Monday, 24 December 2012

many voices one nest

Idle No More - Metrotown, Burnaby BC December, 22, 2012

C Brauer·
Published on 22 Dec 2012  Idle No More is a First Nations Initiative which calls attention to Bill C-45 which just passed in Canadian Parliament. Here is their Mission - one we can all relate to and join: "Idle No More calls on all people to join in a revolution which honors and fulfills Indigenous sovereignty which protects the land and water. Colonization continues through attacks to Indigenous rights and damage to the land and water. We must repair these violations, live the spirit and intent of the treaty relationship, work towards justice in action, and protect Mother Earth."

Vancouver: “Today my heart is full, because the shift is happening,” said Nuxalk and Six Nations artist Jerilynn Snuxyaltwa Webster, who raps under the name JB the First Lady. “Our people—our beautiful, indigenous people—are rising. I'm sick of colonization telling us that we are criminals, telling us that we're no good, telling us that we don't deserve what is ours. Stephen Harper: We're coming together. ... come together to build unity, no matter what color the skin is, what your blood quantum is, what nation you come from, if you're treaty or non-treaty, status or non-status, Métis or Inuit. Those are the boxes they put us in—they try to divide and conquer us, but they haven't. We overcame acts of genocide; we are still here.”

~ Idle No More Sweeps Canada & Beyond... read more: Indian Country

I think the movement is absolutely about treaty rights. It is about the honest and respectful communications and relationships expected among equals. 

It is also about basic democracy, resistance to the steamroller approach this government takes now that it has the power to do so.

Idle No More shared this Occupy Canada image (facebook)

It is fundamentally about our collective duty to protect the lands, waters, air, and one another.

Let us re-set government-citizen relationships, as well as Crown and First Nations relationships, with a view that is not blinkered by short term power and gain, that is instead centered upon the long view, the reality~ physical and political~ that we share/permit right now, and that we together bequest to future generations, irrespective of race  and social category.

Map accurate as of FEB 2012, West Coast Environmental Law

It is about speaking out, with persistence. It is about solidarity in the face of immoral and illegal acts by government. It is about individual empowerment and collective resistance. It is about celebrating our resilience, and coming together against common threats.

navigable waters act resistance

Tina Barnes Idle No More Dec. 21 2012 Victoria BC 
Published on 21 Dec 2012
Idle No More Rally
Film Credit: Les Barnes
Idle No More Flash Mob Pine Center Mall Prince George BC
Published on 22 Dec 2012
Young people hosted flash mob to honour Chief Theresa Spence and to demonstrate against Bill C-45.

My heart lifts when I hear the Woman Warrior Song, all of the songs:

 when I see the actions unfolding on the highway, railway, in the street, in the mall, 

anywhere at all.


Friday, 21 December 2012

winter solstice


Métis Hunter (for Winter PAT)

Description Ink, watercolor and gouache, HmmNbrd's traditional native american costume/elements card for Winter PAT.
Okay, technically he's native CANADIAN.... I have some Métis heritage so I really wanted to draw a traditional Métis outfit. A bit of history for those who don't know: The Canadian Métis are descendants of First Nations tribes and French settlers. Their traditional clothing was really interesting, because it was basically a mix between European and Native styles. They also have beautiful embroidery and beading, and almost always include a brightly colored sash.

Posted Byreneenault [Profile] [Gallery] CategoryATCs: P&P TRADED

Visit this artist's website


“There’s a quote that’s attributed to Louis Riel, though no one can find it in books anywhere,” she says. “He says, ‘My people will sleep for 100 years, and when they awake it’ll be the artists who give them their spirit back.” There’s another link for Favell, who is also Métis and grew up on the shores of Lake Winnipeg. “I thought of the Yellow Brick Road and trying to find your way home, and for me I’m trying to find the red brick road, find my way home to my nativeness.”

