Canadian School Grave Sites Identified - Where Is The Media? - Canada's UN Statement - Meet The Resistance!
Submitted by Monica Davis
Group of 1,500+ members question media silence on report of mass grave locations
On April 10, 2008, the Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared held a press conference and public ceremony in which they released a list of twenty-eight reported mass graves across Canada – the graves of aboriginal children who died while in Indian Residential Schools.
Traditional media sources have ignored this heartbreaking and important story. A Facebook group "Mass Graves of Residential School Children Identified – Where Is the Media?" was started on April 18, and in less than a week had over 1,000 members. That number is now at 1,500 and still climbing. The group was formed to encourage members to contact the media to demand investigation into these reported grave sites.
The many abuses that First Nations children suffered at the hands of the church-operated, government funded Residential Schools are no longer secret. We know that aboriginal children were torn from their homes and families. Many were subjected to or witnesses of physical and/or sexual abuse. They died of diseases like tuberculosis at alarming rates, as reported last April by the Globe and Mail. An estimated 50,000 Residential school students are missing, their fate a mystery.
Now, from eyewitness accounts, documents, survey data and physical evidence, a list of 28 grave sites has been compiled and released, where allegedly the bodies of Residential school students were unceremoniously interred. Their deaths went unreported to their families. The devastating generational legacy of the Residential schools is tragedy enough. The insulting, degrading burial of the First Nations children who died while in church and government care warrants investigation and attention.
And yet, the traditional media remains largely mute about this important piece of Canadian history.
It is our right to know our heritage and our past, even if it fills us with sadness and shame. The only way to address this is to ensure that this story sees the light of day under public scrutiny, and that there is a full investigation is to make it become part of the public knowledge and consideration.
Please consider covering this topic in the very near future. It is in the public interest, and we must finally have the truth. List of the grave sites can be found here:http://hiddenfromhistory.org/RecentUpdatesampArticles/ Apr102008LocationofMassGravesRevealed/tabid/71/Default.aspx
Aboriginal Peoples Declare Canada's UN Statement Grave Disappointment On Climate Change
UNITED NATIONS, NY, April 23rd - The statement delivered by the Canadian government yesterday to the United Nations Permanent Forum (UNPFII) on Indigenous Issues was a grave disappointment to the Indigenous representatives attending the UNPFII's special session on climate change because "it does not address Indigenous Peoples' rights, needs and priorities in real climate change solutions," according to Indigenous Environmental Network director Tom Goldtooth.
Other groups represented include the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), Confederacy of Treaty 6 First Nations, the International Indian Treaty Council, the Indigenous Network on the Environment and Trade, the Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC) and the British Colombia First Nations Leadership Council.
"What the statement shows is how little the government cares to deal with climate change's effects or stopping climate change. They announced their plan to reduce 2006 greenhouse gas levels by 20% in 2020, but this is too little too late, and will only mean further devastation to our peoples," said Ben Powless (Mohawk) of the Indigenous Environmental Network.
Current impacts on First Nations communities were also left out. Grand Chief Edward John (Carrier Sekani) of the BC First Nations Leadership Council stated, "Canada is ignoring the devastating impacts of the mountain pine beetle on the lands, territories and resources of First Nations in BC." "Canada has stated that it is committed with us on climate change, so we call upon Canada to ensure the full participation of Indigenous Peoples in all domestic and international climate change discussions, initiatives and negotiations," concurred AFN National Chief Phil Fontaine.
Also evident was Canada's unilateral approach of dealing with Indigenous Peoples after they begin to have problems. "Canada is happy to pour more and more money into studying us and how we adapt to climate change, but not with addressing environmental issues at their source," stated Beverley Jacobs, President, NWAC. "They are now telling us they take traditional knowledge seriously, but that they would never consider implementing it themselves. These continued, seriously misguided federal policies are going to be the death of us," warned Arthur Manuel (Secwepmc) of the Indigenous Network on the Environment and Trade.
This comes after dramatic action was called for by Indigenous participants attending the forum. A representative of the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug Nation made a presentation to the forum attesting to the fact that her community's elected leadership had been jailed for opposition to destructive mining in their community. Elected representatives of Aboriginal communities surrounding the Tar Sands were also attending to detest the destructive practices upsetting their homelands.
For more information please contact:
Gina Cosentino, AFN: (613) 241 6789 x356
Grand Chief Edward John (778) 772 8218
Arthur Manuel: (250) 319-0688
The Permanent Forum is meeting from April 21 to May 2, 2008 at the UN in New York. This is its 7th session since starting in 2002. This year the forum was opened by Bolivian President Evo Morales. For more information please see http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/index.html
Meet The Resistance: A Speaking Tour of Affected Indigenous Communities
Submitted by Western Shoshone Defense Project
Over 3,000 people are attending the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) in New York, including Indigenous Nations, UN bodies, Governments and NGO's. Three Indigenous communities present at the forum are voicing their concern against the worlds largest gold mining company, Canadian owned Barrick Gold.
As side events to the UNPFII, Wiradjuri (Australia), Ipili (Papua New Guinea) and Western Shoshone (Nevada, USA) will be talking about the desecration and destruction of their lands by Barrick Gold. Please show your support by coming to the following events to hear about Barrick's exploitative and unsustainable practices on these communities lands, culture and life.
These events have been supported by Friends of the Earth Australia, ProtestBarrick.net, Western Shoshone Defence Project, Mineral Policy Institute, Save Lake Cowal and Akali Tange Association.
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