‘We want to be owners’: Fort McMurray First Nations and Métis unite on pipelines

The Fort McMurray regions’s 10 First Nations and Métis community say they want to be pipeline owners. (Terray Sylvester/Reuters)

‘Let’s move on and let’s start building a pipeline and start moving the oil’

First Nations and Métis communities in the Fort McMurray region are expressing interest in becoming business partners in the pipeline industry.

The indigenous communities want to either buy a stake in the Trans Mountain pipeline or partner and build another future line.

“We want to be owners of a pipeline,” Allan Adam, chief of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, said in an interview. “We think that a pipeline is a critical component to the oil and gas sector, especially in this region.”

“If Fort McMurray and Alberta are going to survive, the Athabasca Tribal Council has to be alongside.”

Adam, a board member with the Athabasca Tribal Council, an umbrella organization that represents the regions’s five First Nations, admitted, the details still need to be worked out.

Ron Quintal, president of the Athabasca River Métis, the organization that represents five Métis communities in the region, confirms it too is on board with the proposal.

But, Quintal said, he expects they would need backers to help guarantee loans to help fund the multi-billion dollar project.

Tired of fighting oil companies

The announcement happened on the heels of the groups’s meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the basement of a Fort McMurray hotel on Friday.

Participants say it was the first time region’s Cree, Dene and Métis communities met together with the head of the federal government. Typically such high level meetings don’t take place together.

Allan Adam, chief of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, says the Fort McMurray region’s First Nation and Métis communities back pipelines and they want to own one. (The Canadian Press)

Also in the background is the uncertainty over the fate of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion which would ship bitumen from Alberta to the B.C. coast.

On Sunday, Kinder Morgan announced it will halt “non-essential activities” and related spending on the project and set a May 31 deadline to decide whether the project will proceed. The company declined to comment for this story.

Premier Rachel Notley said the May deadline is a serious concern and suggested Alberta may become a co-owner in the pipeline’s construction.

The announcement from Adam is a change in position for the chief who is no stranger to pipeline opposition. The chief has posed with celebrities and activists critical of the oilsands’ environmental legacy.

Most recently, Adam was pictured with Hollywood actress Jane Fonda who described the oilsands on a 2016 trip to Fort McMurray as if “someone took my skin and peeled it off my body over a very large surface.”

Adam denied he was ever anti-pipeline or against the oilsands, rather the chief said he is critical of the feverish pace the oilsands developed without environmental considerations.

But, Adam also admitted fighting oil companies and industry has been tough and it’s time for a change.

“The fact is I am tired. I am tired of fighting. We have accomplished what we have accomplished,” Adam said. “Now let’s move on and let’s start building a pipeline and start moving the oil that’s here already.”

Archie Waquan, chief of the Mikisew Cree First Nation, also supports a pipeline partnership.

“No disrespect to the other First Nations that are against the pipeline in B.C.,” Waquan said.

“From our end — from this northern territory where the oilsands comes from — we would like to see more things happen and hopefully this will go ahead.”

Ultimately we are the keepers of the land

The region’s Métis communities say their Indigenous pipeline ownership would help alleviate the roadblocks the oil and gas infrastructure have been facing lately.

Elaborating, Quintal said, First Nations and Métis would provide ease of access for the pipeline route on their traditional territory.

Also, he said, Indigenous owners would take the upmost care to ensure the pipeline route would avoid sacred or sensitive areas and the infrastructure is maintained to the highest standards to prevent spills.

Chiefs and heads of the Athabasca Tribal Council and the Athabasca River Métis Council pose after a meeting Tuesday at Fort McMurray’s Raddison Hotel where they announced they are willing invest in pipelines. (David Thurton/CBC)

“From our perspective, the Métis have always for the most part been pro-pipeline,” Quintal said. But, “I am not saying that it’s an open book or a blank cheque for the industry to develop pipelines.”

“Ultimately we are the keepers of the land and it is of the upmost importance that lands are protected as much as possible.”

Quintal also said, Indigenous owners behind a pipeline, might also lend credibility that could quell some of the opposition.

This article was originally published by David Thurton  · CBC News · Posted: Apr 15, 2018

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Who is Métis? Statistics Canada numbers open window on debate

David Chartrand, president of the Manitoba Metis Federation, middle, carries the Métis flag in Ottawa on April 14, 2016 (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

‘It’s not simply you just get a little check mark and say I’m Métis. You have to prove your identity’

The president of the Manitoba Metis Federation says the 2016 census numbers for Métis in Canada are wrong — but his objections point to a larger debate about who in fact is Métis.

“People just think that because you have potentially First Nation blood in you that you can quantify yourself as Métis,” David Chartrand said Tuesday. “I can guarantee there’s not 125,000 Métis Nation citizens in Ontario.”

