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Showing posts from April, 2012

Gatherings, Budgets & Elections: When Do First Nations Children Become a Priority?

I have been watching and listening with interest over the last few weeks about what issues the media outlets have been featuring, as well as what federal, provincial and First Nation politicians have been speaking about. Despite the fact that some very important court rulings have come out which were in favour of First Nations peoples, they seem to have gone largely unnoticed. Similarly, there have been some pretty significant funding cuts to First Nations communities as well as various First Nations organizations, yet the political world has been all but silent on the issue.

This makes me wonder how far gone our current political system must be if we can't celebrate minor victories or use those victories to start pushing back against the Harper Conservatives' (Cons) assimilatory agenda. The so-called Crown-First Nation Gathering (CFNG) was supposed to result in what the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Shawn Atleo called "re-setting the relationship…

Low Blows, Threats and Sideswipes - Nothing Can Silence Grassroots First Nations

Welal'in, Woliwon, Nia:wen, Chi Miigwetch, and thank you to all the First Nations people who took the time to write me letters, call me, come visit me in person, or who sent e-mails, Tweets and/or commented on my blog posts, news articles and media. I know how crazy politics makes people feel; how confusing the many conflicting reports, positions and media stories can be; and how hopeless it might feel when you think no one hears your voice.

I lived my whole life as an Indigenous women, a Mi'kmaw, on the outside. I was denied my Indian status for 40 years because of the gender of my grandmother. I was denied band membership for 40 years because my band didn't want to include my family, or families like us. I was denied a voice at the local, regional, provincial, and national First Nation political levels. I know, however, that this is a function of colonization and Canada's control over our communities.

Because of this exclusion, I was never able to take my Mi'kma…