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Paul S. Graham: Warrior Up! The Mi’kmaq Struggle Against Fracking at Elsipogtog

Winnipeg, Feb. 17, 2014: Suzanne Patles of the Mi’kmaq Warriors Society, speaking at Thunderbird House. Photo: Paul S. Graham

It is time to “warrior up” according to Suzanne Patles of the Mi’kmaq Warriors Society. She spoke at Thunderbird House in Winnipeg on Feb. 17, 2014 as part of a national tour to raise awareness about the struggle at Elsipogtog First Nation against shale gas fracking and police repression, as well as their ongoing assertion of nationhood.

Their blockade in opposition to shale gas fracking at Elsipogtog First Nation (located in Kent County, New Brunswick) came to national attention on October (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: The Gift of Treaties

Winnipeg, Jan. 21, 2014: Niigaan James Sinclair, speaking at the “Gift of Treaties” teach-in organized by Idle No More Manitoba. Photo: Paul S. Graham

A standard dictionary definition of the word “treaty” will describe it, rather drily, as a formal agreement between two or more states – an instrument of international relations commonly used to make peace, cement alliances, enable commerce, and so on.

For Anishinaabe scholar and activist Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, treaties are gifts which oblige the signatories to accept and value each as equals. Treaties, says Sinclair, are as old as creation and inextricably embedded in the (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Thank you, Neil Young, for telling the truth

Filed under: Aboriginal Peoples, Environment, Nibbling on The Empire Tagged: aboriginal rights, Alberta oil sands, alberta tar sands, Neil Young

Paul S. Graham: Video: Idle No More 2.0

Several hundred members and supporters of Idle No More gathered at the centre court of the Polo Park Mall in Winnipeg Friday evening to sing and to dance. Some are calling it Idle No More 2.0. Idle No More Manitoba spokesperson Michael Kannon explains why in this video report.

Filed under: Aboriginal Peoples, Winnipeg Tagged: aboriginal rights, idle no more, Idle No More Manitoba, Winnipeg

Paul S. Graham: Video: The five main threats to Lake Winnipeg

October 26, 2013: Diane Orihel, founder and director of the Coalition to Save ELA, speaks to a workshop in Winnipeg on water quality sponsored by Idle No More Manitoba. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Diane Orihel is a PhD candidate at the University of Alberta and the founder and Director of the Coalition to Save ELA.The Coalition to Save ELA is a nonpartisan group of scientists and citizens concerned about the future of Canada’s Experimental Lakes Area.

Located in northwestern Ontario, the ELA consists of 58 small lakes and their watersheds that have been set aside for research. Since 1968, (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Video: Fracking in Manitoba

Winnipeg, Oct. 26, 2013: Retired scientist Dennis Le Neveu spoke at a forum on the environmental hazards of fracking, sponsored by Idle No More Manitoba. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Fracking is a process used to extract oil and natural gas. It involves drilling horizontal wells into rock formations and injecting a mixture of fresh water, chemicals and sand under high pressure to fracture the rock and release the oil and gas.

Fracking has been linked with contaminated water aquifers, air pollution and earthquakes.

In Manitoba, the gas extracted with the oil is hydrogen sulfide, a toxic gas that is lethal (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Video: No Prairie Pipeline

TransCanada Pipelines’ proposed “Energy East” pipeline project, which is intended to transport Alberta tar sands crude to eastern Canada, is meeting growing opposition from First Nations, environmentalists and citizens who live along the planned route.

The Winnipeg chapter of the Council of Canadians, along with Idle No More and the Boreal Forest Network held a public forum on the issue on October 22, 2013. Speakers included Maryam Adrangi, the Council of Canadians’ Energy and Climate Campaigner, and Crystal Green, Michael Kannon and Nina Was’te of Idle No More. The forum was moderated by Susan McCrea of the Boreal Forest (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Winnipeg Jingle Dance: “We deserve to live!”

Winnipeg, Oct. 12, 2013: Jingle dancers ready themselves to welcome the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Winnipeg, Canada: Thousands gathered at the intersection of Portage and Main Street to welcome the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Professor James Anaya, with a Jingle Dance. Speaking in this clip are Jo Redsky and Michael Champagne, activists in Canada’s Idle No More movement.

