Category Archives: Aboriginal Issues

First Nations Leader Says Environmentalists Are Perpetuating Poverty In Native Communities

That’s precisely where the green energy crusaders want to keep Natives, says Calvin Helin, an Indigenous leader who is also head of the Eagle Spirit project that opposes the federal Liberal government’s plans to ban oil tankers from sailing off Canada’s Pacific coast.

“These environmentalists are happy to make a park in somebody else’s backyard,” Helin told the Post. “Well, screw that. You are talking about people where there is 90 per cent unemployment.”

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Canceled Energy Projects Stymy Pro-Energy Aboriginals

Ellis Ross is filled with gut-wrenching dread as several major proposed energy projects unravel in British Columbia.

The former chief counsellor of the Haisla Nation near Kitimat has laboured for more than 13 years to improve Indigenous lives through economic self-sufficiency — it’s how he says he measures success — and now it could all come crashing down because of what he believes are misguided government actions that burden those projects with unnecessary costs.

“We were right on the cusp of First Nations in my region being able to look after themselves,” said Ross, who ran and won a Liberal seat in the provincial legislature last May to help get the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry off the ground.

“We were just starting to turn the tide on that opposition to everything. For the first time, since white contact, we were ready to take our place in B.C. and Canada. Instead, B.C. is not going to exist pretty soon in terms of investment. That is how worried I am.”

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Plan for Toronto city hall Indigenous office moves ahead

Toronto’s most ambitious bid to recognize its first residents with a permanent Indigenous office stumbled when city hall security refused to allow a ceremonial drum into the building.

Councillor Mike Layton, co-chair of the Aboriginal affairs committee, had to rush downstairs to assure security officers the drum was vital for a smudge-and-singing ceremony to appropriately launch the historic meeting.

Is there going to be a Department of White Cis-Gendered Males too?

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Ski resort does not violate freedom of religion: SCC

Approval of a ski resort in a region held sacred by Indigenous people does not violate their constitutional right to freedom of religion, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Thursday.

A senior Indigenous leader said the decision demonstrates a lack of knowledge.

“That’s sacred ceremonial grounds. That’s where our relatives, the grizzly bear, live. And if their habitat is somehow destroyed, you are destroying our relatives,” Perry Bellegarde, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said in Ottawa.

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Animal rights activists and Inuit clash over Canada’s Indigenous food traditions

A newly opened restaurant in Toronto sparked heated online debate recently by revealing that two dishes on its menu would contain seal meat. Kū-kŭm Kitchen, an Indigenous-owned and operated restaurant, was targeted by an online petition which gained more than 6,300 signatures. The petition called for the restaurant to remove seal from its menu, stating that seal hunting is “violent, horrific, traumatizing and unnecessary”.

One extra large bucket of popcorn with butter please.

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First Nations seek to raise Canada’s rent after 150 years of $4 payments

When the fur-trader-turned-politician William Benjamin Robinson pulled up to the shores of the river that links Lake Superior and Lake Huron in 1850, his mission was clear: he was to gain access to as much of the vast territory around him as possible.

Acting on behalf of Queen Victoria, Robinson soon launched into formal negotiations with the indigenous people who lived in what would later become north-eastern Ontario in Canada.

Robinson treated with nearly two dozen communities whose connection to the land stretched back millennia.

Few of them could read, write or speak English fluently, but the two sides eventually struck a deal: in exchange for access to more than 35,700 square miles of land, Robinson offered hunting and fishing rights – and an annual payment equivalent to C$2 (£1.20/$1.60) per person each year.

In 1874, the payment was increased to C$4 a year. Since then, it has remained stagnant.

Now, 167 years after the Robinson Huron Treaty was signed, the document – and its original intent – is at the heart of a landmark legal challenge playing out in Ontario.

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New Canadians will have to swear to observe treaties with Indigenous people

A revised oath of citizenship that will require new Canadians to faithfully observe the country’s treaties with Indigenous Peoples is nearly complete.

The proposed new text was put to focus groups held by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada in March, following months of consultation by departmental officials.

It reads: “I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, her heirs and successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada including treaties with Indigenous Peoples, and fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen.”

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