#Indigenouspeople, #JustinTrudeau, #Canada's150thDayCelebrations #reoccupiers, #SandraLovelaceNicholas, #CarolynBennett, #ParliamentHill, #BrendonNahwegezhic, #JessicaBolduc,
Toronto, June 30 (Canadian-Media): A large number of Indigenous people’s decision to boycott the celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday was fully justified, said Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Thursday and made a call to the nation that not everyone will be celebrating Canada 150 the same way and to show respect and understanding to the so-called “reoccupiers”, media reports said.
To clarify their reasons for boycoting the celebrations, indigenous people had posted on social media hashtags like #UNsettleCanada150 and #Resistance150 are all over Twitter and Facebook.
Trudeau, while speaking at an event in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Islands, said he clearly understood the messages, sent by those behind the reoccupation, implying there was nothing to celebrate.
Justin Trudeau. Image credit: Facebook page
Trudeau also said "impatience from many people after decades, centuries of a broken relationship," was understandable and added that the work of reconciliation was about "redefining a relationship and that can't be done overnight."
The indigenous group Idle No More had called upon indigenous people in May to protest on July 1 with a “National Day of Action — Unsettling Canada 150.”
“Our history predates colonization yet we are still being treated like third class citizens even though treaties were signed in good faith on our part,” stated Senator Sandra Lovelace Nicholas, an indigenous woman from the Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick, Thursday and added she would not be celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday.
“We are of the opinion that we will celebrate when all treaties are settled, all First Nations children enjoy equality in education, health care, safe drinking water, quality housing and governance in our own land,” she said.
Carolyn Bennett, Canada’s Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs and the Member of Parliament for the riding of Toronto -- with an intention of to drawing attention to the disparities between the city and life on Shoal Lake 40 First Nation -- said there would be protests on Canada Day picnic in her Toronto ridings as well as on an event in Winnipeg,.
For two decades, she said, there had been a lack of clean running water for Winnipeg community, situated on the side of the lake where Winnipeg gets its water.
There had been a clash between the police security forces in Ottawa with the Bawaating Water Protectors, an indigenous group from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, leading to arrests of a nine people when they attempted to set up a teepee on the site for Saturday’s Canada Day festivities Wednesday night on Parliament Hill.
With an estimated half a million people to descend on Parliament Hill for Canada Day this year, security is higher than usual in Ottawa.
“We just have to make sure that we deal with both what are going to be historic crowds on Canada Day on the Hill but also deal with people in a respectful and a responsible way,” Trudeau told a news conference.
“That’s what I expect of our security services and that’s what I am expecting to see.”
The arrested members were later on released, but the indigenous group decided to set up the teepee on the edge of the fenced parliamentary grounds away from the rest of the site.
Organizer Brendon Nahwegezhic tried to clarify that they were there not to protest, but to create awareness among Canadians about the historical fact of the genocide and the assimilations but the group planned to engaging in indigenous ceremonies, for the next four days, including sharing circles and sacred fires.
“We are on Algonquin territory and we do have that right to practice our traditions,” Nahwegezhic said
“When Trudeau talks about truth and reconciliation, we won’t be able to get to the reconciliation part until the truth is exposed and in the open and told properly.”
“Unfortunately, it seems to be getting misconstrued by politics and whatnot,” he said.
Jessica Bolduc, who been on a lifelong reconciliation journey, was with the Sault Ste. Marie group and said much work needed to be done before anyone can say Canada had achieved reconciliation.
“I think Canada has one sort of view and way in which they engage with the world around them and then there is the Indigenous experience,” said Bolduc.
“We talk about this smart and caring nation, but don’t acknowledge that those privileges aren’t afforded to indigenous peoples in the same way that they are to folks who have settled here, whether that was 200 years ago or to people who we are welcoming here today in a ceremony of becoming Canadian,” she said.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
National Aboriginal Day celebrations in Toronto included Sunrise ceremony, permanent installation of Indigenous flags
#SunriseCeremony, #permanentinstallationofIndigenousflags, #NationalAboriginalDay, #Toronto, #Canada, #SteveTeekens, #AndreaChrisjohn
Toronto, June 22 (Canadian-Media): City of Toronto (which includes Toronto and its adjoining cities) celebrated 22nd National Aboriginal Day yesterday, accompanied by Sunrise ceremony and the permanent installation of Indigenous flags on the Nathan Phillips Square at Toronto City Hall, media reports said.
