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Land Acknowledgements

SeaSea EarthPosts: 2,328

Land Acknowledgements
News October 7 2020

We are honored to live and gather on the ancestral homelands of the Coast Salish peoples, in what is called Seattle, WA. We take this opportunity to express our gratitude and to thank the original and current stewards of this land.


Pearl Jam is committed to addressing issues of homelessness, systemic racism, historic inaccuracies and the other issues impacting the health and well-being of all first inhabitants. Acknowledging whose land we sit on is a step in honoring the original occupants of this place and also reminds us of their experiences and our responsibility to take meaningful action. 


You can learn more about the history of where you live at Native Land Digital


Photo courtesy of the Burke Museum.


  • JimmyVJimmyV Boston's MetroWestPosts: 14,796
    This is very cool. Thanks for sharing. 

    "...I changed by not changing at all..."
  • tishtish Posts: 2,698
    edited October 12
    I'd say thank-you in Ktunaxa, but I literally can't find the words.

    Marcé (Michif)
    Limləmt (Nsyilxən - land acknowledgement by using the traditional language from the unceded territory upon which I occupy.)

    Edit: This message is political lip service. We have all heard Ed greet others in Spanish and other languages when he travels, which is respectful. But how many of you have heard him give a land acknowledgement in Indigenous languages?

    I call bullshit. 
    Post edited by tish on
  • MikusxkmMikusxkm Posts: 30
    Tish, I call RUDE. Don’t you think that the state of our country is becoming more and more divided, disrespectful and hateful? It’s because some people go to the first, only possible answer to anything is at the very least negative. Perhaps during their covid vacation they have chosen new ways to give back. This particular band is very generous and it makes me sad that they make people aware of one of their causes and people have to be rude and negative. I really wish people could look for the good first, not the bad. 
  • JimmyVJimmyV Boston's MetroWestPosts: 14,796
    tish said:
    I'd say thank-you in Ktunaxa, but I literally can't find the words.

    Marcé (Michif)
    Limləmt (Nsyilxən - land acknowledgement by using the traditional language from the unceded territory upon which I occupy.)

    Edit: This message is political lip service. We have all heard Ed greet others in Spanish and other languages when he travels, which is respectful. But how many of you have heard him give a land acknowledgement in Indigenous languages?

    I call bullshit. 
    You "literally can't find the words" but Ed is supposed to? And that he hasn't is "bullshit?" People are so strange. 

    "...I changed by not changing at all..."
  • sheri zonasheri zona Makai SidePosts: 350
    If you’re concerned Ed never addressed people in their own language about their land, look up Hawaii ‘78 and the awesome performance the guys gave in Hawaii, a place Ed calls home sometimes, in their own language. I swear, you can give and give and give and someone will always still find a way to bitch about it.
    in an underwater nation...near chinamans hat
  • Showbiz78Showbiz78 Posts: 28
    I applaud the effort from the band here. It is a very progressive concept - to acknowledge the indigenous people who originally occupied the land where you currently live/meet/etc. Just like they were offsetting their carbon before most, you’ll start to see others doing land acknowledgements in the near future. Vedder-Cameron 2024!
  • tishtish Posts: 2,698
    edited October 15
    Vehicle torched, lobster pounds storing Mi'kmaw catches trashed during night of unrest in N.S.

    Crates of lobster dumped on ground after hundreds descend on 2 facilities

    Taryn Grant · CBC News · Posted: Oct 14, 2020 7:14 

    WATCH: Video shows piles of lobster strewn over the ground outside N.S. lobster pound

    On Tuesday night, a mob burned and vandalized vehicles outside a lobster pound in Southwest Nova Scotia. 

    The ongoing tensions surrounding the First Nations lobster harvest in southwest Nova Scotia erupted Tuesday night when several hundred commercial fishermen and their supporters raided two facilities where Mi'kmaw fishermen were storing their catches.

    Indigenous leaders are condemning the actions as racist hate crimes and calling for the RCMP to step up their response. 

