Onkwehonwe Week in Review: Week of October 21, 2015

Ballots Run Out in 2 First Nation Polling Stations

On October 19, polling stations across the country opened for the final day of voting in the Canadian federal election.  Siksika First Nation, just outside of Calgary, Alberta has a population of 7,200 members but were only given 400 ballots.  Community members said that polling officials knew they were running out but didn’t act until they ran out.

Wab Kinew, well known author and educator, said ballots also ran out in his home community of Onigaming First Nation, which sits outside of Kenora, Ontario.  Kinew said the polling station ran out of ballots because of the high number of unregistered voters and assures that no one was turned away from voting.  Assembly of First Nations Chief Perry Bellegarde has been pushing the First Nation vote, even voting himself for the first time.  Ashley Callingbull-Burnham, recent winner of Mrs. Universe has also been encouraging First Nations to “rock the vote” and oust Harper.


One Dead, 10 Hurt in BC First Nation Hammer Attack

David James, 22, of Xwisten (Bridgewater First Nation) is dead after attacking 11 people at the Bridgewater First Nation Band Office in British Columbia on Wednesday morning.  RCMP said they received a call at 8:30 am to report a man with a weapon who was going from office to office hitting people with a hammer.  Of the 11 people, one is dead and four are in the hospital with 2 people being critically injured.

The Chief of Bridgewater First Nation says the community is in shock and cannot understand why such a thing would happen.  The coroner’s service said James was unresponsive at the scene and could not be resuscitated, prompting investigations by police, the coroner and the Independent Investigations Office because the suspect died while in custody.


First Nations Chief charged with Animal Cruelty; may face jail time

Andrew Thomas and his wife Maryanne are facing charges of neglecting or failing to provide necessities of life and causing unnecessary pain, suffering and injury to an animal after the SPCA were called to their property in Esquimalt First Nation in British Columbia.  Their dog’s eye had ruptured due to a lack of proper veterinary care.  “Chewy was badly matted, filthy and was suffering from a severe infection in his eye that had been left untreated.  The infected eye had ruptured causing an open weeping down it’s face,” said SPCA animal protection officer in a media release on Thursday.

SPCA said Andrew and Maryanne chose to have the dog euthanized although its injuries were treatable.  Both face charges and if convicted, will face a fine of up to $10 000, a maximum jail sentence of 5 years and a lifetime ban on owning pets.  Thomas has been the chief of Esquimalt for 35 years.


2 First Nation teens want mandatory indigenized curriculum

TiCarra Paquet and Starr Trudeau attended a First Nation, Metis and Inuit leadership conference in Parry Sound, Ontario and were inspired to believe that it is mandatory for a basic Indigenous Studies course to be taught in elementary schools across the province.  The two young students organized a petition that has garnered over 1000 supporters.

Paquet sees this as a great opportunity to eliminate stereotypes and to create respect based on the basic knowledge that would be gained from this education.  The students have faced barriers but believe they are doing the right thing.  Teachers have discouraged them but Paquet and Trudeau insist that the mandatory curriculum could help teachers learn as well.


Akwesasne residents demand new deal with CBSA

On Saturday, a handful of Akwesasne residents marched on Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) to demand that a new deal be struck with the community.  Last week, Antoine Delormier, 67, was manhandled after he crossed the border at Cornwall, Ontario.  He spent a week in the hospital after the incident.  “It is sickening going through this everyday,” said Delormier.  “Those people over there (CBSA) need to have a little more respect for the Native people that live here.”

Akwesasne residents must report at the Canadian border post anytime they leave their homes to travel beyond Cornwall, Ontario.  The protesters want CBSA to create a laneway specifically for residents of Cornwall Island, one of the districts of Akwesasne.  “If this happens to an elder, who is going to be next, our kids?” said Pascale Delormier, who is sister-in-law to Antoine Delormier.

Related Posts