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Annual Memorial March for Missing & Murdered Women / Marche commémorative en hommage aux femmes disparues et assassinées

Saturday, February 14, 2015 - 3:00am

Location

Square Cabot
Avenue Atwater and Rue St. Catherine W
Montreal, QC
Canada
45° 29' 21.516" N, 73° 35' 4.4052" W

--english version to follow-- (merci à la Table des groupe de femmes de Montreal pour l'excellent traduction) 

| January 7, 2015
| September 16, 2014
| June 18, 2014

Why is Big Oil funding Reconciliation Week events in Vancouver?

From September 18-21, 2013, the 'Truth and Reconciliation Commission' (TRC) is holding an event in British Columbia as part of its Canada-wide effort "to promote awareness and public education about the Residential School system and its impacts". Simultaneously a fairly new organization named 'Reconciliation Canada' is organizing some events of its own to coincide with TRC's event in BC. These events include a "Reconciliation Walk" and an "All Nations Canoe Gathering".

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On privilege, criticism, and the challenge of being a good ally

Being an ally is hard, but never as hard as being a person who needs allies.

I've been on both sides, so to speak. As a gay man, I've been grateful to allies. As a non-Indigenous person, I've tried to be a good ally to Indigenous people.

I've dealt with straight friends who fall silent when homophobia is spouted, offering: "It's not my battle." This is sort of true. I don't want people necessarily fighting my battles for me, but I want them to stand beside me. However, speaking up for me is not fighting my battle; it's showing me that I'm supported. Supportive allies can help empower LGBTQ people, but trying to lead the battle is not empowering. It implies that we can't stand up for ourselves. It's a fine line.

Like I said, being an ally is hard.

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Top 10 list: How not to respond to Indigenous experiences of racism in Canada

Earlier this week, Ian Campeau of the band A Tribe Called Red made headlines when he argued that the Nepean Redskins, a youth football league in Ottawa, should change their name because "redskin" is a slur used against First Nations people. Predictably, non-Native people flocked to the internet comment threads to voice their objections to his opinion. Below, a summary of these knee-jerk responses that are always trotted out by the masses when indigenous Canadians describe their experiences of racism, and why you should not use them. 

1. Don't bring up your own experiences of discrimination.

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Defending the land, fighting injustice: A solidarity journey to Barriere Lake

As our convoy of trucks stopped on the gravel road a little boy, not more than four years old, leapt from the box of one of the pick-up trucks. His bare feet hit the ground and he scrambled up into the forest.  His hair hung half way down his back in a single braid. The moment he reached the tree line he began to pick wild berries and shove them into his mouth. As a father of a young boy, a brief moment of panic fluttered over me -- what is he eating? Nobody stopped to check; even at this age he knew exactly what was safe to eat and what was not.  Blueberries were in season.  They were sweet and plentiful.

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Using the right word -- genocide -- to describe Canada's treatment of Aboriginal peoples

While riding the elevator together, our Canada Post mail carrier peered over my shoulder at the front page of my newspaper. Pointing to the article on Aboriginal children being starved in government research experiments, in a strong Eastern European accent he exclaimed, "Shameful! Just like what the Nazis and then the Soviets did to us. And here in Canada we let them get away with it?"

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Honour the apology, Canada. It's the very least you can do

Image: Jarrett Martineau

Anishinaabe culture, like many other Indigenous cultures, holds children in the highest regard. We recognize that children see and experience the world differently than adults and we honour these experiences. We cherish children because they are gifts from the spirit world, and many of us believe that children carry important teachings for adults, if adults are paying attention.

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