    Commercial fishermen began gathering Tuesday afternoon in Digby County and made their way to a lobster pound in New Edinburgh, where, by nightfall, a van was set ablaze, lobsters were stolen and the facility was damaged. 

    A similar raid also took place in Middle West Pubnico, in the neighbouring county of Yarmouth, where Mi'kmaw fisherman Jason Marr was forced to barricade himself inside a lobster pound while outside a mob vandalized his vehicle and called for him to relinquish the lobster he had harvested from the waters of St. Marys Bay.

    WATCH | Fishing dispute heats up in N.S.:

    Dispute between commercial fishermen and Mi'kmaw fishers heats up in N.S.

    13 hours ago

    For a second day, commercial fishermen have surrounded a lobster pound near Digby that holds lobster harvested by members of the Sipekne'katik band, as tensions continue to rise between the groups. The CBC's Paul Withers reports. 3:09

    By morning, hundreds of dead lobster were strewn across the pavement outside the pound, and confrontations continued on the ground throughout the day.

    The two raids come after weeks of unrest in the province's southwest, sparked by the launch of a "moderate livelihood" lobster fishery by the Sipekne'katik band outside the federally mandated commercial season 

    Just last week, a Mi'kmaw fishing vessel was destroyed in a suspicious fire at a wharf in the community of Comeauville.

    Marr said he had just returned from lobster fishing with his two daughters on Tuesday evening when he heard that a group of commercial fishermen were threatening to burn his boat and destroy his lobster.

    "So I decided that it wasn't a good idea to keep them there, and I loaded up my van and called a friend of mine and he told me he had somewhere I could store them for a while," Marr told CBC's Information Morning on Wednesday.

    Marr said he believes he was followed to the Yarmouth County lobster pound, where he took his catch, and the facility was soon surrounded by hundreds of people.

    "They said they were coming in to take the lobster," Marr said. "They told us they were going to come in at midnight and burn us out, screaming a lot of different profanities at us."

    A van belonging to a Mi'kmaw fisherman was set ablaze Tuesday night in New Edinburgh, N.S., during violent protests. (Riley Howe/Facebook)

    Footage shared online

    Marr captured about an hour of video footage of his time barricaded inside. At one point, he briefly steps out an entrance that appears to be guarded by several RCMP officers, who tell him to go back inside.

    Several other videos were shared on social media overnight, including one of a white van burning in New Edinburgh and being extinguished by an RCMP officer.

    Marr said his vehicle was also destroyed.

    "They slashed the tires. I watched one guy pee in the driver's seat of my truck. Another guy poured a jug of some antifreeze or something down inside my gas tank. Another guy poured a jug of something down the vents in the heaters of my truck."

    Marr said that eventually, the RCMP took him by the arm and forced him to leave the building, and he stood outside and watched as the mob broke windows and carried out lobster in crates.

    "They totally annihilated that building, just tore it all apart. They took all the lobster," he said.

    Sipekne'katik First Nation Chief Mike Sack says the lobsters are not his band's property and that the facilities that were raided buy and store from commercial fishermen and Mi'kmaw fishermen alike. (CBC)

    Video shared Wednesday morning shows piles of banded lobster scattered on the ground outside the lobster pound.

    Social media posts being circulated by people defending the raid said egg-bearing female lobsters, which are not supposed to be harvested, and dozens of crates of frozen dead lobster were removed because they demonstrate poor fishing practices on the part of the Mi'kmaw fishermen.

    But Sipekne'katik Chief Mike Sack said those lobsters are not his band's property and that the facilities that were raided buy and store from commercial fishermen and Mi'kmaw fishermen alike. 

    "That product is not ours at all. And all along the way [the commercial fishermen] have been trying to plant on our people, make it look like we're the ones that are hurting the species," Sack told reporters on Wednesday.

    Brendon Coulstring, who works at the facility in Middle West Pubnico, said he was the one who let Carr into the lobster pound Tuesday night and was there to witness the ensuing clash.

