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Attawapiskat and the importance of community

Photo: David Coombs/rabble.ca/flickr

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I've never visited Attawapiskat to "cover" its crises, past or present, as many journalists have. Despite that, I want to say something about it. The late Edward Said encouraged non-Muslims to deploy their common humanity to try to understand events in the Muslim world. You don't always need expertise or direct experience, you can go some distance without them.

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April 18, 2016 |
On April 9 Attawapiskat First Nation declared a state of emergency. A special sitting of the House of Commons was called but Trudeau just couldn't be pulled away from a Liberal buddy's book launch.
| January 29, 2015
Photo: Michael DancingEagle Cassidy
| December 11, 2013
| December 29, 2012
| August 3, 2012

Shannen's Dream

Shannen Koostachin of Attawapiskat

Shannen Koostachin of Attawapiskat First Nation was a young activist just trying to get a school in her community. Despite the high standard of living enjoyed by many Canadians, indigenous children have been forced through toxic and subpar educational systems for decades. Koostachin spoke out and organized with other youth for "safe and comfy" schools. She started the largest movement by children for children in Canada.

Toxicity at school

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Big truck, small corner
| February 9, 2012
| February 7, 2012

Why the situation in Attawapiskat is not hopeless if we make better choices

Several years ago my daughter and I took the ferry from Prince Edward Island to the Magdalen Islands, a small chain of islands in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence, which are part of the province of Quebec.

Only 13,000 people inhabit the islands year-round, but tourists flock there in the summer. Most of the islands are connected by land bridges, but sailing in from P.E.I., as the main archipelago comes into view, a ship passenger sees Entry Island, unconnected to the rest of the chain and separated by 12 km of water.

Entry Island has about 130 inhabitants and can only be reached by sea or air. A ferry arrives twice a day from May through December and the island has regular airplane service from January through April.

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Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.
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