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Forsaken No More

The Snows - A Video Poem by Russell Wallace

Uploaded on Feb 27, 2011

commissioned by the University of Toronto back in 2000. My mom (Flora Wallace) translates the words into Ucwalmícwts. A poem about age and transition. Thanks to Wayne Lavallee and Tzo'kam for their voices. ~ Russell Wallace


one of the intial confusions about the idle no more metaphor
for those not arising from a part of the land that requires a winter reality of long waits for the machinery of convenience to rise to the challenge of meeting the weather

i keep thinking about two contrasting uses of fabric, hiding the face for masking identity, covering the clothes for food preparations
two strategies, disrupting oppressive norms, maintaining life

the federal government wastes millions of dollars fighting in court against fulfilling it's duties, moral and legal, and this wastage is set at the doors of First Nations by conservative spin doctors~ this predatory behaviour thrives in an environment where Canadians do not know their histories, and are taught to fear

one recent example: fedgov spends $10 million at court to resist talking to Manitoba First Nations about discharging land debt with a piece of property in Winnipeg worth $8 million. court rules against fedgov, and the question on any ordinary mind is, why is the fedgov working so hard to keep First Nations down?

if it isn't racism, what is it?

First Nations, first rights*

 we have pundits claiming that the huge expenses associated with First Nations are all about indigenous greed, and none about the fedgov automata fighting immorally every blessed thing, fedgov interests drifting very far from the collective interests of Canadians, a continuing hostile takeover unfolding simultaneous with windowdress behaviour

*pretty thorough sketch yet at the same time, softly softly: no mention of the formation of Manitoba as a result of Metis indigenous activism, the fact that Louis Riel was democratically appointed yet unable due to violence of the settler state to take his seat in parliament; no mention of the mass killings of indigenous people by early settler judges representing the state, not the take-over of the province by continuing voices of apartheid.

of course the impact is bizarre, it is incongruent behaviour and quite shamefully, it persists

i have already said most of what i needed to say about Wally Oppal and the Missing Women Inquiry,

While I am glad that he titled his report Forsaken, and that numerous police officers have been quoted saying that this report will be real handy with improving policing, there are two things that remain unaddressed.
a) Mr. Oppal was employed in a decisionmaking capacity, a part of the system that failed at the time of it's failure, therefore he should have declined the role and allowed an equally qualified and far less complicit person to be selected to head the inquiry;
b) Mr. Oppal should have stepped down when the government refused to support the voices of any but the police and the government, rather than accomodating the damage control decisions from the top.
I think in all these things, his need to make right the collective failure overwhelmed his ability to be a strong and effective ally of indigenous people and of poor people and of women. Everything else is built upon this base.

Finding systemic prejudice without acknowledging racism, classism and sexism fails us.

As the government that set the terms of the inquiry to exclude other serial predators of indigenous women in our region, and other disappearances and lax policing of regions of our province, in failing to support the voices of all but itself and it's two arms (two levels of policing), virtually all of the important questions have been sidestepped. So, we have had a discussion about local policing, specific victims, and a particular series of decisions made.  We have not included missing women across Canada, or even across the province, so the bigger question of how to be safe, free, and supported as an indigenous woman remains a question not asked.

The problems of contempt for the poor, continuing official contempt for indigenous people of all categories, the disempowerment of women in particular certain categories of women continues apace, in an active way.

The tendency of the population at large to mistreat indigenous women with impunity cannot be effectively disrupted in this context.

No unhappy man is going to redirect himself away from murdering the most vulnerable, when he lives and breathes in a state of amnesia, in a realm of official contempt.

Idle No More upcoming events (from the blog):

  • Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 8:30am in EST
  • Today at 12:00pm
    Canadian Consulate General, Minneapolis
  • Thursday
  • Thursday at 12:00pm
    Thompson, MB - Provincial Building 59 Elizabeth Drive
  • Thursday at 7:00pm.
  • Friday
    Consulate General of Canada - San Francisco
  • Friday, December 21, 2012 at 8:30am in UTC
    'Canada Gate' - Entrance to Green Park from The Mall
  • Friday, December 21, 2012 at 1:00pm in UTC-04
  • Friday, December 21, 2012 at 12:00pm in EST
  • Friday, December 21, 2012 at 10:30am in UTC-07
    START: Kinsman Park END: Sir Winston Churchill Square
  • Friday at 12:00pm
    Unknown location (Downtown somewhere), Will be announced closer to rally
  • Friday, December 21, 2012 at 11:00am in UTC-07
    Lloydminster City Hall
  • Friday at 12:00pm
  • Friday at 12:00pm
    Angus Street & 5th Ave to The Saskatchewan Legislative Building
  • Friday at 12:00pm


