Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Indigenous Inclusion at the Alberta Boundaries Commission Public Outreach

Ric McIver presenting on behalf of the PC Caucus on changes, including renaming Calgary-Greenway to Calgary-Bhullar.
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/780048998799701/

Feb, 21, 2017

Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission

-Welcome to Treaty 7 Territory, the land of the Blackfoot Confederacy.

This land, known as Calgary, Alberta, Canada is known to Indigenous as an place of Treaty and equality because of the 1877, Treaty 7 signing :
-  Kainai Nation (Blood)
-  Pikani First Nation (Peigan)
-  Siksika Nation (Blackfoot)
-  Tsuu T'ina Nation (Sarcee)
-  Stoney Nakota First Nation - Bearspaw, Chiniki, Wesley Nations

I also acknowledge the mixed, the non-status, the Metis, the visiting Nations of Turtle Island and the new Canadians from all around the globe. The Crown signed the Treaties on behalf of those that are considered Canadians, making us all Treaty people.

I proposed, in the spirit of reconciliation, consideration to any boundary changes the following:
-look at the Treaty 4, 6, 7, 8 & 10 boundaries. Design the new boundaries with respect to the Treaty boundaries.
-look at the Indian Act bands boundaries. Design the new boundaries without cutting any of the bands in two.
-look at the Metis Settlement boundaries. Also look at the boundaries without cutting any of the settlements in two.

When renaming the electoral boundaries, consider the names of Indigenous peoples’ that have contributed to the province. An example would be Charlotte Small, the Metis wife of David Thompson. Small spoke Blackfoot, Cree, French and English and Thompson credits her to his ability to be able to survey Alberta. Another example would be living Elder, Doreen Spence. She is one of the co-founders of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’.

There are 444 recommendations in the Royal Commission of Aboriginal People, 94 calls to action in The Truth and Reconciliation Commission and 43 articles to implement in the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’. In the spirit of reconciliation, I would recommend looking at those documents and use them as an opportunity to have Indigenous inclusion.

Lastly, although not related to Indigenous issues, I want to advocate for the renaming of Calgary-Greenway to be Calgary-Bhullar. Although I identify as a Liberal both federally and provincially, Manmeet Bhullar worked regardless of party affiliation. He helped complete my daughter’s birth story by getting midwifery funded so other moms, like myself, who wanted a midwife but couldn’t afford it, now have access to one. Also, he was a male advocate to stop family violence, including sexual abuse. He left a family violence prevention meeting when he traveled to Edmonton on the day of his death. So as a resident of Calgary-Greenway, I hope Calgary-Bhullar is considered a legacy for a wonderful man.

Mahsi cho,

Michelle Robinson
Slavey Dene, born in Calgary

Saturday, February 11, 2017

#ERRE #CdnPoli #PerformOnReform #Resistance150 #Canada150 a rebuttal from an Indigenous woman on settlers splitting hairs on Cdn democracy...

#ERRE #CdnPoli #PerformOnReform #Resistance150 #Canada150 a rebuttal from an Indigenous woman on settlers splitting hairs on Cdn democracy...

Take a long look at this list of people in the caption. How many Indigenous people do you see? That's my point. Canada is an imposed country with imposed democracy. The Indigenous people did not consent to this. They were imprisoned for not conforming under the many imposed laws that came with Canada. They aren't included in the concept of democratic reforms.

Many people are saying Justin Trudeau lied. Did he? If he wants a renewed relationship with Indigenous, implement UN Declaration of Rights of the Indigenous Peoples' (UNDRIP) and allow for more self governance the Indian Act does not allow, by not imposing yet another change that purposely excluded Indigenous, progress? Sadly, it is. Look at this well thought out research analysis.. http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/christophermajka/2017/02/electoral-reform-reversal-shows-justin-trudeau-takes-canadia <--- Do you see the Indigenous inclusion? I didn't either.

I do wish we could, as a country, work on democratic reform. I grew up in Alberta, hearing about Senate reform for as long as I can remember. Seeing Justin Trudeau, in third party status, do more for Senate reform by making the Liberal Senate independents, was more than Harper, who campaigned on it for 10 years, then was in office for 10 more. I've seen old footage of a young Justin Trudeau in University during the time Quebec wanted to vote to separate, passionately try to explain to the Francophone community, a united Canada is in everyone's best interest.

I didn't take the promise of electoral reform lightly. In fact, I had hope a new system with promises of change to Indigenous could be an amazing opportunity to strike down aspects of the Indian Act, knowing at no point would we open the constitution to make overhauling change to democracy or the Indian Act. I worked with the Liberals in Montreal talking about changing the democratic progress. I formed alliances with FairVote Canada. Here in Calgary, to all citizens with all party backgrounds, I submitted ideas, gave a presentation of Indigenous inclusion in Canada's democratic system with UNDRIP articles as points of reference.. Again, for all the settlers who talk a big talk about reconciliation with Indigenous, listening to my points here or there, their speeches on democratic reform and documents STILL do not reflect that at all with Indigenous inclusion in their lectures. Only one man locally advocated for Indigenous at Fairvote.. he had a heart attack. I tried to convert my presentation into a blog but it's not the same. http://redneckgirlthatcould.blogspot.ca/2016/06/electoral-reform-in-canada-forum-april.html

Of course this is all not including the new change we just witnessed in the US. While I don't want to complicate the issue of democratic reform, Indigenous peoples' at Standing Rock are on the wrong side of loaded barrels. I can't separate the fact the colonialism allows violence against Indigenous peoples' of Turtle Island. The colonial boundary separated many Indigenous Nations.. from settlers that ignore Indigenous Nation boundaries.

So as I watch today's day of action with Cdn's angry at the so-called broken promise after so much outreach, out reach I have never seen in my lifetime which I was grateful to be just a regular citizen to participate in, I wonder how they can talk about reconciliation without acknowledgement of the land they are on? I wonder how can they talk about broken promises when there was so much outreach? I wonder how they can talk about a strong democracy while the Indian Act is embedded in the constitution? Point blank, how many Indigenous speakers are at these marches, talking about Cdn democracy? While I was approached to speak, there were many expectations on my ability to be there. I was expected at last minute to travel downtown Calgary, to come to a crowd of people that have seen the information I have shared for years, literally. I wonder how they can talk about Canada without including Indigenous.. I don't think people understand how lucky Indigenous in Canada were to dodge this bullet of "democratic change" that would have just furthered Indigenous from the table by settlers, who have no idea the issues Indigenous face and yet would have claimed this a win for Canada. Before we have democratic change, we need settlers to educate themselves on the land they are on, the issues Indigenous face, UNDRIP, The Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action, RCAP, previous studies that all say the same thing, allow Indigenous self governance and see democratic reform as part of reconciliation with Indigenous with equality as a key principle. (That's the intent the Treaties were signed with.) Do the settlers that actually realize that by continuing to ignore Indigenous they are reinforcing the colonialism?