CHRISTINE'S BLOG

Welcome! I love to write, and I love sharing what I write with my readers. I vary my style as much as I can-posting events, creative non-fiction, prose and poetry and the occasional video. Enjoy!

Miigwetch

Christine

Monday, September 15, 2014

Events

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Saturday, September 20, 2014-10am-4:30pm-The S.W.E.E.T. Success Experience Live Event with Brenda McIntyre-Medicine Song Woman @ Dovercourt House, Main Floor Studio, 805 Dovercourt Rd Tickets available at  http://ah133.infusionsoft.com

Saturday September 20, 2014-7pm-10pm- Drum Journey Circle@ the Life Loft, 390 Dupont Street, Suite 201


Sunday, September 21, 2014-11am-6pm-The Word On The Street, Toronto's Book and Magazine Festival. Join us for our 25th festival! We are Canada's largest, one-day, literary festival. Each year, we turn Queen's Park Circle into a book and magazine lover's paradise by showcasing Canada's hottest new books and authors, as well as the best Canadian magazines!
To see a full festival schedule, visit: http://www.thewordonthestreet.ca/wots/toronto/whatson/intro.



September 27, 2014- 3pm-The Centre for Aboriginal Initiatives Presents Cara Krmpotich: Repatriation and the Force of Family. Main Activities Hal, Multi Faith Centre, 2nd Floor, 569 Spadina Avenue




 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Film Review: Trick or Treaty?



Film Review: Trick or Treaty?
By: Christine Smith (McFarlane)

Canadian Distributor- National Film Board of Canada

Acclaimed Canadian documentarian Alanis Obomsawin does another incredible job with her latest documentary “Trick or Treaty,” which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival this year.

Although Obomsawin uses the backdrop of numerous integral events such as the hunger strike of Chief Theresa Spence of Attawapiskat First Nation and the rise of the Idle No More Movement, and other youth oriented movements, she mostly digs into the history of Treaty 9- an agreement in 1905 where it is alleged that First Nations communities relinquished their sovereignty over traditional territories.

According to the Indian and Northern Affairs website, Treaty No. 9 was created in response to continuous petitions from the Cree and Ojibwa people of northern Ontario, and in keeping with its policy of paving the way for settlement and development, the federal government in 1905-1906 negotiated Treaty 9, also known as the James Bay Treaty. It is said that “For the first and only time, a provincial government took an active role in negotiations.”[1] and together with the area acquired by adhesions in 1929-1930, Treaty 9 covers almost two-thirds of the area that became northern Ontario.

However Obomsawin, through numerous interviews with legal, historical and cultural experts- as well as those whose ancestors were present when the treaty was signed reveals the deceptions and distortions in which the real agreement was subjected to by successive Canadian governments. It becomes clear through the interviews that the printed copy of the treaty is not the only valid version and that the First Nations who signed the treaty, were not able to see the written treaty itself until decades later. It was also written in a language they didn’t understand.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching Obomsawin’s latest documentary because she is a force to be reckoned with as far as film documentarians documenting the state sanctioned indignities and injustices visited on First Nations peoples and their communities. She has created numerous bodies of work that show a reality that is not often shown by government and mainstream media.

Cast & Credits
Executive Producer: Annette Clarke
Producer: Alanis Obomsawin
Production Company: National Film Board of Canada
Principal Cast:
Screenplay: Alanis Obomsawin
Source Author:
Cinematographer: René Sioui Labelle, Philippe Amiguet, Michael Darby
Animator:
Editor: Alison Burns
Sound: Glenn Hodgins, Donald Ayer
Music: Alain Auger

Monday, September 8, 2014

Events


Events:

Monday September 8, 2014-7pm-Turn the Tables: Self Determination Not Termination Tsilhqot'in Supreme Court Decision Webinar Implications of the BC Premier Sept 11th, 2014 Meeting with First Nation Leadership Council & BC Chiefs regarding the Tsilhquot'in Supreme Court of Canada Decision

Host: Arthur Manuel
Moderator: Ryan Day

Anywhere you have computer access!

