Man facing charges after fireworks discharged at Justice for Our Stolen Children camp

Teepees are seen at the Justice for Our Stolen Children camp near the Saskatchewan Legislative Building in Regina. June 27, 2018, THE CANADIAN PRESS

A man faces charges after fireworks were discharged towards the Justice for Our Stolen Children camp in Regina.

According to a news release, police were sent to the protest camp, located in Wascana Park at 2 a.m. on Sunday, after a man got out of a vehicle parked at the legislative building and discharged a Roman candle, which shot multiple flammable projectiles at the camp then fled in the vehicle.

Police said no one was injured as a result of the incident and the camp of teepees did not sustain any damage.

Twenty-five year-old Brent Holland, of Yorkton is charged with mischief under $5,000, uttering threats, assault with a weapon and arson with disregard for human life.

Holland was released from custody and will appear in provincial court in Regina on Sept. 17.

The camp has been set up in the park since late February to draw attention to racial injustice and the disproportionate number of Indigenous children apprehended by child-welfare workers

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Southern Alberta doctor under fire for alleged Racist confrontation with Indigenous people

Witnesses say Dr. Lloyd Clarke told a group of Indigenous people outside the Reddi Mart in downtown Cardston to “get a job.” (Google Maps)

Doctor told Indigenous people who are homeless to “get a job” and asked if they wanted prescriptions for Tylenol 3

A southern Alberta doctor is engulfed in controversy after he allegedly told a group of Indigenous people who are homeless to “get a job” and sarcastically asked them if they wanted prescriptions for the addictive painkiller Tylenol 3.

Alberta Health Services has placed Dr. Lloyd Clarke on administrative leave from his position as the associate medical director for the southern region of the province, while the health authority investigates the incident.

A lawyer representing two of the Indigenous people involved filed a complaint with the regulator and watchdog for physicians, alleging Clarke’s “racism against my community members impairs his ability to treat us as patients in a proper way.”

After reviewing the case, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta rejected the complaint. But Ingrid Hess, the lawyer and a First Nations advocate, is appealing.

Hess says the alleged incident, which witnesses say took place outside a Cardston convenience store in May, has triggered outrage among members of the neighbouring Blood Tribe and inspired efforts to document other claims of racism in the region.

Clarke doesn’t confirm or deny

The lawyer says she didn’t witness it, but took a statement from some of the people involved, and filed the complaint on their behalf. She also notified Alberta Health Services.

Clarke, who practises at the Cardston Health Centre’s emergency department and at a separate clinic in the town, didn’t confirm or deny the incident occurred when reached by a reporter.

“I’m aware that the appropriate bodies are investigating this and I’m co-operating with that,” he said.

When asked in a follow-up interview to comment on allegations he has racist views toward Indigenous people, Clarke said, “It’s not appropriate for me to comment. I’m working with the investigation to go through this in the proper channels. I am co-operating completely with them.”

According to AHS, if any of the First Nations people involved in the alleged incident seek care at Cardston’s emergency room, they don’t have to receive care from Clarke, unless they have life-threatening problems that require immediate attention.

“There is no excuse for the comments that were allegedly made in this instance, and we want to assure those involved in this incident that this sort of alleged language in no way reflects the beliefs or values of AHS,” the health authority said in a statement.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons, which regulates the medical profession and investigates complaints against doctors, told CBC News Clarke’s alleged behaviour is “damaging” and “appears to show poor judgment.”

Ingrid Hess filed this complaint with the College of Physicians and Surgeons. (CBC)

But the college said it doesn’t believe Clarke is prejudiced toward Indigenous people, concluding the incident didn’t amount to professional misconduct.

In a letter responding to Hess’s complaint, the college said it “cannot dictate the behaviour of what a physician does outside a clinical setting, excluding extreme circumstances.”

‘Blatant biases and negative views’

Hess has appealed the decision, calling for an investigation into whether “Dr. Clarke’s blatant biases and negative views of Indigenous people might influence his care of the Indigenous patients he treats, especially if they are drug-addicted, alcoholic or homeless.”

Clarke works in Cardston, where an estimated one in seven residents is Indigenous.

Nicole Gros Ventre Boy, one of two people Hess is helping with the complaint, told CBC News she was sitting outside a Cardston convenience store in May when she claims Clarke emerged from the exit.

“He stood there and he told us, ‘You guys should get a job’ … then he’s like, ‘My family are scared to come and shop here. You guys just bother people for money,'” she recalled.

