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Saturday, 24 September

21:00

Climate Justice Meets Racism: This Moment at Standing Rock Was Decades in the Making "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Attack dogs and waves of arrests by police in riot gear could look like isolated incidents of overreaction to the activism stemming from the Standing Rock reservation....

20:12

Trudeau’s pipeline remark puts focus on Pacific Northwest LNG project "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Natural Gas LNG ship

A liquid natural gas tanker in Australia.

$7B TransCanada pipeline would move natural gas to B.C. coast for export to Asia

By John Paul Tasker, CBC News, September 24, 2016

“The Great Bear rainforest is no place for a crude oil pipeline and I haven’t changed my opinion on that.”

That was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s specific response to a question this week about the proposed Enbridge-backed Northern Gateway pipeline through B.C.’s north.

In opposition, his comments about pipelines moving through this part of the province were less precise. Trudeau did not include the words “crude oil” in earlier declarations, as he did twice on Tuesday.

prince-rupert-gas-transmission-mapThat phrase would suggest Trudeau isn’t necessarily opposed to all pipelines through the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world, just those carrying diluted bitumen from the oilsands.

Trudeau’s cabinet is facing an Oct. 2 deadline to make a decision on another proposed pipeline in the sensitive region, the Pacific Northwest project natural gas pipeline.

That proposed $7-billion pipeline, which will be built, owned and run by TransCanada, will move natural gas from Fort Saint John near the Alberta border — partially through the same Great Bear rainforest as Northern Gateway — to Port Edward on the coast, to be liquefied for export to Asia.

B.C. Premier Christy Clark has a lot riding on approval of the project, which she has called “the largest private-sector investment ever in Canadian history,” promising 4,500 construction jobs and 330 operational jobs. Federal support for her preferred pipeline could give her an incentive to support Kinder Morgan’s expansion of the Trans Mountain crude pipeline, and allay concerns she has raised about financial benefits for B.C.

The deadline also comes amid mounting pressure from the opposition Conservatives to help the struggling energy sector.

MP Jason Kenney, who is departing Ottawa to take a run at Alberta politics, neatly summed up the grievances Conservatives have with the Liberal approach to pipeline politics in the House this week.

“Tens of thousands of Canadian energy workers have lost their jobs. Our economy is losing billions of dollars in wealth because we can’t get our oil to markets. And the Liberals have responded by rolling over on Keystone XL’s veto, shutting down the Northern Gateway pipeline with their tanker ban, adding a politicized delay to the approved Trans Mountain pipeline and letting Liberals like Denis Coderre attack Energy East without a response,” he said in question period.

prince-rupert-gas-transmission-timeline“Enough is enough. When will this government stand up for energy workers, for Canadian jobs, and the Canadian economy?”

Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr shot back with “enough is enough of 10 years of failed policies that didn’t have one kilometre of pipeline taken to t...

18:50

United Nation Experts Validate Standing Rock Sioux Opposition To Dakota Access Pipeline "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

nodapl2“The UN Expert got it right,” said Tom Goldtooth, the Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network. “What the US calls consultation is not consultation but a statement telling people what they’re doing after millions of dollars have been invested, painting Indigenous Peoples as spoilers. The right of free, prior and informed consent begins prior to the planning process, not when their bulldozers are at your doorstep.”

16:24

Indigenous Still Fighting to Protect ‘Living Forests’ and Way of Life "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, says that despite the...

03:49

Dictionary.com Drops 'Magic' From Its Definition of 'Powwow' "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

In March, Dictionary.com came under fire for its definition of “powwow” after ...

Federal Agencies Seek Input on Infrastructure Decision Making Following DAPL "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Two weeks after a joint announcement by the Departments of Justice, of the Army, and of the Interior called for the hal...

Sacred Burial Ground Sold to Dakota Access "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Cannonball Ranch in North Dakota has been sold to Dakota Access LLC....

Friday, 23 September

22:11

Coeur d’Alene Historian, World War II Vet Walks On "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Felix Aripa, a Coeur d’Alene tribal elder, walked on September 16 at the age of 93....