    He echoed Sack, saying the dead lobster did not actually belong to the Mi'kmaw fishermen. He said it's common practice for workers at the plant to freeze lobster from the commercial fishery that are found to be weak or dead and sell them for fertilizer or other uses that don't involve human consumption.

    "All the lobsters in there right now are commercial fishermen's dead lobsters from the season that they're trying to blame on the Natives and saying that the Natives put them in there and they didn't," Coulstring said.

    He said he has tried to stay neutral in the ongoing dispute over the lobster fishery, but after Tuesday night, he said he "can't ever go on the fishermen side whatsoever."

    "The way that they acted, that was not a peaceful protest. That was an angry mob trying to burn our building down and trying to ruin it. They ruined our building. They cut the power in the building so that the lobsters in the tank wouldn't get air and they didn't get air for about two hours."

    RCMP response under scrutiny

    Coulstring and Marr were critical of the RCMP response on Tuesday night. Coulstring said officers didn't respond for two hours after being called, and Marr said that as the mob threw rocks through windows and removed crates of lobster, "not one RCMP even tried to stop them."

    Sack also said the RCMP response was insufficient, and he's waiting for charges to be laid against the instigators of the raids.

    The police "are not doing their job well at all at the moment," Sack said.

    RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Andrew Joyce said no arrests had been made as of Wednesday afternoon but that officers did witness criminal activity and investigative teams were being assembled.

    Responding to the criticism leveled against the RCMP response on Tuesday, Joyce said he did not think it was fair to say that officers did nothing.

    "We were there to keep the peace and keep everyone involved as safe as possible in the situation," he told CBC News in an interview.

    "We live in a country that is so great people can criticize the police for their actions or what they see as their inactions."

    Joyce said officers counted about 200 people at each lobster pound, and while he did not know the identities of everyone involved, he suspected there were some people who participated at both locations.

    There were also civil, thoughtful conversations between both sides on Wednesday, such as when Chief Mike Sack spoke with a non-Indigenous fisherman in a video posted online.

    Joel Comeau, the non-Indigenous fisherman in the video, suggested both sides work together to come up with a better framework, which they would then take to the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans for approval.

    National leaders respond

    Perry Bellegarde, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said in a statement that it's time for the RCMP, as well as federal and provincial governments, to intervene in Nova Scotia's fishery dispute "before someone gets badly injured or, possibly, killed."

    "This has never been a commercial disagreement, and the actions of the non-Indigenous fishers are meant to harass and intimidate the First Nations with whom they share the waters and the resources within them."

    Bellegarde referred to the 21-year-old Supreme Court of Canada ruling known as the Marshall decision, which affirmed the Mi'kmaw right to operate a moderate livelihood fishery.

    The court later said the federal government could regulate the Mi'kmaw fishery but must justify any restrictions it placed on it. No such restrictions have been defined in the intervening years, and Mi'kmaw fishermen in Nova Scotia continue to call for the federal government to define and protect their treaty right.

    Meanwhile, commercial fishermen take issue with the Mi'kmaw fishery because it operates outside their fishing season, which doesn't start until November. They claim harvesting earlier than that is a threat to the fishery's sustainability.

    Colin Sproul, president of the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen's Association, said commercial fishermen's concerns about conservation are not being recognized and that what's been happening in southwest Nova Scotia this week is the result of that lack of recognition — as well as the federal government's failure to define a moderate livelihood fishery in the years since the Marshall decision.

    Perry Bellegarde, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said in a statement, 'This has never been a commercial disagreement, and the actions of the non-Indigenous fishers are meant to harass and intimidate the First Nations with whom they share the waters and the resources within them.' (CBC)

    Still, he said he did not condone the actions taken Tuesday night. He said it was not organized by any of the fishing associations in the area.

    His message for commercial fishermen in the area was, "This is not the way."

    "I want to encourage you to go back to Meteghan wharf or to go home," he told CBC's Mainstreet, referring to the wharf where commercial fishermen have been consolidating their fleet to avoid clashes with Mi'kmaw fishermen.

