July 24-28: Asinabka Film & Media Arts Festival comes to Ottawa for the second year!


 

The Asinabka Film & Media Arts Festival – http://asinabkafestival.org – is bringing powerful and thought-provoking art and film to Ottawa for another summer. The Festival, to be held July 24-28 2013, provides an opportunity for Indigenous peoples to tell their own stories and showcase their rich and vibrant culture in the National Capital Region.

This year, the Festival will feature a wide array of programming, including a series of films that examine deep spiritual connections to the land and the important role that women play in Aboriginal communities. The Festival will also focus on human rights and sovereignty issues raised by the Idle No More movement.

The Festival will revolve around strong programming with over 10 film screenings, including a delicious pre-festival “Dinner And A Movie” night at Mitla Café, an outdoor opening and film screening on Victoria Island, film programs at the National Gallery of Canada and Club SAW, and a “Gallery Crawl” with curated art exhibitions at Gallery 101 and Fall Down Gallery.

 

Highlights of the Festival include:

• A screening of the documentary “The People of the Kattawapiskak River” that exposes the housing crisis faced by 1,700 Cree in Northern Ontario. Director Alanis Obomsawin will be in attendance and participate in a Q & A session led by Journalist Waubgeshig Rice.

• An opening night outdoor screening on Victoria Island, showing the critically acclaimed film “The Lesser Blessed” by Director Anita Doron and award winning Writer/Producer Richard Van Camp.

• A “Gallery Crawl” event including the opening of two person art exhibition “In-Digital” at Gallery 101 with the artists Jason Baerg and Christian Chapman in attendance, followed by a “Misko (Red) Party” at Fall Down Gallery with artwork by local and emerging artists, and an evening of multi-disciplinary performance with spoken word, live painting, experimental video-art, and live music.

• A “Dinner & A Movie” Night at Mitla Café (July 18 & 19), serving authentic Oaxacan Cuisine prepared by Chef Ana, and screening Director Roberto Olivares Ruiz’s film “Silvestre Pantaleón”.

• A weeklong video production program called “Video Works”, facilitated by Indigenous Culture & Media Innovations (ICMI), and held at the SAW Video Media Art Centre. Work produced during the program will be screened on the final night of the Festival.

• A “Late Night” film program at Club SAW titled “Fabulous Fantasies”, screening 8 short films that are quirky, humorous, dystopian, futuristic, queer, and fabulous.

 

“This event promises to be an excellent venue for advancing works from emerging and established Indigenous artists, both nationally and internationally,” stated Asinabka Co-Directors Howard Adler and Chris Wong. “Such a festival also has the potential to help Canadians better understand the realities of Indigenous peoples lives and experiences.”

This year’s Asinabka Film & Media Art Festival will feature more free programming then ever before. A large proportion of the Festival’s programming will be offered free of charge, including three film programs in partnership with the National Gallery of Canada and its “Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art exhibition”. As a result, the Festival will highlight Indigenous films not only from Canada, but also from Brazil, Russia, Australia, and the United States.

 

For more information about the Festival, please go to: http://asinabkafestival.org

For more information about the Festival, please contact Howard Adler at asinabkafestival at gmail.com or 613.889.9559

 

The Asinabka Film & Media Art Festival would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario, as well as funding support from the City of Ottawa. We also thank our Festival Partners, the National Gallery of Canada, Saw Video, Gallery 101, Saw Gallery, ICMI, Wapikoni Mobile, Fall Down Gallery and Aboriginal Experiences.
 

July 2 Book Launch – Aboriginal Rights Are Not Human Rights: In Defence of Indigenous Struggles, with author Peter Kulchyski

Tuesday July 2nd, 7pm
at 251 Bank Street, 2nd Floor (Octopus Books in Centretown)

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/389732467799306

Join us for the Ottawa launch of Aboriginal Rights Are Not Human Rights: In Defence of Indigenous Struggles, by Peter Kulchyski.

Aboriginal rights do not belong to the broader category of universal human rights because they are grounded in the particular practices of aboriginal people. So argues Peter Kulchyski in a provocative book from the front lines of indigenous people’s struggles to defend their culture from the ongoing conquest of their traditional lands. Kulchyski shows that some differences are more different than others, and he draws a border between bush culture and mall culture, between indigenous people’s mode of production and the totalizing push of state-led capitalism.

