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

Saturday, January 31, 2009

SIX NATIONS AND BRANTFORD: Wouldn't a partnership be a better way to move forward?

"While maverick city Coun. James Calnan faced a barrage of criticism for breaking ranks over the city's legal action; he was right when he said the city should follow up with some sort of peace overture, instead of just legal confrontation." (Expositor editorial Jan. 7, 2009)

Six Nations has, to my personal knowledge throughout the past 33 years, made direct efforts to educate, inform and work, when possible, with the City of Brantford while respecting and protecting Six Nations land rights. Previous city councils led by mayors Charles Bowen, David Neumann, Karen George, Bob Taylor and Chris Friel have all interacted with us in efforts to move forward through similar turbulent times.

No doubt the present Mayor Mike Hancock, with his 20 years experience on city council, is also aware of these efforts and must continue with such diplomacy. And Six Nations must continue to extend the olive branch in answer to C. Orville Garlow (Expositor Opinion page, Jan. 8, 2009) because fairness and diplomacy are who we are.

Many of the city's previous mayors and councils have been Six Nations' best allies; lobbied for us and with us with no less than 19 federal ministers of Indian Affairs, numerous members of parliament and the provincial legislature in attempts to pressure Canada to resolve Six Nations' outstanding land issues in a fair and just manner.

Going forward with the City of Brantford, there is a way!

With the economy crashing into a recession, there is a great opportunity for business in implementing the Six Nations/City of Brantford Feb. 4, 1997 agreement. Six Nations can partner with investors on lands within the city of Brantford, be it an abandoned business site (to preserve as much farmland as possible) or a new site for business that meet our criteria and approval.

The lands will be held jointly by Six Nations and the developer/investor; exempt from municipal or provincial taxation per the terms of this 1997 agreement, our unique situation and the province's own legislation.

The developer/investor would pay what was saved in taxes to Six Nations to be used to repay the developer/investor the amount they initially paid for the disputed lands.

Upon the investment for the land repaid, the title will be transferred to where it should be, Six Nations.

The businesses would be issued long-term leases with lease payments securing Six Nations' perpetual care and maintenance, honouring the intent of our original agreements we had with our neighbours and the Crown. Certainty for investments would be achieved.

The City would be paid for the services they provide (fire, water, sewer, policing, garbage, etc.). Businesses would thrive having the advantage of commerce in a tax-free zone. Everyone would be working. Employment, training and apprenticeships would be available to everyone.

Six Nations would finally be included in the economy. Canada's legal duty to settle the land rights of the Six Nations People remains intact, but now big business and the City will be our allies, prompting Canada to settle with Six Nations.

The expected federal infrastructure dollars and economic stimulus package being proposed in the federal budget can only help if properly leveraged.

To date, the required investors and developers are excited and the province appears willing to amend the legislative changes arbitrarily implemented in 1997 that might have been an excuse for the City not to honour their part of the Feb. 4, 1997 agreement with Six Nations.

City of Brantford, it's your move.

Or would the City of Brantford rather be known as the place where uncertainty of land title has developers and investors suing the City and going elsewhere. Or Brantford, a place where Jane Doe, John Doe and Persons Unknown are not welcomed and subject to arrest. Or the City of Brantford, a place where Indian Fighting Lawyers and the Army are being sought to handle those pesky Indians.

Brantford, could your image get any worse?

Phil Monture

Six Nations


I disagree with Mr. Andrew Robinson's opinion in his Jan. 24 editorial that we, including councillors, should keep our attention and action focused on a negotiated settlement.

A negotiated settlement is, of course, the key, but Mr. Robinson has failed to consider a critical element in his reasoning -- the length of time it will take to reach a negotiated settlement. Just how long will it take to settle the land claims? Less than 12 months, a few years, or, decades?

The answer is in the following: Mr. Phil Monture, an expert in Six Nations land claims, who provides support to the federal negotiations, and who was instrumental in the City of Brantford/Six Nations 1997 agreement during the Mayor Chris Friel era, has made extra and painstaking notes on his technical work and in-depth knowledge because he says he will not be alive to see the day the land claims are settled.

The citizens of Brantford and the city and its deteriorating reputation and economy cannot wait this long until the land claims are settled. Holding the long breath is unrealistic, especially when peace-evoking solutions are within arms reach.

Danica Vanpopic


Facing up to Canada's dark history

By Lorraine Mallinder Kahnewake, Canada

From the late 19th Century up to the 1970s, an estimated 150,000 native children in Canada were seized from their parents and sent far away to state-funded, church-run schools to learn how to think, speak and act like white people. The country is still coming to terms with the disastrous results.

Archive images from inside Canada's aboriginal residential schools

Maybe I picked a bad day to visit. The place is a ghost town.

I came here with the idea of taking a mental snapshot of life in Kahnewake, exclusively populated by members of the Mohawk nation, at the beginning of an important year for Canada's relations with its native peoples.

In the coming months, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission will start touring the country to heal the scars of the residential schools system, a policy that resulted in thousands of deaths and devastated lives.

With an estimated 80,000 former pupils still around today, many of whom witnessed or suffered sexual, physical and mental abuse, the debate over how much truth will be needed for reconciliation is stirring controversy.

Bitter memories

Back in the freezing present, I duck into a smoke shop, selling tax-free tobacco, for shelter. Star Eagle greets me from behind the counter and, eyeing my numb face with bemusement, offers me a coffee.

"Truth and reconciliation? I ain't never heard of that," she says when I ask whether she is aware of the new commission. Now in her 50s, she has bitter memories of the residential schools regime.

Map of canada

"People here are heart-broken about what they went through," she tells me. "They show their hearts on their faces and they don't know it."

"I call it hard face," she says. Her eyes deaden and her features tense in a depiction of life in Kahnewake.

Away from the reserve, in Ottawa, the Canadian capital, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has suffered some loss of face.

Launched last year, it has had trouble getting off the ground. Its chief commissioner, a Mississauga Indian and a judge on the Ontario Court of Appeal, resigned in October after tussles over the body's mandate.

As the politicking over his replacement continues, the public spotlight has been shifting from the healing of the living to the raising of the dead.

It is accepted knowledge that a large proportion of the children, some estimates run into tens of thousands, died of tuberculosis in the cold, filthy schools.

Spirit of the dead

But recently, the story has taken a darker turn, as allegations of secret burials in mass graves, death by torture and fatal medical experiments have begun to surface.

The man behind the new allegations is Kevin Annett, a defrocked Vancouver priest who was thrown out of the United Church in the mid 90s for exposing the schools scandal and challenging the clergy's sale of native lands.

Whatever emerges from the process of truth and reconciliation, the ghosts will not go quietly

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission cannot, under the terms of its mandate, subpoena documents or witnesses to investigate the claims. It has, however, ordered research into possible burial sites.

It has also floated the idea of holding traditional ceremonies to ask the spirits of the dead children to return home to communities like Kahnewake.

Annett tells me this is a cover-up. He wants a Nuremberg-style tribunal to hold government and church officials accountable for genocide. He also wants the children's bones to be dug up, forensically tested and returned home.

I ask some native people about their views on Annett's campaign and receive a complex set of responses. While most say there is an element of truth in the shock allegations, not everyone supports the former priest.

Willie Blackwater, a Gitxsan Indian, is well known in Canada for his landmark victory against the church and the government in a sexual abuse lawsuit in the 90s.

He resents the idea that Annett, a white man who has never attended residential school, has somehow become the public face of the dead children. He believes Annett has "disgraced" native people with his public demands for the dead to be repatriated.

I ask Blackwater what kind of outcome he would be happy with. He supports the truth and reconciliation process, but thinks that native people should be in charge.

'Locked in pain'

I get the sense from my discussions with him and others that native people feel the Church and state, the white establishment, are driving the whole healing process. They feel excluded from the real decisions on truth and reconciliation.

