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Sacred Site in the city, paved for profit?

** UPDATE – NEW LINK FROM MAY 30, 2019 **

Detailed, annotated resource guide that has a lot of what was discussed at the walk, plus links to documentation and further information:



Starts: Saturday 12:00 noon or Sunday 1:00pm
South end of Portage Bridge, at Wellington St.
(nearest address: Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington)

The walk details on the Jane’s Walk Ottawa site:
or https://tinyurl.com/may5walk

The Facebook event for both days:

Poster (half-page size, prints 2 per page):

Sarah Blyth at 2019 National Day of Action event in Vancouver.
Photo credit: Andrea Woo; used with permission.

Sarah Blyth, executive director of the Vancouver Overdose Prevention Society, explains what’s needed to address the rising epidemic of overdose deaths: safe supply of drugs, decriminalization, a better approach to mental health – which is to say, action from all levels of government.

She also discusses the experience of working in the heart of the crisis, the trauma, the stories from family members of victims, the advocacy work, the drugs involved, and more.

Full 17-min interview (mp3 file):

Short 2-min version (mp3 file) prepared for National Day of Action PSA, further below:


This interview was recorded when Sarah was in Ottawa, December 2018.

She was here to testify at the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health, about the impacts of methamphetamine abuse in Canada. The audio of her presentation from the committee is embedded here (or mp3 file link) and there’s the transcript/audio of the full hearing with other witnesses and Q&A.


The PSA (Public Service Announcement) video, for the April 16 National Day of Action on the Overdose Crisis, is viewable below. A transcript follows.

The video is also posted on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter, and can be downloaded via archive.org for reposting. See coordinating organization capud.ca for more on the National Day of Action.

1) Declare a National Public Health Emergency.
2) Make #SafeSupply the Fifth Pillar of the Canadian Drugs and Substances Policy.
3) Make Heroin Accessible: Get Heroin a Drug Identification Number.
4) Decriminalize People Who Use Drugs.
5) Provide Emergency Federal Funding for Overdose Prevention Sites.

Graph of data from Public Health Agency of Canada (source link here).

CAPTIONS/TRANSCRIPT OF PSA (segments from full interview with Sarah Blyth):

“As you use opiates you need more and more over time

When you’re getting it from the street, you just don’t know what you’re taking

With fentanyl being here and it was in Vancouver and now you can see that it’s just making it’s way all across Canada and it’s in the States and everything else

Probably in about 2015 it seemed to be like, “Why are all the…”, you know what I mean like, “There’s more people dying than usual…” you know, you just couldn’t put your finger on it completely but there was just, there was kind of like a slow uptake of overdose deaths and then it was all of a sudden just everywhere

So it’s pretty traumatizing, so many people have been lost that you can barely get over, you know, the last person or the last even five people and you’ve got someone else dying that you have met and known for a long time or whatever and it’s just like, it’s so difficult to even have like, other people comprehend how it is, it’s terrible

I mean I don’t know how to make people understand the situation and that it’s a crisis and like how many interviews can you do with the media or anyone else for people to actually understand that people are really dying in outrageous amounts and there are things to do about it

I’m not really sure at this point why any level of government would be hesitant to really take on the crisis because I think people are ready for the government to take it on, like to do something serious about it

So I think, I think the government, it just doesn’t know what to do, because it’s not the health crisis that they ever expected. You’d expect all kinds of different things to to be a health crisis but this isn’t what you would think of

The stigma attached to drug use and there’s something underlying within humanity where they just aren’t taking it seriously enough

I don’t know how many more people have to die including young people there’s different stories but mostly it’s “I never believed that this could possibly happen to my family, and my child, or my family member”

There’s an organizations of mothers that have had children that have died and they haven’t… It just seems like nobody’s having an impact enough. All of the people that are asking to do something about it, the most heartbreaking stories haven’t been enough to make it a priority

They [governments] are not treating it as one, a real emergency.”

