cdnpoli,

As if I wasn’t riled up about Canada’s “birthday” before today???? We all love to throw around the term “reconciliation” when it comes to Canada’s indigenous population but at the end of the damn day, the Canadian government cannot even stand a teepee going up and sharing space with “official” Canada day celebrations on Parliament Hill. Why? Because we aren’t supposed to exist, and any display of agency that indigenous peoples show is a threat.

On this July 1st, this “Canada Day”, this “150th anniversary”, here’s your reminder that “Canada” is trash and not worth celebrating.

The “Fathers of the Confederation” acted out of economic and geopolitical interests and “Canada” was not founded on the interests nor the voice of anyone but the bourgeois’.

Hundreds of underpaid Chinese workers died building a transcontinental railway that ran through indigenous lands, violating the treaties. Reminder that the Québécois are as insensitive as any other white people when they call a certain meal “pâté chinois”. Reminder that the Québécois are settlers too and that past oppression does not excuse us.

In less than a decade in the late 19th century, Cree, the Niitsítapi, the Nakoda, the Métis and the Sioux, to name a few, dealt with the extinction of bisons, famines, diseases and persecutions. In 1881 the Saskatchewan Herald mocked them for starving in the streets. The Canadian government then sent in more guns to defend the food supply, than food.

The RCMP and the Canadian police departments have a history of violence against Indigenous people (and specifically Indigenous women), people of colour, leftists, and the LGBTQIA2S communities. “Canada” purged thousands of queer people from the government and the army between the 1950s and the 1990s. Despite it being continuously shown as a cute symbol of “Canada”, the RCMP represents colonialism, capitalism and patriarchy.

Tens of thousands of Indigenous children were taken away from their homes, their land, their families, their culture and their language to “take the Indian out of them” in residential schools. The last one closed in 1996. Reminder of the ongoing, historical, intergenerational trauma of colonialism and racism.

Thousands more Indigenous children were taken away from their homes between the 1960s and the 1980s and given to strangers’ families. Thousands still live in foster care today, away from home.

The deadly trains still go through the town of Lac-Mégantic (and many more towns), despite the 2013 fire and the lost lives and the trauma, as a false compromise for pipelines.

The Canadian army takes part in various wars, in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria. “Canada” sells tanks to Saudi Arabia.

White Canadians love to make fun of, co-opt, appropriate and folklorize other people’s cultures.

White Canadians relish in images of great mountains, white snow, strong rivers and mighty winds in books, poems, plays, music, paintings; they relish in an idea of the “True North” that was never theirs. They willingly take part in the destruction of nature for economic interests anyway.

Justin Trudeau (as if his family name alone wasn’t a red flag) is a liberal; his PR team should not fool us; he keeps promising without delivering; his speeches and symbolic gestures are not enough, and he keeps approving detrimental policies just like his predecessors.

Indigenous people are not an artefact or a relic from the past; speaking of them in the past tense only serves white people’s interests and embarrassment.

The people of Attawapiskat are still in a state of emergency and have yet to see any promise fulfilled, more than one year after 9 people attempted suicide on a single day.

The Inuit in Nunavut, as well as Indigenous peoples in Alaska and Greenland, are punished and marginalized nationally and internationally for seal hunting. Sealing is a traditional and necessary practice in the north.

There are still hundreds (if not thousands) of missing and murdered Indigenous women whose cases are ignored or unsolved.

Water protectors exist in “Canada”, too. Many communities don’t even have access to clean water or electricity.

There are currently Indigenous activists on Parliament Hill, which is situated on unceded Algonquin land. Canadians and the Canadian media are currently afraid of a tipi.

PM Trudeau sat in the tipi last night, while protesters could not enter it and many were arrested on the site.

Many other protests, demonstrations, drum circles, prayers and road blocks are being held around the country. Reminder that violence is as legitimate as peaceful protest in the face of colonial violence.

Reminder that land is not property, that it is not mine, and that us settlers are uninvited and occupiers. We live comfortably at the expense of a land that we distabilize, plunder, poison, drown, starve.

Reminder that Canada is a society rooted in colonial, capitalist, patriarchal and racist ideologies that should not be celebrated.

Sources will follow when I have access to my laptop.

So I just called my Liberal MP’s office and asked whether or not my MP would vote to go along with the committee recommendations about electoral reform. He isn’t, and they explained why etc.

It actually was kinda insightful? They said the reason he’s voting no is because the committee’s report seeks to pursue change via a referendum, which my MP doesn’t support (for obvious reasons tbh - they’re polarizing, inadequate, etc) and that it would take too much time to do now within the rest of Justin’s mandate. Ex. Stuff with elections Canada, revising the Referendum Act, deciding on a question phrase and getting it approved, what kind of PR do we even want, etc.

Which does make sense. I asked if it would be pursued, did he think, if we give Justin another mandate in 2019? And he said, look at the Constitution. It took three times or so before it happened, but when it did, it was great! And we’re seeing progress on this front with BC right now with the Green-NDP alliance and their commitment to PR. So he said it will totally happen in the future, and they support it i’m pretty sure, but not by a referendum - and we just don’t have enough time anymore.

