setting. This August the federal government set the boundaries of Tallurutiup Imanga, also referred to as Lancaster Sound, covering 110,000 square kilometres. It lies at the eastern entrance of the Northwest Passage. Sandra Inutiq, who has been hired as the chief negotiator for the QIA’s Tallurutiup...Read More
A herd of caribou on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska. State lawmakers have tried for years to open part of the refuge to oil and gas drilling. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/The Associated Press) The tax bill approved by the U.S. Senate will open part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling, something Alaska’s lawmakers have tried to do for decades. The state’s two senators were also able to get other perks for Alaska into the bill passed early Saturday. The measure included a tax break for Alaska Native corporations intended to...Read More
Dr. Janet McElhaney is receiving money from the federal government to study dementia in Indigenous seniors. (Health Sciences North) A Sudbury researcher is getting $1.4 million from the federal government to study dementia in Indigenous seniors. The announcement was made in Sudbury by MP Paul Lefebvre on behalf of health minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor. Dr. Janet McElhaney and her team at the Health Sciences North Research Institute will partner with First Nations communities in northern Ontario and Saskatchewan. "It will allow us to work with communities and find innovative solutions while working to develop the next generation of researchers,"...Read More
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