Showing posts from August, 2013

Manitoba's Epic Failure: Manitoba and Mining Companies Work Together to Deny First Nation Rights

Dr. Pamela Palmater, Chair in Indigenous Governance And Chief Arlen Dumas, Mathias Colomb Cree Nation In Bruce Owen’s article in the Winnipeg Free Press “Chiefs agree to work on revenue sharing” dated Aug. 23, 2013, Manitoba’s Energy and Mines Minister Dave Chomiak announced that seven First Nation Chiefs had agreed to work with the province and mining companies on revenue sharing in the form of jobs and economic opportunities related to mining. Chomiak was also quoted as saying that the mining companies are onside with sharing revenue from mines with First Nations. However, in dismissing Red Sucker Lake First Nation’s actions to evict Mega Precious Metals from their territories, he failed to present the whole picture to Manitobans. Manitoba is one of the only provinces that does not have a First Nation consultation policy, despite the Supreme Court of Canada saying since the 1990’s that the provinces have a legal duty to consult, accommodate and obtain the consent of F

Harper Solicits Research to Blame First Nations for Murdered, Missing and Traded Indigenous Women

Canada's shameful colonial history as it relates to Indigenous peoples and women specifically is not well known by the public at large. The most horrific of Canada's abuses against Indigenous peoples are not taught in schools. Even public discussion around issues like genocide have been censored by successive federal governments, and most notably by Harper's Conservatives. Recently, the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights refused to use the term "genocide" to describe Canada's laws, policies and actions towards Indigenous peoples which led to millions of deaths. The reason?: because that term was not acceptable to the federal government and the museum is after all, a Crown corporation. Aside from the fact that this museum will be used as a propaganda tool for Canada vis-à-vis the international community, Harper's Conservatives are also paying for targeted research to ba

Facts verus Rhetoric: Response to INAC's Misinformation About Bill S-2

This letter is in direct response to the letter submitted by Jason McDonald, Director of Communications for Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) Bernard Valcourt to the Montreal Gazette on August 7, 2013. INAC has gone to great lengths to spread misinformation about the intentions, interpretations and potential impacts of Bill S-2 Family Homes of Reserve and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act . It is interesting to note the Minister had his communications person write this letter, versus a Justice Canada lawyer.   Despite the near unanimous rejection of previous versions of this bill and Harper’s infamous promise to First Nations at the Crown First Nations Gathering not to unilaterally amend the Indian Act ; the Harper government has spared no expense in its propaganda campaign to gain support for this unconstitutional bill. What follows is my response to INAC’s misinformation about the bill. I have testified before Senate as a legal expert on a previous versi