Maybe it stems from the experience of everyday life on reserves like Kahnewake, cut off from mainstream Canadian society, with no political or economic clout.

The segregation is both enshrined in federal laws that define native status and self-imposed by wary native communities that frown upon intermarriage with outsiders.

People in isolated reserves like Kahnewake are still haunted by memories of the residential schools era. For many, it is a world of drug and alcohol addiction, violence and high suicide rates.

"Sometimes I feel people get annoyed with me for trying to be happy," says Star Eagle. "They're all locked in together with their pain."

There is a real sense of foreboding as Canada prepares to come to terms with its dark history. Whatever emerges from the process of truth and reconciliation, the ghosts will not go quietly.

From Our Own Correspondent was broadcast on Saturday 31 January, 2009 at 1130 GMT on BBC Radio 4. Please check the programme schedules for World Service transmission times.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Six Nations, Canada: Negotiations update Federal government deems $500 million compensation "implausible" and "inflated" Seven months after talks were suspended, Canada and Six Nations remained far apart in their positions on financial compensation for lands flooded during construction of the Welland Canal. At their Jan. 28 meeting, both parties read statements into the record. Haudenosaunee Confederacy representatives formally presented a position paper mailed to their Canadian counterparts last fall. In it, they rejected the $26 million settlement proposal and tagged the past to present value of 2,500 acres of flooded land at $500 million. They also indicated they were open to discussion on the issue. On behalf of Canada, senior federal negotiator Ron Doering read a statement saying $26 million was fair offer arrived at in good faith. Later he told reporters that the federal government was firm on that sum. Both parties will spend a month considering this week's exchange of positions. According to Six Nations Mohawk Chief Allen MacNaughton, who is on the negotiating team, the Confederacy will discuss Canada's response in council and band council members do their own review. Then the $26 million offer and responses to negotiation principles will be presented at community meetings in Six Nations. Negotiators meet next on Feb. 26 when Doering wanted the parties to set a schedule for meetings up to June. MacNaughton told reporters that many ideas in Doering's statement were "non starters". He was especially disappointed that the federal government does not recognize the Confederacy as a government. As well, chiefs told their federal counterparts that they are very concerned about people being arrested while development continues. This is occurring while provincial, federal and Six Nations representatives try to resolve these issues, MacNaughton noted. When asked if Ontario or Canada would walk away from negotiations if demonstrations acNaughton turned the tables. "The question is will we keep coming to their table as long as there's development," he noted saying this will be seriously considered. According to Doering's reading notes, Canada gave much thought to its response to the Six Nations $500 million value for the Welland Canal claim. He noted that Six Nations used selective application of Canadian legal principles for commercial compensation to arrive at the sum instead of applying principles used in courts to set compensation for aboriginal historic claims. "We believe that your approach leads to an implausible and inflated value and is not a practical basis for settlement," Doering said in the "without prejudice" response paper. He said it was unsupportable to calculate a value back to 1829 based on full compound interest for the entire sum. To reach their compensation level, the federal government relied on actual account patterns and past and present land values in the context of historical and economic information, he added. In their response, Six Nations said they will not relinquish rights or interest in lands for which they receive financial settlements. Doering said Canada's view is the flooded lands were surrendered in 1831, 1834 and 1844. To compromise, the $26 million offer left rights in place but also sought a promise that Six Nations would not act on them, he added. Before Canada provides compensation, it must be certain that further claims or occupations of these lands will not occur, stated Doering. "It is a matter we need to explore further if we are to reach an agreement on any of HSN's historical claims," he stated. Both MacNaughton and Doering realized the relationship between Six Nations and the Crown must be rebuilt. Doering suggested shaping it toward the future while respecting the past. "The nature of the relationship and the respect to us is paramount to be able to move forward with this process," said MacNaughton. In response to Six Nations suggestions for future negotiations, Doering rejected a proposal for new legislation requiring the three parties to negotiate. He also said the specific and comprehensive claims policies do not limit negotiations but also indicated that federal policy or "law applying to Indians" might govern negotiations in some cases. Willing to explore Haudenosaunee jurisdiction over its lands and people, Doering said the lands will not be completely immune in all circumstances from federal or provincial laws. In their statement, the chiefs asked Canada to commit to mediation if the talks fail. In response, Doering said the federal government does not agree to that at this time. Instead the federal government is willing to resort to judicial resolution in the courts as a negotiation alternative. Both federal and Six Nations representatives did agree to reviewing the negotiation process itself. MacNaughton said he wanted to see the main table remain in place. Other side tables or committees might no longer be necessary, noted Doering. He pointed out that Ontario has suggested a land use planning committee but Six Nations has not accepted the proposal. It was suggested by former provincial negotiator Murray Coolican as an alternative to demonstrations and occupations or reclamations of pieces of property. For the new provincial negotiator, Tom Molloy, this was his first meeting. He said it would take several to get to know people and to get up to speed on the issues. Even he was briefed, he said it was a lot different hearing from the parties at the table. Copyright © 2009 Dunnville Chronicle
START OVER! -Residential schools commission to start from scratch By Norma Greenaway, Canwest News Service January 30, 2009 4:08 PM Retired Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci will name a selection committee to conduct the search for new commissioners, an announcement due Friday will state. Retired Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci will name a selection committee to conduct the search for new commissioners, an announcement due Friday will state. Photograph by: Jean Levac, Ottawa Citizen OTTAWA — The troubled federal commission into Indian residential schools will be remade with three new commissioners, ending months of agonizing over how to respond to the surprise resignation of its chairman, Henry LaForme, in October. The government and parties to the residential schools agreement announced Friday a selection committee has been struck to find a new chairman and two commissioners as quickly as possible. Retired Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci, who will be the chairman of the selection committee, facilitated the agreement. Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl said the move promises a "fresh start" for the battered commission. Strahl said he is optimistic a new three-panel commission will be in place within weeks, and that he also is satisfied all parties now are "crystal clear" about how the commission will operate. "It's going to make it easier to recruit commissioners," he said in a telephone interview. The disruption caused by LaForme's angry departure has already slowed the work of the five-year, $60-million Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Among other things, it was forced to cancel opening hearings slated for this month. The commission is charged with collecting stories from victims of abuse in the residential school system and encouraging reconciliation within Canadian society over the dark chapter in the country's history. LaForme set off a storm of charges and counter charges when he quit, saying he could not get along with his two fellow commissioners. He accused them of trying to usurp his power as chairman, and also complained, through a spokesman, of interference by the Assembly of First Nations. The two remaining commissioners — lawyer Jane Morley of British Columbia and Claudette Dumont-Smith, a Quebec health specialist — announced they were stepping aside, and that their resignations would take effect June 1, 2009. "We regret that we will not be continuing as commissioners for the full five-year mandate," they said in a joint statement. "However, we have become convinced that the time has come for us to step aside and let others take on the demanding but rewarding mission." They said they continue to "disagree" with LaForme's stated reasons for quitting, but did not elaborate. Instead, they urged all parties to the residential school agreement, among them the United, Anglican and Catholic churches, the Assembly of First Nations and the federal government, to focus on getting the commission back on track as soon as possible. Strahl characterized the outgoing commissioners' June 1 resignation as a technicality, and said he was confident a new three-panel commission would be in place long before that date. In a separate statement, Iacobucci said the selection committee would welcome nominations of individuals to serve as commissioners. He also praised all those involved in the process of finding a way to move forward, and that he saw no evidence of anyone trying to interfere in the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The selection committee includes Phil Fontaine, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations; Mary Simon on behalf of Inuit representatives; Michael Wernick, deputy minister of the Department of Indian Affairs; Rev. James Scott on behalf of the Anglican, Presbyterian and United churches; Pierre Baribeau, on behalf of Catholic entities, and Len Marchand on behalf of claimants under the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement. Fontaine said he's satisfied the commission will be back on track very soon, and ready to hear from survivors of the schools who are anxious to tell their stories. "This actually has presented us with a good opportunity to relaunch the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and do it in a way that has three commissioners very focused and committed to getting things right," Fontaine said in an interview. © Copyright (c) Canwest News Service