I said that’s all legit, but my MP should publicly recognize that if they had’ve gotten their asses in gear earlier, it could’ve been done. He didn’t really address this.

I asked why he supported the Liberals and not NDP, and he said because he supports things like lower business taxes etc because of the way capitalism functions. He’s still progressive, but nuanced. (The guy who heads the office).

A lot of that made sense honestly??

Like im still mad about electoral reform but that was a very sensible answer I think! And I don’t like capitalism either but I get that you have to allow certain concessions within the system to make it work at all, if that makes sense?

He also said he’s allowed to tell me if it was because my MP was whipped - and it’s not because e was whipped. He’s voting no out of his own decision. Hmm.

Just wanted to share it. If anyone has any comments or input or perspective I totally understand tbh.

@allthec

I’d really like to start educating myself on Cree and even Métis culture and social justice issues tbh. I don’t know where to start or what to read really, but as a white person occupying indigenous (mostly Cree afaik) land in 2017 I think it’s pretty clear I have a duty to out of respect and to help further decolonization, etc. I’m interested in learning the Cree language as well.


I’ve just realized I need to educate myself about this struggle more, on a political as well as spiritual/vocational level. Right now I’m reading The Inconvenient Indian, and Telling Truths About Canada. Does anyone have any recommendations or advice? Resources, things to not do, etc? Is it okay if I learn Cree?

Thank you so so much.

P.S. @allthecanadianpolitics maybe some of your followers could help me out? Thanks!!

theguardian.com
Texas to pass bill banning transgender students from choosing bathrooms
Lawmakers inserted a bathroom amendment into an otherwise unrelated bill and Texas’s House gave final approval, paving the way for Senate backing
By Tom Dart

Texas is to pass a “bathroom bill” that will ban transgender students from using the restroom that aligns with their gender identity.

Conservative politicians in Texas have agitated strongly for the measure despite the backlash against such a law in North Carolina, which involved economic boycotts and attempts to repeal it after it was introduced last year.

A wide-ranging bill more similar to North Carolina’s that would have affected all public restrooms and preempted local anti-discrimination ordinances was passed by the Texas senate earlier this year but stalled in the state house of representatives, where the speaker, Joe Straus, was worried that businesses and sports events could pull out of the state and damage the economy.

However, a key advocate, lieutenant governor Dan Patrick, threatened to force the extension of the legislative session beyond its final day of 29 May unless a bill was approved.

Lawmakers used a tactic on Sunday night to circumvent the problem of time running out: a bathroom amendment was inserted into an otherwise unrelated bill about how schools plan for emergencies such as natural disasters and bomb threats.

The state house gave final approval on Monday and the bill now goes to the senate – which is also Republican-dominated and expected to back it. The legislation will then head to the desk of the Republican governor, Greg Abbott, to be signed into law.

Continue Reading.

For all of the media’s obsessing over sex appeal, does anyone actually vote based on the apparent sexiness of politicians? Like, does anyone ever see a picture of Justin Trudeau doing yoga and think “Now that’s one Honourable Member I could imagine having up my ass; I guess I’d better vote Liberal”?

It just hits me all the time that this country (Canada) was made without the consent of the indigenous peoples. The fathers of confederation were greedy racist fucks. The more I learn about the red river resistance too… like this country is FOUNDED on exclusion and oppression and how someone can somehow not care about indigenous and Métis issues in 2k17 is fucking beyond me?? We should be angry . We all should be angry.
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The History of Waterhen/Skownan

(I am posting this as a backstory to my previous post http://canadadoesnotexist.tumblr.com/post/164049731222/to-my-indigenous-followers-and-those-who-are.)

Please help me get the story of the displaced Waterhen Anishinaabeg out there. Don’t let a corrupt policing system and a corrupt Chief get their way and paint the displaced families in a criminal light. Help us get justice.


In December, 1992, some residents of the Waterhen reserve demanded more financial accountability from their leaders, who had cloaked their dealings in a blanket of secrecy. The following year, the dissidents elected a majority of councillors to the band’s government who promised to address these issues.

The Chief, who was re-elected, refused to work with the new quorum. It took a year and a half, but the council majority finally got what it wanted. On March 23, 1994, the Regional Director of federal Department of Indian and Northern Development Canada (DIAND) convened a meeting of the Chief and council, where a band council resolution calling for an independent audit of the Waterhen band passed. The department then appointed a third-party manager for the band.

That should have ended the issue. But DIAND refused to provide the quorum with details of the band’s funding agreements and the Chief’s supporters then broke into and occupied the band office. The RCMP were called to assist, but did nothing. They stated: “As to who has the authority of the band has to be determined by DIAND.”

