#140 Shifting power in 2012

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Idle No More. That’s the slogan under which Aboriginal groups across Canada are rallying for social justice and indigenous sovereignity. As thousands rally across Canada, Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence is entering the second week of a hunger strike. She it attempting to get a meeting with the Prime Minister to talk about substandard housing and other issues on Attawapiskat. Last year, Meagan spoke with Joanne Dallaire, an educator and healer from Attawapiskat about how we should all be responding to the crises in First Nations communities across Canada.


In late October this year 1000 youth from across the Canada participated in a climate justice conference in Ottawa called Powershift 2012. The goal of the conference? To train a generation of climate justice activists so they can work to usher in a clean energy revolution. Clayton Thomas-Muller is an indigenous and environmental justice activist. Who has been organizing grassroots efforts to create environmental change for a decade. He is currently working with the Indigenous Environmental Network. When he took the podium at Powershift 2012, he spoke about what climate justice means.


Another speaker at the Powershift 2012 Conference was Keira-Dawn Kolson. Her community has faced pipelines, water shortages, changing climate and a dwindling supply of their traditional food supply: caribou. At the opening of the Powershift conference, the multi-disciplinary artist, motivational speaker, singer-songwriter, leader, dreamer and educator spoke about how her community has been affected by resource development.


December 6th in Canada is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. It is also known as White Ribbon Day. The National Day of Remembrance and Action was established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada to mark the anniversary of the 1989 murders of 14 young women at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal. The victims in the shooting were killed by one man who called them feminists before he shot them. This year on December 6, an event called Speaking Up was held in Toronto. Toronto City Councillor Mike Layton spoke about his work organizing against gender-based violence, in particular with the White Ribbon Campaign an organization which aims to prevent men’s violence against women. 


Also presenting at the event was Deb Singh. Singh is a survivor and an activist. She’s a counsellor with the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre: Multicultural Women Against Rape. At speak up, she addressed the role of language and its relationship to violence in our culture.


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