Archive | December 17, 2015

Inuit Leaders Call for Healing and Education in Wake of TRC Final Report*

Inuit Leaders Call for Healing and Education in Wake of TRC Final Report*

By Sima Sahar Zerehi

Inuit leaders say now that the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s long-awaited final report is out, it’s time for healing, education and action.

Commission chair Justice Murray Sinclair formally ended the six-year commission Tuesday with the release of its final report and 94 recommendations for action.

The extensive final report shows how residential schooling in the North played a major role in the rapid transformation of the region’s traditional lifestyles and economies by taking Inuit, Métis and First Nations children tremendous distances away from their families and stripping them of their languages and traditional skills.

“We’ve been waiting for it for a very, very long, long time,” said James Eetoolook, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.’s vice-president. He attended a residential school for a year.

“I think we need to push our government in order to keep on top of it rather than putting it on the back burner.”

Eetoolook said Nunavut Tunngavik is looking forward to meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the near future to work on the action plans associated with the report.

Airing these dark chapters in Canadian history will go a long way in addressing the trauma from the past, said Eetoolook.

“I know it’s not going to put an end to the disaster that was created by the Canadian government,” he said.

“I think we’re going to see some healing come out of it.”

Eetoolook said he is eager to see the truths in the report be incorporated into how history is taught.

‘It is part of our Canadian history, this history is not all great, there’s a lot of madness and a lot of sadness in it as well,’ said James Eetoolook Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.’s vice-president


‘It is part of our Canadian history, this history is not all great, there’s a lot of madness and a lot of sadness in it as well,’ said James Eetoolook Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.’s vice-president.

‘We can forgive, but we cannot forget’

Jack Anawak, a former residential school student and a former Nunavut MP, said he believes that it’s time for better education that fosters cultural understanding of Inuit, Métis and First Nations.

“We have come to the understanding that yes we can forgive, but we cannot forget,” he said.

“What needs to happen now is that the Canadian public has to accept the recommendations as fact.”

Rebecca Kudloo, president of the Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, attended residential school as a child, and was in Ottawa for the release of the report.

Kudloo said that the problems associated with the abuses of residential schools will continue until Inuit populations are given the resources needed to assist with the healing process.

“It was nice to hear that the government is committed to the next steps and healing but the resources are scare,” she said.

Kudloo said she hopes that a part of the action plan will include funding social services that can help fight the legacy of trauma.

Natan Obed, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, was in Ottawa for the release of the report and was one of the leaders who made a speech at the event that resulted in a standing ovation.

“The truth that we now have in these volumes, and the truth that has been said over the course of this entire process should change us,” said Obed.

“It should reach our hearts…it should affect us not just today but throughout the entirely of our lives.”


Related Topics:

Canada Forcing the Indigenous to Give Up their Land*

The Neo-Colonial Context of Canada’s Multiculturalism*

Disappearing and Murdered: Canada’s Indigenous Women*

Indigenous Canadians Sue Government over White Adoptions*

A Ruling that Highlights Indigenous Love of the Land and Canada’s Destruction of It*

Canada under Criminal Investigation for Murders, and Child Trafficking*

350,800 Missing Children Found in Mass Graves in Ireland, Spain, Canada*

Soulful Connections Beyond Generations*

Canada’s Forgotten Case of Duplessis Orphans*

Mis-trial as 1st Freddie Gray Case Ends in Hung Jury*

Mis-trial as 1st Freddie Gray Case Ends in Hung Jury*

A judge declared a mistrial Wednesday in manslaughter case against Baltimore Police Officer William Porter for the death of Freddie Gray.
Jurors deliberated for 16 hours over three days before they came back with their indecision. There is no word yet when the state will retry 26-year-old Porter on the charges of involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment in connection to Gray’s death on April 19.  Five of Porter’s colleagues meanwhile wait in the wings for trials on similar charges. Porter is one of four officers charged with involuntary manslaughter, but two face a top charge of second-degree assault. One of the four charged with manslaughter also faces a count of depraved-heart murder. Porter’s trial hinged on the prosecution’s ability to show that the officer had behaved unreasonably when 25-year-old Gray suffered a critical spinal injury in police custody.