    "Please go home before someone gets hurt or somebody's life gets ruined," Sproul said.

    Federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan said in a statement that she was "appalled by the reported events" and that she condemned the destruction of property, violence and threats. 

    "There is no place for this kind of violence or intimidation," Jordan said.

    Commercial fishermen have been demanding that the federal government stop the Mi'kmaw from harvesting and selling lobster outside the commercial season. (Paul Withers/CBC)

    "Our government is seized with the issue, and we will continue to work with both First Nations and industry leadership to find a path forward. Our conversations to date have been positive, and we must ensure they continue that way."

    But, she said, "progress cannot be made if individuals resort to violence."

    The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaw Chiefs called for immediate action from the federal and provincial governments as well as the RCMP.

    In a statement Wednesday evening, the Assembly said they must put a stop to the "unlawful actions" being taken against Mi'kmaw fishers in southwest N.S.

    "Lives are being put at risk," Chief Terrance Paul, co-chair and fisheries lead for the Assembly, said in the release.

    "The inactions of the government and RCMP are only providing for more opportunities for people to be injured, or possibly worse."

    A woman wears a face mask honouring the Treaty of 1752 as members of the Sipekne'katik First Nation and others attend a ceremony on the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., to bless the fleet before it launched its own self-regulated fishery on Sept. 17. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

    The Assembly has been pushing for the federal government to intervene in the waters and on the shores in the Digby area since the moderate livelihood fishery was launched in September.

    They said frustrations have reached an "all-time high" due to the lack of action from the RCMP and governments, and the Assembly is "angered that their delay is only escalating the situation further."

    Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil has repeatedly said it's up to Ottawa to settle the lobster fishing dispute, and he did so again on Wednesday when answering questions from reporters after a COVID-19 briefing.

    "I recognize the anxiety that each of you may be feeling, when it comes to the way that you create a livelihood for you and your families — all the more reason why DFO needs to have a meeting with both sides."

    Post edited by tish on
  • tishtish Posts: 2,698

    An Innu teen died in care. Now a fired social worker is speaking out

    Caution: This story deals with subject matter that may be difficult for some readers

    Posted: Oct 14, 2020 7:00 AM NT | Last Updated: October 14
    Wally Rich, a 15-year-old from Natuashish, took his own life in a Labrador group home in May. (Submitted by Innu Nation)

    The system failed an Innu teen who died by suicide while under provincial care this year, and changes are needed, according to the social worker who oversaw his file.

    In May, Wally Rich, 15, of Natuashish died in a Labrador group home.

    Wally was one of 165 Innu children under the care of the Newfoundland and Labrador government, and one of the disproportionate number of Indigenous children in care. His death is also just one case in the suicide crisis Innu youth are facing. 

    Linda Saunders, who was fired from the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development (CSSD) in the aftermath of Wally's death, says the department fell down on the job. 

    "It's the people that we're supposed to protect [who] are the victims at the end of the day, because we're not doing our job," Saunders said.

    "We're supposed to be there — the most vulnerable people in society, we're supposed to be there to help. And really, at the end of the day, if we see one person gone, that's one too many."

    About one-third of the children in care are from Innu or Inuit communities. 

    Source: Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, as of March

    After months of education leave to pursue a master's degree in theology, Saunders — who had been a social worker for six years — says she was asked to return to work in mid-April. That was earlier than planned, and near the height of the coronavirus pandemic in the province.

    Upon her return, Saunders described staffing as half of what it should be. She said there was a high rate of stress, lack of support and high turnover among social workers in Labrador, with at least four quitting before she returned to work. 

    She said she was carrying a caseload of more than 40 files, more than double the usual number of 20.

    "That was another big concern for me," Saunders said. 

