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Some Indigenous leaders concerned about reconciliation with new monarch

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Some Indigenous leaders and community members say they’re concerned about making progress on reconciliation with King Charles III.

Treaty 8 Grand Chief Arthur Noskey says the Queen’s death last week wasn’t good timing, as First Nations were making progress in working with the Crown toward upholding treaty agreements.

“We were building up not only the momentum, but letting (the Queen) know that the Crown and the relationship understood by our people is not what’s being delivered by administrators,” Noskey said from his office in Edmonton.

Treaty-Crown relations have been a complex issue since the inception of the agreements. Some were signed under vulnerable circumstances, while others were implemented as peace treaties, and most weren’t negotiated accurately or in Indigenous languages.

“It hasn’t resonated to what our forefathers’ expectations were. Even today, there are a lot of discrepancies,” said Noskey.

He warned the Crown’s honour is at stake if conversations with the new monarch aren’t carried on.

“I hope we don’t have to start from ground zero with King Charles.”

Canada’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom, Ralph Goodale, has said the King may be “a little more outgoing and a little less reserved” than his mother.

He said he expects the new monarch will want to continue to take an interest in issues that are important to Canada, including reconciliation with Indigenous communities.

Crystal Fraser, an assistant professor in the faculty of native studies at the University of Alberta, said the Queen’s death marks the end of an era but is also a time for reflection.

“The Queen was the representative of a colonial empire that really did a lot of harm internationally to colonial countries and especially to Indigenous nations here in Canada.”

Oppressive colonial policies have tainted Canada’s history for centuries, more recently with the residential school system, the ’60s Scoop, forced sterilization of Indigenous women and forced relocation of Inuit in the North, all of which occurred during the Queen’s reign.

“These decisions were made in part through Christian churches, through the Canadian government, through policing bodies like the RCMP. But at the end of the day … all of this is done in the spirit of the British Empire,” said Fraser.

Like many other Indigenous community members, Fraser said her expectations are low when it comes to significant changes from the monarchy regarding reconciliation.

“At the end of the day, it is still a British monarchy that colonized a lot of the world and continues to profit from that,” she said.

In May, Charles and his wife, Camilla, visited Yellowknife and the Dettah Dene settlement on the final leg of their Canadian tour for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Their visit focused on reconciliation and climate change.

During the visit, the Assembly of First Nations and the Métis National Council requested an apology from the monarchy. In a speech before departing Yellowknife, Charles said it had been moving to meet residential school survivors and acknowledged their pain and suffering, but did not apologize.

Inuit leader Piita Irniq was taken from his family as a child and forced to live at Turquetil Hall and attend Sir Joseph Bernier Day School in Chesterfield Inlet, Nvt.

He said the Royal Family should apologize for residential schools and the loss of language, traditional beliefs and parenting skills.

Irniq said he looks to the future and establishing a better relationship between Inuit and the royals to move toward Inuuqatigiittiarniq, an Inuktitut term that means “living in peace and harmony.”

Some First Nations leaders in British Columbia have urged the King to make his first official act a renunciation of the Doctrine of Discovery, which are edicts or papal bulls used to justify the colonization of the Americas.

Some Indigenous academics have said the doctrine underlies all the policies that came after it.

“The Doctrine of Discovery dehumanized non-Europeans while empires waged war and stole lands, resources and wealth that rightfully belonged to Indigenous peoples all over the world,” members from the BC Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Summit and Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs said in a joint release.

“With a change in Canada’s head of state, it’s time for a change in the Crown’s approach to Indigenous sovereignty.”

Calls to rescind the doctrine reverberated across the country this past summer as Pope Francis visited Canada to apologize for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in residential schools. At the time, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said they would work with the Vatican to address the requests.

The King is in a position to acknowledge the “historic crimes committed by his predecessors and set the stage for a new relationship with Indigenous Peoples around the globe,” First Nations leaders in B.C. said.

National Chief RoseAnne Archibald of the Assembly of First Nations said her next step in Crown relations is to see a Royal Proclamation of Reconciliation issued by the Crown, part of a call to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

“As many mourn the passing of QE2, let’s remember that grief and accountability can exist in the same space, simultaneously,” Archibald wrote in a tweet Sunday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 14, 2022.

— With files from Emily Blake in Yellowknife and Brittany Hobson in Winnipeg.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

 

Angela Amato, The Canadian Press

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Former Chinese Justice Minister sentenced to life imprisonment for corruption

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Former Chinese Justice Minister sentenced to life imprisonment for corruption

Changchun, China- Former Chinese Justice Minister Fu Zhenghua, has been sentenced to life imprisonment after having been convicted of corruption and abuse of power.

Fu was handed a suspended death sentence that will be commuted to life imprisonment after two years, with no possibility of parole.

Prosecutors convicted Fu of using his authority as the nation’s top public security official to trade favours for gifts and money worth some 117 million yuan ($17.3 million), in return for helping others with business operations, legal cases, and securing official positions.

