Article originally published by Vice Canada.
Image by Erin Konsmo.
A new online database of missing and murdered Indigenous women, trans women and Two-Spirit people is aiming to not just record numbers, but to fight back by remembering the lives of the women who have been lost.
“The strength of the database will be from how it honours and remembers missing and murdered Indigenous women, Two Spirit, and trans women,” wrote Erin Konsmo, of the Native Youth Sexual Health Network (NYSHN), in an email interview with VICE. It Starts With Us – Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, a collaboration of NYSHN, Families of Sisters in Spirit and No More Silence, launched in late July. The site already features the names of 72 women who have gone missing, were found dead, or were murdered in Ontario. Another 50 will be added soon. In the coming weeks and months, the names of the hundreds of other native women who have gone missing from other regions of Canada over the last several decades.
Calls for action and public awareness of the epidemic of violence towards Indigenous women has been growing since earlier this year, said Audrey Huntley, one of the organizers with No More Silence. She’s worked to combat violence against Indigenous women for about 20 years, and since February, there’s been media attention like she’s never seen before.
Continue reading Government Inaction Has Led to an Independent Database for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
This article was originally published by Vice Canada.
The most in-depth study of health concerns among communities downstream from the Alberta tar sands is out, and the results are damning.
The report largely confirms what residents of Fort Chipewyan, home to the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) and Mikisew Cree First Nation (MCFN), have long been saying: significant increases in illnesses in the communities, including cancer, asthma, diabetes, and mental illness, among others, can be clearly tied back to tar sands development 200 kilometres upstream along the Athabasca River.
The study was lead by Dr. Stéphane McLachlan of the University of Saskatchewan, and carried out in conjunction with the AFCN and MCFN. The study is the first of its kind in working directly with community members in framing the direction of the research. Carried out in two phases over the past three years, McLachlan said the results they found are clear.
“What we found was a decline in health, particularly in relation to cancer. Again, I would argue, the link to the oil sands is incontrovertible,” he told VICE.
Continue reading A New Study Confirms the Tar Sands are Harming the Health of First Nations
This piece was originally published by Vice Canada.
Photo via Melanie Vincent.
A challenge by the Huron-Wendat First Nation in Quebec City may be about to force two multi-million dollar projects in southern Ontario back to the drawing board.
“We never extinguished our rights in Ontario,” said Huron-Wendat Grand Chief Konrad Sioui in an interview with VICE. “If you step on our site, our land, there’s a price to pay for that.”
The Huron-Wendat, whose reserve is in Wendake, Quebec, just outside of Quebec City, have signalled their intention to file court injunctions against both Enbridge’s $690 million gas pipeline expansion in the Greater Toronto Area, and the Ontario government’s multi-billion dollar expansion of Highway 407 East, from Pickering to Clarington, including two north-south routes connecting the 407 to the 401.
Continue reading The Huron-Wendat Nation Is Standing Up to Enbridge and the Ontario Government’s Billion Dollar Development Dreams
I’ve co-written an article with Arij Riahi for the latest issue ofCanadian Dimension magazine. “Another Layer of Colonialism: Resource extraction, toxic pollution and First Nations” examines how the Canadian mining industry has perpetuated environmental racism. From canadiandimension.com:
Arij Riahi and Tim McSorley write that the fact that so many indigenous communities in Canada live downstream of a polluting industrial project goes beyond pure coincidence. It’s “environmental racism,” as they were told by Aamjiwnaang First Nation and youth campaigner Vanessa Gray.
It’s part of a special section on mining, including a great piece on what lessons we can learn in how we deal with the legacy of residential schools in Canada from the the fight for justice in Guatemala by Dawn Paley and Sandra Cuffe.
The issue is on stands now, or you can buy it online here (where you can also subscribe to coming issues of the magazine).