Archive for March, 2010


I am a Witness Campaign

The B.C. All Chiefs’ Task Force is proud to support the I am a Witness Campaign (www.fnwitness.ca).

First Nations children are drastically over represented in child welfare care. As of May of 2005, the Wen:de study found that 0.67% of non Aboriginal children were in child welfare care in three sample provinces in Canada as compared to 10.23% of status Indian children. Overall there are more First Nations children in child welfare care in Canada than at the height of residential schools.

First Nations children are entering child welfare care at increasing rates. According to federal government figures the number of status Indian children entering child welfare care rose 71.5% nationally between 1995-2001.

In this resolve, the All Chiefs’ support Jordan’s Principle (http://www.fncfcs.com/more/jordansPrinciple.php)  calling upon all provincial and territorial governments as well as the government of Canada to immediately adopt a child first principle to resolving jurisdictional disputes involving the care of First Nations children.

The Canadian Human Rights tribunal on First Nations child welfare is March 29th, details are below:

Canadian Human Rights Tribunal

> March 29, 2010 (10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) 160 Elgin St – 11th Floor, Ottawa, Ontario

Aboriginal Peoples Television Network motion to broadcast the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal on First Nations child welfare. The following parties are in support of having the proceedings broadcasted (Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, Canadian Human Rights Commission, Chiefs of Ontario). The Government of Canada is the only party that opposes broadcasting the proceedings.  The Caring society filed over a dozen affidavits sworn by First Nations Elders, leaders, youth and citizens stating their view that the proceedings should be broadcast so they can be accessible to people across Canada.  This hearing is open to the public!

Below is more information on First Nations child welfare:

WHY THE WORLD NEEDS TO WATCH: THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT HELD TO ACCOUNT FOR RACIAL DISCRIMINATION AGAINST INDIGENOUS CHILDREN BEFORE THE CANADIAN HUMAN RIGHTS TRIBUNAL

Bamoseda radio interview

Chief Wayne Christian and Chair of the All Chiefs’ Task Force, Beverley Clifton Percival were on Bamoseda radio to speak about the B.C All Chiefs’ Task Force and the letter writing campaign to Stephen Harper.  Listen to it here:

http://radio.pmd.rogersdigitalmedia.com/bamoseda/7/MAR4_BAMOSEDA_WEB.mp3

THUNDER BAY – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Stan Beardy is urging the federal government to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). “Treaties 9 and 5 were signed on a nation to nation basis under the international law therefore, it?s essential that Canada sign the UNDRIP to continue to maintain the honour of the British Crown,” said NAN Grand Chief Stan Beardy.

The UNDRIP recognizes the collective rights of Aboriginal people living in Canada including the inherent rights to traditional lands and territories, self-determination, and recognition of culture and language. To date, Canada remains one of the only countries refusing to adopt the UNDRIP. “By Canada signing the Declaration, it sends a strong signal to the rest of the world. It shows Canada is sincere in its apology to the First Nations regarding the residential school experience,” said Beardy. “It will also show that Canada recognizes there must be meaningful consultation and accommodation and that consent is required from First Nations to conduct any business in our territory.”

The UNDRIP states „shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them.?In the 2010 Federal Throne Speech, the Government of Canada stated “We are a country with an Aboriginal heritage. A growing number of states have given qualified recognition to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Our Government will take steps to endorse this aspirational document in a manner fully consistent with Canada’s Constitution and laws.” However, the Federal Government failed to make any recognition of the UNDRIP in the 2010 federal budget.

The BC All Chiefs Task Force recently launched a letter writing and post card campaign in that province encouraging communities and leadership to contact the Prime Minister?s office about adopting the UNDRIP.

Since Canada voted against signing the UNDRIP in September 2007, NAN has been active in raising its concerns with industry and provincial cabinet leaders including at the Ontario Premier?s level. NAN has also decided to establish a letter writing campaign for its First Nations leaders.

Latest radio PSA’s #2

The final two radio PSA’s for our campaign to the Federal Government have been finished, you can hear them below

PSA#1

PSA#2

New Radio PSA’s

We have produced two new radio psa’s which you can find below:

PSA#1- Poverty

PSA#2- UNDRIP

With the success of our last round of Radio PSA’s, we have decided to run another set of PSA’s with the focus on Aboriginal child poverty.  Here are what the new PSA’s look like:

PSA1

Nearly one in three Aboriginal families in BC live at or below the poverty line. Lack of education and basic human rights violations face First Nation children on a daily basis. First Nations people are one of the fastest growing demographics in the country, yet remain largely ignored by the federal government, who have refused to address discrimination against First Nations children in the Child Welfare system and education.   This has to stop. Support the campaign for justice; go to firstnationstaskforce.wordpress.com

PSA2

Approximately forty First Nations communities do not have schools. Poverty, disease, lack of education and basic human rights violations face First Nation children on a daily basis. As one of the fastest growing demographics in Canada, First Nations peoples are largely ignored by the Federal Government. the federal government is not providing First Nations Child and Family Services agencies with adequate funding. This has to stop. Support the campaign for justice; go to firstnationstaskforce.wordpress.com

What do you think? Do the ad’s do the issue justice?

