#IndigenousAffairs; #FirstNation; #relocationofKashechewanFirstNation
Toronto, May 9 (Canadian-Media): Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs issued the following statement today, according to media reports.
"The Ontario Government is committed to do everything in its authority to support the relocation of Kashechewan First Nation.
Today, Kashechewan, Ontario and the federal government signed an agreement that commits the parties to work together to develop a community planning and development process that includes necessary steps to relocate the community.
Kashechewan faces a number of challenges that affect the well-being and safety of community members, including repeated, costly, evacuations in response to annual flooding and infrastructure issues. Ontario supports the efforts of the community and the federal government to secure a new location for the community where families can build their futures together and practice their traditions.
While the federal government has ultimate responsibility for the relocation, we are proud to play an important role and I was pleased to tell Chief Friday and the federal government that we are committed to fast tracking the provincial actions necessary to support relocation. I have had incredible opportunities to work in and with First Nation communities, as a nurse, lawyer and former federal cabinet Minister, and I am pleased that we have now taken this important step forward to improve the long-term health and sustainability of the community.
Ontario will continue to ensure the safety of community members by working with community leaders and host communities to safely evacuate the people of Kashechewan during flood season."
ROVANIEMI, Finland, May 6 (Xinhua) -- The needs of indigenous communities living in the Arctic area and the services offered by national meteorological organizations were discussed at an Arctic Council seminar here on Monday.
Besides hearing and giving examples of the latest weather changes around the Arctic area, the meeting focused on the needs of the inhabitants of northern areas as customers of weather services.
To assist them in coping with the climate, inhabitants would need more clearly "impact oriented" forecasts, telling what the practical repercussions would be for livelihoods.
BETTER WEATHER SERVICES NEEDED
Opening the event, Petteri Taalas, Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), said there are now indications that the Arctic area is warming at a higher speed than thought. So far the view has been that the Arctic area is warming twice as fast as the rest of the globe, but now some say it would be warming four times faster.
Several speakers from the indigenous groups underlined that better weather services would be needed.
Sergei Anatolievich Sizonenko, vice chairman of Russia's RAIPON Business Council, said the local producers need more information as winters are getting shorter and fish migrates earlier. But he also said that locals themselves may actually be the first to notice a change, and scientists only discover it later.
Louis Uccellini, Assistant Administrator for Weather Services at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, concluded that weather related risk assessments by local people in the Arctic areas have changed.
"The traditional weather forecasts do not work." He said the indigenous people have been impacted profoundly, and a dialogue for mutual benefit will be needed, learning from each other.
Aleksander Klepikov, Deputy Director of the Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, said the event demonstrated that more has to be done to help local people adapt.
Eeva-Liisa Rasmus-Moilanen, Director of the Sami Education Center, told the gathering that this spring the Teno river, in northern Lapland, had lost its ice cover a month before the usual time. She also said that changes have been noticed in the behaviour of reindeer.
FINLAND'S CROWNSOURCING INFO SYSTEM
The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) introduced at the meeting a crowdsourcing-based mobile application for transmitting weather information. The system could be used anywhere where there is access to a mobile phone network. Users can report whether there is precipitation, what the temperature or wind is like, for example.
Juhana Hyrkkanen, head of the Observation Services at the FMI, told Xinhua that people can send the weather info anonymously. The system forms a random based device ID only. "This is a tool for the mass audience and does not replace weather observation stations."
The Finnish service cannot verify if what is sent in is true and correct. "But the crowdsourcing system will ensure that false information would be eliminated," Hyrkkanen said.
Hyrkkanen said the Finnish application is not totally unique. Meteo France has introduced earlier a service which is fairly similar. He also noted that Norwegians have been active in using the services of weather hobbyists.
