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NEWS: Chief Spence takes fight against C-45 to the United Nations

NEWS: Chief Spence takes fight against C-45 to the United Nations

By Brent Patterson, Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Chief Theresa Spence. Photo by Teresa Smith/ Ottawa Citizen

Chief Theresa Spence. Photo by Teresa Smith/ Ottawa Citizen

The Attawapiskat First Nation and the International Indian Treaty Council have sought the support of the United Nations to stop C-38 and C-45. They state that the Harper government failed in their Duty to Consult as guaranteed by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Canadian Constitution Act.

In their request for consideration under the Early Warning/ Urgent Action Procedures of UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), they argue in part that C-45 removed fish habitat protections and changed the Navigable Waters Protection Act to a new format called the Navigation Protection Act, removing protection for 99.9 per cent of lakes and rivers in Canada. They also note that, The Frog Lake First Nation and Mikisew Cree First Nation, through their respective Chiefs, launched judicial review cases in the Federal Court. They are challenging the passage of the Bills C-38 and C-45. However, this form of justice is slow and expensive and inaccessible for many other First Nations or Aboriginal peoples in Canada.

And they request that the UN make six recommendations to the Government of Canada including, That Canada, as an urgent matter, conduct a comprehensive review and meaningful consultation in regards to Bill C-38 and C-45 to ensure it is consistent with Section 35 of the Constitution Act (1982), and to repeal such aspects of Bills C-38 and 45 which violate the rights of Indigenous Peoples held pursuant to Treaty, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (in particular the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights and the recommendations of the CERD.

The United Nations CERD, which is based in Geneva, will consider their request on February 26.

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow has stated, The Harper government has dramatically undermined the safety, sovereignty and security of First Nations through the omnibus bills C-38 and C-45. The gutting of environmental protections is of particular concern to First Nations as many of the current and proposed new energy and mining projects now released from environmental oversight by the Harper government take place on Indigenous lands. These changes were made without consultation with First Nations, despite their court-recognized treaty rights. This also violates the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which guarantees free, prior and informed consent in any matter that touches on resource development on Aboriginal lands.

For more, please see:
Chief Theresa Spence and Attawapiskat First Nation file urgent action with UN committee
UPDATE: Chief Spence ends her hunger-strike, wins commitment to 13-point declaration
NEWS: Mikisew Cree First Nation and Frog Lake First Nation to challenge C-38 and C-45 in Federal Court
NEWS: Water protections lost under Harpers C-38 and C-45

Read the original story at the link below-


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Chief Theresa Spence Now in 9th Day of Hunger Strike

Chief Theresa Spence Now in 9th Day of Hunger Strike
“Not Well and is Weak”

Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges.


OTTAWA, CANADA – A source close to Chief Theresa Spence tell the Native News Network report that “she is not well and is weak” from the hunger strike she began on December 11.

Attawapiskat Chief Theresa SpenceAttawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence on Sunday
today is her 9th day of a hunger strike

Today marks the ninth day of her hunger strike.

Chief Spence of the Attawapiskat First Nation, based in northern Ontario, has vowed to die unless the government begins to show more respect for aboriginal treaties.

At issue is Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harpers push for sweeping legislation that in essence terminates many of the First Nations treaty rights throughout Canada. First Nations people have come out in strong opposition to Harper’s legislation known as Bill C-45.

Chief Spence is only drinking water twice a day – in the morning and evening. She spends most of her day in prayer. She has been living inside a teepee on Victoria Island on the Ottawa River, near Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city.

Access by the media has been limited due to the wishes of the elders surrounding Chief Spence who view her prolonged fasting sacred.

Others in Canada have begun hunger strikes in an effort to display solidarity with Chief Spence. 51-year old Raymond Robinson of Cross Lake First Nation and 72-year old Emil Bell of Cole Bay First Nation began hunger strikes earlier this week.

Protests have been going on in various locations in Canada to oppose Bill C-45 for the past two weeks.

Over 70 busloads of First Nations supporters from throughout Canada are heading to Ottawa to take part in a noon ceremony on Friday to show support of Chief Spence.