    Millbrook First Nation, NS - will be having a peaceful protest Friday also (link to be provided)

    Cabot Square, Montréal
    Friday at 1:00pm
    Highway 10 file hills sk
  • Friday, December 21, 2012 at 12:00pm in UTC-07
  • Friday, December 21, 2012 at 12:00pm in UTC-08
  • Friday, December 21, 2012 at 12:00pm in PST
    550 South Hope Street, 9th Floor, Los Angeles California 90071
  • Saturday at 3:00pm
  • Saturday, December 22, 2012 at 4:00pm in EST
  • Sunday, December 23, 2012 at 10:00am in PST

  • APTN News London ON 19 Dec 2012

    Saturday, 15 December 2012

    being-among-a-larger-being (solidarity)

    I have a fondness for woodcuts, and this sample by Michael Hepher I am quite fond of. In a visual way it reminds me of the song I've had for sometime in the right-hand column, The Local Onlyz + friends, and it reminds me of another interesting presentation on APTN (unfortunately not available as video), looking at the voting patterns of indigenous people in Manitoba-- both voting intentions and voting actualities. It helped me to clarify a lot of things, about where I come from and why I carry the expectations that I do, and the endless disappointments. If you want to know why, for instance, Brazeau is Conservative, and votes for the omnibus bill, yet writes songs for missing women, well, it's all about relative class and relative power, and with whom you feel your solidarity is best placed.
    Here's the download from Probe, sans discussion that the APTN presentation featured:
    ~Aboriginal Voting Intentions~ [pdf]

    Reading a variety of coverage and comment on indigenous and pan-Canadian responses to the Idle No More call to action, there are many focussed on the common goal~ stop dicking and dismissing indigenous people, stop destroying environmental protections and human rights, both here and abroad, re-engage democratic processes and with enthusiasm for inclusion this time, please/thank you~ and at every turn, the pain that hovers just below surface rises into words.

    The voices of dismay ~ drawing on lifetimes and long histories of experience~ are registered, alongside those of enthusiastic optimism and those of guarded hope. Those with many resources (whether those be money or power or integrity or a strong and unquestioned social base) and those with much less (in some or every category) react to one another, and so far the voices of women can be (?) fairly safely dismissed, the intentions of some (?) Indian Act Chiefs mistrusted, the solidarity of any or every organized group (?) examined for advantage, and the limits of what is possible to imagine for a variety of writers reveal themselves.

    None of this is true for every one, and the situation is fluid: not every voice of dismay is a voice for disunity, by intent or in actuality.  It is good that we are talking trans-category, even with the confusions that arise in doing so.

    Many have no trouble at all following mothers, grandmothers, woman warriors toughened by personal challenges met and surmounted. Some at the grassroots are very happy that the politically anointed help to put the word out~ and vice versa~, others demure. Some want ACTION!!! Some, many many, watch and listen. Consider.

    Are we idling, or just using those survival skills that have carried us all along so far?

    It is okay to change our minds. How will we change the world, without changing ourselves too?

    The idea that any one voice will be beyond reproach and will lead unerringly to transformation of the bleak what is to the brilliant and glistening what may be is okay, as an idea, but it's fulfillment or realization would be either political tyranny-- ask Egypt if that's great just now-- or a social or religious cult, that perhaps would solve some things but in the end would not solve all things for all people. So, while it's important to continue to critique and analyze as we go, it is also essential to bear in mind the levels of destruction involved.

