First Nations

Former N.S. Crown who suggested Mi’kmaq were a ‘conquered people’ fights for record release

APTN News (Canada) - Thu, 2019-07-18 23:10

The Canadian Press
A former lawyer for the Nova Scotia Department of Justice who presented a brief suggesting the Mi’kmaq were a “conquered people” and is suing the premier for defamation had his efforts to release court records temporarily blocked Wednesday by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Alex Cameron has said in his defamation action that Stephen McNeil and a former justice minister libelled him when they implied he acted without instruction when he presented the brief.

Cameron wants exchanges he had with the government to be made public and to be admissible in court, while the province is arguing those documents shouldn’t be admitted due to solicitor-client privilege.

The province lost its blocking argument when the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal ruled in May the documents can be unsealed, but it is asking the Supreme Court of Canada to overturn that decision.

A judge from the high court issued a temporary stay on Wednesday to allow arguments to be submitted on whether the documents can be released.

Cameron’s lawyer, Bruce Outhouse, says that after written legal arguments are submitted, it’s likely the issue of whether the court records are opened will be decided within weeks.

The lawyer says it’s at that point that the public might finally see what his client was told.

Cameron was removed as government counsel in an Aboriginal rights case in December 2016 after suggesting in a legal brief the Mi’kmaq were a conquered people who were owed no duty of consultation.

The brief was part of the government’s defence when the Sipekne’katik band sought to overturn provincial approval of a plan by Alton Gas to store natural gas in salt caverns near the Shubenacadie River.

After Cameron presented the conquered people brief, there was a public outcry from the Mi’kmaq and others, and the province withdrew the document and disowned the argument.

Cameron, who had a career spanning close to three decades with the province, retired on April 30, 2017 and served legal notice on the government two days later.

In his affidavit, Cameron said the premier and then-justice minister Diana Whalen suggested he acted without instructions, or even contrary to instructions, in making the conquered peoples argument.

He said the arguments “were in accordance with” the instructions he was given.

Thus far, the former prosecutor has been successful in his efforts to have solicitor-client privilege waived in his lawsuit, but the province has continued to appeal.

In the most recent decision, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal said it would be “manifestly unfair” to allow the province to hide behind solicitor-client privilege while at the same time impugning the conduct of its solicitor.

Premier McNeil has said his position has never changed regarding what happened.

“At no time did I have any indication that was the argument,” he said. “It’s my understanding no one instructed him to do that.”

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Mohawks of Akwesasne face discrimination at border crossing says class-action suit

APTN News (Canada) - Thu, 2019-07-18 21:36

The Canadian Press
A proposed class-action lawsuit led by plaintiff Kanawakeron Jody Swamp, alleges Mohawk residents of Akwesasne face “systemic discrimination” as they are forced to go through a border crossing to access the rest of Canada.

The lawsuit alleges the Canada Border Services Agency and the Attorney General of Canada have turned a blind eye to illegal searches, seizures and detention inflicted on members of Akwesasne living on Cornwall Island.

The island is located in the St. Lawrence River, on Canadian territory, with bridges linking it to the U.S. and Cornwall, Ont.

Akwesasne stretches over parts of Ontario, Quebec and New York State.

A statement of claim says everyone going to the Canadian mainland from Cornwall Island must go through a port of entry, a unique arrangement it says is both “inconvenient and disruptive” for residents travelling domestically.

The document alleges the CBSA and the Attorney General were negligent and breached their duties in allowing border guards to treat island residents travelling within Canada like foreign visitors.

“The situation has become intolerable for the people of Akwesasne,” said Cameron Fiske of Milosevic Fiske LLP, one of the firms involved in the suit.

“Nowhere else in Canada are people treated like this. Nowhere else in Canada do Canadians have to go through an international border when they are going from one part of Canada to another part of Canada.”

The allegations have not been proven in court and the government has not yet filed a statement of defence.

“Cornwall Island has a unique and complex set of challenges related to border management,” said Border Services Agency spokeswoman Jacqueline Callin.

“To address these, the (agency) and the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne are working in a Nation-to-Nation approach.”

Callin said a process to bring the two sides together began in April.

Read More: 

Mohawk man beats Canada customs on illegal search

Fiske said Cornwall Island residents have to go through a border crossing to attend schools, doctors’ appointments or to eat in restaurants.

“Each time there is the uncertainty of not knowing what will happen at the border and the possibility of being sent to secondary inspection,” he said.

The lawsuit is seeking $100 million in damages and another $50 million in punitive damages, as well as a declaration that the defendants have violated the charter rights of the proposed class members.

The proposed class would include Indigenous people living on Cornwall Island who have been subject to inspections, detentions, searches or seizures by border guards at the port of entry since 2012.

The statement of claim says Swamp was charged in 2017 with multiple offences under the Customs Act after border guards at the crossing found firecrackers in his car during a secondary inspection.

Swamp was cleared this spring after a judge found that because he was travelling within Canada, border guards needed reasonable grounds to search, question or detain him. The Crown is challenging the ruling.

