Silver-lining-in-genocide Senator wants to assimilate you

If there was ever an argument for abolishing Canada’s appointed Senate, Lynn Beyak is it. After defending the first genocide of the continent’s first nations by European colonials, then the second genocide through the residential school program by bonafide Canadians, Beyak spent her summer months supposedly meeting with Indigenous communities. Her takeaway? Give up your culture and assimilate–also, apply for citizenship that you already have.

“Trade your status card for a Canadian citizenship, with a fair and negotiated payout to each Indigenous man, woman and child in Canada, to settle all the outstanding land claims and treaties, and move forward together just like the leaders already do in Ottawa,” she said in an open letter published Sept. 1 on her Senate website.

(Indigenous people born in this country are Canadian citizens, and were given full voting rights in 1960.)

“Like the leaders already do in Ottawa” is an interesting euphemism, considering the outstanding criticism is that we flout our treaties. Perhaps Beyak is unaware, but a federal government dishonouring its agreements is generally perceived as a high-risk partner in diplomacy, and it severely damages your government’s ability to bargain. There’s a reason North Korea has exactly zero friends, with their supposed ally mostly using NK as a proxy to undermine the United States. The fact that Trudeau is undermining “fewer” of these treaties isn’t… exactly… progress.

Also, she’s apparently unaware that status first nations are still citizens? Why is this twit being paid with my tax money?

“None of us are leaving, so let’s stop the guilt and blame and find a way to live together and share,” she wrote. “All Canadians are then free to preserve their cultures in their own communities, on their own time, with their own dime.”

Great! So we’re de-funding the Catholic systems then! (Somehow I doubt that’s what she actually means)

How about, instead of paying this leaking ass-pimple her salary, we use the money to fire her into the fucking sun.

-Shiv

 

Conservative Senator wants you to find the silver lining of genocide

I’m not joking.

Conservative Senator Lynn Beyak mounted a defence of the residential school system for Aboriginal children in the Red Chamber Tuesday, lamenting that the “good deeds” accomplished by “well-intentioned” religious teachers have been overshadowed by negative reports documented by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Let us consult the report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission: (emphasis mine)

“[Residential school] was a very harsh environment. They, they treated us like criminals.… You, you had to, it’s like a prison. But we were small kids, and we didn’t understand. We didn’t understand harsh discipline. We, we understood love from our, our parents. But the harsh discipline was hard to take, and that happened to everybody, not only me.”

Children exposed to strict and regimented discipline in the schools sometimes found it difficult to become loving parents. Genine Paul-Dimitracopoulos’s mother was placed in the Shubenacadie residential school in Nova Scotia at a very early age. Paul-Dimitracopoulos told the Commission that knowing this, and what the school was like, helped her understand “how we grew up because my mom never really showed us love when we were kids coming up. She, when I was hurt or cried, she was never there to console you or to hug you. If I hurt myself she would never give me a hug and tell me it would be okay. I didn’t understand why.”4 Alma Scott of Winnipeg told the Commission that as “a direct result of those residential schools because I was a dysfunctional mother.… I spent over twenty years of my life stuck in a bottle in an addiction where I didn’t want to feel any emotions so I numbed out with drugs and with alcohol…. That’s how I raised my children, that’s what my children saw, and that’s what I saw.

Residential schools, as acknowledged by the prime minister’s own admission in his 2008 official apology from Canada, were an attack on Aboriginal children and families. They were based on racist attitudes that considered Aboriginal families as being frequently unfit to care for their children. By removing children from their communities and by subjecting them to strict discipline, religious indoctrination, and a regimented life more akin to life in a prison than a family, residential schools often harmed the subsequent ability of the students to be caring parents.

Your conservative “family values,” everyone.

*spit*

-Shiv

 

Terrorist. The word you’re looking for is terrorist.

On July 14, the world asked ourselves what kind of monster could possibly drive a truck into a crowd of people. The media promptly mentioned Tunisian within the opening paragraphs of summaries of that evening–the ever-so-slightly more credible outlets pointed out he was a Tunisian-French dual national. The ethnicity was front and centre. He had a Muslim name. Terrorist this, terrorist that.

So now we have an example of another truck driver, one who had been hurling ethnic slurs at Indigenous environmental protesters prior to his attack where he deliberately accelerated his vehicle through a crowd.

“What kind of monster” we should ask. If we are so quick to draw a pattern between lone wolf terrorists when they’re brown and black, one wonders where this patterned analysis disappears to when the perpetrator is, time and time again, white.

