Saturday, November 13, 2010

November 11, a day to remember, a day to mourn, a day to ask, why?

Seeing how Remembrance Day has gone once more, I thought I would re-post this entry from last year, as it is buried a few pages back. Alas, still no change:

On November 11, at the 11th minute of the 11th hour, Canadians all over the world stop what they are doing and honour those who have fought, those who have come back, and those who have never returned, with two minutes of silence. Today, most of us will take in a ceremony at a legion or cenotaph somewhere in this vast country. We wear our poppies proudly until today, when we will lay them on the cenotaphs, or pin them to a wreath. We owe so much to these men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. It makes my heart warm to know children understand as much about our Veterans as I did as a child, as it is one thing we make sure we pass down to future generations. However, it does sadden me as well. We are not passing down all the truth to future generations. I am sure many of my own generation are unaware of the additional sacrifices paid by our First Nation Veterans who have fought side by side with their countrymen and women. While they enlisted and fought side by side during the wars, we all know they were not allowed that equality back in their own country. But what many do not know, as a reward for fighting, the Canadian Veteran's Settlement Act allowed Canadian Veterans (certain Veterans) returning home to buy land at very, very cheap prices. However, many of the Native soldiers who were fortunate enough to return home, were not only not allowed to buy the same land, but usually were not even told about the program. Instead, many returned home to their First Nation communities to find the government had seized huge portions of their reserve land to compensate non-native soldiers. Whole First Nation communities still mourn the loss of thousands of acres of land they were forces to surrender, as if they had lost a war. When these soldiers returned, many did have the option of getting the vote in Canada. Remember up until the 60's First Nations people were not even allowed to vote in their own country. Many feel this was the point we first became Canadian. Anyhow, a vet returning from the war could get the vote, if he were to become white. He had to give up who he was, where he came from, basically forget who he really was, in order to be Canadian. Many did this and in doing so, were not longer considered First Nation/Indian by the government. By society, that was a different story. How could one fit into a society if society did not want one there in the first place? Over 5200 First Nations people have served our military. Many are still waiting to receive even the basic benefits non-native veterans receive and have received for many, many years. Is it because prior to this year we were not even considered human? After all, the Canadian Human Rights Act did not apply to anyone living in a First Nations Community until this year. As we honour those brave soldiers today, on November 11, it is a day to remember, a day to mourn, a day to ask, why?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

So much easier to hide the truth

Kevin Annett has been speaking out for a number of years on the Canadian Holocaust. For hundreds of years there has been a deliberate attempt to, as in the words of our own federal government "solve the Indian problem" through extinction and assimilation. This has been attempted over the generations through such methods as intentional germ warfare, starvation, so-called residential education, isolation, segregation and denial of basic human rights and needs. His most passionate work has been calling to task those responsible for the horrific suffering our people have suffered through the Residential School system. For the thousands of survivors who everyday relive the pain, humiliation, inhumane treatment, and abuse (mental, physical, and sexual), there are thousands more who were able to escape the daily reminders through the lose of their lives at the hands of their torturers. I applaud Kevin for keeping the conversations alive and on the front burner because it saddens me to still hear people say there is no way this could have happened...remember folks, out of sight, out of mind. However, more recently, Kevin has taken up a new fight. For many years our beautiful Native women, our mothers, sisters, cousins, have been going missing. The police have no interest in these cases and never have. For if they have, the RCMP would have stopped the evil that is Robert Picton when they first knew he was responsible. One Aug 9, Kevin brought this to the attention of Vancouver Co-op radio listeners and later that day was banned from the air...and the building in an attempt to shut him up. Please listen to the attached statement Kevin released yesterday:

Here is the text copy for you to read:

Breaking News Advisory from Kevin Annett: August 23, 2010
3 pm PST Vancouver, Canada

