Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde is working hard to put First Nations front and centre in Canada's 42nd federal election. Polls suggest the election is a three way race, with the NDP, for the first time ever, contending to form (a minority) government. Indigenous voters could tip the balance, resulting in an end to Stephen Harper's Conservative government. Both the NDP and the Liberals made their case to the Assembly of First Nations, and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair underscored the importance of First Nations issues in a campaign rally in Montreal today. [more inside]
On June 26, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in favour of the Tsilhquot’in people in their title claim to more than 1700 square km of land in British Columbia. The case is a landmark, and was a unanimous decision, supported 8-0 by the justices. The decision, is the first time the Canadian courts have recognized full aboriginal title to a specific tract of land by, and experts in the field expect the ruling to have an impact on future title questions worldwide (from Vancouver Island to New Zealand, or, one might say, from PKOLS to Aotearoa) [more inside]
Northwest coast native artist, Andy Everson explores pop culture and native rights in his prints. Kwakwa̱ka̱'wakw artist Andy Everson's image of a hand holding a feather has become synonymous with the Idle No More Movement, which has shifted the Canadian political spotlight on First Nations issues in recent months (previously). But I predict it is his C3P0, Yoda, and LEGO figurine self portrait giclée prints that will be irresistible to many mefites.
Lincoln Alexander has died at 90 years old. Among his many accomplishments, he was the first Black MP elected in Canada (1968 -- re-elected 4 times, in his last term appointed Cabinet Minister), served as Ontario's Lieutenant-Governor, was chair of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, and that is just scratching the surface of his many contributions. A beloved citizen in Hamilton, the city named a Highway after him "The Linc" ... a running joke with him since he did not drive. [more inside]
Quebec throws out Charest, elects PQ minority government Quebec has handed a minority government to the Parti Quebecois, a left-leaning separatist party who promised to freeze tuition, the subject of massive demonstrations discussion previously on the blue. [more inside]
Rohinton Mistry's convocation speech to Ryerson [video - g&m, must wait for short ad) this link is to the text, with no ads, but hearing his reading is nice.
"For the last 20 years, the huge rock has lain in the museum's interior courtyard, its many petroglyphs slowly disappearing under a layer of moss and lichen. Next week, it will be repatriated to Stswecem'c Xgat'tem First Nations and taken back home to the Fraser River at Churn Creek Protected Area, about two hours east of Clinton." [more inside]
Canada marks the 30th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights. The charter is credited with advancing gay rights and reproductive freedom, reducing police powers and increasing judicial activism. And of course, trudeau's famous pirouette behind the Queen's back after she signed the charter. The anniversary brings a flash mob of lawyers, a tepid celebration from the conservative government, and some reflection on rights and, of course, hockey!.