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Presidential Candidate Mark Charles on Trump’s Attack on the 4 Congresswomen of Color

Native News Online - Thu, 2019-07-18 11:15

Mark Charles (Navajo) is an independent candidate running for president of the United States

Published July 18, 2019

Guest Commentary

The reason President Trump is so offended by Congresswomen Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Alexandria Ocasio-Corte is actually quite simple.

They are all women of color who do NOT blindly accept,  affirm and espouse the mythology of American Exceptionalism. And American Exceptionalism is the coping mechanism for our white supremacist nation that is in deep denial of its genocidal past as well as its current racist and sexist reality. So when his mythology was continuously confronted by #TheSquad, President Trump had two choices: A) Acknowledge that this nation is NOT exceptional and begin the difficult work of dealing with our genocidal history and current racist and sexist reality. B) Ask them to leave. It is disappointing but not at all surprising that he chose the latter. The United States of America needs a national dialogue on race, gender and class. A conversation on par with the Truth and Reconciliation commissions that took place in South Africa, Rwanda and Canada. I would call ours Truth and Conciliation (because reconciliation implies there was a previous harmony) and I believe we need one sooner rather than later (#TCC2021). The vision of my campaign is to build a nation where ‘We the People’ truly means #AllThePeople. Ahe’hee my relatives. Walk in Beauty. Mark Charles Mark Charles (Navajo) is an independent candidate running for president of the United States.

DISCLOSURE: Charles is a longtime contributor to Native News Online 

Read his latest Commentary that appeared Monday, on Memorial Day, in Native News Online:  A Native Perspective on Memorial Day



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Bill to Protect Chaco Canyon from Future Drilling – Vote Follows Field Hearing in April That Revealed Enormous Local Support

Native News Online - Thu, 2019-07-18 11:01

Published July 18, 2019

WASHINGTON – The House Natural Resources Committee today approved Assistant Speaker Rep. Ben Ray Luján’s (D-N.M.) H.R. 2181, the Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act, whichwithdraws federal land around New Mexico’s Chaco Culture National Historical Park from future oil and gas leasing. The bill is co-sponsored by Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Committee Vice-Chair Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.), Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif), Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kan.), Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.).

Chaco Canyon, a sacred site in northern New Mexico, is home to thousand-year-old dwellings and artifacts of the Pueblo culture. It is protected as a National Cultural Historic Park and is designated as a United Nations (UN) World Heritage Site. As the UN notes, among many other remarkable features, the site “has an ancient urban ceremonial center that is unlike anything constructed before or since.”

“Chaco Canyon is too sacred to drill, and it’s not the only sacred site the Trump administration is happy to pollute,” Chair Grijalva said. “Communities all over the country are calling for their landscapes, environment, resources and way of life to be protected from excessive oil and gas drilling. My colleagues and I went to New Mexico to hear directly from leaders and community members on this issue, and passing this bill today is the right thing to do. I’m grateful for the leadership of my colleagues from New Mexico who have worked tirelessly to protect Chaco, and I look forward to getting this bill to the House floor.”

“Oil and gas drilling in the Greater Chaco region would destroy that beautiful and sacred landscape and would permanently impact New Mexicans’ health and quality of life,” said Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján. “Passing my legislation to protect Chaco through the Natural Resources Committee today creates critical momentum to permanently ban oil and gas drilling. Critically, this legislation also sends a clear message that we will not allow the destruction of sacred lands by companies seeking to prohibit. I will continue to fight to protect this world-renowned site that holds significant cultural value to New Mexicans, Tribal communities, and the Pueblos. I implore the House to pass this bill so future generations may enjoy Chaco Canyon.”

Rep. Deb Haaland

“Protecting Chaco is part of who we are as New Mexicans,” Rep. Haaland said. “However, there are serious threats to our efforts from the oil and gas industry and my colleagues who benefit from those industries on the other side of the aisle. Some things are more important than money. Today, our bill to stave off those interests and protect the ancient homeland of the Pueblo people and a place that all New Mexicans treasure is one step closer to becoming a reality.”

In April, Grijalva, Luján, Haaland and Lowenthal held a field hearing in Santa Fe to hear directly from communities impacted by the dangerous levels of methane pollution in northern New Mexico from heavy oil and gas development. The lawmakers inspected oil and gas sites and toured Chaco Canyon Culture National Historic Park to hear from local indigenous leaders who support efforts to limit drilling near sacred land.

In June, the Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands held a legislative hearing in Washington, D.C., to hear from tribal leaders, archeologists, and experts who relayed the urgent need to increase protections for Chaco Canyon. Video highlights of that hearing are available here.

Expanding oil and gas development in New Mexico poses serious threats not only to the land itself, but to communities throughout the region. Approximately 140,000 people live within half a mile of oil and gas facilities in New Mexico. The most recent data show that oil and gas operations in the state emit more than 1 million tons of methane every year, which is equal to $275 million in wasted natural gas.

The state’s methane emissions are the highest of any in the country. Methane and other chemicals from oil and gas development harm the health of local community members, fuel climate change, and result in the waste of a valuable public resource.