Dear friends,
I was expelled from Vancouver Co-op radio two weeks ago and have never been given any evidence to justify my banning. I've requested that evidence twice now from station staff, and have not received it. I believe that's because the evidence does not exist, and I am being falsely framed.
On August 9, over the air, I repeated my belief that police and government officials are implicated in the disappearance and murder of native women in B.C. I was expelled from the station the same day. On August 20, a major news story was issued across Canada that revealed strong evidence of exactly what I claimed on August 9, concerning police complicity in the Picton serial killings.
I believe that my banning from Co-op radio is the result of a black ops campaign by the RCMP to prevent me from commenting on this latest expose - that the Mounties knew about Pictons' murdering of women for over two years and did nothing - and to publicly discredit me so that the evidence I have gathered showing RCMP involvement in these murders will not be believed.
I have already been approached twice by the RCMP and threatened because of my broadcasts on this topic. Co-op radio is funded and monitored by the federal government.
Today, as further proof of this campaign, the Co-op radio station staff engaged in classic smear and black ops tactics against me over the airwaves by relying on the standard "three D's" of a cover up: Deny, Distract, and Discredit.
The station staff's statement today denied their own actions against me, by describing my banning as an "internal disciplinary matter", while offering no proof of this; they distracted listeners from their own improper behaviour of unilaterally banning me without due process or dialogue; and they discredited me by claiming that I am attacking the station staff, and that the problem is not my program but me.
To focus on attacking my character because of unnamed and unproven wrongdoing by me is the action of people who must distract attention away from the real matter, and that is, namely, the content of my broadcasts.
Today's announcement by station staff upheld my banning and yet claimed that my program is not under revue or threat of cancellation. This is outright duplicity. In truth, I have faced implied threats and direct demands from station program director Leela Chinnia to modify the content of my programs and even ban certain individuals, including fellow programmer Reg Argue, from my show.
Today's statement by station staff is designed to discredit and isolate me in the eyes of the world and distract people away from the real reason for my expulsion and censorship, which is because of what I have aired over my program.
In the coming weeks, over other public media and radio stations, I will be sharing more of the evidence of RCMP and government involvement in the murder and trafficking of women on the west coast of Canada. Please follow this work on my website
I repeat again my demand to Co-op station staff: to give me the evidence behind their unilateral banning of me, to negotiate this problem with me, and to lift their improper banning of me from station premises.

I do not expect them to come clean about their real motives, and the identity of who is directing them: but I do expect and demand due process and hard evidence, and not rumour mongering and damaging innuendo.

Kevin D. Annett

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Why should my HARD EARNED tax dollars go to support the welfare lifestyle in Toronto

Occasionally (who am I kidding...constantly)I will see in the paper or on various news sites (usually CBC) stories about First Nations people getting a free ride. Usually this is accompanied by the usual "angry taxpayers" who are tired of all their money going to support the welfare lifestyle all of us "Indians" are used to living. Perhaps if these taxpayers would spend a little more time getting the facts instead of believing every biased piece of new they hear, they would understand just a bit more of the reality. According to Stats Canada, there are 1,172,785 people in Canada who identify as Aboriginal. There are 623,780 First Nation people in Canada, of which 237,000 live off-reserve (386,743 on reserve) Of these 623,780 First Nations people, 249,970 have working income of an average of $23,273. That works out to 40% The national average at the same time is $36,616 with a population of 17,662,915 working (57%) Now keep in mind that the average age for non- First Nation is 44, and 40% of the First Nation population is under 25 years of age and normally would not be working. So, when you subtract the 245,575 people who are under the age of 25, AND the 249,970 people who have a working income, you are left with 128,235. Also keep in mind that First Nations people living off reserve would not qualify for "native welfare" anyway. According to the real numbers, a lager amount goes to non-aboriginal welfare than does to native welfare. For example in Toronto alone there are approx 400,000 recipients of Social Assistance. If every First Nation person living on the reserve were to get welfare, that would be only 623,780 people. However, only approximately 128,235 would even qualify. Please consider these numbers the next time you complain about YOUR tax dollars going to support welfare in First Nation communities.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Honour Who?

Here are the words to a poem I wrote a couple months back for a workshop I am developing on the use of FN images by sports teams. Once I figure out how to post a video on here, I will put that on too..

Honour Who?

Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, Washington Redskins.

Names to honour the gladiators of the day, powerful names.

Names to make you picture the Brave First Nation, the powerful Native American, the strong Indian.

Mascots wearing fluorescent yellow, orange, blue, and green feathers in their headdress, leftover acid trip hallucination, or was it the mushrooms?

Dancing wildly, wielding that ever so famous foam-filled tomahawk, a weapon that makes you…well…giggle, just a bit

Dancing, beating its mouth making that familiar sound that draws you back to your childhood, you know the sound, think back to Saturday mornings and the Bugs Bunny show.