Peter Kulchyski is a leading Canadian Native Studies scholar at the University of Manitoba. He has published numerous books on Aboriginal issues, including The Red Indians and Like the Sound of a Drum: Aboriginal Cultural Politics in Denendeh and Nunavut, which won the 2005 Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction. Dr. Kulchyski is a founding member of the Friends of Grassy Narrows/Winnipeg Indigenous Solidarity Network and the Defenders of the Land, both Aboriginal rights community activist groups.

For more:
Interview with author Peter Kulchyski (at LPG.ca)

Co-sponsors:
Arbeiter Ring Publishing, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement (IPSMO) Ottawa, KAIROS Canada, MiningWatch Canada, Niigaan, Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) National Capital Region

Be a Witness to a historical event – the Federal Court Appeal on the First Nations Human Rights case

The appeal is open to the public and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society urges as many people as possible to learn more and take part in this historic event.

Feb. 13 – 15 th, 2012
9:30 am ~ 4:30 pm (10:30, 2:30 coffee break & noon-1pm lunch break)
Supreme Court of Canada 
301 Wellington St. Ottawa on unceded Algonquin Territory

The legal councils of Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, Canadian Human Rights Commission, Chiefs of Ontario, Amnesty International and Canada will present their arguments throughout these 3 days.

Be there to listen what they have to say!

Tentative schedule:

Day 1 – Canadian Human Rights Commission, The First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, and The Chiefs of Ontario
Day 2 – The Chiefs of Ontario, Amnesty International, The Aseembly of First Nations, and Attorney General
Day 3 – Replies: Commission / Caring Society / AFN

For a summary of the legal arguments of each party to this Federal Court Appeal: http://www.fncfcs.com/sites/default/files/fnwitness/witness-factum-summary.pdf

Please fill the doodle below and let us know when you plan to attend the hearing. This will help us keep track of the number of supporters. There is room for only 75 observers in the Federal Court room , however, an overflow room is also planned. The goal is to fill the court-room for both the morning and afternoon sessions of all three days.

http://www.doodle.com/m4t5a4b6kmvzpyha

If you are signing up as individuals who have no preference for either the morning or the afternoon, please consider coming for the afternoon sessions as we would like to give preference to teachers/professors and their students for the morning.

For details about this historical human rights case: www.fnwitness.ca

Solidarity with Attawapiskat! Learn, Speak up, and Rally on Feb. 14 2012!!

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?

Photo Credit: Liam Sharp,

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:

  1. learning about the root causes of the crisis;
  2. speaking out against the governments and media’s misrepresentation of the issues;
  3. 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
  4. 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/

Students putting letters supporting Shannen's Dream in school house mail box. Source: Shannen's Dream gallery http://www.fncfcs.com/shannensdream/gallery

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: minister@aadnc-aandc.gc.ca, Phone: 819-997-0002, FAX: 819 953 4941
  • Kathleen Wynne, Ontario Minister of Aboriginal Affairs: minister.maa@ontario.ca
  • Joanne Wilkinson, Ontario Regional Director General of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada: Phone: 416-973-6201
  • Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada: pm@pm.gc.ca, stephen.harper@parl.gc.ca, Phone: 613-992-4211, Fax: 613-941-6900
  • Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario: dmcguinty.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org, Phone: 416-325-1941, Fax: 416-325-3745
  • David Johnston, Governor General of Canada: info@gg.ca, Phone: 613-993-8200, Fax: 613-998-8760

You can also contact your member of Parliament (contact info can be found here: http://bit.ly/pKCBj4), and member of Provincial Parliament (see http://bit.ly/dl8sdz)

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)
Federal Court
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.

For more information on this appeal please see above or check this web site: www.fnwitness.ca. If you have any questions regarding this court support, please e-mail Sylvia at info@projectofheart.ca.

“I am a Witness” Image source: http://www.fncfcs.com/fnwitness

Image credit: First Nations Child and Family Caring Society

Vigil for the 500+ missing & murdered Aboriginal women

Help raise awareness about the violence and injustice suffered by Aboriginal women in Canada!

When: Friday, March 18th, 2pm
Where: Parliament Hill

* Click the images to download the posters

The McGill University Human Rights Working Group invites you take part in a vigil at Parliament Hill taking place Friday, March 18th at 2pm. The vigil will be the culmination of a two-week campaign in which McGill students, faculty and friends will strive to collect over 500 pairs of women’s shoes to be displayed on the steps of Parliament as a symbolic representation of the missing and murdered women. The shoes will be donated to women’s shelters in Ottawa and Montreal following the event.

