The Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Alberta is calling for Premier Jason Kenney to remove members of his staff and the curriculum review panel.
In a letter sent Aug. 18, Adam North Peigan, President of the SSIS, asked Jason Kenney to fire speech writer Paul Bunner and remove Chris Champion from the curriculum panel.
“What is it going to take Premier for you to listen to the First Peoples and make significant changes in how you govern our province? We cannot deny the atrocities of the Residential School or the Sixties Scoop survivors. To pretend it never happened is unjust,” North Peigan writes in his letter.
“Mr. Champion appears to believe that there is no such thing as Indigenous history in Alberta, and he is intent on erasing it from our school curriculum,” said NDP Indigenous Relations Critic Richard Feehan.
“Once again, I am calling on Premier Kenney to dismiss Paul Bunner and dismiss Chris Champion.”
There has been controversy to the appointment of Champion as a social studies adviser. He used to be an adviser to Premier Jason Kenney during his time in Ottawa as a MP.
Champion founded and still publishes a history publication called The Dorchester Review.
A piece without a byline in the review’s first edition and republished this year, critiques history curriculum introduced by “left” governments.
The piece blasts an Australian history curriculum for being “light on facts and heavy with guilt about aboriginals and immigrants.”
“Here in Canada the preoccupation with victimhood has mostly centred on Japanese Canadians and residential school ‘survivors.’ “
The government claims Champion did not write the article.
In a 2003 article Canada’s Cracked Mosaic, Bunner recalls his time at Boston University when another Canadian student warned him “to be careful about blacks…one of the other hockey players, a native Bostonian, invited me into his room to show me the biggest handgun I had ever seen. ‘It’s for the n——,’ he said.” (original text not redacted)
Bunner has also blamed minorities for a large percent of crime.
“Ethnic minorities are disproportionately involved in violent crime on both sides of the border, but at least Americans admit it,” Bunner wrote.
“In this country the Toronto Star attacks the police as racist when they point out the over-representation of blacks in the city’s violent crime statistics. When Indian thugs trap white kids and cut them to pieces, the Edmonton police quickly rule out a racial motive and nobody balks.
“Everyone knows that race is the defining element of violent crime in Canada today
“The weekly casualty figures from the gang wars in Toronto’s Jamaican ghetto read like dispatches from a war zone. The shooting of five East Indians during the first weekend of December in Vancouver was but the latest skirmish in a decade-long war that has killed 50 people. On the prairies, if it’s not Asian gangbangers whacking each other and occasionally innocent bystanders, it’s aboriginal murder and mayhem.
“The Christmas season in Edmonton opened with five white teenagers being lured into a house, where at least a half-dozen reputed members of the Alberta Warriors Native gang allegedly tortured and terrorized them for two hours.”
The NDP said Bunner is the author of numerous racist, sexist, Islamophobic, and homophobic articles dating from the late 1990s up to 2016.
Bunner’s 2013 article The ‘Genocide’ That Failed claimed that residential school survivors were fabricating their experiences to create a “bogus genocide story” for financial gain.
Several indigenous leaders have called for Kenney to fire Bunner, including the Confederacy of Treaty Six Chiefs, and Marlene Poitras, Alberta regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations.
Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
Three charged with intimidation for social media post – My North Bay Now
A social media post has led to three people being charged by North Bay police for Intimidation of a Justice Participant.
Police began an investigation in August to look into the intimidation of someone involved in a court case. Police say that someone who provided information to an ongoing court case had been the subject of a social media post that garnered negative comments, creating a safety concern.
Constable John Schultz says that it was the negative comments on the social media post that warranted investigation.
“Part of what the individual had provided as information, [the accused] posted that information online. That in and of itself may or may not be an offence, but it’s the way they posted it and the fact that it created a lot of feedback that created a safety concern for this person,” Schultz said.
As a result of the investigation, a 54-year-old woman from North Bay, a 42-year-old woman from East Ferris and a 42-year-old man from Powassan have all been charged with one count each of Intimidation of a Justice Participant.
