Daily GRRR! Two Row Times Edition Oct 02, 2014

Welcome, this is the Daily GRRR, Two Row Times edition. I’m your host Lucho Granados Ceja.

The Daily GRRR! is a project of the Grand River Media Collective; and is supported by the Community Radio Fund of Canada and CKMS.

The song you’re hearing in the background is called Dip Out, produced by Two Row Time’s very own Jonathan Garlow. You can download his free beats from soundcloud.com/afishbeats

We begin with headlines, produced by our editorial team.

The Daily GRRR! (original link)

HEADLINES for October 02, 2014
1. Family releases statement on chemotherapy controversy
2. Men’s Fire donates six truckloads of food to Food Bank
3. Indigenous representatives unanimously reject Bill C-10 at Senate meetings
4. New skate park to be built in Six Nations
5. Justice comes for Marissa Whalen – mom sentenced

1. Family releases statement on chemotherapy controversy

The parents of a Six Nations child who stopped chemotherapy at McMaster Children’s Hospital and who have opted instead to exclusively treat their daughter with indigenous medicines and alternative therapies released a statement written both in Kanienke’ha (Mohawk) and English on Monday.

The girl was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in August. Following the diagnosis her parents consented to having the Mohawk girl enter chemotherapy treatments. After 11 days of the drugs the child had adverse reactions to it: stomach pain that her mother expressed in a letter to the Two Row Times that was “horrific”. The child later related to social workers it was the worst pain that she’d ever experienced in her life.

Two Row Times previously reported that the Six Nations mother was removing her child from chemotherapy after she shared an open letter with the community on September 10, 2014 stating why she opted for traditional medicine, how the family came to that decision and what the health care plans were going forward.

She also stated in the letter that the family developed a treatment care plan utilizing both indigenous medicines and protocol in tandem with nutritional therapies via the Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida.

McMaster Health Sciences filed a case with provincial court earlier this month seeking to force the CAS execute an apprehension order to bring this child back to McMaster for chemotherapy treatments. This is an action the CAS opposes.

This is not the first time the pediatric oncology department of McMaster Children’s Hospital has publicly disagreed and disputed with First Nations families who choose to treat their children exclusively with Ongwehowe Onongwatri:yo.

Earlier this year, Ken and Sonya Sault were threatened by hospital staff if they did not resume chemotherapy for their daughter Makayla, also 11 years old.

McMaster Children’s Hospital later issued an official apology letter to the entire New Credit First Nation and the Sault family, expressing their regret at how the matter played out, saying they would “like to ensure that all First Nations members experience care that respects their cultural, spiritual, medicinal and social traditions.” Court for the current case resumes October 2nd in Brantford.

2. Men’s Fire donates six truckloads of food to Food Bank

A convoy of six pickup trucks weighed down heavily with food rolled into the Six Nations Food Bank parking lot at around 2 pm, Thursday afternoon, to deliver caned goods and other groceries to help replenish their shelves. Members of the Men’s Council, aka the Men’s Fire, delivered the bounty to an appreciative Clint Doolittle, director of the Food Bank.

Although busiest during the Thanksgiving, Easter weekend and Christmas seasons, the actual need is a 52-week affair, according to Doolittle.

With the financial help of a generous anonymous businessman, the Men’s Council partnered with Hagersville’s No-Frills grocery store to maximize the value of the donation to the bank.

3. Indigenous representatives unanimously reject Bill C-10 at Senate meetings

The Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee of the Senate of Canada gathered on September 18th, 24th and 25th to discuss Bill C-10, which deals with the issue of “contraband” tobacco affecting reserves across Canada. As has been reported in this paper, Bill C-10 has been widely condemned by many Indigenous leaders and by the manufactures of Native tobacco products.

The Senate Committee heard from a wide range of witnesses who spoke in favour of the Bill, including representatives from Public Safety Canada, the RCMP, Canada Border Services and the OPP. The Committee also heard from a number of Onkwehon:we people who spoke against the Bill.

The witnesses who spoke in favour of the Bill deliberately attempted to tie Native tobacco production to organized crime and insecurity. Superintendent Jean Cormier from the RCMP went so far as to say that, “Tobacco contraband is a serious threat to public security.” In their questioning, various Senators also tried to make a connection between Native tobacco and organized crime, though they did not make it clear how Bill C-10 would address security issues without criminalizing many of those who are legitimately engaged in the tobacco production business.

