EquitableEducation.ca

~~~~~~ Learning a better world ~~~~ with Greg Macdougall

PINNED POST / 2013 —
Here’s me explaining what EquitableEducation.ca is about & why you might sign up for email updates.

 
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Video and audio of a talk by the recently-passed Indigenous broadcasting trailblazer, plus: review of “We Interrupt This Program: Indigenous Media Tactics in Canadian Culture” (M.Brady & J.Kelly)

Les Carpenter passed away July 3, 2018. He was most recently CEO of the Native Communications Society of the Northwest Territories, including CKLB radio. Earlier, he was with CBC radio in Univuk; he was also the first Mayor of Sachs Harbour (at age 16), the first chair of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, the Chief Negotiator to establish two Canadian Parks, and a member of the United Nations Special Task Force on Aboriginal Peoples. Read and hear more at the memorial post on CKLB’s website.

Image: Les Carpenter presentation, June 2017

In this talk, Carpenter speaks of Aboriginal* broadcasting’s role in preserving languages and cultures, and how governments need to improve support for Aboriginal broadcasting and languages. He also speaks of the need for Aboriginal broadcasters to collaborate together, and for governments and media outlets to value and include their perspectives more in decision-making. In addition, he speaks specifically about NCS-NWT and CLKB, particular concerns and circumstances of the North, and differing broadcaster needs based on diversity of geography and communities. (*: Aboriginal is the term Carpenter uses predominantly in his presentation)

This presentation is from June 2017, at The Future of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Broadcasting gathering in Ottawa.

* If anyone would like to volunteer to transcribe this talk, for captioning to the video and making a text version of the talk available, please email greg (@) equitableeducation.ca

AUDIO for podcast, download, broadcast: Les-Carpenter-2017.mp3

 

VIDEO – posted on Youtube and Facebook

 

Related is this book/ book review, looking at some different aspects of Indigenous media in Canada:
 

We Interrupt This Program: Indigenous Media Tactics in Canadian Culture
By Miranda Brady and John Kelly; UBC Press, published fall 2017 with paperback version June 2018.

Reviewed by Greg Macdougall, for Briarpatch Magazine (July/August 2018)
 

We Interrupt This Program is a hopeful title for a timely book.

Focusing on the past 10 years, authors Miranda Brady and John Kelly examine how Indigenous media-makers of various forms are disrupting the neocolonial Canadian media terrain to assert Indigenous priorities, cultures, and aesthetics. Both authors are professors at Carleton University; Brady is a settler who studies Indigenous identities and media; Kelly is Haida from Skidegate, and worked in journalism prior to academia.

The authors chose to look primarily at interventions within dominant (non-Indigenous) media spaces, particularly established institutional frameworks. One perspective they present – referencing Taiaiake Alfred, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, and Glen Coulthard – argues that Indigenous priorities of reasserting sovereignty and nationhood are incompatible with working within settler-controlled institutions. But the authors explain that they’re interested in interventions that combine acceptance with refusal, and tactics of media-making that “may not lead to a radical transformation […but] can elicit results.”

Most of the chapters centre around case studies. The first two cases, of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and IsumaTV, discuss residential school testimonies, methods of documentation, and archives. The authors contrast the short “wrongdoing-focused” public testimonies of the TRC with IsumaTV’s hour-plus online recordings of Inuit residential school survivors. In the latter, testifiers were encouraged to discuss in depth the impacts of the schools on collective life. In contrast, the TRC testimonies had strict time limits – causing one commissioner to remark, “We’re starting to pick up the habits of our white brothers.” The IsumaTV testimonies were an external method for Inuit people to assert their needs within the framework of the TRC, and helped get an Inuit sub-commission in the TRC. These chapters also discuss the uncertain futures of the archives, in part due to challenges with funding.

The third chapter highlights three Indigenous artists who are challenging non-Native representations of Indigenous peoples: Dana Claxton, Jackson 2bears, and Kent Monkman. Their work acts to remediate existing media norms and historical art, exposing the mechanics behind settlers’ stereotypical representations of Indigenous peoples.

The fourth chapter focuses on the imagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival in Toronto and filmmakers Jeff Barnaby, Terril Calder, and Shane Belcourt. The festival’s success is attributed to its ability to build community and supportive, inclusive networks, and to provide essential exposure for diverse media-makers. The festival helps Indigenous filmmakers confront their main barriers within the film industry: financing, cultural misconceptions, access to industry partners and networks, and distribution.

The final chapter looks at mainstream journalism, via the perspective of Duncan McCue, a long-time CBC reporter and a journalism professor at the University of British Columbia. McCue discusses the under- and misrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in mainstream journalism, and the need to move beyond reporting that evokes pity, or pits Indigenous people against settlers. For journalists covering Indigenous issues, McCue advises, “If you could boil down my whole course down to one thing, it’s to act with respect.”

The book doesn’t explore social media, though it was conceived and grew rapidly in the decade this book covers. Without it, the book has less sense of the real-time implications of Indigenous media-making, including its role in facilitating social movements like Idle No More and #NoDAPL.

As the authors note, Indigenous peoples’ relationships to media have evolved as “colonization happened synchronously with the development of a number of media technologies, including photography and motion pictures.” The recent and dramatic collective shift in our relationships to media has occurred alongside a significant shift in Indigenous relations with settler society – during an age of so-called “reconciliation” and increased visibility of Indigenous perspectives, including dissent. The book provides an analytical perspective to help readers reflect on what types of new interruptions may be brewing – or to plan the interventions themselves.

What follows is a compilation of links to resources – including printable handouts & zines, audio/video interviews, reviews of books, notes from talks and group sessions, and more – on community/political organizing for social, economic and enviromental justice and postive change, spanning the individual and interpersonal to the institutional and systemic.

There is a pilot event Tuesday July 10 afternoon in Ottawa hosted by the new Community Mobilization in Crisis project.

 

It is with this project in mind that I’ve compiled this list of resources – mainly from EquitableEducation.ca – as a contribution to their “Co-Creating Digital Open Educational Resources for Community Mobilization.” They have further pilot events scheduled for Lebanon in August/September and Brazil later in the fall, and potential events for other countries to be confirmed.

Putting these resources together here in one place gives you – and anyone interested – the ability to look at different aspects or areas of community organizing, for consideration on what to prioritize* in improving what you’re currently doing or looking to do.

 

I’ve had unpleasant experiences where I’ve made efforts to have some of these aspects/resources included by people, groups, and organizations in collective work, only to meet with different forms of resistance to what (to me) seem important principles for collective work, especially when specifically relevant to what those situations involved.

This approach of making this collection accessible to those receptive / desiring of them – who through applying what’s here will be able to do things in a better way, leading to better feelings, relations and results – is an antidote to pushing these principles and approaches on those who resist their implementation.