September 11, 2014-7pm-9pm-Toronto Launch! Undocumented: The Architecture of Migrant Detention @ Art Metropole 1490 Dundas St. West.  Merging graphic novel with architectural design, academic research with oral storytelling, Undocumented: The Architecture of Migrant Detention is a visual exploration of migrant detention in Canada written and illustrated by Tings Chak. This forthcoming graphic novel is published by The Architecture Observer (Montreal/Amsterdam), and is supported through the ongoing work of the End Immigration Detention Network.


Friday September 12, 2014-11:00am-12pm- Orientation for New Aboriginal Students at FNH Join us for our Orientation! Learn about supports we offer, financial aid/awards, student groups, meet new people and find out how to get involved on campus.
There will be refreshments and prize draws!


Saturday September 13, 2014- Fundraiser Gala and Silent Auction at the Native Canadian Centre Order tickets via Eventbrite:
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/fundraiser-gala-silent-auction-tickets-12617933579?aff=efbevent

Please join us in this event to support and learn about our Memory Meaning-Making & Collections project. You will have the opportunity to view specially selected items from our artifact & art collection and enjoy a musical performance by Cris Derksen.

-Ticket purchases are eligible for a charitable donation tax receipt.

- And much more!

September 27, 2014-9am-4pm- A Hurdle to Success: The Path to PAN AM/PARAPAN AM LEGACY: A free symposium exploring the path to success  in Sports and School. Advanced Registration is Required. Space is limited. RSVP at: ahurdletosuccess.eventbrite.ca

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Book Review- Real Justice-Convicted for Being MI’KMAQ: The Story of Donald Marshall Jr.


Book Review- Real Justice-Convicted for Being MI’KMAQ: The Story of Donald Marshall Jr.

By: Christine Smith (McFarlane)


Can you imagine one night being out with a friend and hanging out with them, and after an encounter with two strangers, your friend lays dead, and you stand accused of his/her murder? This is what happened to Donald Marshall Jr, at the time a young Mi’kmaq living on the Membertou Reserve in Cape Breton with his family in 1971.

“Convicted for Being Mi’kmaq: The Story of Donald Marshall Jr.” is a story about a gross miscarriage of justice and how after Marshall’s friend’s murder, Donald is framed for the crime and spends 11 years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. It is also a story about courage and betrayal, of perseverance and luck.

Marshall knew that he was innocent of the murder of his friend, but the officer in charge of the murder investigation was determined to prove his guilt. He bullied other teens into lying so that Marshall would be considered guilty and convicted.

After surviving eleven years in the penal system, it was pure luck and perseverance on Donald Marshall’s part that his case was looked at again, after a jailhouse visit from someone who knew who the real killer was. Individuals who had been previously involved with the case admitted that they had been coerced into lying by the police at the time of the murder in 1971.

It was in 1983 that Marshall was acquitted of the murder he was wrongfully sent to prison for but the victory was bittersweet because the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia (Appeal Division) laid responsibility for his wrongful conviction at his feet. A Royal Commission of Inquiry was established due to Marshall's case in 1990.

The 1990 Royal Commission Report was a searing indictment of the justice system that wrongfully convicted Donald Marshall. It stated that it robbed him of far more than just his liberty. It robbed him of the kinship of his family and community, separated him from his language and culture and subjected him to tension, humiliation and the violence of prison life.

The Royal Commission came to the painful conclusion that racism played a significant role in Marshall’s wrongful arrest and conviction. Marshall’s conviction was also exposed at a time when Canadians and the Canadian justice system had not yet exposed the extent to which the factors in his case, and those unique to subsequent cases, had operated to send other innocent people to prison for murders they didn’t commit.

The reality that factors such as race and socio-economic status contribute to making a person more vulnerable to being wrongfully convicted is deeply troubling, but Marshall’s story is inspiring.

 Author Bill Swan does an excellent job of bringing forth Marshall’s story and making other aware that even faced with adversity and struggles, Marshall never lost hope about becoming a free man.

Donald Marshall Jr eventually became a native activist and he is often referred to as the “reluctant hero” of the Mi’kmaq community.