    Linda Saunders calls her firing from the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development a Band-Aid solution over a bigger problem. (Gary Locke/CBC)

    Saunders also says she was encouraged to work from home during the pandemic, but didn't have access to a work phone or one of the 162 laptops the department deployed to staff. She says she split her days between working from home and her Happy Valley-Goose Bay office. Working from home minimized what she could do, she said.

    "I didn't have access to government files or anything like that."

    In a statement to CBC News, the department said social workers restricted in-person visits with children and families to urgent matters and high-risk cases during the pandemic. 

    Saunders says because of that, she had no in-person contact with her client, Wally Rich, and only two short telephone calls with the teen.

    "I had no contact, physical contact, no face-to-face contact," Saunders said.

    "In the past, I would always go to homes, do visits. Obviously that wasn't permitted … We had to stay away from people unless it was something that was advised to do."

    The first incident

    Over the Victoria Day weekend, on May 17, there was an incident involving Wally at the group home.

    Saunders says the RCMP, group home, and CSSD's on-call staff were involved, but no one from the department had an in-person visit with Wally afterward.

    In fact, Saunders says she didn't find out about the incident until two days later, when she returned to work after the long weekend and received a report.

    "A supervisor for the department and a social worker for the department was on call on the 17th and nobody contacted me," she said. 

    "Nobody made any arrangements to ensure that situation was controlled." 

    Etienne Rich, grand chief of the Innu Nation, says Wally's death highlights the need for an inquiry into Innu children in care. He says the child protection system in Labrador is broken and dysfunctional. (Mark Quinn/CBC)

    After receiving the incident report, she says, she had questions and tried to seek direction from her supervisor or zone manager about how to proceed, since only urgent face-to-face meetings with clients were allowed.

    "That supervisor wasn't available, so because of the heavy workload that was expected of me, I had to prepare affidavits for court, which was very, very new for me," she said. 

    "What next steps needed to happen, if anything? You know, was this person monitored 24/7? Is that my call? Or was it the supervisor and social worker that was on call at that time?"

    Days later, on May 22, Wally died by suicide. 

    Saunders felt set up to fail, scapegoated

    Saunders was out for a walk after work that Friday when her phone rang. It was her supervisor, notifying her about the teen's death. 

    Another social worker picked her up and brought her to the group home, where she says she provided support to other workers, using her new training in theology.

    "Everybody was kind of confused and in shock and really didn't know how to deal with the situation," Saunders said.

    Days later, she was asked to take some time off and turn in her keys to the office, as an investigation into Wally's death began. She says she was fired June 29.

    Wally Rich, an Innu teen from Natuashish, had been in care for about a decade, according to his mother. In last month's provincial budget, $1 million was earmarked for an inquiry into Innu children in care. (Submitted by Nympha Rich)

    In a letter dismissing Saunders from her job, the department said Saunders failed to make an independent clinical evaluation of the information presented to her and failed to act.

    Saunders says she feels like she was set up to fail, and scapegoated.

    "They needed to do a Band-Aid solution over a bigger, bigger problem," she said.

    Saunders has since moved out of the province, and her union is going through arbitration on her dismissal.

    Province reacts

    Lisa Dempster was the minister of children, seniors and social development when Wally died. She has since been shuffled into a new portfolio, as part of a sweeping series of cabinet changes after the new premier took office.

    During an interview in late July, while still in charge of the department, Dempster told CBC News she can't reveal specifics about Wally's death, or even confirm if he was in the province's care.

    She said the child and youth advocate and chief medical examiner are notified when a child in the province's care dies. A human resource and file review begins, and there's an investigation into why the child was in care.

    "Should a child lose their life, I will leave no stone unturned to get to the bottom of why that happened," said Dempster.

    She acknowledged challenges recruiting and retaining social workers in rural areas, and said 45 out of 57 social worker positions in Labrador were filled, leaving 12 vacant.

    Asked about Linda Saunders's allegations about feeling set up to fail — with a heavy caseload, and a lack of work equipment — Dempster said, "When I hear things like that, that is very concerning."

