'Nation to Nation'? Indigenous people and the Trudeau government

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epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Eviction Notice

August 15, 2016

To:  The Federal Government of Canada, The Provincial Government of British Columbia, Cermaq / Mitsubishi & Marine Harvest

This is a 72-hour eviction notice to all salmon farmers in the unceded territory of the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw. 

The three Dzawada’enuxw traditional leaders that live in their homelands of U’kwa’nalis at the head of Kingcome Inlet stand on this farm in Li’xi (Burdwood Islands) to put the federal and provincial government of Canada and the salmon farming corporations on notice that we the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw are the ultimate authority in our traditional lands and waters.  

We have stated our opposition to the salmon farming industry for over 30 years. This is our land and there is no place for the unnatural cycle in these pens. Last spring 40% of the young wild salmon that left our rivers were killed by sea lice from salmon farms, which is detrimental to our way of life.

Canada has embraced the UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples*. We have the right to look after our food resources. The salmon farming industry is infringing on our way of life, by breaking the natural circle of life that have sustained First Nation people for time immemorial.  

Indigenous people have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired” (United Nations on the Rights of Indigenous People).

Gilakasla,

Lilawagila Clan

Wiyukwama’yi Clan 

Kikudilikala Clan

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Confrontations between the salmon feedlot industry and indigenous communities continue to escalate. On August 23rd, the Yaakswiis warriors were arrested in Ahousaht, near Tofino, preventing the transfer of diseased smolts into a net pen. Their elected leadership has signed off on farms yet the community is growing in its resistance to the feedlots that kill their wild salmon.

On the other side of Vancouver Island there has been escalating tactics by the Musgamagw Dzawada'enuwx. In the past two weeks they’ve boarded several farms; documented infractions, served eviction notices and performed a cleansing ceremony. Their Nation is home to 1/3rd of the fish farm industry in so-called BC. They have never signed a treaty and have never given consent for the feedlots on their territory and waters....

video

..fixed the link

quizzical

good to see this happening.

Pondering

That was August 15th, any updates on how it turned out?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..here is a link to more videos.

Cleansing Our Waters

...

Cermaq’s Illegal Operations: RCMP Arrest Indigenous Land Defenders Protecting Wild Salmon Days after Cermaq Kicked out of Kingcom Inlet

On August 23rd, 2016, RCMP arrested and charged 4 members of the Yaaskwiis Warriors; Lennie John, Sacheen Seitcham, Joe James Rampanen, and Havanna Couture, on unceded and unsurrendered Ahousaht Territory after a non-violent interaction with Cermaq fish farm employees who were towing smolts to the Cermaq Dixon Bay fish farm site. A court date has been set for November 7th 2016 in Tofino B.C. These arrests come only days after Cermaq’s eviction from Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw Territories (Kingcome Inlet) on August 18th, 2016. The Yaakswiis Warriors, made up of Ahousaht members and supporters have come together to stop Cermaq farms from operating in their Territories without the free, prior and informed consent and consultation of the Ahousaht People. In September 2015, the Warriors stopped Cermaq from anchoring a new fish farm in Ahousaht waters, since then, the Yaakswiis Warriors have continued to monitor Cermaq’s activities and have made it clear that Cermaq is not welcome and is operating illegally in Ahousaht waters.

quote:

The Cermaq Dixon Bay farm site in Ahousaht waters, was shut down in 2012 and over half a million fish were culled as a result of an IHNin virus outbreak. Fish farms are actively disrupting and destroying wild salmon populations through the spread of disease, lice and the dissemination of antibiotics, feed and other chemicals into the waters they operate in. This year’s Fraser river sockeye salmon run is the lowest recorded in history and communities with fish farms in their waters have seen the reduction and destruction of not only their wild salmon populations first hand but of other sea life as well. The continuing movement against fish farms is growing, with Indigenous Nations leading the way, asserting rights and title in an effort to protect their Territories and the remaining wild salmon population in the face of corporations and a Provincial government refusing to recognize the same.

Pondering

Thanks epaulo. I also found this:

http://thetyee.ca/News/2016/08/22/First-Nation-Eviction-Notice/

Morton, a long-term foe of the controversial industry, is on a two-month mission to investigate the state of corporate fish farms, do research on virus prevalence, and provide a platform for First Nations.

Some nations support fish farms on their territory, while others such as Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw have been fighting them and their impacts on wild fish for 30 years.

The eviction notice follows a number of developments, including the federal government’s decision to extend fish farm licences from one to six years despite recent evidence found by federal scientists of a “potential” heart disease in farmed Atlantic salmon samples collected from one B.C. fish farm.....

According to a recent report, the number of young wild salmon leaving Dzawada’enuxw territory in the spring of 2015 could have been reduced by nine to 39 per cent due to sea lice from salmon farms.

Along with the eviction notice, the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw have set up a website called “cleansing our waters.”

Approximately one-third of the corporate feedlots growing Atlantic salmon along B.C.’s coast are located on Dzawada’enuxw territory.

A 2008 scientific study found that wild salmon populations declined wherever corporations have set up industrial fish farms in the ocean including Norway, Scotland, Ireland and Canada.

We have heard the words of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, that honouring the rights of First Nations are a ‘sacred obligation’ to the Liberal Government of Canada,” said Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw hereditary leader and chief councillor Willie Moon at a cleansing ceremony at the Sir Edmund salmon farm at the entrance to Kingcome Inlet.

“Our people have spoken: we want salmon farms out of our territory.”.....

“Our members are always open to meeting and discussing issues with First Nations and would like to develop agreements in areas where they do not exist today,” added the statement.

Dunn told The Tyee that many First Nations have tried to evict corporate farms in the past but later signed financial agreements with the industry.

The courts have sided with indigenous peoples on pipelines so I am hopeful that will happen again and soon.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..your welcome pondering.

First Nation Protestors Rally For Fish Farm Evictions

Campbell River meeting comes as Morton video of farmed fish goes viral.

More than 50 First Nations protestors, including several hereditary chiefs, called for the eviction of multinational-owned fish farms from “unceded” territorial waters in Campbell River on Monday.

The protest in the Kwanwatsi Big House, a traditional meeting area designed to serve First Nations in the Campbell River area, appeared to signal a growing Indigenous movement against fish farms on the B.C. coast.

