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October 11, 2013 - No. 114

250th Anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763

Idle No More Reiterates Call for
Nation-to-Nation Relations

Gatineau, October 7, 2013

250th Anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763
Idle No More Reiterates Call for Nation-to-Nation Relations
UN Special Rapporteur on Rights of Indigenous Peoples Visits Canada

End the Killings of Aboriginal Women and Girls! Take Back the Night!
Walking With Our Sisters Exhibit Opens in Edmonton - Mary Joyce 
October 18 National Day of Action to End Violence Against Aboriginal Women and Girls in Canada
Sisters in Spirit Vigils Held
Take Back the Night 2013

Note to Readers

250th Anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763

Idle No More Reiterates Call for
Nation-to-Nation Relations

October 7 marked the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763. A Day of Action was called by Idle No More to mark the anniversary of the Proclamation on October 7 and events were held across Canada and world wide.

The Royal Proclamation was issued in the context of the British acquisition of France's colonial territory in North America after France was defeated in the Seven Years' War. The Proclamation was issued by King George III to officially demarcate what were considered the lands of the British Colonies and lands considered the territory of the Indigenous peoples (Indians), within the British Dominion. It states, "And whereas it is just and reasonable, and essential to Our Interest and the Security of Our Colonies, that the several Nations or Tribes of Indians, with whom We are connected, and who live under Our Protection, should not be molested or disturbed in the Possession of such Parts of Our Dominions and Territories as, not having been ceded to, or purchased by Us, are reserved to them, or any of them, as their Hunting Grounds; [...]"

Solidarity action in London, UK, October 7, 2013.

The Proclamation recognized the basis for relations between the Crown and its subjects with the Indigenous peoples of North America. This included the prohibition against subjects of the British Crown encroaching on those lands designated as those of the Indigenous peoples. The Proclamation also states that only the British Crown can negotiate treaties to acquire land from the Indigenous peoples. It also states that the process for establishing such treaties must be done publicly to so as to ensure that the "great Frauds and Abuses [...] committed in the purchasing Lands of the Indians" that had been occurring, considered contrary to the interests of the Crown and the Indigenous peoples, were prevented in future. This Royal Proclamation was included in the Constitution Act 1982 when the Constitution Act 1867 was repatriated.

The website of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, in acknowledging the 250th anniversary, states that the Proclamation "redefined the Crown-First Nations relationship, established the treaty-making process and recognized First Nations rights in Canada." However, it says nothing about the reality of what the government is actually doing today, namely the opposite of what is written in the Proclamation or interpreting it for self-serving purposes. The Indigenous peoples point out that whatever recognition of their sovereignty is enshrined in the Proclamation has been rendered null and void in the present era by the continued colonial practices of the Canadian government, most recently the Harper dictatorship as shown in its omnibus legislation Bill C-45 and other bills attacking the rights of First Nations. The Harperites aim is to support monopoly right by extinguishing the hereditary, constitutional and treaty rights of Indigenous peoples. It refuses to develop nation-to-nation relations of mutual respect and benefit, as established originally in the Two Row Wampum.

The attacks on the rights of Indigenous peoples are part of attacking the modern conception of rights, namely that rights are inherent and belong to people by virtue of their being human, and that specific hereditary rights belong to the Indigenous peoples because of their being. The Canadian government in the recent period is trying to dismiss the historic and unresolved issues brought forward by the Indigenous peoples as "special interests" of just another "ethnic group" that are part of a "diverse" Canada. This is contemptible and nothing could be further from the truth. The questions of rights and nation-to-nation relations brought forward by the Indigenous peoples for solution are fundamental to modernizing and renewing the social and political arrangements in Canada and are of concern to the entire polity. The slogan "Our Future Lies in the Fight for the Rights of All" is confirmed by the broad support of the Canadian polity for the widespread actions by Indigenous peoples in the last year.

TML is posting below photos and a report from the October 7 action in Gatineau as well as photos from around the country and abroad.


First Nations leaders and activists gathered at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec. Speakers pointed out that the anniversary of the Proclamation was not cause for celebration.