Archaeological Experts Appalled at DAPL Sacred Site Destruction: 1,281 Sign Petition "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II expressed a mix of gratitude and sorrow on Thursday upon learning that nearly 1,300 archaeologists and museum representatives h...

How Did I Miss That? Plastic Soup in the Pacific; Expensive Johns in N.C. "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Slate reported that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has been grossly exaggerated in that most of the plastic detritus i...

21:44

AFA Helsingborg: Solidaritet från Sverige till Finland – Antifascistisk Aktion "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

AFA Helsingborg: Solidaritet från Sverige till Finland – Antifascistisk Aktion - Vi har nåtts av den tragiska nyheten att nazister återigen använt dödligt våld mot antifascister.

Den 10 september arrangerade NMR ett torgmöte i Helsingfors.
Personer som protesterade mot nazisterna konfronterades och en person misshandlades brutalt. Personen som misshandlades hette Jimi Joonas Karttunen och fördes till sjukhus med skallskador vilket resulterade i att han avled sex dagar senare, fredagen den 16 september.

Nazisterna kallar dödsmisshandeln för en tillrättavisning.

Vi vet att varje gång nazister tillåts agera på gatan är rasifierade, HBTQ personer, socialister, muslimer, judar, romer och antifascister måltavlor för det nazistiska våldet.
Därför måste vi slå undan benen på den högerextrema rörelsen. Antifascism är alltid självförsvar.

Vi vill därför skicka vår djupaste solidaritet till anhöriga och till den antifascistiska rörelsen i Finland.

Kämpa tillsammans mot rasism, sexism, kapitalism och homofobi!
--

AFA Helsingborg: Solidarity from Sweden to Finland We have been reached by the tragic news that the Nazis again used lethal force against anti-fascists. On September 10 NMR arranged a square meeting in Helsinki. People protesting against the Nazis confronted and one person was brutally beaten. The person assaulted was named Jimi Joonas Karttunen and taken to hospital with head injuries which resulted in his death six days later, on Friday 16 September. The Nazis called the beating death of a rebuke. We know that every time the Nazis allowed to act on the street is racialized, LGBT people, socialists, Muslims, Jews, Roma and anti-fascists targets of Nazi violence. Therefore, we must turn away legs of the right-wing movement. Anti-fascism is always self-defense. We therefore send our deepest solidarity to the families and to the anti-fascist movement in Finland. Fight together against racism, sexism, capitalism and homophobia!
--

20:53

Audit identifies $2.1M in ‘unexplained payments’ to Alexander First Nation former chief and staff "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

herbert-arcand

Auditors found past chief Herbert Arcand received $405,119 in unexplained payments, in addition to his salary. (Supplied)

‘It’s a one-sided report to me,’ former chief Herbert Arcand says

By Andrea Huncar, CBC News, September 23, 2016

A “forensic investigation” has identified $2.1 million in “unexplained payments” to a former chief of the Alexander First Nation and seven administrative staff, according to a leaked internal document.

The document says about half of the unexplained amounts, totalling more than $1 million, were paid to former chief Herbert Arcand and current tribal chief administrator Alphonse Arcand.

But both of them dismiss the report’s findings, arguing all the proper documents weren’t submitted to the auditors.

“I dispute this whole report,” Herbert Arcand told CBC in an interview Thursday. “It’s a one-sided report to me. It was a personal attack on certain individuals.”

Those findings are contained in a 49-page report prepared for a powerpoint presentation titled Forensic Investigation: Presentation to Band Membership, which was provided to CBC News. It summarizes an audit conducted earlier this year by accounting firm Meyers Norris Penny.

Auditors scrutinized the financial activities of the former chief and seven administrative staff between 2013 and 2015. The “detailed findings” were presented to the existing band council  on Aug. 4.

Loretta Burnstick, the band’s former interim chief financial officer, said she helped launch the investigation after noticing questionable financial activity.

“It was obvious to many members in the community for years,” said Burnstick. “We did not have the physical proof until this forensic investigation took place to prove it was happening.”

