Over the past few months, fires and floods, atmospheric rivers and heat domes, largely attributable to climate change and largely unprecedented, have left communities reeling from the impacts. People have lost their homes, their livelihoods and some have lost their lives.
At the same time, for the sake of ramming through Coastal GasLink (CGL), a fracked gas pipeline that offers no local benefits and only dwindling returns, RCMP conduct highly militarized raids on Wet’suwet’en territory, arresting land and water defenders, media witnesses, and supporters.
This destruction - raids on Wet’suwet’en territory in the name of CGL - has been going on since 2019. This destruction, a direct continuation of the colonial, extractive mandate that runs roughshod over Indigenous rights, destroys land and water and fuels climate disaster, has been going on for hundreds of years. This destruction must stop!
As Eve Saint said in a recent speech, "every time we get up, every time we stand up together, we are more powerful and they can't ignore us....We need to support each other....We all live here." What can we do? (Keep Reading to see some actions we can take now).
Toronto350 members are appalled by the ongoing invasion of Wet’suwet’en territory, the unlawful arrests made by militarized RCMP and the continued violation of Wet’suwet’en jurisdiction and law. The prioritization of Coastal Gaslink and a fracked gas pipeline at the expense of Indigenous sovereignty, internationally recognized human rights, and the protection of the local and global environment, is immoral and unconscionable.
October 29th will be a global day of action against fossil fuel financing. In so-called Canada, the action will focus attention on RBC’s funding for the Coastal GasLink pipeline which is currently being forced through Wet’suwet’en Territory against the wishes of hereditary leaders.
As members of Toronto350 who are either descendants of earlier colonialists or more recent immigrants, we acknowledge that we are settlers on the historic territories of many Indigenous peoples. We also recognize that “Canada” is made up of lands that were stolen from different Indigenous Nations. The Colonial powers wanted the lands.Read more
Today, on July 1st, TO350 members would like to acknowledge the horrific findings of childrens' remains at the former residential school sites across Canada and express our support for Indigenous communities. This is a time of mourning, not a time to celebrate.
If you are a survivor of Indigenous residential schools, or someone who bears the intergenerational trauma of them and you need support, call the Residential School help line: 1-866-925-4419. If you are looking for local social supports anywhere across Canada, call 211.Read more
Today, on National Indigenous Peoples’ day, it is a good time to mention that Bill C-15 has passed and royal assent is coming soon. To quote the bill’s summary, it will require that the government of Canada “take all measures necessary to ensure that the laws of Canada are consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP),” a human rights instrument focused on Indigenous rights.
The rate of COVID-19 on First Nations reserves is 40 per cent higher than in the general Canadian population. Indigenous people living in urban areas have been similarly hard-hit. The crisis represents another in a long series of failures of the Canadian state to achieve justice and reconciliation with first peoples. For an effective recovery, Canada must renew its commitment to upholding Indigenous sovereignty, laws, values, customs and traditions by investing in Indigenous communities. Collaboration and partnership will be required to develop and enact solutions that adequately address the needs of Indigenous communities.
Here is a version of our budget submission part 4 of 7, with some simple calls to action that you can take added in.
Art by Corrina Keeling for justrecoveryforall.caRead more
When the Truth and Reconciliation report was released in 2015, many saw it as a chance to finally acknowledge the past and move forward together in a harmonious relationship with the Indigenous peoples on whose land we live and work. Fast forward to five years later and while the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten peoples’ health and disrupt their lives, industry is pushing ahead with projects that disregard Indigenous rights, including the right to Free, Informed and Prior Consent. From east coast to west coast, we continue to see racist harassment and violence directed against Indigenous people, often in the name of land and resource theft. Government is complicit in these ongoing acts of colonial violence whether they support industry outright or stand aside and do nothing. Both stances are an abdication of duty. They are the continuation of a genocidal Canadian protocol that puts profits above the health and wellbeing of Indigenous communities, valuing industrial projects more than human rights.
Yet again, the traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee Six Nations near Caledonia are being invaded by developers and the authorities in the municipality of Haldimand. The developers, Mackenzie Meadows, want to build a housing development on unceded Haudenosaunee land, profiting from territory that does not belong to them. To do this they must steal the land from the rightful owners, the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee.Read more
First Nations, land and water at greater risk after Supreme Court denies leave to appeal
On July 2, 2020, in a ruling with no explanation provided, the Supreme Court of Canada denied the Squamish Nation, the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and the Coldwater Indian Band leave to appeal an earlier federal court decision that found Cabinet’s approval to proceed with the Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion project was reasonable.
The Nations challenged the consultation process, effectively asking: is consultation adequate where the owner of a project, who also has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the Nations impacted, performs the consultation, then assesses the adequacy of its own process? The Canadian government purchased the pipeline from Kinder Morgan in 2018.Read more