This week I’m sharing part of a speech I gave in tribute to ultra-marathon runner, Brad Firth AKA Caribou Legs, who crossed Canada over 7 months to raise awareness about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (#MMIW, #MMIWG). Brad’s work was an epic adventure that also happened to occur not long before the long-awaited official inquiry […]
It’s good to remember Pierre Trudeau’s 1969 attempt to assimilate the whole of the indigenous Nations. At that time, they were going to get rid of the Indian Act, and close the reserves…
Very important blog posting about Orange Shirt Day from our friend Blog Woman
It’s not often I re-post a story, but in addition to explaining the background of what September 30th – “Orange Shirt Day” means to me and my family, I wanted to add the story of the person who was behind the creation of this campaign.
Orange Shirt Day, is an Every Child Matters awareness campaign created to honor, and in respect of, all the children taken from Indigenous families and forced to attend Residential Schools in Canada and the U.S. between 1879 and 1996. These schools were created to complete the attempt to eradicate ‘the Indian’ out of the children, the intent to fully rid the continent of its Indigenous Peoples.
In my family, we had five children enter a Residential School in Northern Alberta -Grouard. Three of them never came…
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A reminder on the eve of Canada Day; a simple guide to owning the past. #StopOnlineHate
There were a lot of opinions flying after the recent release of the TRC summary of the Truth and Reconciliation report, but sadly, it was hard to discern which one was the majority – acknowledgement or denial.
This report was several years in the making and outlines the history and consequences of the genocide effort Canada inflicted upon its Indigenous peoples from 1876 until presently.
The opinions that followed seemed to hold mostly two views – one that included a good deal of understanding, and support for the recommendations for Canada to acknowledge and manage the issues related to the Indigenous communities.
The other was this example, written by a Sudbury, Ont resident. I felt it encapsulated some very common views about Canada’s Indigenous history. He began his piece by asserting that, yes, Canada did bad things:
… “However, the inflammatory statements made are just a little…
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Revised May 18, 2016 Let me state upfront that the title or my tone in this commentary is not meant with any disrespect toward former Prime Minister, The Right Honorable Paul Martin nor in the point of our contact. It is only me – unapologetically speaking in my own voice, such as it is… I wrote Mr. […]
“…if the Micmac chose to resist his expropriation of land, the governor intended to conduct a war unlike any that had been fought in Nova Scotia before. He outlined his thinking in an unambiguous letter to the Board of Trade. If there was to be a war he did not want the war to end with a peace agreement. “It would be better to “root” the Micmac out of the peninsula decisively and forever.”
In response Cornwallis demonstrated how inhuman and ruthless he could be. On October 1, 1749, he called a meeting of Council aboard the HMS Beaufort; the following extract is taken from the minutes:
“That, in their opinion to declare war formally against the Micmac Indians would be a manner to own them a free and independent people, whereas they ought to be treated as so many Banditti Ruffians, or Rebels, to His Majesty’s Government.
“That, in order to secure the Province from further attempts of the Indians, some effectual methods should be taken to pursue them to their haunts, and show them that because of such actions, they shall not be secure within the Province.
“That, a Company of Volunteers not exceeding fifty men, be immediately raised in the Settlement to scour the wood all around the Town.
“That, a Company of one hundred men be raised in New England to join with Gorham’s during the winter, and go over the whole Province…
“…That, a reward of ten Guineas be granted for every Indian Micmac taken, or killed.”
from Daniel Paul – Governor Edward Cornwallis
Let us honour our Ancestors.
Let us go to the place of the Burying of the Hatchet Ceremony – and proceed from there… to root Cornwallis out of our Territories, decisively and forever.
It’s good to remember Pierre Trudeau’s 1969 attempt to assimilate the whole of the indigenous Nations. At that time, they were going to get rid of the Indian Act, and close the reserves, and offer the same solutions they’re offering now. They have only one solution: eliminate the “Indian Problem” by eliminating the Indian
Children are dying in Attawapiskat. They are dying because of a system designed by Canada to destroy them. From residential schools built to foster malnutrition, chronic disease, and despair – even torture; to the devastating 60s scoop; to substandard housing, a generation of bad water and toxic schools, the Government of Canada – through its genocide agency – successively, the Department of Indian Affairs, then AANDC, then INAC – has delivered on its mission of destroying the indigenous Nations in Canada.
