Showing posts from May, 2014

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

Harper's Shell Game: Bill C-33 is on "Hold" - not Dead

                                            (photo from Facebook/Twitter images) Today, only 3 days after Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn Atleo resigned, Prime Minister Harper’s Conservative government has made its move. Contrary to Harper’s usual backroom politics and secret meetings with the National Chief, Harper has switched it up. He has decided to play this political game out in the open for all to see. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) Minister Bernard Valcourt offered a statement to the press today saying that it will put consideration of Bill C-33 First Nation Control of First Nation Education Act on hold until the AFN clarifies their position. “With the support of the Assembly of First Nations, our Government introduced historic legislation, the First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act (Bill C-33) in April. However, given the recent resignation of the National Chief, following today's second reading vote

No Compromise on First Nation Control of First Nation Education: Response to Regional Chief Augustine

Our unity on First Nation control of First Nation education has been broken by one of our own representative organizations: the Assembly of First Nations. While most of the attention has focused on Atleo, and his recent surprise resignation, we can’t forget that some of the Regional Chiefs have allowed this to happen. Recently, Regional Chief Augustine issued an open letter in the Globe and Mail arguing that Chiefs should be supporting Bill C-33 - First Nation Control of First Nation Education Act. In his letter to the Globe and Mail he publicly insulted chiefs by saying if they don’t support this legislation, they clearly don’t understand it. Regional Chief Augustine, against the majority of Chiefs across the country, seems to think he can belittle Chiefs into supporting

#StayUnited against #FNCFNEA

Since the time I was small, I have always been told by Chiefs, politicians and elders about the importance of our unity - unity within our Mi’kmaw families, our communities and Nation. Leaders even spoke about the importance of inter-tribal or inter-nation unity. I come from a territory where the Wabanaki Confederacy, a political allegiance of multiple Nations, built upon our Nations’ diverse backgrounds for common purposes. The relationships which came from this confederacy have lasted until present day. At the same time, my elders were careful to explain that unity is not about sameness. Unity is a type of bond or treaty amongst Indigenous Nations which celebrates the different strengths, histories, cultures, insights and skills of each Nation and brings them together to make the whole stronger. Unity is a celebration or embracing of those differences to make the treaty group stronger in defending its sovereignty, territories or peoples. It is not an agreement on all issues at all