Thursday, 31 October 2013

under the bus with due process

The epic flooding of Calgary was no doubt a divine wrath scenario, not intended to wipe out the core Conservatives, only, sent as a warning.

The rescheduled gathering is also affected by flood conditions, this time it is the undammed issues of ethics and alienation, continuing to be debated and resistant to containment. Whether or not the senatorial situation, the cover-ups, the harsh treatment that has come to be called "under the bus," by common consent, are scheduled for conversation, Conservatives acknowledge that it will form the weft and the weave of the gathering, it is the one thing everyone wants to talk about.

Back in the spring, I had some reaction to news reports that unveiled the Three Accused Senators. Like many Canadians, i reacted-- not to the accusations so much as to the different treatment for the three accused: the white man's report was doctored, softened, whilst the woman and the indigenous man were frankly sanctioned. What's this? Why the special effort to repay Duffy's expenses, with no sign of a similar umbrella extended to the other two?

Questions and answers have continued to drip into the public domain, sometimes on the initiative of the Conservatives or Senators, sometimes as a result of curious reporters, following up, doing their jobs. Each revelation letting slip a little more of the same: contradictions, differential treatment, and a whole lot of smoke, mirrors, spin. The recent weeks of full-on he said/she said, has had some high points--top-notch oratory-- and bringing the challenge that Conservatives are facing well out front and centre: control versus ethics.

Helena G was a longtime Conservative, met her husband on the Hill and in the Party, had every reason to think she was what she thought she was-- a part of a unity, one of a pack-- until the swirl of innuendo and the suddenness of the dispatch, and she woke up, there on the road, under the bus. No legal recourse for this Sudden Liability, nor any actual legal charges to substantiate the swirling inneundo-storm that was the rationale behind this summary treatment.

Fortress Conservative, and the guards who in an era of kill lists and drone wars felt it appropriate to attack and remove a serving MP rather than pursue any inside or outside corrective or investigative options, preferring character assassination and public humiliations over any form of humane due process, was revealed as a force in our world.

The 2011 election moved Helena out of the public eye, while ushering in the robocall scandals. While news reports and criminal justice procedures seemed to focus on Ontario ridings, I am way out here in the irrelevancies of British Columbia, and I did receive the same two-part treatment that have been widely reported-- the hostile young man on the phone, asking me if I would be voting Conservative, followed by the diversionary robocall, seeking to mislead me with criminal intent, and to rob my family members of our right to vote in the federal election.

The "trench warfare" of the criminal trial, and the ease with which the media moves on to the next headline, combine. I have had no answers, from the electoral fraud investigators nor from my elected representatives, to tell me how my contact information ended up on a Fortress Conservative killlist. But the intended chill did have it's profound and intended effect. My willingness to communicate my views on political issues to my (legally or illegally) elected and appointed officials disappeared for a while. Clearly in a blinkered, hostile, and increasingly fascist governance scenario, any decision that any one takes to excercise our civic rights and our freedom of speech has consequences. Senator, MP, impoverished citizen, all are one when it comes to the targetting of the Fortress Conservative gun.

While pollsters tell us more believe Duffy than Harper, and a few have stepped out of line to defend Wallin, few seem to show an interest in sharing an umbrella with Senator Brazeau. But, I am one who listened carefully to his recent CBC interview. I found it thought-provoking. His characterization of a certain Senator as a person opposed to Aboriginal people and concerns certainly rang true for me-- bringing to mind my Grade 10 English teacher, a person who was clearly hostile to me for reasons I could not then, as an innocent and naive and well-intended youth arriving in southern Ontario society, understand. A few more decades of life, innumerable further assaults on my innocence, and I do know precisely the sort of person that Mr. Brazeau is referring to.

Like him, I am also curious about the nudging from position of many of these insiders, and wondering when we will hear the great investigative revelations, not only about the years of hubris and misuse of power and authority, not only the underlying class-race solidarity, but even more to the point: who is manning the guns today? Will these challenging weeks provide enough pressure for transformation?

