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Suicide Prevention Day: Social inequality and budget cuts are a matter of life and death

"Sadly, every person you ask from the Northern Inuit regions knows someone who has killed themselves. I personally have four cousins who have committed suicide. People you know your whole life. You grow and laugh with them and then they are not there anymore because they decide to take their own lives. The numbers are an epidemic, if these numbers existed in southern Canada, it would be a national emergency and there would be measures to address it."  

Sobering comments from Terry Audla, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), the National Inuit Organization in Canada. Audla is the referring to the alarmingly high rates of suicide among Canada's Inuit population, which are 11 times higher than the national average.  


Save the Salish Sea: Respecting Indigenous rights means stopping tar sands tankers

I am, like most of you, a strong supporter of First Nations land and title rights. Increasingly, the international community is waking up to the rights of Indigenous people and their justified desire for sovereignty and self-determination.

This struggle is playing itself out very publicly as First Nations on the west coast of Canada have drawn a line in the sand regarding dangerous pipeline projects. That is the context for the canoe gathering this weekend in the Vancouver harbour, organized by the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and the the Squamish Nation. 

Protecting the waters is a sacred trust


Red squares for Indigenous solidarity: Montreal protests logging of Algonquin land

Photo: David Champagne

Last week in Montreal, clanging cookware and red squares became symbols of solidarity with an Indigenous community defending its land rights. On Wednesday, July 18, about 200 people demonstrated at the Montreal headquarters of Resolute Forest Products, the logging company currently locked in a stand-off with Algonquin protestors near Poigan Bay, Quebec.

Banging pots and pans, the crowd denounced Resolute for continuing to log in the territory of the Algonquins of Barriere Lake despite staunch opposition from the people living there.


Assembly of First Nations re-elects Shawn Atleo as National Chief

Election officials at the Assembly of First Nations oversaw three rounds of voting for the national chief. (Photo: Ben Powless)
The Assembly of First Nations has completed its annual meeting in Toronto. Shawn Atleo was elected to a second term as national chief.

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Algonquins of Barriere Lake stand up against logging

Photo: Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa
Resolute Forest Products began logging near Poigan Bay, Quebec last Tuesday without proper community consultation or informed consent.

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Remembering William Commanda on National Aboriginal Day

William Commanda. (Photo:

It's membership time. Cultivate Canada's media. Support Become a member.

One year ago today, June 21, 2011, was the date of Grandfather William Commanda's last physical visit to Asinabka, Victoria Island.


Lack of safe water on Canada's reserves

Photo: imekinox/Flickr
As many as one in three First Nation reserves in Canada have been found to lack safe water.

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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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The cadets of Hobbema are a good news First Nations story that the media ignore

Photo: Jesse Winter

It's no secret that the media love to sensationalize violence and conflict, but this is particularly dangerous for marginalized communities like First Nations.

"‘If it bleeds it leads' isn't new, and it's not unique to Aboriginal issues," says Duncan McCue, an Anishinaabe reporter who covers Aboriginal affairs for CBC's The National.

"The problem, though, is when it's focused on a racial group you end up with the concern that Indians are being painted as problem people."

The people of Hobbema, Alberta, are well use to this attitude.


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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