Indigenous rights, environment, arts, reading, podcasts, coffee and comfy clothes. Citizen of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nation. Journalist writing for First Nations Forward at National Observer.

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David Suzuki broke down barriers – now youth are rising

David Suzuki says he’s become jaded after years of broken promises from politicians and business people about combating climate change. The one place he still gets hope is from his grandchildren, who still see nature in the world as “fresh and marvelous and wonderful.” But he worries about their future. He says there is no “magic bullet” for stopping the climate crisis, but at this moment, the most important thing anyone in Canada can do for future generations is what many young people can’t yet do themselves — vote.

Andrew Scheer's Indigenous 'hostage' comment provokes tongue-lashing at first election debate

That one particular phrase from Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer about Indigenous rights sparked an intense, minutes-long altercation between the three federal political leaders who showed up for the first debate of the 2019 election campaign. At the debate, hosted in Toronto by Maclean’s and CityTV, Scheer was discussing whether he would implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in Canada if he wins power. The declaration defines a range of human r

Trans Mountain pipeline demanded teens cover legal costs — then changed its mind

The corporation linked to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project demanded a group of teenagers cover their legal bills — before promptly changing its mind without explanation. Youth Stop TMX, a group made up of Olivier Adkin-Kaya, 18; Lena Andres, 17; Nina Tran, 18; and Rebecca Wolf Gage, 13, had applied for judicial review of the pipeline project, arguing that it violates their inherent rights to life, liberty, security of person and equality.

Tsleil-Waututh return to Port Moody

"It is known to Tsleil-Waututh that our origin story is in this salt water, right here," Charlene Ts'simtelot Aleck said. She sat on a rock looking out over səl̓ilw̓ət, or Burrard Inlet, from the beach at Whey-ah-wichen. The beach, also known as Cates Park, was a summer village not long ago, when the Tsleil-Waututh population was 10,000 strong, and European settlers hadn't arrived at the far west corner of Turtle Island.

Greens plan to expand on Trudeau’s coal phase-out to include oil and gas

The Green Party of Canada is endorsing the work of a task force formed by the Trudeau government to phase out coal power nationwide by 2030 and help workers transition to new jobs, but wants to take the plan a step further. May said she'd like to implement a similar process with a panel to visit communities dependent on oil and gas. “We are not at war with fossil fuel workers,” May said.

Musqueam shows visitors ‘whose territory they're landing in’ at Vancouver airport

Wendy John says her husband travels a lot, so he's always going back and forth to Vancouver's airport. Over the last couple of years, he's seen a change — when he walks through the gates, he sees Musqueam faces. He could see a customer service agent he recognizes, or a friend stepping out of an elevator that leads to the airport’s offices. "He said, I just love coming into the airport now, because you see your own people," said John. That's because of the 30-year Friendship and Sustainability

Canada rejects scientists' emergency call to protect endangered trout on Trans Mountain's path

The federal government has turned down an emergency recommendation from scientists to use a federal law to protect endangered trout that live along the path of the existing Trans Mountain oil pipeline and its expansion project. The decision — described by Chief Lee Spahan from the Coldwater Indian Band as "disrespectful" — comes more than a year after scientists first recommended that Canada should list both the Thompson and Chilcotin steelhead trout under the Species At Risk Act.

First Nations renew court battle to stop Trudeau and Trans Mountain

Six First Nations, including Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band, announced today they have petitioned the Federal Court of Appeal to review Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s second approval of the pipeline. "Tsleil-Waututh participated in the consultation in good faith, again. But it was clear that Canada had already made up their mind as the owners of the project," said Chief Leah George-Wilson of Tsleil-Waututh Nation.

In case you missed it: Indigenous celebrations across B.C.

“It’s really good to be here and to be brown today,” said Rosemary Georgeson. “I love it.” Georgeson sat at a booth for Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society (VACFSS). Beside her, teens sold traditional teas and salves they had made. In front of the booth stood a tall model of a Te Smailetl, also known as a Sasquatch (Te Smailetl means "Wild People" in the Squamish language). A group of children involved in their programs made the Te Smailetl, who they named Jonathan.

As Trans Mountain gets shovels ready for pipeline, First Nations vow to protect territory

Chief Leah George-Wilson was calm and sure-footed as she addressed a news conference on Tuesday. Not even two hours had passed since the prime minister announced the federal government’s approval of the Trans Mountain expansion project. She already had the nation’s answer. “We will be appealing this decision to the Federal Court of Appeal,” she said. “Tsleil-Waututh Nation continues to withhold our free, prior and informed consent."

Canoe ceremony highlights link between protection of land and women

Ta'kaiya Blaney stepped into a canoe sitting on the steps of Vancouver's Convention Centre, before a group of men lifted her on their shoulders and carried her down the waterfront, as Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) singers and council members led the way. “It’s not enough to take a look at the problem that we have across Indian Country with our relatives disappearing, and in the same breath, be approving pipelines that invite that violence into our lands,” she said.

What does ‘consultation’ mean on occupied Sḵwx̱wú7mesh land?

The Sḵwx̱wú7mesh stelmexw have lived along this coast for millennia. Slhá7an̓ was once a seasonal village, and today it’s a reserve community sitting close to the shoreline in North Vancouver. The mudflats that once existed around False Creek were called Skwácháy̓s, meaning “water coming up from ground beneath.” At what is now called Stanley Park, people lived in a village called X̱wáy̓x̱way.
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