Speakers representing several coastal First Nations decried fish farms as either a “poison” or an environmental problem that harmed young wild fish, disrupted natural migration routes and spread disease.

quote:

Melissa Willie, a spokesperson for the Musgamaqw Dzawda’enuxw, said the nation had received a letter from Cermaq requesting a meeting.

“We are not doing that,” she said. “We want them out.”

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Alton gas protesters occupy fisheries minister's office

Mi'kmaq protesters say natural gas storage project in N.S. will endanger Bay of Fundy salmon

Opponents of the Alton natural gas storage project — many of them from the Mi'kmaq community — occupied Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc's office in Shediac, N.B., for much of the day Friday, as they demanded Ottawa speed up the process to designate the Bay of Fundy rivers and streams as critical habitat for the Inner Bay of Fundy salmon —an endangered species.

quote:

"If a species goes extinct in this country, that's a shame on Canada," said Cheryl Maloney, councillor for the Shubencanadie band.

Maloney said the controversial project is slated to begin September 15.

"It's not just important to Mi'kmaq people. It's important to Nova Scotians, New Brunswick, Canadians," said Maloney.

"The Liberal government is coat-tailing on Harper's environmental policies. They removed all the protections and this government has not done anything to put them back in place."

"This is the last straw," said another member of the Mi'kmaq community. "We're fed up with the whole concept of being the canaries in the cage in the experimental process of the government."

swallow

Quote:

The majority of Canadians are open to designating seats for the country’s indigenous people to boost their representation in Parliament and on the Supreme Court.

A recent survey by Environics Institute and the Institute on Governance found that two-thirds of Canadians are open to improving the representation of indigenous people in federal institutions.

They are divided, however, when it comes to how that representation would be achieved.

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/canadians-open-to-quotas-to-boost...

iyraste1313

This would be a fatal flaw unless of course there must be consensus agreement on legislation, which is what is guaranteed under internation convention!

iyraste1313

Media Advisory: Grand Chief Stewart Phillip Goes to Standing Rock from Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs.....

Congratulations! Now wouldn´t it be interesting to invite Grand Chief Phillip to address the National Popular Assembly of Guatemala to request support to stop the Canadian Government support for the Site C!

NorthReport

Cindy Blackstock Says Feds Have Ignored Legal Order On First Nations Children

The Trudeau government is consciously discriminating against 163,000 children in its delivery of child welfare services on reserves, First Nations advocate Cindy Blackstock said Thursday as a human rights tribunal issued a second compliance order on the issue.

Blackstock — executive director of an organization that together with the Assembly of First Nations spent nine years fighting the federal government over child welfare services — said Canadians need to know that the Trudeau government is not following a legal order.

"It is saying, really, in its actions that the government of Canada is above the law and sadly, that First Nations children are below the law,'' Blackstock said.

"And that should no longer be allowed in this country, not after the residential schools.''


http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/09/16/cindy-blackstock_n_12043886.html...

sherpa-finn

Ouch. This is brutal. True, but brutal. 

Justin Trudeau’s lofty rhetoric on First Nations a cheap simulation of justice:  An era of so-called reconciliation has disguised the continuation of Harper-era land and resource grabs

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/true-north/2016/sep/19/justin-tr...

swallow

Quote:

West Moberly Chief Roland Willson said Wilson-Raybould should follow her conscience and resign from her cabinet position because she is being forced to go against her “heart” and her “people” by standing silently by as the $9 billion project continues to clear bureaucratic hurdles.

“I think she is being, you know, muzzled. I think they told her not to say anything. I know Jody, she wouldn’t, at least I hope she wouldn’t, abandon us…She knows full well what is going on. They appointed her as the token Indian. She’s a lawyer so they put her there in the justice file and told her she can’t comment on stuff,” said Willson, in an interview with APTN National NewsTuesday. “I have to have faith that is not who Jody is. My feeling right now is, if she had some integrity and if someone told her to be muzzled she should resign.”

Willson said if the minister is choosing, of her own accord, to stay silent, then Wilson-Raybould was a liar the day she stood next to him and stated the project was running “roughshod” over treaty rights.

[url=http://aptn.ca/news/2016/09/20/justice-minister-wilson-raybould-should-r... Minister Wilson-Raybould should resign over Site C, says Treaty 8 chief[/url]

mark_alfred

Chief Roland Willson does not mince words in his assessment of Wilson-Raybould.

quizzical

his are mild to some i've heard.

swallow

Quote:

During the treaty-making process, First Nations entered a relationship with the crown on an equal footing, said the Assembly of First Nations national chief, Perry Bellegarde. “We have that nation-to-nation relationship with the crown,” he said. “We hold the crown and monarchy in high regard.”

But the bond, predicated on peaceful coexistence and mutual respect, and which aimed to allow both nations to benefit from sharing Canada’s land and resource wealth, has since “been tainted and soured”, he said.

Canada is rated sixth in the world when it comes to the United Nations Human Development Index. “But when you apply those same indices to indigenous peoples, we’re 63rd,” Bellegarde said. “Obviously we’re not sharing the land and resource wealth of this great country.”

[url=https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/23/william-kate-duke-duchess-...

William and Kate urged to confront past colonial wrongs in Canada: At glitzy reception, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will come face to face with artwork representing ‘cultural genocide’[/url]

iyraste1313

First Nations entered a relationship with the crown on an equal footing.......

Yes I believe it was based on the Royal proclamation of 1763, recognizing the rights of sovereignty of the Indigenous Nations and the responsibility of the British Crown to guarantee and protect those rights of sovereignty....but why does not the Indigenous Nations now demand their sovereignty rights under UN Conventions and the Declaration and assert their rights under properly constituted process....under their rights of consultation and consent, within the process of "consulta popular"...

I've discussed this matter with the grass roots sovereigntist movement of Treaty 8 Territory...I don't understand why they don't engage their constituted rights?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

DFO dismissed from negotiations by hereditary chiefs; Prime Minister no longer welcome in territory

The hereditary chiefs of five Nuu-chah-nulth Nations stood this afternoon to tell Fisheries and Oceans Canada Regional Director General Rebecca Reid and her staff to leave Nuu-chah-nulth territories and not come back until they bring with them a mandate to negotiate in good faith on their Aboriginal commercial fishing rights.