* Note that a recommended approach is to choose and implement a small number of changes at a time

 

The list of resources included here is:
(and scroll down for fuller descriptions)

* Intro – with The Revolution Will Not Be Funded’ excerpt
* Anti-Oppressive Facilitation Guide
* Activism Course Zine/E-Book
* BOOK: Joan Kuyek’s Community Organizing: A Holistic Approach
* BOOK: Chris Dixon’s Another Politics: Talking Across Today’s Transformative Movements
* Anti-Authoritarian Leadership: Chris Dixon interview and handout
* Notes from talk by Joaoa Pedro Stedile of MST: Landless Peasants’ Movement, Brazil
* From The Ground Up & Healthy Roots: notes from conferences
* Organizing For Justice: community consulta notes
* Disability Justice & Transformative Justice: Mia Mingus interview, BATJC links
* and more to come

 

RESOURCES

Here are a variety of resources; from ‘how-to’ practical guides through to more ideas/theory and analysis on approaching organizing.

 

Intro

“To our surprise, most organizations could not point to an analytical tool used within their organization to direct their work or strengthen their strategies for change” (Amara H Perez, Sisters In Action For Power).

This quote speaks of organizational needs to create better understandings of their situation/ problem/ approach, which most organizations apparently don’t take seriously. It’s from The Revolution Will Not Be Funded book (2007, edited by INCITE Women of Colour Against Violence) which in part examines issues of how funding sources and paid staff often have different priorities and needs than the people or cause that the project/ organization is purportedly for. Perez goes on to explain the four-aspect definition of colonialism their group developed to base their work and analysis upon.

That type of analysis/analytical tool might be more overall important than a ‘how-to’ guide, but at the same time a good ‘how-to’ is needed to effectively work collectively to create better understandings. For instance, how to have good meetings:

 

ANTI-OPPRESSIVE FACILITATION GUIDE

This guide is mostly content from AORTA (Anti-Oppression Resource and Training Alliance).

There’s also an article from a facilitation training in Kitchener-Waterloo, by someone in the Fellowship for Intentional Communities: “We don’t grow up learning these [facilitation/meeting] skills, so a lot of us actually need to learn from a workshop or a book or practice or something, because a lot of us don’t grow up in institutions that really encourage this way of relating to each other” – Tree Bressen.

LINK TO THE GUIDE: https://equitableeducation.ca/2014/anti-oppression-facilitation
Format: PDF “front-to-back” or folded zine versions

These tweets from @prisonculture emphasize the importance of learning to have good meetings:

 

ACTIVISM COURSE booklet/zine/e-book

Collected notes written up after a six-week introductory-style grassroots course on community activism. It includes ideas and discussion of concepts from the course, as well as explanation and appendixes on pedagogy (/learning approach) used in the course & principles for other educational initiatives, plus an annotated reference list.

Table of Contents:
* About the course
* About this booklet (and, Session #0)
* Sessions:
Introductory exercises / values / going deeper
Change activities that work…
Concept brainstorming
Community Organizing with Joan Kuyek
Back to the values / even deeper
* Appendices:
Book review: Community Organizing
Postive Learning Environments
Case Study: Independent Media Organizing
Edge-U-cation
* Resource List: Links / Books / Podcast / Videos
* Final Remarks: A bit about the Pedagogy / Andragogy

LINK TO THE BOOKLET: https://equitableeducation.ca/2012/activism-course-ebook
Format: PDF ebook, “front-to-back”, and folded zine versions

 

BOOK REVIEW : JOAN KUYEK’S COMMUNITY ORGANIZING

“Kuyek examines the creation of positive social change based on a coherent and wide-ranging analysis of the context in which the work is done and the principles needed to make it effective” based on her decades of involvement in various communities and organizations.

The following quote from the book speaks to what Rosina is saying in this screenshot

“In my early years as an activist, I would have argued that we must start making change by organizing around environmental, economic or political questions. I no longer believe that is how we do it. Unless we consciously resist it our practice will be shaped by the destructive corporte paradigm of “power-over.” To free ourselves from the systems that hold power, we have to build a culture of hope. And that beings in our own lives and the lives of our neighbours and friends. It’s like gardening: if we want strong, beautiful and healthy plants, we have to build up the soil.”

LINK TO THE REVIEW: https://equitableeducation.ca/2011/kuyeks-community-organizing-book
LINK TO THE INTERVIEW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nr5BfAJ9zA
Annotated resource list prepared to accompany the book: https://fernwoodpublishing.ca/community/

 

BOOK REVIEW: CHRIS DIXON’S ANOTHER POLITICS

This book has three main sections: politics, strategy and organizing. It’s based on in-depth interviews with 47 anti-authoritarian activists and organizers in major Canadian and U.S. cities who organize around principles that are anti-capitalist, anti-oppressive, and anti-imperialist, as well as pre-figurative in that the ways in which the organizing is done in the present already contain elements of the social relations and other aspects of the world that we are working to build.

LINK TO REVIEW: https://equitableeducation.ca/2015/another-politics-review
LINK TO INTERVIEW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=be6kOAjaTHU

 

ANTI-AUTHORITARIAN LEADERSHIP

Also with Chris Dixon, an interview from before his book was published – and a two-page handout.

“In this model, leadership is a set of capacities and activities, including skills, knowledge, confidence, experience, and responsibilities. The aim is to develop and share these capacities and activities in order to deepen democracy and widen participation.

The three “C’s” of anti-authoritarian leadership:
1. Clear: identifying actually existing leadership roles and practices in our work.
2. Conscious: intentionally designating leadership responsibilities, and being accountable and transparent about what we say and do as leaders.
3. Collective: organizing responsibilities and training so that leadership is shared and dynamic.”

LINK TO POST: https://equitableeducation.ca/2012/anti-authoritarian-leadership
LINK TO INTERVIEW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uhvhqkRvCc

 

STRATEGY FROM THE MST / LANDLESS PEASANTS MOVEMENT

In 2005, Joao Pedro Stedile of the MST was on a speaking tour and these notes are from his Ottawa talk. According to him, there is a need for the following three things, and the notes presented here hopefully help with this:
“Sharing experiences and ideas with others
Listening to others’ experiences and ideas
Discussion and dialogue:
learning from each other, what lessons we’ve learned about how to advance forward”

LINK TO NOTES: https://equitableeducation.ca/2003/social-movements-joao-stedile

 

FROM THE GROUND UP & HEALTHY ROOTS

From The Ground Up was a series of over two years 2002-2003 in Kitchener-Waterloo, focused on creating healthy communities.

There are some rough notes from an overall strategy discussion, and also specifics: Diversity & Making Membership Accessible; Decision-Making; Environmental; Partnership-Building.