The stands come alive.

Thousands and thousands of nerf tomahawks cut the air up and down in unison,

as the tens of thousands of fans for a brief second, relive the fond memories of playing cowboys and Indians in their innocent youth.

Guess which one I always was!!!

Cowboys and Indians, funny the games kids play.

As I look back in vaults in which I keep, catalogue, and categorize my own childhood memories, I wonder…

Funny how I can’t seem to recall the neighbourhood kids playing

Blacks and KKK,

little white caps made from newspaper,

Mom’s best white bed sheets,

knotted up skipping ropes for a noose.

Nope, can’t recall that game at all,

but I do remember kids coming back from K-mart with those

GOD DAMNED fluorescent feathers, guns and hats.

Remember the rolls and rolls of red ticker-tape caps….mmm…mmm…mmm the sweet sulphur scent of our youth.

But I digress.

The sea of fans with their cute toy tomahawks,

and there is always that one person, scratch that…

hundreds of people,

with the fluorescent face paint, that would make a clown jealous,

matching headdress from birds caught just a little too close to the latest nuclear fallout, that somehow instantly are transformed into the almighty brave,

after all,

isn’t that how it worked with the REAL INDIANS?

News flash folks.. don’t tell anyone, but,

that’s all make believe.

Seriously, now this might be hard for you to get through your media, no SOCIETAL, brainwashed melon, but picture it.

How the hell could a Mi’kmaq, Passamaquoddy, or Mohegan walk trough the dense brush wearing a nuclear reactive turkey on their head?

But wait…

There is one nation that looks like the brave, the warrior, the noble savage, of whom you idolize.

He is from the most well known tribe in the Americas,

as seen from coast to coast, the tribe that’s known the world over.

This brave you so eagerly honour and strive to be is from the Hollywood Tribe.

Yes, that fictitious character created from the imagination of two popular Americans we all know,

famous “what sells”

and his older, more famous brother, “Let’s keep a race down”

The racial stereotypes these two brothers have perpetrated and perpetuated

have caused a rip in the fabric of time,

in the quilt of culture,

in the identity of…us

I have seen these stereotypes weave their way into the collective culture of my people, my Mi’kmaq Brothers,

Mohegan sisters,

Walula, Tillamook, Coos, and Tututni cousins.

Cultures implanted, borrowed, and shared,

impregnation, assimilation..working just fucking fine.

You want to honour us?

Remove these names from your teams.

Begin to realize, using them,

the Braves, Indians, Redskins,

is no honour..


Forget the Hollywood tribe, the circling of the wagons made popular by movies,

first introduced by the great showman and metal of honour winner

Buffalo Bill Cody.

Back in his day, white folk would dress up as the Hollywood Tribe

and circle the pioneers’ wagons in the show.

Not because that’s how it was, but because

that’s how it HAD to be.

You see… they performed in a ring, horses going round and round.

Amazing how Hollywood blurs the line between fact and fiction…

culutralistic facts, naw..Eurolistic fiction.

White guys, dressing up as Natives, 100 years ago,

interesting how time stands still when you want it to.