The first speaker was Claudette Commanda from the Algonquin Nation, whose traditional territory includes the Gatineau/Ottawa area. She said:

"I cannot celebrate colonialism. I cannot. It is said that the Royal Proclamation is the Magna Carta of rights for First Nations. I as Anishnabe Kwe, I cannot see that. I cannot. In 1763 it was pretty clear that the governments of the country of France and the country of England, they recognized First Nations, the original people commonly known as Indians, as nations. As sovereign nations. They had to. Otherwise, treaties or agreements would never have been entered into. So, we went from being nations, to the creations of federal wards of the Crown. That's not sovereignty. Because if the Royal Proclamation truly, indeed, recognizes First Nations as sovereign nations then why have we been displaced from our lands and natural resources? Why? Why were we placed as wards of the Crown? Why were we placed under the Indian Act? Why? The Royal Proclamation says that you have to enter into this treaty between the First Nations and the colonists that became the settlers, and eventually Immigration Canada. It was all for the purpose of needing land for settlement. But at the expense of Indian people and our lands.

"If Canada is truly, indeed, genuine and honest about forging a new relationship with First Nations and building reconciliation, it must be always by the guidance, by the voice of First Nations. We must be included and it must be done our way. Our way, our way, and no other way. We need to do this for our children. When our ancestors walked this land, every decision they made, they made the decision for seven generations, because that is one of our fundamental teachings and laws of the creator: to always honour and respect and remember seven generations that are not here. And they did so for us. That is why we are here today. So, today, my responsibility is for the children and the ancestors that are not here yet. Because in seven generations from now there will be children and there will be ancestors. We must always remember that, because it is called the circle of life.

"They talk about treaties, treaty-making. We know the difference between the Peace and Friendship Treaties, the pre-Confederation treaties, the historic treaties, and there's certainly a big difference with what are called the 'modern-day treaties.' It is not the same. It is very concerning [regarding] one of the important responsibilities of my grandfather William Commanda. And what he said is 'Protect the land, protect the land, protect the land.' Protect it. We need the land. It is who we are as Anishnabeg regardless of what nation we come from. We need the land for these children. It is their birthright. We need the land for our grandmothers. Our mothers. Our grandfathers. Our fathers. We need the land. Mother earth -- it is her responsibility to provide for us, and we must protect her. Without land, we are nothing.

"We cannot trade these lands, we cannot trade away these lands. And I, as an Algonquin person will not, will never, will never, agree to a treaty of my land, my ancestral land of my ancestors! How can you sell the bones of your ancestors? Never, never, never! We must protect our ancestors. We must protect the children. We must protect the land. Modern-day treaty is not a way for First Nations people to gain their rightful place in society. We don't need treaties. What we need is to be important, fundamental decision-makers, equal partners, in revenue sharing and resource sharing. We can gain that without treaties. Do you agree with me? [Crowd agrees.] Absolutely. That is our way. Land -- protect that land.

"I respect the various nations. I respect their diversity. I respect what they need to do in order to continue to survive. However, I cannot accept one model for all that is going to be applied to us. I cannot accept that. I have a great responsibility as an Anishnabe Kwe, as an Algonquin woman, as a mother and a grandmother. I have a great responsibility to protect this land. I have a responsibility to raise the awareness that modern-day treaty is not the way to go. Absolutely not. And the Royal Proclamation cannot be celebrated as something that was so honourable and given to First Nations. It cannot be celebrated that way, absolutely not. And that is one lesson that I learned from my grandfather when he was a Chief, when he carried that title as Chief. And when he held his hereditary role as Chief, he said we can never celebrate colonialism. Because those laws, through the Royal Proclamation, through the Constitutions, those were government laws, man-made laws.

"We must first and foremost always uphold the great law of the Creator. Always. And when we look at those historic treaties, not the modern-day treaties but historic treaties, those treaties have to be honoured and recognized for those nations that did enter into treaties between themselves, the First Nations, and the settler nations. Those treaties are higher than any Canadian law. It is imperial law, and they have to be honoured and recognized. And it was not about surrendering their land, or surrendering title to their land. It was about co-existence and sharing. That's what it was about. And that's what we have to educate Canadians about. But when we look at today, today's campaign for modern-day treaty-making, it is about surrendering the land. It is about extinguishment. And we cannot extinguish the land. Because if we extinguish the land, then we are extinguishing ourselves as human beings. We cannot do that. Absolutely not. And we are not upholding our great law and responsibility to the earth, our mother.