‘I just felt like he was racist’

“Afterwards, he said, ‘Should I write you a prescription of Tylenol 3s?’ and he put his hand out and acted like he was writing.”

Gros Ventre Boy, who received health care from Clarke in the past, said the comments hurt her.

“I just felt like he was racist, like he didn’t like natives,” she said. “There was no reason for him to come up to us and talk. We were not doing anything.”

Gros Ventre Boy’s account lines up with the description of events outlined in Hess’s complaint. It’s also consistent with how Scott Many Grey Horses remembers the confrontation.

Many Grey Horses said he was not involved with the group, but was walking by when he heard Clarke say, “All you people need to get jobs.” In an interview with CBC News, Many Grey Horses said he didn’t hear the comment about Tylenol 3, but he intervened in defence of the group.

Downtown Cardston. (Google Street View)

Clarke called police

He said he was worried at the time the confrontation could come to blows, though Gros Ventre Boy said she didn’t believe there was any risk of violence.

“I said, ‘You need to get out of here; you’re just here to cause trouble,'” Many Grey Horses recalled.

The college said in its letter to Hess that Clarke had called police.

Hess said she has known most of the Indigenous people involved for most of her career and described them as having “overlapping social disadvantages,” including homelessness, poverty and chronic health conditions.

She said the allegations concerned her, especially because of the social and power imbalance between a doctor and people who are homeless.

“The people that we’re talking about were living in tents on the edge of town,” she said. “Those aren’t the kind of people who can just go out and get a job at the Reddi Mart in downtown Cardston.”

‘Concerns like this are damaging’

Steve Buick, spokesman for the college, said the regulator didn’t investigate whether the alleged incident actually happened. He said it reviewed the incident to determine whether the claims, if true, violated the college’s code of conduct and standards of practice.

“We have no doubt that there is an issue here of behaviour, and we will be telling the doctor that concerns like this are damaging and that he needs to avoid them in the future,” Buick said.

“We cannot have a physician practising in a community where the community has good reason to believe that he or she is racist or has other discriminatory views,” he said. “But let’s be clear: on the basis of this complaint alone, our judgment in the first phase of review is we don’t think it necessarily comes up to that standard.

“We don’t think that this complaint, on its face, would justify sanctioning a physician or removing him from practice.”

Buick said Hess can escalate her complaint to a second stage in the college’s process — an appeal to its complaint review committee — if she feels the first decision was unreasonable. She has done that.

“It will be up to the physician in this case to assure patients when he sees them face-to-face, if they’re concerned about it at all, that he does not have views that should disqualify him from treating them,” he said.

Dr. Lloyd Clarke, who is accused of making discriminatory comments toward Indigenous people in May, works at the Cardston clinic. (CBC)

Hess calls case ‘extreme’

Buick said the college’s priority when assessing complaints is the behaviour of physicians when they are treating patients. Still, he said there have been “extreme” cases in which the college took action against doctors for their behaviour outside the clinical setting.

He cited the case of Dr. Fred Janke, whom the college said would not be allowed to continue practising while he faces child exploitation charges.

Hess said she believes a doctor “exhibiting biased and discriminatory conduct toward a vulnerable and identifiable group of people is pretty extreme.”

Clarke’s alleged comments were the catalyst that inspired several members of the Blood Tribe to set up camp near the Cardston border in June to document claims of racism. The group said its goal is to raise awareness about prejudice against First Nations people, and to build healthier relationships between the two communities.

Last week, the group dismantled its camp along Highway 5, the dividing line between the town and reserve, after documenting a number of other alleged cases, which members plan to pass along to authorities, including the Alberta Human Rights Commission.

Members of the Blood Tribe held a peace camp along the reserve’s border with Cardston to document cases of alleged racism. The group dismantled its camp last week. (CBC)

‘No excuse’ for alleged comments, AHS says

AHS said it’s also continuing to investigate the alleged incident involving Clarke, “and will take any necessary action once that investigation is complete.”

“We know that trust is a significant barrier to First Nations people accessing the health-care system, and acknowledge that institutional racism and stereotyping have kept people from getting the care they need,” AHS said in its statement.

“We also know that the relationship between AHS and First Nations people must continue to improve, and we are committed to building, nurturing and growing those relationships.”

CBC News

[SOURCE]

Family of Colten Boushie files lawsuits against Gerald Stanley and RCMP

Gerald Stanley walks out of North Battleford provincial court after his first preliminary hearing on April 3, 2017. (Saskatoon StarPhoenix)

Almost two years after the fatal shooting of Colten Boushie his family has filed lawsuits against Gerald Stanley and the RCMP seeking total damages of more than $1.86 million.

