Canada: Prime Minister must commit to the full and effective participation of Indigenous peoples in all decisions affecting them

January 13, 2013

Amnesty International Canada: Petition
http://ht.ly/gFx5P

Send a message to Prime Minister Stephen Harper asking him to demonstrate a clear commitment to upholding the rights of Indigenous peoples affirmed in Treaties, and articulated in both domestic and international law.

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Feb 14: 4th Annual Rally for Our Missing Sisters

February 5, 2009
FOURTH ANNUAL RALLY FOR OUR MISSING SISTERS

Stop impunity around the disappearances and murders of Indigenous women on Turtle Island!

When: Saturday February 14, 2009 at noon
Where: TO Police Headquarters at 40 College St. (near Bay St)

Rally and march to the Coroner’s office (26 Grenville St), followed by a
gathering with food at U of Tâ’s Centre for Women and Trans People (563 Spadina Ave).

Hundreds of Indigenous women have been murdered or have gone missing over the last 30 years.  We come together in defense of our lives and to demonstrate the complicity of the state and its institutions (police, RCMP, coroners’ offices and the courts) in the ongoing genocide of Indigenous peoples.

In addition to the Toronto rally and march, similar events will be occurring in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Sudbury, and London, ON.

The February 14 rally in Toronto is being organized by No More Silence (NMS).   NMS aims to develop an inter/national network to support the work being done by activists, academics, researchers, agencies and communities to stop the murders and disappearances of Indigenous women.  To get involved or endorse the event email us at nomoresilence@riseup.net.

The Toronto event is endorsed by CUPE-SCFP; Trans Feminist Action Caucus, CUPE 3903; Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP); Centre for Women and Trans People, University of Toronto; Centre for Women and Trans People, York University; Canadian Chiapanecas Justice for Women; No One Is Illegal Toronto (NOII); For Women’s Autonomy, Rights and Dignity (FORWARD); Toronto Haiti Action Committee.


Algonquin Chief imprisoned for two months: Quebec criminalizes Barriere Lake Algonquins for peaceful protest, ignores signed agreements

December 11, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Quebec judge imprisons Algonquin Chief for two months for peaceful protest: Crown asks for one year to send “clear message” to impoverished community

Kitiganik/Rapid Lake, Algonquin Territory / – On Thursday December 4th a Quebec judge sentenced Barriere Lake Acting Chief Benjamin Nottaway to forty-five days in jail, in addition to fifteen already served in pre-trial detention, for participating in peaceful blockades intended to draw attention to violations of Barriere Lake’s rights by the Canadian and Quebec governments.

Barriere Lake has been demanding that Canada and Quebec honour signed agreements and that Canada appoint an observer to witness and respect the outcome of a new leadership selection in accordance with Barriere Lake’s Customary Governance Code.

“It’s shameful that the government of Quebec would rather throw me in jail than fulfill their legal obligations by implementing signed agreements,” said Acting Chief Nottaway, a father of six who passed his twenty-eighth birthday in jail last Thursday. “Meanwhile, the Government of Canada continues to interfere in our internal affairs while trying to wash its hands of responsibility for this situation.”

Nottaway was charged with three counts of mischief and breach of conditions stemming from March blockades on Barriere Lake’s access road and a November blockade on highway 117 outside the community’s reserve in Northern Quebec. Another blockade in October was violently dismantled by Quebec riot police, who used tear-gas on a crowd that included Elders, youth, and children. More than 40 members of the community of 450 have been charged for these actions.

“Quebec has now joined the company of Ontario, which put the leaders of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation and Ardoch Algonquin First Nation behind bars for peaceful protest. It seems like the provinces’ preferred method for dealing with our rights is to use the police and the courts to punish us until we forget about them,” said Marylynn Poucachiche, a community spokesperson who was arrested during the November blockade.