    Lisa Dempster was the minister in charge of child protection at the time of Wally Rich's death. (John Pike/CBC)

    Dempster noted the province declared its first-ever public health emergency in March, which led to a period of transition throughout the government.

    As of June, 80 per cent of social workers had a laptop, according to the department. The remaining 20 per cent had access at their office, or were combining work from home with time at the office.

    "Did every employee have what they needed at the beginning?" Dempster said. "I would hesitate to say yes to that, because no, they may not have."

    But Dempster said the department was meeting caseload targets of 20 per social worker. She also said it shouldn't be difficult for social workers to meet with their supervisors because each has only six subordinates.

    "You talked about a death of a child in care," Dempster said.

    "There has to be a level of accountability as well. We are hiring professionals to do very important work."

    The new minister in charge of the child protection system, Brian Warr, declined followup interview requests. Officials in the department said they had nothing to add to Dempster's comments.

    'A dysfunctional system'

    It's been nearly five months since Wally took his life. Innu Nation Grand Chief Etienne Rich says the teen's death highlights the need for an inquiry into Innu children in care, which was promised in 2017. 

    "To have a death in care while we are waiting for the inquiry, it's awful, but it's not surprising," he said.

    The grand chief says Wally's family and the Innu Nation are without answers, and there has been no accountability.

    "I don't know what they're hiding," he said.

    15-year-old Wally Rich from Natuashish died in a Labrador group home in May. (Submitted by Nympha Rich)

    "I think they're accountable for what's been happening, because that young boy Wally Rich was in the care of [the] CSSD system."

    He says the child protection system in Labrador is broken.

    "It's a dysfunctional system. We've always said it's hurting too many Innu kids and it's hurting too many Innu families. That's why we called for an inquiry to get those answers," he said.

    "The province needs to hear the truth from our people from what the system has done to them."

    Rich wants the inquiry to start as soon as possible. 

    In a statement, Dempster, who is now the minister responsible for Indigenous affairs and reconciliation, said the inquiry will begin once a commissioner is found, which will be done in collaboration with the Innu, but gave no commitment to a time frame.

    The grand chief says a local judge isn't available, but they've agreed to allow a commissioner from out of the province to head the inquiry, and says names have been forwarded to the provincial government

    In last month's provincial budget, $2.5 million was earmarked for inquiries, with $1 million budgeted for the inquiry into Innu children in care. Both inquiries are expected to start this year.

    In the meantime, the grand chief wants to see better communication between the Innu Nation and provincial social workers.

    "Our workers are only [contacted] when the children are apprehended, and are moved from one place to another. There is no contact with our social workers before children are removed," he said.

    "This means there is no active prevention work … We think that needs to change. People need to be working with each other before the children are taken away."

    Where to get help:

    Mental Health Crisis Line: 1-888-737-4668. Bridge the gApp:

    Canada Suicide Prevention Service: 1-833-456-4566 (phone) | 45645 (text) | (chat)

    Kids Help Phone (24/7): 1-800-668-6868 (phone), 'CONNECT' to 686868 (text), live chat counselling at

    Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention: Find a 24-hour crisis centre.

    Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 or chat online at

  • tishtish Posts: 2,698

    Indigenous people must lead way in making Canada's legal system just, says Brad Regehr

    Cree lawyer became 1st Indigenous president of Canadian Bar Association last month

    CBC Radio · Posted: Oct 14, 2020 1:29 PM ET | Last Updated: October 14
    Cree lawyer Brad Regehr became the first Indigenous president of the Canadian Bar Association in September. He says Canada still has a lot of work to do to make the justice system for diverse and fair. (Daniel Crump/CBA National Magazine)

    The first Indigenous lawyer to become head of the Canadian Bar Association says reconciliation will be difficult to achieve unless we have uncomfortable conversations about how the justice system impacts Indigenous people.

    "To be to be frank, our legal system has not treated Indigenous people, in my view, fairly," said Brad Regehr, a Cree lawyer who was appointed president of the association last month. It is the largest professional association of lawyers in Canada.