The 2016 census asked people whether they were Aboriginal, and then further broke that down to First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

There were 587,545 people who self-identified as Métis, a growth of more than 50 per cent since 2006, with the most in Ontario, where there were just over 120,000. Almost 90,000 in Manitoba self-identified as Métis.

But Chartrand says a lack of understanding prompted many people to incorrectly self-identify as Métis, a word with roots in the French for mixed blood.

“Our nation is probably about no more than 400,000, from parts of Ontario all the way to parts of British Columbia and all of the Prairies. That’s our population. We know it. We know where we live, we know who we are,” he said.

Chartrand’s organization strictly regulates who gets Métis Nation citizenship cards.

David Chartrand, president of the Manitoba Metis Federation. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

They must show they trace their ancestry back to the mixed First Nations and European people who lived in Western Canada during the time of the fur trade.

“It’s not simply you just get a little check mark and say I’m Métis,” Chartrand said. “You have to prove your identity and prove your connection to the historical and collective homeland of the Métis Nation. It’s a long process.”

However, not everyone agrees with Chartrand’s definition.

A 2016 Supreme Court ruling about Métis rights launched some infighting among Métis about who meets the definition.

The Daniels vs. Canada ruling states the Métis and non-status Indians are “Indians” under the Constitution and thus fall under federal jurisdiction, so they must turn to Ottawa when negotiating rights or for new programs and services.

The ruling determined Métis status must be granted on a case-by-case basis, with the generally agreed upon criteria including ancestry and community ties.

The Métis Federation of Canada has a broader criteria for membership than the Manitoba Metis Federation.

“The true history of the Métis is very inclusive,” said president Robert Pilon said following the Daniels ruling.

“If you want to have a true representation of Métis in Canada, they got to make sure all Métis are at the table,” Pilon said in 2016. “Not just pick and choose just because one group has been around longer.”

A Statistics Canada analyst said the census did allow a wide variety of people to identify as Métis, but more data is being gathered to learn exactly what people mean by the term.

“We understand that there’s no single definition of Métis that’s endorsed by all Métis groups in Canada,” said Vivian O’Donnell.

Statistics Canada is trying to find out what people mean when they self-identify as Métis, she said.

Statistics Canada added two new questions to the Aboriginal Peoples Survey for those who said they’re Métis.

“We asked them, ‘Do you have a card or certificate issued by a Métis organization that identifies you as Métis?’ and if they say yes, we ask what Métis organization issued the card or certificate,” O’Donnell said.

“We also have other questions about sense of belonging — trying to capture some cultural connectedness — so there’s a lot of research potential there to better understand how people are identifying with the Métis nation or the Métis population.”

‘Capital M Métis’

Jacqueline Romanow, chair of the department of Indigenous studies at the University of Winnipeg, says she uses the terms “capital M Métis” and “small m Métis” in her classes to define two separate groups.

Small m Métis are people with mixed blood, which is how many people interpret the word, which has its roots in the French for mixed blood, Romanow says.

Capital M Métis are members of the Métis Nation who trace their ancestry back to the Red River Settlement and Ruperts Land before the creation of the province of Manitoba, she said. She is a member of that group.

Those Métis developed a culture with its own language and traditions in a specific region, she says.

“This is a unique place in history and in time, where you have the genesis of a whole new kind of culture,” she said.

“This didn’t happen everywhere — a new culture with a new language, new traditions that evolved that are very unique and specific.”

There are also specific rights given to those who can trace their heritage to Red River Métis, including land entitlements tracing back to the creation of Manitoba, when Métis were promised land that many never got.

Chartrand said only those who meet the Manitoba Métis Federation’s citizenship requirements are entitled to those rights.

People who are not members of the Métis Nation but want to be identified as part Indigenous should embrace their heritage, but it is not Métis, he said.

“We worked too damn hard to get where we are as a nation,” he said. “We do not take kindly to others who are just trying to jump in to something we’ve been working on for 150 years.”

CBC News

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Company Denied Urgent Hearing to Remove Protesters from Parker Wetlands

Owners of the Parker Lands slated for development by Gem Equities have filed a lawsuit against protesters and an injunction demanding the group leave. Demonstrators say the land is contested Indigenous land and home to endangered wildlife. (Laura Glowacki/CBC)

Gem Equities sought injunction to remove the protesters accused of trespassing, delaying work

By Laura Glowacki, CBC News Posted: Jul 26, 2017

A Winnipeg company hoping to develop the Parker Lands was not granted an urgent hearing for an injunction motion filed on behalf of the owner to remove protesters camped out on the land.

The lawyer representing Andrew Marquess, owner of Gem Equities, told a Winnipeg courtroom Wednesday that protesters on a piece of land slated for residential development in Fort Garry are fortifying the site and insulting the law.

“They are effectively giving the middle finger to everyone who pays their taxes and the rules of law,” said Kevin Toyne, lawyer for two numbered companies as well as Marquess.