It is reported there have been closings at borders so that American Indians attempting to enter Canada from the United States to lend support of the First Nation people cannot do so.

Emelie Jeffries contributed to this story from New York.

posted December 19, 2012 10:20 am est


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Behind the Headlines: Why Chief Theresa Spence Is Hunger Striking

To read the original story go to http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/craig-and-marc-kielburger/theresa-spence-hunger-strike_b_2311944.html?utm_hp_ref=canada

In a unique take on daily news hits, Free The Children co-founders Craig and Marc Kielburger go behind the headlines to explore how the stories you read are connected to the causes you care about. You’ll never read the news in the same way again.

The headline that caught our attention: Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence begins hunger strike: “I am willing to die for my people.”

As we write, Chief Theresa Spence begins her sixth day without food. In the middle of a chilly December she’s making her stand in a tepee on Ottawa’s Victoria Island to secure a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

In the scale of protest, a hunger strike is about a Defcon Two. Anyone willing to put her own health — and life — at risk to make a point isn’t fooling around.

In October 2011, Attawapiskat First Nation declared a state of emergency. With temperatures plummeting, families lived in tents and uninsulated shacks without electricity, heat, clean water or sanitation.

More than a year later, 22 modular houses have been built, but according to Attawapiskat elder Danny Metatawabin there has been little other progress. He told us many families still live in overcrowded houses or unheated shacks, and the water from the taps is still undrinkable.

However, the story behind the headline is that Chief Spence’s hunger strike is not simply about the appalling conditions her people continue to face. Spence is one of many aboriginal leaders looking for a way to express her frustration with the Government of Canada passing laws that affect their lives and land, as well as violating treaty rights without involving them in any of the decision making.

Last January, 170 aboriginal chiefs and leaders sat down in Ottawa with Governor General David Johnston, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and 12 cabinet ministers to reset the relationship between First Nations and the federal government.

Shawn Atleo, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), tells us this Crown-First Nations Gathering was an historic event that gave Canadian aboriginal community leaders hope they might be entering a new era of cooperation and respect with the government.

Their hopes were bolstered after the conference when Prime Minster Harper said that “fundamental change requires that we redouble our collaboration with First Nations to develop the elements upon which our renewed relationship will be based.”

However in the months that have followed, Atleo says the government-aboriginal collaboration has not redoubled, it has retreated.

The AFN national chief points to a long list of legislation introduced by the government on issues like the financial management of aboriginal bands. While aboriginal groups support many of the principles behind these laws, such as accountability and transparency, Atleo says the laws were drafted without any prior consultation or consent from the aboriginal communities whose are directly impacted.

“These patterns of ‘government knows best’ harken back to the Indian Act 100 years ago, and to residential schools,” Atleo argues.

The latest legislative irritant is Bill C-45 — the government’s omnibus bill that lumps together a menagerie of legislation into one big package. C-45 includes changes to the Indian Act and the laws governing aboriginal fisheries. The Bill was introduced in October and just passed Third Reading this past week.

“Our government has been hard at work modernizing legislation in order to allow First Nations and aboriginal organizations to operate at the speed of business,” Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan said in a recent speech.

According to Atleo, the government’s actions actually violate constitutionally-entrenched aboriginal treaty rights, not to mention the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which repeatedly states that governments must obtain the “free, prior and informed consent” of aboriginal peoples before passing laws that affect their lives.”And consent doesn’t just mean a drive-by consultation,” says Atleo.

Aboriginal groups are also unhappy with the changes C-45 makes to the Navigable Waters Act. The Act provided protection against harmful development for all of Canada’s more than two million lakes and rivers by requiring environmental assessments. C-45 limits that protection to just 159 specific lakes and rivers. First Nations like Attawapiskat, which sits downriver of the Ring of Fire mining projects, worry the changes will bring even more development and environmental devastation to the waterways that are integral to their communities.

Atleo says more than 80,000 aboriginal people in Canada still need homes, 200 communities need schools, and more than 120 communities can’t drink the water from their taps. The only way to solve these problems, he argues, is for aboriginal leaders and government to collaborate as partners.