The Star Phoenix reports, Boushie’s mother, Debbie Baptiste, and two of Boushie’s brothers are named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the RCMP. Baptiste is the lone plaintiff in the lawsuit against Stanley.

Boushie, 22, was shot and killed on Aug. 9, 2016 while sitting in the driver’s seat of an SUV that was driven onto Stanley’s farm near Biggar, Sask.

In February, Stanley was found not guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Boushie.

According to a statement of claim filed late Wednesday in Saskatoon Court of Queen’s Bench, the lawsuit against Stanley claims the “death of Colten Boushie is a direct result of the negligent, reckless or intentional acts of the defendant, Gerald Stanley.”

In the suit, the family claims Stanley failed to assess or monitor the risk of the situation and failed to contact police to deal with any potential risk. In the lawsuit, the family claims Stanley then used “excessive force when it was uncalled for,” shot Boushie at “point blank range” in the back of his head when he wasn’t a threat and did not administer or call for any medical assistance. It also says that Stanley’s wife, Leesa, is a registered nurse and didn’t take any action to provide life-saving measures.

The suit is seeking over $400,000, including $30,000 in damages to be paid directly to Baptiste, $20,000 in funeral expenses, $60,000 in grief counselling, $60,000 in out-of-pocket expenses, $100,000 in lost employment earnings for Baptiste, and $200,000 in “aggravated, exemplary and punitive damages to be proven at trial.”

Debbie Baptiste, the mother of Colten Boushie, holds a photo of him outside provincial court in North Battleford on April 6, 2017. (CTV Saskatoon)

A separate court filing by the family is also calling for $1.45 million in damages to be paid by members of the RCMP.

The lawsuit lists seven RCMP officers as defendants, along with the Attorney General of Canada, and alleges they conducted an “unlawful search” of Baptiste’s home the night of Boushie’s shooting.

The plaintiffs claim the RCMP “deliberately engaged in discrimination by subjecting three proud members of the Red Pheasant First Nation to ridicule, unlawful searches, and humiliating breath tests.”

None of the claims made in the lawsuit have been proven in a court of law.

The defendants have 30 days to respond.

In a statement to media, RCMP said “Our sympathies remain with the family and friends of Colten Boushie, who have suffered such a tragic loss.”

“We are fully cooperating with the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (CRCC). The CRCC is investigating the death of Mr. Boushie and the events that followed, including the next of kin notification, the search of the family residence, and the dissemination of media releases. The RCMP’s handling of an initial complaint filed by a family member is also under review by the CRCC,” the statement reads.

RCMP said they had no further comment on the lawsuit, since it was before the courts.

Slow-Motion Showdown Continues on Banks of Shubenacadie River

Mi’kmaq activists Dorene Bernard, right, and Ducie Howe stand on the shores of the Shubenacadie River. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

Alton Natural Gas Storage LP’s plan to build natural gas storage caverns meets resistance

On the muddy banks of Nova Scotia’s Shubenacadie River, Dorene Bernard is listening for sounds that will let her know the historic waterway is about to change direction.

“The wind will pick up, and you’ll start hearing the water and waves coming,” the Mi’kmaq activist says as she walks through the tall grass, carrying a large fan made from an eagle’s wing.

The Shubenacadie is a 72-kilometre tidal river that cuts through the middle of Nova Scotia and flows into the Bay of Fundy. But when the world’s highest tides rise in the bay, salt water flows up the river for almost half its length, creating a wave — or tidal bore — that pushes against the river’s current.

Protesters at the Shubenacadie River say despite what AltaGas said in their release on Friday, very little work on the project has taken place in the last month. (Shawn Maloney)

It’s an unusual natural phenomenon that draws tourists from around the world. It has also helped support the Mi’kmaq for more than 13,000 years.

“This is a major highway, a major artery for our people,” says Bernard, a social worker, academic and member of the Sipekne’katik First Nation in nearby Indian Brook, N.S.

“Our ancestors are buried along here … It has a very significant historical, spiritual and cultural relevance to who we are.”

Plan to pump brine into river

Before the bore arrives, the river is like glass on this humid, windless day.

However, Bernard is mindful that another change is coming for the river and her people.

For the past 12 years, a Calgary-based company has been planning to pump water from the river to an underground site 12 kilometres away, where it will be used to flush out salt deposits, creating huge caverns that will eventually store natural gas.

