My Canada includes rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Love it or leave it! Peace.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Canada's Apology to Indigenous Peoples I am so sorry that Canadians allowed, and still allow, our governments to violate the human rights of the Indigenous Peoples of this land. Like 80% of Canadians, I thank Mr. Harper for apologizing on my behalf. I am aware that some Canadians "don't know enough about it", and apparently a strident and obnoxious (and we hope shrinking) few hold views that are similar to those that MP Pierre Poilievre expressed this week - i.e., opinions that are ignorant of facts, and arrogantly contemptuous toward Aboriginal Peoples. It is my sincere hope that all who see their views reflected in Poilievre's words are thinking carefully about those views now. The extreme and offensive opinions of Pierre Poilievre embarrassed all of Canada. Views such as he expressed "are wrong", as he had to say publicly, and I say those opinions "have no place in Canada". It was suggested by an NDP MP that poor Pierre "sounded like the old redneck hillbillies we used to make fun of in the old days," said Martin. "I think Pierre has done himself a great disservice ... I think he's damaged his career somewhat." I think so too. It's time to ask: Is Poilievre fit to hold public office? The MP's statements about native residential schools were appalling and horrendous in their timing. But it's not the first time the member for Nepean-Carleton has put his foot in his mouth, writes Randall Denley, The Ottawa Citizen Published: Sunday, June 15, 2008" It is necessary for all Canadians to understand that the last government-run 'Indian' Residential School school closed in 1996. Canada didn't pass a law against genocide until 2000. Then the courts threw out the genocide lawsuits brought by Aboriginal people "because Canada had no law against genocide when the schools were open." Supreme Court of Canada This is recent, in our lifetime, and it will affect us all for the rest of our lifetimes. Canada's financial settlements, the apology and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission are by Supreme Court order due to (eventually) successful class action lawsuits for individual trauma. These are Canada's costs. International Law The Government of Canada is currently registered with, and accountable to the International Centre for Transitional Justice. (click on Canada) This letter to the Editor of the Calgary Herald says it well: Apology raises awareness Calgary Herald Published: Saturday, June 14, 2008 Re: " 'Finally, we heard Canada say sorry,' " "Love means having to say sorry," Editorial, "The government of Canada's apology to aboriginal people," and "Apology is enough for me," Richard Wagamese, Opinion, June 12. Thanks to the Herald for giving editorial page prominence and full coverage of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's apology. Many people think aboriginal people are just squeaky wheels or that they should get over it. Few understand that the key difference between the victimization of the native children in residential schools was that it was federally mandated by law, and executed en masse. It was tantamount to state kidnapping. The parents of these children were not deemed citizens at the time, spoke little or no English and had no means to fight back. That's a pretty big difference over other similar tragic cases of victimization and abuse. The apology will perhaps help non-aboriginal Canadians recognize that the dysfunctional aspects of many native communities or individuals are not inherent in the race, but are the result of this federally mandated, generational traumatization. Hence the apology was not just to the aboriginal people, but to all Canadians, to wake up the dominant society to these historic facts, which we never saw while watching Zorro, F-Troop, Little Big Man, Dances with Wolves or Bonanza. The next five years will educate Canadians. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has just started. We all have to listen, hear, understand. We have to chart a new future here on the land that Indigenous people shared with us by peace treaty. We have to honour the Treaties, and honour Aboriginal land rights. How are we doing? Again by rulings of the Supreme Court of Canada, Indigenous Peoples have a right to a say in development and a share in revenues on their traditional land. Our provincial and municipal governments are causing conflict by breaking this law, by approving developments without consultation with First/Indigenous Nations. Caledonia/Brantford (Six Nations) Deseronto (Tyendinaga Mohawks) Sharbot Lake (Algonquins) Big Trout Lake (KI) All current conflicts caused by the province's failure to consult. Grassy Narrows is not on the list any more, because after a six year blockade the logging company finally pulled out. So ... in places where companies and government do consult about development and share revenues, we are doing somewhat ok. In other places, like ONTARIO, we're not doing well at all. The province persists in approving developments to cause conflicts with Indigenous communities. Federal land claims are, as we all know, horrendously far behind. This intentional delay by Canada paying its debts for Treaty and Aboriginal rights is currently holding traumatized Indigenous communities in extreme poverty. We all know that none of our too-political-and-always-temporary governments wants to bite this particular bullet. So they have dragged it out as long as they can, for over a hundred years now and still counting. I say that makes it our responsibility now. In my view, it is disgraceful that we, as Canadians, are not paying our debts to them, right here, right now, today. From where I stand, it is disgraceful what we Canadians are allowing our governments to do to the Indigenous Peoples of Kanata ... today ... and every day. Our municipal and provincial and federal governments have much work to do to honourably fulfill our legal obligations to the Indigenous First Nations of Canada. It is our responsibility to see that they do. And now today's news... Aboriginal group demands meeting with federal minister in wake of RCMP shooting Written by THE CANADIAN PRESS Sunday, 15 June 2008 One thing we will be doing is hearing more, and paying attention more, to the connections between Canada's CURRENT actions and today's "conditions of life" for Indigenous Peoples. And one thing we need to be very concerned about is the lack of independence of the RCMP from the federal government. The RCMP have always been used to impose the will of the government on Indigenous people, regardless of their rights. The RCMP rounded up children and took them to the residential schools, and captured them when they escaped. There is a continuing pattern of the RCMP violating the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Another thing is Canada's economy 'looks good' because Canada hides its indebtedness to Indigenous Nations, tries to pretend it doesn't exist, or will 'go away'. (It won't.) Canada's debts are accounted for only in the budget of Indian Affairs. $9b is supposedly "given" to Aboriginal Peoples each year, according to some ignorant and arrogant people inclined to whine about it. The truth is a substantial portion of that money never leaves Ottawa and is not even used for their benefit. The money is used to oppose Aboriginal Peoples' land claims. The money is spent for Canada to defend itself, due to its own illegal actions against Aboriginal Peoples. All of the $9b budget of Indian Affairs is used by Canada to pay its own debts and Treaty obligations to Aboriginal Peoples. And some of that money was Canada's court-ordered damages for the abuses and losses that over 80,000 people still living experienced in the residential schools. And still in public Canada and some Canadians pretend this is money benificently "given" to Aboriginal Peoples. Not so. It is a small part of the cost of sharing their land, the cost of being Canadian. Canada still 'officially' tries to pretend that "POOF! You're-a-Canadian-citizen-now-whether-you-want-to-be-or-not!" actually extinguished the sovereignty of Indigenous Nations in 1960. It didn't. It is a very long way to the whole truth ... to be continued ... ...