Open PDF

Parliament resumed today and there were some interesting comments made during the throne speech.  Some of the comments were:

-Our Government will also work hand-in-hand with Aboriginal communities and provinces and territories to reform and strengthen education, and to support student success and provide greater hope and opportunity.

-Our Government will take additional action to address the disturbing number of unsolved cases of murdered and missing Aboriginal women. The Sisters in Spirit initiative has drawn particular attention to this pressing criminal justice priority.

-Our Government also recognizes the contributions of Canada’s Aboriginal people. Too often, their stories have been ones of sorrow. Our Government will continue to build on its historic apology for the treatment of children in residential schools.

-After settling 17 specific claims since this Parliament began, it will continue to work to resolve additional claims.

-Having made safe drinking water and effective waste-water treatment on-reserve a national priority, our Government will introduce new legislative measures to further this goal.

-It is only 50 years ago that Aboriginal people in Canada were granted the right to vote. To further protect the rights of Aboriginal people, particularly women living on-reserve, our Government will take steps to ensure the equitable distribution of real property assets in the event of death, divorce or separation. It will also introduce legislation to comply with a recent court decision in order to address gender inequality under the Indian Act.

-We are a country with an Aboriginal heritage. A growing number of states have given qualified recognition to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Our Government will take steps to endorse this aspirational document in a manner fully consistent with Canada’s Constitution and laws.

It is good to see the government recognizing the cases of murdered and missing Aboriginal women in Canada, yet this speech commits no concrete action.  Furthermore, the Federal government recognizes that they are a minority in refusing to sign the UNDRIP yet still make no actions to join the 145 nations in signing the Declaration and acknowledging Aboriginal human rights in Canada.

Let us take this as a sign that we are being heard!  Continue sending your letters and emails of support to the Prime Minister so we can finally sign the UNDRIP.

March 1, 2010

Open Letter to our Browns Creek Watershed Protection Supporters:

The Okanagan Indian Band and the people of the Okanagan Nation Territory appreciates your support regarding our decision to establish a protective blockade of the watershed at the Okanagan campsite located near Bouleau Lake.

As you know, in response to threats from Tolko to commence logging of the watershed that supplies the majority of the 1,800 residents of the Okanagan Indian Band with our drinking water, we feel we must act at this time to exercise our rights before Tolko Ltd. Resumes logging operations.

This is not a decision we have taken lightly but given the failure of the Crown to protect the health and safety of our community we were left with no other choice.

We are circulating a petition to enact a moratorium on commercial logging, we ask for your further support to obtain signatures from the residents of BC and citizens of Canada.

The petition is to be returned to the Okanagan Indian Band at okibadmin@okanagan.org or fax to (250) 542-4990.

Thank you again for all your support!

To:  The British Columbia Legislative Assembly

Petition to enact a moratorium on commercial logging in the watersheds that supply the majority of 1,800 Okanagan Indian Band residents with their drinking water.

A vital part of the Okanagan Indian Band’s water supply is being threatened by clearcut logging in the watershed that supplies the majority of our 1,800 residents with their drinking water.

Tolko has been given approval by the BC Ministry of Forests to clearcut the Brown’s Creek watershed.  This despite the fact that title to these lands is in dispute and a matter that is before the courts.

PETITION TO PROTECT DRINKING WATERSHED AREAS FROM LOGGING

To the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in Parliament assembled.

The petition of concerned citizens of the Okanagan Nation, residents of British Columbia and citizens of Canada

Brings to the attention of the House that clearcut logging threatens the water supply of the 1,800 men women of children who live on Indian Reserve #1 of the Okanagan Indian Band.

The undersigned petitioners therefore request the Legislative Assembly to:

a) Enact a moratorium on commercial logging within the watersheds that supply drinking water to the majority of the 1,800 residents who live on IR#1 of the Okanagan Indian Band

b) Undertake a detailed hydrological study of the Okanagan Water Basin; and

c) undertake regulatory and legislative changes in order to ensure that the drinking water of all communities both indigenous and non-indigenous is protected.

Sincerely,

Chief Fabian Alexis                               Grand Chief Stewart Phillip

Okanagan Indian Band                         Okanagan Nation Alliance Chairperson



Note:  A Facebook Group Site has been developed “Browns Creek Protection For Our Watershed”.  Contact our Territorial Stewardship Division if you require further information (250) 542-3444 or 542-7132.