Article - Saami vs. Metsähallitus: The Case for Corporate Recognition of Indigenous Rights


Original article -- Saami vs. Metsähallitus: The Case for Corporate Recognition of Indigenous Rights

Article: Protests Sweep Canada Following Paramilitary Assault on Indigenous Fracking Blockade

'Indigenous communities like the Elsipogtog First Nation are on the frontlines of defending water and the land for everyone'

- Sarah Lazare, staff writer
Police raid on New Brunswick fracking blockade (Photo: APTN reporter Ossie Michelin, via Twitter)
Protests are sweeping Canada following Thursday's assault by paramilitary-style police on members of indigenous Elsipogtog Mi’kmaq First Nation and local residents as they blockaded a New Brunswick fracking exploration site.

The group had barricaded a road near the town of Rexton in rural New Brunswick since September 30 to block shale gas exploration by SWN Resources Canada, a subsidiary of the Houston-based Southwestern Energy Co, that is moving forward without the community's consent or consultation.

Thursday morning, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police stormed the protest, donning camouflage uniforms, wielding rifles, and bringing police dogs to the site. Kathleen Martens with Aboriginal Peoples Television Network reports, "[a]t least four RCMP cruisers were burned" in the chaos following the raid.

The RCMP announced that 40 people had been arrested, citing a court injunction against the protest.

"The RCMP is coming in here with their tear gas - they even had dogs on us," Susan Levi-Peters, the former chief of the nearby Elsipogtog aboriginal reserve, told Reuters. "They were acting like we're standing there with weapons, while we are standing there, as women, with drums and eagle feathers. This is crazy." The media is reporting that some protesters threw molotov cocktails at the police, who reportedly tear gassed the crowd.

In the immediate aftermath of the violence, people across Canada mobilized to show solidarity for the besieged blockade, with APTN reporting that First Nations people across the country are putting a call out for an immediate show of support for the Elsipogtog members.

APTN reports that solidarity activists blocked a bridge in Listuguj, and supporters from Six Nations blocked part of a highway near Caledonia on Thursday. Organizers with IdleNoMore in Lethbridge, Alberta held a march through the city immediately following the raid. Solidarity demonstrations also took place in Washington, DC and New York on the doorstep of the Canadian consulates.

PowerShift.ca lists over two dozen actions across the country, including solidarity flash mobs and mass marches.

“Protesters in Rexton are standing up to a Texas company that wants to profit on the backs of New Brunswickers while placing the water and the environment at risk,” stated Emma Lui, water campaigner with the Council of Canadians. “Indigenous communities like the Elsipogtog First Nation are on the frontlines of defending water and the land for everyone, and this should not be criminalized.”

Article - Protests Sweep Canada Following Paramilitary Assault on Indigenous Fracking Blockade | Common Dreams

Article - Indigenous Sovereignty and Human Rights: Idle No More as a Decolonizing Force

Last week I was compelled into a leadership role with the Prince Albert Idle No More rally. Prince Albert is a growing city in central Saskatchewan, with a population of about 35,000. The traditional Nehithaw place name is kistahpinanihk, which means “meeting place”. Prince Albert has a high Indigenous population and is surrounded by key sites in the history of Treaty 6. It would be ideal to say that Indigenous-Settler relations here have been harmonious, a peaceful meeting place of sorts, but the presence of colonialism is heavy. Surrounded by medium and maximum security prisons, housed disproportionately with Indigenous inmates, oppression can be felt strongly. Racism and racialised violence are pervasive. But there is also a strong regional history of Indigenous resurgence and resistance to colonialism; key sites of the Riel Rebellion are within a 30 minute drive from city limits, and Indigenous languages, ceremonies, and land-based teachings thrive despite centuries of genocidal policies.

In solidarity with the wider movement, myself and a small group of committed people organized a teach-in, march and round dance in Prince Albert’s downtown core for December 21. I phoned city planners out of respect to advise them of our routes and to possibly have some cooperation with local police officials. I was told by a city employee that the route requested would probably be denied. I thought nothing of this possibility until the mayor phoned me on my cell phone and left me a message. He stated that he would “not allow” the route down busy streets, and that our rally could not be “permitted”.

To be sure, I did not call for their permission. Asserting Indigenous sovereignty does not require permission. Protecting treaty rights and fundamental human rights does not require permission. However, the reality of my communication with the mayor begged the question: was he implying that force would be used upon my people to prevent the protest? Since we were not breaking laws, what basis did he have to assert jurisdiction over our rights to freedom of assembly and free speech? Should Idle No More Prince Albert back down from asserting Indigenous sovereignty and use the dusty backroads suggested by the mayor? Upon consulting with Idle No More Prince Albert, the answer to this last question was an overwhelming “NO!”

One cannot fully comprehend the true nature of the colonial relationship until being forced to ask yourself whether or not 500 people are being led into a potentially violent confrontation with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. One cannot fully comprehend the true nature of colonialism until the right to life, liberty, and security of 500 people, including children, youth, and Elders, is at risk.

