Showing posts from 2014

Myth of the Crooked Indians: C-27 First Nations Financial Transparency Act

Can you think of any Prime Minister, President or World Leader that would withhold food, water, or health care as a bullying tactic to force its citizens into compliance with a new government law, policy or scheme? Can you ever imagine this happening in Canada? I don't think most of us could. Yet, this is exactly what is happening with Harper's implementation of the illegal C-27. Minister Valcourt has threatened to cut off funds for food, water and health care if First Nations do not get in line and abide by this new legislation - despite the fact that it was imposed without legal consultation and is now being legally challenged. How many First Nations children will have to die for Harper to sit down and work this out with First Nations? Bill C-27 (formerly C-575) First Nation Financial Transparency Act (FNFTA) is the classic deflection tactic by Harper’s Conservatives to distract Canadians from the extreme poverty in many First Nations and Canada’s role in maintaining th

Lynn Gehl v. Canada: Unstated Paternity and Indian Status

  Lynn Gehl (Google images) Lynn Gehl v. Canada: Unstated Paternity and Indian Status   Dr. Lynn Gehl is a First Nations woman who is grounded in the traditional Indigenous knowledge of her Algonquin Anishinaabe culture and tradition. Gehl’s family originates from the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan (formerly Golden Lake Band) in Ontario. Yet, despite her connection to her culture, her Algonquin upbringing, and her ancestral ties to her First Nation, Gehl is denied legal recognition as an “Indian” by the federal government.   But just like Mary Two-Axe Early, Jeanette Corbiere-Lavell, Yvonne Bédard, Sandra Lovelace and Sharon McIvor before her, Gehl is not taking no for an answer. After more than twenty years of applications, protests and appeals, Gehl is headed to court. Mary, Jeannette, Yvonne, Sandra, Sharon ( and Google Images) Mary Two-Axe was a well-known advocate who challenged Canada's discriminatory Indian Act which took Indian status away

Laurie River Lodge Adventures: Watch Out for Animals and Indians?

It is hard to believe that in 2014, there are still businesses who provide services to the public that have no problem profiting from the lands, resources and traditional knowledges of Indigenous peoples, but who, at the same time, spread racism and hatred against us. Laurie River Lodge, an outdoor adventure business located in northern Manitoba and owned by Brent and Erin Fleck, is one such company. Laurie River Lodge has a website which includes a link to a promotional brochure which explains what clients can expect when they purchase an adventure with their lodge. Their website is: And their brochure can be found under the Heading "Outpost Plan" at the following link: On the same page that the Lodge warns its customers about animals, it provides a warning about its Cree Indian guides. The offending comments can be found o n page 10, under the

Dramatic Contradictions: 2014 Report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples

The United Nations Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada James Anaya released his advanced, unedited report on “The Situation of Indigenous Peoples in Canada”. The Rapporteur based his report on research, various sources, a visit to Canada in October 7-15, 2013, meetings with federal and provincial government officials, and meetings, visits with and submissions from Indigenous peoples. There is a disturbing underlying theme in the report – one which speaks of “dramatic contradictions”: (1)    The continued “abysmal” social conditions in First Nations in the context of increasing wealth and prosperity in Canada; and (2)    The numerous laws and protections for First Nation rights versus the many human rights violations committed against First Nations. Anaya noted that while some First Nations have risen up against these injustices with the Idle No More move

Déja Vu: RCMP Report on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women

After much prodding by the media, and the Harper government’s (Minister of Public Safety) review and approval, the RCMP finally released their report on murdered and missing Indigenous women. Although slated for a March release, in typical Conservative style, the much-delayed report was released on a Friday before the Victoria Day long weekend. The report not only confirmed the over-representation of Indigenous women as murdered and missing in Canada, but the figure of 1181 was nearly double the 600+ figure originally reported by the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC). Indigenous women suffer a victimization rate three times higher than the Canadian population and are grossly over-represented in the number of women that go murdered and missing. While homicides have declined for Canadian women, the same cannot be said for Indigenous women. Indigenous women make up 4% of the population in Canada but 11% of the missing women a