A sign marks the entrance to Mi’kmaq encampment near the Shubenacadie River, a 72-kilometre tidal river that cuts through the middle of Nova Scotia and flows into the Bay of Fundy, in Fort Ellis, N.S. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

AltaGas says the leftover brine solution will be pumped into the river, twice a day at high tide, over a two- to three-year period.

The initial plan is to create two caverns about a kilometre underground. But the company has said it may need as many as 15 caverns, which would be linked to the nearby Maritimes and Northeast natural gas pipeline, about 60 kilometres north of Halifax.

The storage is needed by an AltaGas subsidiary, Heritage Gas, which sells natural gas in the Halifax area and a few other Nova Scotia communities. It says it wants to stockpile its product during the colder months to protect its customers from price shocks when demand spikes.

Drilling for the first two caverns has been completed.

$130M project largely on hold

After years of consultations, legal wrangling and scientific monitoring, the company’s Nova Scotia-based subsidiary, Alton Natural Gas Storage LP, has said it plans to start the brining process some time later this year.

Bernard says her people are not going to let that happen.

The $130-million project has been largely on hold since 2014 when Mi’kmaq activists started a series of protests that culminated two years later in the creation of a year-round protest camp at the work site northwest of Stewiacke.

Felix Bernard walks near a Mi’kmaq encampment along the Shubenacadie River. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

“We’re not going to let anyone destroy our water,” Bernard said in a recent interview, declining to elaborate on what will happen if police or security guards try to reclaim the site.

“The impacts will be huge. You can’t just put something in your vein and think it’s not going to affect your whole body.”

She says the company has consulted with Indigenous leaders, but she insists it has done a poor job of reaching out to the Mi’kmaq people, particularly those who are members of her First Nation.

“There was never a public hearing with Alton Gas in our community. Never.”

Permits secured, consultations

For its part, the company has insisted it has consulted with local Indigenous people, and the provincial government has agreed.

More importantly, the company says it has already secured the permits it needs to start pumping water from the river.

At the entrance to the protest camp off Riverside Road, a steel gate is covered in placards and a canvas lean-to. A sign that warns against trespassing — installed by the company with the help of the RCMP — has been covered with a blanket.

Protesters maintain a Mi’kmaq encampment near the Shubenacadie River. (Andrew Vaughan/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

In May of last year, protesters built a tiny, two-storey house out of straw bales and lime plaster. It has a dirt floor, wood stove, bunks and plenty of provisions inside.

There’s also a garden. Chickens and geese roam the makeshift squatters camp.

On this day, there are only three protesters — they call themselves water protectors — at the site. But some supporters from Halifax later drop by for a visit.

“We have a lot of allies, settlers who are supporting this camp — it’s not just the Mi’kmaq,” says Ducie Howe, Bernard’s cousin and a resident of what she calls Shubenacadie Reserve No. 14, the original name for the nearby First Nation.

“There’s people from all over who will come. And they’ll keep coming.”

‘Giving out permits? Those are illegal’

Howe says Nova Scotians need to be reminded that the company is operating on unceded Mi’kmaq territory.

“We signed peace and friendship treaties,” she says. “We never signed treaties that gave up any part of our lands … Giving out permits? Those are illegal. They didn’t have the right to do that.”

Closer to the river, there’s a smaller, flat-topped wooden building that Bernard describes as a truckhouse. The reference is to the 1752 Peace and Friendship Treaty, which states that the Mi’kmaq are free to build “truckhouses” along the river to facilitate trade.

In the distance, a small hut for security guards sits empty.

Company spokeswoman Lori Maclean says some protesters have been served with trespassing notices.

“The company is aware of the activity of protesters at the site and continues to engage with law enforcement and the community,” she said in a recent email. “Alton sites are work areas that are open only to Alton staff or approved contractors.”

Alton has received the environmental and industrial approvals it needs to proceed, including two environmental assessments and an independent third-party science review. However, provincial Environment Minister Margaret Miller has yet to make a decision about an appeal of the industrial approval filed by the Sipekne’katik First Nation.

Mi’kmaq activist Ducie Howe carries a sign at an encampment near the Shubenacadie River. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

As for the brine that will be pumped into the river, the company says the peak release on each tidal cycle will be approximately 5,000 cubic metres, which will be mixed in with four million cubic metres of brackish tidal flow.

The company says the brine flowing into the Minas Basin “would not be detectable and would be insignificant in terms of the natural fluctuation of salinity the ecosystem is subject to during each tidal cycle.”

