Sat Feb 21 & Wed Feb 25: Save Odawa’s 510 Drop-In Centre

1622387_1761223400769974_3511792773388271591_oOpen House / Prepare materials for Wed’s Rally/March
Saturday 11am-1pm at 510 Rideau

RALLY/MARCH to Save Odawa’s 510 Rideau Drop-In Centre
Wednesday 10am at Parliament Hill, march to Ottawa City Hall

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Print promo materials:


Background info/links follow, beneath event details

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The 510 Rideau Drop-In Centre will be holding an “Open House”
THIS Saturday, February 21st, at 11:00 a.m.

The purpose of this Open House is to meet the clients and staff of Centre 510 and to work alongside them in constructing pickets and signs, and to also meet with other people who are willing to assist and help with the rally, and we would also be able to get to know each other better!

If you are able to provide materials (such as signs, pickets, chairs for the elderly, and ANYTHING else that you can think of), please do, and it would be SO MUCH appreciated.

We really need your help! Spread the word!!Thank you!

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RALLY / MARCH to Save Odawa’s 510 Rideau Drop-In Centre

Join us on Wednesday, February 25th at 10 a.m to begin with a peaceful march to have the voices of the homeless heard in telling the Government of Canada and the City of Ottawa to restore funding to the Odawa Native Friendship Centre’s Shawenjeagamik – Centre 510 Drop-In Centre for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples!
(Shawnejeagamik means ‘House of Compassion’ in the Algonquin language).

Join us in solidarity for the betterment of all
There will be some great advocates and speakers, including Ottawa-Centre NDP MP Paul Dewar, for example, and lots of others voicing their support alongside the most vulnerable in our society – this being the homeless – who will tell their stories on how the elimination of funding for their Centre 510 Rideau and the Bannock Bus will directly affect them and the community of Ottawa located on un-surrendered, non-ceded Algonquin Territory!

The march itself will begin at the Peace Flame on Parliament Hill, and continue on a route that will take us down Wellington Street and turning onto Elgin Street, continuing to Laurier Avenue to City Hall of Ottawa.

Once Gathered at City Hall, we will hear a Prayer and Honor Song in accordance with the Traditional Indigenous Protocol of the First Peoples to begin the rally.

There will also be a beautiful and memorable “Unity For The Community – Round Dance Ceremony” for those able to participate.

Please bring your signs and pickets so we can have the voices of the Indigenous Peoples who are “Homeless on the Homelands” heard!

PleaseTweet: #unity4thecommunity #homelessonthehomelands

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/897472826960987

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LINKS / BACKGROUND:

Facebook group: Save Odawa 510 Rideau Drop-In Centre !!

Petition: Re-establish funding to the Homeless Drop-in Centre at 510 Rideau

Fundraising: SAVE THE ODAWA NATIVE FRIENDSHIP CENTRE DROP-IN

CBC Feb 4 (Video, audio, article):
Aboriginal homeless drop-in centre loses bid for city funding

Ottawa Citizen Feb 4 (article):
Odawa native group says funding cuts will force closing of homeless centre

Ottawa Sun Feb 4 (article):
Centre closure concerns Aboriginals

Metro News Feb 4 (article):
City funding cuts force Aboriginal homeless drop-in centre to close

APTN Feb 5 (video):
Ottawa’s Odawa drop-in centre closing

House of Commons Feb 5 (video):
Will the minister intervene to reinstate the funding to the Odawa centre?

Ottawa Citizen Feb 19 (article):
Councilor McKenney pledges help for homeless agencies

Centretown News Feb 23 (article):
Drop-in centre’s closure harms at-risk Aboriginals

Gabrielle Fayant Feb 23:
Open letter to Mayor Jim Watson, re: 510 Rideau

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Fundraising campaigns: Book, Film, Website Magazine

Greetings / ahneen / kwey kwey,

Today we are sending out information about three fundraising campaigns.