World Social Forum and Forest Defenders Unite Thursday, 29 January 2009 20:12 SOS Amazon! – “World Social Forum” Lends Indigenous Leaders and Supporters Opportunity to Defend Amazon Rainforest by Shelley Bluejay Pierce As world leaders focus on severe economic crisis in their homelands, an estimated 100,000 activists traveled from all over the world to attend the World Social Forum in Brazil. Critical environmental impacts in the Amazon rainforest regions brought Indigenous tribal representatives from across Latin America, environmentalists and supporters together for the multi-day event. One full day during the World Social Forum will focus on issues impacting the Amazon rainforest and the resident tribal nations who dwell there. Led by Indigenous people from all across Latin America, over 1000 participants formed a human banner, using their bodies, to draw attention to the increasingly precarious situation of the Amazon rainforest. The wording was formed around the massive silhouette of an indigenous warrior taking aim with a bow and arrow. (photo courtesy of Lou Dematteis/Spectral Q.) Prior to constructing the human-banner, Brazil’s leading Amazonian Indigenous organization, COIAB, released this statement: “With the permission of our ancestors’ spirits, we indigenous peoples are here with our friends from all corners of the earth. We build this symbol with our bodies as the cry of living beings from this green forest, this planet, for our continuity as humans and diverse creatures. The symbol of the bow and arrow has three meanings: The first, our aim that every man, woman, and child will decide to care for our planet; The second, the position of defending the rights of indigenous peoples, of nature, of the planet, and of our home the Amazon; The third, to send a message to the world so that each of us helps to protect our home, our air, our water, our food. The Datsiparabu ceremony is the purification of our minds, our spirit, our soul, and our hearts. Save the Amazon!” BELEM, Brazil - These words and their message resonate with Indigenous peoples worldwide who face the destruction of their lands, culture and traditions. Mining operations, agricultural development and the endless grab for unoccupied land have forced millions of indigenous people worldwide from their traditional homelands and traditional ways. Across the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and a host of other countries, the Indigenous people are uniting and waging their own wars against the ruination of their lands. Governmental policies, often times made with little to no involvement by the Indigenous representatives, have decimated entire tribal groups and wrecked havoc with sensitive ecosystems. The remnants of post-mineral extraction, often grossly unregulated and mismanaged, have left their people to contend with death or illness, lack of safe water supplies and other toxic contamination. Agricultural developments have stripped the land of needed indigenous plant species and animals and forced many tribes far from the lands they have inhabited for centuries. Fighting onto the world’s political and environmental stage has not come easily, or quickly enough, to save many Indigenous peoples from the disastrous impacts of global resource development. One such case involves the landmark case against Chevron-Texaco and oil exploration in Ecuador. Contamination from petro-chemicals led to scientific reports revealing local water samples with toxic chemical levels thousands of times higher than permitted by Ecuadorian and U.S. environmental laws. Ecuadorian cancer rates were highest in the region where Texaco operated its drilling operations. The toxic waste may have contributed to hundreds of lives lost, the extinction of one Indigenous group and the endangerment of two others. (see related article at: “Indigenous people hold their traditional weapons skyward as they formed the human banner ‘SOS AMAZONIA’ Organizing and filming lasted almost and hour at the UFRA’s (Federal Rural University) main field. Technical assistance was provided by Amazon Watch, Rainforest Action Network, and Spectral Q.” (photo courtesy of Lou Dematteis/Spectral Q. ) As tribal leaderships around the world learn the legal and political protocols required to navigate their way through the various jurisdictions surrounding them, environmental and scientific communities are joining forces with them. Together, they are forming new alliances aimed at bringing global awareness to the plight of the very habitats that sustain the world. In this sense, the Amazon rainforest's health and survival are not only critical to the survival of the Indigenous people there, but to the entire planet as well. Sometimes referred to as the, “Lungs of our Planet," the rainforest ecosystem works by continuously recycling carbon dioxide into oxygen. Some estimates state that more than 20 percent of the world’s oxygen supplies comes from the Amazon Rainforest. With an estimated 10 million species of plants and one-fifth of the world's fresh water supply located in the Amazon Basin, protecting this area from destruction is not a local issue but a global issue of great concern. Echoing the call to action during the World Social Forum, Atossa Soltani, Executive Director, Amazon Watch stated, “It is urgent that the world act now to stop deforestation and to recognize the importance of the Amazon in stabilizing our climate. There needs to be an immediate halt to industrial resource extraction that is bringing the ecosystems and cultures of the Amazon to the brink of collapse.” Vast swathes of rainforest have been clear cut which data suggests is responsible for one fifth of the annual global carbon emissions, roughly equivalent to all the automobile emissions. Some 17 to 20 percent of the Amazon rainforest has been destroyed in the last 40 years, with another estimated 20 percent having been fragmented or degraded. New road construction, expansion of agriculture, and mining for resources such as oil, gas, and precious metals are only a portion of the impacts severely altering the face of the rainforest. Scientists are concerned that the Amazon forest will reach an irreversible ecological ‘tipping point’ that would forever change the ecosystem from rainforest to savannah. This event is estimated to release at least 76 gigatons of carbon, now stored in the forest ecosystems, into the atmosphere. Data suggests this amount is comparable to roughly 15 years worth of all human-caused emissions, and will exacerbate global climate change. Since 2000, South American governments have been discussing a framework for continent-wide infrastructure projects along nine geographic corridors, including the Amazon. Known as IIRSA, the Initiative for the Integration of Infrastructure in the South American Region, these projects number over 500 and carry a staggering price tag estimated at a minimum of $70 billion. Financing has come from a number of sources, multi-lateral institutions like the Inter-American Development Bank and the Andean Development Corporation that have been powerful influences on IIRSA. Questions arise about the cumulative impacts such enormous projects will have upon the sensitive Amazon regions. Proponents to the initiative have not adequately provided the answers to these critical issues. Estimates state that the full implementation of IIRSA would result in a 50% reduction in the Amazon rainforest by 2050. Indigenous communities, who are often those most effected by these projects, have not given consent nor been involved in the project planning for these massive developments. These enormous infrastructure projects bring the potential for escalated social conflicts across the regions, will apply negative impacts on Indigenous cultures and livelihoods, and accelerate deforestation. Without Indigenous community involvement, these impacts will likely continue and broaden in scope over time. Marco Apurina, Vice-Coordinator of COIAB, an indigenous umbrella organization, said in earlier press reports during the World Social Forum, “We are the guardians of the forest. This is a critical moment for Indigenous peoples to unite with non-Indigenous, activists, teachers, environmentalists, unions, government—the Amazon rainforest needs everyone to work together now to defend it before it’s too late.”