See video: https://youtu.be/RIQRIBSHoQQ

Further, Chief Councillor Elmer Frank of Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation told Ha-Shilth-Sa he would be writing to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to say he was no longer welcome in the Tla-o-qui-aht ha-houlthee (chiefly lands) until his bureaucracy and government lawyers began reflecting the Prime Minister’s promise of reconciliation with the First Nations of this land.

Trudeau took part in Tla-o-qui-aht’s parade through Tofino this summer, which celebrated the good working relationship that local governments enjoy with the Nuu-chah-nulth peoples of the West Coast of Vancouver Island. At that time, the Prime Minister talked about the improved relationship his government is working to develop with Indigenous peoples.

Either the Prime Minister and his ministers are misleading the country, or the bureaucracy is not fulfilling that new direction , said Francis Frank, a lead negotiator for the T’aaq-wiihak Nations, the five nations that proved in Canada’s own court system their right to fish and sell fish.

The Department of Fisheries is still putting forward the Conservative agenda, following a model developed under former Prime Minister Stephen Harper and former Fisheries Minister Gail Shea, read a statement from the nations during a meeting today. This model includes “stalling and continued litigation.”...

iyraste1313

from UBCIC.....

Chief Robert Chamberlin, Vice-President of the UBCIC, said “Both the federal and provincial governments are expected and called upon in Canada to uphold the honour of the Crown. The Government of BC’s fast-track ‘to the point of no return’ approach on Site C and the spirit of the Conservative’s ‘stall and litigate’ tactic permeating the Trudeau Government’s handling of T’aaq-wiihak, the implementation of Nuu-chah-nulth Fishing Rights, are two recent examples of why First Nations are heading to the courts to compel both governments to uphold the honour of the Crown.”

Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer of the UBCIC, remarked “The Trudeau Government and the Government of BC cite the number of First Nation agreements, talk of the many issues that need to be addressed, make promises of better times tomorrow in the name of reconciliation but their actions today demonstrate the opposite. There is no true recognition of Indigenous Title, Rights and the honouring of Treaty Rights when it comes to Site C, Enbridge, Kinder Morgan or Lelu Island. Just processes weighted down with the governments’ belief that our Title and Rights do not exist until we win in court or negotiate a treaty.”

Grand Chief Phillip concluded, “With the deepening poverty of our communities, remembering the missing and murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and the ongoing negligence of Indigenous Child Welfare policies across this country, in good conscience, I cannot participate in the Black Rod Ceremony. The suffering in our communities is too great. I apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused with our decision. We do not mean any disrespect. It is a matter principle.”........

 

....Nation to Nation? Some important ceremonial and legal steps ongoing here....interesting to watch their next steps en route to their true sovereignty?

Alliance building as Grand Chief Stewart Phillip has recently been propmoting? Steps to UN recognition?

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Site C is a fundamental denial of a First Nation's treaty rights. The Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs and it's eloguent Grand Chief Stewart Phillip tell it like it is. Good to see this reported in the UK media. 

Quote:

One of British Columbia’s most influential First Nations chiefs has turned down an invitation to participate in a reconciliation ceremony with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their visit to Canada, describing the symbolic ceremony as a “public charade” that papers over the Canadian government’s failure to keep its promises to indigenous peoples.

The Black Rod ceremony is slated to take place on Monday evening, in a private sitting room at the stately Government House in Victoria. Officials have spent more than a year carefully crafting every moment of the ceremony, which will see Prince William add a carved silver ring to the Black Rod, a ceremonial staff created in 2012 to commemorate the Queen’s diamond jubilee.

The staff is currently adorned with three rings, representing the province, Canada and the link to the UK. Prince William is expected to add a fourth ring – engraved with eagle feathers and a canoe – that will symbolise First Nations in the province.

“Reconciliation has to be more than empty symbolic gestures,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs in explaining his decision to decline the royal invitation.

...

Philip said the hypocrisy of taking part in a reconciliation ceremony was laid bare last week as the organisation’s chiefs gathered for their annual general meeting. “There were tears and gut-wrenching first-hand accounts of the tragedies in our communities. At same time we’re asked to participate in a reconciliation ceremony that for all intents and purposes would suggest there is a very harmonious and robust relationship between the First Nation people and provincial and federal governments,” he said. “And that’s an illusion. We decided that for us it wasn’t appropriate to participate in such a public charade.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/26/canada-first-nations-princ...

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Here is the UBCIC press release.

Quote:

Reconciliation Must Be More than Symbolic: Grand Chief Stewart Phillip Declines Invitation to Participate in Ceremony with Duke and Duchess of CambridgePosted by Ubcic 0sc on September 26, 2016

(Coast Salish Territory / Vancouver, B.C. – September 26, 2016) On Monday September 26, as part of the Royal Tour Itinerary, the Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia will be hosting the Black Rod Ceremony at Government House. The Honourable Judge Steven Point - Xwĕ lī qwĕl tĕl – will be supporting the ceremony.

Last week, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) hosted its 48th Annual General Assembly (AGA) at Musqueam Community Centre, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam Territory).

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the UBCIC, stated “After an intense three days of discussion and debate during our AGA; I put the matter to the Chiefs-in-Assembly of my participation in the Black Rod Ceremony. A clear majority of Chiefs felt, in the face of the Trudeau Government’s hesitancy to follow through on their federal election commitments and the Government of BC's intransigence on following through with the Four Principles arising from the historic Supreme Court of Canada’s Tsilhqot'in decision, the Chiefs-in-Assembly felt it would not be appropriate for me to participate in a 'reconciliation' ceremony at this time.”

Chief Robert Chamberlin, Vice-President of the UBCIC, said “Both the federal and provincial governments are expected and called upon in Canada to uphold the honour of the Crown. The Government of BC’s fast-track ‘to the point of no return’ approach on Site C and the spirit of the Conservative’s ‘stall and litigate’ tactic permeating the Trudeau Government’s handling of T’aaq-wiihak, the implementation of Nuu-chah-nulth Fishing Rights, are two recent examples of why First Nations are heading to the courts to compel both governments to uphold the honour of the Crown.”

Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer of the UBCIC, remarked “The Trudeau Government and the Government of BC cite the number of First Nation agreements, talk of the many issues that need to be addressed, make promises of better times tomorrow in the name of reconciliation but their actions today demonstrate the opposite. There is no true recognition of Indigenous Title, Rights and the honouring of Treaty Rights when it comes to Site C, Enbridge, Kinder Morgan or Lelu Island. Just processes weighted down with the governments’ belief that our Title and Rights do not exist until we win in court or negotiate a treaty.”