Toyne argued that an urgent hearing is needed because the company is losing potential profits by not being able to proceed with development and there is a public safety risk.

The urgent hearing was not granted. Instead, the injunction motion will be heard on Nov 2. Defendants have until Aug. 25 to file their statement of defence.

Marquess’s company, Gem Equities, is hoping to build townhouses and apartments on the 24-hectare property known as the Parker Lands.

Protesters say the land is contested with roots in the Métis community and serves as an important habitat for birds and other animals.

Protest camp prevents further clearing

Protesters set up a small camp of about six tents on the Parker Lands last week after Gem Equities began clearing trees. The company says protesters are preventing mulching equipment from moving, making further clearing of trees on the site impossible.

A small group of protesters met outside the court on Wednesday morning.

“It’s important to me and I think a lot of people because first off, the land is beautiful and there’s a lot of animals there and people have been trying to protect it for a while,” said Maddy Jantz, one of the protesters. “But most importantly, it’s Métis land and the Métis folks were not consulted. They still haven’t been.”

Protesters have been seen holding an axe and wearing masks. Parker Lands advocate Jenna Vandal said the axe was being used to chop wood for a bonfire.

“No one would be allowed to walk in this courtroom with an axe,” Toyne told the judge. “An axe is a weapon.”

Marquess acquired the property in 2009 in a controversial land swap with the city.

Protesters set up camp last week when Gem Equities started clearing trees from the site. Earlier this year, the City of Winnipeg shredded trees as part of the next phase of the city’s rapid transit bus route.

The residential development Gem Equities envisions would be called Oak Grove. The plan includes high-density towers, medium-density low-rise buildings, low-density townhouses and single-family homes, arranged in concentric circles around a Southwest Transitway station plaza.

City council has not approved the area plan, rezonings or developments necessary for the company to move forward.

[SOURCE]

Métis Sniper Made His Mark for Canada at Vimy Ridge

Marilyn Buffalo holds a portrait of her great-grandfather Henry Norwest, a Métis marksman who was a celebrated sniper during the First World War. (Briar Stewart/CBC)

April 9 marks 100 years since Canadian troops began the battle for Vimy Ridge

At the bottom of the list of names etched into the cenotaph at the legion in Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., there is one that stands out from the rest.

Henry Norwest’s name is in a different format. The white paint, which has not yet faded like the others, still gleams.

Norwest’s name was added to the First World War cenotaph at the Legion in Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., in 2008. (Briar Stewart/CBC)

If the name looks like it was an afterthought, it’s because it was. Norwest’s was added to the cenotaph in 2008, an action formally honouring the Métis marksman who died 90 years earlier, during the First World War.

Sunday marks 100 years since Canadian troops began the assault on Vimy Ridge in northeast France. By April 14, the Canadians had won the battle, but lost almost 3,600.

“There is no doubt in mind that he is in a place of peace,” says Marilyn Buffalo, Norwest’s great-granddaughter.

“There is a special place for warriors like him.”

Ranch hand and roper

Before he took to the battlefields in France and was among the thousands of Canadians who fought at Vimy Ridge in April 1917, Norwest was a married father of three who frequently moved around to find work.

Of French and Cree ancestry, he was a ranch hand and a roper who helped to wrangle bison in Montana in an effort to move herds north to Canada.

He listed his trade as “Cow Puncher” when he signed up to be part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force in January 1915.

Norwest, who sometimes went as Henry Louie, worked as a ranch hand and roper before enlisting with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. (Glenbow Archives)

With war underway in Europe, he eagerly enlisted in Wetaskiwin, Alta., under the name Henry Louie, but his initial military stint was short-lived. Records from the time show that he was discharged three months later because of what was then referred to as “drunkenness.”

Still determined to fight overseas, he headed south to Calgary and enlisted again, this time under the name Henry Norwest.

Norwest established himself as a skilled sniper while fighting in France with Calgary’s 50th Battalion (Marilyn Buffalo)

Before he left for England, he went to say goodbye to his three girls, who at the time were living in a residential school in Ermineskin, Alta.

Buffalo remembers her grandmother telling her about the last time she saw him.

“There was a very handsome man who came to bid her goodbye at the residential school and that was her dad.”

A hunter turned sniper

Starting out earning a monthly wage of $15, Norwest quickly established himself as a skilled sniper while fighting in France with Calgary’s 50th Battalion.

Snipers typically worked with an observer, but Buffalo says she heard stories about Norwest sometimes creeping through no man’s land on his own, slipping out of the trench at night and returning to camp early in the morning.

During the war, First Nation soldiers were among Canada’s top snipers, and Norwest’s upbringing and experience as a hunter were evident, says Al Judson, curator of the King’s Own Calgary Regiment Museum, where one of Norwest’s rifles is on display.

“He could move well, quietly with stealth,” says Judson.

“He could use camouflage and the natural foliage around him to hide.”