Patrick Brazeau + Evan Solomon interview 

(CBC 2013)


If fish deserve inquiry, so do missing women 

(WFP 2012)

The journalist in this 2012 story implies it's bizarre to contrast the situation of indigenous women to that of the fisheries and the fish, however, I disagree. It seems there is interest in getting to the bottom of many questions, but, the orchestrations against indigenous women are not the same high-interest, central, shared concerns, neither for Fortress Conservative which is bent on dirty tricks means of control, nor for "the base," although more and more political and less political people have publically supported this call. Fortress Conservative, central Canada power brokers, continue to show hostility. Further still, they continue to serve us up non-consultative processes, and anti-democratic flavours of working the system, going through the motions of democratic and due process.*

Duffy used the metaphor of a puppet, and this seems consistent and correct, one of the through-lines: human diversity is neither acknowledged nor tolerated. Wallins echoed Helena G, protesting the refusal to reveal-- much less substantiate-- innuendo, accusations that merited full-on betrayal. Brazeau with fewer accolades, fewer friends, was able to point directly to the moment and the issue that ended the unity, and merited expulsion and betrayal.

It is useful to revisit what Brazeau points out as the turning point issue in his relations with his political masters, the insiders, the beginning of the end for him:

Brazeau Speech: 

Murdered & Missing Aboriginal Women - December 2, 2009

Under the bus is a crowded place, and it is to Canada's shame that that is the only guaranteed place to find due process, under the bus with the senators, mps, deemed foes, intolerable outsiders.

image source:

*for a different example, on Al Jazeera's The Stream:

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

"loved me regardless"

Augmented Reality Video Demonstration

visit the website
The Healthy Aboriginal Network

Published on Oct 30, 2013
The Healthy Aboriginal Network creates video campaigns that are triggered by static images and image recognition software on your smartphone. This technology is called Augmented Reality (AR). This AR Video demonstration is on dementia.

For more information, contact Sean Muir at

The AR app used in this demo is Layar (

This video was produced by Do More Video Media Inc. (

From UNCRC poster project:

Monday, 21 October 2013

National Indigenous Writers Conference

Owly Images

 Saturday was a day of stories, discussions, and high energybringing together indigenous writers & alliesthe desire for a national organization is strong+ support for the initiative is good
Sunday was a day of demystifying the many-headed beast ~ "publishing" ~ and living the life of a writer
Deep thanks to all who gave of themselves so generously through the weekend, and to all the supporters of the project!event + all presenters + more event details & links

Writers conference aims to build Aboriginal representation (Nation Talk)
12 Jamie Reid photos + 1 (second last) by anon

ᑭᒥᐊᐧᐣ kimiwan zine issue #4 west coast launch

kimiwan zine

a print zine for Indigenous writers + artists

event details 
+ all featured artists:
The Northwest Kid & Gameboy
DJ Annashay
Lacey Eninew
Janet Marie Rogers 
& your host Ostwelve!

kimiwan launch party


kimiwan 'zine


new print zine for emerging + established indigenous writers + artists! based in saskatoon, saskatchewan - treaty 6. 

current call: visual art

NEC Lunchtime readings


Hosted & organized by Russell Wallace

Thanks to Cherie Dimaline, Jordan Abel, Duncan Mercredi, Lee Maracle and Tamara Starblanket for sharing readings from their wonderful works! It was touching, informative, and entertaining :-) We love these images - thanks to photographer extraordinaire Jason Brawn!
images ©2013 Jason Brawn

Kickoff event for NIWC (more pics soon)

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Renée Sarojini Saklikar ~ Children of Air India ~ book launch Nov 13

Why does 9/11 resonate more strongly with Canadians than June 23, 1985? 

children of air india is a series of elegiac sequences exploring the nature of individual loss, situated within public trauma. The work is animated by a proposition: that violence, both personal and collective, produces continuing sonar, an echolocation that finds us, even when we choose to be unaware or indifferent. 