We hope you will take a look at them, and consider seeing if you can
support, and also if you can spread the word, to help these worthwhile
projects.

Miigwetch!

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QUICK LINKS:

Book: Honouring Indigenous Women: Hearts of Nations v2
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-launch-of-honouring-indigenous-women-hearts-of-nations-vol-2

Film: The Sixties Scoop: A Hidden Generation documentary
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-sixties-scoop-a-hidden-generation-documentary–2

Website magazine: Intercontinental Cry – People Land Truth 2013
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/people-land-truth

… more info on each follows:

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Honouring Indigenous Women: Hearts of Nations vol2 book

We are seeking funds to print 800 copies of this book in preparation for a
multi-city launch of this anthology for an Autumn 2013 release which
includes Vancouver, Edmonton, Regina, Toronto, Peterborough, Ottawa and
Manistee. These launches will reach more people to whom we also would like
to share the wealth of knowledge and inspiration this book offers to
empower all peoples to tell and share their stories.

When the Honouring Indigenous Women campaign was launched in 2011, many
Indigenous women praised this initiative as it was creating a place for
Indigenous women’s voices while offering a complimentary space to allies
and alliances. Indigenous women recognized the importance of this space as
their voices were not marginalized or on the peripheral. As we have
learned, the mainstream media often reinforces stereotypes and patriarchal
thinking towards Indigenous women in their stories, and often does not
portray the whole picture.

This anthology is a re-presentation of Indigenous women by Indigenous
women by  sharing lived experiences, realities and offering unique
perspectives of each contributors’ worldview.

It is a celebration and a practice of freedom for both its creators and
readers.

Fund it: http://igg.me/at/HIW-vol-2
Website: http://thesoundofmyheart.weebly.com/

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The Sixties Scoop: A Hidden Generation documentary film

Q&A with Filmmaker, Colleen Cardinal

Q. Why did you embark on this project?

A. There needs to be an awakening in Canada to the realities of Indigenous
peoples—especially us telling our own stories to raise awareness, educate
and support our own healing journeys. My lived experiences include being
caught up in a deliberate attempt at cultural genocide—death by social
policy. When I first learned there were thousands of adoptees that went
through similar experiences of cultural loss, loneliness and abuse as I
did, I wanted to support them and make sure their stories were validated
and shared.

We will share what it was like to grow up in non-Indigenous families,
without their culture, language, lands, identity and relations. This
deliberate attempt at assimilation of Indigenous people in Canada and
enforced federal policy through Children’s Services or Children’s Aid
Societies left the survivors feeling disconnected from themselves and
their people. Robert Commanda will also lend his voice and insights about
a class action lawsuit against the Ontario provincial government that he
has been fighting in the courts for the past four years. The documentary
will also include my son Sage Hele, who will speak about how
inter-generational trauma, abuse and discrimination shaped his own life. I
am grateful to those involved with this project for their resilience,
passion and openness to sharing their stories and healing journeys.

Q: Why is this documentary so important NOW?

A: I feel this is important because of the growing need for understanding,
awareness and education for mainstream Canadian audiences. The Idle No
More movement and the resurgence of Indigenous culture and awareness has
Indigenous people asking questions and awakening their need to reclaim
their identity. I also feel this documentary needs to be shared so that
other 60′s Scoop survivors know they are not alone.

Fund it: http://igg.me/p/456883
Film website: http://ahiddengeneration.wordpress.com
Videos of speakers from trailer launch / community gathering:
http://equitableeducation.ca/2013/the-sixties-scoop

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People Land Truth 2013 – Intercontinental Cry magazine

Intercontinental Cry (IC) Magazine needs your help. As an independent,
volunteer-run magazine, we are proudly funded by our readers; however, we
are currently facing some financial difficulties that threatens the
continuation of our work, including the publication of our 9th anniversary
magazine, PEOPLE LAND TRUTH 2013

Now in its 9th year online, Intercontinental Cry (IC) is one of the only
grassroots online publications dedicated to the world’s Indigenous
Peoples. So far we’ve written stories for 497 Indigenous Nations in 190
countries; authored 74 monthly reports and highlighted more than 400
outstanding videos and films. What’s more, we’ve done it all for free.

