As the crisis of inadequate housing and colonial repression continues in Attawapiskat and other First Nations, what can we do to hold our governments accountable for the prevalent violence deliberately perpetrated against these unique peoples?
With our gratitude and respect to the original peoples of this land we live on, and acknowledgement of the over 500 years of their resistance to colonialism, patriarchy and racism, in the spirit of reconciliation, we ask all to show solidarity by:
- learning about the root causes of the crisis;
- speaking out against the governments and media’s misrepresentation of the issues;
- rallying in front of the Supreme Court of Canada on Tuesday, February 14 at 10:30 am as it hears a landmark human rights case on Canada’s systematic underfunding of services on First Nations reserves; and
- attending the court to show your solidarity during the hearing of this unprecedented human rights case (Feb. 13-15) at the Supreme Court of Canada
Details about each of these actions follow, below.
1. Learn more
Check out the link below for an overview and other insightful analysis of the crisis in Attawapiskat:
Canadian Colonialism: The Attawapiskat Humanitarian Crisis – an Example of Continuing Oppression and Genocide by Canadian Government: https://ipsmo.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/canadian-colonialism-the-attawapiskat/
2. Speak out
We must speak out against skewed, colonialist misrepresentations of the situation wherever we encounter them in our daily lives.
We also must let public officials know about our disgust with the federal government’s shameful victim-blaming response to the humanitarian emergency in Attawapiskat, and the Ontario government’s irresponsibility to the well-being of the First Nation. We must demand peace, justice and equity for all of First Nations peoples. It is our responsibility.
Here are a few suggestions for officials to write to:
- John Duncan, Federal Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development: email@example.com, Phone: 819-997-0002, FAX: 819 953 4941
- Kathleen Wynne, Ontario Minister of Aboriginal Affairs: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Joanne Wilkinson, Ontario Regional Director General of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada: Phone: 416-973-6201
- Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: 613-992-4211, Fax: 613-941-6900
- Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario: email@example.com, Phone: 416-325-1941, Fax: 416-325-3745
- David Johnston, Governor General of Canada: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: 613-993-8200, Fax: 613-998-8760
3. Attend Have a Heart Day Rally
Tuesday, February 14th
10:30 am ~ 11:30 am
Parliament Hill, unceded Algonquin Territory
Bring your creative signs to support First Nations children!
“Have a heart for First Nations Children” image source: http://www.fncfcs.com/have-a-heart/cards
From February 13th to 15th, the Federal Court will hear an appeal on a human rights case that challenges Canada’s racially discriminatory underfunding of children’s welfare services on First Nations reserves by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada (the Caring Society) and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN). Timed to coincide with this hearing, the Caring Society has declared February 14th “Have a Heart Day for First Nations children”.
Allies of First Nations children, led by the students of Lady Evelyn Alternative School and Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School, are organizing a rally in front of the courthouse to show Canada we care about First Nations children!
The case is relevant to Attawapiskat because it centres on the principle of culturally based equity that essential services accessed by First Nations children and families on reserves should be funded at a level equal to the funding level for all of Canadian residents. If the Caring Society and AFN are successful in this human rights case, it will set a precedent to address funding inequities in all areas on reserves, including housing, education, recreation, health care, clean water and sanitation. Canada is not arguing this case on the facts relevant to whether discrimination is occurring rather they are trying to avoid a hearing on this matter using legal loopholes.
For more information on this historic event: www.fnwitness.ca
We are calling upon peoples to attend the rally on Feb. 14 at 10:30 am in front of the Supreme Court of Canada (301 Wellington Street).
4. Court Support throughout the Federal Court Appeal on the child welfare case
Feb 13-15, 2012
9:30 am ~ 4:30 pm
(10:30, 2:30 coffee break & noon-1pm lunch break)
90 Spark Street, Ottawa, unceded Algonquin Territory
The Caring Society is calling upon observers to attend the hearing of the appeal throughout these three days.
“I am a Witness” Image source: http://www.fncfcs.com/fnwitness