In April, 1994, at its own expense, the council quorum obtained a court order against the Chief and his supporters and removed the band’s records. A month later, the group obtained another order appointing them the legitimate representatives of the band. Served with these documents, DIAND’s lawyer repeated that the department took no position in the band’s internal matters, the same response it had made for years to the many letters and petitions from band members demanding accountability.

This official neutrality had devastating consequences.

On or about May 17, 1994, frustrated by official disregard for court orders, the quorum attempted to enter the band office and was forced away by the Chief’s supporters, who set up barricades. The councillors returned to court and obtained an order to have the barricades removed. They came down, but the third-party manager cut off all payments for the dissidents, including their honorariums. He refused to work with or even meet with the quorum unless the Chief was present and refused to assist them in preparing the mandated audit.

Finally, in November, 1995, DIAND Minister approved a new band election. The quorum and their supporters were told “that it is going to be payback time” and were harassed and threatened at the polls. The Chief and his supporters were voted back into power. By February, 1996, all control of funding had been returned to the Chief.

But the genie was out of the bottle. During their brief period of control, the quorum had distributed the band’s books among their supporters, whom they tersely dubbed “the people.” In February, 1996, the Chief obtained a court injunction ordering the council quorum and unnamed “supporters” to return the books. The Chief said he could not do band business without them.

Frustrated by his opponents’ refusal to staunch the flow of information, the Chief adopted new tactics. Early in April, 1996, with the assistance of the RCMP, the Chief removed his supporters from the reserve, leaving the rest of the band members to fend for themselves. At band expense, the Chief’s group stayed in paid lodging in and around Dauphin, Manitoba. The crisis reached a point of no return on April 24 when the Chief obtained an interlocutory court injunction order against the dissidents, and against unnamed members of a notorious aboriginal gang, the Manitoba Warriors, whose role in the affair remains murky to this day.

The RCMP barricaded entrances to the Waterhen First Nation, which is mostly surrounded by water. Police in airboats patrolled the reserve, at times setting off explosives and firing teargas. The RCMP and the members of the force’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) entered the reserve at night, and were observed flat on the ground crawling about. Helicopters roamed overhead with bright spotlights illuminating the reserve sky. Street lights were smashed and dogs on the reserve poisoned. The reserve was under siege.

Over the weeks before the Chief’s faction fled and the barricades went up, violence against the dissidents had been growing, with the Chief’s supporters brandishing guns and threatening to declare war. Verbal and physical assaults occurred and tires were slashed. The displaced families insist that they did not respond in kind. Even after the barricades went up, they limited their protests to picketing with posters calling for justice and protesting band corruption.

But what appeared to be a well-organized series of events made quorum supporters look like criminals. The acts ranged from petty vandalism to serious acts like arson. Two houses, including the one assigned to the Chief, burned to the ground. The dissidents warned each other not to go near the burning homes, for fear they could be blamed.

Who did it? Today the displaced families and their friends wonder if these acts were not in fact the work of the Manitoba Warriors. They had observed known members of the gang entering and exiting the barricades with impunity at all hours of the day and night, apparently with the knowledge and consent of the authorities. Waterhen Chief held court for the media outside the barricades and attributed the criminal acts to his opponents.

Subsequent events are forever seared in the memories of the dissidents. In the early morning hours of May 19, the RCMP and the ERT, armed with machine guns, stun grenades and vicious attack dogs, stormed the reserve and terrorized the residents. They invoked the Chief’s interlocutory order and removed everyone, including women, children, elders and youth, from the reserve at gunpoint.

Heavily armed men kicked open doors of sleeping residents and ordered women, children and adults to drop to the floor with automatic weapons pointed at their heads. The attack dogs were allowed to bite many of them. Witnesses say the police had no pity, even though the people showed no resistance. They were handcuffed, with some loaded into waiting police vehicles and others into buses. The children were apprehended by a native child care agency chaired by none other than the Waterhen Chief. Their parents were taken to jail.

Two days later, the RCMP allowed the Chief and his supporters to return to Waterhen. Then destruction ensued. Two more houses were torched, this time ones belonging to quorum supporters, and many others looted and ransacked. Vehicles belonging to dissidents were pushed into water-filled ditches. In spite of a continuous, 24-hour police presence on the Waterhen that lasted for 30 days after the Chief’s faction was restored, the RCMP made no arrests.

Of the people dragged from the Waterhen reserve, thirty-five people were charged and many convicted of mischief, intimidation and various related charges. They couldn’t afford lawyers and lacked any knowledge of court processes, but appealed the convictions, some all the way up to the Supreme Court of Canada. None of the convictions stuck. Most of them, however, were never allowed to return to the reserve.

The Waterhen’s people are forever divided, a tragedy that could easily have been avoided had Waterhen’s Chief been accountable and opened the band’s books to reserve members, or had DIAND exercised its authority to clean up the band’s finances when the majority quorum on its council repeatedly requested help.

But just imagine if you backed the wrong political faction in your neighbourhood and then had your home and possessions and your livelihood seized. In Canada, this should not be allowed to happen.