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First Nations meeting on Jan. 24 is a make-it or break-it moment

First Nations solidarity. Photo: Mary Kosta/Flickr
Leaders of indigenous heritage pack their bags for one more effort to achieve peace and friendship with fellow Canadians.

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Attawapiskat and colonialism: Seeing the forest and the trees

If you can cut through the racism, ignorance, and half-baked opinions of pundits, politicians and sound-bite media, most folks will realize that Attawapiskat and many other First Nations have been labouring under the repression of colonialism far too long.

The antidote for poverty is self-determination and no one can give you that. You have to stand up and take action yourself to make it happen. Colonialism does not give way on its own; it must be defeated through vigorous and enlightened opposition.

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Wikileaks: Colonial limbo a deliberate attempt to keep islanders from homeland

The Ground-Based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance System (GEODSS) facility at Diego Garcia is one of three operational sites worldwide. Photo: United States Air Force photo/Senior Master Sgt. John Rohrer/Wikipedia.

Six months ago, I wrote a piece for rabble.ca describing the appalling treatment of the people of the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean by the British government. 

The islands were purchased by the government of Britain in 1966 from Seychellois Chagos Agalega Company, with the initial intention of running them as a U.K. government-owned plantation enterprise. This proved less profitable than the establishment of Cold War strategic military bases, so the islanders were removed.

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Columnists

Telling the truth about Thanksgiving

Does anyone ever wonder when "Columbus Day" will no longer be a nationally "celebrated" holiday? I mean really and truly -- when do y'all think that will happen?

In my opinion, it's not as if the information does not exist out there which explicitly states that no, Columbus was never even near the continental mass of what's now known as "America". The "great" navigator that he was didn't even know where he was going and never washed up here -- ever.

What he did do with the full backing of the voyage was ensue genocide, apartheid, and colonization -- all whose affects are deeply entrenched in existing assimilative federal policies, hierarchical societal structures, and the realities of Indigenous communities here and around the world.

Indian Ocean islanders in 44 years of colonial limbo

The Ground-Based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance System (GEODSS) facility at Diego Garcia is one of three operational sites worldwide. Photo: United States Air Force photo/Senior Master Sgt. John Rohrer/Wikipedia.
The people of the Chagos Islands were removed by the British government in the 1960s to make way for U.S. bases -- and the people remain stuck.

Related rabble.ca story:

Indian Ocean islanders in 44 years of colonial limbo

The Ground-Based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance System (GEODSS) facility at Diego Garcia is one of three operational sites worldwide. Photo: United States Air Force photo/Senior Master Sgt. John Rohrer/Wikipedia.

In 1966, England was all about the soccer, the Labour Party and the Beatles. The country had just won the World Cup and things were swinging with 1960s euphoria and happiness.

But it was also the year which marked the commencement of an exercise to depopulate the Chagos Islands, a coral archipelago in the Indian Ocean, approximately 1,600 km north-west of Mauritius. The indigenous community were soon to have their homes taken away from them in a shameful act of latter-day colonial vandalism.

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Gaza and the politics of forgetting

Photo: flickr/Adam Nieman

As the current war on Gaza has entered its third week, approximately 800 Palestinians have been killed. While Stephen Harper has pledged to remain "[steadfast] in support of Israel's right to defend itself," the Prime Minister's Office does not appear to be concerned about the mounting death toll in Gaza, or the fact that, as of yesterday, OCHA (The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), reported that 33 per cent of civilian deaths are children.

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Decolonizing Together walking tour actively engages in healing and reconciliation

Photo: Miriam Katawazi

The Decolonizing Together: Indigenous Walking Tour, towards Victoria Island for the Asinabka Film Festival and Solidarity Assembly, started out at the Human Rights Monument in Ottawa for a very specific reason. 

"This spot is a place where a lot of people start their walks or their protests. It's a great place to start because it reminds us of our rights, it reminds us of our equality and it reminds us that every person has the right to dignity," explained Indigenous Walks founder and artist Jaime Koebel. 

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| July 22, 2014
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