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
From The Canadian Press published on cbc.ca
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."Read more
Our Last Best Hope to Save our Water, Air and Earth
Years ago I was working for a well-known Indigenous environmental and economic justice organization known as the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN). During my time with this organization I had the privilege of working with hundreds of Indigenous communities across the planet who had seen a sharp increase in the targeting of Native lands for mega-extractive and other toxic industries. The largest of these conflicts, of course, was the overrepresentation by big oil who work— often in cahoots with state, provincial First Nations, Tribal and federal governments both in the USA and Canada—to gain access to the valuable resources located in our territories. IEN hired me to work in a very abstract setting, under impossible conditions, with little or no resources to support Grassroots peoples fighting oil companies, who had become, in the era of free market economics, the most powerful and well-resourced entities of our time. My mission was to fight and protect the sacredness of Mother Earth from toxic contamination and corporate exploration, to support our Peoples to build sustainable local economies rooted in the sacred fire of our traditions.Read more
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.Read more