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

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Truth Commission: Ottawa interference? LaForme concerned.

"We have to make sure that our $58-million budget isn't eaten up and virtually clawed back by the government of Canada," he said.

Worry over Ottawa interference delays residential schools truth commission

TORONTO — The head of a commission set up to help exorcise the demons that haunt the aboriginal survivors of Canada's residential school system is warning that federal government control over spending and administration could threaten the integrity of his mandate.

In an interview, Justice Harry LaForme said political or bureaucratic interference could compromise his fledgling Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the concerns are delaying its startup.

The Ontario Court of Appeal justice said the panel cannot allow itself to be "shackled" by bureaucratic requirements, and that the commissioners, not government, must be able to decide how to spend their $58-million budget.

"It's an issue that's very important," LaForme told The Canadian Press.

"If we've got to answer for the mandate, then we've got to have control of the mandate."

LaForme said it came as "a surprise" to discover the feds had created a secretariat as a government department staffed by civil servants reporting to the minister of Indian Affairs, instead of allowing the commission to set up its own office.

The government is also insisting it appoint the secretariat's executive director as part of its desire to ensure financial accountability.

"There is the potential for this friction with our independence," LaForme said.

LaForme called it imperative the panel, set up June 1 as part of a $1.9-billion class-action settlement, not be seen as an arm of government. He noted that part of its five-year task is to encourage former students and others affected by the tragic legacy to share their experiences in a culturally appropriate and safe manner.


It isn't about financial accountability. Sounds to me like a good portion of the TRC money is already being spent, by the Government of Canada, on its own defense! Canada is the accused party to the court's orders. The TRC does NOT pay for Canada's role as a defendant. There's a very important distinction to be maintained here. 1) The TRC is a judicial body created by order of the court. It is independent of politics and political control. That's one budget line. 2) INAC represents Canada, the guilty defendant in a successful class action suit and thus a party to the legal proceedings, with a role in providing their information to the TRC on request, just like the churches, RCMP, etc., and that's from their own budget! To be clear ... The TRC budget does not pay for Canada's information and staffing needs related to Canada's obligations to fully disclose information to the TRC. That doesn't come from the TRC budget. That's INACanada ... but INAC is now unilaterally and systematically sucking back the TRC budget to fund its own obligations. This is outrageous. Email: I am glad Judge LaForme is asserting judicial independence. It is absolutely necessary. INAC is totally out of line, setting itself up to do its own work, by usurping the TRC budget!! g

Police 'have learned nothing from Ipperwash,' Larry Hay says

The former police chief of the Mohawk Tyendinaga First Nation says police organizations "have learned nothing from Ipperwash."

Larry Hay, 51, is taking the Ontario Provincial Police to court after being fired by OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino for speaking out against racism in policing.

He was fired earlier this year from the band's eight-member force after telling the Loyalist College student newspaper that the OPP, RCMP and Quebec provincial police are racist organizations.

Hay, who was an RCMP officer for 20 years, said he was accurately quoted in the student newspaper.

He said the OPP has largely ignored recommendations from the Ipperwash Inquiry, in which Justice Sidney Linden called for consultation instead of confrontation between the OPP and First Nations bands.

"There has been no follow-up ... It has all been very much a dog and pony show. It has been an insult to aboriginal people."

Hay, who is seeking a judicial review hoping a court will reinstate him in the job, is considering a wrongful dismissal suit if a judicial review fails.

Calls to Fantino were referred to OPP Sgt. Kristine Rae, who said the force would not comment on specific personnel files.

Rae said Fantino has the power to hire and fire Tyendinaga First Nations police officers.

"(Fantino) has the discretion to appoint and terminate these officers," Rae said. "That was his responsibility... and that's what he did." In his report, Linden recommended giving power to First Nations police services to appoint their own officers.

First Nations police officers on the Tyendinaga Territory, are appointed, trained and supported administratively by the OPP.

Linden's report was drafted after two years of hearings into the fatal shooting of aboriginal activist Dudley George in September 1995 during a massive police operation at Ipperwash Provincial Park, near Sarnia.

Article ID# 1133341
Six Nations, Brantford: T.R.U.E. Perspectives

Jim, Marilyn, Tom, Al, Donna, Sandra and Erin claimed to represent themselves, and they were very clear that none of them were from Six Nations. They spoke about their own experiences and some provided narrated video evidence. The information was particularly enlightening for people who were not there for Caledonia events.

TRUE isn't responsible for what the EXPOSITOR "seemed to indicate". The EXPOSITOR spent some time on the hot seat at the meeting, and with people afterward too. It showed in the editorial as they also tried to discredit the presenters. However, the important thing was the information presented that was not seen in the mainstream media More perspectives here...

Canada can learn from Yukon's unique partnership


From Tuesday's Globe and Mail July 29, 2008 at 4:20 AM EDT

WHITEHORSE — In this often forgotten part of Canada, there is a revolution under way. And with any luck, and with further progress, it may be a model for what native/non-native relations can be in this country.

"The settlement of land claims and the increased engagement of the First Nations people in the political process and the economy have transformed and improved the most important relationship in the Yukon," says University of Waterloo professor Ken Coates, an authority on the North.

Few Canadians took notice when the federal government and the Yukon First Nations signed the Umbrella Final Agreement in 1993. As of today, it has provided the foundation for land-claims agreements with 11 of Yukon's 14 native bands.

When the first four signed their pacts in 1995, many predicted disaster. The deals were unique in that they gave the bands extraordinary and unprecedented powers of self-government - including the authority to draft and pass their own legislation.

In many ways, the experiment was designed to fail. The aboriginal bands were thrust into nationhood with little consideration given to the capacity in which they had to take on these responsibilities. They were given the right to form their own governments, build their own economies, with virtually no assistance.

The first few years were discouraging. Native leaders, by their own admission, didn't have a clue what they were doing. But they didn't do what many expected them to: give up. They didn't drink away the windfalls from their land-claims settlements either, no matter the stereotype. They put the money in trusts until the day came when they could begin investing it wisely.

