Canadian western province British Columbia has been a popular site of salmon farms and has determinedly been targeted by many corporations wishing to occupy the land for fish extraction. Not only has this action significantly decreased the amount of fish in the sea, but it has also directly harmed communities dependant on that very supply of seafood. The Ahousaht Nation faced this problem at the end of September when a Norwegian-based corporation Cermaq attempted to establish a new farm site on their territory.
On September 21st the Ahousaht Nation made Cermaq pull anchors on the new salmon farm located north of Tofino, BC. This would be the 17th site if Ahousaht people didn’t prevent the action from happening. Such corporate developments extract the necessary means of nutrition for the nation, as well as limiting the job opportunities for the Ahousaht people, having previously promised many more.
CKUT’s Kateryna Gordiychuk spoke with Lennie John, an Ahousaht tourism business owner and the first one to notice the unsanctioned action, to find out more.
On September 12, 2015, a Notice of Seizure was delivered to McGill University by Kahentinetha Horn of the Bear Clan, a member of the Kahnawake community. The notice outlined McGill’s use of Mohawk land that had never been sold by the Kahnawake community as well as the outstanding sum of $1.7 billion that McGill had borrowed from the Six Nations’ Trust Fund and had never repaid.
Also outlined in the notice was McGill’s violation of Kaia’nere:kowa, the Great Law of Peace that Kahentinetha abides by. The discovery of military research being conducted by McGill is explained by Kahentinetha as going in direct violation of her governing law, strong motivation in her decision to send the notice.
CKUT’s Victoria Xie spoke with Kahentinetha about the reasoning behind the notice as well as what she is hoping will happen in the future.
En début juillet 2015, le Secrétariat Mi’gmawei Mawiomi (SMM), représentant les trois communautés Mi’gmaq de la région de Gaspé, a lancé une poursuite judiciaire contre la compagnie Chaleur Terminals Inc. Cette poursuite judiciaire a pour but d’arrêter la construction d’un projet ferroviaire explosif d’exportation de pétrole de sables bitumineux au port de Belledune, à travers des territoires Mi’gmaq au Québec et au Nouveau-Brunswick. Les Mi’gmaqs n’ont pas approuvé ni été consultés dans ce projet.
La directrice de Consultation et d’accommodement du SMM, Tanya Barnaby, a parlé avec Emma Noradounkian, membre du collectif d’actualités à CKUT, des détails de cette plainte et des risques qu’engendrent ce projet pour les communautés Mi’gmaq du Québec et du Nouveau-Brunswick.
On June 18, the Canadian government’s National Energy Board (NEB)–an independent economic regulatory agency for pipelines, power lines, and oil and gas importation–imposed further conditions on Enbridge Inc.’s controversial Line 9B pipeline reversal project, stating that it must perform hydrostatic testing along three of its segments before it officially begins shipping crude oil. The thirty-eight-year old pipeline that runs between Sarnia and Montreal was supposed to begin its operations last Fall.
While the NEB has reported only seven oil spills, a CTV W5 investigation revealed last year that Line 9B has had at least 35 of such incidences. This aging pipeline, along with others in Ontario, continue to affect the nearby ecosystems, lands, and waters that Indigenous and other communities live and thrive on.
“It’s an industrial genocide [against Indigenous people]. These companies are on stolen land. They continue to release and spill and expand with more projects that continue to put our health at risk,” said Vanessa Gray, a member of Aamjiwnaang and Sarnia Against Pipelines, in an interview with CKUT’s Emma Noradounkian. She discussed how this project threatens Indigenous communities and ways of resisting the pipeline project and other pipelines in the province of Ontario.
We are used to thinking about health care corresponding to Western medical treatment standards. What about all those Aboriginal communities in multi-ethnic Canada that do things the other way, how do they get treated by medical institutions? Very often other approaches to health treatment is perceived skeptically by mainstream medical institutions and there are no alternatives offered to patients wishing to be treated in other ways.
CKUT’s Kateryna Gordiychuk talked with James Carpenter, a traditional healer in Anishnawbe Health Center located in Toronto. The Anishnawbe Health Toronto is a network of medical institutions that promotes “the model of health care [which] is based on traditional practices and approaches and are reflected in the design of its programs and services”. The center’s values are built around the concept of “cultural sensitivity” and “cultural safety”, which helps the center to [honor and respect the hopes and dreams of those who first envisioned a healing center for the Aboriginal Community of Toronto”.
“Anishnawbe Health mission is to improve the health of Aboriginal population in mind, body, spirit [and] emotion, by providing traditional healing within a multidisciplinary healthcare model”.
~ James Carpenter
James provided CKUT with detailed explanations of why the center’s job is important and what kind of services it offers. He also remarked that Anishnawbe Health Toronto pays attention to a variety of social, family, economic and historic factors that influence the well-being of its patients, in addition to medical and biological symptoms present. In this way, the center recognizes the importance of cultural background of those that are treated and expresses cultural sensitivity towards the issues at hand.
CKUT had a chance to talk to Annie Clair, who is a Mi’kmaq land defender who still faces charges from her participation in the Mi’kmaq struggle against exploration for fracking by the company SWN Resources in Elsipogtog, in so- called “New Brunswick”.
Our conversation took place in the context of an anti-colonial assembly that happened on Saturday, June 6th during a week of workshops and discussions called Vaincre la Marée Noire.
We could also chat with Frank Lopez, an independent videographer with Submedia, who covered the struggle in Elsipogtog in 2013.
Image Credit: Miles Howe of the Halifax Media Coop.