In an effort to highlight some of our work, we decided last June to bring
the best of IC to paper with an anniversary magazine called PEOPLE LAND
TRUTH (PLT).  In the spirit of sharing, we made an eBook version that was
free to the public; the print version, meanwhile, was available for a
modest donation. We did the same thing six months later with INDIGENOUS
STRUGGLES 2012: DISPATCHES FROM THE FOURTH WORLD, our first annual
briefing on the global indigenous movement.

Fund it: http://igg.me/at/people-land-truth
Alt fund it: http://intercontinentalcry.org/donate/
Website: http://intercontinentalcry.org/
Publications: http://intercontinentalcry.org/publications/

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Feb 14 – Day of Justice: Rally for Sisters in Spirit

Monday February 14, noon-1:30pm
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Algonquin Territory
(Facebook page)

Also events in Vancouver and Winnipeg, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal

Come out and show support for the survival of the Native Women’s Association of Canada’s (NWAC) unprecedented Sisters in Spirit campaign (SIS), which, since it’s inception in 2004, has worked to raise awareness about violence against Native women and girls in Canada–namely, those who have gone missing or been murdered.

SIS not only compiled a data for over 583 cases of missing and murdered Native women in five years time, but also identified key patterns integral to understanding the systemic nature of the violence: media neglect or racial bias, police racism or negligence, victimization of Native women by the Justice system, and governmental apathy and enforcement of cycles of poverty for Native communities, to name a few. In a relatively short period of time, SIS also managed to raise the profile of the issue in the media and in the minds of the population at large, while providing indispensable support to the families of victims and creating a cross-country network.

This October 86 communities organized the 5th annual memorial Sisters in Spirit March and Vigil, including one in Nicaragua.

In spite of this progress, and the ongoing collection of new data (indeed, grassroots groups have put the number of missing and murdered women much closer to 2000), the government has held SIS in funding limbo for the past 8 months, ever since the release of Canada’s 2010 budget back in March, when $10 million was promised to “address the issue of missing and murdered Native women.” It wasn’t until November 2010 that the government finally made the announcement that confirmed the worst fears of many activists, organizers, and even opposition MPs: the money would not go to fund SIS research, but would instead fulfill the government’s new idea of safety for women, and include requirements for enhanced police power: amendments to the Criminal Code to allow police to wiretap without warrants in emergencies and obtain multiple warrants on a single application. This will not only increase the likelihood of criminalization of women, Native communities, and other vulnerable sectors of the population, but will be expected to operate without the backbone of research and data collection. Add to this the historical and ongoing relationship of distrust between many Native communities and police, who are themselves implicated in a number of documented violent altercations with Native women. Gladys Tolley, for instance, was killed by the Surete du Quebec in 2001 and no one was ever brought to justice. Her daughter Bridget Tolley has pushed for an independent investigation for years and was recently refused.

ENOUGH is ENOUGH!! We will not stand for the continued stripping down of First Nations programs essential to the physical safety and mental and emotional health of Native women and Native communities, as we have seen earlier this same year with the Aboriginal Healing Foundation and First Nations University.

RALLY FOR JUSTICE on February 14th. SHOW YOUR LOVE!

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Volunteers needed!

We are looking for volunteers who would like to help out on the Hill, February 14th from noon to 1:30 pm (shorter if windchill warning in effect).

There are a number of tasks available:

– Handing out rally signs
– Handing out memorial armbands
– Being a part of our human billboard (by holding 1 of 19 letters to send a clear message to Stephen Harper)
– Helping to coordinate the human billboard on the steps of the Hill
– Taking photos/video of the event (to be posted online afterwards)

If you are interested in volunteering please email Kristen at familiesofsistersinspirit@gmail.com

In love and resistance!