In the years since the first agreements were signed, the various councils have been busy building governments, a painstaking and tedious process, according to Grand Chief Andy Carville. Mr. Carville is head of the Council of Yukon First Nations and speaks for most of the tribes in the territory.

Getting out from under the oppressive regime of the Indian Act has given Yukon native communities their pride and dignity back, Mr. Carville says. Self-governance has allowed the various bands to focus attention and resources on what's most important to them, like survival of their culture. They have the power to take over responsibility for areas such as education, health and justice - and some are doing just that.

The Carcross/Tagish First Nation is close to passing the Family Act, which will give them complete control over the care of children. Another is developing an education curriculum. A third is designing justice legislation, while a fourth is putting the final touches on its own Fish and Wildlife Act.

How well it's carried out on the ground will be the next big test of this grand experiment.

Much of this wouldn't have been done without the co-operation of the Yukon government. While there have been inevitable sources of conflict - which have prompted lawsuits in some cases - more often it has been a mutually respectful and supportive relationship. Mr. Carville told me that Premier Dennis Fentie "wants to make sure we are true partners in the North. That will help make us more self-sufficient."

Mr. Fentie told me: "We're building the Yukon's future together."

In this case, they appear to be more than nice-sounding words.

The Yukon Forum is a four-times-a-year meeting between members of Mr. Fentie's cabinet and the chiefs of all the self-governing nations to discuss issues of mutual concern. The Cooperation in Governance Act recognizes that the native bands and Yukon government both have jurisdiction and authority over many similar matters. The Yukon Chapter of the Northern Strategy - a federally funded economic development program - is a constantly evolving vision of the territory shared by the government and native bands. The Yukon Oil and Gas Act states that no exploration will take place where land claims have not been settled without the consent of the band.

And on it goes. Mr. Fentie realizes that progress in the territory will not be made unless it is joint progress. In Yukon, collaborative governance is more than just a catchy buzz phrase. Of course, it's still early in the land-claims process. It will likely be years before native groups are governed by institutions that resemble the governments most of us know. Down the road, the Council of Yukon First Nations will likely morph into some type of central government for the aboriginal community at large.

Not all is perfect. Drug and alcohol problems are rampant in the native communities. Most people in Yukon jails and prisons are aboriginal. Of those, 80 per cent will reoffend. But many observers see hope on the horizon. More aboriginal children than ever before are graduating from high school and going on to get some postsecondary education. They are returning to their communities to become leaders.

"I think all our lives are better now and will be much better in 10, 20 years as a result of these agreements," Mr. Carville says. "We'll show Canada this should be the model for native/non-native relations in this country."

Deaths in Custody: Neil Stonechild - Officers are still FIRED!

Commission rejects appeal of officers fired after death of Neil Stonechild

The Canadian Press

July 28, 2008 at 6:53 PM EDT

SASKATOON — The Saskatchewan Police Commission has dismissed the appeals of two Saskatoon officers fired after the freezing death of aboriginal teen Neil Stonechild. Constables Larry Hartwig and Brad Senger were dismissed from their jobs in November, 2004, after an inquiry into Stonechild's death ruled the officers had the 17-year-old in their patrol car the last night he was seen alive. Mr. Hartwig and Mr. Senger have always denied they saw Mr. Stonechild that night in November, 1990. The commission ruled it was reasonable to conclude Mr. Stonechild was in the custody of the two officers. The police commission also decided not to consider new evidence of a career criminal who said his former cellmate admitted to beating Mr. Stonechild and dumping him on the outskirts of Saskatoon. The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal earlier rejected a bid to overturn the findings of the public inquiry.
Duty to Consult: Uranium Mining
Ottawa rejects call to guide uranium drilling


The federal government is rejecting calls to take over the regulation of uranium exploration despite mounting public concerns about the search for the radioactive metal, according to documents obtained by The Globe and Mail.

Ottawa currently oversees all uranium project development and mining due to the dangerous nature of the commodity, which is used to make fuel for nuclear reactors. But it has left the regulation of uranium exploration to the provinces.

An internal briefing document prepared for federal Natural Resource Minister Gary Lunn's office indicates there are no plans to wade into a growing controversy regarding uranium drilling efforts.

Titled "Uranium Exploration and Mining in Canada and the North Frontenac Ventures Issue," the briefing memo concerns the uproar about a junior mining company's attempts to drill for uranium in Eastern Ontario.

The 20-page document, prepared by federal bureaucrats, notes that as the price of uranium has increased amid rising demand, exploration activities across Canada have grown dramatically. Some junior companies are now drilling for uranium in less remote areas, prompting protests from nearby residents and native groups who have called for a moratorium on uranium exploration because of environmental concerns.

Under a section titled "Federal Response," the briefing document states that Ottawa is "monitoring events closely" but emphasizes that "exploration is a provincial responsibility." The memo also says that "exploration drilling for uranium should not have a significant environmental impact."

Gordon Edwards, president of the Montreal-based Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, said Ottawa should take over uranium exploration regulation or at least take a leadership role. "To simply pass the buck and say, 'We don't want to get involved,' I think, is irresponsible," Mr. Edwards said in an interview.

The boom in uranium prices has led to a surge in staking and exploration activities, sometimes in populated areas or near watersheds. "It's absurd. It's a free-for-all," Mr. Edwards said. "There should be firm guidelines and I think there should be no permission to explore in built-up areas."

The briefing document was prompted by an exploration program in Ontario's North Frontenac region by a privately held company, Frontenac Ventures Corp. The Oakville, Ont.-based company has run into fierce opposition from local residents and leaders of native communities in the Sharbot Lake area, about 100 kilometres north of Kingston, who worry that drilling could cause severe environmental damage and contaminate water.

The company has staked claims to about 12,000 hectares in the area, including some on residential property.

"A handful of exploration companies are a little short of corporate social responsibility - little sensitivity and perspective, or understanding of the need to consult and build support," the briefing memo says.