"So all of you First Nations people, Aboriginal peoples, Canadians: we are all brothers and sisters in this. And we need to come together to raise that awareness. And always remember, that the First Nations people, we shared, we have been sharing since 1492. And in our great creation stories, it's about coexistence. About respecting life and human beings, respecting mother earth. We share. We absolutely shared our land, we shared our ways to keep the European people alive. And we must continue to share. We have been sharing, now it's time that Canadians share with us. Share your understanding with us. Share your energy, and share the fight to continue to protect Mother Earth and that our land, the Anishnabe-Aki, will continue to be what it is, free, free land. We do not need treaties, modern-day treaties. We need free land that's going to be held in trust for our children and by our children. Chi miigwetch. Thank you very much."

The next speaker was Andrea Landry, an Ottawa activist originally from Pays Plat First Nation, located on the north shore of Lake Superior. She said:

"When I first heard people were celebrating, that this was an anniversary, an anniversary of putting ownership to land, of commodifying our culture and our territories, and anniversary of desecrating our traditional livelihood as indigenous peoples, I became confused. Commodification of land is not our way. The desecration of our traditional livelihoods will not allow a sustainable future for our people, for our younger generations, for our future generations. To me, it's not about celebrating, it's not about the anniversary of a document. It's about honouring and recognizing what this land truly deserves, that we stand on, that we walk on, what we live on. That those bodies of waters deserve, what those women in our communities who honour those bodies of water deserve. What our children in the next generations will deserve when there's no more water for them to drink. When there's no more land for them to hunt on. When there's no more traplines that will be recognized in their territory.

"It's a matter of recognizing the importance of this land, of no longer enslaving that land with the commodification, with the dollars, with the documents. Yes, we have these documents. But we see them sitting on shelves and collecting dust. We can walk into boardrooms, have meetings with the Prime Minister, have meetings with Members of Parliament, have meetings with MLAs. And we're doing it in their settings. We're following their rules. So when we walk into those offices and we speak our truths, our truths are not being recognized. And that has occurred since colonization occurred on this so-called territory of Canada. It's a matter of having it with our own ways, with our own communities, with ceremony. Because when you look at our people, when you look at our territories, when you come to our First Nations communities, you see the beauty of our people. You see that we do not want to put a price on our territories. We do not want to put dollars on our land. We do not want a document to rectify and recognize that this is our land. The reality is: we do not and cannot own our lands. If we say we own our land, that's like saying we own an individual, we own a child, we own a person. That's enslavement right there. So why are we having these discussions of saying, 'I own this land'? They want to own this land. It's not about ownership, it's about living with the land, breathing with the land. and recognizing our inherent rights, our traditional livelihoods, our ways of life and living.

"So with the Royal Proclamation, I'd like to see the discussion change. I would like to see people really recognizing what it's all about. I would like to see Canadians having open minds and realizing why it's important that indigenous people are involved in all these discussions. Why indigenous peoples are holding these meetings on their traditional territories. No longer do I want my people going into the colonial buildings and having these conversations. If we're discussing the land, it should be held on the land that we're having the conversations about. We need to get rid of these ways. We need to get rid of the colonial ways of doing a meeting. We talk about decolonization, but me, myself, as an indigenous person, I will never say I need to decolonize. Because when I'm home, I'm not colonized. When I'm home, I'm living my ways, I'm living my ways. When I'm home, I'm learning my language, and when I'm in the city, I am finding ways to remain true to my roots as an Anishnabe Kwe.

"It's up to the Canadians to join these conversations of decolonization, to really recognize why it's important that they need to decolonize, that they need to know the history. [...] The big corporations want to own the land. We need to get rid of that concept. We need to get rid of those discussions."

Tony Belcourt, Métis Rights activist and leader spoke, saying he appreciated the opportunity for Idle No More to bring together all the indigenous people, Métis, First Nations and Inuit:

"If it weren't for the Royal Proclamation of 1763, I don't know that we would have the historic treaties. But it's a fact, because of the Royal Proclamation of 1763 British Subjects were under the rule of law that they could not enter into the territory of the Aboriginal peoples without their consent. That had to bring about some kind of an agreement. Those agreements rested on the historic treaties. For the Métis people, the important thing today is that that very principle was upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2003, in our Métis hunting rights case. What the Supreme Court of Canada said was that because the Métis people were blocked from participating in the Robinson Superior Treaty in 1850, our rights were never extinguished, and therefore our rights are still existing, they are still constitutional rights. And the Métis right to hunt and fish for food was an existing right and it is now allowed for our people to go out and get their traditional foods without having to hunt at night and in danger. If our existing rights to hunt and fish for food were not extinguished, what other rights were not extinguished? None of them. In the case of Riel and his people in 1869/1870 in Red River, when Sir John A. MacDonald sent out a governor and some surveyors to govern the land because the Hudson's Bay Company sold it to Great Britain for a million bucks and Canada was going to buy it back, Riel and his people stood on their chains and said, 'You go no further. You have no right to be here.' Sir John A. MacDonald wanted to send out troops, but first, he was still under the laws of the imperial Parliament in Great Britain. What he had to do was get consent from Great Britain before he could move. And Great Britain said, 'No. You do not have the right because you have not entered into agreements with the First Peoples in that territory.' It's a territory that's huge. All of the waters that flow into James Bay and Hudson's Bay. That's the whole territory of Rupert's Land, that's what was at stake. Riel and his people entered into negotiations for a treaty for the Métis people, but one of the things he said is that you cannot just have a treaty with us, you have to have a treaty with the full-bloods. And as a result of that, every numbered treaty took place. [...] Treaties are a two-way street. Canadians have an obligation to understand their obligations. They can't just pick and choose what it is they like about the law, or they don't like about the law. [...] If the laws are there, they're there for everybody. Now is the time for all of us, and this Idle No More movement gives us the opportunity, to work towards a new partnership. A new partnership that First Peoples and Canadians can develop based on mutual understanding, mutual respect and equality."

Patrick Etherington, an activist who supported Chief Theresa Spence on Victoria Island during her 44-day fast, said he walked this summer from Cochrane, Ontario to Alberta for treaty rights and for the government to "keep their word." He said:

"We chose to walk away from Ottawa, we didn't want to walk to Ottawa. We wanted to go to where real power was, the people. So we chose not to walk to a building, we chose to walk to the mountains. [...] In the Constitution, our treaty rights are supposed to be honoured, but that's not the case really. That's just writing on a piece of paper to them, I guess. And now, the Idle No More movement and everything that's going on across the country, I think that the government should actually start listening." He noted that "Everything has been said. It's time for action now."

Brock Lewis, an activist and Cultural Ambassador who hails from unceded Wikwemikong territory on Manitoulin Island on Lake Huron, brought up the example of Shingwaukonse, a hereditary Anishnabe chief who was a signatory to the Robinson Huron Treaty of 1850. Shingwaukonse was asked to fight in 1812 return for land given by the British. He bought alongside Tecumseh and Isaac Brock. Lewis pointed out:

"In the late 1840's, Canada was giving away lumber leases and mining leases in [Shingwaukonse's] territory. In the mines about an hour away from Sioux Ste. Marie he could hear explosions. [...] Him and a few other people they walked to Montreal. [...] When he walked there, to Montreal, he asked the government why they were giving away all these leases to the mining and lumber companies. And the government simply shooed him away, just like they did with Idle No More, just like they did with the Nishiyuu Walkers. [...] When he went back home, he decided to take action for himself. And what he did, he went to those mining companies with an armed group, and he said 'You're not supposed to be here. This is my land. It was given to me after that war that I was in, for being in friendship, so please leave.' And they left. And then the next day he was arrested. He was sent to Toronto. After that, he pleaded for a treaty, he knew that it was important to have his own land because that Royal Proclamation didn't mean anything. [...] He pleaded for a treaty, and in 1850 he finally got it. Shingwaukonse, among 17 other chiefs along the northern coast of Lake Huron all signed a treaty for an individual piece of land. His was 8 x 12 miles long. There are others 3 x 6. And they all have a little section. And then in between there, it was all sold. Basically, the King said. 'I thank you for being in the war and I thank you for everything that you have done, but there's nothing I can do about the land that was sold.' I just want to recognize the history behind him, and the history that I stand for. Because he did a whole lot, for me, and for all of you here today. It shows me that you're able to stand for what you want. It shows me that it's not just him in this battle, it's a lot of us that all need to stand together and unite."

Elsipogtog First Nation, New Brunswick

Barriere Lake, Quebec





La Ronge, Saskatchewan; Lethbridge, Alberta



Oklahoma City, United States

London, UK

(Photos: TML, Idle No More, Two Row Times, R. Nottaway, M. Kannon, E.V. Lee, H. Michell, A. Tailfeathers, C. Bobb, G. Shwulsilum, Platform London)

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UN Special Rapporteur on Rights of
Indigenous Peoples Visits Canada

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, is visiting Canada from October 7 to 15 to investigate the situation of indigenous peoples. The Rapporteur's visit had been postponed since February 2012 by the federal government whose permission is required for such visits. This visit follows up a mission to Canada by the previous Special Rapporteur in 2004.

