I think Onkwehon:we/ Indigenous/Aboriginal/Native peoples have been too patient with Canada and their provinces and territories.
Sometimes we’re like the Charlie Brown’s of the world who have Lucy holding the football then, just as we get ready to kick the football, Lucy pulls it out from under us.
That’s what all these meetings feel like for genuine Indigenous advocates;
the First Ministers, Harper and his cronies keep us hopeful by throwing an occasional morsel our way, implying through their press releases and talk that something is going to change for the better.
Instead we get a bunch of bureaucrats who ignore all the progress that has been accomplished in human rights like the UNDRIP, EMRIP (Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples), UNPFII, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples report 1995, NAHO’s Longitudinal Health Survey 2006 (I think), Amnesty International’s “Stolen Sisters Report” (2006) and its update in 2010 and more.
We’re stuck in the mud while Harper and the Premiers, RCMP and all the institutions designed to keep us down but who pretend that they are “trying to help” us, pour their sanctimonious “intentions” upon us which is more like a boot squashing our heads while they spend our money from our trust fund created in 1886 – to prop us Canada’s Aboriginal Industry that employs thousands, if not millions, to continue colonialism; then next election they can claim they have kept Canada’s employment rate at a healthy level.
NAWS was not about finding solutions to the serious violation of Aboriginal women’s rights. It wasn’t even about open, honest dialogue with Aboriginal women and their families who were invited as pawns in this devious plan by Government to give the illusion of “seriousness” and attentiveness to this problem
It was about keeping up appearances, about once again giving hope to Indigenous peoples who have for far too long been attacked to our very core, it was about dangling hope only to claim that they, the Premiers, need to look at this problem more closely!
As Bugs Bunny would say “what an ultra Maroon!” There are Indigenous women experts on this issue who could provide the solutions. But solutions not only require funding resources, it requires political will to create educated and compassionate human resources.
Perhaps the Premiers and the bureaucrats don’t want to spoil a colonial formula that’s been working for centuries!!! First they disrupt the family unit by kidnapping Onkwehon:we children from their families and sending them to state Residential Schools to “Beat the Indian Out of the Indian!”
They – the state of Canada, take control of our trust fund created by royalties from our lands and resources, then enhance colonial laws by creating a policy of Economic Terrorism so that they can further divide and conqouer
Then create such a state of apathy in society through the brainwashing of the century + old Indian Act that the human rights of Aboriginal women, children and girls can be violated with impunity [AI Stolen Sister, 2006] because it costs too much for society to defend. that the security of families is not a human right- witness the human rights complaint of the First Nations Child Caring Society and Cindy Blackstock.
Had the bureaucrats and Mr Harper’s cabinet been listening to some of the great women leaders who have worked on this issue longer than he’s been in office: plus had they invited more of these Aboriginal women experts, then maybe the NAWS conference would have been productive rather than an expense. But it would have had to have a mechanism that would oblige Government to seriously consider and implement their recommendations.
Here’s a few solutions to inform the premiers and their bureaucrats:
Education: make it mandatory to change the curriculum in all the schools that teach All children, especially Onkwehon:we youth and children, that Violence is not part of our culture but a residual of Colonization – teach about the Indian Act and why it was created
Mandatory cultural sensitivity workshops for every level of politician, especially within the Government of Canada, its Ministers, institutions, policing authorities, schools etc.
– Teach the true history of Colonization in Canada and why it continues today – the Indian Residential School system and its negative effects on our identity, family unit, language and culture, our traditional forms of governance; the theft of our lands and resources
Policing – once and for all create a PROTOCOL for police (as per Chiefs of Police Resolution 2006) to deal respectfully with Murdered and Missing Aboriginal women and to take families seriously when an Aboriginal girl or women goes missing.
Research – continue the research that was stolen by the Status of Women – [sent to the RCMP] and put it in the hands of an Aboriginal women expert panel/committee.
Restore traditional puberty ceremonies for youth so they can be taught their roles and respect each other’s gender.
Restore ceremonies for our people and our lands that strengthen our knowledge and respect for one another.
Implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples and our inherent and treaty rights by beginning discussions with Canadians since their government doesn’t seem to be interested.
Teach bureaucrats about Human Rights law, inherent and treaty rights so that our rights are not further weakened by bureaucrats and politicians who habitually make unilateral and arbitrary decisions causing further dispossession of our families and nations’ lands and resources.
For Onkwehon:we men to take a leadership role along side Onkwehon:we women to stop the violence in our communities to be role models for young men and women.
there are more, but this is just a start of what needs to be done to help families and our nations to restore and rebuild our nations.
Communities need to take action as that’s where the solutions will be implemented. Changing the attitude towards Onkwehon:we women and peoples begins with openness, education and political will, as like always, our rights are always politicized. Hope is still needed; but let’s put our hope in those who are honest, open and sincere.
*cartoon comparisons done with due respect to all – shows my age but appropriate considering the lack of respect toward Indigenous peoples’ rights by the current government and its premiers through their conclusions