LINK TO OVERALL STRATEGY NOTES: http://equitableeducation.ca/2003/from-the-ground-up-notes
LINK TO SPECIFIC TOPICS NOTES: http://equitableeducation.ca/2003/ftgu-breakout-notes
Also see the organization’s report-back: http://temp.waterlooregion.org/healthy/2002/report/index.html

 
Healthy Roots was a conference held in nearby Guelph. It was focused on community-building and the notes here cover the following discussions: Anti-poverty organizing – Community Gardening – Media – The Native experience – Building Communities – Urban Sprawl.

One highlight, from John Clarke of OCAP (Ontario Coalition Against Poverty):
“They’ve found the key to organizing in poor communities is to be able to consistently demonstrate the ability to provide something of value to that community. When people need food for their kids or help to keep from being evicted, being told about a march happening next week is not going to meet their needs.”

LINK TO NOTES: http://equitableeducation.ca/2003/healthy-roots

 

ORGANIZING FOR JUSTICE

Collected notes from ideas, discussion, process, and individual+community activist needs – at the 2011 May Day community consulta in Ottawa for activism on social, economic, and environmental justice and healthy communities.

LINK TO THE COLLECTION: https://organizingforjustice.ca/?p=760
Format: online notes in text, also with PDF ebook, “front-to-back”, adn folded zine versions

 

DISABILITY JUSTICE & TRANSFORMATIVE JUSTICE

This resource on Disability Justice, an interview with Mia Mingus, gives context to discussion of access and inclusion and goes beyond. It’s important to recognize ableism and other oppressions are located within our movements as well as in the institutions and systems we’re working to change.

Description: “Disability Justice deals with the oppression of disability, but at the same time deals with other systems of oppression and injustice – it is a ‘multi-issue politic.’ It moves beyond rights- and equality-based approaches, beyond access and inclusion in unjust systems, instead working towards collective justice and liberation, towards transforming society as a whole.”

LINK TO WEB POST (incl transcript): https://equitableeducation.ca/2013/mia-mingus-disability-justice
LINK TO INTERVIEW (incl captions): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cJkUazW-jw

 

Mia is also part of the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective.

Areas such as accountability, violence, harm, abuse, support, safety, healing, and resiliency, are important to deal with in community work.

Pods are a concept that BATJC uses to designate specific relationships able to support people in such processes – versus the vague term ‘community’: https://batjc.wordpress.com/pods-and-pod-mapping-worksheet/

Values, principles, and practices, are important guides for the work: https://batjc.wordpress.com/batjc-values-principles-practices/

Mia Mingus was interviewed re Transformative Justice and Healing, on KPFB We Rise radio/podcast: https://www.mixcloud.com/WeRiseRadio/12-17-17-we-rise-mia-mingus-of-the-bay-area-transformative-justice-collective/

The following screenshot is four tweets from this thread of Mia’s

 

 

… more resources to come …

This version was published 4pm Monday July 9th
There are some more resources that will be added.
Any feedback or suggestions please email greg Ⓐ equitableeducation . ca

MORE on the COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION IN CRISIS project

The CMIC project – which I’m not a member of – is a collaboration between people at the University of Ottawa and the American University of Beirut. It was started to support Syrian refugees in Lebanon – but has grown to be an ongoing collaborative effort to research, develop, and use open-access online learning materials for and with individuals and communities around the world, in order to hone their skills in collective action (cooperation), coping, and communication. Part of this is about capturing a real cross-context dialogue, and ensuring materials are accessible both linguistically and culturally. More info at cmic-mobilize.org

 

Short video from the Spirituality is Unity walk June 22, and audio report from the Ottawa City Council meeting’s $61-million grant to the Zibi development June 13. Also transcripts of both.

 

Walk to protect sacred site at Chaudiere Falls Translation of Radio-Canada newscast

 

Ottawa City Council grants record payout to Zibi developers to decontaminate land at sacred site Groundwire Radio News segment

 


Transcripts:
Walk to protect sacred site at Chaudiere Falls
June 22, 2018 – Translation of Radio-Canada TV News broadcast segment

[Daniel Bouchard, Radio-Canada]: The Algonquins and other Indigenous people and Faith leaders are concerned about the future of the Chaudière Falls. For this reason, today a few hundred people walked from Victoria Island to the Parliament to call for their protection for future generations.

[Gilles Taillon, Radio-Canada]: Women, children and Faith leaders joined with numerous Indigenous people to draw attention to the majestic beauty of the Chaudière Falls. It is a jewel of nature in the heart of what has been an industrial site for two centuries. However, the neighboring islands will soon be taken over by a new condo and commercial complex, straddling Ottawa and Gatineau, named the Zibi project.

[Rachèle Prud’homme, Algonquin]: We never ceded our lands so I don’t understand how a government can sell lands that don’t belong to them. This is our temple. We are here to protect the sacred waters, where our ancestors performed ceremonies since time immemorial.

[Gilles Taillon, Radio-Canada]: The symbolic meaning of the three Chaudière islands were on everyone’s mind.

[Alex Akiwenzie, Chief]: What’s at stake here is really based on spirituality and pride and protection of a sacred place.

[Gilles Taillon, Radio-Canada]: We must free the Falls affirm the activist, even if development has begun.

[Anne-Marie Hogue, Ally of Indigenous people – Free the Falls]: This is not a done deal because these lands are federal lands, lands that are for all Canadians.

[Larry Rousseau, Canadian Labour Council executive VP]: This land was always occupied by industrialists for industrial purposes, and now that the industrial era is over, the government has given permission to develop a residential project on Crown land. This makes absolutely no sense.

[Gilles Taillon, Radio-Canada]: In closing, architect Douglas Cardinal reminded the gathering that it is the Indigenous women who have always taught the importance of living in harmony with nature. Those opposing the condo project promised to return and demonstrate again next year.

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More information at – www.FreeTheFalls.cawww.ItIsSacred.cawww.AlbertDumont.comwww.Asinabka.comwww.EquitableEducation.ca/tag/chaudiere-falls

This video is on Youtube, on Facebook, and on Twitter

Translation by Anne-Marie Hogue. Original video in French from Radio-Canada (‘fair use’) was broadcast on the Gatineau/Ottawa 6pm TV newscast, 22 June 2018.

Original transcription in French / en Francais:

[Denis Bouchard, Radio Canada] : L’avenir des Chutes de la Chaudière inquiète les autochtones et les communautés religieuses de la région de la capitale nationale, alors c’est pourquoi il a eu quelques centaines de personnes qui ont marché de l’Île Victoria aujourd’hui jusqu’au Parlement afin de réclamer leur protection pour les générations futures.

