Thursday, June 28, 2007


NATIONAL ABORIGINAL DAY OF ACTION TOMORROW:
Tomorrow, June 29th, members of First Nations in numerous locations across Canada will be taking part in the National Aboriginal Day of Action. From Nova Scotia and New Brunswick where native people will be slowing down traffic to hand out leaflets, to Montreal, to Toronto, to numerous communities in Ontario such as Hamilton, Kingston, Nipigon, Sudbury, London, Sault St. Marie and Thunder Bay. From a rally by Mohawks at the Seaway International Bridge in Quebec to a threatened blockade in Deseranto, Ontario to rallies in Winnipeg, Roseau River, Manitoba, Regina, Calgary, Edmonton and on to the west coast in Vancouver native Canadians will be taking to the streets to protest their past and present treatment at the hands of the Canadian government and to urge that the glacial pace of outstanding issues like land claims and compensation for residential school abuses be speeded up. Here in Winnipeg a march and celebration sponsored by the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs will begin at 10:00 am at the legistlature and proceed to the forks where the celebration will go from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. The Manitoba Southern Chiefs' Organization has also called for a one day boycott of non-native businesses by reserve residents.
The highlight of the day will be two events in Ottawa. A march will be held from City Hall to Victoria Island on the Ottawa River. This is being sponsored by the Assembly of First Nations and will pass by Parliament Hill. On the Hill itself the Algonquin members of the Barriere Lake community will set up their own camp. Whether they will still be there to spoil Stevie's Canada day on July 1st is unknown. For 20 years the Barriere lake community has negotiated and struggled to have the federal government live up to commitments that are made but never carried out. Most of the houses in the community are infested by mold, the school needs total replacement and there is a 90% unemployment rate on the reserve. The Quebec government Youth Protection authorities now prohibit newborns and young children from returning to the reserve because of the conditions.
Natives across Canada are virtually unanimous in their desire for peaceful protest rather than confrontation. Despite this Via Rail has cancelled service between Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto as well as other locations in southern Ontario tomorrow because they fear rail blockages. Much media attention has been focused on Mohawk protestor Shawn Brant who hinted to the Canadian Press that the group he belongs to may carry firearms to protect themselves. Ontario Provincial Police Commisioner Julian Fantino responded with something more than hints, saying "...at the end of the day there will be consequences and they will be severe. And hopefully they will be those that will deter others like him from this kind of anarchy".
For a complete backgrounder on the reasons behind the Day of Action, what events are being planned and follow up news Molly can suggest no better source than the Turtle Island Native Network. Tune in there.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

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mollymew said...

Quite frankly Molly in her primitive feline ignorance can't figure out if this is commercial spam or not. Thus it STAYS even though I can't see the use of this because I ALWAYS add my own "spin" to the "news". OBVIOUSLY NOT EVERYTHING is reported here. It has to pass through Molly's VERY strict editorial filter even if it is reported very much verbatim.
So thanks but no thanks.
I simply don't know because I cannot trust the source.

Anonymous said...

I am so frustrated with the aboriginals who claim to have it so bad in this world! I deal with these people on a daily basis and the reserves are not as they would have you beleive. They would like the government to build them new homes, schools, office buildings, etc.

Does anyone remember their parents telling you that if you earn something you will have more respect for it?? Well this certainly is true. I have seen brand new houses and other buildings on reserves get absolutely trashed becasue that just seems to be what they do on the reserve. When everything is just handed to you...you have very little respect for those things.

Yes there is high unemployment on the reserves. You can't get these natives to show up at a job. The Calgary Fire Dept has a full-time staff member whose job is to hire natives to be fire fighters. These natives get trained and put on the job but once the pay cheque comes they tend not to show up to work for several days afterwords. Due to their culture...time means nothing so how do we get them to fit into our business/work culture??

I think the government is bowing to the pressures of the natives who cry for more money. With the billions they receive each year why haven't the problems gone away?? Simple...because money won't solve the cultural problems they have. I think what we need to do is cut off the money supply so that they truly can become more self-sufficient!

Please...stop blocking our roads and go out and become productive citizens! Stop waiting for someone else/the government to solve all of your problems. If I chose not to be employed I too would suffer poverty...not the governments fault! More money is not the answer. We appreciate your culture but the worl is changing and EVERYONE needs to learn to adapt, change their mindset of how things ought to be done and just go out and become productive.

I work 2 full-time jobs because that is what I need to do at this time and because I have a very strong work ethic...I am not looking at the government to step in for me...I will be the one who makes myself a success or a failure!

Anonymous said...

land, you ass hole.

mollymew said...