Monday, January 26, 2009

UNREPENTANT - unspoken canada, eh. Who in canada speaks of this? Who in canada speaks of over 50,000 Indigenous children who went to canada's Indian Residential Schools, and did not return home? Who in canada speaks of the thousands of unnamed Indigenous children of Kanata, (Gana-da ... "our village") are buried in unmarked graves at former residential schools? unnamed! Who in canada speaks of the families who still wait for notification of the fate of these children, the 'lost ones', their siblings, aunts ...? Who speaks of these families ... today? They are still here. Still waiting for respects from the Canadian people, for the lost children. UNREPENTANT!! Canada's governments - every one since 1867 - unrepentant of failure to uphold the Constitution(s) of the land now known as Canada (1763, 1867, 1982), and related peace treaties. UNREPENTANT!! Canada's large churches, Anglican, Catholic, United - since well before Confederation - unrepentant of 'conversion of heathens', that which we now know as genocide. Genocide - killing a culture - for 'moral' reasons among the ordinary faithful servants of the church machine, converting Indigenous Peoples of Kanata to their 'true' faith. Delusions of superiority, the cause of all human genocides, under the auspices of 'the Crown'. But less philosophy than sheer greed ... genocide for land by the church machine, for the Crown. Land 'in trust' for the Indigenous communities and for their children who were also taken 'in trust', since well before Confederation of Canada, and many didn't come back. The ugly pattern was set before Canada began. Canada joined in, took over responsibility, kept very few records they say, and none of individual children ... they say. (Who is accountable for the individual children?) They say they only have the total enrollment per year, used to distribute per diem funding to the church residential schools, to look after the Indigenous children apprehended under threat or coercion of mandatory attendance, into the care of church havens for zealous pedophiles, sadists and well intentioned dupes, into their care and guardianship. These are the children we mourn. The children who did not survive the Indian Residential Schools, in Canada and before Canada, and always in physical care of the Anglican, Catholic and United church machines. And we note Canada's governments' ongoing complicity with the church triumvirate in trying to cover up their intentions, past and present, with respect to Indigenous lands. And we note the 2008 Supreme Court end of legal violence from Canada against Indigenous Peoples asserting their rights on the land. [48] Where a requested injunction is intended to create “a protest-free zone” for contentious private activity that affects asserted aboriginal or treaty rights, the court must be very careful to ensure that, in the context of the dispute before it, the Crown has fully and faithfully discharged its duty to consult with the affected First Nations: see Julia E. Lawn, “The John Doe Injunction in Mass Protest Cases” (1998) 56 U.T. Fac. L. Rev. 101. The court must further be satisfied that every effort has been exhausted to obtain a negotiated or legislated solution to the dispute before it. Good faith on both sides is required in this process: Haida Nation, p. 532. Governments ... all three levels ... and private companies ... all must consult, and must accommodate Aboriginal land rights before the project is approved. No more 'legal' violence. The 'land in trust' is not ours to develop. The children in our trust are in their graves. Unrepentant: Canada's Genocide

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Naming the Names:Kevin Annett-Fired by United Church
Fourteen Years Later, I'm Still Here, and So Are We
by Kevin D. Annett
I was fired from my job as a United Church minister in Port Alberni fourteen years ago today, by a weasly little bureaucrat named Art Anderson. Art's action ended my livelihood, marriage, and employability, and at the time, he must have figured that he had won. But I don't think Art could have grasped what a favor he was doing me, and thousands of native people who somehow survived the tortures and murder his church inflicted on them at so young an age. This is a thank you to Art Anderson, and to all the other mean spirited church gnomes who did their unwitting job of exposing their crime of genocide for all the world to see. They know who they are, but hell, let's name them all, since this is the time to start naming names: Foster Freed and Phil Spencer, my friends and fellow ministers, who went through seminary with me and often came to my home for dinner, and who then worked behind my back to have me secretly "investigated" by a special church court set up by a few officials in the Comox-Nanaimo Presbytery; Oliver Howard, senior United Church minister and former skipper on the church mission boat Thomas Crosby, who knew of the Alberni residential school murders, the grisly experiments at the Nanaimo Indian Hospital, and local pedophile rings, and who made the motion in the Presbytery Executive to have me dismissed after I spoke of the Alberni murders from my pulpit; Bob Stiven, Cameron Reid, and Colin Forbes, Presbytery officials, who kept the decision to fire and defrock me completely hidden from the wider Presbytery, and who authorized their illegal act; Brian Thorpe, top B.C. Conference executive officer, who encouraged and worked with my ex-wife, Anne McNamee, in her divorce proceedings against me after I was fired; Jon Jessiman and Iain Benson, church lawyers, who planned and executed my firing without cause and my defrocking without due process, pocketing over $150,000 in the process, Phil Spencer (again), who arranged to have the church pay Anne for her divorce costs, exceeding $35,000, and who engineered an extensive smear campaign against me; Fred Bishop, Anne Gray and Wendy Barker, my parishioners, who worked with the Presbytery clique to fire me without cause and blacken my name in Port Alberni; Bill Howie, local church official and associate of accused murderer Alberni residential school Principal Alfred Caldwell, who advised and encouraged Presbytery in its actions; John Cashore, United Church clergyman and provincial government minister in 1995, who instigated my firing after I publicly challenged his government and church's involvement in the theft of ancestral land of the Ahousaht nation on Flores Island, and Dozens of church officials, policemen and lawyers who cooperated in this criminal conspiracy to destroy my life and conceal murder and other crimes by the United Church of Canada. Thank you, all. It's thanks to you, after all, that I began learning about your church's secret crimes from the residential school survivors. It's thanks to you that I learned that 50,000 children had died under Christian care. It's thanks to you that I wrote the book Hidden from History: The Canadian Holocaust, and produced the film UNREPENTANT. And it's thanks to you that your church has been exposed as an agent of genocide, dragged into court by survivors, and started down a long road to oblivion. Just imagine if you had have done the decent thing, and not tried to stamp me out of existence? Think of all the money you would have saved, all the reporters you could have avoided! How much of your wrongdoing would still remain concealed; how little of the real crime would now be known. Of course, being part of that crime and its legacy, how could you have done the decent thing? But be that as it may, I'm curious, guys: was it some unconscious death wish that drove you to try to do me in? Did you know that I would not cave in and crawl away and die somewhere, as you hoped - according to Phil Spencer, at least, who claimed that I would do so? Did you really think I would stay silent, and worry more about myself than all those murdered kids? Or did you know that I was different than all of you? Maybe you were all just plain stupid. I prefer the latter explanation. There was such little intelligence in your actions, after all. And such tactlessness. I mean, how much finesse was present when, the night after I was fired, Phil Spencer (again) called me up at my home to gloat, and explode at my mother over the phone, "Kevin had this coming to him! So go ahead! Go ahead and try to sue us!" It's true, poor Phil had been drinking again, that night. But you'd think church bureaucrats would get, I don't know, some kind of legal advice now and then? Or communication skills training? The truth is, when one chooses to professionally belong to an organization like the Christian church that's founded on an immense historical duplicity, and whose closets are crammed full of skeletons and dirty secrets, then you learn pretty quickly that there's only one virtue that's rewarded: loyalty to a Big Lie. But that kind of loyalty needs to be tested regularly, which means that church clergy are expected to make a whore out of their own conscience and humanity in order to secure their pension, and rise through the hierarchy. Foster Freed and Phil Spencer won their reward for their foul betrayal of the truth, and of a friend. Foster subsequently became President of the B.C. Conference of the United Church, and Phil, somehow, got to be President of Presbytery. They proved themselves, through their capacity to serve the Lie. That's why I'm still here, and they aren't. Even more generally, that's why the residential school survivors are still here, and the United Church is crumbling. For whoever serves the Lie will be destroyed by it, regardless of their money or professional slickness or public legitimacy. And whoever stands simply on the truth will be raised by it, past every torture the Lie and its servants can inflict on them. That's some of what I've learned, on the ground, in fourteen years. It's more than a lesson, though: it's that pearl that Jesus used to mention, the thing that's worth losing everything else to win. We survivors of church torture have been given this gift, that special something that the religious experts and professional liars will never have. So why, in Jesus' name, do we still look to them for accountability, or "healing", or justice? Do we really expect the dead to be human? When will we finally accept the lesson of our own agony, won over so many long nights and after so much loss and sacrifice? When will we leave the dead to bury their dead, and walk into the land of the living? The government and churches of Canada, and the tottering culture they represent, can do nothing but commit the same crimes, over and over, all the time pretending they are not. We will win justice and a new life quite apart from them, once we have exposed them for the Big Lie they are, and walked away from them. Fifty Thousand children can't be wrong. January 23, 2009 Squamish Nation territory ................................................................................................. Kevin Annett 260 Kennedy St. Nanaim, B.C. Canada V9R 2H8 250-753-3345 email:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Kingspan sues City of Brantford for $10m due to Six Nations land claim Aha! Brantford's day of reckoning ... at least one of them! Another is going on in court right now, tomorrow, FRIDAY, 10 am, Brantford Superior Court, as the City is still trying to get a permanent injunction on the Kingspan site, and others that developers have already pulled out of. hahaha! Company sues city for $10 milllion Brantford Expositor - Brantford,Canada ... which started to build its North American headquarters in Brantford, ... problem of Six Nations protesters contesting the property as aboriginal land. ...
And then ... (boy, Brantford is having a baaaad day!) Residential development on Conklin Road targeted
Posted 5 hours ago

Tempers flared as 15 to 20 native protesters halted work at the Empire Homes residential project on Conklin Road Thursday morning.

