Indigenous resistance to colonialism continues in the present, including Mi’kmaq defence of their hereditary rights against fracking on their traditional territories.
By Tony Seed
On June 24, 1497, the Venetian navigator Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot), commissioned by Henry VII of England, landed in Newfoundland. Believing it to be an island off the coast of Asia, he named it New Found Land. Under the commission of this king to “conquer, occupy, and possess” the lands of “heathens and infidels,” Caboto reconnoitred the Newfoundland coast and landed on the northern shore of what is today known as Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. Continue reading →
As is well known, in Newfoundland the genocide of the Beothuk Indigenous people occurred due to the slave trade and brutal treatment carried out by colonial powers of which the English set the pattern, something the Indigenous peoples have repeatedly raised.
Queen Elizabeth II visited Labrador in June, 1997 to mark the quincentennial anniversary of the “discovery” of Newfoundland by the Venetian John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto), who was commissioned by Henry VII of England.
Heritage Canada announced that during the visit of Prince Charles and Camilla to Ottawa on May 18, Charles will be invested as an Extraordinary Commander of the Order of Military Merit by the Governor General, lay a wreath at the National War Memorial, then meet with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.
Bronze statue of Shanawdithit, believed to be the last of the Beothuk, stands at Boyd’s Cove on Newfoundland’s northeast coast.
Charles and Camilla arrived in St. John’s, Newfoundland on May 17 with an official welcome by the Prime Minister and Governor General and inspection of a guard of honour, a prayer in Inuktitut, Innu drumming and Mi’kmaq music, and visit to the place called “Government House.” It is called “Government House” even though it is the residence of the Lt. Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador who represents the British Crown – a constant reminder that Canada’s institutions pay obeyance to a foreign monarch. There a ceremony in memory of Indigenous victims and survivors of residential schools was held. Then a meeting with Campaign for Wool Canada and a visit to Quidi Vidi, a former fishing village, artisans and a brewery. They then left for Ottawa.
The heir to the English throne Prince Charles and his wife Camilla Parker Bowles are visiting Canada from May 17 to 19. They are called “working Royals.” These are members of the British Royal Family who live off the wealth produced by the British working people and Crown holdings, and on this basis are paid to represent the Royal Family. The Trudeau government’s ministry called Heritage Canada announced that they are visiting three cities — St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ottawa and Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. It is all part of a ” platinum jubilee tour” to mark the current monarch’s 70 years on the English throne. The so-called working members of the British royal family have been dispatched to visit the 14 Commonwealth “realms” — former British colonies that retain the British monarch as their official head of state. These “Platinum Jubilee” tours have so far taken different members of the House of Windsor to six Caribbean countries, Australia and Papua New Guinea, and now, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have arrived in Canada.
May 5 was marked across the country as a powerful Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two Spirited People. In Northern BC, in communities large and small, along the Highway of Tears and throughout the North, red dresses could be seen on the streets, in the forests and parks, near the water and outside homes — a sea of red honouring and remembering the lives lost and those who remain missing and, importantly, standing with all their loved ones.
– Statement of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) –
On Earth Day April 22, the peoples of the world come together to demand proper attention be paid to Mother Earth and denounce the reality that their concerns are not being met. The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) held this past year in Glasgow, Scotland was a complete disaster. More disinformation than ever poured from the mouths of officials from the United States, Britain, Canada and the European countries representing the global elite in control of those economies. They attempted to give the impression of taking measures to bring climate change under control while in fact increasing the number of damaging pay-the-rich schemes and other self-serving practices, all the while spouting the high ideal of “greening the economy.”
Whether we speak of the organized blockades at border crossings or the occupation in Ottawa, or Coastal GasLink facilities on the Wet’suwet’en yintah or any other, what constitutes “critical infrastructure” to be protected in the name of “national security” and the “national interest” is defined not by the Canadian, Quebec and Indigenous peoples but by those who wield the decision-making power in a manner which favours narrow private interests.
Water defenders to appear before B.C. Supreme Court
Over thirty water protectors are appearing in BC Supreme Court in Prince George on February 14 after the RCMP invasion on Wet’suwet’en territory in November 2021. In the three large-scale police actions that have happened on Wet’suwet’en territory since January 2019, a total of 74 people have been arrested and detained, including legal observers and journalists.
Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation spoke out about the blockade set up at the US.-Canada border crossing at Coutts, Alberta. This border crossing was shut down on January 29 by a convoy demanding an end to all vaccine mandates. Chief Adam pointed out that if the protesters were Indigenous, the RCMP would have already arrested them. “If peaceful protests of critical infrastructure at Coutts is allowed, then we expect the same to be true in the future should Indigenous people engage in similar forms of protest,” he said.
A mobilization called the Freedom Convoy converged in Ottawa on January 29. It is being presented as an initiative of truckers demanding the revocation of the vaccine mandate applying to truckers entering Canada from the U.S. that came into effect on January 15. However, it is not a truckers’ rally and our advice is Don’t Blame the Truckers!
At the time of the conquest and into the 19th century, what is called “Indian policy” was diplomatic and military in orientation. Both the English and the French conquerors recognized the Indigenous peoples’ nations. Besides other proof, it is known that they sought and formed alliances with various nations on a sovereign and independent basis. They also entered into the Two Row Wampum which established nation-to-nation relations. Their military and diplomatic policy towards these nations means they were forced to form alliances with them for purposes of defence and for purposes of making advances in the fur trade, in exploration, etc. In 1763, at which time the problem of settlement began to be posed, the Crown gave an assurance by Royal Proclamation that “the Indians” would not be disturbed in their territories beyond the settled colonies. “Indian land” could be surrendered only to the Crown and only by a “General Assembly of Indians.”