[Gilles Taillon – reporteur Radio Canada] : Des femmes, des enfants, des prêtres se sont joins à de nombreux autochtones pour souligner la beauté majestueuse des Chutes de la Chaudière, un joyau de la nature au cœur d’une exploitation industrielle depuis deux siècles. Mais les îles environnantes feront bientôt place à un nouveau quartier résidentiel à cheval entre Ottawa et Gatineau, notamment le projet Zibi.

[Rachèle Prud’homme, Algonquine] : On a jamais cédé nos territoires donc je ne comprends pas comment un gouvernement peut vendre ce qui ne lui appartient puis, c’est notre temple ici. On est là pour protéger les eaux sacrées où nos ancêtres ont toujours fait nos cérémonies.

[Gilles Taillon] : La signification symbolique des trois îles de la Chaudière était sur toutes les lèvres.

[Alex Akiwenzie, Chef] : What’s at stake here is really based on spirituality and pride and protection of a sacred place.

[Gilles Taillon] : Il faut libérer les chutes affirment ces militants même si l’aménagement des îles a déjà commencé.

[Anne-Marie Hogue, Free The Falls] : Nous disons : « Ce n’est pas un fait accompli, parce que d’abord ces terres là ce sont des terres fédérales et ce sont des terres qui sont là pour tous les Canadiens.

[Larry Rousseau, Canadian Labour Council VP executif] : Ce terrain a toujours été occupé par des industriels à des fins industrielles et maintenant que cette époque est révolue le gouvernement accorde une permission sur des terrains de la Couronne pour faire un développement résidentiel. Ça n’a aucun sens.

[Gilles Taillon] : L’architecte, Douglas Cardinal a eu le mot de la fin, en rappelant que les mères autochtones ont toujours enseigné à vivre en harmonie avec la nature. Les manifestants ont promis de revenir à la charge l’an prochain.

Ici Gilles Taillon. Radio-Canada. Ottawa.

-30-

 

Ottawa City Council grants record payout to Zibi developers to decontaminate land at sacred site
June 19, 2018 – Segment from bi-weekly 1/2-hour GroundwireNews.ca. Piece by: Michael Welch CKUW | Host: Susan Huebert CKUW | Files from: Greg Macdougall EquitableEducation.ca

Defenders of an Indigenous sacred site were dealt another blow on June 13th when Ottawa City Council approved a record $60.9 Million grant to Windmill Development Group for the decontamination of land on two islands at Chaudiere Falls. The islands on the Ottawa River near Parliament hill had been left derelict and toxic after a century of industrial activities there. It is also unceded Algonquin territory and considered sacred to the Algonquin and all Anishinaabe peoples. Windmill’s ZIBI development in construction clashes with an existing Indigenous vision for Asinabka to have Indigenous healing, as well as peace-building and environmental harmony, at the traditional spiritual gathering site.

Supporters of that vision briefly disrupted the Council meeting…
(clip from June 13 Ottawa City Council meeting: https://youtu.be/-ncSFT5o6HM?t=1h43m34s)

Lindsay Lambert is a historian, and one of 5 people who attempted unsuccessfully to appeal the rezoning of the islands to the Ontario Municipal Board 4 years ago. He had expressed his objections at the previous week’s Finance and Economic Development Committee hearings on the issue.
(clip from June 5 Ottawa Finance & Economic Development Committee meeting https://youtu.be/r1CccAjN8VE?t=1h52m5s)

Public messaging from Windmill before the rezoning approval suggested that the developer would take on the full costs of the clean up. On Friday June 22nd, faith leaders will hold the third annual Spirituality Is Unity Walk​: Walk For Our Sacred Site, Akikodjiwan, in support of restoring the site to the Algonquin Anishinaabe. More details can be found on the event’s facebook page, or at www.AlbertDumont.com

-30-

This is an expanded and updated version of a segment on MMIMB from March 2015, posted now in solidarity with #JusticeForColtenBoushie discussion guide. It was part of a larger feature article on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls based on an interview and presentation with Pam Palmater, as well as the Walking With Our Sisters exhibit, and on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Two-Spirit and Trans People referencing the work of It Starts With Us – the full piece can be found here and a full list of multi-media (articles, video, audio, more) on MMIWG from 2009-2015 can be found here.

 
Note that the article below is also available as a 1-page PDF for use as a handout, in classrooms, etc.
 
Text version of image:
StatsCan table with homicide statistics for 2014, 2015, 2016.
Aboriginal males victims of homicide: 90, 107, 113 = 24.26%, 24.77%, 24.57%.
Non-Aboriginal males victims of homicide: 276, 321, 341= 74.39%, 74.31%, 74.13%.
Aboriginal females victims of homicide: 30, 41, 29 = 19.87%, 23.16%, 19.21%.
Non-Aboriginal females victims of homicide: 120, 134, 119 = 79.47%, 75.71%, 78.81%.
Online source: StatsCan table 253-0009 CANSIM

 

EXTENDING THE CONVERSATION – MURDERED AND MISSING INDIGENOUS MEN

by Greg Macdougall – March 2015, online and in print: The Leveller newspaper

Although there is much popular and media attention given to the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women, and justly so, the documented murder rate of Indigenous men in Canada is actually higher than that of Indigenous women.

Both the Toronto Star and APTN have had stories reporting on Statistics Canada’s figures of Indigenous murder victims between 1980-2012. StatsCan documented 745 Indigenous female homicide victims and 1,750 Indigenous male homicide victims. That’s 14 and 17 per cent of all female and male homicide victims, respectively, despite the fact that, as of 2011, only 4.3 per cent of Canada’s population self-identified as Indigenous.

The female figure of 745 Indigenous female homicide victims differs from the 2014 RCMP report of 1,017 murdered and 164 missing Indigenous women since 1980 (The RCMP has yet to provide such a figure for murdered and missing Indigenous men.) Regardless, these figures still show a disparity between Indigenous and settler Canadians’ experiences of violence.

Such violence scars communities all across Canada. Lydia Daniels, whose son Colten Pratt has been missing since November 2014, told APTN that “we also wanted to make a statement that we also have murdered and missing men in our communities.” Sandra Banman, whose son Carl was murdered in 2011, stated “In balance and unity with our people, we also need to think about our men. We don’t love our daughters more than we love our sons, so when our sons go missing or are murdered, it hurts the families just as much.”

 

UPDATED INFORMATION – FEBRUARY 2018

In Fall 2015, annual homicide data was published by StatsCan that for the first time differentiated between Indigenous and non-Indigenous victims. There are now three years of data (2014-2016, see table below) and they show Indigenous men disproportionately murdered at a per-capita rate approximately seven times higher than non-Indigenous men and three times that of Indigenous women (Indigenous women are six times more likely to be murdered than non-Indigenous women). *StatsCan does not provide statistics specifically for Trans or Two-Spirit People.

