Showing posts from October, 2011

Authoring Our Own Demise? NAOs Must Stop Propping up Conservatives

I keep wondering, why is it that some of the national Aboriginal organizations (NAO's) continue to look the other way when the Conservatives show their true colours? There is a saying that goes: when someone tells you who they really are, you should listen. So, if a guy tells you on a date he doesn't want to settle down, you should not be surprised if after dating him for several months that he does not want to get married. Why then do our leaders pose for photo-ops shaking hands and smiling with the government that wants our assimilation? In Canada, the Crown has not only shown its true policy objectives through its legal and political actions, but it has made them very explicit in speeches, cabinet papers and written documents. Canada's underlying objective in Indian policy is to "rid Canada of the Indian problem" and to free up land for settlement and development. Even the joint action plan between Canada and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) focuses on fre

More than Empty Promises: Canada's Military Still Fighting Indians Today

Why is it that Indigenous Peoples are always accused of creating an us vs. them dynamic in Crown-First Nation relations, when in fact it is the opposite that is true. Our treaties were negotiated so that we could move forward cooperatively, yet Canada (which includes Canada includes ALL federal departments, agencies and commissions as well as the provinces and territories) has broken every promise it has made. Given that our treaties were to maintain peace and friendship, Canada has breached the treaties at every step. We wanted to maintain our connections to the land and Canada wanted to assimilate us. When we exercise our "Canadian" right to peaceful assembly and protest, Canada sends in the military to take us down. It seems that no matter what we do, Canada's answer always seems to be to "get rid of the Indian problem" and it does so by very strategic military means. Canada has long used military tactics against us to accomplish its goal of taking our la

Murdered, Missing, and Still Excluded: Indigenous Women Fight for Equality

If there is one thing that the Pickton Inquiry has proven to Canadians is that gender discrimination against Indigenous women is not only a present-day phenomenon, but that it is systemic at all levels of government. The unique problem for Indigenous women is that the gender discrimination they face when dealing with one group, like the police, is multiplied many times over top of the gender discrimination they face in all other aspects of their lives. These Indigenous women who were murdered at the hands of Robert Pikcton or who remain missing have never truly been treated as human beings worthy of care and protection. In many Indigenous Nations, their concept of citizenship or belonging was a relational concept that provided both rights and responsibilities on the parts of individuals and Nations. So, an Indigenous Nation required the recognition, loyalty and contributions of their people, and the people required the recognition, protection and contributions of their Nation. For ma