While New Mexico state authorities support restricting drilling on state lands within a 10-mile radius of the park, most land surrounding Chaco Culture National Historical Park is federal or tribal, and Trump officials have made aggressive efforts to open federal public lands to leasing regardless of tribal wishes across the West.

The Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act is supported by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.); New Mexico Democratic senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich; tribal leaders; local community advocates; and environmental groups.

“While there is a short term moratorium on drilling in place, there’s a vital need for this proactive legislation to pass if we want to ensure future generations inherit a place that has not been permanently scarred by unchecked energy development,” said Michael Casaus, New Mexico state director of The Wilderness Society. “The interests of the Pueblos and Navajo Nation are being heard by our congressional champions and these lands could be permanently safeguarded by enacting H.R.2181.”

“The National Parks Conservation Association applauds the House Natural Resources Committee for passing legislation that would permanently protect Chaco Culture National Historical Park from this administration’s short-sighted and reckless quest to drill at all costs,” said Matt Kirby, director of energy and landscape conservation at the National Parks Conservation Association. “The cultural landscape in and around Chaco is one of the most threatened regions in the country from this rampant oil and gas development. We urge the full House and Senate to show the same commitment to protecting the cultural resources around Chaco Culture National Historical Park.”

“Greater Chaco is a special place that deserves permanent protection. The Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act is necessary to ensure that this culturally significant landscape and neighboring communities will not be further devastated by oil and gas development,” said Alison Kelly, Senior Attorney at The Natural Resources Defense Council.

“Increased oil and gas development around Chaco Canyon would not only threaten the landscape and wildlife in the area, but the health and safety of all of the people who live in the region,” said Jesse Deubel, executive director of the New Mexico Wildlife Federation. “Already, more than ninety percent of our public lands in northwest New Mexico are under lease to oil and gas interests. New development will only exacerbate air and water pollution, fragment wildlife habitat and increase risks to public health.”

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Rep. Sharice Davids Introduces Bill to Help Veteran-Owned Businesses Succeed

Native News Online - Thu, 2019-07-18 11:00

Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kan.)

Published July 18, 2019

WASHINGTON — Rep. Sharice Davids today introduced the SERV Act, a bill to help Veteran-owned businesses succeed by studying the barriers these businesses face, including lack of access to capital and credit.  

“Growing up with a parent in the army, I saw firsthand the challenges our service members face when transitioning to new jobs after time in the military. There are so many Veterans in Kansas with the entrepreneurial skills it takes to run a small business, and we must do a better job at setting them up for success,” said Davids.   

The Successful Entrepreneurship for Reservists and Veterans Act, or SERV Act, requires a report from the Comptroller General of the United States on the ability of veteran and reservist small business owners to access credit, a necessary part of a business’ prosperity.  

“Access to capital is one of the most important first steps entrepreneurs take when starting a business, and it is also one of the biggest difficulties, especially for our Veterans. By studying the problem of access to credit for Veterans and Reservists, the SERV Act will be a crucial first step in identifying solutions that allow these businesses to thrive,” said Davids 

The legislation also requires the U.S. Small Business Association to develop a plan for outreach and promotion of the many programs available to Veterans, service-disabled Veterans, Reservists, and their spouses.  

Davids introduced the bipartisan bill with House Small Business Committee Ranking Member Steve Chabot (R-OH). To view the bill text, click HERE.  

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Effective Tips for Equitable Travel

Native News Online - Thu, 2019-07-18 11:00

Published July 18, 2019

Are you planning for equitable travel? Do you want to make it easier and fun? If yes, you can go through the following article. In this article, we will discuss some tips given by Carol Pucci, Yasmeen Wafai and Zeb Larson to make equitable travels stress-free and enjoyable.

Share a Meal in a Local Household and try to connect travelers with people in host countries who love to have fun and entertain. Prices vary depending on the accommodation. Some paid 49 each staying. Staying past midnight sharing their food will make you spend less than staying nights in a hotel. Share a meal in a local household who love to entertain and create a different experience without hurting your budget.

Trade-Off Hosting

Around 2, 000 households in fifty countries and forty-eight states prefer to participate in the Affordable Travel Club. This club is a Washington based hospitality group. They offer extra bedroom and breakfast to forty even more people. When some charges $15 and $20 per night, other people in host countries open their door to meet new people.

Walk and Talk

Spend your time with a volunteer of Global Greeter. They will share the best thing about the place. Global Greeter volunteers do not act as a guide. They will behave like your friends. More importantly, the service is completely free.

Lodge Locally

Choose a place that offers a cost-effective solution. Always prefer independently owned hotels, homestays, and small inns instead of international hotels. If you choose international hotels, you will have to spend much more than locally owned hotels.

Spend Internationally

Shop and eat at those places dedicated to the fair trade. Visit the website of the World Fair Trade Organization and also explore small entrepreneurs. For example, if you are looking for women weaving textile, you can consider visiting the Las Casas Mexico selling.

Tour Sensibly

People use independent and local guides to have a better understanding of the place. You can take the help of the responsible travel guide Cambodia. Also, visit and Global Exchange to know more about the local people and economies. Gather all the required information so that you can use them to make your travel cost-effective and memorable.

