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Windspeaker

Canada's National Aboriginal News Source

The Harper Government continues to fail us all [editorial]

Author: 
Windspeaker Staff
Volume: 
32
Issue: 
9
Year: 
2014

Well, lucky Canada. Well done. Heading into the next federal election, the government will have some cash to throw around, to salt the clouds, so to speak, grease some palms. All those dollars that haven’t gone to educate First Nations kids, keep them protected and from harm, all those dollars that didn’t fix the crumbling infrastructure on reserve, kept people in moldy, tumble-down homes, didn’t provide potable water, it’s there now to sprinkle over the electorate like fairy dust, pushing the gaps between First World Canada and Third World Indigenous Nations further and further apart for years to come.

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Census 2011 - Aboriginal population increasing

Census banner
Author: 
Windspeaker Staff
Volume: 
31
Issue: 
4
Year: 
2013

UPDATE: First Nations and higher learning

  • Among Aboriginal Peoples aged 25 to 64, 48.4 per cent had some sort of post-secondary education, the majority a trades certificate or college diploma. Almost 10 per cent reported having a university degree, compared with 26.5 per cent of the non-Aboriginal population.
  • Nearly 29 per cent of Aboriginal Peoples aged 25 to 64 reported no post-secondary education, compared with 12.1 per cent of the non-Aboriginal group.

Aboriginal people are claiming a larger share of the Canadian population. More than 1.4 million people told Statscan they had an Aboriginal identity. Instead of the traditional long form census of the past - a National Household Survey (NHS) was conducted from select homes to take a snapshot of Canada.

While the NHS data so far does not look deep into social conditions among Aboriginal peoples, we only get a glimpse...

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Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan resigns

Author: 
Windspeaker Staff
Volume: 
30
Issue: 
12
Year: 
2013

Breaking!

Aboriginal Affairs minister John Duncan has tendered his resignation today and Prime Minister Stephen Harper accepted it.

From a release issued by Stephen Harper after 4 p.m. Friday:

“Today, I have accepted the resignation of John Duncan as minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development,” said Harper.

Duncan will continue to serve as the member of parliament for Vancouver Island North in the House of Commons.

A short time later later John Duncan issued his own.

“In June of 2011 I wrote a character reference letter to the Tax Court of Canada on behalf of an individual to whom my constituency staff was providing casework assistance on a Canada Revenue Agency matter,” the first line in his statement said attributed to Duncan.

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Photos from the Powwow Trail

Jerome Pahtayken banner
Author: 
By Bert Crowfoot and Sandra Crowfoot
Volume: 
34
Issue: 
16
Year: 
2016

The 2016 Powwow Trail has now ended and was as colourful and exciting as expected! Our photographers Bert Crowfoot and Sandra Crowfoot continue to attend many exciting events throughout Indian Country including potlatches, powwows and festivals.

We'll be posting many of Bert's and Sandra's photos in individual galleries from the various events they attend.

Check back often for the latest photo uploads and new galleries.

Please consider making a donation to help us to continue to bring the culture and colour of the Powwow Trail to people around the globe. Click here!


2016 Treaty Six Chief Transfer Ceremony

2016 Chief Transfer Ceremony Gallery 1 - Bert Crowfoot

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AFN Chief will have to 'get ugly' with feds [editorial]

Author: 
Windspeaker Staff
Volume: 
30
Issue: 
4
Year: 
2012

The Stephen Harper Conservative majority government has picked up a head of steam with the passage of its omnibus budget bill C-38, and the question now is: How do you stop a train?

That will be the big overarching question in the minds of voters when they mark their ballots at this month’s Assembly of First Nations election for national chief. It has to be, because the Harper government is content to run over Canadians’ best interests, so we have to know the interests of First Nations from coast to coast won’t carry much sway unless the chiefs choose wisely.

On July 18, 600-plus chiefs will have their chance to determine the relationship they will have with this government and Canadians for the next three years. Who is going to speak for them on the federal stage, and what will be the tone of that national conversation?

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Eight candidates vie for title of National Chief [afn election]

Author: 
By Shari Narine Windspeaker Contributor TORONTO
Volume: 
30
Issue: 
4
Year: 
2012

Shawn Atleo faces a slate of seven others, including two Regional Chiefs, as he tries to retain his position as head of the Assembly of First Nations.

When the country’s 633 AFN-member First Nations Chiefs or their proxies cast their votes on July 18, the second day of the three-day Annual General Assembly in Toronto, Atleo’s name will be followed on the ballot by Bill Erasmus, chief of the Dene Nation and AFN Regional Chief of the Northwest Territories; Elaine Gabriel, former president of the Quebec Native Women’s Association; Manitoba lawyer Joan Jack; Diane M. Kelly, former Grand Chief of Treaty 3;  former Manitoba Chief Terrance Nelson; Ryerson professor Pamela Palmater; and Alberta AFN Regional Chief George Stanley. Nelson is the only candidate in the running to have challenged Atleo in 2009 when Atleo became National Chief.

Stanley holds that the large number of contenders – three more than the last election – has to do with general discontent.