This collection breaks new ground in its approach to the saga that is Canada/Air India, an event and its aftermath that is both over-reported and under-represented in our national psyche.

329 deaths. 82 Children. Canada's worst mass murder. The accused acquitted.
What does it mean to be Canadian and lose someone in Air India Flight 182?

Why does 9/11 resonate more strongly with Canadians than June 23, 1985? The poems in this book search out answers in the "everything/ness and nothing/ness" of an act and its aftermath, revealing a voice that re-defines and re-visions. 

Air India never happened. Air India always happens. 

Renée Sarojini Saklikar

Really excited to announce/attend the long-awaited launch of Renée's powerful poems!

Praise for Children of Air India

"One of the most significant books of poetry produced in this place. A place it remakes. The scope of children of air india goes beyond event and into the realm of thought, knowledge, and how we must read and write absences forever present."

"A hearbreaking debut collection. children of air india is a distillation of rage, grief, compassion and incomprehension into a Kaddish of the imagination, a song of witnessing, and indictment of indifference that also reads as a blessing for the dead. This is a voice that must be heard; this is the kind of poetry that teaches us how to be human."

"Tender without being sentimental, incisive without losing compassion, children of air india is part song, part family album, part legal document, part childhood attic. Saklikar's rare gift is the ability to collect all these fragments to create a whole that is a lyrical and haunting palimpsest."
~Sirish Rao, author and Artistic Director of Indian Summer Festival

more about this book on

to purchase online

visit Renee's blog 

"a canadian tragedy" ~ about the disaster

Air India Flight 182

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

canada dance map

Canada Dance Mapping 

Pupils & teachers, Jordynn Delorme & Chamille Munro ~
Troy Fleece photo (see story)

Dance ...  takes place almost anywhere... on the streets, at schools and ... community centres across the country... practiced by young and old ... enjoyed in-person and online. The Canada Council is leading a ... project to get a clearer picture of Canada’s full dance ecosystem and its social and economic impacts. .... The project will continue through 2013-14 and the results posted on the Council website as they are finalized.
local talent Audrey Barber
(Atlantic Flamenco Festival, see story)
The map pinpoints more than 900 dance-related organizations in genres that include Asian, African, Aboriginal, European, Latin, classical, folk, contemporary, urban and more. The organizations include presenters, funders, festivals, companies and dance schools. In coming weeks and months, we aim to triple the number of entries. This pioneering mapping microsite is an initiative of the 
Canada Dance Mapping Study. 

follow link to download

Canada Dance Mapping Study: Literature Review

Canada Council for the Arts - Conseil des Arts du Canada

Canada Council website,

Monday, 7 October 2013

co-creating canada + #Oct7Proclaim

The renewed interest in Canadian history reflected by big money gov supported celebrations of war of 1812 and similar, somehow overlooked the Royal Proclamation of 1763, and so, the Land Claims Agreements Coalition took up the project, as did the Assembly of First Nations. APTN and CBC picked up the excitement, and activehistory has published a series of essays engaging with the proclamation & it's impact over time and across a variety of perspectives.

Beyond the organizational activities of the land, and the wishes of la fedgov, it must be acknowledged that much of the interest has been stirred up by indigenous actions and a broadly based agreement among indigenous people and allies to keep the subject of our relatedness open, by any and every means. 

I recommend a visit to the Walking With Our Sisters website, to see the flourishing action of many hands at work in creating memorial vamps and in showcasing this collective expression of love, solidarity, and grief. With 1300+ participating artists, and 30+ venues confirmed over seven years, this is a powerful and lingering action, only beginning to show it's public face. 




 Moccasin Vamps by Skawennati Fragnito

posted to vimeo 

The Royal Proclamation of 1763: 250 Years Later
& promoted on Idle No More website

more about the visual artist
Skagewenatti Fragnito website