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The Morning

June 17, 2010

After finishing a project with Kids Can I’ve learned a lot about Google alerts. The project was a self marketing guide for authors on resources found on the internet. I included a large portion on RSS feeds and Google alerts.

If you already know what these are then you know they are a great way to receive news feeds and updates from your favourite sites. I just started using it to receive updates on First Nations’ issues and culture.

Treaty rights are rights granted nation to nation. I did an interview with Christopher Gagosz on the set of Storming Juno. He was adamant about having Anishnabec representation in his Second World War movie, that will be airing on Remembrance Day. What struck me about this man was his knowledge of First Nations’  history. So, we hit it off and talked about all things from Almighty Voice to Duck Lake to treaty rights.

He knew that treaty rights were concessions granted by the Canadian government to an ally nation; this other nation being Canada’s First Peoples. He went on to explain that the victim story is tired and we need to talk about the wins that have been made, like treaty rights granted for making this country great.

Now, that just makes sense.

So, something as simple as HST for Anishnabec people in Ontario tramples our treaty rights. Then I found this in my Google alert. Natives to Win HST Concession From Ottawa

Pretty cool, but the writer took the stance that Ottawa only gave the concession because they were afraid of Anishnabec reprisal. Oh look another blockade! It’s classic division to make sure treaty rights and history take a back seat to “You native people are fucking up my daily commute. Why don’t you be like us.”  That’s a silly question that could’ve been answered in school, had schools taught us our history.

My first – story, I wrote about five years ago,  was on the class action lawsuit for residential school survivors. It has now taken the form of the  Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Of course there is some opposition to this. And I found a great article about this opposition by Brenda Norrell

And here’s a little Blurb I’m borrowing from Norfolk Church:

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established as a result of the 2007 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. Its mandate is to inform all Canadians about what happened in the 150 year history of the residential schools, and guide and inspire a process of reconciliation and renewed relationships based on mutual understanding and respect

Yet, with all this going on the news is missing the awesome community events that are popping off for the summer. If there is one thing First Nations people do well, it’s party and celebrate. I mean really what other cultures have anything like a Pow Wow for the whole season of Summer. The whole point of a Pow Wow is to celebrate with song, dance, and Indian Tacos.

While in Wasauksing, near Parry Sound, I got to be part of the 5th annual Spring Fling. I even ran into Harmony Rice. Name dropping aside, the whole point of the day long event is for the kids to have fun. I heard “These Boots are Made for Walking” blasting in Ojibwe while a bunch of children threw baseballs at a dunk tank where the Chief was sitting.

The event is run by the parent advisory committee, usually 2 people. In an unfortunate turn of events the lead organizer passed away months before this last Spring Fling. Brother Dave, as he is affectionately referred to, was a staple in the community and would even take time to make sure the kids who were bussed to school got home safe.

The event was a success thanks to people stepping up to take the reins and honour Brother Dave’s contribution to his community. Wenonah, Anita, and Kim are now part of the committee and put in their time and effort to see it through.

In London, at the local high school H.S. Beall, an introductory Pow Wow was held for all students. The emcee explained the dances and regalia. The non First Nations students were taking part in the round dance, and everyone was having fun.

Well, if the mainstream papers covered all the good and fun stuff that happens in all of our communities we wouldn’t have entertaining news. We might see we have too much in common to sit around arguing about our little differences. But then that might not be called news.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Eva Rose permalink
    June 17, 2010 6:01 pm

    Good times – I ❤ Brother Dave

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