The Indigenous Party

awoman1

When I get my mind settled on something, a subject, I want to follow through on, I do a lot of research. So, with all the events occurring regarding, my native brothers, sisters, elders and children over the past few years with regards to what I will say.. Racism and stereotyping, that have been leaving me with a sour taste in my mouth, I began to educate before I made any suggestions or even pointed a finger … I am going to be a lady about this, which is a lot more than most men in the political world can say. Ooops did I say that out loud?
Anyway, I had an idea and part of that idea was to look up famous, aboriginal, indigenous, native peoples of Canada. There is a lot of jibber jabber online, but after a while one does stumble upon some great facts.
A Laurier student, lady, Sally Simpson was in search herself. Her search was a list of indigenous women who were first in their profession, trade or of cultural significance. She found there was NO list at all.. Imagine that! She did come upon lists for others,, like black women, Chinese and British and she was shocked. Well I am not at this point in time. Because my faith in people giving honour to where it is due when it is a native person is very low. Ms. Simpson put her own list together with just a few of those indigenous woman and it is below. After the list, my thoughts will continue on the idea I had from the beginning or should I say, the question I do have.
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Canada’s First Indigenous Woman to …

1. Become a registered nurse: Charlotte Edith Anderson Monture, Mohawk, 1914. It was illegal for Indigenous people to attend post-secondary education in Canada, so she studied in the United States then joined the U.S. Army serving in France for World War One.

2. Officially serve in the Canadian Armed Forces: Private Mary Greyeyes, Cree, 1943. She was posted overseas during the Second World War, working as a cook.

3. Publish the first novel: Sanaaq in the Inuit language, Mitiarjuj Nappaaluk, Inuit, 1951.

4. Become an elected chief of a First Nation (Curve Lake): Elsie Knott, Ojibwa, 1954.

5. Become a professional wood carver: Ellen Neel, Kwakwaka’wakw, 1954.

6. Be featured on a Canadian stamp: (first author & first women other than the Queen), Pauline Johnson, Mohawk, 1961.

7. Challenge the Royal Commission on gender discrimination and win back her Indian status: Mary Two-Axe Earley, Mohawk, 1967. This ruling is connected to the UN holding Canada in breach of human rights in 1981 (see Lovelace, below) and would later become Bill C-31 in 1985.

8. Become Olympians: in cross-country skiing, Sharon & Shirley Firth, Gwich’in, 1972. They were also the first Canadian women to compete in four straight Olympics.

9. Host Radio-Canada: (CBC’s French station), Myra Cree, Mohawk, 1973.

10. Become President of NWAC (Native Women’s Association of Canada): Bertha Clark-Jones, Métis, 1974.

11. Become a commercial airline pilot: (Land, Sea & Block Airspace), Dr. Alis Kennedy, Métis, 1976.

12. Become a lawyer: Marion Ironquill Meadmore, Ojibwa-Cree, 1977. The first Canadian-European was Clara Brett Martin in 1897.

13. Become a medical doctor: Dr. Elizabeth Steinhauer, Cree, 1980. The first Canadian-European was Emily Stowe in 1880.

14. Succeed in having the United Nations declare Canada in breach of human rights, as indigenous women’s Indian status was revoked if she married a nonindigenous man: Sandra Lovelace, Maliseet, 1981.

15. Earn a Masters in Library Science: Phyllis Lerat, Cowessess, 1981.

16. Earn a PhD in Biological Psychiatry: Until she earned her doctorate, she kept her Indigenous status a secret, Dr. Lillian Dyck, Cree, 1981

17. Be appointed an ex-officio member (non-parliamentarian) of a House of Commons Committee: Roberta Jamieson, Mohawk, 1982.

18. Win an Oscar: for the song Up Where We Belong, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Cree, 1983.

19. Be ordained by the United Church of Canada: Christina Baker, Cree, 1983.

20. Be named an Officer of the Order of Canada, Alanis Obomsawin Abenaki, 1983.

21. Produce a professional play: Flight, with the first all Indigenous cast, Maria Campbell, Métis, 1985. She also wrote the famous novel Half-Breed in 1973.