Among the many issues outstanding between the First Nations and the Government of Canada is the refusal of the federal government to hold a national inquiry into the (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Video: Speak Up For Democracy

October 8, 2013 – Green Party leader Elizabeth May, speaking at the Speak Up For Democracy Town Hall Meeting in Winnipeg. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Canadian democracy ain’t what it used to be and what it used to be was far from ideal. Still, fewer of us are voting and even fewer are satisfied with the outcome.

In recent years, voter turnout has declined precipitously. Of the 24.2 million citizens eligible to vote in the 2011 federal election, only 14.8 million, or 61.1 per cent did so. Of those who voted, 39.6 per cent, or (Read more…)

Paul S. Graham: Winnipeggers demand justice for missing and murdered aboriginal women

Oct. 4, 2013: Winnipeggers gathered at the Manitoba Legislature to remember the lives of 600 missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada, 75 of whom came from Manitoba. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Winnipeggers gathered at the Manitoba Legislature on Friday afternoon to demand an national inquiry into the causes for the disappearance or death of over 600 indigenous women in Canada in recent years. The demonstrators repeated a longstanding demand for a for national inquiry, something that has gained the support of all provincial premiers and territorial leaders, but which continues to be rejected by the federal government.

Appearing in (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Prominent Canadians want Victoria Day renamed to honour Aboriginals

From Victoria Day to ‘Victoria and First People’s Day’. How does that sound? Prolific author Margaret Atwood, Green Party leader Elizabeth May, actor Gordon Pinsent and other prominent Canadians are demanding that “Victoria Day” be renamed “Victoria and First Peoples Day”. To honour Aboriginal peoples’ contributions to Canada. The group, which also includes politicians, is supporting [...]

The post Prominent Canadians want Victoria Day renamed to honour Aboriginals appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Paul S. Graham: Walking for Mother Earth

Winnipeg, April 21, 2013: Some of the participants in the 10th annual Seventh Generation Walk for Mother Earth, at the Oodena Circle at The Forks. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Despite the inclement weather, this year’s Seventh Generation Walk for Mother Earth was a lively celebration that began at Central Park and ended at Thunderbird House, with stops along the way at the Manitoba Hydro headquarters and the Oodena Circle at The Forks.

Held on Sunday, April 21, this year’s walk was in support of the Voices of Indigenous Women and in solidarity with the growing Idle No More Movement.

Speakers (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: NDP Convention 2013: Resolution on Idle No More, Aboriginal Peoples

By: Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive: 5-05-13 Resolution on Idle No More, submitted by the Aboriginal Peoples Commission. WHEREAS years of inaction and broken promises from successive liberal and conservative government has led to severe social injustice and shocking poverty in too many communities WHEREAS as a consequence we are witnessing an historic and [...]

The post NDP Convention 2013: Resolution on Idle No More, Aboriginal Peoples appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Paul S. Graham: First Nations, Environmentalists oppose HudBay Minerals’ Reed Lake Mine

April 4, 2013, Winnipeg: Opponents of the Reed Lake Mine in northern Manitoba confront HudBay Mineral’s officials. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Opponents of Hudbay Mineral’s planned copper mine at Reed Lake, Manitoba held a peaceful demonstration at an information meeting held by the company at a Holiday Inn in Winnipeg. The demonstrators, many of whom are active in the Idle No More movement, confronted HudBay officials for about 15 minutes to voice their opposition and to demand a halt to the project.

Reed Lake is in the Grass River Provincial Park, about 110 kilometres east of Flin Flon. The mining

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350 or bust: Take Time To Renew Your Spirit

Paul S. Graham: Idle No More – it’s really all about love

Jo Seenie Redsky: “We’re your last resort.” Photo: Paul S. Graham

If your only source of information is the mainstream news media you can be forgiven for wondering what the Idle No More movement is all about. Since it burst on the scene late last year, media attention has darted from demonstrations to blockades to the fasts of elders and chiefs — with an occasional sustained flurry of excitement when the PMO tried to smear Chief Theresa Spence.

Discussions of the abrogation of historic treaty rights or the corporate pillaging Stephen Harper has buried, like poisonous turds, in his (Read more…)

350 or bust: Chief Spence Ends Her Hunger Strike, But The Struggle Continues

* Chief Theresa Spence has ended her hunger strike today. Here is the press release issued by her and her supporters: * Daniel Wilson reflects on the legacy of Chief Spence’s hunger strike today on Rabble.ca: We can help give success a chance, as Chief Spence and Elder Robinson are now doing by allowing the [...]

