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Our Times 3

Indigenous Politics

  • Resistance to Pipelines Heats Up in Northern BC

    The explosion of oil production in the Alberta tar sands has created a new push to build pipelines throughout North America. In northern British Columbia, most of which is unceded indigenous land, there are overlapping proposals for new ports and pipelines to transport tar sands oil.

  • Are Aboriginal women and women of colour benchwarmers?

    Years ago Mohawk woman Kahentinetha Horn was to be a secondary speaker to a keynote named AngryArab. Little did organizers know that Horn does not believe in being second to anyone, she stole the show.

  • “If You Want to Change Violence in the ‘Hood, You Have to Change the ‘Hood”

    In the summer of 2009, at a funeral in Winnipeg’s North End following a gang-related drive-by shooting, two of us were approached by members of a North End street gang. They wanted to talk. Too often the voices of the people who have intimate knowledge of, and are integral to, the problems in Winnipeg’s inner city are not heard. Our report endeavours to give a voice to these six Aboriginal men.

  • Turning the Page on Colonial Oppression

    Since the mainstream Indigenous political organizations have to varying degrees been institutionalized and have a muted role in the actual struggles taking place, it’s thought that a different kind of organization is needed, one that comes from the dissident communities, the communities engaged in direct, non-violent opposition to the state.

  • The Emperor’s Old Clothes

    It’s hard to know where to begin with this book, which purports to be a kind of “expose” of the use of Aboriginal traditional knowledge in policy making and ranges far afield into a critique of the idea of Indigenous rights and a survey of problems in the fields of Aboriginal healthcare, education, self-government, land claims, and so on. I had previously written these authors off as “kooks” from the far political right wing; but now they have been embraced by certain prominent left academics and have themselves started to gloss their opinions with Marxist rhetoric.

  • Building Resistance

    In western Canadian cities like Winnipeg, a new and particularly destructive form of poverty has emerged over the past thirty years. It is inextricably linked with racism, is disproportionately concentrated in the inner city and has especially damaging effects on Aboriginal people. At the same time, it is Aboriginal people and especially Aboriginal women who are in the lead in developing effective, close-to-the-ground strategies to combat this new poverty.

  • Indian Country in the City

    My mother’s name is Gail Catherine Thomas and my late father’s name was Peter Sinclair Sr., both from the community of Pukatawagan Cree Nation located in northern Manitoba. Like many Native peoples at that time, my mother was raised in the bush.

  • In Their Backyard

    Indigenous lifestyles are traditionally more linked to land and water than those of the Canadian population at large. Rural communities, especially in the north and west, still depend on country (wild) foods and forestry for livelihood and medicine. Many depend on the land for spirituality and for socio-cultural reasons. From this perspective, industrial pollution has a larger impact on Aboriginal communities.

  • There is no honour in the Crown

    Despite their release, the problem for KI and other Aboriginal communities in Ontario remains essentially the same. There is a fundamental conflict between provincial law, which grants unfettered access to land in Ontario for mining development, and the government’s obligations under treaty to honour First Nations’ relationships to their traditional lands.

  • Something Is Happening in Indian Country

    Is the movement for Indigenous rights and self-determination reaching a tipping point in Canada? Recent events give grounds for optimism. This spring in Ontario, the Indian Act chief-and-council from Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, grassroots traditionalists from Grassy Narrows and non-status Ardoch Algonquins joined environmentalists, urban radicals, unions and students in an unprecedented coalition to pressure the Ontario government for First Nations’ right to say no to unwanted development on their traditional territories.

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