    There is certainly enough power and discontent in ndn country and in canada as a whole to hit the transformation point. Way back at the beginning of their work, the conservatives have been preparing, upping the ante of social divisions and mistrust across the country, stripping supports from social matters and plumping up the prisons and the war machines, tightening the social we to be very white and wealthy, so that by this point in the national press there is no space for the working classes, the poor, the co-operative, the socialist, the rural, the upcountry/backcountry (except in terms of eco-travel).  The coverage of ndn country is very rare, very scathing, full-blown disinformation campaigns progress, an agreed-upon cluster of transnational wealth investing both time and money in continuing fear-mongering. Splinter campaigns tried & found effective.

    This is the situation, today, and so of course there is a slow warming trend, as bit by bit people who have been frozen out and misfiled and attacked from every direction, do a bit of soul searching, and ask themselves whether or not to put their bodies on the line, put their voices on record, join in and stay the course, express creativity in world-shaping ways. Those with some social power (called "voice") decide, from the deepest levels, what exactly to say, to whom, and why, to what pupose.

    From whom will we accept leadership? What is an inappropriate idea and what is a cultural difference? Can we remain relaxed enough to work with one another over a longer term, and for the main prize, however that is defined by each one? Can we distinguish between voices of pain, and receive those on the level of compassion, and voices of other forms of truth, and integrate the many messages into a solid sense of what~ as an individual thinker, talker, leader, follower, spirit, being-among-a-larger-being, we want to do?

    More excellence:

    The natives are restless. Wondering why?

    Friday, 14 December 2012

    Native Winter

    One of the many responses to the INM call for inspiring imagery (Aaron Paquette, from IMN blog)

     hashtag updates

    A fellow named Mark Bevis decided to analyze #IdleNoMore, on Dec 11th.  His discussion:

    Truly #IdleNoMore: analysis of what could become #NativeWinter

    His images:

    No doubt the stats have changed as the information moves from real world & twitterverse through blogs & media-- a ripple effect and a feedback loop. On Wednesday, APTN hosted a discussion re why mainstream media preferred to discuss a single (albeit well-dressed) monkey, in lieu of a series of cross-Canada events and discussions.

    Bill C-45 passes through Senate; to become law (today)

    Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    Ravi Shankar

    Ravi Shankar - Tenth Decade in Concert: Live In Escondido (Mouth Drum)

    + vid2
    Ravi Shankar - Tenth Decade in Concert: Live In Escondido (Yaman Kalyan)

    Published on Dec 1, 2012
    A clip from "Ravi Shankar - Tenth Decade in Concert," available on DVD from Ravi's own East Meets West Music (

    * * *

    Cinematographer and director Alan Kozlowski presents an intimate look at a 91-year-old Ravi Shankar performing in southern California in October 2011. [read more]

    Ravi Shankar & Philip Glass - Ragas In Minor Scale!  
    tiad Uploaded on Jul 6, 2009

    Ravi Shankar & Philip Glass from the Album "Passages" (1990). The collaboration between Philip Glass, one of the greatest composer of the 20th century, and Ravi Shankar, THE greatest Indian musician of the 20th century, has produced a stunning masterpiece with genius. An intuitive combination of styles and one of the best examples of what one deems music to be. Listen & Enjoy it.

    Personnel includes:
    Philip Glass
    Ravi Shankar (vocals, sitar)
    S.P. Balasubramanyam
    Madras Choir
    Jeannie Gagne (vocals)
    Shubho Shankar (sitar)
    Partha Sarady (sarod)
    Barry Finclair (violin, viola)
    Tim Baker, Mayuki Fukuhara (violin)
    Al Brown (viola)
    Seymour Barab (cello)
    Theresa Norris, Ronus Mazumdar (flute)
    Jon Gibson (soprano saxophone)
    Richard Peck, Lenny Pickett (alto & tenor saxophones)
    Peter Gordon (French horn)
    Keith O'Quinn (trombone)
    Joe Carver (bass)
    Abhiman Kaushal (tabla)

    also see
    A Chairy Tale (Norman McLaren. 1957)

    I wondered if Dave Brubeck & Ravi Shankar had ever performed together?

