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BTL 2

Indigenous Politics

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

    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

    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

    “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.”

  • Pacification by pipeline

    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

    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.

  • Child-separation: an ugly Canadian tradition

    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

    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

    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, CD’s Sean Carleton sat down with Ellen Gabriel to discuss the legacy of Oka and the future of Indigenous resistance.

  • Thrashing Colonialism: Skateboarding, History, and the Power of Education

    In 2015, Micheal Langan created Colonialism Skateboards, an independent company that makes skateboard decks with Indigenous content, to highlight Indigenous people’s perspectives, history, and culture. He has released nine graphics to date, covering a range of issues from the history of the pass system to residential schooling. I recently had the chance to meet Micheal in Regina to talk about skateboarding, history, and the power of education.

  • True test of reconciliation: respect the Indigenous right to say No

    The right to say no is the core of any future relationship with the Canadian state and its citizens. It’s a basic right — one which is grounded in our sovereignty as individuals and Nations to decide for ourselves the life we wish to live. Canada has made it clear we have no right to say no, only an obligation to say yes. First Nations leaders and citizens should not wait to see how this plays out in court – they should assert and defend their right to say no now.

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