UN rights experts call on Philippines Government to halt ‘unacceptable attacks’ on Victoria Tauli-Corpuz
#UnitedNations; #HumanRights; #indigenouspeoples; #independentrightsexperts, #NewPeople’sArmy; #UNGenderFocus;
United Nations, May 1 (Canadian-Media/UN): False claims levelled at the UN expert on the rights of indigenous peoples by her own Government in the Philippines, “are without grounding in fact or law” and must cease immediately, said a statement issued by a group of her fellow experts today, United Nations (UN) reports said.
Image Credit: UN Photo/Manuel Elias: Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, at a press briefing on indigenous peoples' collective rights to lands, territories and natural resources on 16 April 2018, at UN Headquarters in New York.
In a joint statement, three UN Special Rapporteurs, or independent rights experts, said that “new accusations” against fellow rapporteur, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, had been made by officials in the Government of President Rodrigo Duterte, “clearly in retaliation for her invaluable work defending the human rights of indigenous people worldwide”.
Government officials have accused Ms. Corpuz of being an affiliate of the Communist Party in the southeast Asian island archipelago, and it’s alleged “terrorist activities” there. On 13 March, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil-Military Operations, Brigadier General Antonio Parlade, alleged at a news conference in the capital Manila, that the UN itself had been “infiltrated by the Communist Party of the Philippines through Ms. Tauli-Corpuz", said the experts’ statement.
This was despite the decision of a court in Manila, dated 27 July last year, which in effect ordered the indigenous rights expert’s name be removed from a petition filed by the Department of Justice, which was then seeking to declare the Communist Party a terrorist organization.
Tauli-Corpuz, has been repeatedly targeted by the authorities, and accused of terrorism and alleged membership of the so-called New People’s Army. Last year, President Duterte’s spokesperson publicly accused the Rapporteur of seeking to embarrass the administration, according to the statement.
“The criminalising discourse used by Philippine public officials undermines the value of the vital work of human rights defenders, denigrates them in the eyes of the public and may put them at risk of threats, violence or other forms of harassment,” said the experts.
“We call on the Philippine Government to immediately stop these unacceptable attacks on the human rights work of Ms. Tauli-Corpuz, and to ensure her physical safety.”
The three experts speaking out on her behalf are Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.
In the fulfilment of her mandate, Ms. Tauli-Corpuz conducts fact-finding missions and reports on the human rights situation in specific countries, addresses cases of alleged violations of the rights of indigenous peoples through communications with Governments and others, promotes good practices and conducts thematic studies on topics of special importance to the promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples.
She is an indigenous leader from the Kankana-ey Igorot people of the Cordillera Region in the Philippines. As an indigenous activist, she has worked for over three decades on building movements among indigenous peoples and as an advocate for women's rights, and is a former Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
Last year, UN News spoke to her about her life and work, for our podcast series, UN Gender Focus:
Ecuador'sWaoraniindigenoustribe; UnitedNations; #ancestralAmazonianlands; #oilexplorationactivities
New York, Apr 29 (Canadian-Media): Ecuador's Waorani indigenous tribe won their first victory Friday against big oil companies in a ruling that blocks the companies' entry onto ancestral Amazonian lands for oil exploration activities, University of Bristol study said.
Image credit: Science X Newsletter: After two weeks of deliberations, a criminal court in Puyo, Ecuador, accepted a Waorani tribe bid for court protection in Pastaza province to stop an oil bidding process
After two weeks of deliberations, a criminal court in Puyo, central Ecuador, accepted a Waorani bid for court protection in Pastaza province to stop an oil bidding process after the government moved to open up around 180,000 hectares for exploration.
The lands are protected under Ecuador's constitution that establishes the "inalienable, unseizable and indivisible" rights of indigenous people "to maintain possession of their ancestral lands and obtain their free adjudication."
The constitution also enshrines the need for prior consultation on any plans to exploit the underground resources, given the probable environmental and cultural impacts on tribal communities.
The state reached an agreement with the Waorani over oil exploration in 2012, but the tribe's leaders say they were duped.
The judges ordered the government to conduct a new consultation, applying standards set by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, based in San Jose.
The ruling "has created a significant precedent for the Amazon," said Lina Maria Espinosa, attorney for the plaintiffs, outside court.