22. Become a full university professor: Dr. Olive Dickason, University of Alberta. She also wrote the first Canadian Indigenous history book written by an Indigenous person, Métis, 1985.

23. Become a Chartered Accountant: Charlene Taylor, also first to be the Director at the Office of the Auditor General of Canada, Heiltsuk, 1986.

24. Become a Member of Federal Parliament: Ethel Blondin-Andrew (Liberal) Dene, 1988. In 1993 she was the first appointed to privy council when named Minister of State for Youth and Training. The first Canadian-European was Agnes MacPhail in 1921.

25. Launch Canada’s first Indigenous commercial fishery: Wendy Grant-John, Musqueam, 1990.

26. Be appointed a Provincial Court Judge: The Honourable Justice Terry Vyse, Mohawk, 1991.

27. Be elected Premier of a Canadian Territory: Nellie Cournoyea, Inuit 1991.

28. Earn a Masters in Civil Engineering: Karen Decontie, Algonquin, 1991.

29. Become a chief executive of a steel company: Hilda Broomfield-Letemplier, Inuit, 1991.

30. Become a Journeyperson in Carpentry: Deborah Nelson, Nuxalk, 1992

31. Receive a Rudy Martin Award: actress Tantoo Cardinal, Cree, 1993.

32. Be appointed a Superior High Court Judge: The Honourable Madam Justice Rose Toodick Boyko, Tsek’Ehne, 1994.

33. Be appointed Ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs (first person in Canada): Mary May Simon, Inuit, 1994.

34. Publish a national native weekly newspaper (Turtle Island News): Lynda Powless. In 2006 she was listed as Top 100 Most Powerful Woman in Canada, Mohawk, 1994.

35. Become a Canadian Senator: Thelma Chalifoux, Métis, 1997.

36. Become a psychiatrist: Dr. Cornelia Wieman, Ojibwa, 1998.

37. Become the World Champion Hoop Dancer, in the adult female and male combined division (first female in the world): Lisa Odjig, Odawa-Ojibwa, 2000.

38. Earn a PhD in Aboriginal Economy: Dr. Wanda Wuttunee, Cree, 2000.

39. Become a dual Justice of the Peace (Federal & Provincial, first person in Canada): Her Worship Norma General-Lickers, Mohawk, 2000.

40. Win a gold medal at the World Junior Level Wrestling: Tara Rose Hedican, Ojibwa, 2002.

41. Achieve the rank of full university professor based on traditional knowledge: Professor Shirley Ida Williams (Trent), Ojibwa-Odawa, 2003.

42. Become a NDP Member of Provincial Parliament: Joan Beatty, Ojibwa, 2003

43. Become a RCMP Superintendent: Shirley Cuillierrier, Mohawk, 2004.

44. Participate in an International Cycling Expedition (Canada, Russia, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia & South Africa): Miranda Huron, Algonquin, 2005.

45. File the first class action suit against the Federal Government for more than 70,000 Residential School Survivors: Nora Bernard, Mi’kmaq, 2005.

46. Become an Archaeologist: Brandy George, Chippewas, 2006.

47. Become a Senior Assisant Deputy Minister of Aboriginal Affairs (formerly INAC): Gina McDougall-Wilson, Algonquin, 2008.

48. Conduct the first study of female chiefs: Dr. Cora Voyageur, Athabasca-Chipewyan, 2008.

49. Become a Conservative Member of Federal Parliament: Leona Aglukkaq, Inuit, 2008.

50. Become a veterinarian dentist (first person in the world): Dr. Candace Grier-Lowe, Cree, 2009.

51. Have a solo exhibit at the National Art Gallery of Canada: Daphne Odjig, Ojibwa, 2009.

52. Anchor a national news television broadcast: Carol Morin, Cree-Chipewyan, 2009.

53. Become a deaf medical doctor: Dr. Jessica Dunkley, Métis, 2010.

54. Earn an Indigenous Environmental Studies bachelor’s degree: Teyotsihstokwáthe Dakota, Brant, Mohawk, 2010.

55. Earn a PhD in Criminology: Dr. Lisa Monchalin, Algonquin-Huron-Métis, 2011.

56. Be appointed a Supreme Court Justice of a Territory: Supreme Court Justice Shannon Smallwood, Dene, 2012.

57. Become a Catholic Saint (the first Indigenous person in the world): Kateri Tekakwitha, Mohawk, 2012.

58. Become Canadian Red Cross National Director, Aboriginal & Northern Affairs, Disaster Management: Melanie Goodchild, Ojibwa, 2013.