In January 2016, Jennifer Mt. Pleasant published her Master’s research work at Wilfrid Laurier University on “Violence Against Indigenous Males in Canada with a Focus on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Men.” She also built a database of victims, that had over 700 names at the time. A university profile quotes her as saying, “There is nothing really out there that advocates for Indigenous men. This leads people to believe that Indigenous men aren’t worthy of inquiry.” The profile describes how “her research has been met with mixed emotions from within the Indigenous community” and that she’s been denied funding opportunities.

University of Saskatchewan professor Robert Innes was quoted in the National Post in 2015 as saying, “It is a difficult issue to raise because you don’t want to say one is more important than the other and it can come across like that. When you raise it, you want to make it clear it’s an issue facing men and women.” In an Aboriginal Policy Studies journal article cited by the Post, he wrote regarding the fact that Indigenous men also commit and are charged with murder at disproportionate rates: “Placing the emphasis on the violence of which Indigenous men are capable while at the same time ignoring their victimization is caused by a specific kind of race and gender bias many white people have towards Indigenous men.” Video of his recent talk in Toronto “The Moose In The Room: Time To Talk About Indigenous Male Violence” is on Facebook; he along with Mt. Pleasant’s academic supervisor Kim Anderson lead the Biidwewidam Indigenous Masculinities project.

There was a push to include men and boys as part of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. A coalition that formed to advocate for this, Expand the Inquiry, led by Musqueam chief Ernie Crey, received more grassroots push-back than support, largely due to the problematic involvement of non-Indigenous Men’s Rights Activists like CAFE (Canadian Association for Equality).
 

* To paraphrase some Indigenous researchers, all the statistics listed here (above and below) are more “informative” than “definitive” in that they may not be fully inclusive or accurate
 

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


 

Federal Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly now promises a new CRTC mandate supportive of Indigenous languages and reconciliation

Wawatay's president Mke Metatawabin (R) at the Future of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Broadcasting convergence June 15 2017. Source: @radioautochtone on Twitter

Wawatay's president Mke Metatawabin (R) at the Future of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Broadcasting convergence June 15 2017. Source: @radioautochtone on Twitter


by Greg Macdougall
 

The future of Indigenous radio and media in Canada shifted dramatically on June 14 with the CRTC’s awarding of Indigenous radio licences in five of the country’s most populous cities.

“Literally my heart broke,” John Gagnon, CEO at Wawatay Native Communications Society, told the audience at the Future of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Broadcasting national convergence the following day in Ottawa.

“It was a great wretching in my heart, because they threw away [Wawatay’s] plan that was for our youth, and for the future, and to build the capacity through our people, through our stories, by our selves.”

Wawatay, a northern Ontario broadcaster and publisher in operation since 1974, had applied for licences in Toronto and Ottawa, but those were awarded instead to First Peoples Radio, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network’s new radio initiative that had applied for licences in all five cities.

The CRTC’s decision gave the Vancouver licence to Northern Native Broadcasting (Terrace B.C.), and the Edmonton and Calgary licences to Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta.

The full decision is posted online at http://crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2017/2017-198.htm

 
* Sidenote: see posts on NNB(Terrace)’s CFNR and AMMSA’s Windspeaker for those companies’ responses to being successful in their applications; they were not interviewed for this article.

 

In an interview (full audio below), APTN’s CEO Jean La Rose stated, “We were trying to avoid … what happened in the final decision – trying to partition it to everybody to hopefully make it work for everybody but at the same time making it more of a financial challenge”, expressing his disappointment that FPR wouldn’t be able to offer everything they’d hoped to as a five-city national Aboriginal radio network, but affirming “we understand where the commission came from and we’ll do our best to make it work” with only the Toronto and Ottawa licences.

He expects to have the stations operating within 8-10 months, if the CRTC approves the modified programming that will come with having less than half as many stations as their plan was based on, and states that APTN / FPR will still do all it can to build a national radio network over the longer term.

 

AUDIO: APTN’s CEO Jean La Rose interviewed by Greg Macdougall, June 15 (14min) mp3 link

 

AUDIO: CRTC’s Joe Aguiar and Rachel Marleau – CRTC press briefing, questions from Gretchen King (GroundWire Community Radio News) and Greg Macdougall, June 14 (5min) mp3 link

 

ECONOMIC MODELS FOR RADIO

The CRTC stated they didn’t think Wawatay’s proposed economic model was sufficient, with high programming expenses, not enough advertising, and too much reliance on non-yet-solidified ‘third-party’ funding. They may also have been influenced by Wawatay’s financial struggles of a few years ago.

Yet the CRTC over-ruled APTN’s submission of a “non-severable” condition on their five-city network proposal, offering confidence that two FPR stations could still operate successfully on their own.

APTN had submitted that the bare minimum they’d need to offer their proposed programming would be four stations, including both Vancouver and Toronto, otherwise their news, spoken-word, Indigenous language, and local content would probably not live up to the plans in their application.

 

INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE PROGRAMMING

Wawatay’s proposals had by far the highest amount of Indigenous languages programming and diversity amongst all the applicants, with 42 hours weekly (second most was AMMSA with 23 hours, and then APTN with nine and NNB with two-and-a-half). Wawatay and APTN both proposed offering content in Ojibwe and Cree for Toronto and Ottawa; APTN also proposed Inukitut for Ottawa and Mohawk for Toronto, while Wawatay also had Inuktitut, Mohawk, Algonquin, Oji-Cree, and Michif for both cities.

Programming levels comparison chart. Source: Community Media Advocacy Centre / CRTC

Programming levels comparison chart. Source: Community Media Advocacy Centre / CRTC

 

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations include (14.iii) “The federal government has a responibility to provide sufficient funds for Aboriginal-language revitalization and preservation” and (14.v) “Funding for Aboriginal language initiatives must reflect the diversity of Aboriginal languages.“ This would seemingly fit with Wawatay’s economic model relying more heavily on ‘third-party’ funding for their higher levels of languages programming.

Wawatay president Mike Metatawabin stated “CRTC’s decision yesterday to grant the AVR* licences to entities that don’t respect the language mandate was greatly discouraging and surprising in light of the recent initiatives announced by Canada regarding language and culture.”

*AVR = the now-defunct Aboriginal Voices Radio that previously held the five licences

Canada’s Minister of Heritage Mélanie Joly opened the Future of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Broadcasting national convergence June 15 with a 10-minute speech focused primarily on support for Indigenous languages, leaving 25 minutes for engagement with the convergence participants. The first question was regarding the CRTC decision; Joly responded by noting that the outgoing CRTC chairman’s mandate from the previous government didn’t necessarily include anything specific on reconciliation or Indigenous languages, but that the mandate she would be giving the new chair would include both as priorities. She stated that although her ministry governs the CRTC, it is an independent body with licencing decisions not subject to her approval.