Anaya is travelling to remote communities and urban areas in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. He is holding discussions and consultations with Indigenous peoples and their representatives and meeting with federal and provincial government officials.

At the end of the seven-day mission, on October 15, Mr. Anaya will hold a press conference, from 2 to 3 pm, at the National Press Theatre, on the first floor of the National Press Building in Ottawa. Following the visit, the Special Rapporteur will prepare and make public a report on the visit's findings, which will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2014.

Anaya stated that during his visit "I will be looking at the issues faced by First Nations, Inuit and Métis people in Canada .... including in relation to matters of reconciliation, governance and self-government; lands and resources; and health, education and economic development."

He emphasized that the mission "aims at assessing the human rights concern of Indigenous peoples in light of international standards to which Canada has committed, and at identifying good practices in Canadian law and policy as well as needed reforms."

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End the Killings of Aboriginal Women and Girls! Take Back the Night!

Walking With Our Sisters Exhibit Opens in Edmonton

"Walking With Our Sisters" is an art installation on exhibit at the Telus Building at the University of Alberta from October 4 until October 13. Comprised of 1,700 pairs of vamps, or moccasin tops, created by 1,200 caring and concerned artists, it commemorates the missing and murdered Indigenous women of Canada and the United States. Its opening coincided with the annual Sisters in Spirit vigils organized for the same purpose on October 4.

The exhibit is a crowd-sourced and crowd-funded project led by Christi Belcourt, a Métis artist from Espanola, Ontario. The Edmonton showing is the first of 25 Canadian bookings running into 2018. Belcourt began the work only a year ago. Idle No More activist Tanya Kappo, "Keeper of the Vamps," first announced the project at International Women's Day celebrations in Edmonton last March.

Upon entering the foyer of the commemorative exhibition "Walking With Our Sisters," the viewer is welcomed, asked to remove their shoes, and invited to take a handful of tobacco whilst beginning the walk through 1,700-plus pairs of vamps. With eyes fixed on the dazzling display, one walks slowly along the red cloth because each small piece of decorated hide or cloth is so exquisite. Displayed in groupings according to the dominant colour, the multitude of images, suggestions, symbolic and direct meanings can be overwhelming. One is struck with the realization that this is an embodiment and memorial for the 600-plus women, who over the last 20 years, have disappeared or have been found murdered, while their killers have never been apprehended. As a simple visual experience the show is powerful, and in its presentation, with the viewer embodying the mourner, with 1,200 artists mindfully preparing the vamps for these disappeared women, the quiet, understated content becomes a massive chorus for justice.

The installation is brilliant. The Telus Building has a section shaped like the prow of a ship, so that the memorial, laid out on cloth, takes beautiful advantage of the vamp-shaped floor. The red cloths make a pathway through hundreds of pairs of vamps laid out on grey cloth. Some vamps are made of tanned moose and deer hides with designs stitched, beaded, embroidered or prepared with quill work, pine-needle weaving, fish-scale art and button-blanket techniques from the Northwest coast. Others designs are stitched into stroud cloth, feathered, painted, furred, some bearing photographs of the eyes of a lost sister, many carrying animal representations or symbols, flowers, birds, texts, some delicate, many ornate and heavy with beading.

At the apex of the walk stand two staffs with white feathers. Families who have lost a sister, a mother, a daughter, a cousin, a grandmother, an auntie, a friend or a lover are invited to tie a feather to one of the staffs to pay their particular respects to them.

The booklet given out with the show refers to the work of the Native Women's Association of Canada and states: "In Canada, more than 600 Indigenous women have gone missing or been murdered in the last 20 years. Many have vanished without a trace... This is a travesty of justice....Only 53 per cent of murder cases involving indigenous women and girls have led to charges being laid, compared to the national 'clearance rate' for homicides in Canada, which was last reported as 84 per cent."

The reality is that aboriginal women in Canada are at least five times more likely to die of violence than non-aboriginal women, the brutal legacy of "colonial justice" in Canada. The racist and sexist government policies, stereotypes of Indigenous women, a lack of media attention, cuts to funding and police negligence all contribute to, and indeed perpetuate this violence.