Photo again by Andrea Woo (resized)

Powershift 2019: Young and Rising takes place February 14-18. With environmental and climate problems increasing, it’s good to look back and see what knowledge can still be applied and lessons learned as effective action on climate change becomes increasingly more vital.

Below are three videos from each of the two previous national Powershift Canada youth climate activism convergences, 2012 and 2009, as well as a lead-up article to the 2009 gathering and two related pieces.

Videos are also embedded further below.

Note this year Powershift is livestreaming some video, and using the hashtag #YoungAndRising

2012 videos


2009 videos


2009 article

Just Green Jobs – Transitioning to an Environmental Economy
“Organizers of the Power Shift Canada 2009 conference are looking to bring hundreds of young activists from across the country to Ottawa, from October 23-26, to discuss climate change in the run-up to the United Nations Climage Change Conference in Copenhagen this December. But along with climate change, the Ottawa conference will also be looking to empower attendees to participate in the transition to green jobs…”


~ Related content ~

2008 article
Environmental Justice – Working Together for Transformative Change
“…the fight for “climate justice” is on the same level as efforts to end slavery, stop genocide, or win the right for women to vote. It’s on the same scale, but perhaps even more profound than any of those. What we’re saying is that climate justice isn’t just a technical thing or an economic thing or a political thing. It’s way bigger than any of that…”

2007 zine
Counterbalance: What sustains us? What stops us? Thoughts on activism and mental health
“… where psychology, ecology, and politics meet… to use the understanding that comes out of this convergence to help inform the creation of healthier activist communities and aid in producing more effective, continuing activism.”

~ ~


Videos, embedded


Print version of this article, 4-page PDF

by Greg Macdougall, EquitableEducation.ca

* A 4-page PDF of this article is available for print distribution
(also a 11″x17″ version) *


With Brazil’s new president Jair Bolsonaro now in office, and his promised far-right fascism beginning to take form, international solidarity will be vital for Brazilian people and social movements. Brazil is the largest and most influential country to choose a leader aligned with the contemporary global rise of the far-right.

After his late October election, he chose his cabinet ministers – including many ex-military and evangelicals – and transformed the Human Rights ministry into the ‘Family, Women, and Human Rights’ ministry.

Now inaugurated, he’s made immediate changes that negatively impact Indigenous, Black, and LGBTIQ+ peoples, diversity in education, the minimum wage, environmental protection, and more. Privatization plans and pensions are amongst other announcements yet to take form. (The Intercept‘s Victor Pougy summarized these changes on Twitter – Jan 1st, Jan 4th – and on WORT radio; since then, The Intercept has reported on a new scandal of the Bolsonaro family’s involvement with money laundering and the militia death squad that killed Marielle Franco.)

In the two months between Bolsonaro’s election and his taking office, what we witnessed includes:

Bolonaro’s statements, both during the campaign and historically, illustrate the potential dangers facing Brazil (see The Intercept‘s compilation of quote highlights).

A December 21st warning statement “In support of Democracy, Human Rights and the Environment in Brazil” was endorsed by 47 prominent US-based organizations; the International Front of Brazilians for democracy and against the coup (FIBRA) also published a manifesto on January 1st. The Workers Party (PT), whose candidate Fernando Haddad finished second in the presidential election, issued a statement boycotting Bolsonaro’s inauguration, rejecting his aim “to impose a police state and tear apart the historic achievements of the Brazilian people.” On January 10th, the largest Indigenous organization in Brazil – APIB – issued a call for international solidarity, translated as “Indigenous Blood: Not One More Drop”; they also released a short video with English subtitles, and led a January 31st Indigenous mobilization #JaneiroVermelho (‘Red January’) that spanned 10 countries, 22 states, and 70 cities.


On multiple continents, collective organizing is preparing foundations of solidarity and support for the people and social movements in Brazil.