The memo, dated Jan. 15, 2008, represents the first indication of the federal position on the Frontenac controversy.

"Many people perceive exploration activities as indicating that a mine will be developed," says the document, obtained by Ottawa researcher Ken Rubin under the Access to Information Act.

"This has boiled over into calls for a moratorium in these areas - so far, this is a provincial matter to sort out - if they get to the development stage, these companies will have to deal with the CNSC [Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission] and there will be all kinds of opportunity for public consultation," the document says.

Frontenac Ventures president and chief executive officer George White said the federal government assessment of the company's public relations efforts is incorrect.

"I don't know where they are coming from. We've never attended any meetings with them and never had any dialogue with them. Consequently, I would say they are off-base," he said in an interview.

With 30 employees in the Sharbot Lake area, the company has spent more than $4-million on its exploration program so far and is holding consultation meetings with some native communities.

"Frontenac does not have a duty to consult; that rests squarely with the federal and provincial governments," Mr. White said.

Currently, uranium is mined only in Saskatchewan. However, the resurgence of nuclear power as a viable energy source has spurred a rush of exploration in other provinces and territories. The federal government estimates some 250 exploration firms will spend $350-million on uranium exploration this year.

In response to potential environmental concerns, British Colombia and Nova Scotia have issued moratoriums on uranium exploration.

New Brunswick recently established strict rules governing uranium exploration after some companies began searching for the radioactive metal near Moncton, spurring protests from residents who say the activities threatened the environment.

Several lobby groups are calling on Ontario to bring in a moratorium on exploration, but the province has refused.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Duty to Consult: Metis Nation

MNO Releases Final Report from Community Consultations on Crown's Duty to Consult and Accommodate Métis Rights

    OTTAWA, July 29 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO)
released the final report from its community consultations on developing an
Ontario Métis Consultation Framework. A copy of the report is available at the
MNO's website at

    In January 2008, the MNO announced province-wide community consultations,
jointly supported by the Ontario Government and the Government of Canada, on
developing an Ontario Métis Consultation Framework. The proposed Consultation
Framework will increase Métis engagement, input and participation in planning
and development related to Ontario's natural resources, consistent with the
Crown's constitutional duty to consult rights-bearing Métis communities on
activities that have the potential to impact Métis rights, interests and way
of life. The final report is based on over 17 community consultation meetings
held throughout southern, central and northern Ontario, along with input
received from Métis citizens via the MNO's website dedicated to the
consultations at

    MNO President Gary Lipinski said, "These consultations provided an
important initial opportunity for our people to discuss how governments and
industry should be working with Métis communities. Based on the impressive
turnout for these consultations, the message was clear: Métis communities want
to be involved and have a say in natural resources development in this
province that has the potential to affect Métis rights and our traditional

    The final report includes over 60 recommendations on a wide array of
topics, including, principles for an Ontario Métis Consultation Framework;
education, training and communication initiatives on the duty to consult;
Métis representation issues; capacity and funding issues; Métis research,
mapping and data collection; and, creating partnerships with industry in the
forestry, energy and mining sectors.

    The report will be used to inform ongoing bilateral and trilateral
discussions with the Ontario Government and the Government of Canada on
developing an Ontario Métis Consultation Framework as well as the MNO's
collaborative work with the Ontario Government on its recent announcements
relating to the protection of the Boreal region, revenue resource sharing with
First Nation and Métis communities, reforming and modernizing Ontario's Mining
Act and the development and implementation of the New Relationship Fund based
on the recommendation in the Ipperwash Inquiry Report.

    "This report provides an important foundation upon which the Métis Nation
can build, but it is clear that Métis citizens and communities want to
continue to be actively engaged as we move forward on this important
rights-based initiative. The MNO is optimistic that this report will represent
a starting point for a collaborative journey, with both levels of government,
in order ensure to Métis rights, interests and way of life in this province
are respected and protected for generations to come," added Lipinski.

    The Métis are a distinct Aboriginal people with a unique culture,
language and heritage, with an ancestral Homeland that centres around Ontario,
Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and extends into the
Northwest Territories and the northwestern United States. The Métis played an
instrumental role in the shaping of Canada, and work tirelessly to share their
culture, traditions and knowledge of the environment with their fellow
Canadians. Today, the Métis live, work, raise their families and pay taxes in
communities all across Canada.

    A backgrounder on Métis rights in Ontario and the Crown's duty to consult
and accommodate is attached.


Six Nations, Brantford: 'I'm here until it's all resolved'

Native protesters have erected a tent on the Hampton Inn site on Fen Ridge Court to give notice that construction must stop. So far, work is continuing on the hotel project.

It can be a solitary existence watching over Six Nations protest sites on Fen Ridge Court in the city's northwest business park.

For a native man known as Runs Through the Fire, it was that way on Monday morning. Sitting under a small tent in front of a silent construction site -- where Kingspan Insulation has been attempting to build a new headquarters and warehouse -- Runs Through the Fire was the lone native activist watching over the property.

He said he plans to stay until the current land claims dispute between Six Nations and government comes to a resolution.

"I'm here until it's all resolved," he said. "Either that or until they kill me or put me in jail. I'm fully aware of what repercussions could come my way. But, if they do put me in jail, I will be a political prisoner.

"I'll go with my head held high with no shame in what I'm doing."

Runs Through the Fire -- given his native name as a child on Six Nations -- has been at Fen Ridge Court since native protesters established a full-time presence there in mid-July, arguing developments are taking place on Six Nations land.

Two protest sites have been set up on the dead-end street, one near the Kingspan site, the other in front of a nearby Hampton Inn hotel development. The sites are marked by the presence of Six Nations flags, scattered tents, as well as a teepee.

No work was taking place at the Kingspan site Monday morning, but construction the hotel property. Runs Through the Fire said that from two to 10 native supporters usually monitor the sites but, for a time on Monday, there was only one.

