“We?re saying to Jim Prentice: ?You?ve done the right thing... and we will not block the rail line.? ”
Manitoba Chief Terry Nelson, the loudest among Aboriginal voices calling for blockades, does an about-face after receiving an additional 30 hectares for his reserve from the feds, demonstrating what kind of threats are necessary to win any land claims concessions.
Day of Action Events
The Mississaugas of New Credit First Nation host a march and gathering at the foot of Bathurst, Friday (June 29), 10:30 am.
Student groups march from King's College Circle to Queen's Park from noon to 5 pm, Friday (June 29).
Protestors pitch teepee at Queen?s Park
First Nations, Rainforest Action Network and Christian Peacemaker activists are sweating it out in an oversized teepee on the front lawn of Queen's Park on Monday, June 25. They're calling on the premier to start honouring clear-cutting and drilling moratoria declared by native groups in northern Ontario. The impromptu sit-in was part of the run-up to Friday's (June 29) National Day of Action.
"The government says it respects Aboriginal treaty rights, but on the other hand it continues to attack them," says John Cutfeet, band councillor for Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI), the First Nations group 600 kilometres north of Thunder Bay that's calling for a stop to platinum exploration by Platinex on their turf.
After a court-ordered stoppage, a judge ruled last week that Platinex can fire up its heavy machinery again as long as KI is kept in the loop, something Cutfeet says hasn't happened.
Meanwhile, members of the Grassy Narrows First Nation band continue to hold down the longest-running native blockade in Canadian history, with no let-up of logging on their territory in sight.
Cotton Ginny goes native
When Cotton Ginny announced right before National Aboriginal Day that it was coming out with a new line of native-inspired organic clothing called Milk-ology, we did a double take. Okay, so the First Nations woman modelling her Pow Wow pants and Insight Wisdom tank in the press kit looked pretty good in the funky milk-protein-based outfits, even if the feather headdress she's holding is milking native stereotypes just a tad. Considering there were no official native partners - Cotton Ginny's PR person says the designer "attended pow wows to gain a better understanding of traditions and symbols" - the whole thing smells a little like one giant act of cultural appropriation.
Aboriginal shell game
Just when you think you've got something to celebrate.... Last week the province created the first full-on ministry dedicated to Aboriginal Affairs that should finally have a bigger budget than the measly $28 million handed this year to the Aboriginal Secretariat. Well, don't go patting McGuinty on the back for following up on one of the Ipperwash inquiry's recommendations just yet. The ministry doesn't have its own minister. The pol who has been put in charge is none other than Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay. Can't blame native leaders for being peeved, since MNR more often than not represents interests that, shall we say, bulldoze Aboriginal land rights.