A Ross rifle on display at the King’s Own Calgary Regiment Museum is one of the rifles Norwest used. (Colin Hall/CBC)

He had a reputation that was feared by the Germans and revered by his comrades.

In military records, he is described by a fellow soldier as understanding “better than most of the us the cost of life and the price of death.”

“He showed complete detachment from everything while he was in the line.”

Off the battlefield, he was jovial and popular with the women in the dance halls, which is how Buffalo says her great-grandfather earned his nickname “Ducky.”

“He would dance all night and then duck out on the girls at the end of the night.”

Vimy Ridge

On April 9, 1917, under a barrage of heavy fire, Norwest was among the thousands of Canadian troops who made the deadly push to capture Vimy Ridge.

Norwest was awarded a Military Medal for his efforts to help allied forces capture “the Pimple,” a significant point along the ridge.

In his award citation, officials said he showed great bravery and “saved a great number of our men’s lives.”

In the three months leading up the to the battle, he shot and killed 59 men from opposing forces.

Norwest won a military medal for his efforts during the battle for Vimy Ridge. He died in August 1918, three months before the war ended.

In August of the following year, he fought during the battle of Amiens, taking out snipers and machine gunners. But just three months before the First World War ended, Norwest himself became the target of a German sharpshooter and the 33-year-old was shot and killed.

On his temporary grave marker, one of his fellow soldiers wrote: “It must have been a damned good sniper that got Norwest.”

‘Made me very proud’

At the time of his death, he had 115 confirmed kills, but the actual number of fatal shots he fired could be much higher because the military only recorded hits that had been observed by someone else. He was awarded a military bar posthumously to go along with his medal.

After the war, his remains were reinterred in a small church graveyard in Warvillers, France. In 2009, his great-granddaughter made an emotional visit to the site, where she performed a sacred Cree ceremony.

“It made me very proud,” Buffalo says.

“This is a part of the history, our contribution to the world and to the British Empire 100 years ago. It has to be honoured.”

Buffalo visited her great-grandfather’s grave in Warvillers, France, in 2009. (Marilyn Buffalo)

As a self-described history buff, she says she’s tried to learn as much as she can about Norwest. She has reflected on what his contribution and his loss meant to her family.

Before he was killed in France, his wife died in Alberta, so his three daughters were left as orphans and spent most of their childhoods at residential school.

‘He should have been there a long time ago.’- Dutchie Anderson

Today, Buffalo says Norwest has hundreds of descendants, mostly concentrated around Samson Cree First Nation in central Alberta.

Some of them were there for a special ceremony in 2008, when Norwest’s name was finally added to the cenotaph at the Fort Saskatchewan legion.

“He should have been there a long time ago,” says Dutchie Enders, the services officer for the legion.

Two stones have been placed in honour of Norwest at the cemetery in Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. (Briar Stewart/CBC)

He believes Norwest’s legacy was previously overlooked because he was Indigenous. Enders himself had only learned about his story shortly before Norwest’s name was engraved.

“That is when we recognized that he had been neglected all these years.”

Two stones have also been placed in the community’s cemetery, each bearing a plaque recounting Norwest’s accomplishments during the war.

The legion’s canteen is now named in honour of Norwest. His black and white picture hangs in the room and pressed under the glass beside it is a single eagle feather, which is a sacred symbol in Cree culture.

“We had to do this,” Enders says. “He was one of our own.”

[SOURCE]

 

 

Cree, Métis Trappers And Fishermen Block Highway In Northern Manitoba

Cree trappers and fishermen from the Opaskwayak Cree Nation near The Pas, Man., stop a truck on Highway 6 as part of a blockade that began Aug. 30. (Thomas Monias)

Cree trappers and fishermen from the Opaskwayak Cree Nation near The Pas, Man., stop a truck on Highway 6 as part of a blockade that began Aug. 30. (Thomas Monias)

After negotiations over hydro development stall, groups block highway to protest

By Tim Fontaine, CBC News Posted: Sep 02, 2016

Around a dozen people from the Opaskwayak Cree Nation and their supporters have erected a blockade on a major highway in northern Manitoba, stopping trucks and equipment bound for a massive hydroelectric development project.

The blockade, which began Tuesday, is at the junction of Highway 6 and Highway 39 just south of Wabowden, Man. approximately 600 kilometres north of Winnipeg.

The protesters are allowing cars, trucks and bus traffic through, but they claim to have turned back semi-trailers and equipment that were en route to the construction site of Manitoba Hydro’s Keeyask Generating Station near Gillam, Man., a further 500 kilometres north.

The protesters are mainly members of the Opaskawayak Cree Nation Local Fur Council and the Opaskawayak Commercial Fishery Co-op, two groups that have been attempting to negotiate a settlement related to the construction of the Grand Rapids Generating Station over five decades ago.

They’ve also been joined by people from the Misipawistik Cree Nation and Métis from Grand Rapids, Man.