The first weekend in December, New York City hosted the founding meeting of the National Network for Democracy in Brazil. There are groups in Canadian cities of Montreal, Ottawa, and (in initial discussions) Toronto. Actions have been held in London England, with Brazilian Women Against Fascism UK partnering with Extinction Rebellion and others, including a focus on protecting the Amazon rainforest and its importance with climate change. A listing of groups worldwide is compiled at the website fibrabrasil.wordpress.com

The US network has called for a mass day of action on March 14, the one-year anniversary of the assassination of Marielle Franco, a Black bisexual Rio de Janeiro councilwoman, member of the PSOL (Socialism & Liberty Party), from the Maré favela. Her killing prompted protests and vigils across Brazil in honour of her work for social justice, her represention of the Black, LGBTQ, and favela-resident underclasses in the country, and her specific opposition to policies like the extra-judicial killings by militarized police that Bolsonaro campaigned to increase. Similarly, the MST has called for national ‘mobilization of working women on March 8 [International Women’s Day] as guardians of the legacy and memory of Marielle Franco.’



Two events in Ottawa featured speakers presenting context and analysis to the situation in Brazil and to the kind of solidarity support that may be most needed. Three audio recordings, each approximately a half-hour, are included here followed by accompanying written descriptions.

AUDIO FILES (embedded below): Mendonça/Garcez (29:44) – Levy (27:13) – Fernandes (29:55)

On November 1st , four days after the election, two Brazilian activist-lawyers spoke to about 50 people at an event hosted by Inter Pares along with the Council of Canadians’ Blue Planet Project:

Two weeks later at Carleton University, three academics spoke:


Presentation from Mendonça and Garcez, November 1st

In the days following the election, Brazilians experienced and witnessed attacks on workers, Indigenous, women, and LGBT people, said Mendonça. She mentioned that the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) had one of their camps set on fire, and that one of Bolsonaro’s first actions had been to establish a military taskforce to classify opposition to the new regime as terrorists.

Mendonça expressed that Bolsonaro is likely to influence neighbouring countries as well, while Garcez also highlighted the global climate change risk that his approach to the Amazon rainforest poses (60% of the Amazon is in Brazil).

Garcez noted that the judge who sentenced former president Lula to jail this past summer, Sergio Moro, has now been appointed by Bolsonaro as Minister of Justice. Lula was the favorite to win the presidency before he was imprisoned, and Bolsonaro was provided a huge advantage with Fernando Haddad, the Worker’s Party (PT) replacement candidate, only doing campaigning for one month before the first vote.

Mendonça described Lula’s jailing as illegal and political, saying there wasn’t evidence to convict him, and further pointing out that the order that kept him from communicating with the media while in jail was illegal and different treatment than for regular prisoners.

Garcez emphasized how bad it will be with Bolsonaro as president, although it is unclear what’s to come. He also explained that many had previously thought Bolsonaro would be unelectable based on what he represents. Garcez said that it’s wrong to think of Bolsonaro in the same terms as Donald Trump or Ontario Premier Doug Ford, even adding that he would gladly campaign for either of them if it was against Bolsonaro! He also noted that far-right European leaders like France’s Le Pen have distanced themselves from Bolsonaro’s positions.

Garcez and Mendonça did acknowledge problems exist/ed aside from Bolsonaro. For example, with the previous progressive Workers’ Party (PT) government, led by Dilma Rousseff until 2016, Garcez described his legal firm working half the day attempting to defend the Rousseff government from the impeachment/ parliamentary coup, and the other half to fight against her government’s privatization policies.

Mendonça – in response to a question about racism in Brazil today and the fact that it is not only with the arrival of Bolsonaro that these problems will suddenly appear and need to be addressed – explained that indeed, there is a historical trajectory of colonialism in the country, but what she was trying to highlight is how “we are now in such an extreme situation of crisis, so what can we do with the situation we are facing now – this is the urgency I was trying to express.”

Mendonça said that Rousseff had been impeached despite no evidence she was involved in corruption. When Bolsonaro voted for the impeachment, he declared to the Parliament that his vote was dedicated to the military commander of the Doi-Codi torture unit who had imprisoned and tortured Rousseff and others in the 1970s.

