Indigenous rights

Victorian Government to begin talks with First Nations on Australia’s first Indigenous treaty

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Victorian Government to begin talks with First Nations on Australia’s first Indigenous treaty

Updated Fri at 3:56am

The Victorian Government will begin talks to work out Australia’s first treaty with Indigenous people within weeks.

Aim of Victoria’s First Nations Treaty:

  • Recognition of past injustices
  • Recognition of all 39 First Nations and their Clans Authority
  • Recognition of and respect for country, traditions and customs
  • A futures fund to implement and establish the treaty
  • Establishment of a democratic treaty commission
  • Land Rights and Land Acquisition Legislation and Funding
  • Fresh Water and Sea Water Rights

(From the Victorian Traditional Land Owner Justice Group)

A meeting with First Nations representatives, convened by the State Government earlier this month, firmly rejected Constitutional recognition in favour of self-determination and a treaty.

The treaty would be a legal document over Aboriginal affairs and services and addressing past injustices.

It would be the first such agreement in Australia and follow similar arrangements with First Peoples in Canada, the US and New Zealand.

Victoria’s Aboriginal Affairs Minister Natalie Hutchins told Lateline the Government was committed to making it happen.

“At the end of the day it’s pretty disappointing that we, in the year 2016, don’t have a treaty or a national arrangement with our First Peoples,” she said.

Ms Hutchins said Victoria will look at treaty examples in other Commonwealth countries.

“In fact, Canada have been doing it for a long time, New Zealand has successfully done it, so it’s time for Australia to step up,” she said.

Constitutional recognition ‘a distraction’

Dja Dja Warrung elder Gary Murray said the state must pursue the best outcome.

“It’s not difficult to scope a treaty given what’s happened in Canada and New Zealand and other places,” he said.

“I think we pick the best from that and bring it into the modern world.”

Mr Murray said the national debate around Constitutional recognition was just “a distraction”. Read More…

ABC News. “Victorian Government to begin talks with First Nations on Australia’s first Indigenous treaty.” Retrieved from: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-26/victoria-to-begin-talks-for-first-indigenous-treaty/7202492?site=indigenous&topic=latest on March 1, 2016
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Lorimer Shenher, International Women’s Day Celebration: “Yes it’s 2016 and there is still work to be done.” 11:30am–1pm, March 4, 2016

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Please join MP Joyce Murray to celebrate International Women’s Day this year with special guest Lorimer Shenher (aka Lori) Yes it’s 2016 and there is still work to be done.” Lorimer is the amazing police detective who worked for years to secure resources and support to solve the Pickton murders case; years during which more women from Vancouver’s DTES were victimized. He later wrote a book chronicling his experience and deep frustration called That Lonely Section of Hell: The Botched Investigation of a Serial Killer Who Almost Got Away.
In 2015, Lorimer began a gender transition to male. He continues to write and is currently pursuing an MA in Professional Communications at Royal Roads University. His thesis project will be an audio documentary exploring the rise of the missing and murdered indigenous women as a major issue in the 2015 Canadian Federal Election.
Let’s celebrate women’s equality successes achieved, and explore barriers that remain for women, especially disadvantaged women and girls.
 
When: Friday March 4, 2016 from 11:30 – 1:00 pm
Where: MP Joyce Murray Constituency Office. 206 – 2112 W Broadway (at Arbutus) View map 
(Lunch will be provided – please come 10 minutes early to load your plate!)
 
Please RSVP to Joyce.murray.c1@parl.gc.ca asap!
 
Feel free to share this with your network.

Angelique EagleWoman becomes new dean of Lakehead law school

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Attorney and professor brings a wealth of experience in Indigenous law, say university officials

CBC News Posted: Jan 13, 2016 6:40 AM ETLast Updated: Jan 13, 2016 11:43 AM ET

Angelique EagleWoman has been appointed the new dean of Lakehead University's Bora Laskin Faculty of Law. EagleWoman will leave her current postion at the University of Idaho College of Law, where she is a law professor and a legal
scholar.

Angelique EagleWoman has been appointed the new dean of Lakehead University’s Bora Laskin Faculty of Law. EagleWoman will leave her current postion at the University of Idaho College of Law, where she is a law professor and a legal scholar. (Supplied)

Listen to audio recording…

A northern Ontario university says the new dean of its law school will be the first aboriginal woman to hold that position in Canada.

Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont., has appointed Angelique EagleWoman to lead the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law starting in May, a month before the fledgling law school’s first class is set to graduate.

EagleWoman will leave her current postion at the University of Idaho College of Law, where she is a law professor and a legal scholar.