The day after the federal elections, September 21, about 50 Mi’kmaq fishers and their supporters held a rally outside the Atlantic headquarters of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia to affirm their hereditary and treaty fishing rights and serve notice to the government that they will continue to vigorously defend these rights.
For close to a year and a half, Mi’kmaq water protectors have had an encampment, Truckhouse #2, alongside the Windsor Causeway of Highway 101 in Nova Scotia to monitor government compliance with tidal water flows vital to fish habitat in the macro tidal estuary of the Avon River. Through their resistance and organizing work they are winning some battles.
“With our deepest respects, we dedicate this issue of TML Supplement to all the men, women and youth valiantly fighting to abolish the racist U.S. prison system and those in other countries including Canada.”
On September 9, 1971 a rebellion started at the Attica Maximum Security Prison in upstate New York which ended with the brutal massacre conducted by New York State Troopers sent in by Governor Nelson Rockefeller on September 13, 1971.
Hold the Trudeau Government Accountable for Violence Against Indigenous Peoples
Chief Mike Sack is the courageous leader of the Sipekne’katik First Nation of the sovereign Mi’kmaq people. He was illegally arrested and taken in for questioning following a press conference August 17 at which he announced his community will resume their self-regulated fishery. Like all previous federal governments, the Trudeau government refuses to recognize the hereditary rights of the Mi’kmaq to fish, or their sovereignty. The fact is that the Mi’kmaq do not have to ask Canada’s permission to fish as they have responsibly done for millennia.
Thousands of people from Vancouver Island and many from other parts of BC participated in the Spune’luxutth Sulxwe’en Memorial Walk (March for the Children) in Chemainus on August 2. The march was part of the healing process initiated by the Penelakut Tribe following the announcement on July 8 of the confirmation of more than 160 undocumented and unmarked graves near the site of the Kuper Island Industrial School. The school operated on what was then known as Kuper Island, now Penelakut Island, from 1889 to 1975. Like other residential schools, it was the site of cruel abuse of children stolen from their families and their communities. Chemainus is a town on the east coast of Vancouver Island that overlooks Penelakut Island which is on the traditional territory of the Penelakut Tribe.
(July 14) – The Penelakut Tribe is one of six tribes of the Penelakut First Nation whose traditional territories include parts of southern Vancouver Island and of some of the southern Gulf islands in the Salish Sea between Vancouver Island and the BC mainland. On July 8 Penelakut Tribe Chief Joan Brown, Council and Elders issued an invitation to join in their work to raise awareness of the Kuper Island Industrial School and to inform people of the confirmation of more than 160 undocumented and unmarked graves near the site.
No Celebration of Stolen Indigenous Landand Stolen Indigenous Lives
Idle No More has called for actions across Canada on July 1 under the banner of “Cancel Canada Day.” In the call, issued before the report by the Cowessess First Nation, they state “The recent discovery at Kamloops residential school has reminded us that Canada remains a country that has built its foundation on the erasure and genocide of Indigenous nations, including children.” They say further “We refuse to sit idle while Canada’s violent history is celebrated. We are once again calling on Indigenous land, water and sky protectors and allies to come together and disrupt the celebration.”
Chief Cadmus Delorme of the Cowessess First Nation announced on June 24 that 751 unmarked graves have been found at a cemetery near the former Marieval Indian Residential School. The Residential School operated from 1899 to 1997 in the area where Cowessess First Nation is now located. The colonial state and Catholic Church forced Indigenous children from across Saskatchewan and Manitoba to stay at the school. The RCMP and other police powers threatened Indigenous families with imprisonment if they did not hand over their children. Continue reading →
October 16, 2020. Support action in Halifax for Mi’kmaw moderate livelihood fishery.
On April 30, the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs issued a media release denouncing the seizure of 37 lobster traps from a Potlotek First Nation Netukulimk Livelihood harvester earlier in the day by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), the first day of the lobster fishing season.
The buried remains of 215 children who were students of the Kamloops Indian Residential School have been located on the school’s grounds with the help of a specialist in the use of ground penetrating radar, said Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Kukpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir in a May 27 news release. Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc is the home community of the Kamloops Indian Residential School, the largest school in the residential school system run by Indian Affairs, a system that persisted until 1996.Casimir said the deaths were spoken about but had not been previously confirmed. “We had a knowing in our community that we were able to verify. To our knowledge, these missing children are undocumented deaths,” stated Casimir, who said the discovery is an unthinkable loss. “Some were as young as three years old. We sought out a way to confirm that knowing out of deepest respect and love for those lost children and their families, understanding that Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc is the final resting place of these children.”
Federal government’s attempt to escape its responsibilities to Indigenous Peoples | Philip Fernandez
The Trudeau Liberals are pushing through Bill C-15 An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Bill C-15, like everything else the Trudeau Liberals have done in the name of truth and reconciliation, is based on a lie. Far from committing Canada to recognizing Indigenous peoples’ rights, Bill C-15 aims to put a UN seal of approval to the ongoing refusal of the Canadian state to honour Indigenous peoples as sovereign nations and honour their hereditary and treaty rights.