Construction workers yelled at the protesters as police tried to form a line between the two groups. About 50 to 60 Empire workers left the site, said one protester. “They’re not supposed to be digging here,” said Gene Johns. “This is the third time we’ve been here and they won’t listen.” Johns said he represents the Confederacy, the Six Nations community.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

APOLOGY DEMANDED FOR US NATIVE BOARDING SCHOOLS A recent editorial by Native journalist Tim Giago presents his viewpoints about the need for the story to be told about widespread abuses at early US Indian boarding schools and to call for a national apology:
In addition, there are several movies/documentaries just released or slated to be released about the boarding school experience, including the new Wes Studi movie, "The Only Good Indian" ( ) to be shown this weekend during the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.
The Elders also say the time is right for a collective healing from the trauma of the schools. This year, White Bison is hosting its fifth Sacred Hoop journey, the Wellbriety Journey for Forgiveness (formerly The Way Home Tour), to promote awareness of and healing from the historical trauma carried home from US Indian boarding schools.
The 40-day, 6,800-mile Journey begins May 16, 2009, at Chemawa Indian School in May 16 at the present-day Chemewa Indian School in Salem, Ore., and ends at the site of first Indian school at Carlisle, Penn., established in 1879.
At the conclusion of the Journey, a petition will be presented in Washington D.C. calling upon the President of the United States to formally apologize for abuses at the schools. Please visit to sign the petition, find out how you can help and learn general information about the journey.
Please join White Bison in support of a collective healing from the historical trauma of the Indian boarding schools.

Commentary: 'Cultural Genocide' in the Land of the Free
It would appear to me that most Americans know more about the "Stolen Generation" of Aboriginal children in Australia than they do about the "Stolen Generations" of Indian children in their own country.

Why is that? Well, movies such as "Rabbit-proof Fence" and the newly released film "Australia" probably have something to do with it. In "Rabbit-proof Fence," two little aboriginal girls are taken from their homes to the Catholic mission boarding school without the consent of their parents. They run away from the school and follow the path of the rabbit-proof fence hundreds of miles knowing that the fence runs next to their land and will lead them home. The fence was designed to contain the proliferation of rabbits that had begun to overrun Australia.

The movie "Australia" contains some key roles for the aboriginal people. The main focus is on a small boy who barely escapes the hands of the police early on in the movie only to be captured in the end and sent to the island mission school that is designed to "breed the black" out of the aboriginal children.

It wasn't until 1973 that the practice of taking aboriginal children and placing them in mission boarding schools was prohibited by law in Australia. There has never been a law passed in America to end the same practice. In the 1960s the government-backed practice of taking Indian children from their parents and placing them in Bureau of Indian Affairs and Christian missionary boarding schools began to end of its own volition.

In Australia and in America the children were taken from their parents and their homelands to "breed the black out of them" and in America they were taken to "breed the Indian out of them." The saying popular in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church and in other denominations, as well as in the halls of Congress, was "Kill the Indian, Save the Child."

This practice, though well-intended by those implementing it, did more damage to the American Indian children than any other. What started out as a practice to convert the children to a new religion and a new perspective turned out to be nothing more than "cultural genocide."

An abundance of lawsuits against the Catholic and Anglican churches resulting in victories for indigenous complainants in Canada and Alaska have received little or no attention in America.

A recent lawsuit against the Catholic Church by former students of the St. Francis Indian School on the Rosebud Indian Reservation is now in the courts. There are statutes in South Dakota that would consider a statute of limitations and also consider allegations other than sexual abuse as non-essential. If "cultural genocide" could be included in the number of reasons for the lawsuits in South Dakota, it would put an entirely new face on the process. Though many former students still sport the scars of the sexual, physical and psychological abuse of the Indian boarding schools, the attempts to destroy their cultural beliefs is just as damaging and just as significant. The collateral damage of "cultural genocide" is one of the intangibles that are not easily interpreted in a court of law. It has taken nearly a generation for the former students of the Indian boarding schools to finally step forward and openly speak of their sexual abuse. It is not in the culture, the very culture that the boarding schools attempted to erase, for these Indian people to do so.

But after two or three generations, they are, at last, stepping forward and sadly, their courageous stand is drawing criticism from many of their own "converted" people. These are the converts that went through their entire boarding school experience apparently wearing blinders because they failed to see the abuse, whether it was physical, psychological, sexual or cultural that was taking place all around them.

These converts are as much a part of the cover-up as are the movie producers in Hollywood that find these true-to-life situations of cultural genocide too powerful and embarrassing for the consumption of the general population of Americans.

If Australia can finally stomach these epic wrongs against the aboriginal people of its continent and actually produce films depicting these evils, one can only ask the question: Where are those American film producers with the same courage? And if the government of Australia can issue an official apology to its aborigine citizens for the evil it rained upon them, why can't the America government do likewise? What is needed is an American Indian Spike Lee or a David Wolper to tell America "the rest of the story."


Tim Giago, an Oglala Lakota, is the founder and first president of the Native American Journalists Association. He can be reached at or by writing to him at P.O. Box 1680, Rapid City, S.D. 57709. His new book, "Children Left Behind," is available at

© 2009, Tim Giago

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Rampant sexual abuse of native children in residential schools

OTTAWA — Thousands of native children suffered sexual abuse in Indian residential schools, newly disclosed figures show - a human tragedy so pervasive it's being called "monstrous."

The federal government has quietly paid out more than $350 million in abuse settlements over the last decade, the majority for sexual abuse, to 7,011 former students.

Several thousand more claims for sexual abuse at the hands of church and school officials have been filed over the last year under a 2006 agreement to compensate surviving students, the government and victims' lawyers say.

Both sides predict about 12,000 fresh compensation claims in total will be filed under the agreement - and that the "vast majority" will be for child sexual abuse.

All told, the figures suggest that at least one of every five students suffered sexual abuse at the schools, established in the 19th century to assimilate First Nations children and strip them of their aboriginal culture and language.

"It's horrible, it's monstrous," said Michael Cachagee, executive director and former president of a national group that helps former students.

Liberal MP Todd Russell, an aboriginal, said the numbers were shocking.

"In meeting residential school survivors, I mean across the country, I am not surprised at the percentage - but when you say it as a number, that is astounding."

Russell said he's heard many accounts of sexual abuse in discussions as a member of the Anglican Council of Indigenous People.

The high rate of sexual abuse suggests the isolated schools, which paid teachers and other staff poorly and failed to screen them properly, likely attracted pedophiles who saw the dismal institutions as a "gold mine," said one lawyer involved in past litigation on behalf of students.

Court evidence in lawsuits by former students suggests the churches that ran the schools on behalf of Ottawa may have transferred sex offenders to different locations to protect them and to prevent word leaking out about the extent of sexual abuse, the lawyer said.

Another lawyer, lead counsel in court proceedings that led to judicial approval of the 2006 compensation agreement, agreed.

"You've got an extremely vulnerable group of children who are isolated from their parents, who are dehumanized, who have no one to turn to, and they're in remote locations and you've got sub-par teachers," said Kirk Baert of Toronto.