Native activists have been a constant fixture on Fen Ridge Court despite Brantford's attempt to stop Six Nations protests through a court injunction, which the city was granted in early June. Runs Through the Fire said the city's legal action was ill considered.

"The injunction was put in place to scare us out of here," he said. "They should have learned the lesson of Caledonia -- it just infuriated our people."

He said he liked a proposal recently put forward by city Coun. James Calnan to stop development on sites in the city under claim by Six Nations. Such a move could help ease tensions between the native and non-native communities, he said.

"It would be enough for now. That's all we're asking -- for everything to stop until these claims are resolved."

Still, most Six Nations supporters don't see a resolution to their land claims dispute with government happening anytime soon.

"They keep dragging it on and finding new stall tactics," he said. "They're hoping to stall until my generation forgets about it. We're not going to forget.

"I know myself, I might not see the outcome of it, but we're fighting for the next seven generations."

While Runs Through the Fire said he is fighting for a better future by taking part in Six Nations protests, he's also honouring his past. His father -- now deceased -- attended Brantford's native residential school on Mohawk Street and was left with haunting memories of the experience.

"I want to make him proud," he said. "I want to make my ancestors proud."

City police officers are never far from Fen Ridge Court, and Runs Through the Fire sees the role of local law enforcement in the land claims dispute as similar to that of protesters. Relations between natives and city police were fine, he said, until the July 14 arrest of protester Dwayne Scott Maracle, who blocked two cement trucks attempting to enter the Kingspan site.

"Their role is similar to ours -- to keep the peace," he said. "Up until (the arrest), they were keeping the peace, but I understand they have a job to do and they have to do it."

While a Six Nations protest at a former housing development in Caledonia has led to clashes between police, natives and Caledonia residents, Runs Through the Fire feels there is a "world of difference" between what's happening in Brantford and what happened in Caledonia.

"A lot of people here in Brantford don't want the development," he said.

But he feels growing tension between the local native and non-native communities as a result of Six Nations ongoing protests in the Brantford area. He's had racial slurs directed toward him and even been told to "get a job."

"It's getting painful to hear," he said. "Me, as an Indian person, this is my job. What I'd say to Brantford is try not to make it a racial issue. It's a land issue for all people. Once it's a racial issue, you'll get what happened in Oka, in Ipperwash and Caledonia.

"We don't want violence here any more than anyone else does. We want to settle this peacefully."

Runs Through the Fire said Six Nations' fight to stop environmental destruction by protecting its land base isn't only being undertaken for the native community.

"It's not just our problem. It's everybody in Canada's problem, everybody in North America's problem."

He said people shouldn't be afraid of the Six Nations protest on Fen Ridge Court, which is partly set up alongside the Brantford to Paris rail trail. Local residents are welcome in the area, he said.

"Anybody who wants to use these nature trails -- ride their bike or walk their dog -- they're welcome to. I know seeing the (Six Nations) flags can be intimidating, but we want people to enjoy the trails and nature."

CJFE Calls on Minister to Forbid Police Officers to Impersonate Journalists

    TORONTO, July 28 /CNW/ - Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE)
has called on Rick Bartolucci, the Ontario Minister of Community Safety and
Correctional Services to direct the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) to stop
impersonating reporters.
  After a publication ban was recently lifted, CJFE learned that OPP
constable Steve Martell had pretended to be a journalist at a Mohawk rally
held in conjunction with the Aboriginal Day of Protest in 2007. While
testifying at the preliminary hearing of Mohawk protestor Shawn Brant, Martell
said that there are no guidelines for undercover officers as to what roles
they can or cannot play when they are undercover.
  This practice of impersonating journalists concerns CJFE for two reasons.
First, this tactic compromises the media's position as an independent third
party, thereby threatening reporters' safety and their ability to gain access
to stories and sources.
  Second, we believe that when police - city, provincial or the RCMP -
pretend they are journalists they undermine a free press in Canada. For
journalists to fulfill their basic role in a democracy to present, evaluate
and investigate issues of public interest, they must be free of as many
encumbrances as possible. Creating conditions where members of the public, or
those who may be involved in a dispute with the government, are not able to
trust that people who have identified themselves as journalists are not
actually undercover police officers, is an infringement of everybody's right
to a free press.
  In his letter to the Ontario Minister of Community Safety and
Correctional Services, CJFE President Arnold Amber stated, "Surely, there are
enough police resources and proven investigative procedures available that
misrepresentation and underhanded tactics such as these do not have to be
  CJFE has called on Rick Bartolucci, as the Minister responsible for the
OPP, to step in and direct the force to never again impersonate journalists.

  Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) is an association of more
than 300 journalists, editors, publishers, producers, students and others who
work to promote and defend free expression and press freedom in Canada and
around the world. CJFE has a history of work on cases pertaining to media law
and freedom of expression.
For further information: CJFE Manager, Julie Payne at (416) 515-9622 x.

Native veterans forced to fight another war on home front


Posted 19 hours ago

First Nations peoples have every reason to feel proud of the wartime sacrifices made by their ancestors during the First and Second World Wars and other armed conflicts.

Almost every family knows someone who served in one of the wars because there were so many who enlisted. The number of veterans will never be known because so many were excluded. Only those registered under the Indian Act were counted.

According to the Saskatchewan Native Veterans Association, there were more than 12,000 native veterans. It was also reported by the Native Veterans Association of Northwestern Ontario about 500 native veterans died during the First and Second World Wars.

Another source of pride is the fact that, even though native people were exempt from enlisting, they volunteered. This exemption stemmed from the fact the federal government classified my people as wards of the Crown; in essence, we were considered children, therefore not responsible enough to have rights as Canadian citizens. This law would have a severe impact upon returning native veterans.

Volunteering to serve in the war had a harsh price. Native people had to renounce their land and treaty rights as Aboriginal peoples and become Canadian citizens.

In spite of that, thousands enlisted in wars that had absolutely nothing to do with us. Hundreds were killed and some are still buried in countries they fought to defend.

