Articles Indigenous Politics

  • No Indians Allowed on Aboriginal Territory at Sun Peaks

    On September 22, 2004, the RCMP raided a First Nation camp on the golf course of the Sun Peaks Resort, near Kamloops, British Columbia, arresting three people and destroying the camp. Members of local Secwepemc (also known in English as Shuswap) communities had established the camp, called the Skwelkwek’welt Protection Centre in late August to oppose the continued development of Sun Peaks on the traditional territory of the Secwepemc, Neskonlith and Adams Lake bands. In removing the camp and arresting those Skwelkwekwelt defenders who refused to leave, the police were enforcing a provincial court injunction ordering local Aboriginal activists and their supporters off the mountain. These arrests represent just one instance in the ongoing repression of Secwepemc peoples fighting for their land and dignity; during the past six years of the conflict, 54 Skewelkwek’welt defenders have been arrested.

  • CDebates: The Wuskwatim Hydroelectric Deal

    “Manitoba Hydro: How to Build a Legacy of Hatred,” by Peter Kulchyski, was first published in Canadian Dimension and has subsequently been circulated by people opposed to the proposed Wuskwatim hydroelectric project planned to be built in Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation’s Resource Management Area, in northern Manitoba.

  • My Urban Rez

    am part of the massive migration of Aboriginal peoples to the city. I was raised by a single mother who moved us to Edmonton (and many other places) from the Heart Lake First Nation to avoid residential school for my siblings and me. Since then, and I have been on my own since I was 16 years old, I have lived in many sites: small towns, the bush and the highways, but the longest period of my life has been in the Urban Rez, especially Winnipeg and Edmonton.

  • Community Development in Winnipeg’s Inner City

    If you look hard enough in the midst of Winnipeg’s sprawling and decaying inner city, you will see scattered islands of remarkable creativity and collective action: innovative community development (CD) initiatives battling the seemingly relentless spread of urban poverty. Most Winnipeggers are oblivious to this struggle: they choose not to know about it – or to care.

  • Breaking with Colonialism

    In February, 2002, the Grand Council of the Crees signed an agreement with the Government of Québec popularly known as the Cree New Relationship Agreement. This is the same organization that rejected and defeated the James Bay Phase II hydroelectric proposal of the early 1990s, and that later held their own referendum against Québec’s plan to separate from Canada while taking the Crees and their territory with it. Shortly after the signing of the new agreement with Québec, Grand Chief Moses issued this statement:

  • Manitoba Hydro

    Northern Manitoba, with some of the oldest “contact” history on the North American continent, owing to its central position in the English fur trade, has over the last century become a Canadian backwater, rarely gaining attention even in alternative news sources. Although a crucial struggle took place in the seventies over hydroelectric development, the entire Aboriginal community of South Indian Lake relocated as a result of planned flooding, the conflict did not in general gain the kind of media attention generated by the James Bay Cree or the Dene of the Northwest Territories. Perhaps that is why Manitoba Hydro and the Government of Manitoba feel they can quietly get away with writing another page of colonial history on Cree territory.

  • B.C. Court Ignores Aboriginal Women’s Plea

    According to the Aboriginal Justice Implementation Commission (AJIC) report of 1999, “Aboriginal women are the victims of racism, of sexism, and of unconscionable levels of domestic violence. The justice system has done little to protect them from any of these assaults.” Nearly five years on, events in Watson Lake, Yukon, lead many to wonder what, if anything, has changed.

  • John Richards’ Howlers on Aboriginal Policy

    As I have had occasion to remark before, “God save me from intellectuals!” especially right-wing Canadian intellectuals, when they take unto themselves the impulse to discourse on Aboriginal policy.

    In recent years, these people have perpetrated some real howlers, whose only use has been to indicate how deep the gap remains between the beliefs and posture of Aboriginal people in Canada, and what could at a pinch be described as the thinking of many influential, fuzzy-minded, well- intentioned, ill-informed Canadians of European background.

  • Bill C-6: Land claims gutted

    Tom Siddon, Brian Mulroney’s minister of Indian Affairs, promised in 1990 to clear the backlog of Native land claims within 10 years. Today, not only has that backlog ballooned, but Canada’s sloth-like system of settling land claims is about to get a lot worse.

  • Racism in Canada

    As part of our plans to celebrate CD’s 40 years of publication, our Editorial Collective asked certain writers to reflect on racism in Canada and consider whether or not it has diminished over this forty-year time span. Their excellent contributions appear in this issue of Dimension.

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