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Indigenous Peoples

    November 09, 2015

    House of Assembly
    Confederation Building, East Block
    P.O. Box 8700
    St. John's, NL A1B 4J6

     

    RE: Inuit rights and downstream impacts of the planned Muskrat Falls dam

    Dear Premier Paul Davis, Mr. Dwight Ball, and Mr. Earle McCurdy,

    Amnesty International is deeply concerned that the potential for the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric dam to cause serious harm to downstream Inuit communities has not been properly dealt with, as required both by Canadian law and international human rights standards.  We are writing this letter to you in your capacities as party leaders because we believe this is a pressing human rights concern that, regardless of the outcome of the upcoming provincial election, requires action and vigilance from both the government and the entire legislative assembly.

    October 28, 2015

    Indigenous women from Val d’Or, Quebec, a small town located about 500km northwest of Montreal, alleged that officers from the Sûreté du Québec (SQ, Quebec’s provincial police) have committed serious crimes against them, including physical and sexual assault.

    According to a report aired last week on the Radio Canada program Enquête, SQ officers are alleged to have “routinely picked up women who appeared to be intoxicated, drove them out of town and left them to walk home in the cold.” Some of the women interviewed by Radio Canada also allege that they were “physically assaulted or made to perform sex acts.”

    These allegations are extremely serious. But although law enforcement and government officials have known about the allegations since May, it wasn’t until the Radio Canada report aired that the eight officers under investigation for sexual misconduct were put on leave or transferred to administrative duty.

    October 27, 2015

    (Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C.- October 27, 2015) A Coalition on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls is extremely upset that the BC Information and Privacy Commissioner has found that Ministry of Transportation staff willfully deleted emails related to the Highway of Tears, a remote stretch of Highway 16 between Prince Rupert and Prince George, where many Indigenous women and girls have been murdered or disappeared.

    The provincial government has failed to take meaningful action to provide adequate and safe transportation along the Highway despite numerous clear recommendations to do so from agencies including the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the Missing Women’s Commission of Inquiry, and the Highway of Tears Symposium.  BC’s failure to act in response to these recommendations puts the safety of Indigenous women and girls at risk and is in neglect of its duty to take every reasonable effort to ensure the safety of all women and girls.

    Join us for this conversation between Thomas King and Craig Benjamin. If you are not on the Amnesty Book Club Newsletter, you are encouraged to sign up and not miss the event. Sign up for the newsletter at AmnestyBookClub.ca. The event will revolve around Mr. King's 2015 Amnesty Book Club Reader's Choice Selection, The Inconvenient Indian. All are welcome and you do not need to have read the book to enjoy the conversation! If you have questions for Mr. King, the Book Club, or about this event in general, please send an email to bookclub@amnesty.ca

    Don't miss The Inconvenient Indian discussion guide for more insights into the book, and Amnesty's work with Indigenous Peoples. 

    Treat 8 Justice for the Peace Caravan wants Prime Minister Trudeau to keep his promises to First Nations.

    On September 12, the Federal Court of Appeal in Montreal will hear the latest legal challenge to the massive Site C hydroelectric dam already under construction on Treaty 8 territory in northeast British Columbia.First Nations leaders, elders and other community members from Treaty 8 are driving across Canada to focus attention of the importance of this case to the rights of all treaty nations and to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promised new relationship with First Nations.

    The Justice for the Peace caravan is endorsed by the Assembly of First Nations British Columbia, the First Nations Leadership Summit, and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.

    What’s at stake:

    •    Are governments in Canada accountable to spirit and intent of historic treaties when making decisions about large-scale resource development project?

      Grassy Narrows: the right to a healthy environment

    "Everything around us was disappearing... The clean water, our way of life, our traditions, even the wild rice picking and blueberry picking were all disappearing. It's all connected to the land." - Judy DaSilva, Grassy Narrows

    "We have struggled for many years to save our way of life in the face of clear-cut logging, which has contaminated our waters and destroyed our lands. We cannot go back to the old way of business where decisions were imposed on our people and our land with devastating consequences for our health and culture.” -- Grassy Narrows trapper Joseph Fobister

    The flooding of their lands. The dumping of mercury into their waters. And the large scale logging of their traditional hunting and trapping territories.