Take a Train

If you are planning to visit national parks, you can take a train. You will not have to go through the traffic hassles. Some trains offer trips to popular national parks including Glacier National Park and Grand Canyon. You will find more than a hundred packages to meet your unique travel needs.

Use Your Citizen Science

If you love nature and experiments, you can use the iNaturalist app to record plants and animal species of that particular area that will help to contribute to the science. Also, you can measure pollution and send it to the Globe at Night app.

Help Maintain Trails

Washington Trails Association provides a unique volunteer program that you can join to maintain trails. Trails are considered very important to the environment since they limit the possible negative impact on nature. The program is for eight days. They will provide food, tools, and camping options. You can simply relax and explore without any distractions.

Try Making the Road

This is a Chicago-based group that arranges travel seminars for the United States participants to teach about the history and Liberian movements of Southern Africa. During this, travelers will get the opportunity to meet intellectuals, labor leaders, politicians, and artists to know more about some shared issues such as racism labor struggles and militarism.

Know DeTour

DeTour has come into existence to change Hawaii’s image. It inspires visitors to support Hawaiians’ dream of sovereignty. It will enable you to see a different side of Hawaii out of the United States imperialism shadow.

Veteran Peace

Veteran peace is designed with a noble cause to show the war damages. At the same time, they raise funds to support victims and ongoing works.

Opt for Rapid Essay

Do you need writing help during travels? Are you looking for a reliable and experienced essay writing online service to meet your writing needs? If yes, you can consider hiring the RapidEssay online essay writing service. Rapid Essay has the skill and experience to write any paper. Professionals will write your papers. So, you can expect high-quality work and timely delivery.

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Cherokee Nation Contributes $25,000 to Assist Red Cross with Flood Relief

Native News Online - Thu, 2019-07-18 11:00

Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, American Red Cross Disaster State Relations Director Chele Rider, Cherokee Nation Businesses Community Relations Manager Amy McCarter, American Red Cross Senior Officer of Corporate Partnerships David M. Chaney, and Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker.

Published July 18, 2019

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Cherokee Nation leaders presented the American Red Cross with a $25,000 contribution this week to assist in northeast Oklahoma flood relief efforts.

“The Cherokee Nation partners with organizations like the American Red Cross to ensure we provide the best response possible following natural disasters,” said Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden. “We know this $25,000 contribution will help many of our Cherokee families who were impacted by the recent historic flooding in northeast Oklahoma.”

Catastrophic flooding in May and June impacted much of the Cherokee Nation’s 14-county area, home to thousands of Cherokee families. The flood levels reached 46 feet at the Arkansas River between Fort Gibson and Muskogee, far surpassing major flood stage at 34 feet after a release at the Pensacola Dam water reservoirs. During the flood, Principal Chief Bill John Baker declared a state of emergency in the Cherokee Nation.

The Cherokee Nation and American Red Cross have a long history of working together. When historic flooding began to affect areas of the Cherokee Nation in May, the American Red Cross again partnered with the tribe’s Emergency Operations Center to organize disaster response efforts.

“Disaster relief gifts are really critical for us being able to respond to disasters when they occur,” said David M. Chaney, senior officer of corporate partnerships with the American Red Cross. “This gift is really instrumental in helping our response in the Cherokee Nation.”

Disaster contributions provided to the American Red Cross help cover the cost of food, clean-up supplies, shelters and financial assistance to families who suffered damage to their homes.

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Indigenous leaders messaging young women a widespread problem: MMIWG advocate

APTN News (Canada) - Thu, 2019-07-18 05:44

Melissa Ridgen, Brittany Guyot
A Saskatoon woman who works with families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls says she’s inundated with calls from mothers who are at their wit’s end trying to protect daughters from Indigenous male leaders creeping them online.

Darlene Okemaysim-Sicotte, with the group Women Talking Together, says the problem isn’t new, but it’s everywhere.

“It’s really embarrassing to know that people are being bamboozled all around the country by a lot of political leaders,” said Okemaysim-Sicotte.

“I’m seeing that they’re men in positions of power, and sometimes women in power.”

It’s not always overt or obscene.

It’s often an older male with power being incessantly friendly with young women who don’t want to be seen as rude by telling them to go away.

Okemaysim-Sicotte says it can be a balancing act for women who are just being polite and friendly.

“I think it’s a real crime on its own because they’re having to endure this privately and maybe they’re feeling shame that this is happening and they don’t know how to stop the situation,” said Okemaysim-Sicotte.

Read More:

Indigenous woman asks AMC to investigate grand chief’s behavior; chief denies claim

Women’s Council investigating texting allegations against grand chief 

Manitoba grand chief taking temporary leave of absence to ‘heal’ after texting scandal

Tasha Beeds is the chair of Indigenous studies at the University of Sudbury.

She recently called out predators and their defenders, in a social media warning.

“There’s a shift in the Indigenous universe,” she said.

Beeds said people are beginning to stand up and speak out.

The post blasted “predators: the ones consciously harming and hunting. You know who you are” and “enablers: the ones helping predators to harm. You know who you are” telling them the “Indigenous universe is shifting. It sees you as it always has except it’s done waiting for you to change.”