‘Brine will not impact the ecosystem’

Alton Gas also says the intake pipe will not suck in fish or small organisms because the water will be filtered through a rock wall, and the intake flow will be low enough to allow all fish to swim away.

“The requirements of our monitoring program with provincial and federal regulators will ensure that the brine will not impact the ecosystem,” the company’s website says.

Before Bernard and Howe leave the river, the pair stand at the edge of the bank to make an offering through song.

The lyrics are sung in the original Ojibwa and then in Mi’kmaq: “Water, I love you. I thank you. I respect you. Water is life.”

By Michael MacDonald · The Canadian Press · Aug 05, 2018

[SOURCE]

Two women charged with inciting hatred after social media post called for “shoot an Indian day”

Two women have been arrested and charged after racist comments on a Facebook page called for “a 24-hour purge” and a “shoot an Indian day.”

RCMP say the women, along with another who has not yet been arrested, posted hateful comments online after some vehicles were vandalized.

A Manitoba woman, Destine Spiller ranted on a Flin Flon Facebook page, blaming the local First Nations community for damage to her car after it was spray-painted with large, black lettering on all sides.

(Destine Spiller/Facebook)

Spiller’s post escalated into racist and threatening language against First Nations people.

In the comments, she said that she was going to “kill some Indians when I get home” and talked about putting together a day to shoot “Indians.”

A second woman agreed with her, and suggested getting a shotgun and alcohol.

A Facebook user under the name Raycine Chaisson suggested “a 24-hour purge.” Destine Spiller commented “it’s time to keep the animals locked up or have a shoot an indian day!”

According to CTV News, RCMP haven’t released the names of the women but said a 25-year-old from Denare Beach, Sask and a 32-year-old from Flin Flon, are facing charges of uttering threats and public incitement of hatred.

The same charges are pending against a third person. All three suspects are cooperating with police.

Urban Trendz Hair Studio, a salon in Flin Flon, posted on Facebook that it had let go of an employee following the social media posts.

“Our business has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to any form of discrimination or racism. The person in question is no longer employed by us.”

The other woman’s Facebook account stated she worked in Flin Flon as a mentor and as a substitute teacher in Creighton, Sask.

The Flin Flon and Creighton school divisions said they do not tolerate racist behavior and that the woman hasn’t worked with the divisions for “some time.”

The first woman apologized the next day, saying she was angry and upset about her vehicle being tagged.

However, several people had already called RCMP about the women’s comments.

Both women have since deleted their Facebook accounts.

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) is applauding RCMP actions in investigating and arresting the two women.

Coke, Meth and Booze: The Flip Side of The Permian Oil Boom

Oil rig hands work on the floor of an oil and gas drilling rig in the Permian Basin near Farmington, New Mexico. (Image Encana Corp)

The fastest-growing oil region in the US is fueling not only the second American shale revolution—it’s fueling a subculture of drug and alcohol abuse among oil field workers.

The Permian shale play in West Texas is once again booming with drilling and is full of oil field workers, some of which are abusing drugs and alcohol to help them get through long shifts, harsh working conditions, and loneliness and isolation.

Drugs are easily accessible in the Permian, which is close to highways and to Mexico. For oil field workers making six-figure salaries, money is not a problem to buy all kinds of illegal substances to shoot, snort and swallow to get through 24-hour-plus shifts. The physically exhaustive work also sometimes causes aches for workers, making them susceptible to getting hooked on prescription painkillers.

The drug and alcohol abuse subculture in the Permian is a known—yet rarely reported or discussed—issue in the most prolific US shale play, where oil production is booming, and relentless drilling attracts oil field workers from all over Texas and all parts of the United States.

In Midland, in the very heart of the Permian oil boom, The Springboard Center—a drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility—has many clients from the oil fields, Christopher Pierce, director of marketing for center, tells Rigzone’s Valerie Jones in an interview.

“We get a lot of clients who work in the oilfield because of where we’re located,” says Pierce, 35, a former oil field worker, and a former addict.

Pierce and The Springboard Center in Midland are now working on building a gated living camp community free of drugs or alcohol for people who want to be in a safe place.

Oil workers are not speaking up at work about their addiction for fear of getting fired, Pierce said, adding that he doesn’t have anything negative to say about the oil industry, which is the backbone of the economic growth in the Permian.

Some oil field workers and contractors use drug cocktails or various substances depending on the condition they seek to achieve during their 24-hour-plus shifts. At the beginning of a long or overnight shift, they would use ‘uppers’ like cocaine and methamphetamines, and finish the shift with ‘downers’ such as prescription medication or alcohol, Kayla Fishbeck, regional evaluator for Prevention Resource Center Region 9, a data repository for 30 counties in West Texas, told Rigzone.