      We celebrate Have a Heart Day this February, and stand with First Nations children for the same chance to grow up safely at home, get a good education, be healthy, and proud of their cultures.  Join Toronto’s Amnesty International Action Network for Women’s Human Rights (ANWHR) for a night of arts and crafts, letter writing and sweet treats as we send messages to our Prime Minister and Members of Canadian Parliament to ask them to Have A Heart for our First Nation's children. Date: Thursday, 11 February 
    Time: 7:00PM - 9:00PM (Drop in whenever you can)
    Where: Amnesty International Toronto Office, 1992 Yonge Street, 3rd Floor FREE Event! Children friendly event. Everyone is welcome. For more details contact: anwhr@aito.ca   FACEBOOK page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1684803838462270/  

    Join Amnesty International and One World Film Festival for a special 10th anniversary screening of Freedom Drum. 

    The evening will also feature the films Water Warriors and The Three Sisters Community Garden, presented by Interpares. 

    About the Film: 

    Freedom Drum

    Directed by Monica Virtue | Canada | 2007 | 11 min

    On October 12, 2006 at sunrise on Victoria Island in Ottawa members of The Midnight Messenger, Amnesty International Canada’s human rights drum circle, raised their voices in song and beat their drums in a steady rhythm that marked the beginning of a 24-hour vigil in support of the UN Declaraction on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The vigil was a call to action to the Canadian government to reinstate support the the Declaration and for Canada make good on its claims that it did good things for Indigenous peoples.

    The One World Film Festival presents this special 10th anniversary screening of Freedom Drum, which was originally screened at the Festival in 2007 as part of its focus on First Peoples – First Stories, in partnership with Amnesty International Canada

    What would resource extraction and development look like if the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was implemented in Canada? This panel attempts to answer that question. We'll hear from Indigenous rights advocates and legal experts about what UNDRIP is, how it has been contravened by projects like the Site C dam in BC and the Alton Gas project in Nova Scotia, and processes developed by Indigenous communities to give, or withhold, consent. Panelists will discuss the topic in broad terms as well as offer specific insights to ongoing projects and resistance movements. This event is co-sponsored by the Council of Canadians and Halifax Public Libraries. 

    Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Un Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Calls to Action & Imperatives for Change.

    Panelists: Doug White, jennifer Preston, Paul Joffe, Craig Benjamin.

     

    Contact: douglas.white@viu.ca

     

    Photo: Demonstrators participate in peaceful protest on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, 21 December 2012. Susanne Ure/ Amnesty International

    This is a public panel, co-organized by Amnesty International Canada and Breaking the Silence, featuring youth activists from Guatemala and Atlantic Canada. Panelists will share and exchange stories and experiences with social justice and activism. All are welcome to attend. 

    This public event kicks of Breaking the Silence's annual gathering, which will take place the following two days. 

    Gender, Indigenous rights, and energy development in northeast British Columbia, Canada

    Join Amnesty International's campaign to make sure the safety and wellness of Indigenous women and girls in northeast BC, Canada, an area with massive hydroelectric, oil, gas, and coal projects, is not #OutofSightOutofMind! 

    Join Amnesty International at an important rally for indigenous rights outside the Supreme Court. 

    On November 30th, Clyde River Inuit and the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation are heading to the Supreme Court of Canada to uphold the legal right of Indigenous Peoples to be consulted on energy projects that will impact their communities.

    A win at the court could be a watershed moment for the future of Indigenous rights and environmental justice. 

    Join us for a powerful and uplifting day of action outside the Supreme Court in Ottawa.

    -Opening Sunrise Ceremony: 6:30 AM (on Victoria Island)

    -Morning rally: 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

    -Lunchtime rally: 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM 

    -Closing Ceremony: 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

    For more information about the Clyde River case, please see our public statement. 

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