Her post has been shared 241 times.

Beeds said the floodgates are poised to open with women coming forward to out their harassers.

“Social media is a space where we think of is open for predatory behavior,” said Beeds.  “I think that’s what we’re seeing now.

“I don’t think social media is going to be a safe place for predators any longer.”

Okemaysim-Sicotte advises anyone who receives unwanted messages to avoid engaging in the conversation, save screenshots of them and develop a support network.

Meanwhile, a young woman at the centre of a texting scandal involving Manitoba’s top Indigenous leader says she is feeling shamed and silenced.

This “code of silence is the same tactic invoked upon Indigenous women and/or their families in all areas of this country for decades,” said Bethany Maytwayashing, in a statement emailed to APTN News Wednesday.

“This historic pattern of dismissing Indigenous women and/or their families when they bring these issues to the authorities and/or public has caused so many women to die, go missing or get murdered all because nobody would take us Indigenous women seriously.”

Read more:

Social media helping ‘shift Indigenous universe’ when it comes to bad behaviour


With files from Priscilla Wolf, Martha Troian and Kathleen Martens


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4th man to die in custody of Winnipeg police this year was a ‘good guy’ says family

APTN News (Canada) - Thu, 2019-07-18 05:42

Priscilla Wolf
The family of a man who died in the custody of the Winnipeg police say he was a “good guy” who loved his children.

Randy Cochrane died July 14 after being confronted by Winnipeg police in the city’s notorious North End.

“He was a good guy everybody does things that are not so good sometimes,” said Cochrane’s sister Kayla Barthelette. “But he was a good person he had 3 little girls he was a good dad to them he loved them so much.

He loved everybody in his family. He had a big heart he always wanted to help everybody.”

Cochrane is the fourth Indigenous man who has died in the custody of the Winnipeg police in 2019.

According to a release by Manitoba’s Independent Investigation Unit who is looking into the incident, officers observed a man who appeared to be armed and bleeding.

They started a foot chase and eventually Cochrane was taken into custody.

Cochrane was the father of three girls.

Police say he was agitated at the time of his arrest – and then he became unresponsive.

Winnipeg Fire and paramedics were called and Cochrane was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Monica Murdock, Cochrane’s cousin, says the Health Sciences centre told her family that Cochrane had a heart attack and had a high fever.

She said they told here there were no other injuries on his body.

“They took us into a room and they were talking to us and said they brought Randy in about 4:30 p.m. on Sunday unresponsive already with a fever of 40,” she said.

Murdock says the family wasn’t allowed to see Cochrane’s body because they were told he died in police custody and the case is under investigation.

“They wouldn’t let us see the body we were like can we see the body we were like can we just see him someone needs to identify him,” she said. “It’s Randy its his tattoos. I don’t know we said we won’t touch him we will just look at him.

He’s all alone down there They said no.”

The family is hoping his body will be released soon so they can hold a funeral.

Since the matter involves a fatality in police custody, a request for a civilian monitor will be made to the Manitoba Police Commission.

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Yellowknives Dene relinquish land to expand NWT capital

APTN News (Canada) - Thu, 2019-07-18 05:39

Charlotte Morritt-Jacobs
The City of Yellowknife and the Yellowknives Dene First Nation are united behind a proposal that would alter their municipal boundaries.

The boundary change is part of the larger Akaitcho land claim process, involving the Dene, Lutselk’e and Deninu Kue First Nations in Northwest Territories.

The city of Yellowknife will likely give formal approval at the next council meeting later this month.

At that time, it will be up to the territorial government to make a recommendation to the minister of lands.


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National Indian Gaming Association Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr., Issues a Statement as the House Passes Bill Condemning President Donald Trump’s Divisive Comments

Native News Online - Thu, 2019-07-18 05:28

Ernie Stevens, Jr., Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association. Photo by Levi Rickert

Published July 17, 2019

WASHINGTON — National Indian Gaming Association Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr., issued the following statement after the passage of House Resolution 489, regarding President Trump’s divisive comments directed at Members of Congress. “The National Indian Gaming Association denounces the comments directed towards respected female Members of Congress. They are American citizens, duly elected by their fellow citizens, and they deserve better treatment from the Office of the President. Coming off of a historic election where the first two female Native Americans were elected to the Congress, we should be honoring the strength of this Country represented by one of the most diverse Congress’ in this Nation’s history. The idea of America would not have been possible if it weren’t for the fact that Native Nations welcomed the first European settlers fleeing their home countries for a better life. The original sin of slavery and hatred directed at groups of immigrants stunted our growth. For Indian Country, the violation of treaties, theft of lands, and devastating genocide against Native peoples left an indelible stain on the Nation’s honor. The xenophobic federal policies of forced assimilation authorized the government-sanctioned separation of Native children from their families where they were forbidden from speaking their language or practicing their religion. Urging certain groups to return to their countries of origin conjures up the dark images of this Nation’s past injustices and intolerance. Tuesday’s United States of America is better than our past. We are a Nation of diverse and multi-racial citizens who seek the common goal of Equality and Dignity as a united people. While our government has not always adhered to it, the foundation of the United States rests on a notion that all people are created equal with the ability to determine our own destiny. We owe it to all of our ancestors, indigenous and immigrant, to strive every day to live up to the inherent promise of our Nation’s foundation: The United States is a home for all who strive for equality regardless of color, sex, or ethnicity. May the Creator bless the United States of America and its enduring principles shared by all citizens of this great Nation.”