 

INDIGENOUS SOVEREIGNTY

 

 

The issue of Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination, in the context of ‘nation-to-nation’ relationships and Indigenous media policy, was also brought up during the CRTC process. But it seems to have not been considered in the CRTC decision, with not one instance of the word ‘sovereignty’ appearing in its full document.

Interventions from Indigenous political bodies that asked the CRTC to give the Ottawa and Toronto licences to Wawatay came from representatives of the Chiefs of Ontario, Union of Ontario Indians, Nishnawbe Aski Nation, Grand Council Treaty #3, and Shibogama First Nations Council, while only two First Nations – Alderville and Temagami – in Ontario supported APTN’s application (the Metis General Settlements Council supported both Wawatay and APTN).

Without any formal accountability, the CRTC was able to ignore any or all of these requests as it saw fit.

During the hearings, CRTC chairperson Jean-Pierre Blais noted and apologized for the fact the CRTC has no Indigenous people involved in making the decisions, but that it is not the CRTC itself that chooses who its commissioners are.

*Sidenote: The only person of colour who would have had a say in the CRTC’s decision – Raj Shoan, Regional Commissioner for Ontario, who’d been fired in June 2016 – had a Federal court verdict in April finding ‘unfair dismissal’ and ordering reinstatement, only for him to be quickly re-dismissed, which he is also challenging in court.

The CRTC process to re-allocate these licences drew criticism for pitting the national TV station APTN’s application for a new radio company against the three established regional broadcasters, who hold seats on APTN’s board of directors. Chairman Blais commented at the public hearings that the CRTC had hoped the different organizations would have come together with a unified pitch, but the CRTC process was criticized for not allowing enough consultation or opportunity for collaboration.

Wawatay’s Metatawabin and Gagnon expressed their optimism for the possibility that the CRTC decision could be changed or challenged, and that Wawatay may still obtain licences to serve Toronto and Ottawa. Gagnon also commented on the damage to the company’s reputation and business caused by the CRTC decision, noting how companies of foreign countries are allowed to sue under trade agreements like NAFTA when Canadian state policy impacts their business negatively.

 

 
— — — —
** Author bio: Greg Macdougall is involved in grassroots media, Indigenous solidarity, and other pursuits, based in Ottawa, unceded Algonquin territory, with website at www.EquitableEducation.ca
Disclaimer: The author presented an independent intervention in this CRTC licencing process, in favour of Wawatay’s applications. The intervention is available for listening and/or reading here.

** Note that this article is co-published with Anishinabek News.
It has been revised since it was originally published, last updated at 7:55am June 19 2017.
— — — —
 

 

The videos below are clips taken from the livestream archive of The Future of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Broadcasting national convergence, June 15-17 in Ottawa: www.indigenousradio.ca
– archived materials from the regional gatherings held in the lead-up to the national event are also available on the website, along with additional resources.
The convergence’s main aim was to bring together people in the Indigenous Broadcasting sector in so-called Canada to discuss and organize around collaboratively engaging with the CRTC’s upcoming review of its Native Broadcasting Policy.

 

AUDIO from Winnipeg regional convergence, courtesy UMFM 101.5 (33m19s) mp3 link
Gary Farmer & Kathleen Buddle on the History of Aboriginal Voices Radio

 

VIDO: Mélanie Joly responds to question about the CRTC decision (2m15s) June 15

 

VIDEO: John Gagnon comments on the CRTC decision (2m30s) June 15

 

VIDEO: Mike Metatawabin – the Wawatay story (17m43s) June 15

 

 

Wawatay's president Mke Metatawabin with Banchi Hanuse (C) and Monique Manatch (L) at the Indigenous Broadcasting convergence June 15 2017. Source: @radioauthochtone on Twitter

Wawatay’s president Mke Metatawabin with other panelists Banchi Hanuse (C) and Monique Manatch (L) at the Indigenous Broadcasting convergence June 15 2017.
Source: @radioauthochtone on Twitter

Includes: 3min VIDEO | ARTICLE with PDF | WEB LINKS | 93min VIDEO/PLAYLIST of speakers & music — Community efforts to protect the Chaudiere Falls site in Ottawa from the “Zibi” condo plans of Windmill Development Group, just upriver from Canada’s Parliament Buildings. This historic sacred / cultural site on the Ottawa River (Kichi Zibi) is also known as Asinabka and/or Akikodjiwan in Anishinaabemowiin, the Algonquin language (‘Zibi’ is the Algonquin name for river – ‘Kichi Zibi’ means ‘Great (or Big) River’).

 

Algonquin protecting Asinabka - It IS Sacred walk

Algonquin protecting Asinabka – It IS Sacred walk

This article below was published the morning of the “It IS Sacred” walk led by Algonquin Grandmothers and Elders, and references two June op-eds (opinion pieces) published in the Ottawa Citizen: “Zibi development an exercise in reconciliation with First Nations” by Josée Bourgeouis (a member of Zibi’s Memengweshii Indigenous Advisory Council), and “Zibi Project will show whether indigenous people have a real say in development” by Maurice Switzer. Two additional op-eds have been published in the Citizen since: “The Algonquin Nation demands for Chaudiere Falls” by Harry St. Denis (Chief of the Algonquin Wolf Lake First Nation), and “When condos speak louder than words, and the battle for Chaudière Falls” by Douglas Cardinal.

 

PDF file

The printable PDF is a two-page document on standard sized paper (8.5×11) — for use as a one-page double-sided handout — of the article, as well as the following web and video links.

 

Other relevant media & websites include:

Websites dedicated to protect the sacred site:
FreeTheFalls.caAsinabka.comStopWindill.comKichiZibi.ca

Websites with some content about protecting the sacred site:
AlgonquinNation.caAlbertDumont.comLynnGehl.comUnpublishedOttawa.com

More writing & multi-media can also be found on this site:
EquitableEducation.ca/tag/chaudiere-falls

 

VIDEO from the “It IS Sacred” walk (3min)

 

ARTICLE:

 

‘Collaborative consent’ or Indigenous rights
Condo development on Ottawa sacred site?

By Greg Macdougall, EquitableEducation.ca | June 17, 2016
Originally published on IntercontinentalCry.org and rabble.ca

 

“An exercise in reconciliation” is how the Ottawa Citizen newspaper title describes the “Zibi” development project — timed precisely to counter today’s “It Is Sacred” walk in honour of the at-risk sacred site slated for the development.

But what messages should the general public really be exposed to in order to foster a helpful understanding of this situation?

The Algonquin Grandmothers and Elders leading the walk are doing so with a stated desire to bring unity and protection for their sacred site located at the Chaudière Falls on the Ottawa River just over a kilometre from the Parliament buildings.

“Attacks”

Josée Bourgeois of the developers’ Memengweshii Indigenous advisory council opens her Citizen opinion piece by declaring her concerns about the “attacks launched” against the planned development project.