    The only rumoured collaboration i found was on an english version of a heart song /anti-war song by Vietnamese composer/musician Pham Dhuy (Phạm Duy Cẩn), english lyrics by Stephen Addis: listen/judge for yourself: Ballad from Vietnam, The Rain on the Leaves.

    Ravi Shankar
    Ravi Shankar

    Monday, 10 December 2012

    Jacques Brel ~ a very warm person ~ troubadours

    Ray Charles - If You Go Away - 1978 (Jacques Brel Cover - Ne me Quitte Pas) 
     Born in Brussels, Brel was a family man and cardboard-factory worker until his breakthrough in the 1950s. In the clubs of Paris, he became a hipster chansonnier, a cabaret hero with the dash of a nouvelle vague leading man. Routinely compared with Dylan despite his overt theatricality, Brel, with his storytelling style and his world-weary melodramatics, was an inspiration for David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, and many others. ~ James Sullivan, Slate


    “Jacques Brel-Ne me quitte pas (Eng. Subtitles)” — Jacques Brel-Ne me quitte pas (Eng. Subtitles)  
    Jacques Brel's drop-dead performance (follow link)
    Where i found it/inspired by (go back to the world Canadian Music)

    Ne me quitte pas
    Jacques Brel

    Ne me quitte pas
    Il faut oublier
    Tout peut s'oublier
    Qui s'enfuit déjà
    Oublier le temps
    Des malentendus
    Et le temps perdu
    A savoir comment
    Oublier ces heures
    Qui tuaient parfois
    A coups de pourquoi
    Le cœur du bonheur
    Ne me quitte pas
    Ne me quitte pas
    Ne me quitte pas
    Ne me quitte pas

    Moi je t'offrirai
    Des perles de pluie
    Venues de pays
    Où il ne pleut pas
    Je creuserai la terre
    Jusqu'après ma mort
    Pour couvrir ton corps
    D'or et de lumière
    Je ferai un domaine
    Où l'amour sera roi
    Où l'amour sera loi
    Où tu seras reine
    Ne me quitte pas
    Ne me quitte pas
    Ne me quitte pas
    Ne me quitte pas

    Ne me quitte pas
    Je t'inventerai
    Des mots insensés
    Que tu comprendras
    Je te parlerai
    De ces amants-là
    Qui ont vu deux fois
    Leurs cœurs s'embraser
    Je te raconterai
    L'histoire de ce roi
    Mort de n'avoir pas
    Pu te rencontrer
    Ne me quitte pas
    Ne me quitte pas
    Ne me quitte pas
    Ne me quitte pas

    On a vu souvent
    Rejaillir le feu
    D'un ancien volcan
    Qu'on croyait trop vieux
    Il est paraît-il
    Des terres brûlées
    Donnant plus de blé
    Qu'un meilleur avril
    Et quand vient le soir
    Pour qu'un ciel flamboie
    Le rouge et le noir
    Ne s'épousent-ils pas
    Ne me quitte pas
    Ne me quitte pas
    Ne me quitte pas
    Ne me quitte pas
    Ne me quitte pas
    Je ne vais plus pleurer
    Je ne vais plus parler
    Je me cacherai là
    A te regarder
    Danser et sourire
    Et à t'écouter
    Chanter et puis rire
    Laisse-moi devenir
    L'ombre de ton ombre
    L'ombre de ta main
    L'ombre de ton chien
    Ne me quitte pas
    Ne me quitte pas
    Ne me quitte pas
    Ne me quitte pas.
    Do not leave me now
    We must just forget
    Yes, we can forget
    All that’s flown beyond
    Let’s forget the time
    The misunderstandings
    And the wasted time
    To find out how
    To forget these hours
    Which sometimes kill
    The blows of why,
    A heart full of joy.
    Do not leave me now
    Do not leave me now
    Do not leave me now
    Do not leave me now

    I offer you
    Pearls of rain
    Coming from the lands
    Where it never rains
    I will cross the world
    Till after my death
    To cover your bosom
    With gold and light
    I will make a kingdom
    where love will be king
    Where love will be the law
    Where you will be queen
    Do not leave me now
    Do not leave me now
    Do not leave me now
    Do not leave me now