It’s good to remember Pierre – in his buckskins and canoe – bringing the 1969 White Paper to “fix the Indians”
And it’s good of good old ‘tit Jean Chretien to remind us of that time: to remember that a genocidaire doesn’t need to dress up in a Nazi uniform, but can be a ‘tit gars de Shawinigan – by making decisions for the indigenous Nations; by adopting a native child (that worked out well didn’t it?); by the incredible double-standards that he maintained as Minister for Indian Affairs – a poisoned school and contaminated water for Attawapiskat; a golf course for Shawinigan. And this is the guy standing at Justin Trudeau’s elbow these days.
It wasn’t the Liberals who made the difference then; but the intelligence and activism of people like Harold Cardinal, who called them on every bit of their presumption, prejudice, and colonialist thinking. It was intelligence and activism that won the day – not the Gone Native Pierre with his supremacist concepts. So take a lesson from Pierre’s buddy Jean; and the way the supremacists of Canada have risen up to embrace him.
The machine of genocide grinds on; and those who serve the machine don’t even know they’re part of it. It’s up to the indigenous Nations to preserve themselves and their cultures and their children – as they have been doing for 150 years. That’s 150 years that Canada’s about to celebrate – by the way – with more money set aside for the fireworks than they’d ever consider allocating to – for an example – the education and health of indigenous children.
Pierre’s “gone native”, but the Natives sure ain’t gone.
Maybe it’s time for Gumistiyi earn some of those feathers..
and another one passes…
We’ve just passed our one year Auntie-versary and, not that we’re ones to wax polemic, we thought it worth mentioning a few things about Auntie This. 😉
Auntie This is a collective blog written by several people in collaboration and with the support and input of a larger group of people who have been working, formally and informally, to combat racism and hate speech against First Nations people.
The owners of this blog have been in contact with law enforcement about the hate speech documented on these pages and we have provided our full names and contact information to the authorities with our statements.
The purpose of the page is to:
– Expose use of misinformation and stereotyped rhetoric.
– Air the misinformation in order to create space for the Truth.
This page supports anti-oppression. This page has a no-tolerance policy towards any racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, ablism…
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“Stories gain and lose power once they’re spoken”
I have little to say here; under risk of losing power…
Stories gain and lose power once they’re spoken. My mother was over-cultivated with story. The legends became too layered and profound to inherit. She spent days at her typewriter trying to convey the most important things about our lineage as Nlaka’pamux.
Native people say the distinction between stories in our culture and theirs is that the land is a character itself, not setting. My great-grandfather cleared forty acres with only a few tools after the government told his people they could no longer travel seasonally. They didn’t want the Natives to move, in a way to stop what an unmovable force we were. After the smallpox epidemic, we were still alive, able to irrigate, fish, navigate the river basins, and build lodges. The women understood the land was sacred and familial. They planted raspberry bushes that fenced in the yard, a snowball tree inside our circular driveway…
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“In 2012, blogger Cliff Pervocracy coined the term “missing stair” to describe individuals who pose a danger to others, but are tolerated within a community because everyone is aware of their issues. If you know about a missing stair in an unlit stairwell, you can work around it and avoid it. No one bothers to fix the missing stair because jumping over it works just fine.
But if no one told you that there was a missing stair, and it’s just assumed that you’re aware, it’s all too easy to be hurt.
Every time you allow someone with a known history of harassment to drum for your band, or play at your venue, or come to your party, you’re saying that their presence matters more than other people at the event feeling safe. You’re putting the onus on potential targets to be aware enough to leap over the missing stair, rather than roping off the stairwell with caution tape. And if someone does get hurt, it’s their fault; that’s what happens when you use a shitty, jacked up staircase, dude.”
EDIT: We have received a response from the owner of Beerland.
At my four thousandth punk show, I was told to “never come to another punk show.” It will take a long time before I feel safe at one again.
My recent visit to Austin started out uneventfully. My vacation was simply a country-fried version of my music-filled life in Chicago, with Lone Star instead of Hamm’s, and Frito Pie instead of cheese fries. I was already infatuated with the venue Beerland, comparing it an alternate universe version of my beloved Empty Bottle.
I had actually been to Beerland two nights running, figuring that those devoted to moderation rarely achieve greatness. The second night, the opener was local band Lower Berth. Their noisy psych rock inspired three dudes in the sparse crowd to utterly lose their shit. No one…
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