A number of attendees at the Ottawa event were Brazilians living in Ottawa; some had family members who had voted for Bolsonaro – the majority of Brazilians in Canada do seem to support Bolsonaro.

One Brazilian attendee noted the importance of international validation for the work and ideas of Brazilian activists and academics, as many Brazilians are dismissive of them. Mendonça noted the important role the international media had during the election in confirming that Bolsonaro is fascist, something not necessarily conveyed by domestic Brazilian media.

One of Mendonça’s suggestions was for Canadians to research and pressure Canadian companies that have businesses in Brazil. Her visit to Ottawa was scheduled along with a Food Secure Canada conference in Montreal, where two days later she co-presented on the case of farmland grabs involving Canadian pension funds.

She also emphasized that there will be a continuing need for connections and communication between activists in Canada and elsewhere with Brazilian social movements and alternative media.

*It was from this Nov 1st event that the new group Ottawa-Gatineau Solidarity with Democracy in Brazil OGSDB began. There is audio (8min) of OGSDB member Karla Matias interviewed by CBC radio in advance of the January 7 action at the Brazilian embassy in Ottawa.


Presentation from Velloso, Levy, and Fernandes – November 16th

João Velloso spoke about the ‘anti-enlightenment phenomenon’ that has emerged, where dialogue and mutual efforts at understanding are more and more futile against dominant discourse.

Truth is de-emphasized or marginalized to an unquestionable dogmatic reasoning that is mostly religious or militaristic: “What happened wasn’t mere fake news, but very well designed advertisements targeting sentiments and convictions of parts of the population. The objective was not to convince, but to reinforce beliefs. … And the left was not ready to deal with this kind of propaganda.”

Velloso presented a video as example, of a preacher celebrating Bolsonaro after he’d won the election. The preacher references the Bible’s Corinthians 1:27-28, “Yet God chose the foolish things of the world so He might put to shame the wise; and God chose the weak things of the world so He might put to shame the strong; and God chose the lowly and despised things of the world, the things that are as nothing” as the reason God chose Bolsonaro.

Charmain Levy gave an overview of what constitutes fascism, drawing on Umberto Eco’s work (Ur-Fascism, 1995) as well as Leon Trotsky’s (Fascism, 1938) to explore how they may apply to Brazil’s situation, particularly during the election campaign. She mentioned the “Escola sem Partido” (‘Education without Party’) push to remove progressive ‘ideological’ ideas from the school system, especially in terms of sexuality and gender issues, that has been given more life by Bolsonaro; this is happening in the country where Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed originated. She referenced Bolsonoro for being known as the ‘Mito’ (myth/legend), which was reinforced by his surviving a stabbing assassination attempt during the campaign, and how this fits with the non-rational and ‘symbolic’ strength of the ascension of fascism. The popularity of his ‘finger guns’ gesture also fit with the strength of symbol recognition. One primary aspect of fascism is the creation of an enemy to society: here it is the ‘communist red threat’, which does include, in this case, gays and feminists, progressive or leftist university professors, as well as those who identify with the PT party, among others.

Her analysis of what contributed to his election victory consisted of four main aspects. The first was the economic problems that had beset the country, including their mismanagent by the PT party and president Dilma Roussef’s appeasal attempts to work with the centre-right opposition parties at the time. The second was the media – both the corporate/mainstream media’s agenda to attack the PT, and the very successful and heavy use of social media to spread inaccurate political information during the campaign. Third were the efforts, similar to the corporate media, of the centre-right political parties to attack and discredit the PT – not realizing that much of the public would also discard the centre-right as ‘typical corrupt politicians’ and instead support the far-right. Fourth was the role of conservatives and churches in the campaign and in the country overall – a large proportion are highly religious and many were receptive to Bolsonaro’s proposals to ‘take a leap backwards’ to a time with more traditional and prominent roles of church, family, and discipline. Levy also mentioned Bolsonaro’s ability to harness popular sentiments, such as around the country’s high levels of violence, and said she thought his presidency will continue such campaign-style communication.