    Do not leave me now,
    I will invent for you
    The senseless words
    That you’ll understand
    And I will tell you
    Of these lovers who
    Were seen twice
    With their hearts in blaze
    I will say in detail
    The story of this king
    Dead, from having not
    Encountered you.
    Do not leave me now
    Do not leave me now
    Do not leave me now
    Do not leave me now

    One often recalls
    Flames light anew
    From an old volcano
    Thought to be too old.
    It appears that
    The scorched fields
    Can give more corn
    Than the best of springs.
    And when evening comes
    In this blazing sky
    The red and the night
    Marry nevermore.
    Do not leave me now
    Do not leave me now
    Do not leave me now
    Do not leave me now

    Do not leave me now
    I will cry no more
    I will talk no more
    Will hide somehow
    Just to look at you
    Dance and smile
    And to hear you
    Sing and then laugh
    Let me be for you
    The shadow of your shadow
    The shadow of your hand
    The shadow of your dog
    Do not leave me now
    Do not leave me now
    Do not leave me now
    Do not leave me now
    Translated from French into English by Zafiris Gourgouliatos, night of the full moon, April 2007. (lightly adjusted)

    McKuen adaptation/lyrics here

    The slip from assertive "Don't leave me" to the passive "if you go away" is pretty typical of anglicizing away the passions of humanity. Imagine kids like me (and, apparently, Kurt Cobain) rising to the emotionality of Terry Jacks songs, when there was a whole world more of reality, being filtered through the language and cultural barriers.

    There is also the english-english translations, compare Robbie Robertson's "bottle of rain" to Rod Stewart's dumbed down/downright tacky "bottle of wine." True poetry versus ...?

    Jacques Brel - Ne me quitte pas - HQ Live

    Dec 10: National Day of Action: Idle No More

     December 10th marks the international day for Human Rights.

    A peaceful call to action requesting acts of solidarity against government and industry actions that use legislation and disregard free, prior and informed consent to further their agendas in the name of profit and progress disregarding the natural law to live as one with Mother Earth. 

    Native Education College students are holding a mass protest!!!!
    Join us!! Support your Brothers and Sisters!!

    Where: Native Education College to the Vancouver Art Gallery

    When: December 10th 2012 @ 11 am

    What: Call or send letters to your MP, Visit MP's Offices, hold Teach-ins. Demand that our government be accountable to the Treaties and to MotherEarth!

    For actions in other localities, follow the link


    Parts 1 to 4 of Dr. Pamela Palmater's examination of unilateral changes to the constellation of agreements between Canada and First Nations.

    Idle No More Alberta - Dr. Pamela Palmater Uploaded by idlenomorealberta·published on Dec 3, 2012 ~ Update and Information on each piece of Canadian federal legislation that is being passed right now or on its way to being
    passed and will adversely affect Aboriginal people.
    Dr. Pamela Palmater
    Mi'kmaw citizen and member of Eel River Bar First Nation

    More presentations:

    Tanya Kappo, J.D
    Introduction +
    History of the White Paper and the Red Paper

    Sylvia McAdam,B.H.J, L.L.B.
    Whitefish Lake Reserve Lands, #118
    "Nehiyaw weyeswewna (Cree Laws) - Revitalizing Okicitaw
    Iskwewak as Part of the Treaty Understanding.

    Janice A. Makokis, B.A., M.A (IGOV), L.L.B
    Saddle Lake Cree Nation
    "International Avenues of Asserting Nationhood: United
    Nations and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights
    of Indigenous Peoples" Part One + Part Two

    Visit idlenomorealberta to view all.

    “Idle No More, a group of Indigenous women, has made a peaceful call to action requesting acts of solidarity against governments and industries that use legislation and disregard free, prior and informed consent to further their agendas in the name of profit and progress, ignoring the natural law to live as one with Mother Earth. …December 10th marks the international day for Human Rights. Idle No More is requesting that all our relations take part in a peaceful demonstration of solidarity.”
     ~Council of Canadians

    Visit Idle No More website for more information + plentiful possibilities