"What better recipe could you have for exploitation than that? It's like a checklist of all the things you would need to have it happen a lot."

Baert also agreed the schools actively suppressed evidence of the abuse.

"They used various forms of intimidation to silence anyone who complained."

The federal government began negotiating the 2006 deal in May 2005 after facing a class-action lawsuit on behalf of roughly 80,000 surviving students claiming a total of $36 billion in damages.

Under the agreement, Ottawa will pay up to $1.9 billion to former students as compensation for simply being forced to attend the schools, separate from the abuse claims.

"They are expecting there to be 10,000 to 12,000, roughly, sexual-abuse claimants paid at the end of the day, so they are big numbers," said lawyer Darcy Merkur, who compiled a historical affidavit for legal work and fees for a consortium of 19 law firms in the class action.

James Ward, a Justice Department lawyer acting as general counsel for an Indian Affairs branch that was responsible for the issue, agreed "the majority" of the new claims are expected to be for sexual abuse.

Of the 7,011 claims in the first wave, 2,369 of 3,799 settled under a dispute resolution process the government established in 2003 involved sexual abuse, a spokesperson for the Indian Affairs Department said.

And virtually all 3,097 settled prior to that through litigation involved sexual abuse, says a lawyer who took part in the lawsuits. Time limits to sue for physical assault are more restrictive.

Another 133 claims settled so far under the new agreement involved sexual abuse, said the spokesperson, Patricia Valladao.

Of 33 affidavits from former male and female students sworn as part of the proceedings that led to the court approval of the 2006 agreement, 25 included claims of sexual abuse.

The grand chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Phil Fontaine, said aboriginal negotiators and leaders expected a high number of sexual abuse claims under the settlement agreement.

"Don't forget that the initial claims that precipitated all of this were for sexual abuse," said Fontaine. "We anticipated this would be like opening the floodgates."

The Liberal government of the day issued a reconciliation statement following a scathing report in 1996 from a royal commission on aboriginal peoples, which included a chapter on residential schools.

The reconciliation statement included an official apology to residential school survivors, followed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper's statement of apology on behalf of Canada in Parliament last June.

A spokesman for the United Church said it has been named in 1,100 claims, but he said the church had not done a "statistical analysis" to tabulate the number of claims for sexual abuse.

A spokesperson for the Roman Catholic church could not be reached and the Anglican Church of Canada did not respond to a request for an interview.

Petition asks for inquiry into Fantino and OPP


Posted 17 hours ago

On Wednesday afternoon, a man came into The Chronicle office to sign a petition that asks for an inquiry into the actions and decisions of OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino and into the OPP actions in Caledonia over the past three years.

His signature will be one of 10,000 collected by April when the petition will be taken to the Ontario legislature.

Launched last week by Caledonia residents Dave Brown and Ken Hewitt, the petition had about 2,500 supporters by Jan. 14. Through the petition, they are asking for an immediate and unpaid suspension for Fantino while the inquiry into his actions is underway.

In the petition's background statement, organizers said police violations of the Criminal Code and the Police Services Act have been documented. They also say the people of Ontario have the right to know the true costs of policing in Caledonia.

Anyone who has signed the petition on the internet will have to sign a hard copy which is the legally accepted document to have their voices heard. Copies are available at The Chronicle office and at the Dunnville Chamber of Commerce office. If the petition is not available at the chamber's front desk, people are encouraged to ask as it may be in Haldimand Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett's office.

This week Brown delivered copies to stores and restaurants in Cayuga, Hagersville, Jarvis and Dunnville.

Hewitt said he had requests for copies from Ottawa, Barrie, London, Thorold, Niagara Falls, Toronto and Hamilton.

"It's exploding," said Brown. "I can't believe how powerful it's getting...It's overwhelming the amount of people who support this."

"We just need law enforcement," he added.

To pack the biggest wallop with politicians and media, Hewitt planned to deliver the petition to Queens Park during the week of April 12. He wanted 1,000 people to come with him. Progressive Conservative leader John Tory will sign the petition before presenting it in the legislature, he added.

Anticipating a large gathering, Hewitt said the timing will coincide with the third anniversary of the April 20 OPP raid on Douglas Creek Estates.

In February 2006, several persons from Six Nations moved into the subdivision construction site claiming it as part of their people's territory. The Caledonia property is within the Haldimand Tract that extends six miles from both sides of the Grand River. Granted in 1784 to Six Nations by Sir Frederick Haldimand, the land replaced territory lost when they fought with the British in the American War of Independence.

What threw Hewitt over the edge was Fantino's endorsement of Clyde Powless, a Six Nations resident. He faced mischief charges for allegedly pulling a hydro tower across Argyle Street South on Dec. 1 during a smoke shop protest. In his letter, Fantino said Powless has acted as a negotiator and a go-between for his people and OPP.

Reporters and politicians have seen Powless acting in that capacity at a few incidents over the past three years.

Fantino crossed the line in submitting that letter of support and is no longer unbiased or neutral, said Hewitt.

"I think he needs to go," said Dunnville resident Dennis James. "We need someone who can abide by the rules...Breaking the law is breaking the law no matter what race you are."

He believed political influence was the biggest problem in the immediate area.

Hamilton police officer David Hartless signed the petition as did other officers including some OPP members, he said. Eager to see an inquiry into what was really going on, the Caledonia resident will ask more officers and friends to sign.

This is being done professionally without blocking any roads or burning not even one tire, said Hartless. Ultimately an inquiry will make sure no one else has to endure what Caledonia residents have, he pointed out.

OPP are following flawed recommendations from the Ipperwash Inquiry, stated Hewitt. Five years ago, Premier Dalton McGuinty ordered the inquiry to look into the death of Dudley George and to determine how to avoid a fatality can be prevented in future land claim disputes.

In Sept. 1995, George was one of the natives who moved into the Ipperwash Provincial Park. In a confrontation between protesters and police, a shot was fired and mortally wounded him.

"It will bring a lot of things out in the open," said James of a Caledonia inquiry. "This is going to open up coast to coast."

Failure is not an option according to South Cayuga resident Donna Pitcher. "We will be relentless with this...and we will accept nothing but an inquiry being done," she said.

Barrett signed the petition. An attempt to confirm reports that MP Diane Finley only signed for the OPP inquiry was not successful. Her communication director Julie Vaux replied by email saying policing is a provincial matter.

"What I can say is that Minister Finley supports her constituents and shares their frustrations as we approach the third anniversary of the Caledonia occupation," stated Vaux.

Calling from an agricultural meeting in Canfield, Barrett said he suggested that Hewitt bring the petition to his New Year levee on Jan. 11 in Caledonia. The MPP only signed in support of the public inquiry into OPP actions.

As a publicly elected servant, he said he could not stick his nose into court issues so he did not sign for the Fantino inquiry.

In June 2006, Tory formally tabled a call for an inquiry and it was passed in the legislature but no action has been taken on it. Now Barrett was in full support of this new campaign for an inquiry as it will reveal solid factual evidence and hopefully will come up with a better approach to dealing with land claims.

Barrett gave petition organizers credit for their responsible approach in seeking answers. This conscious effort also takes off the pressure as the third anniversary of Feb. 28 is looming, he added.

After the petition was launched, Gary McHale who founded the Caledonia Wake Up Call web site challenged Haldimand County council members to show their support for residents by signing the petition. Councillors Craig Grice, Buck Sloat and Leroy Bartlett did. Mayor Marie Trainer did not.

Even though she agreed with an inquiry, she felt she could not sign since she had testified about two-tier policing in McHale's bail condition hearings. She is also a member of the county's police services board and soon council will be asked to enter into another contract with OPP.

"I thought it just wasn't appropriate (to sign for an inquiry into Fantino)," said Trainer. "He might think I was picking on him."

The mayor hoped the general inquiry will look into the handling of the entire situation, the change in OPP policing on Sixth Line and damage to and blockage of county roads.

