Showing posts from January, 2012

Atleo - Bureaucrat Summit: How Bad Does it Have to Get?

There is no question that every government since pre and post-confederation has had a hand in the theft of our Indigenous lands and resources, the control of our citizens and the division of our Nations. Governments now make very public apologies, but still maintain our communities in poverty. There was a small sign of change with the Kelowna Accord, but the Conservatives blew that out of the water once they came to power. There would be no investment in food, water, education or housing for First Nations - not on an assimilationist, radical Conservative watch. However, there is always the pesky media and public to worry about, so after Prime Minister Stephen Harper tore up the Kelowna Accord, he had to save face publicly by making one of his infamous empty promises. Harper promised that instead of $10 billion dollars to address the crisis of poverty in our First Nations, we'd get a First Nation-Crown Summit. I was very skeptical about this "deal" for 2 reasons: (1) it

UPDATED - Harper Hypocrisy: Media Blackout on First Nation - Harper Summit

I am compelled to write this blog before the upcoming meeting between the "Harper Government" (i.e. Harper and a few Cabinet members) and a small contingency of First Nation Chiefs (approximately 100). It has been reported that no provincial premiers will be in attendance, nor will any grass roots Indigenous peoples will invited. I realize that the meeting has not yet happened and may be imprudent to try to guess what will and won't happen, but the way this meeting is shaping up deserves some consideration. I can understand a meeting being restricted in size in order to address important issues. What makes no sense to me is that the media is severely restricted about what they can and can't broadcast or attend. The media is allowed to record and broadcast the opening ceremonies, the opening speeches and the scrum (series of questions) afterwards. All the real business in the plenary sessions will be part of a media black-out - no one in the media can see what happen

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Whose the Smartest of them All? The Problem with Radicals, Insurgents, Terrorists, and Non-Thinkers

Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who's the smartest of them all? Well, according to Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, the Conservatives are the smartest of them all - at least, they are the only ones who take "facts" into account when they think. This means that everyone else who does not think, act and support the Conservative right-wing agenda is relegated to that neanderthal group of non-thinkers who pose a national security risk. Sound familiar? Well, I am not just talking about me and my alleged "subversive and hostile activities". Nor am I talking about Cindy Blackstock and her evil pursuit to give First Nations children a chance at the good life. This time I am talking about all those pesky environmentalists, anti-poverty groups, churches, amnesty groups, human rights organizations, international organizations, students, academics, lawyers, animal protection groups

When Advocating for First Nations is Considered a National Security Risk

When the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) reported that Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) dedicated countless INAC staff and thousands of dollars to spying on Cindy Blackstock - I think most of us in Turtle Island gave our heads a shake. While it has been known for sometime that Canada spies on our our Indigenous leaders and community members who defend our lands, I don't think most of us were aware that any First Nation advocate was a target. This is what shocked me the most - that Canada's "national security" laws are so broad as to make someone like Cindy Blackstock an enemy of the state. If someone were to ask me who was the LEAST likely to be spied on by Canada, I would have said Cindy Blackstock because for anyone who knows Cindy or her work, they know she is a peaceful, law-abiding citizen with a big heart. Her only a