“This is for land that was damaged in 1960 — 1.5 million acres of prime trapping and fishing area, when Hydro built the Grand Rapids hydro generating station,” said John Morrisseau, who is from Grand Rapids.

The fight for compensation

HYDRO-NATIVE-DEAL

Construction of the Grand Rapids Generating Station began in 1960 and lasted five years, but destroyed thousands of kilometres of Cree territory, protesters say. (Winnipeg Free Press/CP)

Construction of the Grand Rapids generating station began in 1960 and lasted five years until it was operational.

The dam, which was built on the Saskatchewan River, required thousands of kilometres of land to be flooded — much of it trapping and fishing grounds used by First Nations, including people from Opaskwayak Cree Nation.

The trappers and fishermen from that community say that because of the changed landscape they now have to travel up to 150 kilometres just to fish or reach their traplines. Because of that, some people lost their livelihoods altogether, they say.

Several of the First Nations and Métis people affected by the dam have already negotiated settlements with the province and Manitoba Hydro. But for the past nine years, trapping and fishing groups from the Opaskwayak Cree Nation have been trying negotiate their own compensation.

Those talks broke down around two weeks ago.

“We’ll stay here as long as it takes to get Hydro at the negotiating table,” Morrisseau said.

Hydro responds

But a spokesperson for Manitoba Hydro said it was the trappers and fishermen who walked away from the negotiating table in the first place.

“[Manitoba Hydro] is more than happy to talk to them but I want to be very, very clear that they were the ones who walked away from the negotiating table, not us,” said Scott Powell.

“We’ve even offered to bring in a mediator at our expense to help with the discussions.”

According to Powell, there’s a dispute over how many fishers and trappers are eligible for compensation. Hydro is willing to compensate 59 fishers and more than 150 trappers, based on how many were harvesting in the area at the time the dam was built, but the First Nations say hundreds more should be eligible.

CBC News has been trying to reach the heads of both the Opaskwayak Cree Nation Local Fur Council and the Opaskwayak Commercial Fishery Co-op for further comment, but cellphone coverage is poor in the area where the blockade is set up.

Powell confirmed that several trucks on contract with Manitoba Hydro that were headed to “points north” had been stopped and turned back by the blockade.

RCMP didn’t respond to requests from CBC News for information about the situation but Canada Carthage, a major trucking company, has been warning drivers and operators about the blockade on social media.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/aboriginal/cree-trappers-blockade-manitoba-hydro-1.3746010?cmp=abfb

Unmasked: The Face Of Anonymous Activist Shot Dead By RCMP

Unmasked: The face of Anonymous activist shot dead by RCMP

Unmasked: The face of Anonymous activist, James McIntyre, shot dead by RCMP

James McIntyre concerned for the land

CBC July 14, 2016

One year after a masked man linked to Anonymous was shot dead by RCMP in northeastern B.C., a relative wants to reveal the true face of James McIntyre.

McIntyre, 48, was killed on a sidewalk by officers responding to a call about a disturbance at an open house for BC Hydro’s controversial Site C dam project in Dawson Creek on July 16, 2015.

“Jim didn’t deserve to die in a brutal manner,” said McIntyre’s cousin, Keith LaRiviere, Sr. “The man lying on the ground was not a criminal. He was a victim of police violence.”

‘Gentle’ introvert loved model trains

LaRiviere described the cousin he grew up with as a gentle, innocent, intelligent man who stuttered, rarely conversed with people and loved model trains.

“He didn’t go out and play. He didn’t join the baseball team with us. He didn’t drink. He didn’t have a girlfriend. He didn’t drive a car. He wouldn’t cross the road except at a crosswalk,” said LaRiviere. “He was soft.”

Métis concerned for the land

LaRiviere said McIntyre’s “isolation and huge brain” drew him to computers and helped him connect online with model train enthusiasts across the United States.

He was concerned about the Peace country being destroyed by another dirty project.– James McIntyre’s cousin

He said he and his Métis cousin shared a concern for “the soil and our ancestral values.”

But he said he had no idea McIntyre was an activist with the online activist group, Anonymous.

After Anonymous claimed McIntyre as a comrade and threatened to avenge his death, the Dawson Creek man made international headlines. Until then, McIntyre had made the local newspaper just once for winning an employee award as a dishwasher.

LaRiviere said McIntyre thrived at his work in the dish pits in a local restaurant and casino, since it was a work station he could run alone.

Despite his introverted nature, McIntyre was extremely close with family, always sitting quietly at family gatherings, and only moving in to his own apartment a few years ago, said LaRiviere.

McIntyre’s family has asked for privacy and until now, McIntyre’s life — and death — were a mystery.

‘This is an environmental issue’

Now, LaRiviere is breaking that silence.

