In early January, a man identifying himself as a seventh-generation descendent of Chief Tecumseh, who led the Native Nations in an alliance with General Isaac Brock in the War of 1812, came to see Chief Theresa Spence on Victoria Island. He stood across the sacred fire from where she sat, and explained that he’d felt “called” by the spirit of his ancestor to “stand up” and support her. “You speak from the heart of the earth,” he said.
As I listened, I realized that he was using a language that’s virtually extinct in public discourse. Yet it’s a language that
When Leesee Papatsie started the Facebook group, Feeding My Family, to raise awareness of the high price of food in the North and to gather Nunavummiut for a demonstration, she began with two people who said they wanted to help. Since that time in May, the FB group has caught the attention of the world, gathering over 19,000 members – more than half the population of Nunavut, where Papatsie lives.
In 2002 the federal government, in virtual lockstep with the Bush regime, created a special exemption to federal environmental rules that would turn many of Canada's lakes into toxic waste dumps for mines. At least sixteen lakes across the country are slated to become repositories for waste rock laced with heavy metals like arsenic and mercury. Six of these lakes are
Beating drums and wearing traditional black and red blankets, a large group of Kwakiutl protesters gathered one day in mid-February outside the British Columbia legislature in Victoria. They'd made the 500-kilometre trip from northern Vancouver Island, where their ancestors have lived for thousands of years, to show their outrage.
Two weeks earlier, the BC government had announced that Western Forest Products would be allowed to remove 28,283 hectares of private land from its Tree Farm Licenses (TFL) on Vancouver Island, a large part of which lies in traditional Kwakiutl territory.