Prosecutors claim Porter failed to buckle Gray into the van during a six-stop ride to the police station and failed to get medical help when Gray requested it. Jurors proved unable, however, to sort out discrepancies between Porter’s testimony and his statements to detectives in phone conversation and a recorded interview.
 While Porter told the detectives that he picked Gray from the floor of the van at stop four and placed him on the bench, Porter testified in court that Gray helped in taking a seat and that it would not have been possible for Porter to pick Gray up from the floor without some aid from Gray. Porter told investigators that, as soon as Gray indicated he wanted to go to the hospital, Porter conveyed that request to Officer Caesar Goodson, the driver of the van.Goodson intended to take Gray there, Porter said, even though the officers were not sure whether Gray was truly injured or had been feigning distress to avoid jail.

Gray had allegedly been kicking the back of the transport van for a part of the 45-minute ride, and officers suspected he might have exhausted himself. Porter told investigators that Gray never actually asked for medical attention. The officer claims that he offered to call a medic and that Gray said yes. Though Porter and Goodson agreed they should take Gray to the hospital, they didn’t call a medic to the scene, Porter said. Carol Allan, the assistant medical examiner who ruled Gray’s death a homicide meanwhile testified in the trial that Gray was already injured by the fourth stop.

“At the 4th stop, Mr. Gray was displaying symptoms of a high spinal cord injury; difficulties in breathing and movement,” a copy of the autopsy report entered into evidence states.

“The type of fracture/dislocation documented in imaging studies on admission is a high-energy injury most often caused by abrupt deceleration of a rotated head on a hyper-flexed neck, such as seen in shallow water diving incidents.”

Allan testified the injury could have been exacerbated throughout the van ride. Goodson’s plan to take Gray to a hospital took a back seat when the van received a call to pick up another prisoner at a fifth stop. Porter said Gray was still listless and responded in the affirmative when he asked again about the need for a medic. It was at this point that Sgt. Alicia White, the supervising officer, assigned Porter to accompany Gray to the hospital.
First, however, Goodson wanted to drop off the second prisoner at the station house. By the time the van reached that destination, Gray was unconscious. Jurors saw video shot by Brandon Ross from Gray’s April 12 arrest.
Goodson, the driver of the police van, faces the most serious charge of second-degree depraved-heart murder. In addition to White, the state has also charged Lt. Brian Rice and Officers Edward Nero and Garrett Miller. The defendants have all pleaded not guilty and are free on bonds. Allan’s autopsy report said Gray suffered a “high-energy injury” in the van, and that his death could not be classified as an accident because of “acts of omission” by the officers, citing the police department’s general orders and safety protocols for arrestees.

Police say Gray was carrying an illegal switch blade when he was arrested. Video of the arrest shot by a bystander shows Gray dragging his feet while police put him in a van. Gray’s funeral on April 26 saw riots erupt across Baltimore, with at least 235 people arrested and hundreds of businesses damaged or set on fire.

Outside the courthouse dozens of protesters marched chanting, “All night, all day, we want justice for Freddie Gray.”
Others chanted a refrain heard in protests around the city – “no justice, no peace.”
After Baltimore sheriffs cleared the sidewalk where protesters had temporarily blocked traffic on North Calvert Street, the civilians moved one block east toward City Hall Park. Baltimore City Police spokesman T.J. Smith reported that two individuals were arrested during the protest. One of those arrested was a minor who had used a blow horn outside the court.
Shortly after the mis-trial was declared, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Kevin Davis held a press conference calling for calm in the wake of the decision.

“Justice is a process, not a verdict,” Rawlings-Blake said, asking the residents of the city to respect the outcome of the trial.

Davis said that both local and federal agents were placed around the city in preparation for possible unrest.

There is an administrative law hearing scheduled for Thursday morning, where it is widely expected that prosecutors will ask to try Porter again.


Related Topics:

Man Who Recorded Freddie Gray Video Arrested*

Six Baltimore Officers Indicted for Freddie Gray’s Death, but…*

Baltimore Charged with Hope, as 6 Killer Cops are Charged with Murder*

Days of Rage in Baltimore and Mexico*

‘Justice or Else’ Muslim-led Million Man March Hits Washington*

Maya Angelou on Facing Evil*

Maya Angelou on Facing Evil*

In 1988 Maya Angelou was invited to Texas for the conference “Facing Evil”. After having “trepidations about this conference” Maya Angelou shares “what we evoke by invoking the word evil”. Later Maya Angelou would often be quoted as saying, “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.” Listen as Maya Angelou reads poetry her own poetry and the poem We Wear the Masks by Paul Laurence Dunbar and quotes a song written for Roberta Flack.

“We need the courage to create ourselves daily, to be bodacious enough to create ourselves daily– as Christians, as Jews, as Muslims, as thinking, caring, laughing, loving human beings.”