Is this our Canada? A Public Lecture by Cindy Blackstock and Exhibition of the Caring Across Boundaries Photography Exhibit

UPDATE: Please see the video of this event:

 

Please join us for

Click the image to download the poster

A Public Lecture by Cindy Blackstock, the Executive Director of First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and Exhibition of the Caring Across Boundaries Photography Exhibit:

Is This Our Canada?
How racial discrimination in children’s services undermines the potential of this generation of First Nations children and what you can do to help

with an opening ceremony by Claudette Commanda, an Algonquin Elder and introduction by Georges Sioui, the coordinator of Aboriginal Study of University of Ottawa in the beginning of the lecture

Lecture will begin at 7 pm on Wednesday, Sept 22, 2010
@ Alumni Theatre, Jock Turcot University Centre, University of Ottawa (map)

Caring Across Boundaries Photography Exhibit Photography by Liam Sharp will be open all day, from 11 am to 9 pm on Wednesday, Sept 22, 2010 @ Agora, Ground Floor of Jock Turcot University Centre, University of Ottawa (map)

** Admission is free, everyone is welcome.  Donation is appreciated.

As of May of 2005, the Wen:de study found that 0.67% of non Aboriginal children were in child welfare care in three sample provinces in Canada as compared to 10.23% of status Indian children.

According to federal government figures the number of status Indian children entering child welfare care rose 71.5% nationally between 1995-2001.

Is this our Canada?

The Canadian Incidence Study on Reported Child Abuse and Neglect (CIS) has found that First Nations children come to the attention of child welfare authorities for different reasons than non Aboriginal children. First Nations are not more likely to experience abuse than non-Aboriginal children. First Nations children are more likely to be reported for neglect which is driven by poverty, poor housing and caregiver substance misuse.

Based on an audit conducted by the Auditor General of Canada, the percentages of children in care on reserves ranged from 0 to 28% in 2007.

Is this our Canada?

Provincial child welfare laws apply both on and off reserves. The provinces fund child welfare for children off reserve but expect the federal government to fund it on reserve. If the federal government does not fund the services or funds them inadequately, the provinces typically do not top up the funding levels. This results in a two tiered child welfare system where First Nations children on reserves get less funding for child welfare than other children.

Repeated reports, including by the Auditor General of Canada (2008) and Standing Committee on Public Accounts (2009) confirm that federal government funding for child welfare services on reserves is inadequate and must be changed in order to ensure First Nations children and families on reserves receive a comparable and culturally based child welfare services.

Although the federal government has been aware of the shortfalls in its child welfare funding for over nine years, it has implemented only modest improvements in three provinces.

Overall there are more First Nations children in child welfare care in Canada than at the height of residential schools.  Canada ranked 3rd on the United Nations Human Development index however; the First Nations communities in Canada ranked 72nd.

Is This Our Canada?

Please join us in this lecture to learn about the reality of child welfare services in Indigenous communities across Turtle Island (a.k.a. Canada) and ways you can make difference for the First Nations children. 

For comprehensive background information, research and publications on First Nations Child Welfare, please visit  http://www.fncaringsociety.com/.

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Caring Across Boundaries is an exhibition about the importance of reconciliation between First Nations and the rest of Canada for the wellbeing of children and youth. Reconciliation opens the doors for all Canadians to have a new relationship with First Nations based on mutual respect and friendship.

In this exhibition, three First Nations communities share their daily experiences with a view to inviting every Canadian to make a positive difference for First Nations children and their families.

It is a collaboration between renowned photographer Liam Sharp, Aboriginal child rights advocate Cindy Blackstock and the First Nations communities of Attawapiskat, Ontario; Carrier-Sekani Family Services: a branch society of the Carrier-Sekani Tribal Council, British Columbia; and, Tobique First Nation, New Brunswick.