Grand Chief Phillip concluded, “With the deepening poverty of our communities, remembering the missing and murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and the ongoing negligence of Indigenous Child Welfare policies across this country, in good conscience, I cannot participate in the Black Rod Ceremony. The suffering in our communities is too great. I apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused with our decision. We do not mean any disrespect. It is a matter principle.”

Grand Chief Phillip was invited to actively participate in the Black Rod Ceremony by handing the Ring of Reconciliation to His Royal Highness, and then invite him to affix the Ring onto the Black Rod. The Black Rod is a ceremonial staff used on formal occasions when the monarch or her provincial representative, the Lieutenant Governor, is present in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. The materials and symbols affixed to the Rod are representative of the province and its relationship to the Crown.

http://www.ubcic.bc.ca/royalreconciliation

 

iyraste1313

 

First Nations leaders from northwestern British Columbia have taken their battle against a liquefied natural gas project to the United Nations.

The group was scheduled to travel to New York Thursday to seek UN support for a demand that the Canadian government reject the LNG project proposed just south of Prince Rupert.

Opponents say the $36-billion Pacific Northwest plant, slated for Lelu Island at the mouth of the Skeena River, threatens wild salmon habitat on the second largest salmon bearing river in B.C.

Hereditary Chief of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation, John Ridsdale, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earned cheers at a recent UN forum by pledging to protect the rights of indigenous people.......

....this was earlier this year...but is it now time for the Wetsuweten Peoples to act on their international initiative?

The Declaration is in fact a legally binding International Convention, with teeth as demonstrated through a vast number of legal cases.........The Wetsuweten must take the matter before the appropriate legal channels, and make an international incident over the decision just announced by the Trudeau Liberals...they must be shamed before the international court of opinion!
Sanctions against Canada must be inacted!

A targetted international boycott must be considered! End to Impunity for Canada!

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Charged with Racial Discrimination, Canada’s Government Fought Dirty and Lost

The incredible thing about Cindy Blackstock's landmark racial discrimination case against the government of Canada, is that it almost didn't happen at all.

Nearly a decade ago, the social worker filed a human rights case that claimed First Nations kids are systemically denied access to the health, education and child welfare services that are widely available to non-First Nations kids. Within a month, the feds cut all of the funding to her non-profit First Nations Child and Family Caring Society.

"We lost 50 percent of our staff," Blackstock told VICE. "We had to go pro-bono on our legal, we were much more reliant on volunteers, and I think all of us at the Caring Society worked double time without being paid... During the same period the number of people increased at the Department of Indian Affairs, so it was much different over there."

You might call this the first suckerpunch in the government's long and dirty fight to keep Blackstock out of court. It set the tone for nine years of surveillance, interference, legal loopholes and cover-ups that ultimately didn't work. Canada's human rights tribunal ruled that Indigenous kids are discriminated against in January, and has since issued two compliance orders against the slow-to-act feds....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

The long history of discrimination against First Nations children

Cindy Blackstock

The day before Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized in 2008 for the harms done to Indigenous children in residential schools, I was in Ottawa’s Beechwood Cemetery, visiting the grave of Peter Henderson Bryce. More than a century ago, the outspoken doctor and federal bureaucrat tried to raise public awareness of the unequal health treatment given to First Nations children as opposed to non-Aboriginal kids. At his grave I told him that the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada had filed a human rights case against the federal government a year before, and that I would be back when the kids won. I had no idea it would take another eight years to fulfill that promise.

On January 26, 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruled that the Government of Canada (Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada) racially discriminates against 163,000 First Nations children. The discrimination stems from the inequitable provision of child welfare services on reserves and the failure to properly implement “Jordan’s Principle” to ensure First Nations children can access public services without falling victim to interjurisdictional red tape and wrangling....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Liberals given plan to roll First Nations education money out faster, but decided not to

Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett was presented with a plan to roll First Nations education funding out over four years — as the Liberals had promised during the last election — but the government ultimately opted for a slower route, earmarking a large part of the money for after the next election.

In a proposed funding document obtained under access to information, the department lays out a "projected investments" plan to meet the campaign promise of $2.6 billion in additional dollars over four years for kindergarten to Grade 12 school education on reserve.

The documents show much more money would have been available sooner to address the dire state of Indigenous learning had the fast-tracked plan been followed: nearly $3 billion more than current spending track.

quote:

Of the $2.6 billion committed in the 2016 budget for kindergarten to Grade 12 education, $801 million (or 31 per cent of all money committed) has been back loaded to 2020-2021, a spending practice the Liberals fiercely criticized during the last Conservative government. The next federal election must be held on or before Oct. 21, 2019.

Under the department's proposed plan, the money would have been more evenly allocated each fiscal year....

NorthReport

Oops

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Labrador Inuit turn up the heat on Muskrat Falls energy project

Around 30 people in Labrador, including Nunatsiavut President Johannes Lampe, have blockaded the construction site at Muskrat Falls, a massive $11.4 billion dollar hydroelectric project along the Lower Churchill River.

“We aren’t huge numbers here in Labrador,” said Inuk artist Billy Gauthier. “This here turnout shows how strong we are. There will be more. We will do more.”

Gauthier, 38, began a hunger strike Thursday.

Gauthier and the Labrador Inuit are demanding the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the provincially owned energy company Nalcor fully clear the reservoir of all trees and topsoil before flooding begins.

“The government, I just don’t understand why they don’t step in and fix it?” said Gauthier. “Why waste time? Why put people in a position where they feel like they need to fight for their rights? For their culture?”

The main concern is methylmercury. A study by Harvard University predicts that trees, vegetation, and topsoil left in the flood zone will create the toxin and flow downstream, contaminating traditional food sources for the Inuit.

quote:

On Friday, the mayor of Cartwright sent a letter to federal and provincial leaders, including the Prime Minister.

“I write to you all today to add my voice and the voice of my community to the growing level of discontent with the Muskrat Falls Project as we approach the first flood of the reservoir,” wrote Dwight Lethbridge. “My community of Cartwright, Labrador has decided to take a hard line stand on the methyl mercury issue, based on the concerns of our residents over the potential loss of country foods, culture, and an unknown impact on fish resources very important to our area.”

And though the Muskrat Falls project falls under provincial jurisdiction, Lethbridge added that there is a role in this for the federal government.

“You are allowing the demolition of an Innu and Inuit food source and culture,” wrote Lethbridge.

At a town meeting last week, residents were clear in the action they plan to take against Nalcor.

“Our community is to be used as a port for the delivery of transformers to Muskrat Falls,” said Lethbridge. “As things sit right now, until this methyl mercury issue is addressed, that shipment will not be happening through here.”

The blockade at Muskrat Falls continues. People have set up tents, with no plans to go anywhere, anytime soon.

RCMP are at the site, but no arrests reported so far....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Police move in on #MuskratFalls camp, arrests made in early morning raid

Police moved in on a group of demonstrators camped at the entrance of the Muskrat Falls hydro-electric construction site early Monday morning.

According to people at the site 30 kilometres west of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, eight demonstrators were arrested by RCMP.

People set up the blockade Saturday to try and force the province of Newfoundland and Labrador to pause construction on the massive hydroelectric project over concerns how it will impact traditional food sources for the Inuit.

quote:

The provincially owned company Nalcor Energy, served the group a court injunction Sunday to keep people from blocking access to the site.

“We want to shut the whole thing down now,” said Jim Learning, an Inuit elder who was named in the injunction. “They made no headway chucking us out of here this morning.”

Learning has fought against the Muskrat Falls project for years. He was arrested during a protest in 2013.

He said the rallies are picking up steam at the eleventh hour of the controversial project.

Several people are staying near the Muskrat Falls site, but are not allowed near the gate. Learning was heading with a group of people to occupy Premier Dwight Ball’s office in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

He said it’s a symbolic gesture since the premier is in St. John’s. But dozens are expected to rally there today at Newfoundland and Labrador’s legislature building.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Protests swell on first potential day of flooding at Muskrat Falls

Saturday saw the biggest protest yet against Muskrat Falls, with around 200 people gathering alongside the Trans Labrador Highway and then about 100 to 150 people marching along the highway and to the North Spur and Spirit Mountain on the dam’s construction site.

The potential first day of flooding also drew a few prominent figures from the Indigenous communities, prompting many to note the people of Labrador were uniting against a project that will affect Innu, Inuit and settlers alike, all of whom live in the communities that surround Lake Melville and harvest fish and other country food from the estuary.

Before he joined a 45-minute march along the Trans Labrador Highway that slowed traffic in one lane, Nunatsiavut President Johannes Lampe told The Independent he wants the government to “halt the construction of Muskrat Falls until full clearing is done,” and that if Nalcor and the government proceed with flooding without fully clearing the reservoir they will be complicit in creating dependency and a new wave of intergenerational trauma among Indigenous communities.

Before he joined a 45-minute march along the Trans Labrador Highway that slowed traffic in one lane, Nunatsiavut President Johannes Lampe told The Independent he wants the government to “halt the construction of Muskrat Falls until full clearing is done,” and that if Nalcor and the government proceed with flooding without fully clearing the reservoir they will be complicit in creating dependency and a new wave of intergenerational trauma among Indigenous communities.

“In Labrador people have suffered over many hundreds of years since colonization,” he said, naming relocation of Indigenous communities and residential schools as past tools of colonialism. “And now this, the flooding of the reservoir of Muskrat Falls. The province of Newfoundland and Labrador has made a major mistake, so we have to make a strong statement.

“Once that food chain is contaminated, what else can we do?” Lampe continued. “It seems that the Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador do not care about our traditional way of life and our traditional foods. They want to dictate to us what we can eat, and as Labrador people we don’t want processed food — we want food that we traditionally hunt and harvest and trap, including within the area of the Muskrat Falls.”...

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[url=http://www.kairoscanada.org/product/new-briefing-paper-prime-minister-fa... Canada briefing paper: Prime Minister Facing Moment of Truth on Indigenous Rights[/url]

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On Melting Ice: Inuit Struggle Against Oil and Gas in the Arctic

The Inuit in the Canadian Arctic are engaged in a centuries-old fight to retain their culture and reestablish self-determination and genuine sovereignty. In particular, Inuit in the autonomous territory of Nunavut are resisting what American Indian studies scholar Daniel R. Wildcat has described as a "fourth removal attempt" of Indigenous people, coming on the heels of failed efforts at spatial, social and psycho-cultural deletion.

The common discourse on climate change focuses on the physical world: inexorably rising atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and the impact on sea-ice extent; melting glaciers; and roiling, unpredictable perturbations in weather patterns. But these are but the physical manifestations of political decisions made in the social world. The questions behind them include: Who produced all that extra CO2? For what purposes? And which sets of people are paying the most immediate price?

quote:

To frame climate change in the Arctic as simply a story of liquefying dihydrogen monoxide is deceptive. The ice-filled north is first and foremost a human story, a story about home and the struggle to preserve it against outside forces. It is about a culture that quite literally rests on knowledge of ice, ocean and the animals that live on top and underneath it.

James Qillaq, mayor of Clyde River in Nunavut, explained, "That connection to the land, that's our life ... that's the reason why we stand: our connection to the land and water, of something that is ours, that's it. That's it and nothing else. That's our everything -- our connection to the land."

Jerry Natanine, also of Clyde River, added, "Different animals are hunted in different seasons. We follow the young seals when they go out, to go hunt them, fishing season when the fish are plentiful. There's a time when the Arctic char smell like what they eat in the ocean -- that's when some people don't like to eat them. When that's over, berry-picking season."

With over 80 different terms to describe various aspects and characteristics of sea ice, the life of Inuit in Clyde River is intimately connected to the reliable variability and cycles of sea ice. In her book, The Meaning of Ice, scientist and longtime resident of Clyde River Shari Fox Gearheard notes: "The cycle of sea ice is bonded to cycles of hunting, of family activities, of equipment preparation, and even of cravings for different foods."

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quote:

Climate Change, Capitalism and Inuit Livelihoods

For Inuit, Arctic climatic change imposed by a social system based on profit and endless commodification represents a double threat to their culture. In a 2006 survey of attitudes toward further commodification and paid employment versus traditional hunting and gathering practices, 75 percent of Inuit in Nunavut wanted to retain a mix of subsistence and wage work, only 15 percent responding said they wanted to work solely for money. This is an unsurprising statistic when 80 percent of people obtain the majority of their meat and fish from subsistence hunting and 96 percent share food with other households, according to John Talberth and Daphne Wysham's report "Beyond Fossil Fuels." Whenever there is a successful hunt, news spreads instantly via radio. All households, including those in other communities, have the opportunity to share in the skill and good fortune of the hunting party.

Illustrative of conflicting value systems, even though affordable quality housing is in desperate short supply, in 2016 the people of Nunavut voted overwhelmingly to prevent the sale and privatization of municipal property, allowing them to retain collective control over their own land. Housing is not the only thing in short supply. The following quote is from a report prepared for the Nunavut Roundtable for Poverty Reduction, "Understanding Poverty in Nunavut":

The Income Support Program in Nunavut exists to help those unable to access a minimum standard of living. In Nunavut, half of the population needs this help for at least a portion of the year, and almost 60 percent of the population lives in public housing. Nearly 70 percent of Nunavut's children live in households rated as food insecure and 15 percent of children will experience at least one day in the year when they do not eat. In Nunavut, poverty is not a fringe or special interest issue. It is the issue.

According to the Greenpeace-commissioned report on eastern Nunavut, "Beyond Fossil Fuels" and confirmed elsewhere, the median wage for Inuit is $19,900 (Canadian), while for non-Inuit living in Nunavut it is a staggeringly disparate $86,600. As the authors of the Greenpeace-commissioned report comment, "The irony is that poverty is, in many ways, a product of the formal market economy. In the indigenous economy, financial insecurity, food insecurity and substandard housing did not exist."

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iyraste1313

KAIROS Canada briefing paper: Prime Minister Facing Moment of Truth on Indigenous Rights

...perhaps this deserves a special thread....but is the Liberal Party Government systematically overturning all its key issues of the election?

After rereading the long and exhaustive ruling on the CP´s case before the Supreme Court of Canada, I think there are solid grounds for legally challenging the legitimacy of the Government......

Likewise CETA is being challenged in Federal Court right now....this must be watched closely, as a judicial decision may lay increasing weight to have the election annulled by Federal Court Order...under Section 3 of the Charter....It´s worth a try!

And at a minimum, may seriously challenge the credibility of the Government....

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Chippewas of the Thames protest pipeline

The pipeline snakes across the forested plain, east from a place called Aamjiwnaang and on through the land that Myeengun Henry says has never been surrendered.

He said his nation, the Chippewas of the Thames, didn’t consent to the pipeline’s construction in the first place, 40 years ago. And when Enbridge, the pipeline owner, wanted to put through more oil and partially reverse its flow, Henry and his compatriots called for direct “nation to nation” consultation with the Canadian government — such is their constitutional right, he argued.

quote:

Canada’s top court is scheduled to hear the Chippewas challenge Nov. 30, the same day as another case brought forward by the Inuit in Clyde River, a small town in Nunavut. Similar to the Chippewas, the Clyde River Inuit are claiming they weren’t properly consulted by Ottawa during the process that approved seismic testing for oil off the coast of their small community.

Nader Hasan, a Toronto lawyer representing the Inuit in the Clyde River appeal, said the two cases are of the upmost national importance.

“At a fundamental level, both cases involve legal issues emanating from the constitutional duty to consult,” Hasan said.

“It’s also about Canada’s soul. What kind of a nation do we want to be? One that takes seriously our constitutional obligations to First Nations, or one that treats indigenous rights as a box to be ticked off in a due diligence check list. That’s what’s ultimately at stake here.”

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$2B needed for 'immediate' fixes to First Nations schools, bureaucrats say

The federal Indigenous Affairs Department says it needs at least $2 billion to fix 115 First Nations schools that require "immediate attention," according to documents tabled in the House of Commons.

The Liberal government committed half that amount of money over five years in the last budget, and earmarked it for upgrades across the entire school system. The funds will not necessarily be directed toward the schools most in need of repairs — causing some observers to warn there could be a funding crunch that would leave some crucial fixes left unfunded.

The new money is also heavily back-loaded, with nearly 40 per cent pegged to roll out after the next election. There is no guarantee a new government would make the same spending commitments....

mark_alfred

Here's an article that contemplates Downie's assessment of Trudeau:  Gord Downie Was Wrong About Justin Trudeau

iyraste1313

ANOTHER GOVERNMENT IS POSSIBLE NATIONAL INDIGENOUS CONGRESS OF MEXICO TO LAUNCH PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN IN 2018by Emmy Keppler October 17, 2016cni-otomiOn October 13, the 500 delegates of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) reached complete consensus on the proposal presented by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) at the opening of the fifth Congress three days earlier: the CNI will collectively enter the 2018 Mexican presidential race with an indigenous woman candidate at its forefront.

The Fifth Congress is now in permanent assembly while the delegates return to their communities and hold consultations to decide to either approve or reject the proposal.........

...one possible route to building an alternative movement in Canada?

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Canada could face ’20 Standing Rocks,’ says Mohawk chief as Ottawa rejects need for ‘consent’

Canada could face “20 Standing Rocks,” said a Mohawk chief in response to the Justin Trudeau government’s revelation Thursday it doesn’t plan to include consent as part of its consultation approach with First Nations on major resource projects.

Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr told reporters Thursday the Trudeau government believes it only needs to accommodate and consult First Nations before proceeding with major resource development projects and not obtain “free prior and informed consent.”

It’s a position at odds with Supreme Court of Canada rulings which have stated that obtaining consent is part of the consultation spectrum the Crown faces when dealing with First Nations on issues that impact rights, title and territory. The position also undercuts a key element of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which the Trudeau government has claimed it plans to embrace as part of its efforts toward reconciliation.

quote:

International human rights lawyer Paul Joffe, who also worked on UNDRIP, said Carr’s description of the government’s position does not comply with Supreme Court decisions, nor the international declaration.

“It is highly problematic and it’s not helpful to the discussion and it’s not helpful to reconciliation,” said Joffe, who was provided with a transcript of Carr’s statements.

Joffe said the concept of consent in UNDRIP has been demonized, twisted and misinterpreted to mean a “veto.” He believes the Trudeau Liberal government doesn’t seem to grasp that consent is part of international human rights law and part of the tapestry woven by Supreme Court decisions on Aboriginal rights and title.

