In what appears to be “Shame on You, Canada” Day, the Guardian has a damning piece on how the Harper regime is intent on severing Canada’s First Nations from their rightful claims to ancestral lands.
First Nations have been emboldened by this summer’s Supreme Court of Canada William decision, which recognized the aboriginal title of the Tsilhqot’in nation to 1750 square kilometres of their land in central British Columbia – not outright ownership, but the right to use and manage the land and to reap its economic benefits.The ruling affects all “unceded” territory in Canada – those lands (Read more…)
This weekend, I am thankful for folks in Seattle who know how to transform the imperialist Columbus Day into Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
May we all learn this for next year!
“We are all citizens in a democracy, we are all here to work with each other, and by making this Indigenous People’s Day, we are adding something, we are not taking something away. We can both recognize our strengths.”
“We are not reveling in the pain of our past, but rejoicing in the celebration of a triumph—the voice of the indigenous people who are saying ‘we are still (Read more…)
Assorted content for your weekend reading.
- Charlie Smith discusses – and then follows up on – Donald Gutstein’s work in tracing the connections between the Harper Cons and the shadowy, U.S.-based network of right-wing propaganda mills: In Harperism: How Stephen Harper and His Think Tank Colleagues Have Transformed Canada (James Lorimer & Company Ltd.), Gutstein makes the case that neoliberalism is far more sinister than simply having a desire for smaller government. A central tenet of his new book is that Harper is undermining democracy by marshalling the power of government to create and enforce (Read more…)
Assorted content to end your week.
- Don Pittis makes the case for a guaranteed annual income on economic and social grounds: The young would be some of the biggest beneficiaries. Students could use the money to pay for their education, thus eliminating student loan programs. Students from poor families could afford to take courses to improve their skills.
The old age security system could disappear. So would the baby bonus itself. The demogrant would supplement government programs such as minimum wage, EI, CPP/QPP, disability allowance – all resulting in bureaucratic savings.
But going back to my original question: if (Read more…)
BC Chiefs Roland Wilson, Liz Logan and Stewart Phillip taking their anti-Site C message to Ottawa (Twitter)
Read this Sept. 24 Globe and Mail story by Dene Moore on the trip taken by several BC First Nations chiefs to Ottawa, calling on the federal Cabinet to reject the proposed Site C Dam.
With a decision imminent on the Site C hydroelectric project in northeastern British Columbia, area First Nations have delivered a message to the provincial government: You can have the dam or you can have liquefied natural gas, but you will not get both.
The $8-billion dam (Read more…)
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- Robert Reich discusses how our economic system is set up to direct risk toward the people who can least afford to bear it (while also directing the spoils to those who need them least): Bankruptcy was designed so people could start over. But these days, the only ones starting over are big corporations, wealthy moguls, and Wall Street.
Corporations are even using bankruptcy to break contracts with their employees. When American Airlines went into bankruptcy three years ago, it voided its labor agreements and froze its employee pension plan.
After it emerged (Read more…)
I see that the Canadian Human Rights Museum has finally opened its doors in Winnipeg.Which as someone who has fought all his life for human rights, is something I would normally celebrate.Except for the ghastly almost unbelievable fact that it doesn't recognize Canada's aboriginal genocide.Because Stephen Harper and his disgusting Con regime won't acknowledge what was done to our precious native people. Read more »
Activist members of Alberta First Nations to tell world leaders: “We will not stop fighting until we’ve stopped tar sands at the source.”
The post Alberta Activists Join Tar Sands Bloc at People’s Climate March appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
…and a democratic Parliament broke out.
This and that for your Thursday reading.
- Linda McQuaig discusses how a politically-oriented audit of the CCPA fits with the shock-and-awe part of the right’s war against independent (and public-minded) though: In the conservative quest to shape public debate in recent years, no tool has proved more useful than the think tank. Nobody understood this better than the director of the ultra-right wing U.S.-based ATLAS Foundation, who once stated that his mission was “to litter the world with free-market think tanks.”
Mission accomplished. Certainly the Canadian landscape is cluttered with right-wing think tanks — the Fraser Institute, (Read more…)
Video of the historic meeting between the premier of BC and First Nations leaders – featuring Christy Clark, Chief Roger William and Grand Chiefs Ed John and Stewart Phillip.
Watch the premier’s dramatic about-face on the landmark Tsilhqot’in legal case, as she vows to embrace the Supreme Court ruling and commit to fundamentally changing the government’s relationship with First Nations.
The leaders of the First Nations Summit and Union of BC Indian Chiefs, along with Tsilhqot’in lead plaintiff Roger William, each sounded a note of cautious optimism at this new “opportunity”.