Crown Attorney France Deschamps asked Judge Jules Barriere for a sentence of 12 months, saying a “clear message” was required “to make sure Nottaway has no desire to do this again, and to discourage the group – because his supporters are waiting to hear what happens here.” Judge Barriere noted that the Crown’s request was “partly illegal,” as 6 months is the maximum possible sentence for summary convictions. But he agreed with Deschamps that a prison sentence was necessary, saying it was “important to pass a clear message to the community.”

The only message the Canadian and Quebec governments are sending is that they are willing to criminalize our community and split apart our families in order to avoid implementing precedent-setting agreements and respecting our leadership customs,” added Nottaway.

Barriere Lake wants Canada and Quebec to uphold signed agreements, dating back to the 1991 Trilateral Agreement, a landmark sustainable development and resource co-management agreement praised by the United Nations and the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. Canada has been in breach of the agreement since 2001. Quebec signed a complementary Bilateral agreement in 1998, but has stalled despite the 2006 recommendations of two former Quebec Cabinet Ministers, Quebec special representative John Ciaccia and Barriere Lake special representative Clifford Lincoln, that the agreement be implemented.

On March 10th, 2008, the Canadian government rescinded recognition of Acting Chief Benjamin Nottaway and his Council and recognized individuals from a minority faction whom the Barriere Lake Elder’s Council says were not selected in accordance with their Customary Governance Code. On March 2nd and 3rd, community members had set up blockades on their access road to prevent members of this minority faction from entering the reservation, anticipating the Canadian government would try to illegally interfere in Barriere Lake’s internal customary governance for the third time in 12 years.

In 2007, Quebec Superior Court Judge Rejean Paul issued a report that concluded that the current faction recognized by the federal government was a “small minority” that “didn’t respect the Customary Governance Code” in an alleged leadership selection in 2006 [1]. The federal government recognized this minority faction after they conducted another alleged leadership selection in January 2008, even though an observer’s report the government relied on stated there was no “guarantee” that the Customary Governance Code was respected [2].

The Algonquin Nation Secretariat, the Tribal Council representing three Algonquin communities including Barriere Lake, continues to recognize and work with Customary Chief Benjamin Nottaway and his Council.

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Media Contacts:

Norman Matchewan, Barriere Lake spokesperson: 819 – 435 – 2171

Marylynn Poucachiche, Barriere Lake spokesperson: 819 – 435 – 2113

Notes

[1] http://web.resist.ca/~barrierelakesolidarity/resources/Rapport_du_Juge_Paul-versionANGLAISEcomplete.doc, pg 26-27
[2] http://web.resist.ca/~barrierelakesolidarity/resources/Riel_Translation_Letter_2.doc , pg 2

Collectif de Solidarité Lac Barrière
*******************************************
www.solidaritelacbarriere.blogspot.com
barrierelakesolidarity@gmail.com


Toronto: Special Screening: Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance

September 23, 2008
Press Release:

Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance
Special anniversary screening in HD with filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin

Toronto, September 15, 2008
– The NFB Mediatheque and DOC Toronto are pleased to welcome Alanis Obomsawin for a special anniversary screening in HD of Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance on Friday, September 26 at 7 p.m.

Alanis Obomsawin, a member of the Abenaki Nation, is one of Canada’s most distinguished documentary filmmakers. In May 2008, Obomsawin received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.

For one special evening we invite you to meet Alanis as she shares her personal insight about the making of Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance.

Behind Mohawk lines during the summer of 1990, Alanis Obomsawin spent 78 days and nights filming an armed standoff between the Kanehsatake Mohawk people, the Quebec police and the Canadian army. A powerful feature-documentary emerges that takes you right into the action of an age-old aboriginal struggle. The result is a portrait of the people behind the barricades, providing insight into the Mohawks’ unyielding determination to protect their land.

This is the first of four films that Obomsawin would make about the Oka crisis, an event that galvanized Aboriginal resistance across North America.  The four films have been re-released by the National Film Board as a commemorative DVD box-set, 270 Years of Resistance, complete with a booklet of essays, available for sale at the NFB Mediatheque.