Speakers at the vigil will include Kristen Gilchrist, Bridget Tolley and Lindsay Mossman. Those with personal stories or insight about the Stolen Sisters are welcome to come forward and share as well.

This event is part of a 13-day program honouring aboriginal women. The McGill Human Rights Working Group, in conjunction with McGill’s Aboriginal Law Students Association, the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, Missing Justice and the Aboriginal Health Group will be hosting a variety of events, beginning March 8th – International Women’s Day.

For more information about any of the events, including shoe donations and group transportation to Ottawa, please contact tiffany.boisvert@mail.mcgill.ca.

 

Thurs 13 Jan noon – Save Ottawa’s old-growth forest Rally!

Protect the Beaver Pond Forest in Kanata


We demand the City of Ottawa, the National Capital Commission (NCC) and the Province of Ontario to hold the development of the Beaver Pond Forest!

The Beaver Pond Forest is on unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin Territory.  All level of the government – the City of Ottawa, the NCC and the Province of Ontario must respect the requests of the Algonquin First Nation communities as well as the local Ottawa community to do a full archeological assessment of possible medicine wheels and artifacts dated back 10,000 years ago.

~~ RALLY! ~~

Noon, Thurs Jan 13
Meet at the Human Rights Monument, Elgin at Lisgar, next to City Hall

GOAL

This is a rally to demand that the City of Ottawa, National Capital Commission (NCC), and the Province of Ontario step up and do their job: order Urbandale Corporations and KNL Development Inc. not to clear-cut or blast any of the Beaver Pond Forest at least until spring when an archaeological assessment can be re-done.

This is for ecological, archaeological, cultural, spiritual and humane reasons. All levels of government could halt development based on new evidence that the archaeological assessment needs to be redone. But none is taking responsibility. So we are taking action to remind them to do their jobs and make the City of Ottawa a better place to live, for us now and for future generations.

PLAN for Thurs Jan 13:

  • 12pm (noon): Assemble at the Human Rights Monument at corner of Lisgar & Elgin, next to City Hall
  • Bring your own signs, we also have some made which will be used in a subsequent Activist Art show (first come, first served 😉
  • statements will be read, letters delivered, songs shared. We will march to the NCC Office at 40 Elgin Street, past their Info Ctr across from, Parliament Hill, and end back at City Hall. Exact schedule TBA.
  • Be musical (bring instruments & noisemakers!)
  • Main Message to City Hall, NCC, & Province: Take Responsibility! Do the Right Thing: Save Beaver Pond Forest!

MORE INFO

“Some twelve thousand years ago the South March Highlands where the Beaver Pond Forest is found was an island surrounded by the waters of the ice age created Champlain Sea. As the water receded, a rich and fertile land renewed its relationship with the winds. The birds, insects, animals and people living on the highlands at that time carried the seeds of trees and also pollen of the islandís plant life further and further into their ever-widening territory.” – Algonquin elder Albert Dumont

Now the developers are set to destroy the forest in order to build a subdivision. The commencement of destruction is immanent – we need to take a stand NOW!

Community voices:
http://the5thc.blogspot.com/
http://candle4kindness.wordpress.com/

A letter from Grandfather William Commanda, Algonquin Elder, to the relevant public officials: http://www.ottawasgreatforest.com/Site/Algonquin_Information.html

Details on inadequate environmental assessment & storm waster management plans: http://renaud.ca/wordpress/?p=716

TAKE ACTION:

Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa, Jim.Watson@ottawa.ca
Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario, dmcguinty.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org
Marie Lemay, Chief Executive Officer of NCC,
marie.lemay@ncc-ccn.ca
Michael Chan, Ontario Minister of Culture, mchan.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org
Peter Evans, Executive Assistant to the Deputy Minister for Culture,
Peter.Evans@ontario.ca
Chris Bentley, Ontario Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, cbentley.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org
Gordon O’Connor, Federal Cabinet Minister and MP for Kanata,
oconng@parl.gc.ca
Norm Sterling, MPP for Kanata, norm.sterlingco@pc.ola

Also write to the developers to hold the development of the Beaver Pond Forest and do a full archeological assessment of that area:
Urbandale: mjarvis@urbandale.com 613-731-6331http://urbandale.com/corp
Richcraft: info@richcraft.com – 613-739-7111 – http://richcraft.com

Petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Do-Not-Cut-Beaver-Pond-Forest-or-SMH/

Join the network to help protect this precious land:
– email info@ottawasgreatforest.com and ask to stay updated
– or on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=46087029890