She told CBC News she’s impressed with the Lakehead faculty’s focus on rural and small-town practice, environmental law, and Indigenous law.

“Those three areas are all areas I’ve taught in and I have experience in, and I write a lot of articles about,” she said. “So I just thought ‘what a perfect match.'”

EagleWoman has taught in the areas of Tribal Nation economics and law, and Native American natural resources law. She has also published articles on topics like tribal economics and quality of life for Indigenous peoples, according to a Lakehead University press release.

Wants to build ‘distinguished’ law school

She takes over the position in Thunder Bay from the school’s first dean, Lee Stuesser, who resigned in 2015.

EagleWoman said she doesn’t feel that being relatively new to Canada will be an issue, adding that things like environmental law and Indigenous law share common traits on both sides of the border.

“The Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations coming out are very common issues with people that are both in the United States and in Canada who are Indigenous,” she said.

“So there’s a real commonality there, and the land doesn’t know political boundaries.”

EagleWoman said she wants to see the school grow and continue to be a forward-thinking institution.

“I hope to move the law school from the start-up phase to taking its place as a distinguished law school, along with the other Ontario and national law schools,” she said.

A biography posted on the school’s site says one of the highlights of her career was serving as general counsel for her own tribe, the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate in Dakota.

with files from The Canadian Press.

Reference:

(2016, January 18) Audio – Angelique EagleWoman becomes new dean of Lakehead law school. CBC News. Retrieved from: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/law-school-canada-aboriginal-dean-1.3400903?__vfz=tc%3D7c4KA0bOGi9

Indigenous Voices Unifying Central America: First Central American Indigenous Radio Conference to Take Place in Panama

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Indigenous Voices Unifying Central America: 
First Central American Indigenous Radio Conference to Take Place in Panama
From January 16-18, 2016 Cultural Survival, Fundación Comunicándonos, AMARC (Central American Sub region), Voces Indígenas Panamá, the General Guna Congress, Asociación Sobrevivencia Cultural and Indigenous community radio representatives will bring together representatives from Indigenous community radio stations in every country in Central America for the First Central American Indigenous Community Radio Conference: Indigenous Voices Unifying the Region. The event will spearhead a regional Indigenous community radio network for sharing resources, technologies, good practices, political strategies, and building international political support, all with the goal of supporting Indigenous Peoples’ struggle in defense of their identity, land, and human rights.

“We believe that this conference is an opportunity to come together as Indigenous Peoples and unify efforts to maintain our voice in the promotion of our cultures as a human right,” said Anselmo Xunic, Program Manager for Cultural Survival’s Community Media Program. Indigenous Peoples have a unique need for their community media, since it is through the media that they can communicate about issues that affect them, organize themselves, and strengthen their languages and cultures.

Community radio legislation in Central America is very limited. Throughout the region, both television and radio frequencies are monopolized by the commercial media, and the States in the region see communication not as a human right but as a commercial good, despite resolutions by UNESCO and the United Nations and the Organization of American States Special Rapporteurs on Freedom of Expression.
Many Indigenous community radio stations throughout Central America already function as members of networks, which has benefited their communities’efforts. In Guatemala, community radio stations have been working for over 16 years to pass a law that would give them a legal means of accessing radio frequencies, despite the fact that Guatemala’s constitution and Peace Accords require democratic access to radio frequencies. As they wait, Guatemala’s Indigenous community radio stations operate under the threat of raids, attacks, and closures by the police.
“Without freedom of expression, no other rights can be guaranteed. Indigenous Peoples demand radio frequencies to have their voices heard and to strengthen our languages, self-governance, information, and education. The Conference will serve to analyze these issues and collaborate to demand that the States in the region provide equal access to media, which is a human right, not a right of businesses,” said Cesar Gomez, Cultural Survival.
“This Conference provides motivation to share experiences and find strategies that make the right to freedom of expression more viable.  Putting our efforts together at the international level reverberates locally. It opens doors to women’s participation, both young and old,” said Rosy González, Indigenous Rights Radio Producer.
The First Central American Indigenous Community Radio Conference will take place January 16-18, 2016 in the Comarca Guna Yala in Panama with the participation of over 40 Indigenous leaders from the Kuna territory, Indigenous women and active members of community radios from throughout Central America. Half of the participants are women who demonstrate a strong commitment to the democratization of media for Indigenous Peoples and women, two sectors who have historically not been given sufficient voice in public media.
“The Conference will be a space for those of us who continue to work towards democratization of communication in the region to get to know each other better and to recognize the work that each is doing. It is a space to reflect on and share experiences and most importantly to continue weaving dreams and actions for an inclusive, just and democratic Central America. We come from every country in the region with the will to work, synergize, and most importantly spread the word on our fight against commercial media oligopolies,” said Oscar Pérez, Director of Fundación Comunicándonos.

