Canada's placid winter surface has been broken by unprecedented protests by its aboriginal peoples. In just a few weeks, a small campaign launched against the Conservative government's budget bill by four aboriginal women has expanded and transformed into a season of discontent: a cultural and political resurgence.
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So You Are Thinking of Blockading or a Company is Threatening to Destroy Your Land: An Informal Brief on Injunctions
In Elsipogtog right now, a scenario is playing out that repeats itself in communities across the country, but often goes unnoticed: the injunction is mediating conflict between Indigenous-state-private sector parties. While a more detailed and specific analysis is needed on the role of injunctions in the Elsipogtog conflict over fracking on Mik’maq lands, here is a general overview prepared quickly to clarify some basic information about what the remedy can offer and what it restricts in terms of Indigenous assertions of jurisdiction over land.
What is an injunction? In plain terms, it is a legal tool that restrains someone from doing something.
There are two kinds of injunctions: (1) a permanent injunction that is awarded after a trial; (2) an interlocutory injunction that is more immediate and used when people think a trial will take too long. This second type of injunction is the one most often used by companies to restrain Indigenous peoples from blockading or by Indigenous peoples to stop development on their lands.Read more
By Elyse Bruce
We don’t celebrate Columbus Day in this house, and we never will. It’s not that we don’t enjoy holidays when they come around. We love holidays around here as much as anyone, but there are some holidays that, in my opinion, should not be celebrated.
Columbus Day is one of those holidays I believe should not be celebrated … ever!
I’d consider celebrating Columbus Day in this house if it was treated the same way we observe Remembrance Day. There are far more similarities between Columbus Day and Remembrance Day than there are between Columbus Day and happy celebrations like the 4th of July or Christmas.Read more
Termination—means the ending of First Nations pre-existing sovereign status through federal coercion of First Nations into Comprehensive Land Claims and/or Self-Government Final Agreements at 93 Termination Tables, impacting 402 bands/non-status/metis and a total population of 331,945.
The federal government “Core Mandates” for negotiation of final agreements and the main tenets of Harper’s Termination Plan are to get First Nations to:
By Shannon Corregan - Times Colonist
Idle No More is gearing up for an international day of action on Monday. The choice of date is significant, as Monday is the 250th anniversary of the royal proclamation of 1763, which marked the end of the French and Indian War and laid the foundations for British Canada.Read more
As our convoy of trucks stopped on the gravel road a little boy, not more than four years old, leapt from the box of one of the pick-up trucks. His bare feet hit the ground and he scrambled up into the forest. His hair hung half way down his back in a single braid. The moment he reached the tree line he began to pick wild berries and shove them into his mouth. As a father of a young boy, a brief moment of panic fluttered over me -- what is he eating? Nobody stopped to check; even at this age he knew exactly what was safe to eat and what was not. Blueberries were in season. They were sweet and plentiful.Read more
By Judy Rebick - rabble.ca
I don't celebrate Canada Day, never have. Political protests that talk about "taking back Canada" make me uncomfortable. "We," the people who live here, have never had Canada. Even if some people's romantic idea of what Canada was in some distant past when Tommy Douglas was standing for medicare or when Pierre Elliot Trudeau was unwilling to see homosexuality be illegal, I still wouldn't celebrate Canada. July 1 was the day that Canada was formed. In essence it was based on a deal between Upper and Lower Canada, the British colony and the French one. It was an unequal deal that we have been paying for ever since but more importantly both were based on the annihilation of most and marginalization of the rest of First Nations.Read more
By Harsha Walia in the Feminist Wire
Photo by Trudy Ferguson
Every morning this week I have woken up to my email inbox and social media feed filled with inspiring stories and images of resistance as part of the Idle No More and Defenders of the Land call for Sovereignty Summer. Sovereignty Summer is “a campaign of coordinated non-violent direct actions to promote Indigenous rights and environmental protection in alliance with non-Indigenous supporters.”
Colonialism in North America has been designed to ensure the forced displacement of Indigenous peoples from their territories, the destruction of autonomy and self-determination within Indigenous governance, and the attempted assimilation of Indigenous cultures and traditions. This has been justified through racist civilizing discourses, such as the discovery doctrine and terra nullius, whichuphold the political and legal right for colonial powers to conquer supposedly barren Indigenous lands.Read more
Martin Lukacs - guardian.co.uk
The grassroots IdleNoMore movement of aboriginal people offers a more sustainable future for all Canadians.
Being at the Idle No More drum dance in Yellowknife this past week was moving in many ways. It was led, in part, by strong young Indigenous women who have moved in their own decolonization journeys from frustrated anger to empowered loving action. In the cold afternoon air, the sun shone bright as more than a dozen drummers spoke loud and clear with a unified beat. Dancing to the drum in the middle of the city brought a hush over the dancers: the land was fed by the closeness and spirit of the people, receiving the offering and affirmation made by the drummers and the circle. The drum dance transcended the political context, revealing a spiritual bond that lives and breathes through Dene being indivisible from the land.Read more