Schultz says that the three people charged “worked together” on the social media post. He was unable to comment on what the court case is as it is still ongoing, and says that the social media post hasn’t impacted the case “at this point”.
Schultz says that Intimidation of a Justice Participant is not a commonly-used charge by North Bay police.
“The charge has been laid here in North Bay another time, but I’ve been involved in policing for 36 years and I’ve never laid it. It doesn’t happen too often,” he said.
The importance of the charge, however, is significant. Schultz says that the charge is in place to protect the court system.
“If you’re going to be involved in a court case, no matter who you are, you should not feel afraid because you’re involved in a court case,” he explained. “If you intimidate somebody to a point where they’re concerned, maybe they’ll recant on their statement.”
Scott Tod, Chief of the North Bay Police Service, also stresses the importance of the charge.
“Public confidence in our courts being ethical and trustworthy means police have the added responsibility of identifying and charging people who try to intimidate or threaten a person involved in our judicial process. North Bay Police Service, like all our provincial and national policing partners, will vigorously investigate these types of offences that protect the integrity of our judicial system,” Tod said in a statement.
The two women who were charged will appear in North Bay court on October 20, with the man set to appear on November 3.
Mi'kmaw journalist assesses media coverage of fisheries dispute – CBC.ca
Some media coverage of tension between Mi’kmaw and non-Indigenous fishermen, like what’s happening right now in Saulnierville, N.S., fails to tell the true story, says Trina Roache.
She’s a long-time journalist with APTN News who has covered the implications of the 1999 Marshall decision for years. The historic ruling recognized a First Nations’ right to earn a moderate living from fishing but the government has never defined what that means.
Last year, Roache released a documentary on the 20th anniversary of the Marshall decision asking what had changed.
Now, she’s covering the same tensions in Saulnierville where the Sipekne’katik First Nation launched their moderate livelihood fishery on Thursday. It’s being opposed by non-Indigenous fishermen who’ve cut traps and paraded their boats around the harbour in protest.
Roache spoke with host CBC Mainstreet host Jeff Douglas about what the journalist can do to better report on Indigenous issues and why an understanding of the treaties is so important.
Their conversation has been edited for clarity and length.
In general, are we driving you nuts?
A little bit, to be honest. A little bit.
It’s a story I’ve spent a lot of time on, and then sometimes when I read the headlines and when I see the mainstream coverage, it’s frustrating because there’s an imbalance sometimes or a language that happens in the coverage that to me creates a narrative that the Mi’kmaw are doing something wrong, which isn’t the case.
Can you give us an indication of some of that coverage or the imbalance?
The Mi’kmaq, they have a right. The Supreme Court of Canada decided in the Marshall decision that they agree, yes, the Mi’kmaq have a treaty right to make a living from fishing and hunting and gathering. They came out with the term “moderate livelihood,” didn’t define it, so it’s a little confusing. But they upheld that treaty right.
And so the problem is, is that when we call it an illegal fishery, that’s only because the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has not implemented their own law, like they haven’t addressed the Marshall decision to date. So there are no rules to govern a moderate livelihood fishery. And so in the eyes of DFO, it might be an illegal fishery, but in fact, the Mi’kmaq have a legal right, a constitutional right to go fish and make a living.
Chief Terry Paul also said that they have been waiting for essentially 21 years for DFO and for some sort of governance.
The Mi’kmaq are doing that work themselves. And that’s what you’re seeing today down in Saulnierville, near Digby. The Sipekne’katik First Nation in particular is down there issuing these moderate livelihood licences. They’ve got a management plan, they’re celebrating the anniversary of the Marshall decision, you know, kicking off this moderate livelihood with ceremony, the Grand Council’s there. This is not an illegal fishery. They have every legal right to do what they’re doing.