The Canadian Progressive: Paul Martin says Ottawa has ‘no understanding’ of native issues

Former prime minister was the architect of the 2005 Kelowna Accord By Jennifer Clibbon | CBC News, Jan 17, 2013 4:58 AM ET Few Canadian leaders know the issues raised by Idle No More better than former prime minister Paul Martin. As Canada’s 21st prime minister, Martin will be remembered as the architect of the 2005 Kelowna Accord, which READ MORE

350 or bust: Idle No More Challenges Enbridge’s Pipedreams

“Everything that we do to water, we do to life because water is life. It’s not just us – we are all connected, we have to protect everything that lives, that shares the earth that we do…Idle No More is about us standing up and speaking up. We have never been asleep, and now more [...]

The Canadian Progressive: Is Chief Theresa Spence your 2012 newsmaker of the year? POLL

Is hunger striker Chief Theresa Spence, who entered Day 20 of her peaceful protest today, your 2012 newsmaker of the year? Is it the Idle No More movement? The Quebec student movement? Beleaguered Toronto Mayor Rob Ford? Is it Kevin Page, Canada’s fearless gallant Parliamentary Budget Officer, who showed uncommon courage recently when he took the Harper government to court seeking accountability and READ MORE

The Canadian Progressive: United Church of Canada implores Harper to meet with hunger striker Chief Spence

by United Church of Canada: December 19, 2012 The Right Hon. Stephen Harper Prime Minister of Canada House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario Fax: 613-941-6900 Dear Prime Minister Harper: We write with urgency to implore you to meet with Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence, as soon as possible. We are very concerned for her wellbeing READ MORE

Canadian Progressive World: WTF? Justin Bieber says Aboriginal peoples get free gas in Canada

That’s what the 18-year-old Canadian pop star has told Rolling Stone magazine. The trouble is: our over-produced, over-exposed, man-made spoiled brat claims to have Aboriginal roots.

But you know who’s to blame for Bieber’s ignorance? Girls. That’s right. Rolling Stone believes Bieber is “ready to be a grown-up superstar, if only those millions of screaming girls would let him think.” Seriously?

Betty Ann Lavallée, national chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, was quick to set the record straight:

These kinds of remarks are another example of what Aboriginal peoples in Canada struggle with every day. It promotes the

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Paul S. Graham: Video: Niki Ashton – “Mr. Harper — if you’re not part of the solution, YOU are part of the problem.”

Churchill MP Niki Ashton gave an impassioned speech at the July 11th Winnipeg rally for a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women. In addition to posing the video, I’m providing a transcript because it neatly sums up this ongoing tragedy and the Harper government’s decisions that have served only to make matters worse.

Winnipeg, July 11, 2012: Churchill MP Niki Ashton speaking at a rally in support of provincial and national inquiries into missing and murdered aboriginal woman in Canada. Photo: Paul S. Graham

Our message is clear. There is an epidemic of missing and murdered aboriginal women

. . . → Read More: Paul S. Graham: Video: Niki Ashton – “Mr. Harper — if you’re not part of the solution, YOU are part of the problem.”

Paul S. Graham: Video: Manitoba’s Grand Chiefs demand provincial, national & international inquiries into missing & murdered women

Winnipeg: July 11, 2012: Three of the several hundred demonstrators who marched through downtown Winnipeg demanding public inquiries into the the deaths and disappearances of 600 hundred indigenous women in Canada. Photo: Paul S. Graham

More than 600 indigenous women in Canada are believed to have gone missing or been murdered in recent years. The slowness of governments to act and the lack of progress where governments have acted have spurred Manitoba’s aboriginal organizations to demand full-scale provincial and national inquiries.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak and the Southern Chiefs Organization have written to Prime Minister Stephen

. . . → Read More: Paul S. Graham: Video: Manitoba’s Grand Chiefs demand provincial, national & international inquiries into missing & murdered women

350 or bust: “Our Answer To Enbridge Is NO”

Ta’Kaiya, 10, lives in North Vancouver and is from the Sliammon First Nation. She traveled on the Yinka Dene Alliance Freedom Train that recently crossed Canada to raise awareness of the threat posed By Enbridge’s tar sands pipeline through coastal First Nations territory. Here she is performing a song she wrote, Shallow Waters, at the [...]