Sabrina Fernandes provided context and details of the situation of the leftist parties and political movements in Brazil, including the need for self-critique amongst the left. This includes how the PT could have helped build more of a public political and class consciousness while in government, whereas it wasted that opportunity and now there is a huge ‘loss of meanings’ including concepts of class struggle, democracy, the left and right, etc. Some public mis-understandings are of the Nazis as left socialists, of Marx as a satanist who practiced witchcraft, of democracy defined as a change of presidents (that it would be anti-democratic if the same president/party were voted in again). She explained how this was helped with the public discourse of Bolsonaro and the far right, with their campaigns of fake news and ‘fire hosing’ to reduce the credibility of their opponents, their bait-and-switch announcements to further support this, and the exploitation of ‘moral panics’ such as with the education system – the supposed agenda to push homosexuality and ‘gender theory’ on children – and with the communist threat.

She described the context, of a military dictatorship that ended less than 40 years ago, that has not been reconciled properly for the general population to understand the dangers, and with a constitution created 30 years ago, resulting in a fragile democracy. She also explained the process of depoliticization and demobilization that has occurred with a leftist government in power. This included a reduced focus of grassroots organizing in favour of more energy simply of holding marches, that has resulted in lessened political capacity. Her analysis included the far right ‘fakenews’ and ‘firehosing’ attacks, but also the real damaged credibility of the PT from corruption and other areas where they didn’t live up to their ideals. There was also what Fernandes explained as the mismanaged election strategy and failure of the left to work together. She applied the concept of Gramsci’s “crisis of authority” (Prison Notebooks, 1929-35) along with the PT’s loss of hegemonic power, and also an updating of an early Zizek concept of “ultra-politics” (The Ticklish Subject, 2009) with respect to the relative lack of antagonism against those who oppress, exclude and exploit the masses. The buy-in of many in Brazil to Bolsonaro’s rhetoric around ‘communists’ as criminals and the need to rid society of them is something she identified as part of the troubling trajectory the country is now on – with the looming danger of the systematization of the violence and repression that has until now only been random.


Greg Macdougall is based in Ottawa, unceded Algonquin territory, with close to two decades involvement in independent media and grassroots organizing. Website: www.EquitableEducation.ca

This article in PDF format (/11×17″) is intended as an organizing tool, to be printed and distributed at events, actions, classrooms, community spaces, and otherwise.

Marcelo Sabuc and supporters in Wolfville NS.
Photo via Just Us! Coffee

Presentation/Q&A of Marcelo Sabuc Xalcut, national coordinator of the Highlands Committee of Small-Farmers (CCDA) in Guatemala, building solidarity for circumstances where 21 human rights defenders have been killed this year amidst an escalating political crisis.

Full writeup to come…

These audio of Marcelo Sabuc, CCDA, from tour of Canada are posted for timeliness with both the Ottawa event November 14 (7pm at 233 Gilmour St) and Vancouver visit later this week.

See relevant links: Maritimes press releasePetition to Minister FreelandComments re Migrant CaravanBuy Café Justicia to support CCDA

Presentation by Marcelo Sabuc, November 13, translation by Louise Casselman – 37min mp3 file

Responses to questions from Greg Macdougall – 8min mp3 file


Rough Draft Description:

The presentation explained the work of CCDA, with 30,000 members, to grow food on the land for self-sufficiency and then if possible to sell for $ to re-invest in the farming as well as community education, health, etc. The CCDA has been successful in increasing their land holdings for various communities. Half of Guatemala’s population is in extreme poverty and malnourishment.

In Guatemala, the mining, hydro-electric dams, and large agricultural industries create problems for communities, especially pollution and displacement.

Corruption in the country is a huge problem and the current president works with narco-traffickers, corrupt business interests, and gangs/mafias, and is attempting large-scale changes of institutions to install and insulate his/their positions of power.

There has been a wave of repression this year, especially in the spring/summer, that has left 21 human rights defenders killed.