"It has been demonstrated that there was no consultation and that the state violated the rights of this people, and therefore of other peoples."
The Waorani, who number around 4,800, also inhabit other Amazonian provinces.
Partnering with custodians of traditional knowledge key to tackling climate change, protecting humanity, speakers stress as permanent forum continues session
#UnitedNations; #climatechange; #PermanentForumonIndigenousIssues;
United Nations, Apr 24 (Canadian-Media/UN): Protecting and partnering with the custodians of traditional knowledge must be an active part of the solution to climate change consequences for the benefit of all humankind, the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues heard today as its eighteenth session continued, United Nations (UN) reports said.
#ConventiononbiologicalDiversity; #Indigenousidentity; #UN; #UNDRIP #SDGs;
#EconomicandSocialCouncil; #TraditionalKnowledge; #2019InternationalYearofIndigenousLanguages; #HumanRights; #UnitedNationsPermanentForumonIndigenousIssues
United Nations, Apr 23 (Canadian-Media/UN): Traditional knowledge is at the core of indigenous identity, culture and heritage around the world, the chair of the United Nations (UN) Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues said at the annual event’s opening day on Monday, stressing that it “must be protected”, UN media reports said.
Image: UN News/Predrag Vasić/ Sjisäwishék ‘Keeping the fire strong’, indigenous girls of the Onondaga Nation, Haudenoaunee Confederacy, perform at the eighteenth session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Anne Nuorgam, who is a member of Finland’s Saami Parliament and head of the Saami Council’s Human Rights Unit, described the Forum as an opportunity to share innovations and practices, developed in indigenous communities “over centuries and millennia”.
Indigenous peoples make up less than six per cent of the world’s population, but account for 15 per cent of the poorest on earth, according to the Forum. They live in some 90 countries, represent 5,000 different cultures and speak the overwhelming majority of the world’s estimated 6,700 languages.
Noting that 2019 is the International Year of Indigenous Languages, she said that “we have to celebrate our languages, but also take concrete action to preserve them and save those on the verge of extinction”.
Ms. Nuorgam pointed out that in many countries, indigenous children are not taught in their language. Citing Article 14 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) , she recalled that indigenous peoples have the right to provide education in their own languages.
“However, this needs financial and technical support from Member States and the UN System”, she stated.
As studies show that children learn best in their own mother tongue, Ms. Nuorgam encouraged everyone to “make sure our children” are connected to their indigenous communities and cultures, as they are “inextricably linked to their lands, territories and natural resources”.
“This enables us to protect our traditional knowledge”, asserted the chair.
Indigenous issues linked to world development
Recognizing UNDRIP as a "watershed moment" in 2007, General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa lamented that it still faced implementation challenges, saying that the world has a “historic debt with the indigenous peoples” and that much more must be done to overcome the implementation gap.
She also drew attention to indigenous women, pointing out that while women are key agents of change for tackling poverty and hunger, they face multiple forms of discrimination and violence.
In his opening remarks, Valentin Rybakov, Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), explained that the Forum’s expert advice on indigenous peoples’ issues, informs ECOSOC deliberations and decisions.
Tadodaho Sid Hill, Chief of the Onondaga Nation, gives a ceremonial welcome to the eighteenth session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues., by UN News/Elizabeth Scaffidi
“This is of particular importance in helping us follow up on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, said Mr. Rybakov.
He mentioned key activities in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including, in September, the first SDG Summit for State heads since the 2030 Agenda was adopted and the UN High-level Political Forum (HLPF) in July to review six of the SDGs, including on quality education, economic growth and combatting climate change.
“These topics are of central importance to indigenous peoples and the attainment of their human rights”, he said, saying that the Permanent Forum and its follow-up activities “demonstrably contributes” to reaching these goals.
“Along with recognition comes the need to acknowledge the source, ownership and protection of traditional knowledge”, Mr. Rybakov said.
