Showing posts from October, 2013

RCMP Assistance Needed! Pinaymootang "suffers" as Canada acts "outside legal framework"

The Harper Government has been in constant damage control mode since being elected. It has literally been one scandal after another whether you are talking about finances, Ministers or Senators. At every turn, Harper’s dictatorial governance style and tight grip on his bureaucrats has failed to keep scandal from his doorstep – which speaks volumes about Harper himself. Never have we seen as many omnibus bills drafted so large that they effectively thwart the democratic legislative process. Nor have we seen as many sessions of Parliament being prorogued every time Harper needs to hide from another scandal. The level of hypocrisy within the Harper government has also reached epic proportions.   On the First Nation front, Harper has not fared much better. He has single-handedly fostered one of the worst relationships with First Nations in history. From the failed Crown-First Nations Gathering which was supposed to “reset” the relationship, to the disastrous winter of Idle No More

Feathers verus Guns: The Throne Speech and Canada's War with the Mi’kmaw Nation at Elsipogtog

*As I write this blog, Canada is at war with the Mi’kmaw Nation - again – this time in Elsipogtog (Big Cove First Nation) in New Brunswick. The Mi’kmaw have spoken out against hydro- fracking on their territory for many months now. They have tried to get the attention of governments to no avail. Now the Mi'kmaw are in a battle of drums and feathers versus tanks and assault rifles - not the rosy picture painted by Canada to the international community. The failure by the federal and provincial governments, as well as the Houston-based fracking company, Southwestern Energy, to consult with the Mi’kmaw and obtain their consent is what led to the protests all summer. According to their web page: “In March 2010, the company announced that the Department of Energy and Mines of the Province of New Brunswick, Canada accepted its bids for exclusive licenses to search and conduct an exploration program covering 2,518,518 net acres in the province in order to test new hydrocarbon ba

Conservative Throne Speech 2013: More Beads and Trinkets for First Nations

  The Speech from the Throne today made it clear that the relationship between First Nations and Canada is not a priority, nor will it ever be for a Harper Government. Instead of offering the real fundamental change that is needed to address the multiple, overlapping crises in First Nations like housing, education, water and food, more beads and trinkets were offered. These beads and trinkets were not even new, they represented old promised repackaged to look new – similar to how their past throne speeches, election promised and Crown-First Nation Gathering commitments read. In the Speech, First Nations were reduced to a mere minority cultural group of “Aboriginal Canadians” relegated to Canada’s past. Our alleged role in the creation of Canada is a “contribution” to be commemorated within the context of historical battles between European powers for our lands. Our “commemoration” is not a celebration of our Indigenous sovereignty, but a celebration of Confederation and reinforc

Defer, Deflect, Deny, Destroy: Harper’s First Nation Education Act

*(My apologies for the length of this blog - it's too critical of an issue to cover lightly)   Since the federal government first assumed control over First Nation education, First Nations have suffered poor educational outcomes. During the residential school era, federal control over First Nation education meant a very real chance of starvation, torture, abuse, medical experimentation, beatings and death for the students. Upwards of 40% of the children who entered residential schools never made it out alive and others were permanently scarred. Prime Minister Harper apologized for the residential school policy, but has not taken a single step to address the disastrous results which stemmed from it like lost culture, language, identity, traditional Indigenous knowledges, belief systems, values, customs and practices. No sooner was the weak apology offered when Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre condemned it as a waste of money. The Harper government soon followed the apology by

October 7th Day of Action, The Royal Proclamation and Idle No More: Wading Through the Hype

Today is a day which will challenge Indigenous peoples and Canadians in the ongoing and very uncomfortable decolonization process. Will people celebrate Oct.7, 2013 as the 250th year since the issuance of The Royal Proclamation of 1763? Or will Canadians and Indigenous peoples see beyond the government hype and propaganda that comes with celebrating the War of 1812 or the Royal Proclamation? Will most Canadians even know what the Royal Proclamation is or that it is a constitutionally-protected document? What is it that Idle No More activists all over the country are calling for - a celebration of the Royal Proclamation or something else? In summary, the Royal Proclamation was issued in 1763 by King George III after the British Crown acquired lands claimed by the French in North America. It was intended to encourage settlement of North America by the British, even over lands formerly claimed as French. It was also