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Tag Archive - indigenous struggle

Election reflection: Three questions for activists

The editors of New Socialist asked three activists Hassan Husseini, Niloofar Golkar and Russell Diabo to explain what the election of a Liberal majority means for their areas of social justice work. We're afraid, but not surprised, to hear that they are deeply sceptical that real progress in labour, environmental and indigenous causes will follow. We may have a prime minister who says some of the things people want to hear, but the Liberal past and current record speaks for itself. 


"Nobody cared! Nobody helped! Nobody did anything!"

On February 14, demonstrations commemorating hundreds of missing Indigenous women will take place in cities across Canada. In this article, activist Audrey Huntley reflects on the shameful reality of the way in which violence against Indigenous women is normalized in our society, and describes movement-building being spearheaded by organizations and coalitions across Canada, with a focus on the Toronto-based No More Silence -- NSW

By Audrey Huntley


Decolonizing Property Rights in Canada

Review of Arthur Manuel and Grand Chief Ronald M. Derrickson, Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-Up Call (Between the Lines, 2015)

This vivid political memoir is co-authored by two prominent Indigenous leaders from interior British Columbia, Arthur Manuel (Secwepemc) and Grand Chief Ronald M. Derrickson (Syilx/Okanagan and Grand Chief of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs). Manuel’s voice predominates in the balance of the book, while Derrickson has written the afterword.


Canada Responds to Tsilhqot’in Decision: Extinguishment or Nothing!

By Russell Diabo and Shiri Pasternak

This is the third in a three-part series on the landmark Supreme Court of Canada Tsilhqot’in v. British Columbia decision last June, first published in First Nations Strategic Bulletin. Part 1, “The Tsilhqot’in Decision and Canada’s First Nations Termination Policies” can be found here. Part 2, “The Tsilhqot’in Decision and Indigenous Self-Determination” is here.

“Our government believes that the best way to resolve outstanding Aboriginal rights and title claims is through negotiated settlements,” stated Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) Bernard Valcourt on the day the final Tsilhqot’in decision came down in June.


The Tsilhqot’in Decision and Indigenous Self-Determination

By Arthur Manuel

This is the second in a three-part series on the landmark Supreme Court of Canada Tsilhqot’in v. British Columbia decision last June, first published in First Nations Strategic Bulletin.  Part 1,“The Tsilhqot’in Decision and Canada’s First Nations Termination Policies” by Russell Diabo, can be found here. Part 3, "Canada Responds to Tsilhqot’in Decision: Extinguishment or Nothing!" is here.


It is important to acknowledge with gratitude the courage and determination of the Tsilhqot’in People for moving our efforts to achieve self-determination one level higher.


The Tsilhqot'in Decision and Canada's First Nations Termination Policies

By Russell Diabo

This is the first in a three-part series on the landmark Supreme Court of Canada Tsilhqot'in v. British Columbia decision last June, first published in First Nations Strategic Bulletin. The second article in this series, "The Tsilhqot’in Decision and Indigenous Self-Determination," can be found here. Part 3, "Canada Responds to Tsilhqot’in Decision: Extinguishment or Nothing!" is here.

On June 26, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) recognized that the Xeni Gwet'in Tsilhqot'in People have Aboriginal Title to a large part of their traditional territory. In the same decision, building on previous legal cases written to contain Section 35 of Canada's constitution (which provides constitutional protection to the aboriginal and treaty rights of Aboriginal peoples in Canada), the SCC set out a legal test for asserting and establishing Aboriginal Title in Canada. 


Climate Change and Indigenous Movements

By Ben Powless

Climate change: you can't get away from it these days.


Why the BC Missing Women's Commission of Inquiry Fails

By Harsha Walia

The very same grassroots community of women who have been advocating for a public inquiry into the deaths and disappearances of women in the Downtown Eastside for over two decades are now denouncing the BC Missing Women's Commission of Inquiry as an insult to the women of this Vancouver community.


Opposing “Fortress North America”: Tar Sands Development and Indigenous Resistance

By Dave Vasey

From August 30 to September 3, a Tar Sands Action took place at the White House in Washington, DC, with solidarity actions in a number of places across North America, and at Canadian and US embassies in a number of places around the world.