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Assembly of First Nations National Chief Welcomes New Saskatchewan Lieutenant Governor Russell Mirasty

Assembly of First Nations (Canada) - Thu, 2019-07-18 04:47

(Ottawa, ON) –Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde welcomes Lieutenant Governor Russell Mirasty who was appointed as the representative of the Crown in Saskatchewan by Prime Minister Trudeau today. “I offer congratulations to His Honour Russell Mirasty and welcome him as the Crown’s representative in my home region of Saskatchewan,” said AFN

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Haaland, Committee on Natural Resources to Vote on Protecting Chaco Canyon and the Grand Canyon

Native News Online - Wed, 2019-07-17 11:01

Chaco Canyon’s four-story tall Pueblo Bonito

Published July 17, 2019

WASHINGTON  — Tomorrow, the House Natural Resources Committee will hold a markup meeting at 8:00 a.m. MT / 10:00 a.m. ET to consider several bills including H.R. 2181, the Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act of 2019, which was introduced by the New Mexico Delegation to permanently protect Chaco Canyon. The bill would protect sacred and historic resources located throughout the Greater Chaco region by withdrawing federal land from mineral leasing and disposal within a 10-mile radius of the Chaco Culture National Historical Park.


Congresswoman Deb Haaland, House Committee on Natural Resources


Full Committee Markup


Wednesday, July 17, 2019 at 8:00 a.m. MT / 10:00 a.m. ET


1324 Longworth House Office Building or online here

Haaland co-led a tour of Chaco Canyon in April with members of House Natural Resources Committee in April to highlight the impacts of oil and gas production on the site and the health of surrounding communities. Chaco Canyon has significant cultural importance because it is surrounded by Navajo lands, and is the ancestral homeland of Pueblo people.    

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Nez-Lizer Commend Congressman Ben Ray Luján for Introducing Bill to Expand Uranium Exposure Compensation

Native News Online - Wed, 2019-07-17 11:00

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez talks with
former uranium mine workers about the progress to amend
the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act at the Navajo
Nation Department of Health in Window Rock, Ariz. on July
1, 2019.

Published July 17, 2019

WINDOW ROCK  Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer express their appreciation to Congressman Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) for introducing legislation to expand compensation for individuals exposed to radiation while working in and living near uranium mines or nuclear weapon test sites — this includes former Navajo uranium mine workers and “downwinders.”

“The Navajo Nation appreciates Representative Ben Ray Luján for introducing this important measure, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments of 2019. Many Navajos worked in uranium mines during the Cold War-era without being informed of the hazardous conditions. Now, many have passed on and many others are still suffering from uranium exposure. It is time for Congress to act and pass this bill. Our people have suffered and waited too long,” said President Nez.

Congressman Luján stated, “Native and tribal communities were disproportionally exposed to the dangerous radiation in New Mexico, and in other communities throughout the U.S. This legislation will seek to rectify this significant disparity and help bring justice to all the communities exposed.”

He added that without the legislation, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, or RECA, would expire in two years and leave thousands of impacted individuals without the ability and resources to pay for medical care linked to radiation exposure.

RECA was first enacted in 1990 and in the year 2000, the act was amended, but did not include provisions for certain states, post 1971 miners, certain types of cancers, expansion of benefits, and downwinders. For many years, a group of former Navajo uranium miners has worked with members of the House and Senate, as well as leaders of the Navajo Nation, to pass a new bill that would include amendments to provide the necessary benefits.

On Monday, President Nez and Vice President Lizer also highlighted their support for RECA amendments to include Navajo uranium mine workers in the State of the Navajo Nation Address during the 2019 Summer Council Session.

“Many of our uranium workers were never told of the harms of radiation exposure. When the mines closed, many of the mining companies left the Nation without support. Now, our people are suffering from many health issues caused by radiation exposure. It is time to act and bring them justice,” said Vice President Lizer.

On behalf of the Administration, we also commend Council Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty for joining uranium mine workers on Capitol Hill this week to meet with House and Senate members reaffirming the Navajo Nation’s support for proposed changes to the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act. President Nez was unable to accompany the group to this week’s meeting due to the State of the Navajo Nation Address on Monday.

“I would like to thank Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján for introducing this important bill that would provide help to many former uranium miners who have been left out of process. They have sacrificed their health and well-being mining this dangerous natural resource for this country and have suffered for too long. We need Congress to act and pass this bill to support their needs as well as their families who have also felt the negative side effects of the uranium mining legacy. It is time we bring closure to these families through increased support and benefits,” said Delegate Crotty.

“Unfortunately, we are not able to join the mine workers and Honorable Crotty, but we want them to know that we stand with them in our fight to obtain compensation,” President Nez added.