For further information on how to purchase tickets for this event please visit the NFB Mediatheque website at www.nfb.ca/mediatheque.

About the Mediatheque and the NFB

The NFB Mediatheque is a state-of-the-art multimedia facility in the heart of Toronto’s Entertainment District. A public access point for groundbreaking films from the NFB and around the world, the NFB Mediatheque’s digital viewing stations, educational programming, and special screenings have attracted more than 500,000 visitors since it opened its doors in 2002. www.nfb.ca/mediatheque

Canada’s public film producer and distributor, the National Film Board of Canada produces and distributes bold and distinctive social issues documentaries, auteur animation, alternative drama and innovative digital content that provide the world with a unique Canadian perspective. Since its founding in 1939, the NFB has created over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies. For more information about the NFB, or to order films, go to www.nfb.ca/ or call 1-800-267-7710.

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Media Contacts:

Melissa Wheeler, Promotions & Community Relations Officer, (416) 973.0896, m.wheeler@nfb.ca
Jennifer Mair, NFB Publicist, (416) 954.1384, j.mair@nfb.ca

Office National du Film - National Film Board
For one exceptional evening we invite you to meet Alanis Obomsawin for a special anniversary screening in HD of
Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance
The camera of Alanis Obomsawin does not simply see. It speaks. And it listens. What it hears are North America’s First Peoples — the Aboriginal voices so often cast aside and overlooked in official history.
Alanis will share insight into the making of this powerful, feature length documentary that takes you right into the action of an age-old aboriginal struggle.

Friday, September 26 at 7 PM

BUY YOUR TICKETS IN ADVANCE
$6 | $4 students, seniors, NFB members
150 John street (corner Richmond)
For more information 416.973.3012
www.nfb.ca/mediatheque
Office National du Film - National Film Board

Scott’s DiaTribes:: Attawapiskat: the human faces to Conservative indifference

September 6, 2008

Scott Tribe’s post on the fantastic children in a Canadian indigenous community with no school who are working hard to get one….  This is a MUST READ!!  What the Conservative government is doing to these children is abominable!  Fellow bloggers, I urge you to put a link to this post on your site and raise awareness about the plight of these amazing children who are working so tirelessly to have the school they were promised by both the Liberal and Conservative governments — but those promises were broken, like so many are where First Nations people are concerned.

http://scottdiatribe.gluemeat.com/2008/08/06/attawapiskat-the-human-faces-to-conservative-indifference/

This is a picture of children from the  Cree community of Appawapiskat. The community and these kids have been advocating to the federal government for years for funds to help build a new school to replace their old one, which has been declared condemned. They had received promises from both federal Liberal and Conservative Indian Affairs Ministers that the school would be built, but nothing has been done. Now, however, the ultra-compassionate (said with sarcasm) Chuck Strahl has point-blank said that the school wouldn’t be built.  Not on the priority list, according to Chuck, even though these kids have been without a school for eight years.

[…]

Read the rest of Scott Tribe’s post here: http://scottdiatribe.gluemeat.com/2008/08/06/attawapiskat-the-human-faces-to-conservative-indifference/


Walk for Justice FRIDAY 6:30 PM, welcome women to Toronto – TOMORROW

August 29, 2008

Walk4Justice (a 4,700-kilometre trek from Vancouver to Ottawa) Arrives in Toronto to Raise Awareness About Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women

Welcome Reception: Friday August 29th, First Nations House (563 Spadina Ave.)
A meal will be served and the walkers will address the public & the media beginning at 6:30pm.

Hope to see some of you there!