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The 2012 AFN election will see several candidates challenge Atleo

Author: 
Windspeaker Staff
Volume: 
30
Issue: 
3
Year: 
2012

Online exclusive...

Shawn Atleo, the national chief of the Assembly of First Nation, kicked off his re-election campaign on May 24 in the style he has become known for, with family and culture, song and spirituality surrounding him.

The chief was escorted into the Chief Joe Mathias Centre in North Vancouver by Squamish drummers and singers, led by Squamish Chief Ian Campbell. He spoke in his traditional language, and then in English told Atleo that he commended the national chief for the change he was bringing to Canada’s policies and laws, things that have impeded First Nations authority.

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Powwow Country: Navajo Nation Fair and Rodeo, Window Rock, Arizona, Sept. 5-11, 2011

Author: 
Windspeaker Staff
Volume: 
29
Issue: 
3
Year: 
2011

Navajo Nation Fair and Rodeo, Window Rock, Arizona, Sept. 5-11, 2011

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Powwow Country: Taos Pueblo Powwow, Taos Pueblo, New Mexico, July 8-10, 2011

Author: 
Windspeaker Staff
Volume: 
29
Issue: 
3
Year: 
2011

Taos Pueblo Powwow, Taos Pueblo, New Mexico, July 8-10, 2011

The Taos Pueblo Powwow is one of the few outdoor powwows left. It is held north of Taos Pueblo in a natural arbour of buffalo grasslands. “It’s centrally located between the Plains and Southwest tribes,” said Debbie Lujan, co-coordinator of the powwow. This event marks the 26th year. The powwow was cancelled in 2003 because of a large fire just prior to the powwow’s dates.
Visit the Gallery

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Powwow Country: Manitoulin Country Fest, Low Island Park in Little Current, Aug. 4-7

Author: 
Windspeaker Staff
Volume: 
29
Issue: 
3
Year: 
2011

Manitoulin Country Fest, Low Island Park in Little Current, Aug. 4-7

Country music star Crystal Shawanda will once again perform at this year’s Manitoulin Country Fest, which will be staged Aug. 4-7 at Low Island Park in Little Current. Shawanda, who lives in Nashville, will be a crowd favourite not only because of her musical talents but also because she’s from the neighbouring Wikwemikong First Nation. This marks the fifth year of the festival.

Shawanda performed at the 2009 event and was a guest at last year’s event, where she mingled amongst the attendees. “She’s our hometown girl,” said festival organizer K.C. Timmermans. “She’s very much into her fans. And it’s always a pleasure having her here.”

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Lawyer to face disciplinary hearing for overbilling survivors

Author: 
By Shari Narine Windspeaker Contributor WINNIPEG
Volume: 
29
Issue: 
3
Year: 
2011

A Winnipeg lawyer who overbilled 26 residential school survivors for his services could face disbarment.

“This is certainly a case which is serious and, yes, I would say there is a potential for (disbarment). I don’t know yet what the appropriate penalty would be and what the panel would decide but (disbarment) is certainly not off the table,” said Allan Fineblit, CEO with the Law Society of Manitoba.

The lawyer, who cannot be named because of a pending disciplinary hearing, has until May 30 to repay $388,477 into a trust account.

“So far all the (interim) payments have been made and the money is back in the trust account. We expect the last payment before the end of the month. He has paid more than half of it already, because he was required to,” said Fineblit.

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Freda Ahenakew [footprints]

Author: 
By Dianne Meili
Volume: 
28
Issue: 
3
Year: 
2011

Freda Ahenakew: Inspiring Elder was an internationally respected scholar

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Welcome to the Aboriginal Affairs minister [editorial]

Author: 
Windspeaker Staff
Volume: 
28
Issue: 
3
Year: 
2011

So Indian Affairs is no more in Ottawa. Instead, the Prime Minister’s Office, affectionately known in government circles as the PMO, blindsided bureaucrats by changing the name of the ministry without consultation or notice. There’s a shock.

On May 18, while introducing the Conservative majority government’s new Cabinet, MP John Duncan was named minister of Aboriginal Affairs. The employees of the department of Indian and Northern Affairs had to learn about the name change via television. Nice.

And “Indian” people too were hearing about the change for the first time that day, and believe us when we say it started a lot of speculation about the signal the Prime Minister was sending about the priority of First Nations issues in the country.

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Standing Rock is sitting in peace, says spiritual leader Arvol Looking Horse

Author: 
By Barb Nahwegahbow Windspeaker Contributor TORONTO
Volume: 
34
Issue: 
18
Year: 
2016

 

Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19th generation keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe and the spiritual leader of Standing Rock, brought a message of unity through the power of prayer to Toronto on Nov. 28.

“I am Lakota. I come from Standing Rock,” Chief Looking Horse said. “We have over 300 flags. We have more flags than the United Nations,” he said of the nations represented who stand with the water protectors in North Dakota against the Dakota Access Pipeline. More than 15,000 people are in the camp and it continues to grow, he said.

“Today, it’s the people that are uniting. We have recognized all ages, all nations. We must unite through these times,” he said.