RENO, Nev. — Detectives are reviewing witness accounts and “horrifying” cellphone video while they consider filing a criminal complaint after a pickup truck plowed into a crowd of people during a Native American rights demonstration in downtown Reno, the police chief said Tuesday.

A Facebook Live video of the protest shows a pickup truck revving its engine in front of the crowd that had spilled onto the street in Reno’s downtown. Several protesters confronted the driver and the passenger before the truck drives through the crowd, tires squealing, at about 6:40 p.m. Monday.

One of the witnesses who posted video on Facebook Live said the two men in the pickup had been “stalking the protest” at the original site where the activists had gathered two blocks away.

“They drove by once as we were walking toward the arch, yelling obscenities,” said Taylor Wayman, 27, who said he was not an official member of the sponsoring groups but decided to attend the rally.

“I heard the driver ask one of the protesters, ‘Do you want me to kill your homies?’ and that really set everybody off,” Wayman told AP on Tuesday.

So he circles around the protest hurling ethnic slurs, and we’re supposed to believe he had no intentions of deliberately manoeuvring to position the protest in front of his vehicle, threaten to run them over–which rightly pissed the protesters off–and then use their anger as a pretext to do exactly that?

Here’s the word you’re missing, mainstream media: White Supremacy Terrorist. Stop excusing this behaviour. Even a hate crime obfuscates what is happening here. That man threatened the protesters. That man is trying to make Indigenous Americans afraid to protest the ghettos, the segregation, the police brutality. That man is sending a message to people across the country: Your white skin is worth more than their red skin.

That driver is using fear to control.

That driver threatened the protesters with death on multiple occasions.

That driver is a terrorist motivated by white supremacy.

That’s the kind of monster. Now don’t be fucking shy to name it.

-Shiv

Canadian news coverage of racism “unpopular”

In news that I’m sure will absolutely and completely take you by surprise, a CBC Editor shared openly that the reason Indigenous issues aren’t often represented in the mainstream media is because white people don’t read/listen to it:

This is not a guess. Whereas news organizations in the past relied mostly on gut instinct to gauge the importance of any particular subject to the audience, they now have hellishly accurate online tools that can measure precisely how many people are reading any story at any moment.

Big numbers are the prize, and editors and columnists know beyond a doubt that when they select certain topics for coverage, the audience will probably tank.

I’ve learned that one guaranteed way to shrink my numbers is to write about Israel/Palestine, or, to an even greater extent, Indigenous issues.

In that vein I’ll remind FtB readers that Caine is at the actual Standing Rock Camp doing bonafide journalism. You can see the first post of their series here.

It is important for you to know. Better if you can help in some way and choose to. Money can be sent here or here. Signal boost the campaigns, Caine’s work, or those few media outlets that are reporting on the camp fairly. Or even attend the camp! Anything but “meh” is helpful.

-Shiv

Internet proves how not racist it is by hurling racist abuse on social media

Content Notice: Virulent racism.

Brad Wall, the Conservative Premier of Saskatchewan, is normally a slime ball.

He still is, generally, but when he asked social media commentators to tone down their racist content following a confrontation that left an Indigenous man dead, the internet decided the best way to prove how not racist it was was to up the ante on anti-Native racism:

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Alberta Health: “Indigenous populations exhibit startlingly low life expectancy”

Alberta Health has released its annual report on life statistics in the province. It also collects demographic data on its participants because sometimes (usually) trends appear in specific populations, identifying these can help with creating policy to redress certain health problems. An outcome as general as “life expectancy” has a lot of contributing factors to it, and investigating those trends can lead to identifying health care gaps.

In a refreshingly honest report, Alberta Health has identified one of its gaps–Indigenous communities: (emphasis added; spacing added to make it more readable)

There is a large difference in life expectancy for Alberta’s First Nations population in comparison to Alberta’s total provincial population. Life expectancy at birth in 2015 was 70.36 years for First Nations people – about 12 years shorter than 81.87 years for the total provincial population.

In comparison to Alberta’s total population, the First Nations population experiences an infant mortality rate that is more than one and a half times higher, a suicide rate that is five to seven times higher, a higher rate of diabetes, and significantly higher rates of arthritis, asthma, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

This is consistent with national results which indicate the health of Indigenous peoples is much worse than for Canadians as a whole. To improve the health status of a population, a broad range of factors need to be considered including health services, personal health practices and coping skills, and social factors such as housing and education.