Keith LaRiviere at Paddle for the Peace protest

James McIntyre’s cousin, Keith LaRiviere, took part in a Paddle for the Peace protest near the Site C dam last weekend. McIntyre was shot dead outside a Site C open house in Dawson Creek one year ago. (Facebook )

“It’s not just a family issue, this is an environmental issue,” said LaRiviere.

LaRiviere said his cousin was concerned about the impact of the controversial Site C dam on local First Nations and landowners.

“He was worried about the Peace country being destroyed by another dirty project,” said LaRiviere. “If that’s Jim’s message, don’t stifle his voice.”

Masked man had a knife 

Initial reports to BC’s police watchdog alleged McIntyre was shot after a man with a knife “approached officers in an aggressive manner” outside a Site C open house in Dawson Creek on July 16, 2015.

Witness Mike Irmen said the man who was shot was wearing a mask, similar to the Guy Fawkes mask often used by Anonymous and refused to throw away his knife, even as he lay bleeding.

LaRiviere  believes his cousin was at the Site C meeting to make a statement, not to hurt anyone.

“Making a statement with that mask makes all the sense in the world to me for Jim, because he was alone in his life,” said LaRiviere.

RCMP declined to comment, as the fatal incident is still being investigated by B.C.’s police watchdog.

Watchdog’s review wraps up

“The bulk of the investigative work is complete,” said Marten Youssef, the Independent Investigation Office’s manager of strategic communications. Youssef said an internal review of the investigation still needs to be completed. Until then, there’s no official information about what happened or whether RCMP officers acted appropriately.

Youssef says he’s aware of reports of Anonymous’ interest in the case. But he says that’s had no bearing on the IIO investigation.

McIntyre’s cousin isn’t sure the truth about what happened — and why —  will ever come out.

“The truth is with Jim,” said LaRiviere. “The truth is with a dead man.”

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/unmasked-face-anonymous-activist-shot-130000046.html

Metis, Non-Status Indians Push For ‘Equality And Clarity’ At Supreme Court

CaptureCTV

Dwight Dorey, National Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, speaks to CTV’s Canada AM from Winnipeg, on Oct. 9, 2015.

CTV News | Published Oct 9, 2015

Canada’s Metis and non-status Indians are hoping their 16-year court case will finally be resolved at the Supreme Court of Canada, where they’re pushing for official recognition under the Constitution Act, along with access to all the government programs and services that entails.

Dwight Dorey, National Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, championed the cause of Metis and non-status Indians at the Supreme Court on Thursday, as he pushed for more “clarity” and “equality” under Section 91 (24) of the Constitution Act.

Dorey is hoping to obtain official status for the estimated 600,000 people he represents. He’s also pushing for clarity on whether Metis and non-status Indians fall under the jurisdiction of the federal or provincial governments.

“In the past, federal and provincial governments tend to toss that ball back and forth, so we’re looking for clarity through the Supreme Court case,” Dorey told CTV’s Canada AM on Friday. He added that the push for official status is “a matter of due respect, it’s a matter of recognition, and it’s a matter of not being forgotten anymore.”

Dorey is also pushing for more equality in how the federal government consults with Aboriginal groups. “All aboriginal designated groups and organizations have a right to be consulted and negotiated with,” he said.

Section 35 of the Constitution Act reaffirms the rights of Aboriginal people, but it does not define them. Dorey wants to address that, and have Metis and non-status Indians included in the definition.

Dorey says he and his fellow plaintiffs knew the case would take at least 10 years when they launched it, but that 10 years has stretched to 16. He blamed the federal government for the delay, and accused federal officials of trying to get the case thrown out through a series of “blocking attempts” and “legal wranglings.”

In 2011, a Federal Court ruled that Metis and non-status Indians fall under federal jurisdiction, but the federal government appealed the case. Three years later, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled that Metis could stay under federal jurisdiction, but non-status Indians could not.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/metis-non-status-indians-push-for-equality-and-clarity-at-supreme-court-1.2602668

Saskatoon First Nations Elder Prays For Children In Foster Care

Chris Martell, father of Evander Daniels, shakes hands with First Nations elder Walter Linklater at a pipe ceremony. (Dan Zakreski/CBC)

Chris Martell, father of Evander Daniels, shakes hands with First Nations elder Walter Linklater at a pipe ceremony. (Dan Zakreski/CBC)

CBC News Posted: Jun 29, 2015

Pipe ceremony at White Buffalo Lodge

Saskatoon First Nation elder Walter Linklater called on the spirit of Evander Daniels to help other children in foster care.

Daniels died when he was 22-months-old while in foster care.

“I’m asking Evander in the spirit world to intercede for all other foster children on earth,” he said.

Linklater made the request during a pipe ceremony outside the White Buffalo Youth Lodge. About two dozen people gathered in a circle to pray and share their stories.

Among them was Chris Martell – the father of Evander Daniels.

He said the pipe ceremony is special.

“It brings everybody together in a peaceful ceremony for everybody to come for some healing and some prayers,” he said.

