Indigenous rights, environment, arts, reading, podcasts, coffee and comfy clothes. Citizen of the Skwxwú7mesh Nation. Writing for First Nations Forward at National Observer.

Clippings

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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