Caledonia's councillor Craig Grice, who signed for both questions, said an inquiry was needed so residents can regain power over their daily life. This petition is a quiet form of protest without commotion on the streets, he added

"Every time a skirmish happens, OPP say the peace was kept but the peace should not have broken down," he said.

As a result, many Caledonia residents no longer have respect for OPP, he added.

Some people have asked him to bring them a copy of the petition to sign. "There are a lot of residents who are afraid to sign the petition (in a public place) for fear of repercussions," said Grice who will not vote in favour of a new OPP contract.

According to Pitcher, the petition holds a lot of weight for people because it was launched by county residents. In the same way people rallied in opposition of the proposed sale of Haldimand County Hydro, people are putting their differences aside to work for the common goal of an inquiry, she added.

When $100 million in taxpayers' money is spent as it has been in Haldimand County, an inquiry should automatically be done, said Pitcher of making the government accountable.

Mary Lou LaPratte said an inquiry was essential because the situation in Caledonia has gone beyond the bounds of ethics and beyond Fantino. She hoped the inquiry will be successful with all interested parties allowed to testify. This inquiry will not be about how someone was killed but will be about the actual actions of police and their failure to follow the Police Services Act, she pointed out.

"There is a real scandal about to unfold," said LaPratte.

Two tier justice started in 1992 in her community, West Ipperwash and 17 years later it continues in some ways, said LaPratte who has moved to another community. Race-based policing was adopted more widely after the inquiry and resulted in decreased protection from extremists, she p>At an informal session with the Ipperwash inquiry commissioner, residents voiced their concerns and provided recommendations on how to better take non-native interests into consideration during land claim disputes. None were added into the final report, said LaPratte.

Also disturbing was the OPP's approach of arresting people to prevent them from getting hurt by extremists, said LaPratte. This is comparable to a dictatorship in a Third World country, she added.

At least one supporter of Six Nations has signed the petition. Hamilton resident Connie Kidd only agreed to an inquiry into the actions and decisions of the OPP.

This will be a follow up on how the OPP are implementing Ipperwash Inquiry recommendations and if they are doing it right and if it worked, she added.

The findings would be very useful as a public information item for Canada, said Kidd. She also expected the inquiry would address laws and court precedents requiring government to consult and accommodate First Nations when their rights or lands were affected.

Kidd said the local dispute is the result of government failure to consult and accommodate Six Nations prior to development.

Michael Corrado, who is completing a residential development in Cayuga, said Haldimand County is no further ahead on the land dispute than three years ago. Now provincial taxpayers are facing tens of millions of dollars in expenses for policing, negotiator wages and court hearings.

He pointed out that this bill continues to grow when every tax dollar counts and the province is considering cutting social programs and going into deficit spending. The extraordinary costs for OPP is staggering, he noted.

"The residents of Haldimand County have taken the direct hit but so have the taxpayers of Ontario," added Corrado, who has not signed the petition.

Article ID# 1390271

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Gaza Strip same size as Montreal: Canada condones human rights violations Toronto, January 12, 2009 The United Nations Human Rights Council condemned Israel on Monday for its grave violations of human rights in Gaza. The resolution called for an international mission to be dispatched to Gaza. Canada was the only country to vote against the resolution with 33 others countries voting in favour and 13 abstaining. Canada voted against the resolution which called for an immediate withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza strip because it felt it did not make clear that Israel had attacked in response to rockets launched from Gaza into Southern Israel. However the resolution did specify that the launching of the crude rockets against Israeli civilians that resulted in the loss of 4 civilian lives should end, while noting that more than 900 Palestinian had been killed and 4,000 injured as a result of Israel's strikes. Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) finds that Canada's position during the War on Gaza has been wholly unsatisfactory and that Canada is complicit in the Gaza massacres by its failure to call for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire and to hold Israel responsible for its illegal actions in the Strip. The Canadian 'No' vote comes as no surprise considering Canada's recent record of voting at the UN concerning Israel, said CJPME Director, Thomas Woodley. Canada has become one of just a few countries in the world to blindly support Israel regardless of its violations of international law. Canada does this despite the consensus in the international community to condemn Israel for its continued occupation and contraventions of international law. In the last four years the Canadian vote at the UN regarding Israel has largely moved away from support for Palestinian human and humanitarian rights and self-determination. Canada has shifted from Yes votes to Abstentions and No votes, placing Canada firmly in the minority of the international community supporting of Israel and its brutal policies regarding the Occupied Palestinian Territories. CJPME believes that ending the occupation of both the West Bank and Gaza through a negotiated and just solution is the only means by which both peoples can hope to live in peace and with dignity.
About CJPME Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is a non-profit and secular organization bringing together men and women of all backgrounds who labour to see justice and peace take root again in the Middle East. Its mission is to empower decision-makers to view all sides with fairness and to promote the equitable and sustainable development of the region. For more information, please contact Grace Batchoun, 514-745-8491. Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East The whole or parts of this press release can be reproduced without permission. Spotlight on Israeli carnage in Gaza

January 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009

Brantford Expositor:


Posted 11 hours ago
Regarding Jan. 2's well intentioned editorial, "An obvious resolution," there are a few very important words I hope that Expositor readers -- and that includes Brantford's mayor and council -- didn't just breeze over without giving much thought to. The editorial starts with a hope that Brantford and Six Nations "find a way to move forward together." The first thought to consider is the need to "find a way." That would strongly imply that the way we are now heading is not that way. "Forward" means different things to different world views. To some, it means paving over all available green space and growing into another Mississauga ASAP. To others, it means learning how to preserve, protect and care for what land there is left for future generations to enjoy. The next word is "together." That would imply that consultation, dialogue and mutual respect are going to be needed to find this new way. It would also imply that both parties would share equally in both the planning, the process and the proceeds. In the past, when Brantford has used words like partnering and sharing, what has been meant is rather: "get out of our way, go back to the reserve, and leave us alone." This more than 200-year-old pattern of policy is exactly what created the present situation both communities find ourselves in as 2009 unfolds. I will be watching very closely as the two dozen or so injunction related cases make their way through the Wellington Street courts this January and February. The legal bill, which we Brantford taxpayers will have to eat, is now over $250,000 and the real spending hasn't even begun. Brantford will not win this one either and every cent accumulated by lawyers representing not only Brantford but the Six Nations individuals facing contempt charges based on this bogus injunction strategy, plus all other related court costs, will come back to city hall and be passed on to you and me, and that will be in the millions. When that happens, many will blame those pesky Indians, but the real culprits are those at city hall who know they are driving this bus into a brick wall and are too damned arrogant to admit it. So, are the injunctions working, as the editor suggests? No, and not by a long shot! Drop these foolish injunctions now! Talk is much cheaper and far less damaging to all. Now that is the obvious resolution I see. Jim Windle Brantford

Fantino under fire for Caledonia dispute Petition calls for provincial probe
Posted 11 hours ago
A petition calling for an inquiry into OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino's handling of the Caledonia land dispute is gaining steam. The petition, drafted by residents Ken Hewitt and Dave Brown on Jan. 1, has more than 1,400 signatures and was signed Sunday by Conservative MPP Toby Barrett. Barrett said he will introduce the petition in the legislature once a goal of 10,000 signatures is reached from across the province. Brown says Human Resources Minister Diane Finley signed the petition at Barrett's levee in Caledonia Sunday. Finley could not be reached for comment. Local politicians including Haldimand County councillors Craig Grice, Leroy Bartlett, Buck Sloat and Mayor Marie Trainer have also signed the petition. The petition asks the province to look into the actions and decisions made by the province's top cop and if he's found to have acted unethically or with bias, to press him for immediate resignation. They also have created an online petition and a Facebook group, called "Petition for Julian Fantino Inquiry." Barrett, the MPP for Haldimand-Norfolk county, said his party called for an inquiry two and a half years ago. Barrett said the instances of physical violence in standoffs over land disputes, along with the emotional and economic toll on the residents of Caledonia are reasons why he supports the petition. He said the ongoing frustration residents feel is a result of what he calls "government paralysis" over the situation. Fantino could not be reached for comment.