With the assistance from the Navajo Nation Washington Office, President Nez and Vice President Lizer will continue to monitor and support for the RECA amendments.

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Simple Solution to Keeping Cool While Having Fun Outdoors

Native News Online - Wed, 2019-07-17 11:00

Published July 17, 2019

We all enjoy getting to spend some quality time outdoors, and regardless of the occasion, this always means expecting to have a lot of fun. Unfortunately, being outside also means being exposed to a lot of elements, including heat from the sun, sudden rains, and strong winds. Since there is nothing pleasant about being left exposed to these harsh conditions, which is never how one pictures spending those outdoor moments, it is vital to take proactive measures. The truth is everyone deserves to spend some good time outdoors, and this should never be limited because of natural conditions that call for the right adjustments.

Regardless of whether you are hosting a home party, street fair, or any other event outdoors, the necessity of getting to stay out of the heat can never be compromised. On the bright side, this is a simple venture that anyone can achieve by investing in quality canopy tents. These easy to use solutions are the perfect picture of what everyone deserves any time when thinking about having limitless fun when outdoors. A temporary shelter is a must-have, especially when you are expecting excessive sunlight that can easily make spending time outdoors less desirable. The shade provided by the canopy tents will come as a relief to everyone as they can have the assurance if being protected when the heat becomes unbearable.

When thinking about canopy tents to keep you away from the heat, it is important to go for one built with a UV-resistant fabric roof. This ensures that whenever you retreat to these temporary shelters, you are safe from the unpleasant effects of being in the sun for too long that might result in sunburns. The focus on the material should not just be on the roof fabric but the durability and stability of the entire canopy tent. Typically, a good tent should be made of quality materials such as aluminum or galvanized steel that tend to be long-lasting and suitable for everyone thinking about continuous use. On the other hand, the need for a durable solution must be balanced by going for a lightweight tent that can easily be transported. It would be futile to have an outdoor tent that is demanding to transport and set up as it defies the essence of investing in these temporary shelters.

Another critical factor that must be given priority when looking to invest in a canopy tent is the size. If the goal is to have a shelter that can be used by a lot of people, the best solution is to go for a bigger tent that will suit the occasion. However, if you are thinking about some quiet time with a friend or loved one, then a smaller tent will work the magic. Smaller tents are generally easier to set up as they are lighter and equally come handy when space is a concern. This primarily means that getting to spend quality outdoor moments is not be limited to large parks and open spaces, but that the background can be converted to a quiet spot for relaxation. If you are planning to go out in a location where the terrain is rough, then smaller tents are also the go for a solution as it will not be much of a struggle to set them up.

The practicality of canopy tents is not only suitable for excessive sunlight but can also be used when it is likely to rain while you are outdoors. It is important to take the time to consider the climate before heading out as it prepares you for what to expect. If there is a high likelihood that it will rain, then the canopy tent is to have extra features such as tent walls, floors, and a gutter system. The tent walls will keep everyone protected from the rain coming from sides while the floors will prevent the space from becoming wet. A gutter system will help in keeping the water out, and everyone in the tent will not have to worry about getting wet. Since rains can come with strong winds, it is vital to ensure that canopy tents are strongly setup. A simple way to ensure that there are no risks is to use tent anchors that add extra stabilization that must be placed in strategic positions to keep the entire structure firmly in place.

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All Nations Veterans Cemetery Dedication To Be Held on Standing Rock Indian Reservation

Native News Online - Wed, 2019-07-17 11:00

Published July 17, 2019

STANDING ROCK INDIAN RESERVATION — The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Department of Veterans Affairs will be hosting a dedication for their new All Nations Veterans Cemetery on Monday July 29, 2019 at 10 a.m. The location of the newly constructed cemetery is 10191 Highway 6 at McLaughlin, South Dakota 57642.

This historical event has been years in the making and will solidify a place to honor veterans, both past and present, with the newly constructed cemetery.

The Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetary Administration granted The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to construct 2 buildings, roads, committal shelter, 128 crypts, 28 full casket sites, and 12 cremated remains gravesites. The cemetery will span 8 acres and will serve 2,264 tribal veterans and their families.

There will be a presentation on Sunday July 28, 2019 at 5 p.m. at the Wakpala School in Wakpala, South Dakota located at 12250 SD-HWY 1806. The presentation will feature various speakers who will cover the history, design, and cultural aspects of the cemetery.

The dedication on Monday will include posting of the colors, congressional comments, honored guest speakers, and a military flyover followed by lunch. The dedication will close with the first time raising of the colors. The dedication and presentation are open to the public.

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House Votes to Condemn Trump’s Racist Comments

Native News Online - Wed, 2019-07-17 10:13

U.S. Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar at a press conference at the Capitol on Monday. President Trump has accused the “squad” of hating America and has said they should “go back” to where they came from.

Published July 16, 2019

WASHINGTON The House of Representatives on Tuesday evening passed a resolution to condemn President Donald Trump’s “racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.” The vote went mostly along party lines. The measure was a severe rebuke of the racist president who continues to spew out hatred towards people of color.