59. Earn a Masters in Infrastructure Protection and International Security: Teresa Nadon, Algonquin, 2013.—————————————-

awol66

With the above list of 59 indigenous women firsts, I know now there is a greater list out there with our indigenous men, who are firsts in their field, who are superior in the field and who need to be honoured.
We, the native, the indigenous, aboriginal peoples of this country are not just a breed, we are a power! We are a strength and a will to be reasoned with and once we as a people, in community begin to realize that, then and only then will the rest of this country know we are a force to be reckoned with.
That when our babies are left to die in a burning building because of a $3,300 bill owed to a neighbouring town, there will be outrage, there will be a cry and it will not only be that of the child, but that of a people who are not taking, excuse after excuse why we are treated with such ignorance and racism in a country that was entered by the white and the door opened by the native man, woman and child, welcoming you into it.
It is time to teach ALL children the history of the native in this country, the good and the bad. It is time to let them know why even today there is such turmoil and uprising between the whites and natives. Then and only then will a calm begin in this great country that both and all races can live in peace.
It starts on the reservations, then the towns, cities, then it goes to provincial and finally federal, what is it? It is a leader of indigenous ancestry. A political party candidate needs to be born and rise to take on leadership in a political forum. A man or woman that can be voted in by the people, both indigenous and white, by all races.
There is so much that needs to be changed in this country with how we treat each other and this idea may not fix anything, but it is a thought, probably been thought of already, and maybe a beginning.

We need the return of balance to this country.

I think Canada needs an indigenous political party. What is a political party?
-The Canada Elections Act defines a political party as “an organization one of whose fundamental purposes is to participate in public affairs by endorsing one or more of its members as candidates and supporting their election.”

Canada’s population as of 2013 was 35.16 million. Aboriginal peoples in Canada totalled 1,400,685 people, or 4.3% of the national population, spread over 600 recognized First Nations governments or band. .

I wonder………

Canada’s Native Tragedy Of The Commons

~White Buffalo Calf Woman talked with the women of the village that they might remember their great importance and role in the life of the tribe, for it was the women who sustained the tribe…she also talked to the children, reminding them that they were the future of the tribe and must prepare themselves in a good and sacred way…the Sacred Pipe was entrusted to them, however, the trust was not for them alone, but for …all the People…~ ~~American Indian Prophecies~
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moccasin3
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This tragedy started behind closed doors of every home on the Cul de Sac. And it will continue to spin out of control with a sour long term result because of a few individuals acting independently serving their own self interest. Yet at the end of the day they will be the only one losing the game they play. It’s been a tug of war for so long, the lack of understanding when it comes to the history of condemnation of the native peoples. There is a constant phrase in the air, “Get over it – it is done. We are not responsible for what our fore-fathers did back in the day.” That is correct, but today is not yesterday and the colors of the forefathers shine bright in the family tree, when comments such as below are made and are heard by the native young, trying to live in a new world, that is still thinking like the old world.

“These damn Native kids, they’re always getting stuff for free. They don’t care about anything. Just like all the other Natives.”

It is time for non-natives to speak out against such racism in the world today if there is to be any peace in the neighbourhoods for their children and grandchildren. Don’t let history repeat it self. What is not taught in the history books in your children’s school, should be taught at home. Stop leaving your child’s moral education up to some one else. Enlighten them first on the tragedy, when it began, how it keeps an ebb and flow. It will always have an ebb and flow but it is about making the flowing back of your teachings, knowledge, as they return into the ocean of life.