Thriving for ‘millennia’
The Executive Secretary of the Convention on biological Diversity, Cristiana Pasca Palma, credited her Romanian grandparents – who used traditional agricultural methods passed down for centuries, to till the soil – for nurturing her appreciation of biodiversity and related traditional knowledge.
“All of our ancestors have always lived off the land and waters in one form or another”, she said. “And their traditional knowledge, often transmitted especially through women – grandmother to mother, to daughter – have enabled us as a species to thrive for millennia”.
The event also enjoyed a performance by Sjisäwishék, or ‘Keeping the fire strong’ - indigenous girls of the Onondaga Nation, Haudenoasuanee Confederacy, and a ceremonial welcome by the traditional Chief of the Onondaga Nation, Tadodaho Sid Hill.
The session runs from 22 April through 3 May, with regional dialogues to be held during the second week.
Established by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 2000, the Forum provides it with advice and recommendation on indigenous issues. The 16 independent experts of the Forum – eight nominated by UN Member States and others by indigenous organizations globally – work in their personal capacity.
#Nunavut; #BartHanna; #HouseofCommons; #Ottawa; #Sedna, #seagoddess; #Inuitmythology; #tympanum; #DominionSculptor
Ottawa, Apr 9 (Canadian-Media): A new sculpture by Nunavut artist Bart Hanna will soon be on display in the House of Commons foyer, media reports said.
Bart Hanna (right)/Facebook
It was commissioned as part of Canada 150 celebrations, and unveiled in Ottawa on Monday to mark the 20th anniversary of Nunavut as a territory.
The sculpture was unveiled on April 8, 2019, and it will be displayed in West Block until it can permanently take up residence in the House of Commons Foyer following the restoration of Centre Block.
The sculpture depicts Sedna, a sea goddess and an important figure in Inuit mythology.
"She is a marine being that has been seen throughout the arctic waters, as my grandfather said one time many years ago," said the Igloolik-based Hanna, in a statement.
"Most stories of Sedna seem to suggest that she is benevolent; however, I have occasionally encountered comments that suggest this is not always the case."
The 65 centimetre by 84 centimetre sculpture is a tympanum, typically used to decorate a semi-circular or triangular space above a door or window.
Hanna was selected by a jury to create the piece. The jury included other artists, the House of Commons' curator, and the Dominion Sculptor, who oversees the carving program on Parliament Hill.
Sedna is one of the most important and powerful figures in Inuit mythology. She watches over her sea-creature children and protects them from the harsh elements of the Arctic.
#Winnipeg; #Manitoba; #Canada; #CarolynBennett; #FederalBudget2019; #TruthandReconciliationCommission’sCallstoAction; #FirstNations, #Inuit; #Métis; #NationalCouncilforReconciliation; #CanadianRootsExchange
Winnipeg (MB), Apr 6 (Canadian-Media): Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations highlighted, while speaking at an event in at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at Winnipeg today, the federal government’s proposed Indigenous-related investments in Federal Budget 2019 investing in the Middle Class, media reports said.
Minister Carolyn Bennett also discussed how the Government was investing in areas of critical need for Indigenous communities, including education, mental wellness, housing, to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
“Implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action is a critical step in Canada's journey of reconciliation...Our government is working across all departments to realize the vision of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Budget 2019 has made significant investments to further this important work,” said Carolyn Bennett.
Budget 2019 proposes to provide $1.2 billion over three years, beginning in 2019–20 to help First Nations children access important health and social services.
Other areas which would be considered by Federal Budget 2019 are; forgiving and reimbursing loans to allow more than 200 Indigenous communities to reinvest in their priorities like governance, infrastructure and economic development ; improve access to clean drinking water, support the revitalization of Indigenous languages; help First Nations communities prepare for emergencies and adapt to the threats of climate change; ensure that First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples are able to fully contribute to and share in Canada’s economic success; Enable First Nations, Inuit and Métis students to have better access to post-secondary education; provide $126.5 million in 2020–21 to establish a National Council for Reconciliation; Provide $15.2 million over three years to help ensure that the voices of First Nation, Inuit and Métis youth are heard and to support Indigenous youth reconciliation initiatives, through an Indigenous youth pilot program delivered by Canadian Roots Exchange, responding to Call to Action 66.