National Aboriginal Day. Twitter handle of GCIndigenous
Following the passing of a unanimous motion in the House of Commons, National Aboriginal History Month was declared In June 2009.
Many Indigenous people and communities celebrate their culture and heritage during the month of June and on June 21 every year to recognize the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year.
National Aboriginal Day ceremony, which started at 5:30 am on Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto was attended by approximately 200 people including Indigenous leaders and community members, members of City Council the public and City staff.
Steve Teekens, Executive Director of NaMeRes and his helper Oshkaabewis inaugurated he Sunrise Ceremony followed by a permanent commemorative installation of Indigenous flags including Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, Six Nations, Huron-Wendat, Métis and Inuit.
“Today, Toronto joins cities across Canada in celebrating National Aboriginal Day,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory. "As part of our recognition of the unique history, culture and significant contributions of Indigenous Peoples, we are proud to unfurl five permanent Indigenous flags here at Nathan Phillips Square."
After the ceremony and during the breakfast reception Andrea Chrisjohn, Executive Director of Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre, delivered his presentation called Restoration of Identity, which is part of the Residential School Survivor Legacy Project.
The Restoration of Identity included an installation of a commemorative statue of a Turtle, as specified in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 94 Calls to Action.
Proclamation for National Aboriginal Day in Toronto was then read by Mayor John Tory and presented it to Chrisjohn.
The proclamation is follows:
“WHEREAS National Aboriginal Day celebrates the rich culture, heritage and achievements of Indigenous Nations across Canada. It is also a time to focus on Truth and Reconciliation in order to restore peace, harmony, balance and to honour Canada’s First People while working to restore our relationships.
The City of Toronto is committed to working with indigenous communities to achieve Reconciliation in order to restore Indigenous Peoples’ rights to self-determination.
NOW THEREFORE. I, Mayor John Tory, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim as June 21, 2017 as “National Aboriginal Day” in the city of Toronto.”
Participants then used a stencilled chalk drawing to the Moccasin Identifier Project on the podium roof ramp leading onto Nathan Phillips Square.
The moccasin markers are a reminder of Toronto City Hall’s pledge to follow traditional territory of Indigenous Peoples.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Intergenerational trauma,limited access to mental health services: key factors of suicide in Canada's indigenous people
Image of Canada's First Nations. Image credit: Twitter handle
#IntergenerationalTrauma, #Indigenouscommunities, #MaryAnnMihychuk, #JanePhilpott, #FirstNations
Toronto, June 20 (Canadian-Media): After examining the issues surrounding suicides in indigenous people, a Canadian parliamentary committee made 28 recommendations in its report released Monday by the House of Commons standing committee on Indigenous and northern affairs, after collecting research and holding public consultations since May 2016.
The committee held public consultations and heard stories of suicide affecting First Nations and concluded that Canada's Indigenous people needed resources round the clock including community-led culturally appropriate programs and services to prevent suicide and to reverse decades of unjust policies.
As part of its work, the committee heard from 99 witnesses, including over 50 indigenous youth representatives, First Nations, Inuit and Métis leaders, academics and health organizations.
Members of Parliament on the committee said the witnesses shared difficult personal stories of suicide.
"We need to send a message to Indigenous Canadians, and especially to young Indigenous people, that their lives have value, that they matter, and to hold on to hope," said Liberal MP MaryAnn Mihychuk, chair of the committee.
"We recognize that they are losing hope because they have difficult lives and are suffering from intergenerational trauma as the result of decades of unjust policies, and that we must act together to restore hope.''
A brief submitted by Toronto-based Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)’s to the committee attributed suicide as a leading cause of death among Indigenous people.
Citing Statistics Canada data, CAMH said that rates of death by suicide among First Nations were double than the national average.
