Guest Post By Howard Adler:
Howard holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Indigenous Studies from Trent University, and a Master Of Arts Degree in Canadian Studies from Carleton University. He is an award winning writer, and an artist that has worked in diverse mediums, including visual art, stained glass, theatre, dance, video editing, and film. In 2009 he won the Canadian Aboriginal Youth Writing Challenge (19-29 age category) with his video script “Johnny Seven Fires”, and his film and video work has been exhibited in both Gallery settings and Film Festivals, such as ImagineNATIVE (Toronto), Weengushk (Sudbury), Biindigaate (Thunder Bay), and Saw Video's annual Resolution screening (Ottawa). Howard is currently the Co-Director of the Asinabka Festival, an Indigenous film and media arts festival in Ottawa. Howard is Jewish and Ojibwa and a member of Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation in North-western Ontario.
A Bill C-45 Rant:
One of the biggest problems with Bill C-45 (as well as the plethora of other Bills being introduced C-27, S-2, S-6, S-8, C-428, S-207, and S-212), is that the content of these Bills will have a direct impact on Aboriginal and Treaty Rights, and any legislation that has such an impact requires a "Duty to Consult" with First Nations that stems from section 35 (1) of the Constitution Act; yet despite this required "Duty to Consult", that is NOT what is happening with ANY of this new legislation, legislation that is making huge and sweeping changes to everything from the protection of waterways under the Navigable Waters Act, to land surrenders on reserves, transparency of band spending, housing on reserves, band elections, drinking water on reserves, as well as amendments to the Indian Act. It is unprecedented the number of pieces of legislation effecting Aboriginal and Treaty rights that the current government is pushing through parliament! So although there are very real concerns about the changes these new Bills will introduce, at the core is the basic problem that the federal government is unilaterally and paternalistically introducing this legislation without consulting First Nations peoples. Clearly, the #IdleNoMore movement is showing that First Nations were not consulted about this new legislation in any significant or meaningful way. Additionally, much of the legislation being introduced can be interpreted as being in breach of the "Spirit and Intent" of Treaties, as well as a violation of many of the articles of the "United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples", to which Canada is a signatory.
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