The participants will develop a follow-up plan and draft an Outcome Document to record shared principles, conclusions, and follow-up.

Partners: Cultural Survival, Asociacion Sobrevivencia Cultural, Fundación Comunicándonos,  AMARC Central America, and Voces Indigenas Panama
Join us virtually:
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Be a part of the conversation by using the hashtags #voicesindigenasCA #IndigenousvoicesCA
For more information on the Freedom of Expression and Community Radio in Central America, visit www.cs.org.
Contact: 
Angelica Rao:
 angelica@cs.org, +1-647-624-3084
Teresita Mendoza: teresita@culturalsurvival.org, 505-87734907 505-85285412 (en espanol)

Legal warriors: Profiles of 5 indigenous lawyers

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Legal warriors: Profiles of 5 indigenous lawyers

From navigating inquiries to defending the land, 5 indigenous lawyers are making a difference

CBC News Posted: Dec 29, 2015 5:00 AM ET

Armed with a law degree, Caleb Behn is emerging as one of the fiercest defenders of Dene territory against the fracking industry.

Armed with a law degree, Caleb Behn is emerging as one of the fiercest defenders of Dene territory against the fracking industry. (Two Island Films)

There was a time in Canada when indigenous peoples weren’t allowed to hire lawyers without the permission of government officials, and First Nations people couldn’t enter law school without first renouncing their “Indian status.”

That all changed in 1954 when the late William Wuttunee graduated from the University of Saskatchewan, becoming Western Canada’s first status Indian lawyer.

Since then, many indigenous people across the country have followed in Wuttunee’s footsteps, graduating from law school, being called to bar and succeeding in a field that was until recently off-limits to them.

Here’s a look at five indigenous people who are using the legal profession to change Canada.

Donald Worme

Donald Worme

Cree lawyer Donald Worme is from the Kawacatoose First Nation in Saskatchewan. (CBC)

A founding member of the Indigenous Bar Association of Canada, Donald Worme is a Cree lawyer based in Saskatoon.

From the Kawacatoose First Nation, Worme first rose to prominence for his work in the Neil Stonechild inquiry in 2003, during which he represented Stonechild’s family.

Since then, Worme has represented many families and groups who often find themselves at odds with police and the justice system. These include the family of Matthew Dumas, shot and killed by Winnipeg police in 2005, and Kinew James, who died in Saskatoon’s Regional Psychiatric Centre in 2013.

Worme was also commission counsel between 2004 and 2006 at the Ipperwash Inquiry — which was tasked with investigating what led to the shooting death of unarmed Anishinaabe protester Dudley George — was more recently, for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

Jean Teillet

Jean Teillet

A great-grandniece of famous Métis leader Louis Riel, Jean Teillet has emerged as a staunch legal defender of indigenous rights. (University of Toronto)

A great-grandniece of famed Métis leader Louis Riel, Jean Teillet had two-decade career in theatre – dancing, acting, teaching and choreographing – before entering the University of Toronto’s law school at age 38.

When she graduated in 1994, she quickly established herself as a staunch defender of indigenous rights.

In 2003, Teillet won a landmark victory in the Supreme Court of Canada for Métis rights. The case centred on Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., resident Steve Powley who was charged with hunting moose without a licence.

Now a partner with Pape Salter Teillet LLP, Teillet specializes in aboriginal rights law, a field in which she’s won numerous awards, including the 2011 Indigenous Peoples’ Council award by the Indigenous Bar Association and a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.

Outside the courtroom, Teillet helped create the Métis Nation of Ontario and has served as vice president and treasurer of the Indigenous Bar Association of Canada, and founding president of the Métis Nation Lawyers Association.

Christa Big Canoe

Christa Big Canoe

In 2014, lawyer Christa Big Canoe testified before a House committee reviewing C-26, the government’s controversial prostitution law. (CBC)

A member of the Georgina Island First Nation, an Anishinaabe community in Ontario, Christa Big Canoe is the legal advocacy director of Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto.

Big Canoe, known as a passionate advocate for First Nation children and women’s rights, has appeared before all levels of court in Canada where she’s provided an aboriginal perspective and representation on issues that most affect aboriginal people in Canadian law.

While at Legal Aid Ontario, she led the province-wide Aboriginal Justice Strategy aimed at removing barriers to accessing justice for First Nation, Métis and Inuit people.