“For the minister to say we are going on the basis of consultation and accommodation, that doesn’t quite make sense, the way he is using it,” said Joffe. “Consultation is a spectrum, it hangs on the facts and the law. It might be minimal consultation in some cases…but at the other end of the spectrum, the Supreme Court said in the Haida case, that on very serious issues it would require the full consent of the Aboriginal nation. That is the full spectrum. On very serious issues, it would be consent.”...

iyraste1313

Yes this was predictable, inspite of promised Liberal policy.....

May I mae 2 suggestions to the Nations of Indigenous of Canada....

First that they contest the validity of the Liberal Government in Federal Court under Sections 1 and 3 of the Charter.

The electoral process in Canada whereby the parties offer anything to the electorate then do whatever they wish is a total corruption of the democratic process as well defined under several recent cases...

and secondly, from the UN Declarationon the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, ¨Considering that the rights affirmed in these treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements between States and indigenous peoples are, in some situations, matters of international concern, interest, responsibility and character¨, may I suggest that the Indigenous Peoples of Canada alert the General Assembly of the UN that their matters must be considered on a par with conflicts Nation to Nation, and therefore that emergency sessions of the UN General Assembly or designated Committees be alerted on notice!

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i post 5 of 9 conditions.

At the table?

What you should know about the land claims policy that Trudeau is not telling you

The recent announcement by the Trudeau government that Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada is opening 20 “exploratory tables” to possibly develop new terms for the land claims and self-government processes must address the current core federal mandates listed below. We reject the euphemistic changes to the policy that replaced “extinguishment” to “modification” to “certainty” to “recognition” without ever changing the termination plan.

quote:

1 Extinguishment: You must consent to the extinguishment of your Aboriginal title. The lawyers and negotiators call this the “modification” of rights or “non-assertion.” These are legal weasel words: none of the legal protection for Aboriginal title lands will apply on modern treaty lands.

2 Private Property: You must consent to the elimination of Indian Reserves by accepting all settlement lands as fee simple (private property). Fee simple lands can be bought, sold, and lost to outsiders. Unlike Indian Reserves, fee simple lands are not governed under federal jurisdiction or under the Indian Act. But this does not make them sovereign Indian land. Rather, fee simple lands fall under provincial jurisdiction and must be governed to comply with provincial land regulation, as well as applicable federal regulation. This is the scenario critics call the transformation of reserves into “ethnic municipalities.”

3 Land Selection, aka Surrender: The government has a cash/land formula that is not public, but can be determined by averaging out every Agreement in Principle and Final Agreement that has been signed, roughly $25,600 per person and 9 hectares (23 acres) per person. In the British Columbia Treaty Process, for example, negotiating groups cede an average of 95 percent of their traditional lands.

4 Third Party Interests: You must respect existing Private Lands/Third Party interests, This means you must consent to the alienation of Aboriginal Title territory and give up all right to compensation for past infringements.

5 Incorporation: Your band becomes the legal entity of a corporation, with powers and privileges defined in the Final Agreement. You are no longer a First Nation, but a business entity under the law....

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Quote:

One of them was Trudeau’s own 2015 election campaign declaration that “governments might grant permits, but only communities grant permission,” the panel noted.

Tsleil-Waututh Chief Maureen Thomas argued that approval would also violate Trudeau’s campaign vow to conduct relations on a nation-to-nation basis.

[url=http://business.financialpost.com/news/energy/first-nation-fighting-kind... Nation fighting Kinder Morgan pipeline proposal makes last-ditch appeal to Trudeau to delay approval[/url]

Trudeau approved the pipeline despite not having obtained agreement from the majority of affected First Nations. 

Whether you are pro or anti-pipeline: That is a colonial decision, not a nation-to-nation decision. 

[url=http://twnsacredtrust.ca/]Tsleil-Waututh Nation Sacred Trust Initiative[/url]

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..this is a pretty good article inspite of it coming from np.

More talks, instead of action, from the federal government ‘is beyond sickening, it’s neglectful,’ critic says

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a trio of indigenous leaders Thursday called for patience and more time as they committed themselves to more negotiations and more study to improve the lives of Canada’s indigenous peoples.

Trudeau and leaders from the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Taparit Kanatami and the Metis National Council met on Parliament Hill Thursday morning where they agreed that Trudeau and his ministers would meet regularly over the coming years with members of each organization.

quote:

“This announcement is not an act of reconciliation,” said Pam Palmater, the chair of the indigenous governance program at Ryerson University in Toronto and one of the leading critics of not only the federal government but also of the Assembly of First Nations. “This is the same old delay tactic used by previous governments to make it look like they are doing something when faced with growing criticism that they are not doing enough.”

quote:

The Kitigan Zibi First Nation in western Quebec was frustrated enough that last week it filed a lawsuit in Ontario provincial court claiming legal title to Parliament Hill.

“At this point it is clear that real change has been replaced with incremental change,” said Hayden King, an assistant professor in the school of public policy and administration at Carleton University. “Even if the shift to an incremental approach was predictable, it is still frustrating, more so, when justified under the pretense of ‘getting it right.’ I think that’s disingenuous.

“It is apparent that we are stuck in reconciliatory inertia. And that breeds cynicism of this government and the national First Nation and Métis organizations that endorse incremental change.”

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Indigenous leaders shocked, again, by repeated exclusion from Trudeau's climate talks

After excluding them from a critical discussion on indigenous people and climate change earlier this year, both the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) and the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) hoped it was a mistake Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would not repeat.

But one week after his second annual meeting with First Ministers and indigenous leaders on clean growth and climate change, the two national aboriginal organizations have been disappointed again.

quote:

A pattern of exclusion

Both NWAC and CAP have been considered among the five major organizations representing aboriginal people in Canada since the days of the Kelowna Accord, along with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), the Métis National Council (MNC), and the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK).

Only the last three however, were granted an audience with Trudeau and the premiers during climate discussions in Vancouver in March, and again, in Ottawa last Friday. NWAC and CAP were also left out of a meeting on advancing reconciliation with the prime minister on Thursday that was attended by leaders of AFN, ITK, and a Métis representative from Manitoba.

Joe of NWAC was baffled Trudeau could even consider having a conversation about reconciliation without a single indigenous woman at the table, but in a press conference after the meeting, the prime minister confirmed their exclusion was deliberate. He further offered no specific explanation as to why CAP and NWAC weren’t invited.