ONE reason why Margaret Wendt should not write on residential schools ...


MARGARET WENTE From Thursday's Globe and Mail June 12, 2008 at 4:10 AM EDT

Now a five-year, $60-million Truth and Reconciliation Commission will crisscross the country to elicit more horror stories, with gavel-to-gavel coverage by the CBC. It just makes me cringe that a Canadian could say that and get it published in Canada on Thursday. How crude, how cruel, how base. An apology is in order here, and more EDITOR attention to such disgusting slurs. The lesson of Pierre Poilievre still needs to be learned by some news commentators. Get your facts straight before insulting Indigenous Peoples. Otherwise, you may ruin a perfectly mediocre career. The families of the children who disappeared have not yet been heard. The stories of the buried children have not yet been told. See Bill Curry, your G&M Investigation series, and use it to inform yourselves. There is no place for contempt in this conversation in Canada today. Respect is in order. -- My Canada includes rights of Indigenous Peoples: Love it, or Leave it!

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My Canada includes rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Two Row Wampum Treaty

Two Row Wampum Treaty
"It is said that, each nation shall stay in their own vessels, and travel the river side by side. Further, it is said, that neither nation will try to steer the vessel of the other." This is a treaty among Indigenous Nations, and with Canada. This is the true nature of our relationships with Indigenous Nations of 'Kanata'.