Mission Impossible

Even as the Quebec Canadian relations minister warns the Canadian Prime Minister that his heavy-handed approach in British Columbia–over the Kinder Morgan Tar Sands pipeline–could put federalism in peril, Trudeau forges ahead on his Big Oil mission. Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Perry Bellegarde, says Trudeau has made a “big mistake” not inviting First Nations rights and title holders to the decision-making table.


Tug Talk

Sign language, international maritime treaties, and protocols for towing are all part of a port tug’s life. In The Secret Language of Ships, Hakai Magazine looks at the signs and symbols on the sides of ships that tell stories few outsiders understand.

On Our Own Terms

While reconciliation is all the buzz with Canadians, restitution is the agenda of the Heiltsuk First Nation of the Northwest Coast of British Columbia. With 700 generations of accumulated knowledge of how to live well–without polluting industries–the Heiltsuk people have formed a ‘rich cultural, social and spiritual relationship’ with their territory.

As Heiltsuk Nation member Saul Brown states,

The times of government officials deciding solutions for Indigenous people, without Indigenous involvement, are over. We have taken it upon ourselves to define the parameters of “turning things around and making them right,” on our own terms.

Cowboys vs Indians

The American West–home to the Cowboys vs Indians psychodrama–is mustering for a final confrontation, this time over the looming extinction of the iconic Pacific salmon. While the original conflict featured action-packed, blood and gore slaughter of millions of bison and massacres of the Indigenous peoples whose lives depended on them, this time around it is a slow-motion train-wreck.

As major salmon stream polluters such as the Farm Bureau and Cattlemen’s Association–along with state attorney generals and white newspaper owners–line up to attack the treaty rights of Northwest Treaty Tribes like the Swinomish, the apathetic citizenry is being asked to take sides.

Will so-called progressive moral authorities speak out, or maintain silence out of fear?

Burnaby Battle Lines

Indigenous leaders across Canada stand in solidarity with B.C. First Nations protesting against Kinder Morgan in Burnaby today. Mohawk, Lakota, Dakota and Cree join Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, Secwepemc and Ktunaxa activists at the Indigenous ‘watch house’ on Burnaby Mountain, where they will defy the court injunction that threatens their inherent title to traditional territories used for gathering food and medicine.

KGMI–Voice of White Supremacy

KGMI Radio–the Northwest ‘voice of white supremacy’–actively promotes racism targeting local Mexican migrant farm workers and Northwest Treaty Tribes. This is in violation of their federal license to broadcast, and they should be held to account.

In the 1990s, the hate radio station adjacent to the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana lost its license to broadcast when its license was revoked following a human rights campaign and formal complaint. The same could be done in Washington.

For a detailed accounting on KGMI racism, see my Center for World Indigenous Studies six-part special report: Anti-Indian Movement on the Salish SeaWise Use Terrorism in Whatcom County, 2013-2017, as well as Sandy Robson’s A Tea Party by any other name.