Copyright © 2009 Brantford Expositor

© 2009 Brantford Expositor

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Oil sands admits PR failure Canada's oilsands industry admits it has “dropped the ball” in engaging with the public about the environmental effects of its developments, the head of the sector's largest lobby group said Thursday in revealing the results of a major public outreach campaign. “I think that the ground has been taken away from us in many respects by campaigns by environmental groups and others,” Dave Collyer, president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, told a news conference. Collyer was joined by Imperial Oil Ltd. (TSX:IMO) chief executive Bruce March and Oil Sands Developers Group president Don Thompson in announcing the findings of a CAPP poll. The industry has not been upfront enough, said Thompson, whose group communicates between companies, the government and local stakeholders about oilsands development. “We've allowed others to take the agenda from us,” he said. While the industry may have failed on the communications front, Collyer said he stands by the industry's environmental performance. “We've dropped the ball on getting our message out and communicating. We have not dropped the ball on environmental performance as an industry,” he said. The poll, which surveyed 425 people in both Edmonton and Toronto in June, sought to find out more about Canadians' perceptions of the oilsands industry, which has been encountering mounting criticism from environmentalists. The poll was done in conjunction with an online forum called Canada's Oil Sands: A Different Conversation, which garnered thousands of responses from the public. About 46 per cent of respondents believed oilsands companies have not done a good job in balancing the environment and the economy, while 22 per cent think the industry has achieved that balance. The industry's impact on fresh water supply was cited as the biggest area of concern, followed by the impact on wildlife and habitat. The industry garnered worldwide infamy early last year, when it was revealed that 500 ducks had died in a toxic tailings pond at Syncrude Canada Ltd.'s site near Fort McMurray, Alta. Many communities in the area are also concerned that companies are drawing too much fresh water from the Athabasca river, which is needed to separate the sticky bitumen from sand and clay. And there are worries toxic chemicals from the oilsands plants are finding their way into the food chain, jeopardizing the health of aboriginal communities downstream of the developments. Oilsands developments require a great deal of energy and emit large amounts of carbon dioxide, the gas attributed to climate change. The industry says it has made progress in reducing its water use and has been working on improving technology used in its tailings ponds. Many in the sector have backed carbon capture and sequestration technology as a means to prevent carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere by storing it underground. However, there has been debate over whether taxpayers or industry should foot the bill. Half of the respondents said they do not believe what oil and gas executives say in the media, compared with 13 per cent who do believe what they say. But the survey also said 63 per cent of respondents believe Canada benefits from oilsands development and 64 per cent said the oilsands are important to providing a secure supply of Canada's future oil needs. The poll, which was done by “academic researchers,” has a margin of error of 4.8 per cent, 19 times out of 20. Lindsay Telfer of the Sierra Club said the polling by CAPP reinforces the messages her environmental group has been trying to get out, but that she would like to see the industry and government move beyond “rhetoric.” “I think there are some very significant and very real concerns that Canadians have on how the oilsands have been proceeding and it's not just a perception issue,” she said. Greenpeace campaigner Mike Hudema said the world is turning away from Alberta's “dirty oil,” with the European Union and U.S. states recently imposing low-carbon fuel standards. “The markets have spoken, it's the industry that's not listening,” Hudema said. Collyer said the industry is also trying to spread its message south of the border, with President-Elect Barack Obama expected to take a tougher stance on greenhouse gas emissions than his predecessor, George W. Bush. “We'll be very active in Washington and in various states that influence policy in the U.S. over the next several months,” he said. Imperial's March added that oilsands companies produce energy that is desperately needed in the global economy, but that many people simply do not understand that dynamic. “It looks easy when you see the price of gasoline 40 feet in the air,” he said. “People count on this so much in their lives, but they simply don't understand how it gets done and they don't understand the complexity.” A private prosecution was launched Wednesday against Syncrude, in which Imperial holds a 25 per cent stake, over the duck deaths. The company has also fought environmentalists in court over its $8-billion Kearl oilsands development. March said he has no fear that future court battles will hinder Imperial's oilsands activities. “Frankly, that's a part of the business and the world we live in and I'd expect that to continue,” he said. (The Canadian Press)

Friday, January 09, 2009

Judge not biased not unfit: Fantino must face him in court Arbiter's reaction to lawyer no proof of bias against Fantino, court hears 7 hours ago TORONTO — An adjudicator had every reason to feel he was being threatened by an experienced lawyer acting for Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino, and his reaction did not show he was biased, a court heard Thursday. Lawyer Julian Falconer, who represents two officers charged by Fantino with professional misconduct, told Divisional Court the adjudicator's reaction to being told he would be appealed if he didn't step down was perfectly understandable. "It is not in the least surprising," Falconer told the three-judge panel. "It was an extraordinary submission to make to an adjudicator. It was unnecessary. It was offensive." At issue is whether Leonard Montgomery is unfit to continue hearing the disciplinary case against the two senior officers, as Fantino contends. At the disciplinary hearing in October, Fantino's lawyer Brian Gover asked Montgomery to step down and said he would take the matter to court if the retired justice did not do so. Gover also insisted he had the full support of the province's attorney general - something the ministry immediately disavowed. An angry Montgomery refused to step down. Gover's comments, Montgomery said, amounted to a "highly improper" attempt to intimidate a judicial officer. He also complained about apparent political interference and conflicts of interest related to the Ministry of the Attorney General's involvement. In his submissions, Fantino's new lawyer Tom Curry told Divisional Court that Gover's comments were in response to pointed questions from the defence. It was an "unjustifiable attack" for Montgomery to accuse Gover, who was only being "candid," of intimidation, Curry said. At several points, Justice James Carnwath challenged Curry's assertion that Montgomery had shown bias rather than a normal reaction to Gover's announcement that he would go to court if not satisfied. "This kind of statement leads to some pretty harsh responses from the bench," Carnwath noted. "(Montgomery) was pretty constrained." Curry insisted the adjudicator had, on several occasions, shown hostility to the prosecution. He also complained Montgomery had unfairly called Fantino's credibility into question when the commissioner changed his testimony during the disciplinary hearing. Among other things, Montgomery had said he was "upset" by what had happened. Curry said the comments show the adjudicator had closed his mind to any "innocent explanation" for Fantino's change. "It is crystal clear the adjudicator has gone beyond permissible criticism, commentary and rulings," Curry said. Falconer said the recusal motion appeared designed to derail Fantino's cross-examination, and he urged the judges to let the disciplinary proceedings continue. The labyrinthine disciplinary hearing involves two former members of the provincial police internal standards bureau. They are accused under the Police Services Act in relation to an investigation they did into how officers responded to a domestic violence complaint involving an officer and his estranged wife more than four years ago. But the case has ensnared Fantino, with the defence accusing him of petty vindictiveness and witness tampering. The attorney general has also been forced to disavow Gover's assertion that it backed his request for Montgomery to recuse himself. This is friggen hilarious!
Gover also insisted he had the full support of the province's attorney general - something the ministry immediately disavowed.
Of course the Ministry would have to disavow. duh. What's wrong with Fantino's head? Fantino made his lawyer try to 'strong arm' the judge, using the name of the Attorney-General no less, and in court! I'm sure he is accustomed to doing in private with great success. That's how Fantino operates ... away from the light of justice. But Fantino's tactics don't work in court. hahahaha! Going down a peg or two, he is. Fantino implicated the Attorney General in 'fixing' a court. Prediction for 2009: Fantino is toast! NObody can keep Fantino in power if he hangs himself! ... like by ratting out the Attorney General on the public record. hahahahahahaha!
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'.