“Convicted for Being Mi’kmaq: The Story of Donald Marshall is published by James Lorimer & Company Ltd and is 179 pages.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Event Postings


Events:

Sunday September 7, 2014-1pm- Kaha’ wi Dance Theatre Audition Notice. Pre registration required. For more information please call (416) 923 7373 or visit www.kahawidance.org

Friday September 12, 2014-11:00am-12pm- Orientation for New Aboriginal Students at FNH Join us for our Orientation! Learn about supports we offer, financial aid/awards, student groups, meet new people and find out how to get involved on campus.
There will be refreshments and prize draws!


Saturday September 13, 2014- Fundraiser Gala and Silent Auction at the Native Canadian Centre Order tickets via Eventbrite:
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/fundraiser-gala-silent-auction-tickets-12617933579?aff=efbevent

Please join us in this event to support and learn about our Memory Meaning-Making & Collections project. You will have the opportunity to view specially selected items from our artifact & art collection and enjoy a musical performance by Cris Derksen.

Participate in a silent auction for a chance to own:

- Rare Framed print of Carl Beam’s “Fragile Skies”

- “The Next Leaders” Original painting by Manitou Animki Penashi

- Jewellery and artwork by local Aboriginal artists such as Phil Cote, Barb Nahwegahbow, Amber Sandy, and Mike Ormsby

- Hand-crafted wooden bowl by Stinson Studios

- Vintage turtle blanket throw from Pendleton Woolen Mills.

-Ticket purchases are eligible for a charitable donation tax receipt.

- And much more!

Monday, August 25, 2014

OP-ED Piece on the Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women in Canada




OP-Ed Piece on the Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women in Canada
By: Christine Smith (McFarlane)

As a First Nations woman, it incenses me to hear of the ever-increasing number of so many Missing and Murdered Women. It also tears at my heart when I wonder how many more Aboriginal/First Nations women are going to go missing or be murdered before the Canadian government stands up, takes notice and takes action.

The issue of the Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women in Canada impacts all Aboriginal women and girls. It’s not something that you can read about and forget. It stays in your mind, and infuriates you when you see the government ignore the pleas from the public for help.

It is beyond sad that the number of missing and murdered Aboriginal/First Nations women in Canada is disproportionately high. The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) research indicates that, “between 2000 and 2008, Aboriginal women and girls represented approximately 10% of all female homicides in Canada. However, Aboriginal women make up only 3% of the female population.”

NWAC also states “Most of the cases involve young women and girls. Just over half of the cases (55%) involve women and girls under the age of 31, with 17% of women and girls 18 years of age or younger. Only 8% of cases involve women over 45.

In late 2013, the Commissioner of the RCMP initiated an RCMP led study of reported incidents of missing and murdered Aboriginal women across all police jurisdictions in Canada. The report is damning, in the sense that it states there are

·      Police recorded incidents of Aboriginal female homicides and unresolved missing Aboriginal females in this review total 1,181- 164 missing and 1,017 homicide victims and
·      There are 225 unsolved cases of either missing or murdered Aboriginal females: 105 missing for more than 30 days as of November 4, 2013, whose cause of disappearance was categorized at the time as “unknown” or “foul play suspected” and 120 unsolved homicides between 1980 and 2012.”



Despite all this, the Conservative government has rejected all calls for a national inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper saying “We should not view this as sociological phenomenon. It is crime against innocent people and it needs to be addressed as such.”

Well, I’m sorry to say this Prime Minister Stephen Harper, but what is happening to my fellow Aboriginal/First Nations sisters are not just crimes; but if you took your head out of the sand, you would see that it is a sociological phenomenon also.

It’s a sociological phenomenon because it is ongoing and happening too often. It is also an important reminder of Harper’s rightwing ideology and what it’s all about. Harper's recent claim that the disappearance and murder of hundreds of Aboriginal women should not be viewed as a "sociological phenomenon" is an important reminder of how he sees Aboriginal people (in this case women) as not that important.

It is infuriating that we have a Prime Minister who doesn't seem to care about finding a solution to the issue of our missing and murdered sisters, and ignores the pleas of the public to do something to stop this.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!


































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