UPDATES

Any updates will be on the FB Event page http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=155983114454420 and at http://candle4kindness.wordpress.com/2011/01/11/save-beaver-pond-forest-rally-at-city-hall-13-january-noon/

Media Release: Remote Algonquin First Nations travels en masse to Ottawa to protest Harper government’s attacks on their community and environmental agreement

Remote Algonquin First Nations travels en masse to Ottawa to protest Harper government’s attacks on their community and environmental agreement

Photo opportunity: A delegation will deliver a present — a giant copy of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and a community resolution against assimilation– to Ministers Duncan and Harper at their offices

OTTAWA, DEC 13/CNW/– More than a hundred members of the Barriere Lake Algonquin First Nation traveled to Ottawa today to demand the Harper government honour a landmark environmental agreement and stop waging a campaign of forcible assimilation against the community. They will be joined by a broad network of hundreds of supporters, including the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Public Service Alliance of Canada, the Council of Canadians, KAIROS, the New Democratic Party and Green Party, Christian Peacemaker Teams, and many others.

“How can anyone trust a government that won’t honour its word?” says Tony Wawatie, a Barriere Lake community spokesperson. In 1991, Canada and Quebec signed the United Nations-praised Trilateral Agreement with Barriere Lake to create a sustainable development plan for 10,000 square kilometers of the community’s traditional territory, but both the federal and provincial governments have refused to implement it.

“This agreement would allow us to protect our land and be economically independent. But Canada and Quebec don’t want to share the land’s wealth. So the Harper government is violating our constitutional rights by trying to forcibly abolish our traditional government, which maintains our sacred connection to the land and our ability to protect the environment,” says Wawatie.

In August, the Harper government imposed an Indian Act election process on Barriere Lake, in which less than a dozen community members cast ballots, while the rest of the community boycotted. Almost 200 people signed a resolution rejecting the entire process, wishing to preserve the traditional governance system they have used for countless generations. Four councillors and a Chief were acclaimed, but even the Chief resigned in protest.

“This is an undemocratic, unwanted, and foreign governance regime installed in order to derail our environmental agreement” says Wawatie. “Minister Duncan and the Harper government must reverse their draconian action and respect our right to maintain our traditional government.”

In an op-ed published today in the Globe & Mail, author and Giller-prize winner Joseph Boyden called on the Harper government to end its “abusive, bullying, and undemocratic” treatment of Barriere Lake.

“It would be a terrible tragedy for [Barriere Lake’s] customs to be struck down by the mere stroke of a Minister’s pen after they have served this First Nation well for so many decades and centuries,” National Chief Shawn Atleo of the Assembly of First Nations wrote Minister Duncan in a letter recently, urging him to reverse his department’s actions. “The Chiefs in Assembly have instructed me to stand with and in support of the Algonquins of Barriere Lake and I will do so. My preference is to do so in a way that promotes reconciliation with the department rather than confrontation.”

“Indigenous people who gather, hunt, and fish their food have an unmatched knowledge of the land and an interest in caring for it. They are the front-line of defense in protecting the environment for all of us,” says Arthur Manuel, director of the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade, and member of the Defenders of the Land network. “This is also their right because it is their land. This right is affirmed by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the Canadian Constitution. It’s time for the Canadian government to deal honourably and respect that right.”

“Maintaining a traditional governance system that is rooted in their cultural heritage is an integral part of fulfilling mandates that meet the vision of a sustainable community,” said Elizabeth May, national leader of the Green Party of Canada.

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PRESS CONFERENCE

WHEN: Monday, Dec. 13, at 11:00 AM

WHERE: Charles Lynch Room (130-S, Centre Block), Parliament Hill, Ottawa

WHO: Charlie Angus- NDP MP,  Arthur Manuel, spokesperson for the Indigenous Network of Economies and Trade, Tony Wawatie – Barriere Lake Community spokesperson

RALLY

WHEN: Monday, Dec. 13, from NOON to 2PM

WHERE: March begins on Parliament Hill, with speeches then starting at 1-1:15pm in front of Indian Affairs Minister John Duncan’s office at the Confederation building (Bank & Wellington).

For further information:

Tony Wawatie, Barriere Lake community spokesperson: 819-860-4121

To arrange interviews : 514-550-8706

For more information: www.barrierelakesolidarity.org

French version of this release (.doc): http://bit.ly/i3ul9T

For Joseph Boyden’s op-ed in the Globe and Mail: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/opinion/why-we-try-to-protect-our-land-lessons-from-barriere-lake/article1833684/

 

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