next time you stand in line,

tomahawk in one hand,

ticket in the other,

fluorescent face paint with matching headdress,

pounding on you face to make that goddamn sound,

do me a small favour…pound just a little bit harder,

cause you sure as hell are not honouring me.H

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day

Happy 143 birthday to our free country. Free, let us look at this word. I live in a country where if I wear traditional regalia to a gathering or any other public place I can be assured one out of three people I meet will say "nice costume". However, bluenotes and teeshirts are considered clothes. Any clothing not considered mainstream is relegated to costume status, something one might wear on Halloween. I live in a country that embraces other cultures. Embraces them for a weekend in various cities around the country, usually for a weekend, but only if the 5 D's are involved; dress, dinner, dance, dialect, and drum. We call them multicultural festivals. They are a time where people can go and watch the entertainment and feast on exotic foods..because anything outside of mainstream has that exotic label. In other cultures, it is called just food. A country where if my children qualify for a scholarship targeted for strictly their culture, I can be assured that the comments in the audience will consist of "great use of MY taxpayers dollars" or "where are the scholarships for the white students?" Based on a the systemic and institutional racism that plagues not only our schools, but the curriculum itself, the majority of scholarships are designed for whites only (but to come out and say that would be considered racist, but the comments of taxpayers dollars and on designated scholarships is is freedom of speech. A country where, speaking of freedom of speech, our federally funded broadcasting corporation, will allow racist comments to be posted on any story relating to minorities, but refuse to post comments from someone who points out the truth about topics such as racial profiling, racist attitudes to minority communities, the abuse our elders faced in the government sanctioned residential schools, and the continued legacy they carry. A country where the government loves to announce the billions of taxpayers dollars that goes towards the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, without mentioning the majority of that money goes to the bureaucracy that it is. That money goes to White folks who run the department, not us. And it is not only you tax dollars, mine go there too. A country where a racist action from a white youth can be brushed off as a confused person, who in most circumstances, was just carrying will be kids. But when a Black or Native youth lashes out because they have dealt with upwards of 40 racial lunch, they are considered violent, dangerous to society, angry, disrespectful, criminals, and example of whats wrong with their race. A country where if a white community has water problems, it is a disaster and the government will help right away. After all, clean water is a basic human right. However, we still live in a country where over 112 First Nation communities do not have access to water clean enough to wash their hands.
Happy Birthday Canada, you do not look a day over one when it comes to racism. Do not get me wrong, I love my country, I only wish it would love me back

Friday, April 30, 2010

Does not quite fit, but too funny to pass up

Ok, rule number 1 when you write a blog is only add things that pertain to the subject. However, I have to break that rule because of something I read this morning that puts all of my other CBC blogs into crystal clear perspective. I have been writing for some time now about the ignorant and racist comments to article on the CBC website. After a reader's response to an article about the government's new rules for mink...yes...mink farms, I started to think "Ahh..this explains EVERYTHING!" Are you ready for this? I am still shaking my head at this one:
"I am so glad that chicken, pork, beef, lamb, fish etc that I purchase at the supermarket don't cost the lives of any animals like happens if I purchase from a farm. All farms that raise animals for food or any other reason should be outlawed, they're not needed in this modern world when we can just go to one of the bigger stores and purchase our meat there."
I had to read this 3 times, go have a shower (to make sure I was awake and not dreaming) and come back to read it once more...yup..still there, I am awake. This sheds a little more light on where all these other comments are coming from

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Keep Stepping Constance

Close your eyes. Imagine your senior prom soon close at hand. Tux, check. Fits perfect and you look amazing in it. Your girlfriend has picked out a beautiful dress and she looks stunning. The day is getting closer and you can not wait. After all, is prom not suppose to be the most important time of your teenage life? Suddenly the prom is canceled. Will no longer be held. The Itawamba County School District reports it is "Due to the distractions to the educational process caused by recent events". Everyone at the school is extrememly upset. What events could lead to the cancelation of the most important night in a students life? In case you have not heard, the distraction is 18 year old Constance McMillen. Did she threaten anyone at the school? Did she bring weapons to school? Did she tell someone she was planning something for prom night? Well, actually yes. The "distraction to the educational process, was nothing more than her wanting to share the importance of the prom with her date, who happens to be her girlfriend. Constance simply wanted to wear a tuxedo to the prom and be accompanied by her date, her girlfriend. The school has stated this goes against policy and has decided to cancel the prom instead, leaving many of her classmates extremely mad at her. As if it is not hard enough for the torment and ridcule many young LGBTQ people face in society already, a school has to throw another log on the fire by making, no, provoking, her classmates to turn against her. Thankfully, this will not stop here. The American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi has filed a lawsuit in order to force the school to hold the prom. Good luck Constance. You are a role model for many people. Do not give up, and be proud of your stand. For those of you who are thinking this is a south thing, I can not really blame you. Was it not in Mississippi that a school still found it neccessary to hold segregated proms, one for Black students, and one for White students? However, please keep in mind that the only thing that seperates Canada from the US is the largest imaginary line in the world. Think back to 2002 when a gay student in Toronto wanted to bring his boyfriend to the prom. Seems to me it want the same way. The school refused based on his sexual orientation. The courts forced the school to hold the prom, and forced them l to let him attend. It is the small fearful steps taken by youth like Constance that make the biggest change...keep stepping.