Most recently, Big Canoe is representing six of the seven families of the students whose deaths are the subject of an inquest in Thunder Bay. All of the young people came to the city from remote First Nations to attend high school.

Katherine Hensel

Jonathan Rudin, Katherine Hensel

“There needs to be a 360 degree analysis of what happens in Canadian courtrooms, in the Canadian justice system,” lawyer Katherine Hensel told the CBC. (Law Society Gazette )

Katherine Hensel was called to the bar in 2003.

Just a year later, the member of the Secwepemc nation began to serve as assistant commission counsel for the Ipperwash Inquiry.

After working with a prominent litigation firm for several years, Hensel left to establish Hensel Barristers in 2011. She’s since been involved with several cases involving indigenous rights, and served as counsel for the Native Women’s Association of Canada during the British Columbia’s Missing and Murdered Women’s Inquiry.

Hensel often speaks to the media about issues surrounding indigenous peoples, including a recent appearance on CBC’s The Current, where she offered pointed criticism of the justice system in the wake of a controversial not-guilty decision in the Cindy Gladue murder trial.

“There needs to be a 360-degree analysis of what happens in Canadian courtrooms, in the Canadian justice system,” Hensel said.

Caleb Behn

Caleb Behn

Caleb Behn hasn’t been called to the bar yet, but plans to use law to defend his traditional territory against fracking. (Zack Embree)

He’s not even been called to the bar yet, but Caleb Behn is already planning to use the law to defend the traditional territory of his people, the Dene.

Behn was born into in a very political family, with several close relatives serving as chiefs. He grew up in northern British Columbia, a land increasingly changed as the oil and gas industry grows.

Driven by a responsibility to protect that land and water, Behn entered law school at the University of Victoria.

Before officially entering his chosen profession, Behn has seen that goal — and his life — become the subject of a critically acclaimed 2015 documentary, Fractured Land.

“Anybody who can throw a hatchet and sue you is a force to be reckoned with,” said Bill McKibben, 350.org founder.

(2015, December 29) Legal warriors: Profiles of 5 indigenous lawyers. CBC News. Retrieved from: http://www.cbc.ca/news/aboriginal/legal-warriors-five-indigenous-lawyers-1.3371819

New Issue in Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society

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Dear friends,

Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society has just published its
latest issue at http://decolonization.org/index.php/des/issue/view/1618.

We invite you to review the Table of Contents here and then visit our web
site to review and read articles and items of interest.

We’re thrilled to continue to publish as an open access journal and
appreciate your ongoing support in sharing this work as widely as possible
through your networks!

In peace,

Eric Ritskes
Editor

Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society
Vol 4, No 2 (2015)
Table of Contents
http://decolonization.org/index.php/des/issue/view/1618

Cover Art
——–

Artist’s statement: What decolonization means to me
Kalkidan Assefa

Articles
——–

Indigenous girls and the violence of settler colonial policing
Jaskiran K. Dhillon
Refusal to forgive: Indigenous women’s love and rage
Rachel Flowers
Teaching Indigenous methodology and an Iñupiaq example
Maureen P. Hogan,       Sean A. Topkok
Beyond the colonial divide: African diasporic and Indigenous youth alliance
building for HIV prevention
Ciann L. Wilson,        Sarah Flicker,  Jean-Paul Restoule
Tensional decolonization and public order in Western Nigeria, 1957-1960
Oluwatoyin Oduntan,     Kemi Rotimi
Reviews
——–

A review of Indigenous Statistics: A Quantitative Research Methodology
Elaine Coburn
Indigenous temporal priority and the (de)legitimization of the Canadian
state: A book review of On Being Here to Stay
Scott Kouri

________________________________________________________________________
Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society
www.decolonization.org

“Annexed:” The Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the UN Climate Change Conference 2015

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December 16, 2015

On December 12, 2015, after two decades of climate talks within the UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC), world leaders from 195 countries in Paris came to a consensus on a legally binding agreement on climate change, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C and reducing carbon emissions across the globe. The two-week long Conference of Parties (COP 21) process also brought together some of the world’s largest corporations, environmental and human rights organizations, and grassroots activists to hash out international energy goals, standards, and implementation. Over 250 Indigenous delegates were present and advocated for the inclusion of Indigenous rights in the Paris Agreement.
Hailed as “historic” and as “a turning point for the world,” the deal reached its goal to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate change, yet disappointed many Indigenous Peoples due to its ultimate failure to include legally binding references to protecting Indigenous Peoples rights and their sovereignty.

Read More…