Even though we were prisoners of poverty in our communities as a result of government policies that kept us oppressed, we became champions of freedom so others could live in peace; most importantly, many of our veterans found their spiritual strength and resurgence as once-proud warriors.

Today, we stand tall in our defiance of being second-class citizens. It was in those sacrifices on foreign soil that many of our veterans became warriors to fight an equally ominous, but domestic, foe: the federal government.

The way native veterans were treated when they came home also prompted them to take action.

more ...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Justice LaForme, TRC Thank you for alerting us to this issue. You have the support of many. This MUST be independent of politicians and bureaucrats. We will do what we can. Thank you. g Date: Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 10:25 PM Subject: TRC, Canada: Process is corrupt cover up To:,,, To: International Centre for Transitional Justice This latest concern expressed by Justice LaForme leads me to write to you. It is just one in a series of very grave concerns that both Canadians and Indigenous Peoples have about the federal government's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Government wants Truth and Reconciliation Commission secretariat ... Pique newsmagazine - Whistler,BC,Canada The federal government is challenging the independence of Canada's first Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), its chair said in an interview with Pique. Speaking from Quebec City last week, Ontario Court of Appeal Justice Harry LaForme said the commission's independence is being challenged by the federal government's decision to have its secretariat, or administrative arm, function as a government department. This creates the potential for inappropriate interference with the commission's work, LaForme said, because it has been established as part of a class action settlement agreement to which the federal government is a party. "We want to be as accountable for the funds as anybody should be, but the question then became, who is actually responsible for such things as hiring and firing within the commission?" LaForme told Pique. "The government of Canada thought it was, so that caused a problem and we've been sorting through that." Concerns: 1) There is no 'justice' in the process for those most severely affected. A chance to 'tell your story', giving your own name but not the name of the perpetrator is not justice. Most traditional Indigenous People, those most severely damaged by the system, will not come forward and give their name to the federal government! They know they or their family may well be punished for it, if not by the federal government than by Canada's imposed Band Council governments. The Band Council's are 'Canada's 'Indians' and they or others may act as enforcers on the reserves (as they learned to do in the schools). 2) Regardless of Justice LaForme's efforts, the TRC will answer to Indian Affairs whether we like it or not. Indian Affairs has been responsible for all of the corruption, abuse and death that Canada has visited on Indigenous Peoples, and will not let go of its power easily. 3) The TRC process was developed by Indian Affairs and the Assembly of First Nations Chiefs. Neither of these groups represents the majority of Indigenous People, who are traditional people. It was the children of traditional leaders who were treated most harshly and most likely to die in the schools. It was traditional leaders who were sterilized to prevent births. It was traditional leaders who were beaten and jailed to stop their ceremonies. The AFN Band Chiefs are elected ... unless Indian Affairs doesn't like the choice of the people, then the government parachutes someone else in and the enforcers take over. 4) The TRC made no plans to address the children who died in the schools. That is the 'scandal' they do not want to deal with. Over 50,000 children died that we know of, and we suspect there may be twice that. Some are buried in unmarked graves that the federal government refuses to acknowledge. I am sickened at the thought that Canada (MY Canada, but I say that only defiantly these days, not with pride) will pervert this process as it has perverted every process related to Indigenous Peoples. Canada has not yet acknowledged that the reason for the genocide of the residential schools was to assist Canada in stealing the land. There is just so much crime here that is underhanded, hidden, covered up, and still continuing. It is very discouraging for well intentioned Canadians, because we can see that our government is perverting the process to cover up it's responsibility for these policies, these crimes, these deaths, and this theft of land, which it will not acknowledge. Is there not some way this process can be taken out of Canada's hands, and overseen by international personnel such as yourself? It is just another Canadian cover up by politicians, and that is not what the Canadian people want. It is not what traditional Indigenous Peoples want either. We insist that there must be full disclosure and full acknowledgment and justice for the lost children - the thousands of children who did not come home. Please help us make this process real, make it really work, and make it fair and just. I do not believe our governments (ANY of them!) will do it justly. It is just a coverup. We need direct International assistance. Justice LaForme needs your assistance. This MUST be removed from the hands of our politicians. If anyone in Canada is to be responsible for the TRC, it should be the Senate or the Governor-General, NOT the bureaucrats or politicians. We implore you to assist. Thank you. g My Canada includes rights of Indigenous Peoples. Love it or Leave it!

Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Independence an issue, LaForme says Government wants Truth and Reconciliation Commission secretariat to report to Indian Affairs

By Jesse Ferreras

The federal government is challenging the independence of Canada’s first Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), its chair said in an interview with Pique.

Speaking from Quebec City last week, Ontario Court of Appeal Justice Harry LaForme said the commission’s independence is being challenged by the federal government’s decision to have its secretariat, or administrative arm, function as a government department. This creates the potential for inappropriate interference with the commission’s work, LaForme said, because it has been established as part of a class action settlement agreement to which the federal government is a party.

“We want to be as accountable for the funds as anybody should be, but the question then became, who is actually responsible for such things as hiring and firing within the commission?” LaForme told Pique. “The government of Canada thought it was, so that caused a problem and we’ve been sorting through that.”

The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, which came into force on May 10, 2006, is the largest class action settlement in Canadian history. In addition to providing payouts to residential school survivors, the agreement established a Truth and Reconciliation Commission that will acknowledge the “injustices and harms experienced by Aboriginal people” in residential schools.

The commission will allow survivors to come forward and share their experiences through truth-sharing and statement-taking. Those stories will thereafter be recorded in a national archive as a way of putting the residential school legacy into Canadian history.

Part 6 of the TRC’s mandate, which is embedded in the settlement agreement, states that the secretariat shall be subject to the “direction and control of the Commissioners.” But that can’t happen if the secretariat is being asked to report to the government, according to LaForme.

“We just want to make certain that the administration arm, the people that are responsible for providing our travel accommodations, all those other things, our office spaces and all that, is equally under the control (of the commissioners),” he said, stressing that all three commissioners overseeing the TRC are “absolutely independent.”