Speaking with Atleo and Metatawabin it’s impossible to miss the frustration as they look back on a year that started with so much promise. “It’s getting demoralizing,” says Metatawabin.

The AFN has launched a campaign called “Idle No More” that calls the federal government to”honour and fulfill Indigenous sovereignty which protects the land and water.” Demonstrations by aboriginals and supporters are springing up across Canada.

Spence, meanwhile, is avoiding interviews and rallies, conserving her energy while she waits for the Prime Minister to answer her call to come to the table.

Craig and Marc Kielburger are founders of international charity andeducational partner, Free The Children. Its youth empowerment event,We Day, is in eight cities across Canada this year, inspiring more than100,000 attendees. For more information, visit http://www.weday.com

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And the Fire Keepers Shall Lead Us

I was feeling overwhelmed with worry for all those facing danger in Canada, but this reminded me that crisis and opportunity come together in the I Ching and in life. We may face dangers but we are equal to it;my friends who are standing up to the immensely well armed and not-quite-sane colonial government are MORE powerful than it and it’s minions because they act from their hearts which are rooted in this Earth and in the generations before and those to come. The colonizer is rooted only in the ephemeral and unreal idea of “power over” of control thru violence, of taking, of profit-which only appears powerful.

I was raised with a spirituality of action, a spirituality that was deeply rooted in ties to the land, the ancestors and the coming generations and our responsibilities to act for them as well as ourselves. This article brought back a feeling of awe I always had as a child with the indigenous women activists, my Mom and friends, where I could see and feel the Goddess in them. These Mothers had, knew, and understood their connection to The Mother, to the Earth and the Grandmothers and I could *feel* it when they gathered to act.

Recalling that feeling was the counter, the anti-venom I needed against the fear of a repeat of Oka or worse. When so many like Lucia Rene pointed out that now is the return of the Goddess, of the Divine Feminine, I didn’t immediately make the connection that She is going to manifest THRU US and our actions.

When I read the end of this I actually felt chills run down my spine, and all the lingering fears evaporated.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Please Share…

And the Fire Keepers Shall Lead Us

This is about an epic moment in world history, begun with one small spark. If we are true, our generations
will thank us.

I understand the frustration many people feel regarding the Harper government’s antagonistic and destructive practices regarding the Indian Act, Environmental Protections and Treaty Relationships. I feel it, too.

But any substantial change won’t come from the government, it will come from those who elect the government.

If you are angry and demanding, or disruptive of the general public’s lives in a negative way, you have already lost.

Instead, reach out. Be patient and calm.

Find common ground.

We are all affected by these sweeping changes and that must be articulated clearly. In this, we are all allies.

Instead of demanding rights, work toward that which is right. The fairness and honouring of Treaties you seek will follow.

Involve your fellow Canadian, American, your fellow World Citizen. They are good. They are helpers. Don’t let the horrible and sometimes racist remarks in online comments sections cloud your vision. Most people are good people. That’s just the truth.

And they want to do good things, they just don’t always know how. They don’t want to tread where they are not welcome.

Help them feel welcome. Make friends. Be giving, forgiving and kind.

Anger hasn’t worked the past 100 years. All victories have been legal victories: talking things out.

Take a stand, join a rally, be heard.

But remember: to be respected, you must respect first.

Now, I know, that’s a tough pill to swallow for people who have faced disrespect in every corner. As if I don’t know. I’ve been detained, arrested, profiled, faced racism and prejudice too.

Don’t let life intimidate you from doing the right thing.

Always do the right thing. Even if you miss the mark, get back up and try.

The difference I see about these recent actions, about Idle No More, and Theresa Spence (who is on Day 6 of her hunger strike at the time I write this), and all the great women leaders who are taking the time to educate all of us is this:

It is the women who are standing up. It’s the women who are leading.

The Fire Keepers are rising.

They are reminding us of who we are, of what civilization and culture mean.

They are directing our energy in positive ways.

They are reminding us of the Great Law of Peace.

Follow their lead.

hai hai.


If you are wondering what happens Dec 21, 2012, it’s the start of a Global Awakening led by Canada’s Indigenous and all willing partners. A New World in the New World. The prophecy of the South meeting the Prophecy of the North.