The 67-year-old served as Justice Minister from 2018 to 2020 after a lengthy career in law enforcement and the security service. He had also spearheaded several major corruption investigations of his own but he fell under suspicion in October, after he was accused of serious violations of discipline and national laws.

President Xi Jinping has made cracking down on corruption a cornerstone of his reign since assuming the country’s highest office in 2012. Over 100 000 people were indicted for graft during his first three years in office alone, with investigations opened against more than 1 500 public officials. Dozens of senior military officials have also been punished.

Meanwhile, Ronson Chan, the head of Hong Kong’s journalists’ association has been allowed to travel to the United Kingdom (UK) for a six-month-long journalism fellowship which is set to be hosted by the Reuters Institute at Oxford University, in October, after a Court granted him bail and declined to place restrictions on his movement over a charge of obstructing Police officers.

At a Court appearance on Thursday, Judge Peter Law granted Chan bail ahead of the next Court hearing in April 2023.

As part of his bail conditions, Chan will be required to inform the Police of his address and contact details once in the UK.

In a statement, the Institute’s director, Rasmus Nielsen, said they were looking forward to welcoming Chan in October.

“He is a distinguished and experienced journalist with much to share, and everyone here is looking forward to hosting him,” said Nielsen.

Chan was arrested on 7 September while he was covering a residence meeting at a Hong Kong housing estate. Police allege he refused to provide his ID and behaved in an uncooperative way despite multiple warnings, and he was charged this week, but he has claimed innocence, saying he was within his rights to ask Police for identification before he produced his.

The Hong Kong journalists’ association has been under immense pressure to disband, as it has been accused of being an anti-China organization with links to foreign actors.

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Tesla announces nearly 1.1 million of its car windows can pinch a person’s fingers

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Austin, United States of America- Tesla has announced that nearly 1.1 million of its vehicles in the US have a defunct window system as the windows can pinch a person’s fingers when being rolled up.

According to Tesla, windows are supposed to stop if they detect an obstacle in their path but testing discovered a possible problem in some of its windows.

However, Tesla said it should be able to fix the problem with an over-the-air software update, and that car owners won’t need to bring their cars in to be serviced.

Tesla discovered the problem during production testing in August and owners with the defunct windows will be notified by the letter starting on 15 November.

The models involved are the 2017-2022 Model 3, the 2020-2021 Model Y, and the 2021-2022 Models S and X.

Tesla has previously recalled vehicles for features that allowed its cars to slowly roll through stop signs in some circumstances when in full self-driving mode, one that allowed video games to be played on a console in the middle of the dashboard even when the car was being driven.

Meanwhile, the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), has revealed that 2015 to 2019 Hyundai and Kia models are roughly twice as likely to be stolen as other vehicles of similar age, with the reason being that many of these vehicles lack some basic auto theft prevention technology included in most other vehicles, even in those years.

According to the HLDI, the method of theft, which involves serious damage to the ignition system, indicates that these cars are being stolen for fun rather than for resale.

“When you forcibly break the ignition, you are causing so much damage that it’s not easy to re-VIN (to re-VIN a vehicle means to change or replace its Vehicle Identification Number, an identification code made from 17 letters and digits, to make the vehicle harder to trace) and resell the vehicle on the open market,” said Darrell Russell, director of Operations at the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

However, Hyundai vehicles produced after November 1, 2021, and those with push button start cannot be easily stolen in this way due to electronic immobilizers which became standard on all Hyundai vehicles, including those with keyed ignitions, after that date.

Moreso, Kia vehicles in the US now also have push-button start systems that make theft more difficult.

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Falling apart and alone

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Falling apart and alone

I Knew someone who struggled
to keep himself clean and free from the itch.
But no matter how he worked towards sobriety
this man could not achieve his freedom dream.

Describing how this interior struggled continued
day in and day out into the night.
While he worked, played and shopped throughout the day
this itch, craving and pain would not subside.

There was the time he watched over the kids,
like a careful daddy was he,
but then while the toddlers were playing free,
he found a bottle of booze he once hid away.

All his attention was on the bottle,
and for a time he forgot the little ones in his care.
His attention was centred upon that booze
like a sniper’s target, it became the world to him.

A sharp cry from a child pivoted his attention,
to the one who demanded all he had to give that day
and this man held his child dearly
and poured that dreaded booze into the sink.

Day by day, minute by minute he struggles,
the itch he feels will not go away.
Too much coffee, a drink perhaps will bring him to a cliff of despair,
as this man searches for a way to freedom’s glory.

Acknowledging that he cannot do it alone,
that he needs a helping loving hand,
Opening himself to another’s assistance realized,
the victim becomes much more than an addict.

No longer alone, but part of a fellowship was he,
from AA, family or friend came a helping hand.
Alone he was a weak substitute to the mighty,
but together with another, he becomes a powerful “We”.

Steven Kaszab
Bradford, Ontario
skaszab@yahoo.ca

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