Who is attacking who may depend upon your perspective. Perhaps it is Indigenous rights and their proponents that are being attacked here?

Nine out of the 10 federally recognized Algonquin Chiefs have publicly declared their unified intention to protect Akikodjiwan, the sacred site, from the development — to assert their Indigenous rights for this special site on their unceded territory — but Bourgeois only mentions one Chief in her piece, that of her community of Pikwakanagan, who has been the only one supporting the development project.

She writes, apparently referencing the sacred walk, “These attacks endorse or rely on self-proclaimed Elders and Kokums (grandmothers in the prophetical sense) in order to create opposition to Zibi, a project mixing condos, office and retail space …”

Sacred site

She doesn’t explicitly refer to the area as being sacred — her description is of a historical gathering place for portages, where “in more recent years” the one island not slated for development has become a place of “celebration and spirituality” (referring to Victoria Island, where Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence held her hunger strike).

This is a bit different than the resolutions brought forward by Algonquin Chiefs and passed by the Assembly of First Nations (AFN and AFN-Quebec&Labrador) demanding the return of the site to Algonquin stewardship that clearly state, “The Akikodjiwan (Chaudière) waterfalls and the adjacent waterfront and islands are a sacred area for all Algonquin Peoples,” and the archeology research published late last year that had researcher Randy Boswell describing how, “The newly confirmed location of this [5,000 years old] cemetery, a natural canoe landing that marked one end of a well-worn portage route around Chaudière Falls, only deepens the symbolic significance of that great cataract, an enduringly important spiritual site for First Nations and a natural wonder seen as second only to Niagara Falls by early European explorers.”

Consent? Consultation?

The concept of “collaborative consent” is what Bourgeois uses to describe the “spirit” of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), drawing upon terminology from former AFN grand chief and now oil company collaborator Phil Fontaine, and she urges “the Algonquin Anishinabe people who genuinely care about the site and want to have a say in how it is developed to sit at the table with us or at least find out how Zibi can help realize their goals.”

“Zibi” was Windmill Development Inc’s choice for the name of their condo/business project, an Algonquin word for river selected in a competition without proper protocol through Algonquin communities (no Algonquins were on hand for the company’s public naming event).

What “goals” can this commercial development project realize for those who don’t want commercial development on their sacred site?

In terms of “sitting at the table,” the majority of the Algonquin Chiefs have all along been asking for real consultation: not to meet with the developers, but for discussions with the government, who have the responsibility to honour the Canadian Constitution and the UNDRIP, including FPIC (Free, Prior, and Informed Consent).

Unfortunately, governments of all levels have mostly ignored — and continue to ignore — these requests for communication, discussion, and consultation.

As Maurice Switzer noted in a previous Ottawa Citizen op-ed where he described the “Zibi” project as a “litmus test” of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promises to improve the country’s relationship with Indigenous Peoples:

“‘We are committed to sitting down early, at the earliest possible moment, on every single thing that will affect indigenous people in Canada,’ [Indigenous Affairs minister] Carolyn Bennett told a CBC interviewer in February, adding her belief that it is ‘hugely important’ that all parliamentarians, government departments, provinces, territories, mayors and municipalities understand this approach.”

But Bennett has yet to meet with the nine Algonquin chiefs about this issue, even though the communications to her INAC office on this issue pre-date her taking the minister-ship last October, and it has been half a year since the AFN-QL and AFN passed their resolutions calling for government action — hopefully the wait will not be too much longer before the “earliest possible moment” she committed to is acted upon.

Situating the situation

This site, Akikodjiwan, is something of a microcosm for the colonial history of the country:

  • a sacred site and meeting place of different Nations for thousands of years;
  • ceremony documented there by Samuel de Champlain upon his first visit in the early 1600s;
  • dispossession and occupation of the site by industry barons at the start of the 1800s, leading to the founding of what became Canada’s capital city, as well as the central processing location of the logging industry that devastated the natural environment and Indigenous way of life for a very large territory;
  • the damming of a free-flowing river for electricity (and financial benefit) at the further expense of natural life;
  • unfulfilled government promises since the 1950s to restore the site to its natural state as soon as industry shut down there;
  • the Asinabka Vision brought together over decades by the late Algonquin spiritual leader William Commanda, to develop an Indigenous Centre and a Peace-Building Centre at this sacred heart of the country in concert with the renatured waterfalls area: a vision supported in words but not actions by those with the political leverage to make it happen;
  • and now a new version of the harmful “divide-and-conquer” tactics that are seemingly used whenever corporate or government desires infringe upon Indigenous Rights and well-being.

What are we respecting?

Bourgeois ends her piece by saying, “One way or another, I hope and work for peace and respect – within our Nation, and with our settler friends and partners.”

Hopefully the government — and all Canadians, including the developers — will agree, and this will mark a turn in the course of our country’s history, with government actively ensuring Indigenous rights are respected instead of pretending not to notice and/or participating themselves in the violation of these Rights. How can we have peace and respect otherwise?

The Algonquin Chiefs cite four different sections of the United Nations Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples — articles 11, 12, 25, and 32 — that they feel apply in this situation. You can look up what these say if you aren’t familiar with them, and then decide for yourself if you think the Chiefs are correct in their assertions. And if so, what is a good way forward at this point?

Many people may instead end up with the impression that the proposed development is a “no questions needed” model of reconciliation that should be celebrated, rather than seeing the opportunity to really deal with some of the deepest issues of Canada’s colonial past/present — thus allowing for new possibilities of different, more reconciled and hopeful futures.
 

Author: Greg Macdougall has been involved with Indigenous solidarity work in and around Ottawa since 2008, around the time he helped co-found the grassroots group Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa (IPSMO). His website is EquitableEducation.ca

 

 

VIDEO from Phil Ochs Festival – December 2015 (93min)

Speeches & songs, featuring (also available as a playlist or webpost with each as individual videos):

  • 0:57 Barbara Dumont-Hill – Algonquin drum keeper, community volunteer, and spiritual advisor
  • 06:05 Albert Dumont “South Wind” – Algonquin community activist, volunteer, poet, storyteller and spiritual advisor
  • 12:03 Tito Medina – Singer-Songwriter and an icon for Guatemalan revolutionary music
  • 18:00 Douglas Cardinal – World-Class Organic Architect, Anishinaabe Elder and First Nations Activist
  • 26:50 Gabrielle Fayant and Amanda Fox – Spirit Flowers Indigenous women’s hand drum group
  • 36:40 Michael Desautels – Student & Labour Action Committee of Freeing Chaudière Falls and its Islands
  • 40:37 Kevin Schofield – the Tennessee Cree
  • 48:10 Romola Thumbadoo – Coordinator, William Commanda’s Circle of All Nations / Asinabka Chaudiere Site Work
  • 1:08:46 Julie Comber (Vela) – Singer-songwriter researcher settler-ally; member of Freeing Chaudière Falls and its Islands
  • 1:21:24 Peter Di Gangi – Research and Policy Director for the Algonquin Nation Secretariat
  • 1:30:10 Barbara Dumont-Hill

Topics include ‘zero rating’ and net neutrality; state surveillance; public dissatisfaction with Facebook and creating alternatives; and how the internet, capitalism, communications and the link to broader struggles for rights, justice and humanity.