“In Region 9, the most screened drug last year was amphetamines and that was largely in the oilfield,” she said.

Thanks to the oil boom, the unemployment rate in Midland is at a record low 2.1 percent, and the unemployment rate in Odessa is also a historically low of 2.8 percent.

According to Fishbeck, Midland and Odessa are the top two Texas cities for drunken-driving fatalities.

“We hear stories of guys getting off their shift, getting a six-pack or 12-pack on their way home and start drinking in their truck,” Fishbeck told Rigzone.

The Permian’s drug of choice is crystal meth, a stimulant increasingly supplied by Mexican drug cartels, according to law enforcement officials who spoke to the Houston Chronicle in May.

There is a strong correlation between the rise of drilling activity and the number of crystal meth seizures by authorities in the Permian area, Houston Chronicle’s cross-analysis of data from the Texas Department of Public Safety and the rig count shows.

Eddy Lozoya, a former oil field trucker and a recovering addict at 23, has recently found a job at a local department store selling shoes. At least for the next few months, he doesn’t plan to return to the oil field.

“I don’t see myself being able to work 100 hours a week sober,” he told the Houston Chronicle. “The oil field is tough.”

This article was originally published on Oilprice.com

[SOURCE]

Redwolf Pope accused of sexual assaults fighting extradition to New Mexico

Photo provided by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office shows Redwolf Pope arrested in Phoenix. (Via AP)

Police seek additional victims after Redwolf Pope arrested on sexual assault charges 

Redwolf Pope has been arrested in Phoenix, Arizona after a warrant was issued by the Santa Fe Police Department.

Santa Fe police issued an arrest warrant Monday for Pope, 41, after investigating him for more than a month on suspicion of sex crimes. The warrant accuses Pope, who police say has residences in Seattle and Santa Fe, of sexually assaulting females who appeared to have been slipped a date-rape drug.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports, local police have been investigating these and other allegations since at least early June, when Pope’s roommates told officers they had found videos that appear to show him raping unconscious women. The roommates also told police they believe he planted hidden cameras in the bathroom and other rooms of an apartment they share with him in Santa Fe and one where they sometimes stay in Seattle.

KING 5 says, Pope would also rent his Seattle apartment on Airbnb. The company has removed Pope as a host and reached out to law enforcement to offer help with the investigation.

A woman from the Seattle area told police in that city earlier this month that she believes Pope raped her in Santa Fe during a visit last year.

He was taken into custody late Tuesday night and is being held at the Maricopa County jail without bond.

Pope, is a activist who spent time at Standing Rock fighting the Dakota Access pipeline reports nativenewsonline.net. He was featured in a TEDxSeattle talking about his activism called “Lessons of Courage from Standing Rock.”

Lessons of courage from Standing Rock | RedWolf Pope | TEDxSeattle. TEDx Talks

TEDxSeattle has since removed the video of his presentation from the web.

The Seattle Times reports Pope’s LinkedIn page lists him as an attorney, however Tulalip Tribal Court Director Wendy Church said that he doesn’t work as a lawyer for the tribe and a spokeswoman for the Washington State Bar Association confirmed that Pope is not a licensed lawyer in the state.

Pope is identified in other news media as a member of the Tlingit tribe of the Pacific Northwest.

The tribe says he is not an enrolled tribal citizen.

Although Pope has been showing up at American Indian events for decades he is not Native American.

Pope is charged in Santa Fe with rape, aggravated battery, false imprisonment and other crimes.

Police in both Seattle and Santa Fe are investigating the case.

Pope has not faced any other criminal charges in New Mexico.

Juan Ríos, the public information officer for the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, said Friday that Pope is fighting extradition from Arizona to New Mexico.

The Seattle police are seeking additional victims and ask anyone with information on the case to contact the department’s Sexual Assault Unit.

Story updated July 30, 2018

Failure to find buyer makes Federal government sole owner of Trans Mountain pipeline

Kinder Morgan sold the Trans Mountain Pipeline to the Government of Canada.

The federal government is set to become the official owner of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion after failing to quickly flip the project to another private-sector buyer.

Pipeline owner Kinder Morgan had been working with the government to identify another buyer before July 22.

But with that date set to pass without a deal, it was expected the pipeline company will now take Ottawa’s $4.5-billion offer to purchase the project to its shareholders.