In Canada alone, of the three Aboriginal groups, First Nations 851,560 has the largest population, followed by Métis 451,795, and Inuits 59,445. Yes our numbers are great and for this country we can make a difference in the future of our children. Teaching them to stand up and for each other as individuals when it comes to their different heritage and culture, to them as a group of people, no matter their race.

The peace of our children’s world will have to be pledged by the mother’s of all children from the 4 points of this country, Canada, the village. It is time, time to teach, time to learn and time to embrace all that we are and all that we can be with pride and the only sacrifice made will be ignorance.

moccasin1

Spring Changes!

Originally posted on Snowy:

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It never fails and I don’t question it, but I always get my answers. The answers are not written anywhere to my questions and I never know where or when I will find my them. But I am so sure that my questions are heard and always answered, that I can and will raise my hand over my heart and in my Mother’s memory say, that God comes through each and every time. I was one of those people that would cry in my pillow and ask why? Why? Why?!. Now I just pray giving thanks for what I have, who I have in my life and ask for healing with what ever ails me, whether it be physical, mental or spiritual. Once I learnt how to shake off the past, pull away from people who live a life of drama or anger, once I learnt that being alone does…

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Anti-First Nations Racism

Teach our children well…..

Anti-First Nations racism in a Manitoulin Island high school
by Scott Neigh

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Last Thursday, when Nekiiyaa Noakes heard what came out of the mouth of one of the people who works at her school, she decided she couldn’t keep quiet about it.

Noakes is a young Anishnaabe woman and a Grade 11 student at Manitoulin Secondary School (MSS). Manitoulin Island sits in Lake Huron and it is home to somewhere between 12,000 and 15,000 people, almost 40% of whom are First Nations. There are six Anishnaabe reserve communities on the island, and only the largest of those has its own high school — youth from from all of the other communities on the island, reserve and not, go to MSS.

Noakes was sitting in the school’s main office. She figures no-one noticed she was there. A teacher came in and asked for a new homework agenda for a student — an Anishnaabe student. Staff in the office told the teacher that the student couldn’t have one, because he had already lost several, and the teacher then left.

According to Noakes, one of the school employees then turned to another one and said, “These damn Native kids, they’re always getting stuff for free. They don’t care about anything. Just like all the other Natives.”

Noakes was shocked. “I was going to say something, but then they noticed I was sitting there. They just asked me what I wanted and stuff,” and the moment passed.

Later, she told the school’s principal what she had heard, and in response, she said the principal “just said that she was going to talk to [the employee]. That’s all she said.” Noakes did not feel reassured by the interaction with the principal, and said, “I felt like she wasn’t really going to do much about it.”

Not Alone

Noakes reports that while it was unusual to hear something so blatant from school staff, hearing anti-Native racism is not unusual in the school environment. “There is a lot of racism that goes on,” she asserted, mostly from other students.

When Noakes spoke out on Facebook later that day about what she had witnessed, one of the many people to respond in support was D’Joni Roy, whose daughter spent a year as a student at MSS several years ago. Roy said her daughter’s experiences at the school were also pervaded by racism. She was careful to emphasize that being with non-Indigenous students was nothing new for her daughter, who had “always been in an integrated school,” yet through the course of that year, her daughter kept getting “sadder and sadder.”

“For a year,” Roy reported, “our dinner conversations were all about helping her deal with what she was subjected to at that school, or what she saw other people being subjected to: [Being] spat on. Being told not to use the washroom because white people were in there, or hearing white students say, ‘Oh my god, don’t use that washroom, there’s a “squaw” in there.’ Like, you know what I mean, who even talks like that any more?” She also noted there were instances of non-Indigenous students openly mocking Indigenous cultural practices that happened at the school, like round dances.

As well, Roy said she could recall one instance when her daughter talked about a teacher who pointed to her and a few other students from Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve. According to what Roy’s daughter told her, “He said to them their parents chose to send them to MSS because of all the STDs and teen pregnancy and dropout rates in Wikwemikong. And he went on further to say that all the STDs and AIDS were coming from Wikwemikong.”