Colonialism and the Working Class in Canada

By David Camfield

It's good news that in a number of cities people "are meeting together in growing numbers to explore what it means - and doesn't mean - to stand in solidarity with Indigenous peoples within Canada," as journalist Meg Mittelstedt wrote recently.

As Mittelstedt notes, this is happening because of the recent upsurge of protest and resistance by indigenous people. This includes Idle No More, campaigns around murdered and missing women, confrontations with companies that hope to make big profits from fracking, pipeline construction, mining and other activities on the traditional territories of indigenous peoples, and conflicts with governments that want to dismantle anything they see as barriers to corporate profit, including environmental regulations and indigenous rights


From Red October to Evo Morales: The Politics of Rebellion and Reform in Bolivia

David Broder, of the British publication The Commune, interviewed Jeffery R. Webber on his two books on Bolivian politics out this year.


Canadian Capitalism and the Dispossession of Indigenous Peoples

By Todd Gordon

This article from the special Indigenous Resurgence issue of New Socialist magazine in 2006 now rings more true than ever. Seven years later, indigenous struggles against the corporate pillaging and desecration of their traditional territories continue in Canada - at the forefront of these is the battle against the Northern Gateway pipeline and tanker route through the northern British Columbian mainland and coastal islands.

Neoliberal globalization has brought with it the intensification of what Marxist geographer David Harvey refers to as accumulation by dispossession [check out Harvey's 2009 talk on Youtube - Eds].


Socialism from Below and Indigenous Resurgence: Reclaiming Traditions

By DL Simmons

With the indigenous activists of Idle No More and Defenders of the Land calling to make the summer of 2013 "Sovereignty Summer" -- a "campaign of coordinated non-violent direct actions to promote Aboriginal rights and environmental protection in alliance with non-native supporters" -- it's a good time to look at the relationship between indigenous struggle and radical politics. With this in mind, we are glad to publish a revised and updated version of a piece that originally appeared in the special Indigenous Resurgence issue of New Socialist in 2006.

During the peak of the Red Power movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s, many newly radicalizing indigenous people became interested in exploring various theories of revolution and socialist organization.


Ecological Resistance, Indigenous Struggle, and Rafael Correa’s Neo-Extractivism in Ecuador: An Interview with Gloria Chicaiza

By Jeffery R. Webber

I met with Gloria Chicaiza, Coordinator of the Mining Campaign at Acción Ecológica (Ecological Action, AE), in AE’s centre in Quito, on July 7, 2010.


Indigenous Feminism Without Apology

By Andrea Smith


"...Allegiance to 'America' or 'Canada' legitimizes the genocide and colonization of Native peoples upon which these nation-states are founded. By making anti-colonial struggle central to feminist politics, Native women place in question the appropriate form of governance for the world in general." Andrea Smith, New Socialist, 2006


In the fall of 2012, four women - Sylvia McAdam, Sheelah McLean, Jessica Gordon, and Nina Wilson, began discussing the implications of the Harper government's omnibus Bill C-45 for Indigenous rights and the environment. That discussion gave rise to an "Idle No More" Facebook page, followed by teach-ins and rallies in Saskatoon and Regina in November. A national solidarity day on December 10 was the catalyst for a movement that spread across the continent and provoked international expressions of solidarity. Chief Theresa Spence of Attawapiskat First Nation declared a hunger strike the following day, further raising the profile of the movement.


Indigenous Peoples and the "Politics of Recognition"

By Glen Coulthard


"...Indigenous societies have truths to teach the Western world about the establishment and preservation of relationships between peoples and the natural world that are profoundly non-imperialist." Glen Coulthard, New Socialist, 2006.


These words, written more than half a decade ago, ring truer than ever as the Journey of Nishiyuu is nearing its Ottawa destination as part of the Idle No More movement. Since their departure from the isolated Cree community of Whapmagoostui on Hudson Bay in northern Quebec on January 16, the ranks of walkers have swelled to nearly 200.