Well, the last comment is terse, succinct and to the point, but it perhaps deserves expansion of its point.
Many of the comments presented in the post before last are true. Some are true but REALLY have to be qualified.The conclusion drawn is completely false.
Molly can say this easily. Why ? She is more than familiar with other matters scientific where different people can derive utterly different conclusions from EXACTLY the same data. In such cases the uncertainty is actually FAR less than it is in political questions where HUGE amounts of effort is devoted to sifting through "evidence" and picking what supports your predetermined conclusion.
The "left" in our society deliberately ignores some of the realities pointed out by the psoer. Molly could expand upon this person's complaints greatly. What about crooked chiefs and the general nepotism of too much of native politics ? What about the native crime rate ? We'll leave aside the fact that that the usual victim of a native criminal is another native for now. THAT would spoil the argument at least as much for "anti-natives" as it does for "pro-natives". One could cite native welfare rates and say that natives were "lazy". That would, of course, have to ignore what sort of demand there is for unskilled, uneducated labour in our society and that fact that said demand is always shrinking and the fact that the work offered such workers is increasingly brutal in the extreme.
Yeah, I could go on and on with a litany of "politically incoreect" FACTS that the poster has failed to mention. I can even go him a notch above in terms of "personal experience" in that I have talked to the (white) people who profit off the corruption involved in native politics today. I will agree that "throwing more money" at the problem does little good. Actually NO good.
OK, all that is granted. But,but, but if YOU had been swindled all your life, if most of the people you know had been continually physically assualted (sometimes even killed with NO expectation that the murderers would face justice), if what was "YOURS" had been stolen and the "payback" was a TINY fraction of its real worth then you might be a tiny, little, infitesmal bit "annoyed" too, and you might grab at whatever insufficient monetary compensation was offered.
To their credit natives in Canada today hardly demand their FULL due. The "rent" on the land stolen would probably equal the GNP of the USA, let alone Canada. What they are demanding is the timely !!! (if you launch a lawsuit you would want it settled before your great,great,great grandchildren die) of the land claims that are outstanding NOW. Simple justice. They are demanding compensation for brutality experienced in the residential schools that the majority of the Canadian population has NO experince of (Molly had a LITTLE taste of same and non-native people in Newfoundland had an even more bitter experience of this). YOU would be weeping and wailing and asking your lawyer to demand 10 times as much as they have been offered for 1/100th of such an experience.
Their demands are actually quite reasonable. Where Molly differs from you is that she sees what you see, but she also sees the facts on the other side. Yeah, throwing more money is useless, but the native land claims are part of the gradual struggle for native self government that will yield the sort of community of people that YOU think is desireable. Yes, this struggle is "messy". It begins with people who are oppressed, goes through stages of sections of these people making livings off said oppression. BUT it ends in people who have the sort of dignity that you say they should have, actually having MORE dignity because of their struggle than YOU could imagine amongst your friends. The messy process is inevitable. It completes "promises" made by the ideology of our ruling class and lays the ground for much more profound extensions of democracy.

Anonymous said...

Very good points! You mention the compensation due for the residential school mess...we definately have some black marks in our history! For example, the use of African's for slaves and the use of Asian's during the building of our railroad. How long will we be required to pay for our past? Even a murderer (here in Canada) gets out of jail at some point! I don't see us getting out of this jail the natives hold us in any time soon!

mollymew said...

I'd better get to commenting on this before it falls below the "current" radar screen on this blog.
"Jail" is perhaps, don't you think a tiny itsy-bitsy minicule bit of an "overstatement". I understand that you are from Kenora where racial tensions are perhaps even more stark than here in Winnipeg, but I REALLY doubt that anybody in their right mind thinks that their ENTIRE life is governed by the "natives" (like it is by prison authorities vis-a-vis prisoners) or that you have to walk around in fear of physical assault 24 hours a day (another joy of prison).
But to get beyond your faulty metaphor and to the substance of your question. The difference between slavery (about 140 years in the past in the USA and about 180 years in the past in British Dominions- I won't bother to look up the exact dates because the point doesn't derive from a year or two), the use of migrant labour, mostly Chinese but also sometimes Sikh in building railroiads (about 120 to 130 years past) and the PRESENT situation concerning Canada's natives is one of TIME.
The PRESENT situation of many native communities such as Grassy Narrows or numerous places in BC, let alone the NWT or the Yukon is a matter of land claims that are being negotiated- OR NOT IN THE CASE OF MANY OF THEM- right now. Not a century in the past. Land is being stolen NOW. Both the criminals and the victims are still walking around and often the crime is happening as we speak. As to the residential schools, this is a little bit further back in the past. But many of the victims are still alive (though the federal government hopes to stall things until most of them are dead). Similarily a smaller number of the criminals are still alive, and each year brings more of them to justice.
What pisses Molly off is the actions of the Canadian government that have given the Churches and others (such as the Orange Order in Saskatchewan) a "get out of jail free card" that has basically absolved the corporations from criminal responsibility. The "individuals" who committed the crimes against natives (and white children too in at least the case of the Christian Brothers down east and the Orange Order in Saskatchewan) acted within a system of power that benefitted not just depraved individuals but the corporate bodies (the Churches in particular) that sucked taxpayer money so they could carry out their crimes.
All us white folk can easily "walk out the prison door" when and if the LIVING victims of crime are properly compensated and WHEN ongoing crimes are stopped.