Canada’s Wet’suwet’en First Nations People oppose pipeline construction across their lands; police are arresting them

Canada’s Wet’suwet’en First Nations People oppose construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline across their landswithout their free, prior and informed consent. Their lands are on unceded territory in British Columbia — land not covered by a treaty. The Canadian government doesn’t recognize the rights of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have intervened and arrested land protectors who have opposed the pipeline. It has sparked protests across Canada.

Update: An article in The Tyee, Emotions High as RCMP Arrest Seven at Last Wet’suwet’en Post, says:

The RCMP made seven arrests at the Unist’ot’en Healing Centre today in an attempt to evict the last Wet’suwet’en post resisting a gas pipeline through the nation’s traditional territories.

Police, including tactical squad officers armed with rifles and handlers with dogs, arrived earlier this morning in a convoy of more than 30 vehicles as a helicopter circled overhead.

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Who is Indigenous?

Indigeneity, Language and Authenticity

Many people turn to official documents and definitions when they want to define something or someone, but the reality is that there is no universally agreed-upon definition of Indigeneity. What is more – a contemporary approach to Indigeneity states that we should start moving away from simply defining indigenous people and instead start identifying them; in other words, it is time to stop trying to define the term and instead start talking with indigenous peoples and attack the real issues facing their communities today.

What is more, when it comes to the term ‘Indigenous’ it is important to remember that while the term is taken to be universally applicable to similar people around the world, different countries have and use their own terms alongside ‘Indigenous’.

Thus terms like Adivasi may seem more appropriate when talking about Indian indigenous groups, whereas aboriginal is used for the same thing in both Australia…

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Things I Didn’t Know

Note To My White Self

Nine years ago, I began to slowly awaken to my racial prejudices and white privilege.  It was a rude awakening.  During the past three years, I’ve blogged about that journey from racial ignorance.  Recently, someone asked me what have been the biggest surprises along the way.  What do I know now that I didn’t know before?  What follows is a short list of some of my bigger epiphanies and the posts where I shared these revelations.

I didn’t know that for a short period after the Civil War black people made significant progress in political and economic terms.  I didn’t know we had black US Senators and Representatives, that many southern states had black legislatures, that black literacy rates skyrocketed and blacks make significant economic gains.  I didn’t know about the reign of terror necessary for whites to end this moment of possibility, murdering thousands of black men, women and…

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The Great Lakes: An Ojibwe Perspective

The Decolonial Atlas

great-lakes-in-ojibwe Nayanno-nibiimaang Gichigamiin (The Great Lakes) in Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe), by Charles Lippert and Jordan Engel

Nayaano-nibiimaang Gichigamiin means “The Five Freshwater Seas” in Anishinaabemowin. The cultural impact of the Anishinaabe on the region is everywhere, as evidenced by this map.

The toponyms that appear on this map are listed below. They include the Anishinaabemowin name, translation, and the English name.

Aabitibiiwi-zaaga’igan (In-Between Waters Lake): Lake Abitibi (ON / QC)

Aazhawayi’iing (At the Canoe-crossing): Oshawa, ON

Adikokaan (Caribou Grounds): Atikokan, ON

Amikwag-endaad (Beaver Abode): Beaver Islands, MI

Animbiigoo-zaaga’igan (Dog Waters Lake): Lake Nipigon (ON)

Anishinaabewi-gichigami (Anishinaabe’s Sea): Lake Superior (MI / MN / ON / WI)

— ALSO AS Ojibwewi-gichigami (Ojibwa’s Sea): Lake Superior (MI / MN / ON / WI)

Baawitigong (At the Cascades): Sault Ste. Marie, MI/ON

Baketigweyaang (At the Side-flow): London, ON

Bakeyaabashkiikaang (At where a Muskeg is off to its Side): Hayward, WI

Biidaasige (Shine): Petosky, MI


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You should’ve asked


Here is the english version of my now famous “Fallait demander” ; now available as a book with other stories :


Orders available here or here or here ^_^

Thanks Una from for the translation 🙂

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The Potluck

Cini Say Whaaat?


White people are uninvited to the “cookout” or the symbolic gathering of the black collective. Their whiteness has been politicized in such a way that they are deserving of their own collective. They can call it the “potluck” and put all the raisins in the potato salad they want.

When you’re black in America your very existence is political so this isn’t new to us.

But because white people have enjoyed the privilege of not being politicized by virtue of whiteness being categorized as the default and/or the standard, it is often assumed that their affiliation would put them on the same side of the political spectrum. Whether it’s the assumption that all white women would not support the confirmation of a Supreme Court justice who has multiple sexual assault allegations or that white Southerners all oppose LGBTQ rights or even so much as telling a racist joke with the…

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Station Identification

Still here. Also still on LiveJournal, but I back up my posts to my computer in case the LJ site’s completely taken down by Mother Russia. Still trying to keep a written journal as well, but it gets tedious to write about the same awful political and environmental issues. I think I left some of my fighting spirit at Standing Rock. It’s the last time I felt like I was part of something bigger, taking a stand and fighting for what was right. I haven’t been this uncertain about what the future holds since I was a little Jehovah’s Witness kid growing up by the nuclear power plant in the Cold War 80s. I was constantly prepared for Armageddon, and it took its toll on me. It took me years to recover from that mindset, to make plans for the future, years into the future, and take it for granted that we’d all still be here. I do now what I did then – I escape in books, commiserate with likeminded people, and tell myself that in the very grand scheme of things, all will be well with the planet. We as humans may screw it up to the point where we can’t survive here, but life has arisen from extinction several times in the past. Like I said, the very grand billions-of-years view. I just want more people to fight back, though, to stop what’s happening. Every day, the bar is set higher for what someone has to do to get fired from leading the country, and I am past hoping that others in power will stop this trainwreck. My ancestors didn’t survive persecution, slavery, and attempted genocide just to have me give up this easy. No matter what happens, I will fight against the hate and greed. I throw my lot in with my Black and Native kin, and will fight against what’s happening to people and to the land, air, and water. We are all we have, there is no Planet B, and my freedom is tied up in theirs. And that’s as good a reason as any to stay in the game.

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