Check-back for full write-up…

AUDIOS of mayoral candidate Clive Doucet and of Chief Harry St. Denis. VIDEOS of Carleton PhD student Kanatase Horn and of Algonquin Anishinabekwe and grandmother Verna McGregor.

*Note that ‘the views expressed in these recordings are those of the speakers themselves’ and are independent of each other and of this website.

scroll down to listen / watch

Osprey above Chaudiere Falls.
From instagram video by Greg Manley, ManleyArt.com

The sacred site at Chaudiere Falls in Ottawa is under more attention as the National Capital Commission recently announced that they will soon be no longer allowing public access to Victoria Island, for the next seven years. Victoria Island is the island most downstream from the falls and not subject to the controversial Zibi development project, that is often used for ceremony, and was the site of Chief Theresa Spence’s Idle No More hunger strike/fast.

The Zibi developers have announced that the first occupancies of their project (on the Gatineau shoreline, then the two islands closest to the waterfalls) will happen this fall and winter, while the full development will still have several years until completion.

These recordings are posted here for those who would like to understand more about the need to protect the site, the failure of development-approval and Indigenous rights processes for these circumstances, its situating within the larger colonial project of the Canadian state, and the significance of the site for the Algonquin nation.

For previous coverage (articles, and multi-media) click here


The first recording is especially timely with the Ottawa municipal election on October 22.

There is also an upcoming panel discussion – “Reconciliation: Re-Membering Creator’s First Pipe” – taking place in Ottawa the afternoon of Saturday October 27 for those interested in learning more. The planned speakers are Lynn Gehl, Albert Dumont, Lindsay Lambert, and Randy Boswell. Tickets are required, at $22, and approximately two-thirds of the 100 seats have already been taken, as of Oct 15.




Clive Doucet, former Ottawa city councilor and current mayoral candidate, speaking at the June 2016 Stop Windmill panel discussion (the other two speakers were Douglas Cardinal and Cathy Remus). He speaks mainly about general issues around development approval. mp3 file (10min)



Wolf Lake Chief Harry St. Denis, who led the successful AFN-QL and AFN (#49) resolutions of 2015 that call for the government to protect the sacred site, speaking at an INAN parliamentary committee hearing in October 2017. This audio is mostly about the Algonquin land claim and federal policy; the Chaudiere Falls/Akikodjiwan discussion starts at around 6:00. mp3 file (29min)
*The Q&A section includes some responses from Timiskaming Chief Wayne McKenzie as well. This audio is compiled from the full hour+ session (click for full transcript)

Short highlight video made with excerpts of the above audio:





Kanatase Horn (PhD candidate; Mohawk from Kanawake/Kanesatake) presentation at Carleton University CIRCLE / ICGC conference March 2017, “Unsettling settler colonialism’s spatialities: Indigenous claims to land in urban spaces” (21min)
Full talk description included at YouTube, Facebook, or in the conference program


Verna McGregor (Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg) – “The Importance of Sacred Sites” at The Walrus Talks: The Indigenous City – in Gatineau, April 2017. “The significance of Ottawa because of the meeting of four rivers and the clan system that is based on the watershed” (7min) YouTube link


“Dying To Please You” co-authors Roland Chrisjohn and Shaunessy McKay look to capitalism and colonialism as root causes of the Indigenous suicide crisis, while We Matter organization empowers youth and MP Charlie Angus puts forward motion for national plan.

[Article with PDF, audio, video, and resource links]

The 2000-word article is

Article summary:
This article features the perspectives of Roland Chrisjohn and Shaunessy McKay, co-authors of the 2017 book “Dying To Please You: Indigenous Suicide in Canada”, as well as looking at: the work of the We Matter organization; the child welfare situation and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society’s advocacy; and MP Charlie Angus’s private members motion for a National Suicide Prevention Action Plan. The link to free full PDF of ‘Dying To Please You’ is included. The article also mentions Tanya Talaga’s five-city CBC Massey Lectures, based on this topic, that were upcoming at the time of publication.

