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Solidarity With Standing Rock!

Protesters Road Dakota Access PipelineOn the windswept plains of south-central North Dakota, hundreds of miles from any major city, a slowly simmering drama has exploded suddenly into public consciousness. The Standing Rock Sioux's battle to defend their water and lands while facing down vicious repression by private security forces and the state is the largest mobilization of Native unity and resistance in the US in decades. It also represents an important opportunity to unite the labor and environmentalist movements.

Mercury poisoning in Grassy Narrows: Clean water for First Nations communities!

GrassyNarrwos Stan Beardy Roger FobisterFor decades, the residents of Grassy Narrows First Nation, a small community near the Manitoba border, have suffered from the effects of mercury in local lakes and rivers, eating poisoned fish and falling prey to illness from unsafe drinking water. The Ontario government’s shameful inaction to the ongoing crisis in Grassy Narrows is a testament to the low priority of human needs such as the health of Indigenous people in a state run on behalf of the capitalist class.

First Nations Suicide Crisis: Enough is Enough!

canada hides genocideAttawapiskat, a First Nations community in northern Ontario, has declared a state of emergency after 11 suicide attempts in one night. This is just one month after a state of emergency was declared by Cross Lake First Nation in Manitoba, where the community suffered six deaths by suicide in two months and 140 attempts in two weeks. The truth is that the horrendous living conditions which many of our Aboriginal communities are forced to endure entail a constant “state of emergency”.

Sexual Abuse of Aboriginal Women by Police: We Demand Justice!

Aboriginal women from Val-d’Or, Quebec, have come forward with deeply disturbing accusations of physical and sexual violence by officers of the Sureté du Québec (the Quebec Provincial police force). The allegations were uncovered by Enquête, a CBC Radio-Canada investigative program, and made public on October 22nd. Enquête had been investigating complaints that the SQ had not taken the disappearance of Sindy Ruperthouse, an Algonquin woman who went missing from Val-d’Or in April 2014, seriously - in the process unearthing a pattern of rampant and sickening abuse by local police spanning as far back as two decades.

Conservative policies starve northern indigenous communities

Child holding sign that says, "I need milk" in Northern indigenous language and EnglishThroughout their nine years in power, the Conservative government has developed a tradition of brushing off the concerns and challenges faced by Canada's aboriginal peoples. The latest example to get national attention is the failure of the Nutrition North Canada Program (NNCP), which was meant to ensure the affordability of healthy foods shipped to isolated Northern communities, where food insecurity is up to six times the national average. Since it was implemented in 2011, prices of food and other basic necessities have skyrocketed, leaving some with no option but to scavenge in garbage dumps to feed their families.

The crisis of missing and murdered Aboriginal women is a crisis of capitalism

Demands for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada have been reignited following the murder of Tina Fontaine, an aboriginal teenager, in Winnipeg.  Stephen Harper’s response to these demands is that the issue “should not be viewed as a sociological phenomenon”, but rather as crime and dealt with as such. Harper’s statement should not come as a surprise; further examination on the miserable conditions suffered by Aboriginal peoples — and especially women — would reveal that the terrible poverty and exclusion they face cannot be resolved under capitalism.

Support the New Brunswick Mi’kmaq anti-fracking protests

On Oct. 17 near Rexton, New Brunswick, over 75 RCMP officers clad in paramilitary regalia and armed with sniper rifles and canine units moved in to enforce a court injunction against the blockade erected by anti-shale gas protesters. The protesters were mainly indigenous peoples, primarily the Mi’kmaq of Elsipogtog, but also include the Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet), Acadian francophones, and anglophones, all united against SWN Resources Canada, which was conducting tests in the area. A standoff between the protesters and the police resulted in six torched RCMP vehicles and over 40 arrests.

Idle No More re-ignites social struggle across Canada

The Idle No More movement, along with the courageous hunger strike by Attawapiskat chief Theresa Spence, has brought out thousands who are dedicated to protecting the environment and Aboriginal treaty rights against new federal legislation. Solidarity rallies have even taken place around the world — from New Zealand to Los Angles to London. In the span of a few weeks, Idle No More has become the most significant social movement in Canada since #Occupy and the Quebec student strike.

Housing crisis at Attawapiskat: The issues of Northern development and exclusion of indigenous communities

In October of last year, the Cree community of Attawapiskat (as well as two other nations) declared a state of emergency. The village had once been relocated and supplied with cheap, overcrowded housing arrangements by the federal Canadian government.  Despite claims by the government that Attawapiskat had received millions of dollars from the government to aid the community, today, these dwellings continue to be overcrowded and are quickly deteriorating.