Between 2013 to 2015, the document says Herbert Arcand received $405,119 in unexplained payments, in addition to his “expected salary” of $186,666.

As part of the unexplained amount, a band credit card in his name was used to take out a total of $91,156 at casinos and book an all inclusive-vacation for two relatives at a five-star Jamaican resort then paid off by Alexander First Nation, auditors say.

Payments for ‘extra duties’

According to the document, Alphonse Arcand received $637,920 in unexplained payments, in addition to his expected salary of $280,000. He collected two sums authorized by himself, including $16,462 for “extra duties” plus salary advances of $11,500, yet to be paid back, according to the auditors.

Auditors also say the band made payments to Alphonse Arcand’s personal credit card in 2013 totalling $349,878.

The report cites a variety of examples of inflated salaries, bonuses and expenses amongst the group.

Burnstick, now a finance clerk on stress leave, is one of several people distributing the document to community members. That’s because “they have a right to know where their money is being spent,” she said.

“Our concern is it would have been buried,” she said, adding the distribution of the audit summary is being done at the request of her brother and current Chief Kurt Burnstick.

Chief Burnstick is facing three sexual assault charges and pressure to resign from the community, in Sturgeon County just northwest of Edmonton. But he insists he is innocent and refuses t...

20:49

Boy, 12, arrested in Shamattawa fire, but younger kids can’t be charged, police say "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

shamattawa-fire-1Blaze destroyed only grocery store and crippled services in isolated Manitoba community

CBC News, September 23, 2016

A 12-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with a fire that destroyed the only grocery store and the band office in the remote northern Manitoba community of Shamattawa and crippled some of its essential services.

The boy was one of six children who RCMP believe were involved in setting the blaze on Thursday afternoon. The other five children are under 12 and cannot be charged.

A state of emergency was declared in Shamattawa after the fire razed the Northern Store and the band office and damaged the community’s radio station and 911 service.

“It’s very tragic,” Shamattawa Chief Jeffrey Napaokesik told CBC News after RCMP announced the arrest on Friday.

There is no road access to Shamattawa. All food and supplies must be flown into the isolated community, which is about 745 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.

RCMP say officers from the Shamattawa detachment were called to a fire at the band office around 4 p.m. CT. By the time they arrived, the building — which housed both the band office and the store — was in flames.

Police officers and firefighters battled the blaze as it burned through the night, causing extensive damage to the building, police said in a release Friday.

Napaokesik said people were out of the band office to attend a funeral in the community when the fire was started.

“I suppose a kid slipped into the office, and we’re told that [the child] set one of the sofa chairs on fire,” he said.

“By the time anyone knew, there was smoke in the building and everybody evacuated.”

The 12-year-old has been released on a promise to appear in court. An RCMP spokesperson said the boy will be charged when he makes his first court appearance.

shamattawa-fire-2RCMP say the other five children who they believe were involved in starting the fire cannot be charged because the Youth Criminal Justice Act has set 12 as the minimum age of criminal responsibility. Police could not say how old the children were, except they were all under the age of 12.

Investigators with Manitoba’s Office of the Fire Commissioner is heading to the community on Friday.

Napaokesik said there have been a number of fires in Shamattawa in recent months, and he’s searching for answers about what happened in this case.

“I don’t have an answer for that one. We can only blame ourselves for not keeping things safe and, you know, patrolling the area and things of that nature,” he said.

Food, supplies being flown up

The Canadian Red Cross, which is providing assistance to Shamattawa on behalf of the federal government, loaded a shipment of water, food, infant formula and other supplies onto a Perimeter Aviation flight bound for the community on Friday afternoon.

The Winnipeg-based North West Company, which owns the Northern Store, says it is also sending pallets of food to Shamattawa, working with the Red Cross to co-ordinate flights.

“We’ll be delivering a shipment by air into the community that should arrive this afternoon and that will include staple food products … water, infant formula, some fruit and vegetables,” Derek Reimer, the North West Company’s director of business development, said Friday morning.