Chief Looking Horse was speaking at a fundraising event for Standing Rock at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). The event was organized by Suzanne Smoke and a team of volunteers.

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Misconduct found in judge’s comments

Author: 
Windspeaker Staff
Volume: 
34
Issue: 
18
Year: 
2016

A committee of the Canadian Judicial Council has unanimously recommended that Justice Robin Camp be removed from the bench. Camp is the judge who asked a woman in a rape trial why she didn’t just keep her knees together to thwart the alleged sexual assault.

Camp faced an inquiry into his comments, made in Alberta in 2014. He told the committee, made up of five Superior Court judges and senior lawyers, that he was “very sorry that, on reflection and rereading what I said, that I intimidated her, using facetious words." He said his comments came from a "deep-rooted" bias.

The committee found that Camp committed “misconduct” as a provincial court judge at the trial. He has since been promoted to the Federal Court.

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Pipeline Approval: Watershed moment and an act of betrayal

Author: 
By Shari Narine Windspeaker Contributor OTTAWA
Volume: 
34
Issue: 
18
Year: 
2016

“We are not about to stand down and go quietly into the night. That’s not going to happen,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs.

Phillip was speaking an hour after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced approval for Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline and Enbridge’s Line 3.

Trudeau rejected Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project and promised to pass legislation for a moratorium on oil tanker traffic off the British Columbia north coast.

Rueben George with the Tsleil–Waututh Sacred Trust Initiative went a step further saying what’s happening in Standing Rock, North Dakota could happen in Canada.

“I think it’s inevitable. People have a right to express themselves,” he said, noting that over 100 First Nations spanning from Quebec to BC have signed a treaty alliance against tar sands expansion.

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Prophecies of old coming to fruition in fight for Mother Earth

Author: 
By Cara McKenna Windspeaker Contributor VANCOUVER
Volume: 
34
Issue: 
18
Year: 
2016

Several thousand people marched in Vancouver in opposition to Kinder Morgan on Saturday, Nov. 19, as many prepare to face arrest if the pipeline project is approved.

The unprecedentedly huge rally drew Indigenous people from diverse nations across Western Canada who spoke, sang and drummed alongside politicians on all levels who oppose the pipeline.

The display of opposition came just weeks before the federal government’s deadline of Dec. 19 to make a final decision on Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The project would nearly triple the capacity of the pipeline that carries crude oil from Alberta to Burnaby, B.C., and increase tanker traffic in the Burrard Inlet by sevenfold.

Amy George, an Elder from Tsleil-Waututh nation on the Burrard Inlet, told the crowd that a tanker spill would devastate her territory’s already ravaged shoreline.

“We’re the people of the inlet. We’ve been there for 30,000 years,” she said.

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Missing and murdered women’s commission will probe police behaviour

Author: 
By Shari Narine Windspeaker Contributor VAL-D'OR, Que.
Volume: 
24
Issue: 
18
Year: 
2016

The commissioners of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls have committed to examining police behavior.

In a statement issued Nov. 18, the commission said, “The situation in Val-d'Or is exactly the type of situation that the national inquiry will look at. Policing is a crucial government service that certainly falls under the inquiry's mandate.”

When the terms of reference were released in August, they did not specifically include police interaction with Indigenous women and their families.

“The institute was part of a number of groups that was very unhappy about that,” said Muriel Stanley Venne, president for Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women in Edmonton. “I don’t see how you can do a proper investigation without the input of the police’s actions anywhere in Canada.”

Stanley Venne is pleased that the examination of police behaviour is no longer a grey area.

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Our struggle continues [editorial]

Author: 
Windspeaker Staff
Volume: 
34
Issue: 
17
Year: 
2016

Bert Crowfoot, the publisher of Windspeaker and CEO of the Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta (AMMSA), has headed off to Ottawa to address the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.

On Nov. 17 he’ll be speaking to the committee about the importance of Indigenous media in Canada and how media concentration impacts our publications and operations.

The Standing Committee is attempting to ascertain how communities are “informed about local and regional experiences through news, broadcasting, digital and print media.” This is a wide-ranging discussion that has included information on the impacts of digital media on traditional media, the reality of diminished advertising revenues, which hits small publications like ours particularly hard, and the issue of unfair advantage.

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Mom says First Nations culture fine, but don’t give my kids any religion

Author: 
By Shayne Morrow Windspeaker Contributor PORT ALBERNI, B.C.
Volume: 
34
Issue: 
17
Year: 
2016

Assembly of First Nations B.C. Regional Chief Shane Gottfriedson suggests it’s time for parties to step back and take a deep breath. He was speaking about a lawsuit that has been filed in the BC Supreme Court.

“It’s really being blown out of proportion,” he said.

The lawsuit raises the issue of how schools should be allowed to teach and promote Indigenous culture in the classroom.

Port Alberni mother Candice Servatius has filed a petition alleging that her two children were required to take part, on two occasions, in First Nations religious practices at John Howitt Elementary School, in contravention of both the B.C. Schools Act and the Charter of Rights provisions respecting religious neutrality.

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