The government had previously indicated that there were numerous groups interested in purchasing the controversial project, including pension funds and Indigenous groups.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s spokesman, Daniel Lauzon, said Ottawa still intends to sell the pipeline, if and when a suitable partner is identified and it’s in the best interests of Canadians.

“We have no interest in being a long-term owner of a pipeline, but we will be the temporary caretaker,” Lauzon told The Canadian Press on Sunday. “We won’t rush that.”

News of the failure to find another partner by July 22 came one day after protesters opposed to the Trans Mountain expansion took to Parliament Hill in hazardous-materials suits and carrying a fake pipeline.

It was the latest in a string of such rallies by environmental and Indigenous groups, which also included the erection of a similar cardboard pipeline outside the Canadian High Commission in London in April.

Lauzon on Sunday defended the decision to purchase the pipeline, saying the project, whose aim is to get Canadian oil to Asian markets, remains in the national interest.

The Trans Mountain expansion will build a new pipeline roughly parallel to the existing, 1,150-km line that carries refined and unrefined oil products from the Edmonton area to Burnaby, B.C.

It will nearly triple the line’s capacity to 890,000 barrels a day. Trans Mountain is the only pipeline carrying Alberta crude to the West Coast and the hope is that most of the oil will end up in tankers bound for Asia.

Ottawa approved the expansion project in November 2016 and British Columbia’s then-Liberal government followed suit two months later.

But four months after that, the provincial Liberals were replaced by the NDP under John Horgan, who has a coalition of sorts with the Green party that includes an agreement to oppose the expansion in every way possible.

The federal government has said its hand was forced by Horgan, who has gone to court for judicial approval to regulate what can flow through the pipeline — a measure of opposition that made Kinder Morgan Canada, the project’s original owner, too nervous to continue.

The company halted all non-essential spending on the pipeline expansion in April pending reassurances from Ottawa that the project would come to fruition.

The federal government had said Canada would cover any cost overruns caused by B.C.’s actions, but in the end that wasn’t enough.

Following the government’s announcement that it planned to purchase the pipeline, Kinder Morgan agreed to start construction this summer as planned.

Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press

[SOURCE]

Man Shot and Killed by RCMP during ‘Standoff’ on Frog Lake First Nation

ASIRT investigating rcmp shooting at Frog Lake reserve 

A man is dead after he was shot by RCMP during a ‘standoff’ at the Frog Lake First Nation reserve in Alberta.

According to media reports Elk Point RCMP attempted to arrest a man at a family member’s home on the reserve around 10 a.m., Thursday. A standoff followed that lasted for several hours despite attempts to establish contact by an RCMP negotiator. Late in the evening a confrontation occurred which resulted in officers discharging their firearms. The man was struck by gunfire and fatally wounded.

Investigators recovered a sawed-off firearm at the scene. No officers were injured and police said there was no concern for public safety.

The RCMP remains the lead investigating agency on the events leading up to the shooting. The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) has been directed to investigate the circumstances around the death of the man and police conduct.

The RCMP would not comment further on the incident.

Frog Lake First Nation is located about 207 kilometres east of Edmonton.

Indigenous Chileans Defend their Land against Loggers with Radical Tactics

A Mapuche gathering in Ercilla, Chile. The Mapuche are protesting the presence of agricultural firms on their land. Photograph: Rodrigo Abd/AP

Chile’s Mapuche people are resorting to increasingly extreme tactics to reclaim their ancestral land from exploitive industries

It is late autumn in southern Chile, and in the region of Araucanía, the leaves have turned copper and gold. But on the road to the mist-shrouded town of Lumaco, the hills are covered with rows of charred pines.

“We burned these forests as an act of legitimate resistance against the extractive industries that have oppressed the Mapuche people,” says Hector Llaitul. “If we make their business unprofitable they move on, allowing us to recover our devastated lands and rebuild our world.”

This year has already turned out to have been a particularly combustible one in a decade of rising attacks by indigenous Mapuche activists against the Chilean state and big business. Over several few days in April, crops were burned, roads were blocked and 16 forestry vehicles were set ablaze outside of the regional capital, Temuco.

Such actions have become more and more common. According to statistics published by a local business association, there were 43 attacks in the region in 2017, mainly arson attacks against logging firms.

“Anyone who hasn’t been in the Chilean forest doesn’t know this planet,” wrote Pablo Neruda, who grew up in the region – and whose verse was inspired by its wild landscapes, and the indomitable spirit of its native people who were only conquered after Chilean military campaigns in the late 19th century.