Health Minister Jane Philpott, in her testimony, called the high rates of suicide in Indigenous communities a "public health crisis" that has its roots in "long-standing social inequity ... in colonialism, racism, assimilation, residential schools, intergenerational trauma, poverty and so many other issues."
Jane Philpott. Image credit: Facebook page
Philpott admitted that due to lack of sufficient funds to build new facilities and repair old ones, or to hire and train enough professionals, Indigenous communities had been under-resourced for a long time.
She also added that the $270 million pledged in the 2016 budget to help with health facilities for First Nations was insufficient in terms of the present needs.
The report found that intergenerational trauma as one of the key factors of suicide and limited access to mental health services was another.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
No relationship is more important to the Canada Gov than the one with Indigenous Peoples: Mélanie Joly
Image of Mélanie Joly. Image credit: twitter handle
#NationalAboriginalDay, #IndigenousArtsFestival, #Toronto, #Canada, NationalAboriginalHistoryMonth, #JohnTory, #Mélanie Joly, #Aboriginal Peoples Television Network
Toronto, June 15 (Canadian-Media): National Aboriginal Day (NAD), celebrated in Canada on June 21 of each year, would collaborate this year, with the Indigenous Arts Festival (IAF) in its celebrations in acknowledgement of June as National Aboriginal History Month, a Toronto press release reported.
The largest and the free celebrations of NAD wth IAF will be held from June 21 to 25 at Fort York National Historic Site, 250 Fort York Blvd., Toronto, ON M5V 3K9.
“Toronto joins cities across the country in celebrating National Aboriginal History Month and National Aboriginal Day,” said Mayor John Tory. "We recognize the unique culture, history and significant contributions made by First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples to our city and to Canadian society. I encourage all residents to join in the celebrations."
More than 30 performances by indigenous artists from across Canada, featuring traditional and contemporary music, dance, theatre, storytelling, visual arts, crafts and food would be included in the five-day festival.
Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage also made a call to the people across Canada to come together in the spirit of reconciliation to make the most of this National Aboriginal Day.
“No relationship is more important to the Government of Canada than the one we have with Indigenous Peoples. This is why we are proud to support National Aboriginal Day, which will feature exciting events and programming across the country, including right here in Toronto. This day offers Canadians a one-of-a-kind opportunity to deepen their knowledge of Indigenous cultures and be in a better position to discover their rich heritage,” said Mélanie Joly.
Highlights of the festival include the following performances/events starting June 21:
On June 21, Nunavut’s first ever Juno Award-winning Inuk singer/songwriter, and William Prince, 2017 Juno Award winner for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year, Performed by Susan Aglukark.
Aboriginal Day Live, would be presented also on June 21, an eight-city event and live concert broadcast by Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) featuring Classified, Derek Miller, Eagle & Hawk, Eekwol and Willows
on June 22, A free outdoor screening of the acclaimed National Film Board (NFB) musical documentary The Road Forward by Marie Clements. The film connects the beginnings of Indian Nationalism in the 1930s -- a pivotal moment in Canada’s civil rights history -- with the powerful momentum of First Nations activism today.
June 23 presents Jumblies Theatre: Talking Treaties Pageant, a multi-arts project and immersive performance installation that brings together professional and community performers with the goal of artfully sharing local indigenous knowledge and awareness.
June 24 features performances by Canadian Country Music Award and Juno Award winner Crystal Shawanda and "the voice in the wilderness” singer/songwriter Nick Sherman.
Highlights of June 25 are: Performances by captivating singer/songwriter duo Twin Flames, rising star Shawnee and Ulali (featuring traditional hand drumming, choral singing and pre-Columbian music).
The funding of NAD is done partly by the Government of Canada.
Aboriginal Day Live is produced by APTN -- the first national Aboriginal broadcaster in the world, with programming by, for and about Aboriginal Peoples -- in partnership with the City of Toronto and funded by Government of Canada, Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), Investors Group and Toronto Domnion (TD) Bank Group.
Production of The Indigenous Arts Festival is done in partnership with the City of Toronto and the Mississauga of the New Credit First Nation and it would be presented by TD Bank with financial support from the Government of Canada and Tim Hortons.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)