Treaty tribes honor first salmon, bless fishermen

In the Pacific Northwest, many treaty Indian tribes hold First Salmon Ceremonies and Blessings of the Fleet to honor the salmon that sustain them, and protect the fishermen who procure it. This video shows some of the traditions practiced by the Swinomish, Lummi, Upper Skagit, Tulalip and Stillaguamish tribes.


Prince Charles meets with Canada aboriginals

Prince Charles pledged on Tuesday to pass along to his mother a request by Canadian aboriginal leaders for an audience with Canada’s titular head of state, to right old treaties.

“He did affirm he would follow-up with his mother,” National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Shawn Atleo said after he and other chiefs met with the Prince of Wales as part of his Diamond Jubilee tour of Canada.

Atleo said their discussion was to recall the times of treaty making and to request an audience at Buckingham Palace on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763…

To read more please see the rest of the article here.

Chiefs Council Meeting – Third Notice

Please be advised, the UBCIC Chiefs Council Meeting is scheduled for May 30-31, 2012.

The Chiefs Council Meeting will be held in Richmond, BC at the River Rock Casino Resort (8811 River Road). We are pleased to inform the Chiefs Council we will reimburse travel and accommodation costs for the Chief or the Chief’s proxy for this Chiefs Council Meeting. Proxy form is attached for your reference.

A draft agenda is attached for review and reference and previous UBCIC resolutions are listed at:

If there are questions or comments, please call Doug Bain at 1-800-793-9701, email or call/text (604) 831-9709.

Strengthening Indigenous Rights Through Truth Commissions

Indigenous peoples live at a precarious intersection between unresolved historic injustices and the incursion of industry and political violence. Their communities are among those most affected by contemporary conflict. But when societies decide to confront the legacies of war, tyranny, or entrenched injustice, the experiences of indigenous people are often marginalized.

There is a growing trend to remedy this, however. Some truth commissions, such as in Peru, Guatemala, and Paraguay, addressed cases of violence against indigenous peoples in their work. Other emerging or current commissions–Canada, Cote d’Ivoire, and Nepal–are mandated to investigate the contexts of similar abuse.

To further this trend, ICTJ has published a handbook offering guidance on planning truth commissions and commissions of inquiry that safeguard the interests of indigenous communities and address violations against them…

To read more please see the rest of the article here.

B.C. law to ban information on farm outbreaks

B.C.’s Liberal government is poised to further choke off the flow of public information, this time with respect to disease outbreaks. The Animal Health Act, expected to be passed into law by month’s end, expressly over-rides B.C.’s Freedom of Information Act, duct-taping shut the mouths of any citizens – or journalists – who would publicly identify the location of an outbreak of agriculture-related disease such as the deadly bird flu.

“A person must refuse, despite the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, to disclose . . . information that would reveal that a notifiable or reportable disease is or may be present in a specific place or on or in a specific vehicle,” Section 16 of the Act reads…

To read more please see the rest of the article here.

Atleo launching Assembly of First Nations re-election bid

First Nations politics are about to get a lot more interesting.

The current national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Shawn Atleo, is going to officially launch his campaign for re-election in Vancouver later today. Atleo is a hereditary chief of the Ahousaht First Nation, located just north of Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island. As the incumbent and with a strong base in British Columbia, Atleo is by far the front runner for the elections to be held July 18 in Toronto…

To read more please see the rest of the article here.

RCMP was monitoring club frequented by Pickton, probe told

The RCMP was monitoring an after-hours hangout during the same period that serial killer Robert Pickton lured some of his victims there to be abused and drugged, a lawyer for the victims’ families suggested at the Oppal inquiry.

During a cross-examination Wednesday of former RCMP deputy commissioner Gary Bass, lawyer Cameron Ward said RCMP were monitoring Mr. Pickton’s brother, David, as part of a narcotics investigation that included surveillance of the infamous Piggy’s Palace, where Mr. Pickton brought prostitutes he picked up from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

“I suggest what likely happened here … was [the women] were taken from their usual environment in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, out to the Port Coquitlam neighbourhood, where they were taken to parties at Piggy’s Palace,” said Mr. Ward…

To read more please see the rest of the article here.

Engagement of first nations goes back to mid-1990s

Had Doug Donaldson talked with us before writing his recent article, he would have learned that our effort to engage first nations regarding the New Prosperity Project spans 17 years and includes the direct provision of more than $1 million in funding. He would have also heard that since 1995, our records show that we engaged, contacted, and consulted the first nations affected by this project on hundreds of occasions and we continue to work with them whenever possible.

We understand the significance of having successful mutually beneficial relationships, like those we have with our suppliers, community members and governments, and with other first nation groups as evidenced by our recent exploration agreement with the Tsay Keh Dene First Nation at our Aley Niobium Project in northeastern British Columbia…

To read more please see the rest of the article here.

Bill streamlines environmental act

On April 26, the federal government introduced Bill C-38, the 2012 budget bill. Among other things, it included a proposed new Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the central piece of federal environmental impact review legislation that was enacted in 1992. The new act follows on the heels of a statutory review by the federal Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, which suggested a number of reforms to streamline the federal environmental assessment process.

The purposes of the act remain substantially unchanged. They include the purpose of ensuring that designated projects that require federal approval are considered “in a careful and precautionary manner to avoid significant adverse environmental effects.” Coordination between provincial and federal environmental assessment authorities has long been an objective of the environmental assessment process…

To read more please see the rest of the article here.