“Let everyone in the community share their pain.”

Linklater also prayed for the forest fire victims in the north, the First Nations and Metis children “scooped” by the government in the 1960s, and all foster parents.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/saskatoon-first-nations-elder-prays-for-children-in-foster-care-1.3132029

Aboriginal Soldiers Among Canada’s Top Snipers In First World War

Cpl. Francis Pegahmagabow, credited with 378 kills.

Cpl. Francis Pegahmagabow, credited with 378 kills.

Modern sniping was born amid the muck of the battlefields of the First World War and some of its deadliest practitioners were soldiers from Canada’s First Nations communities.

Foremost among them was Cpl. Francis Pegahmagabow, credited with 378 kills during his four years on the shell-shattered front lines of Europe. Historical records indicate that Canada could claim eight of the top dozen snipers from all countries involved in the fighting.

“Of those eight, at least five and probably six are aboriginal of some sort – Metis, First Nations or Inuit,” said Maj. Jim McKillip, a historian with the Canadian Forces department of history and heritage.

Pegahmagabow was the best known of them and the Ojibway was the most highly decorated aboriginal soldier in Canadian history, winning the Military Medal with two bars. That’s the equivalent of getting the honour three times.

Pegahmagabow, who was from the Parry Island Indian Reserve in Ontario – now know as the Wasauksing First Nation – not only made his mark as a scout and sniper but during combat at such bloody battles as Passchendaele, Ypres, the Somme and Mount Sorel, he also captured dozens of prisoners.

He enlisted in August 1914 and served until the end of the war, when he returned home and became an activist for his people.

“He was very keen,” his granddaughter, Theresa McInnes, said in a telephone interview. “I think he wanted to prove himself. He strived to be better. He just had great determination.

“He just wanted to go to war and represent his people and, I think, all of Canada.”

Even wounds could not keep him from the front lines for long, she said.

“He was really determined to get back after being wounded. He couldn’t wait to get back fighting. That was just him. He wanted to be there for the other soldiers.”

While Pegahmagabow was treated like an equal in the army, he endured prejudice when he returned to civilian life.

“He went to war thinking he would be equal to all people and when he came back he was not, so I think he was quite disappointed in that,” said McInnes, who was born within weeks of his death in 1952 but learned about him from relatives.

Pegahmagabow grappled with his experiences in the war and the after-effects of his wounds when he came back. Poison gas had damaged his lungs so badly, he had to sleep in a chair to stop them from filling with fluid.

But McInnes, whose mother married one of Pegahmagabow’s sons, says her mother remembered the soldier as “a kind man” who cared deeply about his family.

“She said he was the nicest man but when he came back he was very poor.”

While he has often been clouded in obscurity, efforts are underway to recognize Pegahmagabow, who rose to be chief of his band and also later served as a member of his band council, fighting for aboriginal rights and treaties.

“He just didn’t sit back,” said McInnes, who noted a plaque and sculpture in his honour are planned. “He was a fighter all around.”

Among other notable snipers were Johnson Paudash, of Kawartha Lakes, Ont., who was described as a soft-spoken man with keen eyesight; Cree Henry Norwest, who hailed from the Edmonton area and had a reputation for striking fear into the Germans; and Louis Philippe Riel, nephew of Métis leader Louis Riel.

Although Canadians excelled at it, sniping was introduced into the war by the Germans, who equipped soldiers with specialized training and rifles equipped with telescopic sights. The allies were slow to catch on. The Germans had issued 20,000 telescopic sights while the British had none.

“Everyone was getting outshot by the Germans for the first half of the war,” McKillip said.

The British eventually set up a sniper school in late 1915 or early 1916, the historian says, but even then they lagged with equipment. They were reluctant to add a telescopic sight to their rifles because they thought it slowed the rate of fire and when they did attach one, it was in an awkward position on the side of the weapon, which made it difficult to use.

In the Canadian forces, snipers were drawn from the regular infantry and men with an aptitude for shooting were sought.

“The demographics of the Canadian Expeditionary Force meant that there was a fairly substantial proportion of the force that did have an outdoors background, most of it farmers but also hunters and fishermen and trappers,” McKillip said, noting British soldiers tended to be city-dwellers.

Marksmanship wasn’t the only quality needed to be a good sniper, McKillip said.

“People realized pretty quickly that sniping was more. It was shooting and hunting combined – the skills of camouflage and concealment. The kind of hunting that you do to hunt animals at close range were the same sort of skills for concealing yourself from the enemy.”

McKillip said the image of a sniper as a lone wolf is a myth and they operated in pairs, with one man serving as a spotter and zeroing in on a target with a telescope.

The same system exists today except the team has been expanded to three, with the third man acting in a support capacity.

