Showing posts from March, 2011

What does the Fall of "Darth Harper" and the Galactic-Canadian Empire Mean for First Nations?

Finally, the Conservative government has been toppled by their own lies, deceit, and cover-ups. But what took so long? Did it really have to get this bad and go on for this long for the opposition parties to feel secure enough to topple the government? Where have all their values gone that they would let their citizens suffer for this long? At the top of the Conservative target list were First Nations - was no political party ready to topple the Conservative government on our behalf? If not, then what does the fall of "Darth Harper" and his twisted Galactic-Canadian Empire mean for us as First Nations? For those of you who don't already read the blogs from "Galloping Beaver", I would highly recommend that you start. They are often insightful, critical, and sometimes even humorous. Their most recent blog was a video of Stephen Harper being compared to the evil Sith Lord, otherwise known as Senator Palpat

Beyond Blood: Rethinking Indigenous Identity and Belonging

OK, so here is my shameless self-promotion - please buy my book and help me become a National Best Seller!! I would love to hear all your feedback on the ideas and issues covered in the book as well as ideas for my next book!!! You can buy my book directly from the publisher at or you can buy it from places like Chapters: Beyond Blood: Rethinking Indigenous Identity Dr. Pamela D. Palmater • What impact does status have on band membership codes? • What limits, if any, should be placed on the right to    determine citizenship? • Legal, political, and cultural factors affecting Indigenous   identity and belonging • Interim proposed solutions to discrimination against Non-Status Indians “For hundreds of years, we have struggled to survive amid a patrilineal system of government. We will not

"No Natives" Allowed: How Canada Breeds Racism and Fear

On the one hand, I cannot believe that we as Indigenous peoples are still subjected to such overt racism on a such a frequent basis. On the other hand, I am not surprised, given that this kind of anti-First Nation sentiment is still out there in more hidden forms also known as systemic racism. I guess the best way to describe my feelings is that I sometimes feel overwhelmed that these perverse ideologies don't just come from a few wackos, but comes from all elements in society - individuals, business, professionals, academics, politicians, and government. I received this picture from people on Facebook today who wanted to bring this issue to the attention of the public and the police. This picture is allegedly of a restaurant in Lakefield, Ontario. It was reported in the Toronto Sun that the police are investigating this as a hate crime. Here is the link to that story: If this incident actually happened (and eve

The Country of Harper: Are We Moving Towards an Autocracy?

I am absolutely stunned by what has been happening in politics lately. Canada used to pride itself in being a democracy, but in recent years under the Conservative government, we have moved further and further away from a real democracy that represents the voice of the people, and have moved closer and closer to an autocracy. An autocracy is a form of government where one person possesses unlimited power. Leaders who are autocrats are sometimes referred to as dictators or tyrants. Some of you who are political scientists or armchair critics might be thinking that Canada is not really an autocracy because we have a Constitution (which is the supreme law of the land), an independent judiciary and free elections. That is absolutely true. Technically, Canada is set up as a democracy - rule by the people. However, what is happening in practice differs a great deal from how things are SUPPOSED to work. Some key events have made me question where we are headed. My fear is that we may be rep

Mohawk Tobacco Trade - Standing up for Our Sovereignty

The days of only looking at issues that impact our local communities (bands) are long over if we expect to protect our cultures, identities and Nations for future generations. The issue of our sovereignty as Indigenous Nations (Mohawk, Mi'kmaq, Maliseet, etc) must be looked at in the bigger context. I am the first to admit that we have significant issues to address in our home communities and many of them are absolutely life and death issues related to poverty, addictions, housing, violence, and child welfare. It is critical that we ensure we have citizens dedicated to addressing these issues for the well-being of our families, communities and Nations. At the same time, we also have to dedicate some of our citizens to fighting the larger battle which is being waged against our identities, cultures, and sovereignty. In the days of my great grandfather and his grandfathers, Mi'kmaq people made sure they protected their women and children by having warriors posted at our our loc