Showing posts from April, 2011

To Vote or Not to Vote - A Question of Sovereignty for Indigenous Peoples

The issue of whether or not to vote in the fast-approaching federal election has been a hot topic in the last few weeks. There are Indigenous peoples on both sides of the argument and sometimes the debate can get pretty heated. Taking into account the vibrant diversity within our Indigenous Nations, a wide variety of opinions is to be expected. One thing is for certain, we all seem to want better for our  families, communities and Nations - the only difference is how we go about achieving it. Ways of Thinking: I am one of those academics, lawyers, volunteers, activists, mothers, and bloggers that likes to think about these issues on multiple levels - from legal, political, social, historical, philosophical and practical mindsets. This way of thinking and considering issues comes from my Indigeneity - my Mi'kmaq way of seeing, contemplating and navigating this world. I have often had problems giving legal opinions that did not include a consideration of political and social cons

Praying Darth Harper and his Death Star Pass Us By: Making Sense of Election Platforms

Over the last few weeks, many Canadians, Aboriginal people and media types have been discussing the upcoming federal election. People have been trying to analyse the platforms and see which one promises the most for Canada as a whole and for Aboriginal people specifically. I have also provided information in my previous blogs for those so inclined to vote. However, I think it is important to remember that in addition to comparing platforms, one must also compare actions. It is often said that there is no better way to predict future results than by considering past actions. This blog will be a combo of the two - a brief look at each platform as well as some highlights of past actions for each party. Given that there are literally dozens of federal election parties in Canada, I can only deal with so many in the short space of a blog. Also, seeing as the Green Party does not have any seats and the Bloc is only relevant to a certain percentage of Quebec'ers, I will only deal with th

Bullies Really Are Cowards: Harper's Conservatives Hide from Citizens

Is it just me or do I see a pattern here? I mean, there was no end of criticism for the Harper autocracy BEFORE he was booted from Parliament, but now that he is trying to win an election and asking Canadians to give him a majority government, I am shocked at how little attention he is giving to Canadian citizens. More than that, it is almost ridiculous how he and his party literally run  in the other direction when faced with the prospect of having to meet with or talk to Canadian citizens. Their collective fear of debate and their muzzling of conservative candidates leads one to conclude that it is better to muzzle a red-neck than risk what they might say in public. I guess that is part of the problem in having a party of crooks, red-necks and bullies. Let's just look at the English leadership debate, if you can call it that. Harper was his usual robotic self, with his frozen half smile, and eerily calm, non-passionate demeanor. He refused to engage in any debate and instead

2011 Federal Election Platforms and NAO Positions - Woefully Empty

Thanks for all your e-mails, texts, FB messages, and comments. I am encouraged to see so many people interested in the legal and political issues affecting our people. I know first hand that trying to sort out each political parties ACTUAL position on issues can be very overwhelming, confusing, and even impossible at times. There are so many political players out there saying one thing and doing another, or making promises that seem great but are not considered in the whole context, or even worse, saying things that have hidden meanings which are not so great. How are any of us supposed to figure this out? I do am certainly no genie who can know anything for certain, but what I do know is that our issues have no priority in this election - which is a shameful situation given that we are the First Peoples of this land and that so many Canadians live off the prosperity gained from our lands and resources. In my last blog, I provided a chart which compared how the platforms compared w

Comparison of Federal Parties Platforms on Aboriginal Policy

Below you will find my chart of some of the election issues that are important to me and my family. What I did was compare what was important to us against the election platforms of the major federal parties. The first three issues are fundamental to First Nation-Crown relations and the most important to me. After that, the issues I listed are in no particular order, but are all important. If you are wondering why there are so many blank spaces in my chart -so am I. I have reviewed all the election platforms on all the parties websites and it is SLIM PICKENS when it comes to real meaningful promises or commitments for Aboriginal peoples. I wonder if the parties think that because Harper was so bad with Aboriginal issues that we are so desperate as to accept any promise, no matter how small? BLOC - The word "Aboriginal" only appears once in the Bloc's platform and simply says they will deal with First Nations on a Nation-to-Nation basis.   http://www.blocquebeco