Articles Indigenous Politics

  • The colonization of reconciliation

    Canadian Politics

    Canada must finally legally recognize Indigenous Peoples as fully sovereign and self-governing peoples. Mohawk lawyer Stephen John Ford has persuasively argued that with recognition of sovereignty “comes the necessary redistribution of wealth which will remove the yoke of dependence and control exerted over First Nations by the federal government. Indigenous sovereignty will also provide First Nation jurisdictional control over their territories to protect the lands and waters.

  • RCMP invasion of Wet’suwet’en Nation territory breaches Canada’s ‘rule of law’

    Canadian Politics

    In this case, the laws of Canada were neither equally enforced, nor compliant with international human rights standards. Canada is not a country that follows the rule of law. Canada makes and breaks laws to suit its own economic and political interests, which run counter to those of Indigenous peoples. It is time to be honest about it, and call out Canada as an outlaw, and take action to support the Wet’suwet’en Nation, who have occupied their lands since time immemorial.

  • Colonization, resistance and popular culture

    Culture

    It is perhaps naïve to assume that Premier Horgan or Prime Minister Trudeau are simply misunderstanding the history of Indigenous people. It is more realistic to frame our political leaders as willfully ignorant. But, that does not mean that we have to be. Simply watching a film … or reading a comic will not bring about reconciliation on its own. However, it is a much needed start.

  • Injustice at Unist’ot’en

    Indigenous Politics

    “Our best hope for justice and sustainability in Canada lies with communities like the Wet’suwet’en nation, who take their relationship and responsibilities to their lands and waters so seriously that they will risk all they have to defend it. Our hope also lies with the many Canadians respecting and actively supporting the rights of these Indigenous communities to take care of their territories.”

  • Outside Jasper National Park, a coal mine threatens an Indigenous community’s water supply

    Environment

    Teck Resources Ltd., a B.C.-based mining corporation, plans to expand its Cheviot Mine over the Cardinal Divide — a wide alpine ridge separating two major watersheds — to Redcap Mountain, just east of Jasper National Park, Alta. Expanding across this divide extends the risks of selenium and nitrate contamination to the headwaters of the Cardinal River.

  • Pacification by pipeline

    Canadian Politics

    The framing of TMX as vital to the national interest, and further cloaked with a national security rationale, could make infringement all the more compelling. At the same time, it provides the justification, within Canada’s legal framework, to take measures to prevent opponents from disrupting Canada’s imagined energy future by defining them as threats to (future) national security.

  • Appropriated identities and the new wave of dispossession

    Canadian Politics

    This new wave of dispossession is something completely different. French settlers and indeed other non-Indigenous peoples will quickly be able to= undermine our Indigenous efforts to reassert our identities and rights if we allow reconciliation to become the shield under which white supremacists hide. We must confront this threat head-on despite the inevitable claims of “lateral violence,” “colonial mentality” or “unsafe space” every time someone questions the appropriated identities of these groups.

  • Child-separation: an ugly Canadian tradition

    Human Rights

    Alternatives to incarceration must be found both for the still relatively small numbers of migrant families detained in Canada and the disproportionately high numbers of Indigenous youths populating Canadian prisons. In the latter case it is well worth investing in and expanding recourse to restorative justice programs, aimed precisely at reintegrating offenders into their communities. Until Canada radically reforms its prison system and ceases to criminalize asylum seekers, our smug responses to the egregious actions of the United States are unwarranted.

  • Settler-colonialism targets youth

    Canadian Politics

    As the world contemplates with horror the United States’ recent policy of separating immigrant and refugee children from their parents and detaining them for attempting to cross the border, it is important to see these disturbing events in a global context and to recognize them for what they are. Although such practices also take place in Canada, the reality is that anti-immigrant sentiment is pure hypocrisy in settler-colonial states like the United States and Canada.

  • The legacy of ‘Oka’ and the future of Indigenous resistance

    Indigenous Politics

    Though many Canadians saw the events of that summer as a “crisis,” to the Mohawks, “Oka” was just the most recent event in an almost 300-year struggle to protect their land from colonial and capitalist development. With the 30th anniversary of Oka on the horizon, and new struggles by Indigenous land defenders making headlines across the country, including in Kanehsatà:ke, I recently had the honour to speak with Ellen about the legacy of Oka and the future of Indigenous resistance.

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