Regardless of the unwelcoming political climate, the rally went ahead as planned. Idle No More Prince Albert was very much a success. Nobody was hurt and nobody was arrested, although there were a handful of irate drivers. In Prince Albert, we fought for our right to fight for our rights, and we won. The sound of drumming had not rang so freely in the city for hundreds of years. The spirit of Idle No More makes it possible to decolonize times and places, and to live out the freedom that guided the lives of our ancestors. For Prince Albert, the movement has meant a reconfiguration of Indigenous and Settler relationships; we asserted Indigenous sovereignty by re-establishing the justness of our presence in the city.

Idle No More presents a challenge to the old colonial order that forms the basis of Canadian society. This movement has been about challenging oppression in very real and very meaningful ways. It has meant questioning the legitimacy and authority of colonial laws by pushing the limits of these laws. Idle No More means not only speaking of Indigenous sovereignty, but living out our inherent sovereignty as nations. This is especially important in the case of Omnibus Bill C-45, where our fundamental human rights to clean water, lands and foods are at risk. Essentially, Harper and the Conservative government of Canada are legislating the extinguishment of our Indigenous nationhood.  Our response has been two-fold: to re-situate ourselves as nations, and to rejuvenate the commitment of our people and Settler society to the Treaty relationship.

At first I was skeptical about the Idle No More movement. I didn’t want to lead my people to the government and beg for rights and responsibilities that the Creator gave to us. But I became involved with Idle No More because I could feel the energy of the youth rising and I did not want this energy to go to waste. I wanted to show them that the energy which we as peoples often internalize in negative ways is better directed to challenging the colonial framework that operates in all our lives. As the movement grows, the challenge of Idle No More is to continue moving beyond rhetoric and towards a fundamental reconfiguration of the colonial structure of Canada. Above and beyond, it must always be more than an emotionally frothy appeal to the Canadian government for justice and morality. We must be strategic, yet we must also act on the nation-to-nation spirit and intent of Treaty. The message of love, peace, and non-violent protest is essential to the movement. With this spirit at the forefront, we must seek to educate Settler populations and heal our Indigenous nations from the processes of genocide which we have experienced. Idle No More means re-establishing ourselves as sovereign nations, and empowering Settler people to fulfill their responsibilities as partners in sacred relationships of Treaty.

It is my belief that through all we have suffered as peoples, the ancestors kept the spirits in our hearts on embers until the time came to rise again. That time is now, and Idle No More ignites the fires in the souls of Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island.
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Kirstin Scansen is a Nehithaw woman, from the Lac La Ronge Indian Band in Treaty 6 territory, Saskatchewan. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, with a minor in Political Science, and is currently an MA candidate in Indigenous Governance at the University of Victoria.

Original post on - Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society

Sacred Jingle Dress Dance for Chief Theresa Spence


Facebook event page 

SACRED JINGLE DRESS DANCE FOR CHIEF THERESA SPENCE

Saturday, December 15, 12:00pm

Ottawa – Victoria Island


By Saturday, December 15, Chief Theresa Spence of Attawapiskat will be on her fifth day of a hunger strike she undertook as a protest to ask that the rights of First Nations peoples and the Treaties be respected. Her hunger strike is for all of us.

Jingle Dress Dancer Rhonda White, family member of the late Maggie White from the community of Naotkamegwanning (Whitefish Bay) will be travelling to Ottawa on Friday to dance the sacred Jingle Dress dance gifted to them. She will be accompanied by Joyce White and Kathleen Skead.

The Sacred Jingle Dress Dance at Victoria Island will be an expression of the true meaning of the jingle dress, by dancing for healing for Ogimaa-kaan Spence and the healing of all Indigenous people at this time.

Concerned community members Tanya Kappo and Christi Belcourt are asking for your support to help bring the White family members to Ottawa for this sacred dance.

WE NEED TO RAISE AS MUCH MONEY FOR THIS AS WE CAN BY SATURDAY.

As you know, time is of the essence for Chief Spence and her efforts. We will work to raise $10,000.00 to pay for travel and costs associated with this event. If there are any leftover funds, they will be given to Chief Spence for whatever her needs are during her time at Victoria Island.

No amount is too small. Please donate by :
http://www.gofundme.com/1o8je0?utm_campaign=Emails&utm_source=sendgrid.com&utm_medium=email

The lead drum: Lynx Clan of Whitefish Bay

ALL JINGLE DRESS DANCERS are invited to participate in this sacred jingle dress dance for Chief Spence in Ottawa this Saturday. However, as this is a sacred ceremonial jingle dress dance, protocols must be strictly followed and adhered to.

This is NOT a powwow demonstration.

Please see the wall of this event for information on protocol.

This effort is endorsed by Chief Joyce White of Naotkamegwanning (Whitefish Bay) and Treaty 3 Ogitchitaa, Warren White.