These issues come despite Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl’s assurances to Pique in a May interview that the commission would be the “master of its own destiny.”

This isn’t the first time that an independent commission has drawn allegations of government interference.

In 1997, the Liberal government of Prime Minister Jean Chretien laid a final reporting deadline on the Somalia Commission, a public inquiry into the death of Shidane Arone, a Somali teenager, at the hans of Canadian forces during a UN peacekeeping mission.

The government ordered the inquiry to wrap up its work by the end of June 1997, far earlier than the deadline commissioners requested in order to fully investigate the allegations. They did not even get the time to investigate the events surrounding the murder within the time frame they were given.

As for the TRC, LaForme, who was introduced as chair in April, said it is making good progress, but he still hasn’t figured out when, or in what form the hearings will take place. He stressed that survivors are not being asked to deliver testimony, but to relate stories about their experiences in residential schools.

He also said the hearings are likely to take on different forms at different events across the country.

“We’re just going to go and find the best way, the best atmosphere, and under the best conditions that survivors themselves want to come forward and tell their stories,” he said, adding that the legitimacy of survivors’ stories is no longer in doubt after the federal government delivered a formal apology for the residential school legacy on June 11.

LaForme expects that seven national events will take place over the first two and a half years of the commission’s five-year mandate. The final two and a half years will be used to come up with recommendations for further action by the government on the residential school file, as well as establish an archive or educational facility.

“There has to be a permanent structure of an archive or something along those lines at the end of it that does some honour to the educational component to that history,” he said.

Chief Gibby Jacob of the Squamish Nation, however, isn’t sure what purpose the TRC will serve after the federal government offered its formal apology.

“Knowing most of my elders, I don’t think there’s going to be a big rush to go there,” he said. “If you were sexually abused each and every day, or you're deaf in one ear and can hardly hear in the other because of the punishment you took in school, would you be willing to go and talk about that to a bunch of people you don't know?”

Public squabbling won't solve land claims issue

Neither will ignorance of the law!


There must be something in the water in Ward 4. How else to explain the actions in the last few days of the councillors who have been elected in that ward?

Coun. James Calnan has managed to alienate most of council by breaking ranks on the issue of how to deal with the native problem. The brilliant, but erratic, Coun. Richard Carpenter has managed to do the same thing on many issues with a mixture of sanctimony and often sheer nastiness.

The councillors' personal foibles have been displayed in the recent defection of Calnan on the issue of how to handle native protesters. Calnan announced that he no longer agreed with council's decision to seek an injunction and to pursue a strategy of increasing pressure on native protesters. He said he now felt that this approach was a recipe for violence and that a more conciliatory approach would be wiser.

In an effort to find a way forward, Calnan suggested that development should be halted on disputed lands as a way of reaching out to Six Nations. Now, Calnan is a smart, well-educated guy. He has a PhD and is very concerned about social issues. He is often too slow to recognize the practical considerations that he is paid to manage as a councillor. He usually views real-world problems as case studies for a university credit and fails to see the practical problems that his opining about social causes will generate.

First, city council has not the power to do as Calnan suggests. If a property owner wants to build on his land and he meets all of the zoning requirements, the city has no choice but to issue a permit. Failure to do so will generate a fast appeal and reversal at the Ontario Municipal Board and possibly years of litigation and costs at which the city will not prevail.

Secondly, there is an issue of credibility for the city. Council has started a course of action that is reasonable and measured. While many people in the city want faster action to solve the native land claims issue, it is better to proceed slowly, using the tools the law provides, than go off half-cocked and wind up without the support of rule of law. Having gone down this path, the city cannot now reverse course without surrendering credibility.

The federal government has primary responsibility to negotiate a settlement with the natives and the provincial government is responsible for the land registry and law enforcement.

The city has no role in this dispute other than as collateral damage.

That is just not true: The city has a responsibility to ensure that Six Nations is fully consulted before any development permits are issued. That is the law.

While the native land claims issue is very complex, the citizens of Brantford are getting tired of native protesters thumbing their noses at court injunctions and it is an open question how long the situation can continue before it erupts into violence.

How long before the Brantford Court actually rules on the permanent injunction? Why the delay? A flimsy temporary injunction without a thorough ruling on the law is no good!

The recent Court of Appeal decision above has much to say about 'injunctions' and 'consultation'. Why is the Brantford Court delaying it's decision?

We have already seen on the front page of this newspaper two police officers arresting one protester who refused to obey a lawful order given to him by a peace officer. How much longer before Brantford is mentioned in the same breath as Caledonia? These actions are breeding disrespect for rule of law and the public's willingness to allow this to happen is wearing very thin.

Brantford City Council is already in the same category as Caledonia/Haldimand Council: Arrogant, ignorant Councils that would rather fight their neighbours and fight the law rather than consult according to the law.

Calnan says he would rather negotiate than make war -- a principled stand. It is always easy to negotiate when you are prepared to give away everything the other side asks for.

In any case, the city has no business negotiating anything with the native protesters. Negotiations are a federal responsibility. To do otherwise weakens the case that the city has that they are innocent bystanders in a feud between natives and the feds.

It's weak anyway ... In fact that 'case' is nonexistent. The writer reveals the City Council's strategy to play the 'ignorance of the law' card. We all know ignorance of the law is no excuse. What's Brantford's Council's excuse for its ignorance?

It is particularly rich that Calnan's wardmate, Carpenter, was most vocal in berating his colleague. He referred to Calnan as a backstabber whom he expected to break ranks with council. Calnan's stance is, regardless of how ill-considered, one of conscience and his views are honestly held. They are certainly not views of convenience to score a political point, something that some councillors have all too often been known to do.

These comments must be especially galling to Calnan coming from Carpenter, who is often seen at council debates to speak forcefully on one side of a question and then vote entirely opposite to his stated position. This happens so frequently at council that it has been the butt of jokes by councillors and the press who marvel at Carpenter's flexible positions that would do a circus acrobat proud.