“My answer is that we always have to make choices about who to include in different venues and at different points,” Trudeau told National Observer. “We continue to engage, listen and talk with and work with a broad range of organizations and stakeholders on important issues. We will always continue to but in any given meeting we have to make choices and we made those choices.”

The exclusion is particularly shocking, given that both CAP and NWAC were flown at the invitation and expense of the federal government to COP22 climate conference in Morocco just last month, and this time last year, Trudeau included them in a ceremony presenting the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's final report on the legacy of residential schools....

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Feds provide inadequate mental health care for First Nations: internal memo

Even as the federal government pressures provinces and territories to take up its offer of billions to improve mental health services for Canadians, an internal memo suggests it's failing in its own responsibility to provide adequate care for mentally ill children in First Nations communities.

In extreme cases, the memo says, desperate parents are giving up their children to child welfare agencies as the only way to ensure their kids get treatment for mental illnesses.

The memo, prepared for Health Minister Jane Philpott early this year, was uncovered through an access-to-information request from New Democrat MP Charlie Angus. Compared to provincially funded services, the memo says, some First Nations and Inuit Health Branch services are "less accessible and/or not funded to similar levels."

Where mental health services are available, "they are provided by paraprofessionals or generalists, even though in geographically similar off-reserve (locations), they would be provided by a professional with specialized training," the memo says.

Further, it says funding for the First Nations and Inuit Home and Community Care program does not have a built-in escalator to keep pace with inflation, requiring annual internal reallocation of at least $20 million.

"This funding shortfall contributes to consistent failure to meet basic needs, erosion of other important programming and, in many cases, leads to extended hospital stays, relocation, social isolation, limited opportunities and caregiver hardships."...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..short video

February 23, 2017, is marked on Cindy Blackstock's calendar. It's the 10th anniversary of the head of the First Nations Child and Family Caring's fight to get Canada to stop discriminating against First Nations children in care of the state. In January 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal found that Canada does discriminate against First Nations children in care - and those in need of help under Jordan's Principle. Despite this ruling, she's still fighting to get Canada to stop. Here she talks about Canada's latest communications with the Tribunal.

 

iyraste1313

.......another weapon in the fight against the Canadian rogue state?

‘Torture & murder’: WWF to be probed for alleged human rights abuses against Cameroon tribesPublished time: 8 Jan, 2017 13:29

Members of the Baka Pygmy tribe, the original forest dwellers of the Cameroon forests, Kika, Cameroon.The World Wide Fund for Nature is to be investigated for alleged human right abuses against native tribes in Cameroon. A complaint claims that WWF-funded poaching squads arrested, tortured, and even killed locals.

The complaint was filed by British group Survival, which champions the causes of tribal peoples around the world, to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in February 2016. But the OECD, whose mission is to promote policies improving economic and social well-being, did not agreed to launch the investigation until this January.

Survival says that the complaint contains numerous examples of “violent abuse and harassment against Baka 'Pygmies' in Cameroon by WWF-funded anti-poaching squads.” 

 

iyraste1313

Victory of Guatemala Indigenous Communities: Spanish Hydroelectric Company Abandons Project after Mass ResistanceBy The Dawn NewsGlobal Research, January 09, 2017The Dawn News 3 January 2017Region: Latin America & CaribbeanTheme: EnvironmentPolice State & Civil Rights

 

After years of protests by indigenous communities, the Spanish company Ecoener-Hidralia has finally abandoned the project to build a hydroelectric dam on the Cambalan indigenous river, in Guatemala. The company has informed this decision through a statement published in the media of the Central American country.

The company had already paralyzed the work it was doing on the San Juan de Barillas indigenous territory months ago, and had dropped charges against leaders of the community that had been denounced and imprisoned for rejecting the project and protesting against it. However, it hadn’t officially renounced to build it. Now, the company has stated that the project “hasn’t earned acceptance by a significant number of inhabitants of the territory where it was intended to be located.”

The Ecoener-Hidralia project first arrived in Guatemala in 2007, sparking conflicts with the local Q’anjob’al, Chuj, Akateko and Popti indigenous communities, which consider the territory they inhabit to be sacred. Their resistance was harshly repressed by the company’s private security agents and by the State’s forces, through persecutions, murder, criminalization and imprisonment of their leaders.

 

“We demand freedom for our unfairly-detained leaders! NO to the dam!”

“We’re not against development, we’re against foreign exploitation”
“Let everybody rise, let nobody be left behind. Brothers of Barilla, some day we will achieve peace and real development for our people”
Photo credit: Environmental Justice Atlas.

 

The NGO Alianza por la Solidaridad (Alliance for Solidarity) has denounced that “The company violated the rights of the communities that lived in the area, violating the right to prior, free and informed consultation on the project, and promoting repression against the leaders of the communities that opposed it. Given the lack of consensus, local communities launched a popular consultation, in which over 90% of the population rejected the project of the Spanish company”.

This NGO carried out an investigation on the project, which revealed that the company wouldn’t provide any type of benefit for the affected communities in terms of jobs, services, social benefits or environmental improvements, apart from having legal controversies and bringing social problems.

 

Last November 4, in a joint effort with Amigos de la Tierra (Friends of the Earth), Alianza por la Solidaridad delivered 23,000 signatures against the project to the ambassador of Guatemala in Spain, Fernando Molina Girón, and a few days earlier, they presented this case to the UN as an example of the need of an international binding treaty that ends with the impunity multinational companies have when they violate human rights, with the complicity and support of national governments.

Both NGOs have demanded Ecoener-Hidralia to keep their word to definitely abandon their project and any attempt to make any other mega-project through any of its subsidiaries.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Quebec coroner blames aboriginal suicides on Canada's "ancient apartheid system"

The five suicides that occurred within a nine-month period in 2015 in a small indigenous community in northern Quebec were avoidable and fundamentally the result of Canada’s “ancient apartheid system,” a Quebec coroner wrote in a searing report released Saturday.

“I believe and see evidence that the great fundamental problem lies with the ‘apartheid’ system into which aboriginals have been thrust for 150 years or more,” writes coroner Bernard Lefrançois in his 50-page report on the public inquiry he conducted last June in Sept-Îles at the request of Quebec’s Minister of Public Security.

“It is time to put an end to this apartheid system, and for all of the authorities concerned to confront that challenge.”...

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