LIRR Digest – July 10, 2015

Hello friends,

There are so many things happening in the area of building right relations,  that I have a hard time choosing what items to include, and in what order.   🙂  Although the email looks long, I encourage you to at least ‘skip’ through to the end, because you never know which item will be of particular interest to you.

I have only included one item giving coverage to the annual Assembly of First Nations in Montreal this week, but many interesting speeches were given.  We will look forward to AFN National Chief Bellegarde speaking to GC42 in Cornerbrook, NB.

WEBINAR:  25 YEARS LATER:  IMPACTS OF THE OKA CRISIS
Saturday, July 11 – 9:00 to 11:30 am EDT
Register: https://www.facebook.com/events/1457197401262447/
Facilitated by Ellen Gabriel and Jolene Rickard
The webinar is part of the activities of the art exhibit Onehkwéntara Kanehstóte – the Red Post commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Occupation of Kanehsatà:ke & Kahnawà:ke  (1990 Oka Crisis) and its impacts.

 PADDLE FOR THE PEACE (RIVER) – SUPPORT TREATY 8 IN COURT REGARDING SITE C DAM
The annual Paddle for the Peace begins at 9 a.m. at the Halfway River, with a pancake breakfast hosted by the West Moberly First Nations.
The Peace Valley’s unique alluvial soils can provide food for more than a million people a year. Site-C would flood a swatch of rich farmland the size of Winnipeg at a time when California – the major breadbasket of North America – is drying up.  The $10B cost of the dam will become a burden borne by generations to come. That’s a lot of downsides for power we don’t need.*
“The decision to proceed with Site C construction is even more inappropriate in the wake of the Truth and Reconciliation report,” said Chief Roland Willson of the West Moberly First Nations. “Site C does not represent a rapproachement with Canada’s First Nations. It will take us in the opposite direction.”

On July 1, following a petition by two Alberta First Nations, the World Heritage Committee voted to send a mission to investigate Site C and other industrial development affecting the Wood Buffalo World Heritage Site. The committee asked the Canadian government to ensure that no irreversible work is done on Site C until its mission and report are complete. Six court cases are pending against Site C, including five by First Nations. Treaty 8 and RAVEN want to raise $50,000 at the Paddle this year!  Every dollar raised provides access to justice for the First Nations communities as they prepare for their court date on July 20th.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/RAVEN-Respecting-Aboriginal-Values-Environmental-Needs/121099651233937?ref=hl

PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP: JOINING THE COUNCIL FIRE July 28-31, Tues 2 pm – Fri 1 pm
Tatamagouche Centre, Nova Scotia
At this moment in history, the Indigenous rights movement has the potential to transform our relations to each other and to the environment.  For the past ten years, this cross cultural project has been doing just that.  Come and learn what it means to live on First Nations land, to live in Treaty relationship and become allies and co-creators of a better world.
Leadership: Catherine Martin, Joe Michael, Lawrence Wells, Janie Meader and more.  https://www.tatacentre.ca/index.php/programs/details/2283

 AFN CHIEF PERRY BELLEGARDE URGES ABORIGINAL VOTERS TO MAKE THEIR VOTE COUNT
Speaking at the annual Assembly of First Nations in Montreal this week,  National Chief Perry Bellegarde said there are 51 ridings where the Aboriginal vote could make a big difference. He urged: “Show that our people count. Show that our people matter. Show that we can make a difference. Show that our issues will not be put to the side.”  NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau also addressed the Assembly, as well as former prime minister Paul Martin regarding FN education.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/07/07/first-nations-chief-bellegarde-calls-for-reconciliation.html

POPE APOLOGIZES TO INDIGENOUS AMERICA in Bolivia
Next in Canada?

http://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/world/pope-begs-forgiveness-for-sins-and-offences-of-church-against-indigenous-of-america-1.2460791

CANADIANS MORE AWARE OF IMPACT OF RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS
A new Angus Reid Institute poll shows 70 per cent of Canadians surveyed agree that the residential schools system amounted to ‘cultural genocide.’   It also indicated that “Two [TRC] recommendations in particular have a very high support rate: a national inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women and including Aboriginal history into the standard curriculum for all Canadian students.”

http://www.thestarphoenix.com/news/Cultural+genocide+term+endorsed+majority+poll/11199419/story.html

 BOOK: The Education of Augie Merasty
Reviewer Dianne Meili said “Joseph Auguste Merasty’s story [of attending St.Therese IRS and his difficult life] is a testament to Aboriginal resilience. You wonder how he emerged from residential school with his sanity.”  It is co-authored with David Carpenter who describes the 10-year process of helping Merasty share his story, a process of “relieving pain and exorcising ghosts.”  University of Regina Press, 2015.

FOCUS ON ‘FAMILY VIOLENCE’ IS MISGUIDED IN CASES OF MMIWG
Thanks to CBC reporter Andrew Kurjata for his critical analysis of RCMP reports: “Last month, RCMP delivered an update on missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada, a report that led many to put the onus for reform on aboriginal families and communities. … But while there is undoubtedly a link between family violence and missing and murdered women of all backgrounds, a closer look at the statistics and terminology suggest that policy makers and the news media might want to be more careful how they frame this important debate.”  For example, the statistics refer only to ‘solved’ cases, which are more likely to be solved because the killer was ‘known’ to the victim.  In the high number of ‘unsolved’ cases, we do not know what the relationship is. And what is the definition of ‘known’.  The statistics also leave out the many cases in policing jurisdictions other than the RCMP. “In fact, when you look into the categories more closely, the odds of family being involved actually decrease if the victim is aboriginal.”
http://www.cbc.ca/news/aboriginal/focus-on-family-violence-in-cases-of-missing-murdered-aboriginal-women-misguided-1.3140580?cmp=abfb

PATRIOTIC SUMMER READING – THE TRC EXECUTIVE SUMMARY REPORT
Jesse Staniforth, serving the Cree “Nation”, after listening to the Prime Minister on Canada Day, says  “The best response to crude patriotism is to educate yourself — to know what is this country you love, in all its weaknesses and faults. In that light, I’m joining the call — initiated by Chelsea Vowel and Wab Kinew, and carried on by Erica Violet Lee and Zoe Todd’s #ReadtheTRCReport project — for Canadians to make the TRC’s easy-to-read 400-page executive summary their primary piece of summer reading.”  http://metronews.ca/voices/opinion/1419939/make-your-patriot-love-truer-read-the-truth-and-reconciliation-report/

 CANADA’S CHEMICAL VALLEY TOXIC TOUR
September 4 – 5th LABOUR DAY WEEKEND
We [Aamjiwnaang First Nation people (where St.Clair UC is situated)]  are asking for you to experience for one day what many of us experience our whole lives.  Come and see the miles of petrochemical plants.  Witness the pollution with your own eyes, ears, noses, and feel what it has done to our land and our people.  This Labour Day weekend buses full of people will travel from Toronto and other cities to Aamjiwnaang First Nation.

 

Please register at http://aamjiwnaangsolidarity.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AamjiwnaangSarniaAgainstPipelines
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TakeActionASAP
Email: asap1491@gmail.com

In peace,
Cecile Fausak
Reconciliation and Indigenous Justice Animator
General Council Office: Committee on Indigenous Justice and Residential Schools
780-676-0562 (office cell)
780-675-7753 (Athabasca, AB home office)

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