Calnan is dead wrong in his reversal of opinion on this issue. However, public squabbling about his change of heart will accomplish nothing.

It will be interesting when the final court judgment on the injunctions comes down. What's the delay, I wonder?

Council is moving along the right course of action and both Ward 4 councillors should just shut up and avoid drinking any more Ward 4 water.

Tim Philp is a political observer who lives in Brantford. E-mail him at tphilp@bfree.

Article ID# 1132263

Ottawa Arms Bazaar 2008 ...

Sponsors "Secure Canada 2008" has six sponsors:

Click here for more details about these sponsors.

General information "Secure Canada provides the ideal opportunity for defense and security professionals to see and learn about the latest products and technologies and to network with key contacts from both government and industry. Leading Canadian and international companies will display technologies and products focused on the growing needs of government public safety, security and defense agencies and private sector security. Secure Canada is the only international event in Canada for security, public safety, risk mitigation, threat response and emergency planning." (cwuc) ... cwuc sucks! It's biased illogical rants and selective reporting of mainstream media. And that's how bad the mainstream media is ... Ryerson Press thinks cwuc is performing an important service! And cwuc sucks! Hurrah for freedom of the press in Canada ... eh? Quality press, eh? ... LOW quality! Canada has a bad case of Media Mediocrity. I will say, though, that today I agree with a certain cwuc scribejeffieparkinson that ... FANTINO MUST GO!!!

Fantino an equal opportunity abuser

July 19, 2008

Now that documents have been released detailing the testimony of Julian Fantino at an August 29 2007 court hearing for Shawn Brant, and transcripts of recorded phone calls between Fantino and Brant from the June 29, 2007 “day of action”, we are able to gain a rare glimpse into the mind of Ontario’s “top cop”.

We know that Julian is a bully when there’s a camera or microphone around to show off for, and we know that when dealing with anything remotely associated with CANACE, he is prone to making bizarre statements about violence and agenda’s that exist only in his head, but what’s he like when he’s dealing with a Native and thinks nobody is listening?

After reading 4 sets of transcripts I came two conclusions. Fantino is a man who appears to have no respect for basic human rights, and he gets as riled up by our peaceful, law abiding, demonstrations against injustice as he does by a terrorist (sic) shutting down the 401 and CN rail line.

I have no love lost for Shawn Brant. The man is a terrorist (sic), and Canada would be much better off with him behind bars where he belongs (sic), but that doesn’t excuse the despicable, childish, school yard bully rhetoric that was spewed at him by the supposed leader of the Ontario Provincial Police.

Not knowing that Brant’s phone had been wiretapped, our beloved temper tantrum prone Commissioner made some statements that can only be described as threats to Brant while trying to convince him to remove his barricades of the 401, Highway 2, and the CN rail line. Not threats to arrest him for his crimes, but threats to use his position of power to destroy the public image of Mr. Brant both in the mainstream media, and in his own community.

Some of the more interesting excerpts of the transcripts:

“You know, if you pull this off, I’m liable to say that your issues are critical and they’re important and I’ll speak to that, but if you don’t, then I’m going to go the other way, and I’m going to say that you’re just destroying, and you’re abusing, and you’re using the people, and you’re actually being a mercenary about it, using the suicide of children and all those legitimate issues, and you don’t want that because I think I can play the media routine like you do.”

“Your whole world’s going to come crashing down”

“I’m now telling you to pull the plug or you’ll suffer grave consequences.”

And the one that best sums up the belief Julian has that he has a right and a duty to use his position of authority to attack private citizens as he has attacked the members of CANACE.

“I will do everything I can within your community and everywhere to destroy your reputation”

Fantino not only admitted during cross examination by Brant’s lawyer that he made these statements, he actually claimed he was being “respectful” of Brant while making them!

When questioned about the legality of the wiretap which was placed on Brant’s phone by the OPP without a warrant, the fact that there was discussion within the OPP about illegally withholding the wiretap evidence from the defense, and asked point blank if he would investigate any possible wrongdoing on the part of OPP officers, the commissioner said no, and when pressed he offered the following explanation:

“I believe that everything that we did was in the greater good, and that’s my understanding.”

Translation - Julian Fantino believes that he has not only the right, but a duty to threaten, slander, intimidate, and violate the rights of private citizens if it will benefit what he considers “the greater good”. more ...

Caledonia Wake Up Call ? ... of the same mind as Shawn Brant ?

... whoda thunk!

Kahnesetake Saturday Night ?

Two Sûreté du Québec police vehicles were damaged during an incident sparked by a traffic stop involving a patrol vehicle around midnight. There are reports that police cars ended up being pursued by other vehicles and were run off the road.

(Jus' like Boss Hog and Roscoe! hahahaaha)

Between 12 and 15 people blocked Highway 344 west of Montreal by dragging trees onto the road.

Police spokesman Gregory Gomez del Prado said protesters also set fire to a tree trunk that was on the road and barricaded two other entrances to Kanesatake.