Roy said she tried to address the racism her daughter was experiencing by taking it up with school officials but their consistent response was “dismissing my concerns.” She said, “I just never got anywhere with it.” Partly for that reason, and partly because of having to deal with unrelated family issues, after awhile she stopped pursuing it. The next year, she enrolled her daughter in the high school at Wikwemikong, which she was able to do because her daughter is a member of that community, and “it was a big, big change in my teenager.”

Before, “when she was at MSS she was losing credits, she was miserable. She didn’t even want to go,” but now, “she’s a happy kid. She’s almost got perfect attendance…. She’s got all her credits. And she’s got good grades.”

Policy & Practices

The Rainbow District School Board, under whose jurisdiction MSS falls, has no shortage of policies that relate to racism and to the experiences of Indigenous students (e.g. 1, 2, 3). These policies do things like commit the Board to creating an “environment that promotes human rights and equity of opportunity, free from discrimination and harassment” and recognize that it is “the Board’s responsibility to provide a protected learning environment that is supportive of the dignity, self-esteem, and fair treatment of everyone taking part in district activities.” The policies also recognize “a commitment to equity and inclusion” that is specifically targeted towards “First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students,” and elaborates a framework for what that should look like.

When asked how schools are expected to implement these polices, how that implementation is evaluated, and how the Board enacts professional develompent for staff based on them, the Board’s Senior Advisor of Corporate Communications and Strategic Planning Nicole Charette pointed towards numerous measures. These varied from educational material directed at students (such as information cards sent to each school dealing with the importance of respectful language) and staff (such as “professional learning sessions focused on the policy framework for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education as well as Equity and Inclusion”); to opportunities for parental input like advisory committees and surveys; to governance tools like “work plan[s]”, “measurable goals,” and “staff to oversee, support, and monitor implementation.”

At the level of MSS itself, the principal of the school did not respond to a request for comment on their implentation of anti-racism and cultural awareness measures. An inspection of the school’s website reveals a number of potentially relevant policies, including a Code of Conduct, Student Guidelines, and a Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan, the latter two of which explicitly name racism as an issue of concern, though only in passing and without exploring specific measures to address it.

And yet there appears to be a significant disconnect between the sentiments expressed and commitments adopted at the rareified heights of policy documents and governance processes, and the actual experiences on the ground of at least some Indigenous students. The exact nature of this disconnect is unclear.

Roy talked about a number of things at MSS during her daughter’s time there that sounded likely to have been enacted in response to such policies — a lounge for First Nations students, a First Nations guidance councillor, language classes, and so on — but in each instance talked about problems with what was done and how, which meant that however good these measures might sound on paper, in practice they were doing much less than was needed (and in some cases were doing nothing at all) to support students like her daughter. In particular, she called for a school-level policy dealing specifically with racism, for mandatory cultural awareness training, and for changes in hiring policies.

When asked if she has ever experienced teachers or school administrators directly addressing the issue of racism with students at MSS, Noakes said, “Not really.”

Impacts

According to a recent report by the Chiefs of Ontario (the coordinating body for First Nation communities in the province), “While residential schools may have closed, the education in most provincial schools replicates the same content” (50). The report discusses pervasive problems with very core aspects of how schooling for Indigenous peoples in Ontario is implented, with “federal and provincial governments who continue to use education as forced assimilation” (51).

A 2013 report by the advocacy group People for Education identified that not only do provincial schools in Ontario not create the right environment for Indigenous students to succeed, noting a persistent “achievement gap” compared to non-Indigenous students, but that the education system keeps non-Indigenous people ignorant of their history and present-day reality: “There is a widespread knowledge gap in most teachers’ and students’ understanding of the history of Aboriginal peoples, the impact of colonialism, and the relationship between Aboriginal peoples and other Canadians” (3, emphasis in original).

Within that context, experiences of direct racism from peers and from people who work in the system is only one part of a much larger problem. Nonetheless, Murray Maracle, Education Director of the Anishinabek Nation (which brings together 39 First Nations in Ontario, including those on Manitoulin Island) said, “Racism is a pretty deep affliction. It can really have an effect on a person.”