Today, however, much of the west of the region would be unrecognizable to Chile’s finest poet. In the last 50 years, monoculture pine and eucalyptus plantations have replaced the biodiversity of the original forests.

Meanwhile, Mapuche groups have become increasingly aggressive in their efforts to reclaim ancestral lands and gain political autonomy. Llaitul is a spokesman for the Coordinadora Arauco-Malleco (CAM), an anti-capitalist organization that uses direct action and sabotage tactics.

The group has also demanded the release of the shaman Celestino Cordova, who was convicted in February 2014 for an arson attack on a farmhouse north of Temuco that resulted in the deaths of an elderly couple, Werner Luchsinger and Vivianne Mackay.

Hector Llaitul, an indigenous activist. Photograph: Mat Youkee for the Guardian

Cordova began a hunger strike in January after officials denied his request to complete a religious ceremony outside of the prison. He temporarily suspended the strike in April to negotiate.

“The government practices and respects Catholicism but it discriminates against Mapuche spiritual beliefs,” he said from a hospital bed, guarded by police officers. “The Mapuche have been impoverished spiritually, culturally and economically by Chile. I’m willing to sacrifice my life for my people.”

But Cordova’s conviction in the high-profile Luchsinger-Mackay case has made it tougher to win public sympathy for his cause, said Nicolas Rojas Pedemonte, a professor at Alberto Hurtado University in Santiago and author of a new book on the Mapuche conflict.

“That case was an inflection point for the conflict,” he said. “It was the first fatal attack, it turned Chilean media against the Mapuche and was used by the state as a Trojan horse for a repressive response.”

Police presence has since been heavily increased in Araucanía leading to the militarization of the region and increasingly indiscriminate targeting of indigenous people, according to Rojas.

In January 2017, charges against several Mapuche – including Llaitul – were dropped after it was revealed that police had used manipulated WhatsApp messages as evidence in arson cases. “I don’t even use WhatsApp,” says Llaitul, brandishing a tiny Nokia.

The Luchsinger-Mackay case was also the first sign of a split in Mapuche activist ranks. A new more radical group – know as the Weichan Auka Mapu (the Struggle of the Rebel Territory, WAM) – emerged, adopting an explicitly anti-Chilean stance and the tactic of burning churches – most recently during the Pope’s January visit to the region.

Llaitul says the CAM rejects the targeting of individuals and that direct action against forestry projects is the first stage towards reclaiming the land for Mapuche settlements.

On a former timber reserve overlooking Lumaco, his vision is being put into action. The logging firm, Arauco, abandoned the project following repeated arson attacks and today, in a small clearing, a dozen young men and women are hammering timbers together on the construction of a house in the woods.

A Mapuche red, blue and green flag flaps from the apex.

The destructive results of a forest fire started by Mapuche radical groups. Photograph: Rodrigo Abd/AP

“When we recover lands we plant crops, breed animals and reconstruct our cultural world,” says Llaitul. “We will build houses but our first priority is a spiritual centre, the rewe.”

The rightwing government of the current president, Sebastián Piñera, has a different vistion for the future of Araucanía, the region with the worst poverty and unemployment rates in the country.

Ministers visited Temuco in April to finalize plans for a major growth plan for the region, focusing on tourism, agriculture and energy investments and training programs to allow the 150,000 hectares of land turned over to Mapuche groups in recent years to return to production.

The plan, to be launched in August, is also expected to increase the purchase of private lands by the national indigenous development agency.

“People in Araucanía are calling out for peace and development. Over the years so much investment has been turned away due to security fears,” says Luis Mayol, the Santiago-appointed administrator of Araucanía. “Piñera won 63% of the vote in this region – the Mapuche people want growth like everyone else. However, there is a small number of terrorists with radical ideologies and the resources to generate fear.”

While the development plan aims to win the support of Araucanías indigenous groups, accompanying amendments to the anti-terrorism law aim to make it easier to convict arsonists under terrorism charges.

“Our current legislation is quite useless: too many violent acts are being processed as regular crimes,” says Mayol. “We need to bring our definition of terrorism in line with those of countries such as the UK and Spain. For me, the systematic burning of trucks and churches are terrorist acts.”

Back at the reclaimed timber plantation, Llaitul remains defiant as two young Mapuche lift roof rafters into place on the new construction. “When there was no Mapuche struggle, the government did nothing for us” he says. “We’re not asking for palliative measures or integration, we want territory and autonomy for the Mapuche nation.”

This article originally appeared in The Guardian

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