“Personality is a very big consideration in this,” McKillip said of the snipers both then and now. “Probably the quality most required in a sniper is patience. First of all, they had to use stealth to get into a lot of these firing positions and this would take lots of patience and sometimes long, laborious crawls or stealthy walks through the night to get into position and hide.

“It’s not uncommon at all to . . . get into position one night and not move the entire day. A lot of patience and stamina and nerves of steel because they were often put into very dangerous circumstances.”

Usually, snipers set up in their own little outposts away from the main body of troops, not just for tactical but safety reasons.

“Once a team started being effective, the enemy would react, the enemy would hunt these guys,” McKillip said. “Quite often the mechanism for hunting them was to try and spot them and then bring down artillery fire on them.”

McKillip pointed out if the snipers were in with the rest of the troops, that fire would land on everyone, not just the snipers.

The snipers lived in the same conditions as the other soldiers and followed a similar routine. Besides seeking out targets of opportunity, they would also be assigned missions such as taking out machine-gun nests or artillery crews or even hunting enemy snipers.

Ironically, in the early days of the war many soldiers thought sniping was a cushy job because the snipers didn’t have to do as many of the more tiring duties, such as labour.

“They thought you can go anywhere and lie in the tall grass,” McKillip said. “They did get quite a bit of attention from the enemy so I think by the end of the war they were recognized as specialists doing a dangerous job.”

By Nelson Wyatt

[Source]

Hungry for Identity: VICE News Explores Aboriginal Gangs in Winnipeg

Hungry for Identity: VICE News Explores Aboriginal Gangs in Winnipeg

7/10/14

In Winnipeg, many First Nations peoples are entrenched in a devastating culture of gang violence, and VICE News took to the streets of the city to figure out why. The result is a 16-minute documentary, every bit as revealing and heartbreaking as you might imagine. VICE is known for their raw and non-sugarcoated reporting style, and the producers on this piece prioritized getting the real story from all perspectives.

Always curious about non-Native media’s forays into Native news, I spoke to the producer, Nilo Tabrizy—a former colleague of mine at NowThis News—about her experience working on the piece.

As an Iranian Canadian you come from an interesting background yourself. A lot of us journalists report on things that we are passionate about or things that strike a chord with our emotions. On a personal level, what drew you to creating this piece?

The Aboriginal community in Canada doesn’t get enough media coverage into the depths of their issues. Even though I grew up in Vancouver and there are reserves within the city, First Nations people are a community I don’t know much about, and of course I want to know more. I’m really drawn to stories that people don’t cover and I’m lucky to be at VICE where we are able to cover stories that are largely ignored by mainstream media.

How much time did you spend reporting in Manitoba?

We spent a week in freezing cold February in Winnipeg and then another week shooting in May.

Source: VICE News

Source: VICE News

And how big was your crew?

We were a small crew—which was better because the community was hard to get access to, and we wanted to build trust—especially being that none of us were First Nations or Metis.

That brings me to my next question. How did you find these gang members to interview?

Facebook. They all have Facebook. But also a guy named Larry Morissette, who was a really helpful social worker who introduced us to some of the characters. His family is gang affiliated, he grew up in Winnipeg, and he does a lot of work helping ex gang members get jobs and rebuild their lives, so he has an established level of trust with the community.

Where else did you get your background information from?

I read a book called Indians Wear Red about Aboriginal gang violence which was really helpful and it informed a lot of my research. I also reached out to a lot of community based organizations—groups that work with neighborhoods where there’s a lot of gang activity. And the Aboriginal Council of Winnipeg was incredibly helpful.

Source: VICE News

Source: VICE News

Okay, last question. The nature of this story is obviously tragic, but was there anything you you learned about Native culture through the course of your reporting that struck you as particularly interesting or positive?

I was really lucky that I got to actually experience a side of Native culture that I never have before. I learned about tobacco offering, so when I met with Eric [the elder interviewed in the piece] the first thing I did was give him an offering of tobacco to show that my intentions were pure. Eric brought the story to a really interesting place in terms of culture, and his personal story really informed my understanding of what was going on. He was so understanding, and I couldn’t believe the way in which he was totally okay with explaining every single question I had, because there was so much I didn’t know. I felt really lucky to get the chance to speak with him. We also went to a memorial feast, which we didn’t film out of respect, for a gang member who was killed last year, and so I felt very lucky to partake and be included and welcomed into the culture in that experience.

Gang activity is a side of Native life that I, and many other Natives, have never really witnessed and certainly don’t know much about. On a personal level, the video opened my eyes wider than I imagined it would. The Anishinaabe side of my family and our tribal homelands are only a short drive from Manitoba, but gang violence like this is something that I’ve never seen. But it’s an important issue to us all, and a harrowing reminder of the devastating legacy which residential schools, colonization, and identity struggles have left in our communities. So, no matter which part of Indian country you hail from, I suggest you check out the piece:

http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/07/10/hungry-identity-vice-news-explores-aboriginal-gangs-winnipeg-155777