Maracle linked racist behaviours by ordinary Canadians to the examples of disrepct for Indigenous peoples set by governments and the media, which “perpetuate and promote the problem.” An important impact that such direct racism in the school system can have is that Anishnaabe students “might get dismayed with the school system,” making it harder for them to learn while they are there and more likely that they will decide they have no choice but to leave school.

Noakes wasn’t really sure what could be done about the direct racism she sees at MSS. She has no immediate plans to pursue this incident further in an institutional way — the next step, if she were to decide to take it, would be to raise the complaint with the Superintendent for her school. Nonetheless, she wants to see change. At the very least, she hopes they can “make it so there isn’t teachers talking like that.”

She was very clear that “it has a very big impact on … students” to face direct racism at school, whether from staff or from other students, and something must be done. “When we hear that stuff, it’s just an offset for the day. … Racism isn’t needed in an educational environment filled with Aboriginal students. It’s just degrading and insulting.”

Scott Neigh is a writer, activist, and media producer based in Sudbury, Ontario. He is the host of Talking Radical Radio, the author of two books of Canadian history told through the stories of activists, and a blogger.

Hands On

wolflady7

You know the saying, “spirituality is a way of life, not a religion”. To simplify that for most and what I learnt myself is.. my living a spiritual life is continuous of experiences, I have nothing written down anywhere on how to live a spiritual life. As where with regards to religion, all churches follow a bible, the written words of men/apostles. I experience spirituality daily, with my own actions, my words and my feelings. I am not following any know how to book. That does not mean I don’t believe in the bible, it just means for me, I am a hands on type of person and I have to see it, feel it to believe it.

A Young Woman In An Old World

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You can not live to be a 53 year old woman and not have gained experience over those years, about all the trials and tribulations on the path to being a woman. I think the toughest years for a young lady are from 12 years old to 29. I know it was for me and it was even harder because I became pregnant at the age of 16 and became a mother at the old age of 17. To look at the 17 year olds now and myself back then, I wonder if my mentality was the same, I can’t say for any great certainty it was. But I did know I had to take care of the child I brought into the world, that the baby in front of me, her needs came first. Then I raised 2 daughters and seen all the stages they went through. But those trials and tribulations don’t end at 29 years old, they are fewer yet bigger and we learn how to deal with them.

I try to give the best advice I can, as a mother of 2 young women, a friend of many young women and each young lady is different, at different stages. So the best thing I want to suggest today is begin to write things down.. Your hopes and dreams, your pains and heartaches and hopefully over time, your hopes and dreams shine brighter than the pains and heartaches.

Write things down with an agenda, to make a difference in your life even before there is any great event that may make you sad or leave you wondering why it has happened. A lot of the times there is and won’t be any explanation why things happen. We won’t always understand why people do things, but learning to cope in a world of misunderstanding will benefit you on the worst of days.

Write about where your faith lies and how it gets you through your days. Write about what you love in nature, what you love about yourself. Always write at least one thing a day that you love about yourself! Write about what you have done good in the past week, even the smallest thing, that can mean so much to another person. Write your own prayer and add to it monthly. Write about who you have or can forgive, even if you don’t say it out loud to them, learn to say, “I forgive you” and most importantly, learn to forgive yourself!

Once you begin writing, you will see how it becomes a great outlet in your life, how you begin to feel at peace with yourself and content with where you are in your life. Because it is all about this exact moment and you!

And for heavens sake and all those around you.. Smile!!.. You just may be surprised how many lives you can touch with such a simple gesture.

Without God

Snowy:

I love this!

Originally posted on Source of Inspiration:

amish-farm

When God is not present
plow horses become war steeds
farm lands turn to killing fields
blood of battle waters
what used to be sacred ground

Do not take God
out of schools
let spiritual leaders
hold political position
train the police
to be friendly crossing guards
not victims of their own corruption

The loss of Spirit
reduces everything
to nothing
desire becomes
the greatest curse
discontentment breeds evil
selfishness our core sin

Enough is plenty
the bliss of eternity
the key to serenity

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