Free speech has become a game. Being an activist for several years now I have found that free speech is really just a myth. Sure, you have folks spouting about gay marriage, health care, abortion, women’s rights and the environment but when it comes to native rights we are the ones who get arrested and thrown in jail.
Montreal: On October the 4th, 72 communities organized vigils and marches across Canada to remember the over 500 missing or murdered native women in Canada. Though some groups estimate the number to be much higher, the Native Women Association of Canada has said that there are 521 confirmed cases of native women going missing or having been murdered in nearly 30 years.
The recent decision at Health Canada to send body bags to northern Manitoba reserves was stupid at best and racist at worst. It showed a systemic insensitivity to growing health problems on most reserves throughout Canada. This recent incident involving Health Canada is not the first time that poor decisions resulted in an embarrassment for the government agency.
The recent denial of parole for Leonard Peltier by the US parole commission a few weeks ago got me thinking about injustice and whether the wrongfully convicted ever really see justice. In Leonard’s case I have an ugly feeling that it’s never going to happen. This is a man who had key evidence withheld at his trial, witnesses intimidated into speaking against him and an FBI determined to put someone away at all costs.
Irkar Beljaars writes about missing Native women and struggles with the Canadian justice system
On April 29th Pope Benedict said he was sorry for the physical and sexual abuse and deplorable conduct at Catholic Church run residential schools. My first reaction to this was that it’s about bloody time maybe now some of the priests that have been saying that crimes that happened in residential schools were exaggerated will change their tune! I guess the question is what happens now, the Pope has admitted that there were crimes committed by the clergy in the church run schools.