Of particular note was the testimony of Paul Saint-Denis, Senior Counsel – Criminal Law Policy Section for Justice Canada. When asked if the government had consulted Indigenous leaders about this bill, Paul Saint-Denis admitted, “No, we did not.” He then claimed that the presentations in the committees of Parliament by Indigenous people were a form of consultation and implied this would be sufficient. Paradoxically, when asked if Justice Canada had considered if the Bill would pass the constitutionality test, MR. Saint-Denis answered in the affirmative.

Six Nations Elected Chief, Ava Hill called on the Parliament of Canada to withdraw the Bill due to the lack of consultation. Hill countered that instead about being about safety, “Bill C-10 is really about Canada trying to protect its tax revenues at the expense of First Nations communities.” Ava Hill also insisted that this Bill is a violation of the Two Row Wampum, the right of self-determination of Indigenous people, Canada’s own constitution, and potentially a violation of the Canadian Human Rights Act for its targeting of Indigenous peoples.

Opposition to the Bill from Onkwehon:we people was unanimous. Gordon Peters, of the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians, emphasized the sovereignty of the Haudenosaunee people and suggested the tobacco industry could and should be self-regulated. Kirby Whiteduck of the Algonquin Nation, also called for the bill to be withdrawn. Reading from a prepared statement, Jody Kechego of the Anishnabek Nation, declared, “The government of Canada has no legal right to regulate tobacco within First Nations’ treaty and traditional territories.” He also reiterated that the right to cultivate tobacco is an inherent right that comes not from treaties but rather from the Creator. Hill and Kechego rejected the notion that Native tobacco should be considered “contraband” at all.

The members of the Senate gave little indication they would withdraw the Bill as all Onkwehon:we witnesses demanded. With a majority in the Senate, the Harper Conservatives seem poised to pass the Bill.

4. New Skate Park to be built in Six Nations

On Thursday September 25th youth from Project Skate Park met with the contractor from New Line Skate Parks Inc. to officially break ground on the new skate park that will be built near the Community Hall in Ohsweken. Youth have been meeting with community members for over a year in order to get secure the site and fundraise the money to build the skate park. They successfully raised nearly $240,000. The skate park will take approximately 7-8 weeks to be completed.

5. Justice comes for Marissa Whalen – mom sentenced

*Warning this story contains details that some listeners may find disturbing*

On Monday, September 29th, in Welland Superior Court, 26-year-old Roseanne Whalen was given a life sentence in the 2011 death of her two-year-old daughter, Marissa. When the badly decomposed body of the toddler was discovered, half buried in a field on Third Line Road at Six Nations, it had been partially eaten by animals.

A 12-member jury had to sit through gut wrenching testimony of gross neglect and sadistic treatment of the innocent young girl at the hands of her mother’s partner, Rainbow Hill of Fort Erie, who was also charged with second-degree murder in Marissa’s death.

Although there was no evidence presented that Whalen herself punched or struck the child herself, it was proven that she knew of and witnessed in silence horrific beatings and other inhumane acts inflicted upon the toddler by Hill.

Roseanne Whalen was initially charged with criminal negligence causing death, accessory after the fact to murder and indignity to human remains. As more evidence came to light, the charge was upgraded.

In sentencing, Judge Robert Reid found that Whalen was equally responsible for the girl’s death and sentenced her to life in prison on a charge of second-degree murder with no possibility for parole for 15 years. The case ranks among Canada’s worst known cases of child abuse on record.

Music Break
This week I’m recording from Quito Ecuador, in honour of the country that is hosting me, I present some Andean music sung in one of the Indigenous languages of this land, Quichua.
Here’s Quichua Marka – kanada munani.


Finally today we have an interview with Nicole Oliver, Yoga instructor at the Our Sustenance Greenhouse in Six Nations. We ran a print article about the free and accessible yoga classes being run by Ms. Oliver in our print edition last week and the community response has been overwhelming.

Classes are drop-in and are held every Tuesday from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM and from 6 PM to 7 PM. They are also pay-what-you-can and mats are provided, ensuring it is accessible to everyone. The Our Sustenance Greenhouse is just behind Big Six gas station at 2662 4th Line. For more information email Nicole Oliver at oliver.nicole83@gmail.com.

In this interview Nicole talks to us about her passion for yoga, what drew her to it, and a little about the philosophy behind this now very popular practice.

That’s it for our program this week, thank you for joining us. This has been the Daily GRRR, Two Row Times edition. The Two Row Times is multimedia news outlet, led by our flagship newspaper, it is North America’s largest circulation Indigenous weekly newspaper, available every Wednesday in Haudenosaunee territories from Kanasatake to Akwesasne to Tyendinaga and Six Nations. For more information visit tworowtimes.com

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