“We are looking at ab...

19:28

WHEN WE WERE ALONE by David Alexander Robertson and Julie Flett "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

When We Were Alone is one of those books that brought forth a lot of emotion as I read it. There were sighs of sadness for what Native people experienced at boarding schools, and sighs of--I don't know, love, maybe--for our perseverance through it all.


Written by David Alexander Robertson and illustrated by Julie Flett, When We Were Alone will be released in January of 2017 from Highwater Press. I read the ARC and can't wait to hold the final copy of this story, of a young children asking her grandmother a series of questions, in my hands.

The story is meant for young children, though of course, readers of any age can--and should--read it.

It opens with the little girl saying:
Today I helped my kókom in her flower garden. She always wears colourful clothes. It's like she dresses in rainbows. When she bent down to prune some of the flowers, I couldn't even see her because she blended in with them. She was like a chameleon. 
"Nókom, why do you wear so many colours?" I asked. 
That child, wondering about something and then asking that "why" question is the format for the story. To this first question, her grandmother says that she had to go to school, far away, and that all the children had to wear the same colors. They couldn't wear the colourful clothes they did before they went to that school. Here's Julie Flett's illustration of the children, at school. I can't look at this illustration without my heart twisting:



Twisting at the expressions on their faces and wondering what they felt, and then I feel a different kind of emotion as I read the next page and look at the next illustration, because the grandma tells the child what they did to be colourful again. They rolled in the leaves, when they were alone:


There's a page about why she wears her hair so long, now, and why she speaks Cree, now. And, a page about being with family. Each one evokes the same thing. Tenderness. And a quiet joy at the power of the human spirit, to survive and persevere in the face of horrific treatment--in this case--by the Canadian government.

Stories of life at residential or boarding school are ones that Native people in the US and Canada tell each other. In Canada, because of the Truth and Reconciliation project, there's an effort to get these stories...

18:35

Child-Abuse Death Pinned to School Failures, Lawsuit Claims "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

The estate of a 5-year-old Hoh Tribe boy is suing the Washington Department of Social and Health Services and the River...

12:56

Two killed in violent eviction from 'shoot on sight' national park "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Two people were killed during the evictions on the edge of Kaziranga.
© The Wire

Two people were killed and about 20 injured this week during a brutal eviction from India’s notorious shoot-on sight Kaziranga National Park. The eviction of three villages, carried out in the name of conservation, involved 1000 security personnel, along with elephants and bulldozers to destroy hundreds of houses, a government-built school and a mosque.

Disturbing scenes of the evictions can be seen here.

The families being evicted were from a non-tribal Muslim community, which had been established at the edge of the National Park for decades. This area has more recently been added as an extension to the park. The Guwahati High Court ordered the eviction, in October 2015, citing the needs of wildlife and stating: "There should be no human habitation.”

No compensation had been given before the eviction, nor were the families provided with any alternative shelter. The state government has promised to provide compensation within 40 days, but many are skeptical that this will ever materialize. They question why it’s being offered after the eviction rather than before.

Rafiq Ali, a community leader in Banderdubi village said: “We have been residing in this area for decades, and all of a sudden the government told us to vacate… The security forces fired at us.”

Akash Orang, a tribal boy, was shot by a park guard in Kaziranga National Park, Assam, India
© JEEPAL

Tribal peoples in the area face arrest and beatings, torture and even death. A number of indigenous and tribal villages have also been given eviction orders by the same court. More than 600 tribal families in these villages fear that such brutal methods will also be used against them. No date has yet been set for these evictions, but a local contact told Survival: “Everyone is very frightened.”

Many of the people living in these villages have already been evicted from the park before, some multiple times as the park boundaries have expanded. Once again they find their home has been declared part of a protected area and told they have no choice but to leave. This violates Indian and international law, which clearly state that tribal peoples can only be relocated from their land with their free and informed consent.

The big conservation organizations are guilty of supporting this. They never speak out against evictions. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) even offers commercial...

01:58

First Nations across North America sign treaty alliance against the oilsands "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

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