As this show travels for the next five years, it will significantly contribute to the many initiatives which are going to make it harder and harder for the Harper dictatorship to push this outrage under the rug or justify cutting off funding the Sisters in Spirit project, the first wholehearted attempt to document the numbers of missing and murdered aboriginal women throughout Canada. The United Nations has requested that Canada conduct an inquiry into the deaths and disappearances of Aboriginal girls and women to maintain its human rights record. To date, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has not done so, and Canada's representative at the UN rejected the request outright. This stand must be reversed and the government held to account for its failure to act to protect the safety of aboriginal women.

The power of "Walking With Our Sisters" resides in the use of tender, ancient and family-motivated women's work together with the most modern methods of crowd sourcing and crowd funding, to seek redress. Like the installation "REDress" of spring 2012, it smashes the silence on the situation and calls for justice for indigenous women and girls and all First Nations peoples in Canada.

For the venue schedule, as well as contact and donation information, see the show's website at: walkingwithoursisters.ca.

(Photos: Walking with Our Sisters)

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October 18 National Day of Action to End Violence Against Aboriginal Women and Girls in Canada

The Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC) and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) have declared October 18 as a National Day of Action to End Violence Against Aboriginal Women and Girls in Canada.

People are being called to organize actions on this day, including signing the petition or sending postcards to the Federal Government to demand a National Inquiry into the crisis of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls, contacting local newspapers about the issue or holding meetings about how to address this issue. NWAC will also be participating in a webinar on this subject with the AFN on October 18 from 2:00-3:00 pm (EST). A link to this event can be found at the AFN website, www.afn.ca.

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Sisters in Spirit Vigils Held

Parliament Hill

On October 4, vigils were organized in 216 locations across the country and others held internationally to honour the more than 600 missing and murdered aboriginal women across Canada and to smash the silence surrounding their disappearances. The vigils, initiated by the Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC), are organized yearly by the National Sisters in Spirit Vigil Committee.

A statement issued by the organizing committee this year stated that one year ago "NWAC launched a petition calling for a National Public Inquiry. Completed forms have arrived each day, filled with signatures as well as messages of solidarity. More than 10,000 signatures have been collected and the petitions will be submitted to the Federal Government on October 18th 2013 as part of a National Day of Action. An inquiry would be a crucial step in implementing a comprehensive and coordinated national action plan. As our organizations have repeatedly urged, such a response is necessary to address the scale and severity of violence faced by Aboriginal women and girls. Together, we must demand action and secure commitments from all levels of government."

A series of resolutions calling on the Canadian government to launch such an enquiry was formally adopted in September by the United Nations Human Rights Committee and still the Harper government is refusing to take action.

The statement, which was read out at vigils across the country, further states that, "October 4th is dedicated to honouring the lives of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls and supporting families who have been tragically touched by the loss of a loved one to violence. Vigils take many forms: a rally, a candlelight vigil, a workshop, a moment of silence, a walk, or a gathering of people to share memories and a meal. Together, the October 4th SIS vigils have become a movement for social change and a reminder that our sisters will not be forgotten."

One of the largest vigils was organized on Parliament Hill by the Families of Sisters in Spirit. The callout for the event emphasized that Families of Sisters in Spirit "believes that no decisions can be made on behalf of Indigenous women, families, communities, and Nations without our free, prior, and informed consent. This demands our DIRECT leadership in any/all processes." Hundreds participated in the vigil and march, including many family members of the of the missing and murdered.

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Take Back the Night 2013


Starting with the "Take Back the Night" march in Hamilton on September 12, marches and rallies have taken place across the country through which women affirm their right to live in safety and security in their communities. The marches continue to early October.

Most of the actions are organized by local women's centres, shelters and rape crisis centres which for years have been working to end violence against women and children and have valiantly taken up providing care for those suffering from violence. They do this as governments cut funding to social services and deny adequate housing, employment and health care for all which leads to a worse situation for women and girls.

In Toronto, this year's Take Back the Night rally and march were held under the banner "Honouring and Reclaiming Self-Determination of Indigenous Peoples," and opposed in particular the murder and disappearance of Aboriginal women and girls.

St John's; Cornerbrook




Hamilton; Chatham

Calgary; Kelowna

(Photos: TML, SturgeonMD)

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Note to Readers

TML Daily will not be published on Monday, October 14, 2013.

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