See below for links to the references in the article and embedded multi-media (audio and video).

This is the first in a series. Feedback/suggestions? Please email greg (@) equitableeducation.ca

Related links and multi-media:
Book – Dying to Please You: Indigenous Suicide in Contemporary Canada
Book webpage from publisher, Theytus Books
Full book as free PDF on researchgate.net (also on academia.edu)

ADDITIONAL (not in article): Presentation by co-authors Roland Chrisjohn and Shaunessy McKay, from 2014. 110min talk (mp3) + 30min Q&A (mp3). Credit: Asaf Rashid, From The Margins podcast

Also ADDITIONAL (not in article): Talk by Roland Chrisjohn, “The Psychiatrization of Indigenous Peoples as a Continuiation of Genocide” from Sept 2018. 60min, the last 3min are specifically re the book.


Statistics sources

Overall: The Human Face of Mental Health and Mental Illness in Canada (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2006), via Suicide Among Aboriginal People in Canada (Aboriginal Healing Foundation, 2007)

Inuit: National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy (Inuit Tapirit Kanatami, 2016)

Two-spirit/LGBTQ: Suicide Prevention and Two-Spirited People (National Aboriginal Health Organization, 2012)

vs Murders: Homicide survey, number and percent of homicide victims, by Aboriginal identity (Statistics Canada. Table 35-10-0156-01), via “Expanding the Conversation – Addressing MMIMB: Murdered and Missing Indigenous Men and Boys” (EquitableEducation.ca, 2018)


We Matter organization (WeMatterCampaign.org)

Videos: page on website, or “We Matter Campaign” on YouTube

Hope Forum (January 2018) report and Calls To Action.

Toolkit (versions for youth, teachers, and support workers) – with short explanatory video

ADDITIONAL (not in article): Interview (mp3 – 13min) from first day of Hope Forum, with We Matter co-founder Kelvin Redvers (first 2min) and participants Olivia Haines and Natasha Cunningham.
(See Natasha’s and Olivia’s videos. UPDATE: Olivia is now a member of We Matter’s new Hope Council)

Hope Forum , January 22 2018 livestream session (2 hours):

Child Welfare / Foster Care

Federal Government six-point action plan after emergency roundtable, 26 January 2018

Federal Government action letter to service providers after fifth Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling, 01 February 2018

First Nations Child and Family Caring Society’s webpage on Canadian Human Rights Tribunal case

ADDITIONAL (not in article): Alanis Obomsawin’s film about the CHRT case, “We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice” (2hr42min) on YouTube or NFB site. Trailer:


Charlie Angus’ motion for National Suicide Prevention Action Plan, plus INAN committee report

Charlie Angus’ webpage promoting motion M-174 (includes link to full text of motion)

National Suicide Prevention Action Plan, launch video (39min, May 22 2018)
Charlie Angus with: Randall Crowe (mental health worker from the Deer Lake First Nation); Natan Obed (president, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami); Grand Chief Jonathan Solomon (Mushkegowuk Council); Chief Isadore Day (Ontario Regional Chief); Julie Campbell (executive director, Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention); Dr. Laurent Marcoux (president, Canadian Medical Association); Mike Villeneuve (CEO, Canadian Nurses Association); and Marilee Nowgesic (executive director, Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association).

INAN (Indigenous & Northern Affairs) parliamentary committee report Breaking Point: The Suicide Crisis in Indigenous Communities, with all of the committee’s study activity on the issue.


Tanya Talaga / 2018 CBC Massey Lectures

Tanya Talaga’s Massey Lectures will examine suicide crisis among Indigenous youth
In five cities the second half of October, book version available in October, broadcast on radio in November.

Immediate Help: Phone lines and other support resources

Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868
We Matter’s Get Help resource page
First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Helpline: 1-855-242-3310
Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention’s Need Help resource page
(USA) The Mighty’s Suicide Prevention Resources page
International Association for Suicide Prevention’s list of crisis centres by continent

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.