    He told The Current's Matt Galloway that Canada's justice system needs improvement.

    "I know that there are people working on it. I don't want to downplay any of that. But we're going to need further changes," Regehr said.

    "And they can't be led by non-Indigenous people. Indigenous people have to be involved in working out these changes, and they have to be involved in leading it."

    Regehr pointed to several historical examples of how Canada's legal system has mistreated Indigenous people — from the Sixties Scoop to residential schools, to a 1927 amendment to the Indian Act that prevented lawyers from representing Indigenous people in land disputes.

    "This only ended in 1951," he added.

    "Canada's made up of three legal traditions: the French civil law, English common law and Indigenous legal traditions. And unfortunately, the legal traditions haven't been given their fair shake."

    That imbalance can still be seen today.

    Supreme Court 'does not reflect' Canada: Regehr

    Of Canada's 44 federal judges, for example, two identify as Indigenous or as a person of colour.

    Regehr said the lack of diversity among federal judges is problematic.

    "That does not reflect the makeup of Canada," he said. "And you can go across the country — whether you're looking at provincial courts, territorial courts or superior courts, or courts of appeal, it's going to be the same thing."

    Various systemic barriers may be getting in the way of Canada having a bench that is more reflective of its population, Regehr added.

    The Supreme Court of Canada building in Ottawa. Regehr says he wants to see the government do more to make the Supreme Court more diverse. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

    He said the application process to become a judge can be extremely onerous for some people, and those who apply are also required to have references who are judges — something not everyone has.

    He sees that as systemic racism.

    "It's not one of those things where there is overt racism. It's just that there are hidden barriers," Regehr said.

    He explained that many Indigenous lawyers who come into the profession don't come from a family legacy in which their parents were also working within the justice system. Some may come from communities where education has been a challenge.

    Right off the bat, they've got hurdles to cross that other people don't.- Brad Regehr, Canadian Bar Association president

    "Right off the bat, they've got hurdles to cross that other people don't."

    He said he wants to see the government make more of an effort to diversify the courts in Canada. 

    And he's not alone.

    Open letter calls for change

    In September, 36 law organizations penned a letter to the justice minister, calling for the government to fill the Federal Court of Canada's six vacancies with judges who are Black, Indigenous or people of colour. 

    The Canadian Bar Association later joined that call, and has expressed concern about the requirement that all Supreme Court judges be bilingual in French and English.

    "In our view, it's going to exclude candidates from the BIPOC [Black, Indigenous and people of colour] community," Regehr said.

    Canada's bilingualism rate was 17.9 per cent in 2011, according to data from Statistics Canada. But that number was far lower for Indigenous people, at 10.5 per cent.

    The statue of Veritas (Truth) is shown in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

    "Trying to find people who are legally trained … there tends to be a focus on either recruiting or appointing from one of the provincial courts of appeal or often law professors," Regehr said.

    "Your pool is getting smaller and smaller and smaller, and then trying to find an Indigenous person who is officially bilingual, who comes out of that pool, it's 

    However, Regehr is optimistic about change.

    "I've done my best to be a [glass half] full kind of person. Sometimes it's hard not to switch to have the [glass half] empty viewpoint when, you know, you become frustrated and when you see things," he said.

    "But I am hopeful that in our country, things are going the right way. 

    "I'm just hoping that it can actually be implemented."

  • tishtish Posts: 2,698
    edited October 15
    If you’re concerned Ed never addressed people in their own language about their land, look up Hawaii ‘78 and the awesome performance the guys gave in Hawaii, a place Ed calls home sometimes, in their own language. I swear, you can give and give and give and someone will always still find a way to bitch about it.
    While this is a step in the right direction (hence the marcé), one could argue that our collective response is not enough.