After Sunday morning’s Tweet in which Trump told four freshmen minority Congresswomen to “go back: to the country from where they are from. All four, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, are in fact citizens of the United States and would not be eligible to be members of Congress without such status.

Trump tweeted earlier Tuesday: “I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!” However, his actions and verbal assaults present an opposite impression. The House Democrats proved they were tired of the ongoing racist behavior that is not becoming a president of the United States.

The 240-to-187 vote is viewed as a strong condemnation of Donald Trump.

Four Republicans voted with all of the Democrats — Reps. Will Hurd (Tex.), the only African American Republican in Congress; Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Susan Brooks (Ind.) and Fred Upton (Mich.) Independent Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.), who quit the GOP on the 4th of July, also voted for it. Six Republicans did not vote.

“I know racism when I see it. I know racism when I feel it. And at the highest levels of government, there is no room for racism,” Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), the Civil Rights icon.


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Bottleneck blocking salmon on B.C.’s Fraser River

APTN News (Canada) - Wed, 2019-07-17 05:48

Tina House

A rockslide has trapped millions of salmon in the Fraser River.

Officials are trying to find a way to free or move the fish around the bottleneck in B.C.

So the salmon can continue onto their spawning grounds.

The blockage affects several species of salmon, which First Nations depend on in the province for food, fishing and ceremonial use.


The post Bottleneck blocking salmon on B.C.’s Fraser River appeared first on APTN News.

AMC Women’s Council says it will no longer be part of ‘social media drama’

APTN News (Canada) - Wed, 2019-07-17 03:49

Dennis Ward
An investigation into a messaging scandal involving the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs’ grand chief Arlen Dumas appears to be over.

The Women’s Council of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs launched its own investigation last week following reports Dumas had sent 22-year-old Bethany Maytwayashing unwanted and inappropriate messages and texts.

In a news release Tuesday, the council said it “will no longer be part of the social media posts targeting First Nations leaders in Manitoba.”

The council had planned a meeting with Mayatwayashing and other women to give them an opportunity to hear her concerns.

According to the release, a meeting was arranged for Friday, July 12 at the Long Plain First Nation urban reserve in Winnipeg.

(Francine Meeches, a member of the AMC’s Women’s Council released a statement on the allegations against grand chief Arlen Dumas on Tuesday. Photo: AMC)

The council said Mayatwayashing “did not show up.”

Mayatwayashing says she “went out onto the land before a set time was given” for the meeting.

“Francine Meeches did not update me with a time on Facebook until I was already gone and in a poor service area she messaged at 12:32 am the night before the meet,” Mayatwayshing said in a Facebook message, on Tuesday.

Read More:

Indigenous woman asks AMC to investigate grand chief’s behavior; chief denies claim

Women’s Council investigating texting allegations against grand chief 

Manitoba grand chief taking temporary leave of absence to ‘heal’ after texting scandal

Social media helping ‘shift Indigenous universe’ when it comes to bad behavior 

Mayatwayashing says her boyfriend Matthew Shorting attended the meeting in her place and that she was present on the conference line while the meeting continued.

Shorting posted the original screenshots of messages allegedly from Dumas to Mayatwayshing.

Shorting has since last his job.

He says he was fired from his restorative justice job after he posted allegations against Dumas saying he was harassing Mayatwayashing.

In it’s statement, the AMC secretariat “categorically denies” Shorting was “fired from his job because of political interference.”

Swan Lake First Nation Chief Francine Meeches, who is the chair of the AMC Women’s Council said in the statement, “the AMC Women’s Council reached out to Ms. Maytwayashing in good faith to hear her concerns.

“Unfortunately, she decided to send three men to meet with us, who offered no evidence to support her claims.”

(22-year-old Bethany Maytwayashing says she was supposed to meet with the AMC Women’s Council on July 18. Photo: APTN)

The council said “shortly thereafter, Ms. Maytwayashing posted new allegations on Facebook, this time against the AMC Women’s Council alleging that some members were biased – an allegation the Women’s Council categorically denies.”

The Women’s Council accuses Maytwayashing and Shorting of making “numerous unfounded allegations against the AMC’s Women’s Council, the AMC Secretariat, and are now soliciting complaints from the community at large against our First Nations leadership in Manitoba.

“As a result, the AMC Women’s Council will no longer be part of this social media drama which is clearly targeting all of our First Nation leaders in Manitoba.”

The statement comes as a surprise to Maytwayashing because a new meeting had been set up for July 18.

“I’m still unsure really.  Nobody contacted me about it” says Mayatwayashing who replied “this is overwhelming I just want an apology, for him to man up, admit it was him and for him to fix this all.”

Dumas announced July 12 that he was taking a leave of absence.


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Assembly of First Nations Bulletin – 2019 AFN Annual General Assembly

Assembly of First Nations (Canada) - Wed, 2019-07-17 02:43

AFN Annual General Assembly Fredericton, NB – July 23-25, 2019 The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is looking forward to hosting its 40th Annual General Assembly (AGA) in Fredericton, New Brunswick from July 23 to 25, 2019 under the theme of “Celebrating our Successes and Giving Thanks”. The AFN believes it is important to convene

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