Polluted Water Hits First Nations, but doesn’t stop there
Grassy Narrows First Nation gets a boil-water advisory from the Medical Services Environmental Health Worker for Treaty #3 First Nations. My first thought was: “I thought we were safe.” To say the least, it’s very inconvenient to boil water for two minutes to kill any bacteria that live in it. But if we do not boil the water, the elders, infants and children, and weak adults are susceptible to severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and/or vomiting.
The Power and the Peace is in the People
During the days of Six Nations activism to reclaim our land near Caledonia, we received thousands of e-mails and calls from people all over the world. The support and ideas that we’ve received have been tremendously gratifying and helpful. Without this solidarity from Natives and non-Natives, the Ontario Provincial Police would have had their way. Blood would have been spilled. Never mind the return of our land – though we are still waiting on that one.
What are we going to eat? Gold or Diamonds?
In December, 2005, indigenous Asian communities from the most marginalized scapes took to the streets to reclaim their livelihoods and eco-culture, redefining food sovereignty and environmental space for themselves. The resistance from the peripheral grounds against the Sixth Ministerial Conference (MC6) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) was the essence of decentralized grassroots small movements.
Raising Our Voices Against Violence
Listen. Women are speaking across the land, and around the world. We want to be safe. We want our sisters to be safe. We expect justice in our communities. Will anybody listen?
What’s Up at FNUC?
The day begins with the smell of bacon, sausages and pancakes cooking on the grill outside the new First Nations University of Canada (FNUC) Regina Campus building designed by Douglas Cardinal. The atrium is packed with students, staff and community members participating in the annual Winter Festival. The high spirits and laughter are slowly quelled, however, when news arrives that the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) vice-chief, Morley Watson, has taken over the campus.
The Wolf Has Begun to Howl
Ovide has sauntered off to get some ducks. The rest of us sit and chat, idly, nurturing the fire and snacking on bannock. A few jokes are tossed around: Mayor Robbie Buck, a large man with a quick wit, keeps everyone’s spirits high. Although when we hear shots a few comments about whether the Chief has injured himself are tossed around, no one is surprised when he returns with two ducks for two shots. The duck soup I’m eating, it turns out, comes from the Chief’s catch the day before.
Struggles of the Tahltan Nation
On September 16, 2005, the RCMP arrested a dozen members of the Tahltan First Nation, nine of them Elders, for blockading a road into their traditional territory to bar Fortune Minerals from coming in to drill. Members of the Tahltan Nation have been blocking the road to the Mount Klappan coalfields since July 16.
The protesters are standing against the intensive course of resource development being negotiated by the Tahltan Central Council, the elected body that governs the Tahltan First Nation. The blockaders question the sustainability of development and assert the community and Elders must participate in decision-making. The community is deeply divided on the issue.
Personal Dimension: Bush/Life
My life follows the well-worn trail “poor boy makes good,” a cliché so saturated in ideology that to try and disentangle it from the comfort it may offer to those who naively believe ours is a meritorious society remains to this day as much a challenge for me as actually indulging in the narcissism of telling the story.
Northern Pipe Dreams, Northern Nightmares
For a moment in the seventies, the mystical North burst upon the Canadian consciousness, as “Justice Tom’s Flying Magic Circus” (a.k.a. the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry) wound its way across the country. In 1975, at community hearings throughout the Northwest Territories, fiery Dene activists like Frank T’Seleie from Fort Good Hope condemned Bob Blair, president of Foothills Pipelines Ltd.: “You are like the Pentagon, Mr. Blair, planning the slaughter of innocent Vietnamese. Don’t tell me you are not responsible for the destruction of my nation. You are directly responsible. You are the twentieth century General Custer. You have come to destroy the Dene Nation. You are coming with your troops to slaughter us and steal land that is rightfully ours. You are coming to destroy a people that have a history of thirty thousand years. Why? For twenty years of gas? Are you really that insane? The original General Custer was exactly that insane. You still have a chance to learn.”
The Violence that Indigenous Women Face (Anna Hunter)
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