Dec 14, 2012: Ellen Gabriel and First Nations’ relationship with Canada; John Fraser and housing as a human right; sounds of Idle No More in Windsor, On.

Click image for more on OPIRG Windsor

Click image for more on OPIRG Windsor

Listen to entire program here:

Idle no more

Between Dec 2-4th , the Assembly of First Nations held a Special Chiefs Assembly in Gatineau,Quebec intended to develop a “consensus on fundamental issues and common interests in relation to First Nation- Crown relations, international relations and partnerships”. The issues included “health and wellness, claims and land rights, education, residential schools, First Nation governments, environment and economic partnerships, community development and safety and social development and child welfare.” 

During the assembly the Chiefs went to Parliament in an effort to let the Harper government know that First Nations are not going to remain silent as Harper and his ministers ignore First Nation’s concerns. There was even a brief altercation between the Chiefs and security guards who pushed the Chiefs away as they attempted to move further into the House of Commons.

They did speak with Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver regarding Bill C 45, another massive omnibus type bill that strips the Navigable Waters Act of much of its power leaving thousands of lakes and rivers vulnerable.

 Ellen Gabriel is a well known and respected advocate for First Nations as well as a candidate this year during the election of Grand Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. She’s spoke to me from Montreal on several aspects of the relationship between First Nations and Canada including the dramatic hunger strike by Chief Theresa Spence:


Idle No More, Windsor, On. Dec. 13, 2012
Larry Johnson, former Chief of Caldwell First Nation speaks at rally in downtown Windsor

Larry Johnson, former Chief of Caldwell First Nation speaks at rally in downtown Windsor (Photo: Paul Chislett)

His message is here:

Idle No More downtown Windsor (Photo: Paul Chislett)

Idle No More downtown Windsor (Photo: Paul Chislett)

“… I’m protecting you…”:

Idle No More gathered near Windsor city hall

Idle No More gathered near Windsor city hall

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Housing is a Human Right

According to their website, the  Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA) “is the only organization in Canada dedicated to promoting human rights in housing and ending housing discrimination.

CERA carries out this work through public education, research, law reform, human rights casework, test case litigation and using international human rights law and mechanisms.

We also have special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.”

housing_right_sign

As well, “CERA has been working closely with the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO), the Social Rights Advocacy Centre, private bar lawyers Peter Rosenthal and Fay Faraday on a historic Charter of Rights and Freedoms challenge that seeks to address homelessness and inadequate housing in Canada and Ontario.

Formerly and currently homeless Ontarians launched the landmark legal challenge against the federal and provincial governments at the end of May 2010. The case seeks a Court declaration that Canada and Ontario have violated their rights under section 7 and section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by creating and maintaining conditions that lead to and sustain homelessness and inadequate housing.”

I spoke with John Fraser, Executive Director of CERA and he described in more detail the work of the organization:

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Featured CD

Click image for more on this artist

Click image for more on this artist

Sample track: “Dangerous Madness”

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