“I think that the courage to confront evil and turn it by dint of will into something applicable to the development of our evolution, individually and collectively, is exciting, honourable.”


Related Topics:

An Awakened Life: Trials and Tribulations*

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings*

As I Began to Love Myself…*

The Intelligence of Self Observation and Self-Awareness*

Transformation: Lessons from Rumi*

The Joint U.S-Russia U.N. Security Council Draft Resolution “To Defeat ISIS!?*

The Joint U.S-Russia U.N. Security Council Draft Resolution “To Defeat ISIS!?*

By Stephen Lendman

Anti-ISIS lip service has been around a long time. Until Russia intervened in Syria against its forces and other terrorist groups on September 30, these elements made steady gains. 

Rhetorical Western and regional opposition did nothing to stop their advances. Resolutions declaring UN Member States’ unity in combating ISIS are one thing – commitment entirely another.

Russia alone among major powers is combating its scourge. America, Britain, France, Germany, Turkey, Israel, Canada, Australia, Gulf States and other so-called US coalition partners support what they pretend to oppose.

Security Council resolutions changed nothing on the ground in Syria and Iraq. In August 2014, SC members unanimously adopted Res. 2170 – binding under the UN Charter’s Chapter VII, permitting members to “determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression” and to take military and non-military action to “restore international peace and security.”

The resolution targeted ISIS, Al Qaeda and its affiliate groups.

In February 2015, SC members unanimously adopted Res. 2199 (binding under Chapter VII) to prevent ISIS and other terrorist groups from profiting from trade in oil, antiquities, hostages and other illicit sources of income.

In November 2015, SC members unanimously passed Res. 2249, calling on all Member States “to take all necessary measures” to defeat ISIS and other terrorist groups – “to redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by ISIL also known as Da’esh as well as ANF, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with al-Qaeda, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the United Nations Security Council.”

On Thursday, Security Council members are scheduled to adopt the first joint U.S./Russian drafted resolution on combating ISIS. Its purpose is “to circle (the organization as a separate, most vital terrorist threat.”

It stresses cutting off its funding sources. America heads the SC in December. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew will chair the meeting – to be attended by finance ministers of some of the other SC members. Vitaly Churkin will represent Russia.

He said the resolution is binding under Chapter VII, as well as including “several brand new aspects.” Earlier SC resolutions “referred to (ISIS) as one of Al Qaeda’s divisions.”

“Now, the sanctions list is rebranded. The document offers expanded criteria of listing, which makes it possible to impose limitations on any individuals or corporates smudged by relations with” ISIS.

A key objective is “enforcement of the regime to reveal and stop illegal financing of (ISIS) and groups related to it by means of trade of oil, artefacts and other illegal sources.”

“The countries did have respective obligations well before this, but, unfortunately, those obligations have been observed not by all and not always.”

Henceforth, U.N. monitoring and sanctioning mechanisms “will be focused clearly on eradication of those developments.”

What’s occurring on the ground and legally binding are worlds apart. Washington, rogue NATO partners, Israel, regional and other allies say one thing and do another.

SC resolutions and other legally binding measures change nothing on the ground. As long as Washington and partnered nations support ISIS and other terrorist groups, Russia alone with Syria, Iraq, Iran and Hezbollah forces will continue combating this scourge alone.

Moscow is under no illusion otherwise, hard as it keeps trying to enlist other nations to unite responsibly against a universal threat – unable to exist without outside support.


Related Topics:

They get you to Hate Muslims so They Can Pocket There Wealth and Keep You Poor*

Captured Israeli Officer Details Israeli-ISIS Plan to Wipe-out all Islamic and Muslim Culture and Prevent Religions Coming Together*

Putin’s Address to the U.N. in 10 Quotes*

Brzezinski to Putin: Stop hitting OUR al-Qaeda or it’s World War III*

Putin Blows the Whistle on the Who and the Why of ISIS*

America Reels as Putin “Redlines” Israel*

Saudi Invasion of Syria Blocked by Putin*

CIA + Contractors = ISIS in Afghanistan*

Christians Join Forces with Muslim Group Hezbollah to Fight ISIS in Lebanon*

Former Supreme Commander of NATO said Daesh/ISIS is an Israeli Project*

Putin Reveals ISIS Funded by 40 Countries, Including G20 Members*

Moscow Doubles Down on Washington*

Free Syrian Army Shares Intel on ISIS Targets with Moscow*

1 Million Syrians Return Home since Launch of Russian Anti-ISIS Operations*

Ban Ki-moon Wants Russia to Join America’s War on Humanity*