    Now, run along and go tell some "black" people to stop their bitching. That is essential what you've done here.
    Post edited by tish on
  • EraserheadEraserhead Stoke-on-TrentPosts: 2,632
    Of the Earth

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  • tishtish Posts: 2,698
    edited October 18

    5 arrested after standing in way of Trans Mountain pipeline construction in B.C. Interior

    Secwepemc hereditary chief, daughter among those arrested Thursday

    Posted: October 16, 2020

    trans mountain pipeline arrest kamloops
    One person is carried away from a work site on unceded Secwepemc territory near Kamloops, B.C., on Thursday after standing in the way of Trans Mountain pipeline construction along the Thompson River. (Submitted by Secwepemc Sacred Woman’s Fire Council)

    Five people including a Secwepemc hereditary chief and his daughter have been arrested after standing against construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project on Secwepemc territory in Kamloops, B.C.

    A statement from the Sacred Woman's Fire Council said the group was arrested near a work site on Mission Flats Road on Thursday as pipeline crews prepared to drill underneath the Thompson River.

    Those arrested include Hereditary Chief Segwses, Loralie Dick, April Thomas, Billie Pierre and Romilly Cavanaugh, the latter of whom is a former engineer for the Trans Mountain pipieline.

    "Along with the direct action ... the Secwepemc delivered a Cease and Desist letter to TMX Pipeline corporation for the second time. The Secwepemc people did so under the direction of the Elder's Council stating the land has never been ceded or surrendered and no consent has ever been given for the colonial government or the Trans Mountain pipeline to enact the violent authority and jurisdiction they claim on Secwepemculecw," read the council's statement.

    "We stand for clean water, wild salmon and for our future generations."

    The project is tripling the capacity of the existing pipeline from the Edmonton area to the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, B.C. The portion of the pipeline in the B.C. Interior is being expanded from Kamloops to the summit of the Coquihalla Highway.

    Crews are drilling under the Thompson River to pull the pipe through to the other side as part of the regional pipeline expansion. Work in Kamloops began in June.

    In February, Hereditary Chief Segwses and his daughter gave themselves up for arrest voluntarily near Chase, B.C., after the RCMP moved in to end a railway blockade built in support of Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs against construction of a different, natural gas pipeline.

    A statement at the time said Segwses stepped forward to prevent RCMP from snuffing a sacred fire that was burning along the tracks and to prevent other Secwepemc nation members and supporters from being handcuffed.

    RCMP said officers from a number of divisions were called to the work site around 12:40 p.m. on Thursday, after pipeline security staff said the demonstration at the gate was stopping them from doing their work.

    Mounties said three people were arrested for allegedly violating a court-ordered injunction by blocking the workers' path.

    A statement Friday said a fourth person was arrested for "blocking an active work site on the south mountain slope" by attaching herself to a bulldozer. The fifth was arrested for mischief but released without charges after allegedly destroying survey stakes across the road from the drill site.

    The first four people arrested are due in court on Jan. 20.

    Post edited by tish on
  • LoujoeLoujoe Posts: 1,777
  • amethgr8amethgr8 Posts: 720
    Jeff has long since supported indigenous communities in his hometown. I'm sure if a community reached out to PJ,they would do what they could.  To formally acknowledge it here and start a thread is to raise awareness and is part of their mission, just as you have done posting these stories.  I don't think it's bullshit ifs the result raises awareness and hopefully inspires action, regardless from whence it sparked.
    Amy The Great #74594
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  • LoujoeLoujoe Posts: 1,777
    True. How can we continue to abuse our treasured earth and the indigenous people trying hard to protect it. Money stinks. The earth will have the last laugh in time. Take care and be kind.
  • josevolutionjosevolution Posts: 23,975
    So let’s give it back!
    jesus greets me looks just like me ....
  • tishtish Posts: 2,698
    edited 5:20AM
    ^Great song! Glad it doesn't reference ignorant Indians.

    Here's some more awareness... fill in the blanks...

    This year, Indigenous people had _____times the death rate in the Opiod crisis.

    ___ of woman in federal jails are First Nation, Metis or Inuit
    Post edited by tish at
  • tishtish Posts: 2,698
    6 times more opiod deaths and
    43% women in fed pens
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