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Bios

Liam Sharp is an internationally renowned photographer who specializes in storytelling conceptual photography. For over twenty years, Liam has worked in settings ranging from diamond vaults to impoverished neighbourhoods, museums, sky scrapers and theme parks. He was the recipient of the Silver Award of the Art Directors Club of Canada in 2009 and was nominated for a National Magazine Award. His work has been featured in Graphis, Applied Arts and PDN magazines, Report on Business, The London Times Magazine, among others publications.  Go to liamsharp.com for a glance of his work.

Cindy Blackstock is one of Canada’s leading and most passionate spokespersons for the promotion and strengthening of First Nations cultures, knowledge and rights. A member of the Gitksan First Nation, and the Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada (FNCFCS), she has worked in the field of child and family services for over 20 years.

ATTAWAPISKAT FIRST NATION is home to the Mushkego or Omushkego James Bay Cree located along the Attawapiskat River near James Bay, Ontario. The community takes great pride in its Cree culture and language and most children are fluent in Cree despite the devastating impacts of colonization. Daily life for families in the community is difficult. The school sits on a site contaminated by over 30,000 gallons of diesel fuel, sanitation systems are grossly inadequate, food costs are high, and there are severe housing shortages. The community leadership has worked hard with federal and provincial governments to deal with the problems but progress is slow.

CARRIER SEKANI NATIONS people historically have resided in a vast territory, of over 76,000 kilometers, primarily located in North Central British Columbia. Today there are approximately 10,000 individuals represented by 22 Indian Bands or First Nations, as recognized by the Department of Indian Affairs that identify as being Carrier or Sekani societies. Families are challenged by the inter-generational impacts of colonization, poverty and unresolved land claims. Carrier Sekani peoples have developed institutions such as Carrier Sekani Family Services to help community members but they need more resources to meet all of the needs. Go to www.csfs.org for more information.

TOBIQUE FIRST NATION
is a Maliseet community located in a rural area along the St. John River in New Brunswick. A hydro electric dam was built on their lands but the community receives very little benefit from the dam. They pay some of the highest electric power bills in the province, have seen their traditional foods and medicines eroded due to the dam and many community members are living in poverty. Federal and Provincial government funding for essential government services such as education and child welfare fall far below what other children in the province receive. This community is working hard to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their children but they need access to the resources other communities take for granted.

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This lecture and exhibition are presented by First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, Forum on Aboriginal Research and Study – University of Ottawa and Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa, and sponsored by Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Public Service Alliance of Canada and Ontario Public Interest Research Group – University of Ottawa

The lecture will be presented in English.

Canadian Human Rights Tribunal

PURPOSE: To witness the motion to dismiss the Human Rights Hearings on whether or not the federal government is treating First Nations children fairly.
DATE: June 2 and 3, 2010 (9:30-5:00)
LOCATION: The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, 11th floor, 160 Elgin Street, Ottawa ALGONQUIN TERRITORY

First Nations Child and Family Caring Society is trying to get as much support out to 160 Elgin Street as possible on June 2nd and 3rd.  The hearings begin at 9:30, break at 12:00 for lunch and then go until 5:00.  If people could come even for a part of that time (like an hour or so) it would be great.

Please click here to read the message from Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director of the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society.

This is a historic case because it would be the first time in Canadian history that a Tribunal hearing has dealt with a whole people being discriminated against (systemic discrimination), not just individuals.  The impact would be immense.  Please come out and show our solidarity with First Nations children and families.

BACKGROUND

On Feb. 26, 2007, the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society (FNCFCS) filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) alleging that Canada is racially discriminating against First Nations children by providing less child welfare funding, and thus benefits, on reserves.

Continue reading “Canadian Human Rights Tribunal”

Cuts to Aboriginal Healing Foundation

In the 2010 budget, the federal government announced it was discontinuing funding to the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. 134 programs across the country are affected as of Wed March 31

On Monday, six women (non-Native solidarity activists from Montreal) staged a sit-in to protest the cuts and demand reinstatement of funding:

On the same day, Aboriginal leaders called on the government to reinstate funding: