By Derrick Broze for Activist Post. Indigenous nations from Canada and the United States have signed a treaty agreeing to oppose future proposals for pipeline, rail, and tanker projects that attempt to carry crude oil from Alberta’s oil sands. On Thursday, tribes from Canada and the northern United States signed a treating declaring their opposition to future proposals for pipelines that would carry crude oil from Alberta to other locations across Canada and the United States. The tribal nations are opposed to the pipelines based on potential threats to the environment. The Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion was signed by 50 aboriginal groups in North America, who also plan to oppose tanker and rail projects in both countries, they said in a statement. Targets include projects proposed by Kinder Morgan Inc, TransCanada Corp and Enbridge Inc.
By Ron Johnson for Earth Island Journal – Environment and Indigenous rights organizations are indicating it’s going to be a long, hot summer of civil disobedience in British Columbia following a National Energy Board report released last week recommending conditional approval of Kinder Morgan’s $5.4 billion Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project that allow for the transport of nearly a million barrels of bitumen per day from Alberta’s tar sands oil mines…
By Randy Turner for Winnipeg Free Speech – A blockade to three Manitoba Hydro sites in northern Manitoba by the Fox Lake Cree Nation was still in effect early Friday evening as negotiations continued between band members and Hydro CEO Kelvin Shepherd. Fox Lake Cree Nation Chief Walter Spence said talks with Shepherd had been on-going since 10:30 a.m. and would probably last until at least 10 p.m. Friday.
By Eriel Deranger for National Observer – UNDRIP is an international declaration that is built on a premise of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). Or, more plainly, Indigenous rights to not just participate in decision making processes but the right to say “no.” This position is in addition to the already existing fiduciary and legal obligation of the federal government to ensure adequate and meaningful consultation occurs with respect to any laws, legislation and land management that may affect our inherent and treaty rights in the country.
By Philip Authier for Montreal Gazette – The Mohawk nation is threatening to do everything legally in its power to block the Energy East pipeline project, calling it a threat to their way of life. Despite perceptions opposition to the project is harboured mainly by mayors in Quebec, a Mohawk-driven Canadian First Nations movement against the project is picking up steam in other parts of the country. Besides the official opposition of the Assembly of First Nations Quebec and Labrador representing 43 Quebec chiefs, the list against TransCanada’s pipeline now includes the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs…
By Michael Meuers for Indian Country Today Media Network – The Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians has signed a formal agreement with the Winkelman Building Corp. and Innovative Power Systems Inc. to design, engineer, procure, construct and manage solar energy projects for the three Red Lake casinos and various other tribal government buildings. Red Lake will install 15 megawatts—equal to 15 million watts—worth of solar panels across the rooftops of the band’s largest buildings. When they’re done, the panels will generate enough power to light every bulb in the tribe’s three casinos, the tribal college and all government buildings.
By Sarah Scott for Radical Women – “Even though the grave has silenced my granddaughter’s voice, I will continue to speak for her,” vows Renee Hess of Helyna Rivera, a Mohawk woman who was murdered in the U.S.-Canada border city of Buffalo, N.Y. on Aug. 10, 2011. Hess was one of many family and community members at the 2015 Strawberry Ceremony, an annual Valentine’s Day event organized to mourn and protest the brutal rapes, killings, and disappearances of over 1,100 indigenous women since 1981.
By Daniel Lak for Al Jazerra. Afederal Human Rights Tribunal issued a stinging ruling. For decades, the tribunal found, children living on reserves – aboriginal communities mandated by historic treaties between Ottawa and tribal groups – have been denied support, services and funding that every other Canadian child can count on. It’s no surprise. In almost every category imaginable, Canada’s aboriginal people – defined as First Nations, mixed-race Metis and the Inuit of the Arctic – fare poorly against the rest of the population.n Here’s where we find signs of hope. Consider that phrase “taking matters into their own hands”. Many aboriginal Canadians are acting to make change happen themselves, faster than governments and much faster than non-aboriginal society.
By Mike Peeling for Brant News – Six Nations members let Brantford and Brant politicians know just how upset they are with a lack of consultation over boundary adjustment negotiations during a recent public meeting. Lester Green, a member of the Men’s Fire whose traditional name is Lonukwisles of Oneida’s Bear Clan, told Brantford Mayor Chris Friel and Brant Mayor Ron Eddy in front of hundreds of residents last Thursday that they have a responsibility to keep more than the Six Nations elected council in the loop.
By Craig Takeuchi for The Georgia Straight – Then Jody Wilson-Raybould was elected in the 2015 federal election for Vancouver Granville and sworn in as Minister of Justice of Canada on November 4, she became the first aboriginal person to hold that position. Wilson-Raybould is of the We Wai Kai Nation and a descendant of the Musgamagw Tsawataineuk and Laich-Kwil-Tach peoples, who are part of the Kwakwaka’wakw and Kwak’wala speaking peoples. On January 23, she participated in her first public speech in her role as Justice Minister as part of SFU’s three-part series Being the Change: Women, Policy, and Making a Difference.
By Salmon Nation Summit for IC Magazine – Prince Rupert, BC: Lelu Island and Flora Bank, critical habitat for wild salmon at the mouth of the Skeena River in northwestern B.C., have been declared permanently protected from industrial development by an unprecedented coalition of First Nations leaders, local residents and federal and provincial politicians. The signing of The Lelu Island Declaration presents a major obstacle to plans by Malaysian-owned oil and gas giant, Petronas, to develop a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant near Prince Rupert. The declaration also deals a huge blow to the provincial government’s stated aim to get major LNG plants under construction before next year’s provincial election.
By Sage Birley for Vancouver Observer – Members of Treaty 8 and their supporters have drawn a line in the snow at the historic Rocky Mountain Fort to stop ongoing clearing for the $8.8 billion Site C Dam. The Rocky Mountain Fort, first established in 1793 as a fur trading post, marks the site of some of the first interactions between First Nations people and European settlers in the Peace Region. “This fort was the initial relationship place, but I think there is so much significance down this whole valley,” said Helen Knott, who has been camped out at the Fort in shifts since New Years Eve.
By Daybreak Kamloops for CBC News – Several First Nations protesters involved in the 1995 Gustafsen Lake standoff are calling for a national inquiry into the level of force used by the RCMP during the 31-day confrontation. Protest leader William Jones Ignace, known as Wolverine, and the Ts’Peten Defence Committee submitted a letter on Jan. 4 to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Attorney General and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, calling for an inquiry.
By Mark Hume for The Globe and Mail – With work already under way on the banks where the dam is to be built, it might seem as if Site C is a done deal. Premier Christy Clark certainly hopes so. She views the start of the $9-billion project as one of her two greatest accomplishments (the other being an agreement in principle with Petronas for proposed development of an $11-billion LNG plant). But despite all the activity by contractors building access roads and clearing land for work camps, tunnels and dam foundations, BC Hydro’s Site C project could yet be brought to a halt.
By Lucia Edwardson in Metro News – In 2014 there were an estimated 225 missing or murdered aboriginal women in Canada, according the RCMP statistics. Jamie Black, an aboriginal artist from Winnipeg, wanted to showcase the issue in an artistic way, so five years ago she created the REDress project. Each dress is “symbolic of the violence faced by indigenous women but is also a symbol of the power of a community coming together to fight this violence,” said Black. Linda Nothing, who is helping to organize the Calgary chapter of the project that will be held Oct. 4 across the country, said they will be accepting red dress donations to create their installment, but are also asking Calgarians to show support on their own. “We encourage people to hang up a red dress outside their home, business or office, to wear a red dress on that day and also to study what is happening, why is that happening,” she said.