The Eagle and the Condor.

The beginning of the 8th Fire.



Environmental Destruction Imminent – Harper government unloads a flurry of illegal and unconstitutional legislation [GROUNDED NEWS] 17.December.2012

the video site

via Grounded TV Network.

Environmental Destruction Imminent – Harper government unloads a flurry of illegal and unconstitutional legislation [GROUNDED NEWS] 17.December.2012

Native enbridge pipeline

photo by Ora Cogan


Prime Minister Stephen Harper has passed legislation to let China’s China National Offshore Oil Corporation buy to Nexen. This takeover deal among other things puts three to six billion barrels of tar sands oil in CNOOC’s hands, would create devastating global climate effects if CNOOC exploits Nexen’s reserves to their fullest extent.

Canada has also legally exited the Kyoto Protocol just today, as well as already removed the protection of over 2 million lakes and rivers – allowing tar sands development anywhere.

And the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) international treaty passed and can come into effect at any given moment without notice. CNOOC will be able to sue Canadian governments in tribunals if our governments do anything to counter its growing interests, including common sense environmental protections and job creation efforts. Keep in mind that more than 130 First Nations have signed the Save The Fraser Declaration banning Enbridge Pipeline in their territories.

And the most damaging piece of legislation is the omnibus Bill C-45, the Federal Government vacates jurisdiction over waters, parks, fisheries, etc – and no longer has the responsibility and duty to consult First Nations concerning land development as legally required in our Treaties. It also gives power to decide fate of individual First Nations – even in Treaty Territory.

These new bills (there are several more to come) legally strip us of our legally binding treaty rights, which the Canadian government has no legal jurisdiction to alter or change. Bill C-45 is an unconstitutional bill which illegally alters long standing treaties between our two sovereign nations, effectively ending them along with our sovereign nation status. Not only does this drastically affect First Nation’s people, it also directly affects all North Americans and future generations – causing irreparable damage to the environment and its inhabitants.

The Idle No More movement which protests these undemocratic changes has spread via social media, and has garnered around 80% sheer hatred toward us for ‘complaining about treaties and free money’ when we should be ‘working and paying taxes like everyone else’.

Even though we’ve tried to reason with some of these individuals by explaining the above information to them, most don’t change their views out of spite. So alerting the Canadian public to hopefully garner support to sway the bill is out of the question for us.

Bill C-45 receives Royal Assent on Monday, which could signal the last time I can email you anything regarding this (as it can be construed as illegal under the new FIPA treaty which can go in effect at any moment without notice, and my band could be sued and be forced to pay crippling fees for months).

I and my sovereign Nation are urgently asking for your help. We need your help to alert and inform the international community and bring in sanctions against the Harper government for these numerous illegal and unconstitutional attacks on our environment and sovereign nation… it’s our only hope to protect this great land and future generations.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” – Edmund Burke


Dallas Courchene



Dallas Courchene has been working toward creating positive social renewal for First Nation’s people and Canadian society for over 10 years.

His suggestions on how to create prosperity for and empower the First Nation’s people inspired US Congressman Dennis Kucinich to invite Dallas to sit beside him and speak at the 1st International Round Table Supporting Ancient Indigenous Knowledge event in the May of 2010. His ideas and efforts have led him to other influential people such as Mark Victor Hansen (co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series), Virgin Mobile founder Richard Branson, and presidents of social renewal agencies internationally – testament to the impact and effectiveness of his forward-thinking perspective.

Dallas continues to find innovative ways to create prosperity for his people, and looks to bring positive change within the fabric of society.


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What They Got Away With — Keith Secola — #IdleNoMore

Published on Dec 14, 2012

WHAT THEY GOT AWAY WITH by KEITH SECOLA from the album LIFE IS GRAND and the Rock Opera SEEDS. http://www.secola.com Thousands are marching across Canada under the banner #IdleNoMore. The mainstream media is not reporting this. These protests are in response to bill C-45 which not only violates treaty rights of Indigenous Peoples and threatens their way of life, it threatens all Canadians and the world community at large. It is time for a new way! #IdleNoMore (some protest images from other ongoing movements or historical events)