Meanwhile, Defenders of the Land and Idle No More have issued a joint call for intensified action against the Harper government and the corporate agenda: a “Solidarity Spring” to precede a “Sovereignty Summer,” with actions on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21, Earth Day on April 22, and through the summer. New Socialist celebrates this mobilization and the solidarity that can defeat the Harper agenda.


Choosing Not to Look Away: Confronting Colonialism in Canada

By Monique Woroniak and David Camfield

Canada has "no history of colonialism." So said Stephen Harper in 2009. Today the Idle No More movement is shouting down this lie through actions both creative and courageous. In its place, it is telling Canadians at large what some of us have always known: that the country we live in was founded as -- and continues to be -- a colonial-settler state.


Mulcair's NDP: The New Liberal Party

Tom Mulcair has been the leader of the federal New Democratic Party for more than eight months now. His leadership has largely been as expected: solid, competent and moderate. Mulcair has continued Jack Layton's strategy of trying to supplant the Liberals as the middle-of-the-road alternative to the Harper Conservatives. It's not a particularly inspiring strategy and, looking toward the likely coronation of Justin Trudeau as the next leader of the Liberal Party, it's not a foregone conclusion that it will be a successful one. And supplanting the Liberals, even if that is solidified, isn't necessarily sufficient to defeat the Conservatives. Unless the Conservatives really implode or somehow manage to alienate their carefully cultivated base of supporters, they are going to be difficult to defeat in the next election.


Criminalization of Indigenous People Part II - Decriminalizing Sex Work, Saving Lives

by Maurganne Mooney

Toronto's Indigenous Sovereignty and Solidarity Network organized a series of events during Indigenous Sovereignty Weeklast November, including a panel on The Criminalization of Indigenous People. We're bringing you a series of three contributions adapted from presentations by Jules Koostachin, Maurganne Mooney, and Christa Big Canoe. This is the second article in the series. The article by Jules Koostachin can be found here.

Many people don't really understand the current state of law with regards to sex work. I use the term sex work, not prostitution, because I view it as work. It's a type of labour, and people engaged in that labour deserve as safe working conditions as anybody else.

Currently in Ontario it is legal to work in prostitution or in sex work. But until recently, the practices for staying safe were criminalized. It was a violation of basic human rights here in Canada.


Criminalization of Indigenous People Part I - A Foreign System: Incarceration of Indigenous Women

by Jules Koostachin

Toronto's Indigenous Sovereignty and Solidarity Network organized a series of events during Indigenous Sovereignty Week last November, including a panel on The Criminalization of Indigenous People. We're bringing you a series of three contributions adapted from presentations by Jules Koostachin, Maurganne Mooney, and Christa Big Canoe. The article by Maurganne Mooney can be found here.

In my work with the Elizabeth Fry Toronto, I oversee the volunteer program court service at the College Park provincial court. This program has volunteer court workers that assist clients through the court experience. We provide information and referrals to community resources. We provide clarification of the court process, and we also give referrals to lawyers, assistance with applying for legal aid.

It's a preventative program using a restorative justice approach to ensure that clients do not get a criminal record for minor offences while making amends for their criminal behavior. This will most likely change with Bill C-10, which will effectively lead to more criminalization of women.


The International Indigenous Movement for Self-Determination (Part II)

This article is Part 2 of a 2-part series, and is the basis of a presentation at the Historical Materialism 2012 conference in Toronto [http://www.yorku.ca/hmyork/]. Part 1 can be found here. The authors are both based in the United States, and thus use the term "tribal nations" and American Indians (Indigenous peoples in Canada refer to themselves as "First Nations"). – NSW


The Harper Government and Assembly of First Nations Politics

By Russell Diabo

On January 23-24 a Crown-First Nations Gathering (CFNG) was held between the Prime Minister and First Nations representatives.


The International Indigenous Movement for Self-Determination (Part I)

This article is Part 1 of a 2-part series. Part 2 can be found here.The authors are both based in the United States, and thus use the term "tribal nations" (Indigenous peoples in Canada refer to themselves as "First Nations") -- NSW

By Andrew Curley and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz


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