Bearing in mind that the Liberal government has also admitted the RCMP has a racism problem, it would appear that our left-wing governments are starting to take steps to honouring their “government accountability” platform planks, something the Albertan NDP and the Canadian Liberals both campaigned on. Whereas the Conservatives were very much “nothing to see here folks,” we’ve now had two levels of government admit there are racialized gaps in at least two government systems. In this case, federal police and provincial healthcare.

Perhaps most impressively, the Albertan NDP stated in this report that the primary way to improve health outcomes isn’t just to expand healthcare, but also to expand social programs and infrastructure that urban or white rural populations enjoy. This costs money, which is probably why our Conservatives never wanted to admit we had a problem.

This report was brought to my attention by a business blog for Drawing Board Design, who stated in their post:

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Meanwhile in Canada…

A Siksika First Nation man’s home was invaded by RCMP officers in the wee hours of the morning. Having been roused from his sleep rather rudely, Christian Duck Chief thought his home was being robbed and initially resisted. After the “you’re under arrest”s started he understood what was happening. He was beaten by the arresting officer even after he stopped freaking out:

RCMP making an arrest are alleged to have battered an Alberta First Nation man, hauled him naked from his home and brought him to a detachment before realizing he needed an ambulance, says his family who are accusing the police of racism and brutality.

Christian Duck Chief, 23, is recovering from a broken eye socket, fractured cheek bone, fracture to the back of his head and a broken nose.

Duck Chief and his wife say they were sleeping in their home on the Siksika First Nation southeast of Calgary Friday when RCMP from the Gleichen detachment entered their home around 6 a.m. to arrest him.

“I can hear him screaming for me, and I can hear him saying ‘Stop, honey help me,'” said Duck Chief’s wife, Chantel Stonechild, who said she was taken out of the home as her husband was still being beaten.

They acknowledge Duck Chief struggled at first, saying he was on his stomach when woken and didn’t know it was police. But they allege an RCMP officer hit him at least 20 times after he stopped struggling and shouted that he wasn’t resisting, even as he lay handcuffed on the floor.

Duck Chief — who has been charged in connection with the incident — and his lawyer said the force used by the officer was excessive.

Duck Chief said he struggled at first because he thought someone had broken into their home and was attacking them, and initially bit the officer’s finger.

That’s when the beating began, according to Stonechild. She said that as soon as the officer said “stop resisting arrest” her husband realized what was happening and complied.

“Christian said, ‘I’m not resisting, I’m not resisting,’ and the cop started elbowing him in the face,” said Stonechild. “More than 20 times that cop hit him on the face while he was on the ground.”

Even while he was on the ground, handcuffed and not resisting, the elbows to the face continued, said Stonechild.

Well gee, if someone entered my home completely unannounced I’d probably assume the worst, too. Is this standard operating protocol?

Oh, and of course, it couldn’t be a mistake by the cops. Duck Chief must have some overdue book fees or something to warrant getting elbowed in the face twenty fucking times, after being handcuffed. But he’s the one being penalized with “resisting arrest”?

I say we break into the cop’s home, sneak into his bedroom, and start our protest at six in the morning by shaking him awake, then pressing him with assault charges when he freaks out. That’s apparently how law enforcement works now.

-Shiv

Indigenous women protest misogyny in Indian Act

Joan Jack, a lawyer and indigenous woman, takes to the road on her Harley to partake in the Road to Niagara campaign:

A Manitoba Ojibway activist is hitting the road on her Harley to bring awareness to misogyny in the Indian Act and to inspire Indigenous women to be political leaders.

Joan Jack travelled from her home in British Columbia to her home province of Manitoba to take part in Road to Niagara.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs is leading a ride that starts in Winnipeg on Thursday. It aims to raise awareness of the spirit and intent of treaties as First Nations seek to return to a nation-to-nation relationship with the federal government.

Jack said she will stop in communities along the way and try to empower women to be leaders.

“Many of the communities are still stuck in chauvinistic views of a woman’s place and a woman’s role and I’m just here to say that’s just BS,” she said.

Jack, a retired lawyer who ran for the leadership of the Assembly of First Nations in 2012, said part of the problem is the Indian Act. She calls the act one of the original sources of misogyny against Indigenous women in Canada.

“It’s legalized misogyny,” she said.

“Most First Nations reserves have no resources to deal with male violence against women. There are no safe houses, there are no trained people.… We need to have human rights training. Most oppression is born out of ignorance, not intent,” she said.

I don’t have a motorbike, and I’m also really broke so I wouldn’t be able to take time off work–nonetheless, I hope the campaign goes well and many a woke Indigenous feminist is made.

Joan Jack, smashin’ the kyriarchy.

-Shiv