In addition to this Vancouver meeting, the premier and (Read more…)
Tsilhqot’in Chief Roger William and Premier Christy Clark meeting in Vancouver today (Damien Gillis
This is the story of change.
Premier Christy Clark is to be congratulated for going to the Nemiah Valley and meeting with the Tsilhqot’in First Nation leaders about their position on land claims now that they have won a landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision.
It is easy to say “about time”, except that same criticism could be applied to several premiers, going back years. I believe this is the first time a BC premier could have made such a visit and that we all had to (Read more…)
APTN demonstrates how low a priority First Nations relations are with the Harper government at the moment:
The Franklin expedition ship found by researchers on the Arctic seabed has a detailed and colourful history within Inuit oral tradition, yet the Inuit garnered only one 17-word sentence among the press releases and backgrounders released by the Prime Minister’s Office at the time after Tuesday’s announced discovery…the general public wouldn’t know about the key role Inuit oral history played in the selection of the search area by reading the information posted on the PMO’s website. There, the role of the Inuit in (Read more…)
Here’s a familiar trope: immigrants are industrious and hard-working. Here’s another, opposite trope: First Nations are idle and lazy. And here’s a graph that beautifully calls into question this neat pair of stereotypes.
Source: Angella McEwen, Progressive Economics Forum.
It turns out that off-reserve First Nations workers and recent immigrants face the same unemployment rate – one that is much higher than that faced by workers born in Canada. As Angella MacEwen, who posted this graph, points out it highlights that “there are systemic barriers that need to be addressed” in the labour market.
On the one hand, there is (Read more…)
My guests today help take a fresh look at two issues where British Columbia is on the front lines of bigger social conflicts: that over the future of public education and that over resource development on First Nations lands.
My first guest is Helesia Luke, life-long public education advocate and member of the board of the BC Society for Public Education. In the midst of BC’s continuing teachers’ strike, she recently wrote a very incisive article on how the government’s $40 per day cash payment to parents are reminiscent of vouchers and fit with broader efforts (Read more…)
If Canada wants to be taken seriously, the national crisis of 1,200 missing and murdered aboriginal women must be addressed, argues Winnipeg columnist Don Marks.
The post Missing and murdered aboriginal women a black eye on Canada appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
This post has been evolving for quite a long time. However, in the last few days, a series of pieces have been published which bring together several threads of thought that I have been exploring for the last several years.
There has long been a degree of bigotry and racism underlying modern day conservative ideologies. At a glance, it appears to have its roots in the politics of religious literalism and the desire for simple, black-and-white explanations of the world in which we live. My thinking on this matter has clarified enormously in the last few days.
The first (Read more…)
In an August 26 video, several hereditary chiefs and members of the Luutkudziiwus clan from the Gitxsan First Nation territory in northwest BC declared that they are constructing a camp “to stop LNG from developing their pipe through our land.”
The camp lies in the path on the proposed Prince Rupert Gas Transmission (PRGT) pipeline, which would feed a planned LNG plant north of Prince Rupert, being developed by Malaysian energy giant Petronas and its Canadian subsidiary Progress Energy. TransCanada Pipelines was selected last year to build the approximately 900-km pipeline, which would carry gas from northeast BC to a plant on Lelu Island, in the (Read more…)
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police stand in the way of a national public inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.
The post Public Inquiry: Harper, Police Chiefs Don’t Care About Aboriginal Women appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- David Reevely writes about the stench of corporate corruption hanging over a privately-sponsored premiers’ conference. And Paul Willcocks nicely contrasts the professed belief by politicians that campaign contributions don’t unduly policy against the expectations of everybody else affected by the political system – including big donors themselves: Most people figure that money matters. That when someone who gives hundreds of thousands of dollars to a party calls a politician, they get access and a chance to ask for favours. That they are buying special treatment.
The people taking in all that cash, unsurprisingly, (Read more…)
The latest Coyne article seems to be self defeating in its thesis.
“It’s not evident what contribution another public inquiry would make,” opines Coyne.
For one thing, we could have an inquiry to demonstrate that for Coyne. Or we could for once listen to what First Nations people want out of the Canadian government, rather than what a mainstream newspaper columnist in Toronto wants for First Nations people. The act of the federal government doing what First Nations want over what white people in Ontario want, would be a step in the right direction to healing some of the rifts (Read more…)
Assorted content to start your week.
- Robert Jay Lifton discusses the “stranded ethics” of a fossil fuel industry which is willing to severely damage our planet in order to protect market share: Can we continue to value, and thereby make use of, the very materials most deeply implicated in what could be the demise of the human habitat? It is a bit like the old Jack Benny joke, in which an armed robber offers a choice, “Your money or your life!” And Benny responds, “I’m thinking it over.” We are beginning to “think over” such choices on (Read more…)