Anja Kovacs speaking at World Forum on Free Media - credit: Gretchen King CKUT 90.3FM and WFFM/FMML local organizing committee

Anja Kovacs speaking at World Forum on Free Media – credit: Gretchen King CKUT 90.3FM and WFFM/FMML local organizing committee

Anja Kovacs directs the Internet Democracy Project in Delhi, India, which works for an Internet that supports free speech, democracy and social justice in India and beyond.

Interview by Greg Macdougall of EquitableEducation.ca, from Monday August 8th, the first full day of the World Forum on Free Media in Montreal, in conjunciton with the World Social Forum happening Aug 9-14.

Audio – 24min – direct link to mp3 file
Licensed for reuse/rebroadcast under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0
 


 

Key chronology / issues discussed in interview:

  • 0:45 – Begins by talking about the net neutrality issue of ‘zero rating’ internet access packages – proposals for which have been a major issue of debate in India, whereby companies offer people packages (paid, or possibly free) of certain websites and those people’s intenet access then consists solely of those packaged sites, with additional costs to access any websites not in the package. This may seem foreign to North American internet users, but zero rating was part of the United States net neutrality debate as well, although to a much lesser degree.
  • 3:30 – The net neutrality conversation also goes into the role of capitalism and ‘political economy’ and differences in consciousnesses / awareness of such issues between India and elsewhere, versus North America: “In general when you talk about rights issues, there is a much stronger sense of how your ability to enjoy rights, to exercise them, is always underpinned by political economy.”
  • 10:00 – Issues around the internet and capitalism, neoliberal pressures in India and other developing coutnries tying in to state surveillance and privacy issues
  • 13:00 – The World Forum on Free Media and importance of connecting around issues of rights, the Internet and communications in general – includes an explanation of what is meant by political economy.
  • 14:50 – Concerns around privacy and surveillance: do people really care? Looking at the complexities of the issue, especially with respect to social media, especially Facebook – and also, what do we do about it, with the dominance that such corporations have through their position in so many peoples lives?
  • 20:50 – Relating the issues around Internet, communications and free media with a “sense of despondency with where activism is at right now – not things that come up spontaneously, [but] people who have been organizing over long periods of time struggling to build connections in a world where increasingly global capital is back on the rise, and culturally – as people here have been pointing out – there is also more and more across the world a move to the right: that means there is a set of values that is dominant that’s not really hospitable to the activists that are here and the work that they do. And I think that’s maybe a question that’s just as important: How do you win people back to that language of solidarity, justice, and a different humanity to respect people in their totality, including their difference? I think that might be a bigger battle.”
  • 24:00 More around the issue of growing dissatisfaction with the power that companies like Facebook and Google have.

RELATED CONTENT FROM GREG MACDOUGALL / EQUITABLEEDUCATION.CA

Book review: McChesney’s “Digital Disconnect” examines corporate control of our digital communications future





A half-hour interview with Idil, board chair of Across Boundaries mental health centre in Toronto, on race and mental health issues within the contexts of killings by police, incarceration, and mental health diagnosis and treatment.

Photo from Montreal protest July 28, 2016 - credit Justice for Victims of Police Killings (album)

Photo from Montreal protest July 28, 2016 – credit: Justice for Victims of Police Killings (album)

Main topics covered:

  • Introduction to sanism, Anti-Black racism, and anti-Black sanism;
  • Circumstances of Abdirahman Abdi’s death at the hands of Ottawa police on July 24;
  • Importance of race being at the core of this discussion;
  • List of Black men with mental health issues killed by police in Toronto: “1978 we had Andrew Evans. The following year, 1979, we had Albert Johnson. Subsequently we’ve had Wade Lawson in 1988, Lester Donaldson also in 1988, O’Brien Christopher-Reid in 2004, Michael Eligon in 2012, Reyal Jardine-Douglas in 2013, Ian Pryce in 2013, and more recently we’ve seen Jermaine Carby and Andrew Loku”;
  • Little faith in Special Investigations Unit (SIU) and also how the SIU was formed because of Black community activism;
  • Intersectionality of anti-Blackness racism and sanism / mental health;
  • Problems in the mental health system;
  • The conversation that is now happening based on Abdirahman’s killing;
  • What is needed in/from the media;
  • Possible responses to police killings, especially the need for full and accurate data;
  • Problems in jails, prisons, forensic facilities;
  • The consumption of Black death;
  • Challenging, difficulty, despair…
  • The need to demand justice

 

AUDIO: 29min 25sec – direct link to mp3 file – Note: rebroadcasting in whole or in part is encouraged under Creative Commons — Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 especially for campus/community radio


Samples: CBC Ottawa’s Idil Mussa; Brand Nubian; The Coup ft. Dead Prez; Goodie Mob.

Transcript of audio interview: available in DOC or PDF file formats
(provided courtesy of Ryerson University’s School of Disability Studies)
 

Links directly related to this interview:

  • Statement from Across Boundaries on the killing of Abdirahman Abdi: pdf link
    Across Boundaries is a community based organization in Toronto that provides servcies to folks living with mental health issues who are racialized: www.acrossboundaries.ca
  • “Civil and Political Wrongs: The Growing Gap Between International Civil and Political Rights and African Canadian Life” (2015) by Anthony N. Morgan, Darcel Bullen, and African Canadian Legal Clinic: 45-page pdf link – note pages 27-28 are specifically about the SIU and OIPRD
  • CAMH research study finds delays in access to mental health treatment services for Black youth (link coming soon)
  • CBC FirstHand documentary “Hold Your Fire” examines Canadian police killings of people with mental health issues
  • “Racism in Ontario” 1992 report to the Premier by Stephen Lewis (38-page pdf link)
  • A written accompaniment (article and/or transcript) to this interview will be coming soon – please sign up to the EqEd mailing list for notice when it’s published: www.bit.ly/EqEd-list

 

Related Content from Greg Macdougall / EquitableEducation.ca

  • Ewart Walters – founder and editor of The Spectrum (1984-2013), a monthly newspaper for Ottawa’s Black community – speaks about starting The Spectrum and its niche in Ottawa’s media market, including keeping attention on the 1991 Ottawa police killing of Vincent Gardner

    This is four minutes of the start of his speech from October 2007, Media Democracy Day event on Citizen Journalism (direct mp3 file link) and he gets to the shooting of Vincent Gardner at 3:00