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Walk4Justice (a 4,700-kilometre trek from Vancouver to Ottawa) Arrives in Toronto to Raise Awareness About Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women

(August 27, 2008) Hundreds of Indigenous women have been murdered or gone missing in Canada over the last decades. These tragic deaths received little public attention until Amnesty International took the unprecedented step of investigating a host country, Canada. The organization linked the disproportionate levels of violence experienced by Indigenous women to governmental polices and called the situation a human rights tragedy. While the public is well aware of the horrors that were committed at a Port Coquitlam Farm few know that one third of the women killed were Indigenous. Recently, in one weekend in Toronto the Native community lost Carolyn Connelly and Katelynn Sampson who was only 7 – both murdered.

The Walk4Justice publicly addresses the key issues faced by marginalized, missing, and murdered Indigenous women and their families. They will present a petition to Parliament Hill on September 15th and demand a national inquiry into these deaths and disappearances.

The Walk4Justice is organized by Gladys Radek, whose niece Tamara Chipman went missing on BC’s Highway of Tears, and Bernie Williams, a front-line worker in Vancouver’s downtown eastside, where many Aboriginal women have gone missing or been murdered. The Walkers left Vancouver on June 21st and arrive in Toronto on August 29th.

The media is welcome at the following public events, organized to welcome and honour the Walk4Justice as they pass through Toronto:

Welcome Reception: Friday August 29th, First Nations House (563 Spadina Ave.)
A meal will be served and the walkers will address the public & the media beginning at 6:30pm.

Public Send-Off: September 2nd, 9am at Allen Gardens (across from the Native Women’s Resource Centre, 191 Gerrard St.). The Walkers will be continuing on to Tyendinaga on September 2nd, and arriving in Ottawa on September 12th. They will be on Parliament Hill September 15th.

A full day of events has been planned at Six Nations, where the Walkers will be welcomed by Bev Jacobs, president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada. They will also visit the Six Nations Polytechnic, where a tree has been planted in memory of Tashina General, murdered last Spring at the age of 21, and her unborn son, Tucker.

For more information, please contact:

− Audrey Huntley, No More Silence Network Toronto: 416-508-8632
− Gladys Radek, Walk4Justice Organizer: 778-839-0072
− Norma General, Grandmother to Tashina General (Six Nations) 519-445-4238
− Bev Jacobs, President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada: 613-878-6922


Naomi Klein speaking in Toronto at Bloor Cinema, September 29th

August 26, 2008
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OPIRG – Toronto Presents:

Naomi Klein
on the SHOCK DOCTRINE: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

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Monday, September 29th, 2008
Bloor Cinema: 506 Bloor St. W, Toronto
6:30 pm
Tickets are $8.00 in advance, $10 at the door

Tickets Available starting August 26th at:

  • Toronto Women’s Bookstore: 73 Harbord St.
  • OPIRG – Toronto Office: 563 Spadina Ave.
  • University of Toronto Students’ Union Office: 12 Hart House Circle
  • University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union Office: 3359 Mississauga Rd. N.

**All proceeds going to support the communities of Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory and the Algonquins of Barriere Lake

Bestselling Writer, award winning Journalist and Filmmaker Naomi Klein is speaking in Toronto on Monday, September 29th on the release of her new book: “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism”.

In THE SHOCK DOCTRINE, Naomi Klein explodes the myth that the global free market triumphed democratically. Exposing the thinking, the money trail and the puppet strings behind the world-changing crises and wars of the last four decades, The Shock Doctrine is the gripping story of how America’s “free market” policies have come to dominate the world– through the exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries. (www.naomiklein.org)

Contact: OPIRG – Toronto: www.opirguoft.org / opirg.toronto@utoronto.ca / 416-978-7770
For information on
Tyendinaga Support Committee: http://www.ocap.ca/supporttmt
Barriere Lake Solidarity: http://barrierelakesolidarity.blogspot.com/
Co-Sponsored By: Toronto Women’s Bookstore, UTSU, UTMSU, CUPE 1281, Arts and Science Students’ Union
**To become a co-sponsor please contact OPIRG