ahahahaha OK I have a slight empathy with the adventures of The General Lee, and this is just like an episode.
Now Bo and LukeDuke ... alla you guys ... doncha think maybe you could take those barricades down now, and put the fires out before ya leave too, eh? Ya had your fun, boys. Boss Prado's plenty ps'd and now we got two darn police cars ta fix, ya see ... and no pay for those ones! Taaaarrrrnation! Boys!
ahahhahahahaha Saturday night ... more ... Mohawks look for answers after violent weekend near Oka Posted 14 hours ago After a weekend of confrontation with Quebec police, Mohawk leaders near Oka moved on Monday to condemn violence in their community. On Friday, two police cruisers were rammed in Kanesatake and a highway was cut off by a barricade of burning tree stumps.
There are reports that police cars ended up being pursued by other vehicles and were run off the road. Straightening them curves ... Flattenin them hills ... Someday the mountain might get em, but the law never will. (oops scuse burst into song moment ahhahahahahaaha)
"The Mohawk council of Kanesatake does not support or condone the events that happened," Kanesatake territory Grand Chief Paul Nicholas told reporters Monday after a marathon band-council meeting. (... of course) Residents of the community that was at the centre of the 1990 Oka crisis have called an emergency community meeting for Thursday. "We're looking for solutions to some of the events that happened this past weekend," Nicholas said. Quebec provincial police are releasing few details about the weekend incidents, citing their ongoing investigation. They said a speeding car was stopped on Kanesatake territory Friday night. An officer used pepper spray to arrest the teenage driver and at least one passenger. A couple of hours later, trucks smashed into two police cruisers on a road outside Kanesatake, police said. The vehicles were damaged but the four officers escaped injury. (of course ... otherwise I wouldn't be making fun.) Spokesman Sgt. Michel Brunet said investigators are trying to determine if the incidents are linked. (of course not! it's just Saturday night!) "We will see in the next few days if there will (be) charges against them," Brunet said. Later on Friday night, about a dozen people dragged logs across Highway 344 near Oka, west of Montreal, and torched them. Police asked local band council members to convince the individuals to abandon the barricade. The barricade was abandoned Saturday morning and Quebec transport officials removed the debris by 10 a. m. Copyright © 2008 Brantford Expositor

And (cwuc) squawks ...
New Violence in Kanesatake

July 27, 2008 - Montreal Gazette: Mohawks lift highway barricade

July 26 - CBC: Quebec Mohawk highway blockade cleared

July 26 - Globe and Mail: Mohawks barricade highway near Oka

July 26 - CTV News: Kanesatake Mohawks put up burning blockade near Oka

July 26 - Canadian Press: Quebec Mohawks barricade a highway near Oka following a police intervention

BackGround Stories

Feb 01/07 - CBC: RCMP to investigate Kanesatake Mohawk police

Dec 12/06 - CBC: Federal report says guns missing from Kanesatake

Dec 11/06 - CBC: Federal Liberals broke rules in funding Kanesatake police: audit

Oct 17/06 - CBC: Charges considered after $34M spent to police tiny Quebec band

Oct 16/06 - CBC: Quebec band council misspent millions on police, report alleges

July 08/05 - CBC: Gabriel leaves Kanesatake for Ontario

Jan 15/04 - CBC: Quebec had 'bloodshed' worries over Kanesatake

Jan 14/04 - CBC: Deal disgusts Kanesatake grand chief

ahahahahahahahaahahaha ... did I mention? cwuc sucks! hahahahaaahhhahahahaha

Sunday, July 27, 2008

National Aboriginal Women's Summit 2008 Update August 1: Liberals say Ottawa must address violence against women after aboriginal summit YELLOWKNIFE — The federal government needs to do more to address the root causes of violence against aboriginal women, says the Indian Affairs critic for the federal Liberals."Aboriginal women experience higher rates of violence. If that burden is going to be lifted, the socioeconomic conditions and prosperity gap between aboriginals and non-aboriginals will have to be addressed," said Anita Neville in a release. Update: July 29 Organizers of aboriginal women's summit want to test sincerity of federal apology
July 27, 2008
The Canadian Press, 2008

EDMONTON - Now that the federal government has apologized for the havoc the residential school system wrought in the lives of generations of aboriginal people, the head of a national women's group says she's aiming to test whether that apology was at all sincere.

Beverley Jacobs, president of the Native Women's Association of Canada, will co-host the second annual National Aboriginal Women's Summit, a three-day meeting which begins Tuesday in Yellowknife.

Floyd Roland, the premier of the Northwest Territories, is also co-hosting the event.

About 150 delegates will hash out an action plan to implement more than 140 recommendations on a wide range of issues - such as poverty, violence and justice - that came out of last year's inaugural meeting in Cornerbrook, N.L.

There's been a lot of talk about making the lives of aboriginal people better, said Jacobs, but now it's time to see if Prime Minister Stephen Harper really means that.

"I don't want to hear about another missing woman, I don't want to hear about another murdered woman. I don't want to hear about a woman who doesn't have a home to live in.

"That's the change I want to see," said Jacobs, a Mohawk citizen of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in southern Ontario. more ...

And see...

And ... In 2004, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) estimated that 600-800 persons are trafficked into Canada annually and that additional 1,500-2,200 persons are trafficked through Canada into the United States.[29] In Canada, foreign trafficking for prostitution is estimated to be worth $400 million annually.[30] And ...

Child and Youth Trafficking and Prostitution in Canada

World trafficking in women and children for use in the sex trade is a multi-billion dollar market -- and it is on the rise. The United Nations estimates that 4 million people are trafficked throughout the world each year under threat of violence, due to poverty, or through deception.

A report by the Solicitor General of Canada (October 1997) concludes that migrant trafficking accounts for 8-16,000 illegal immigrants in Canada every year, many of them female youths and children who are forced to work in Canada's booming sex trade industry. The same report estimates that those profiting from the illegal trafficking of children and women in Canada earn as much as $400 million annually.

Authorities have infiltrated trafficking rings that have imported children and youths from every continent in the world to work as sex slaves in Canada. Every major urban centre in Canada has records of children and youths working as prostitutes, as escorts, in strip clubs and in pornography. Thousands of children are believed to be currently engaged in the commercial sex industry nationally.

Steps for Action*

As a result of the World Congress Against the Sexual Exploitation of Children, held in Yokohama, Japan (December 2001), Save the Children Canada, along with other children and women's organizations, urge the following measures to be adopted by Canada's national and provincial governments:

  • address the market for sex with children and youths by focusing on the predators;
  • decriminalize all children engaged in the commercial sex trade;
  • address the needs of exploited children by providing health and counseling services to child and youth sex workers;
  • allow meaningful participation of youths in the development and implementation of solutions;
  • include prostitution-related activities in the legal definition of child abuse; and,
  • address the root causes of exploitation, namely poverty.

*Based on documents produced by Save the Children Canada and Global March Against Child Labour.

For more information on child and youth trafficking and prostitution, please visit the following links:

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'.