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National chief Shawn Atleo joins activists in call to action

GLORIA GALLOWAY  OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail

The leader of this country’s largest indigenous group says Friday’s National Aboriginal Day is an opportunity to reconcile the difficult history that native people share with other Canadians.

But as First Nations grow increasingly frustrated with a federal government they say is oblivious to their concerns, Shawn Atleo is talking less about conciliation and more about things that will be done to drive home the urgency of the situation.

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Aboriginal activists to ‘increase tension’ over rights during summer of action

From , canada.com:

OTTAWA — Indigenous rights activists are aiming to “increase tension” this summer to oppose the Harper government’s agenda, which they say ignores aboriginal rights and weakens environmental protections.

Friday, National Aboriginal Day, marks the launch of the so-called “Sovereignty Summer” in which the grassroots indigenous Idle No More movement says it will band together with other activist groups to plan “non-violent direct action” across the country.

“The point is to increase tension,” said Sheelah McLean, one of Idle No More’s four co-founders. “To raise awareness and increase tension between people who are wanting to assert their rights and people who are unjustly forgetting about the rights of indigenous peoples.”

At play are many of the same issues that helped galvanize the indigenous movement in December and January when protests reached their peak: matters such as implementing historic treaty rights, the federal government’s changes to environmental protections, and consultation with aboriginals regarding resource development on their traditional lands.

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National Aboriginal Day: First Nations Groups March On Parliament Hill

CP  |  By Steve Rennie, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - As First Nations groups marched on Parliament Hill to mark National Aboriginal Day, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair forecast a "hot summer" as tensions in the country's indigenous communities threaten to boil over.

"I can tell from having talked to hundreds of representatives of First Nations that that frustration is palpable, it's growing, especially amongst the young people," Mulcair said Friday.

"We're going to see a lot of activity on this file during the summer. ... I'm quite concerned that it will be a hot summer on the native file across Canada, on the aboriginal file. Mr. Harper's going to have only himself to blame."

About 150 people started their walk at Victoria Island in the Ottawa River — where Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence staged her liquid-only protest earlier this year — and made their way to the Parliament Buildings.

They whistled, beat drums, sang and waved an array of flags as they brought lunchtime traffic to a halt on the bridge connecting Ottawa and Gatineau, Que. Some carried signs that read "A sacred journey for future generations" and "A walk for unity."

Activists say the march marks the beginning of a "Sovereignty Summer, which is an offshoot of the Idle No More movement that encompasses other aboriginal groups.

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Sovereignty Summer to ‘increase tension’ over rights during summer of action

idle_no_more_kitimat_20121230_25399711.jpgBy Michael Woods, Postmedia News

OTTAWA —Indigenous rights activists are aiming to “increase tension” this summer to oppose the Harper government’s agenda, which they say ignores aboriginal rights and weakens environmental protections.

Friday, National Aboriginal Day, marks the launch of the so-called “Sovereignty Summer” in which the grassroots indigenous Idle No More movement says it will band together with other activist groups to plan “non-violent direct action” across the country.

“The point is to increase tension,” said Sheelah McLean, one of Idle No More’s four co-founders. “To raise awareness and increase tension between people who are wanting to assert their rights and people who are unjustly forgetting about the rights of indigenous peoples.”

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First Nations groups mobilizing for “Sovereignty Summer”

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As spring draws to a close, aboriginal groups are gearing up for a very busy few months in what’s been dubbed “Sovereignty Summer” by organizers and activists.

And they’re hoping to cause a hassle for the Conservative government.

Organizers from Idle No More and Defenders of the Land, a network of indigenous communities aiming to protect environmental and aboriginal rights, have banded together for the joint Sovereignty Summer campaign.

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First Nations Leader Calls on Politicians to Experience Tar Sands Firsthand at 2013 Healing Walk

Minister Joe Oliver and Premier Redford Invited to Join More than 500 Residents and Concerned Citizens From Across Canada, US

FORT MCMURRAY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - June 17, 2013) -

Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available on the Canadian Press picture wire via Marketwire.

Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Fort Chipewyan First Nation has issued a formal request to Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver and Alberta Premier Allison Redford to join the fourth annual Tar Sands Healing Walk in Fort McMurray on July 6. A fourteen-kilometre, day-long journey, hosted by the Keepers of the Athabasca, the Healing Walk is a spiritual gathering focused on healing the traditional territory of the nations that has been impacted by tar sands expansion.

"We believe that our politicians are out of touch and have no idea what it is like to live day-to-day in a place that has been made toxic by out of control tar sands development. It is important for them to experience this place, to drink the water, breathe the air and hear from the people who are quickly losing hope for a livable future for their children and grandchildren," said Chief Adam. "On behalf of our nation and the more than five hundred others who will join us on this journey, we invite Minister Oliver and Premier Redford to walk alongside us."

To encourage participation by the politicians, the nation has also issued a formal petition, which to date has already gathered close to 7000 signatures. The petition can be found on the Healing Walk website at http://www.healingwalk.org/helpfromhome

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Despite heavy RCMP presence Mi’kmaq, Maliseet continue anti-fracking protests in New Brunswick

It was another day of protest in New Brunswick as Mi’kmaq, Maliseet and their supporters voiced their opposition to shale gas exploration in Kent County.

About 100 people have gathered near the town of Birch Ridge, NB, where SWN Resources Canada and their subcontractors have equipment and vehicles used for shale gas exploration stored.

SWN Resources Canada is one of the largest companies involved in shale gas exploration in the province. Many Mi’kmaq and Maliseet are opposed to the exploration, saying that it will eventually lead to ‘fracking’ and cause serious harm to the environment, especially water.

First Nations also say there was insufficient consultation done by the province.

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Treaty no. 6, 7 and 8 Chiefs Upset with INAC Education Meeting

...Prior to the meeting date, in line with protocol and tradition the Chiefs of Treaty no. 6, 7 and 8 held a pipe ceremony for guidance and understanding. This ceremony was intended to allow our Treaty partners to respect and understand the Chiefs position and to facilitate meaningful dialog. Entering the meeting, Grand Chief Makinaw stated that:

“...this must not be considered consultation, as the Chiefs of Treaty 6 are deeply disappointed by the absence of the Minister. The outcome of the January 11 meeting with the Prime Minister was a dedication to High Level meetings with Chiefs, and this does not meet that dedication and any conversation that takes place must be taken without prejudice.”

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Elijah Harper, key player in Meech Lake accord, dies at 64

Elijah Harper, a former Manitoba MLA and MP who was a key player in defeating the Meech Lake accord, has died at the age of 64. Harper died early Friday in Ottawa as a result of cardiac failure due to diabetes complications, according to a statement released by his family.

Harper achieved national fame in 1990 by holding an eagle feather as he stood in the Manitoba legislature and refused to support the Meech Lake accord, effectively blocking the constitutional amendment package negotiated to gain Quebec's acceptance of the Constitution Act of 1982.

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First Nations groups prepare for Sovereignty Summer

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