The Mi’kmaq are not protesting. So, again, we have to be very careful of the words we use when we’re describing what’s happening. But the protest part is that the non-Mi’kmaw fishermen down there are out on the water in their boats and trying to sort of stymie the Mi’kmaq, and not allow them to drop their traps or maybe cut their traps and not allow them to sort of carry out this moderate livelihood fishery. So that’s the protest part.
In addition to language use, like substituting the word protest instead of celebration or ceremony, illegal fishery, is there just a lack of understanding surrounding treaty issues?
We have a really important job in providing that balanced view. You sort of have the tenets of journalism, right? We all want to do fair, balanced, accurate, objective reporting. And as an Indigenous journalist, well, that’s what I do, too. And so sometimes what can happen, though, I think, is that we sort of assume that somehow mainstream journalism, predominantly white journalism, that is just sort of unbiased … Because I’ve been asked, well, how do you keep your journalism from turning into advocacy? And I’m like, that’s a terrible question, because you’re making an assumption somehow that because I’m Mi’kmaw reporting on Mi’kmaw issues that I can’t be fair and accurate and balanced.
And instead, when CBC or other media are calling this fishery an illegal fishery or keep referring to it within the report as this illegal fishery, to me that’s bias, right? That betrays an inherent bias in the reporting and not including enough Mi’kmaw voices. If you’re going to do a story about the Mi’kmaw, you have to make sure you’re talking to the Mi’kmaw. And you have to make sure that if you’re going to do a story about this, I hope you’ve read the treaties … So even if you’re not going to do Indigenous stories, as a journalist in Canada or wherever, you should know the history of the land that you’re standing on.
To be dismissive or refer to it as an illegal fishery is really covering over all this backstory and history and this treaty relationship that’s very important and really matters today. The treaties might have been signed before but they still count today, and if we’re going to report on these stories then we really need to understand what it means.
Going back to your point about where people get their information from, particularly on Indigenous issues, it’s from us and so we are then mis-educating, inadvertently?
It’s true because we do play an important role in just public information … I was thinking of this earlier because the battle cry of the non-Mi’kmaw fishermen or fish harvesters back in 2000 after the Marshall decision came down was they’re going to ruin the lobster stocks. I mean, I remember hearing that again and again on the wharves from fishermen up near Burnt Church: the Mi’kmaq are going to ruin the lobster stocks.
And you still hear that today … and so as a journalist, sometimes, like, you have to question and educate yourself and question DFO so that the listener has a full picture and education because it’s misinformation. They haven’t ruined the lobster stocks in 21 years. What the Mi’kmaw do is a drop in the bucket compared to the commercial fishery … There’s only conflict when there’s money at stake, right? This is a multi-billion dollar industry, and so there’s a lot at stake. When inherent rights butt up against Canadian interests, that’s when it’s a problem.
Everyone can be nice and talk about reconciliation and all that nice stuff, but it’s when we butt up against the larger interests that you start to see the media sort of breakdown in how it’s reporting on these issues.
Three charged with witness intimidation over social media – BayToday.ca
North Bay Police have charged two women and a man after an investigation found that a witness involved in a criminal case was being intimidated over social media.
Police began an investigation in August and say “an individual who had provided information during an investigation before the courts had been the subject of a post shared on a social media site attracting several comments from people that created a safety concern.”
The investigation resulted in the arrest of three people in early September.
North Bay Police have arrested and charged Cindy Morin, 54, of North Bay, Lisa Cormier, 42, of East Ferris, and Raymond Prudhomme, 42, of Powassan with “Intimidation of a Justice Participant.”
All three were released from custody. Morin and Cormier will appear in the North Bay Courthouse on October 20.
Prudhomme will appear in the North Bay Courthouse on November 3.
Chief Scott Tod said “Public confidence in our courts being ethical and trustworthy means police have the added responsibility of identifying and charging people who try to intimidate or threaten a person involved in our judicial process. North Bay Police Service, like all our provincial and national policing partners, will vigorously investigate these types of offences that protect the integrity of our judicial system.”
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