Canadian Roots Exchange (CRE) is a community of Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth committed to building honest and equitable relationships.
#Indigenous, #TruthandReconciliationCommission; #ewsidentialschools; #PhilipBrass; #FirstNation; #CanadianRootsExchange; #MaxFineDay; #NationalCouncilonReconciliation; #RuthSmillie
Ottawa, Mar 28 (Canadian-Media): Indigenous land acknowledgments, since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 94 calls to action were released in 2015, had been urging all levels of government to change policies and programs to repair the harm caused by residential schools and move forward with reconciliation, media reports said.
According to some Indigenous and non-Indigenous people land acknowledgments are hollow when they aren't followed up with further reconciliatory action.
Acknowledging traditional land is rooted in a spiritual understanding of spiritual territory, said Philip Brass, an Indigenous consultant from the Peepeekisis Cree Nation -- a Cree First Nation in southern Saskatchewan, Canada -- and added they have an even deeper significance.
"From a traditional practice, land acknowledgment for Indigenous people...is a tradition that is really rooted in a spiritual understanding of spiritual territory, so that's something fundamentally different about what we are seeing today...They can't be the only thing to do..."I think it can delay real systemic change in action, which is needed [for] any notions of reconciliation," said Brass
"There should be a meaning behind these statements...They aren't the wrong thing to do," said Max FineDay, executive director of Canadian Roots Exchange, a national non-profit that works with youth to advance reconciliation.
"It's just that they can't be the only thing to do," said FineDay.
FineDay, also a member of the interim National Council on Reconciliation, said both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people making these acknowledgments need to take action themselves and added,
"If they aren't familiar with it … reflect on what that means to them personally."
More recently Regina's Globe Theatre, which earlier had been reciting land acknowledgments before each production soon after the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission were released, has turned its attention to Indigenous storytelling and engaging with Indigenous history.
"When the Truth and Reconciliation report came out, we came together as a team and came up with a list of actions that we could take immediately, mid-term and long-term, in order to be engaged in that process of learning, acknowledgment and honouring," said Ruth Smillie, the theatre's artistic director.
Ruth Smillie (left)/Twitter
The theatre's 'Making Treaty 4', which would be staged in mid-April, explores the historical and contemporary significance of Treaty 4, encompassing Regina Saskatchewan. The theatre also plans to offer counselling for audience members.
#NativeWomen'sAssociationofCanada; #NWAC; #FrancyneJoe; #CarolynBennett; #VivianeMichel; #indigenous; #QuebecNativeWomen
Toronto, Mar 21 (Canadian-Media): Federal government's 2019 budget had been denounced by Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC) president Francyne Joe as it did not include any dedicated funding for indigenous women, media reports said.
In spite of signing of an accord with Canada by Crown-Indigenous Relations minister Carolyn Bennett, which recognized NWAC as a full participant in decision making at the national and international levels, the budget was reportedly blanketed and ignored any culturally relevant, gender-based line item.
"It takes a significant amount of time for proposals to be written, then you're waiting to find out if they've been approved," Joe said.
According to the accord parties agreed to negotiate a working plan and a contribution agreement for enhanced core-like funding to enable recognition of indigenous women's priorities to empower them.
Joe pointed out that the budget included a chapter on advancing reconciliation, but the indigenous women had been excluded from decision making.
"This budget ignores the issues that we brought to the table," said Joe.
Viviane Michel, president of Quebec Native Women, which is one of the 10 provincial chapters of the organization, said the need for healing programs following the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls had been overlooked in this federal budget.
"Families, survivors, communities, children — they need to start healing no matter what...need a guarantee that funding is coming...to advance healing centres and allow for training of counsellors and elders so that we're prepared," said Joe.