Agriculture, Environment, Land, Food, Planning, Sustainability Archives - Page 2 of 5 - Peter Sibbald's Blog About Photography and Filmmaking

Understanding “Idle No More”… Not Just an “Indian Thing”

While many are writing, reporting, broadcasting and blogging on this already the past few days, this may be the my first of many related posts on my blog about this new movement across Canada. There is something about it that has the same raw authenticity that the Occupy movement did a little over a year ago. The singular difference, I sense, is that the sentiment and knowledge that fuels it has been hundreds of years in the amassing and the pent-up anger driving it—rightly in my opinion—is generations old, residing in the hearts of four or five generations of people currently extant.

On the surface at least Idle No More is the creation of four young women, 3 Native and one non-Native, in response to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s, ham-fisted Omnibus Bill C-45—with (among many travesties) its rights grab of First People’ land rights and annihilation of protections to Canada’s precious clean water. But beyond that, The PM’s apparently blithe and nakedly insulting unconcern about Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike, now in it’s 10th day (tbc), merely a stone’s throw from the PMO has jabbed already raw nerves from sea to sea to shining sea.

 Idle No More’s official web site is the go-to place on matters and information related to the movement. Please beware: immitators and other’s attempting to forward discreditable agendas are already springing up.

It’s a lot to wade through though so as I begin to get up-to-date on what the movement is myself, I thought I would focus what I’m learning. Rather than attempting to interpret, here is the beginning of a compendium of what the people themselves are saying.

To begin with, and perhaps of greatest importance to the greatest number, in the words of University of Winnipeg Director of Indigenous Inclusion Wab Kinew in the Huffington Posta couple of days ago: Idle No More is “more than just an “Indian Thing””.

And even if here and there the odd Canadian might be so calous and colonially imperial in his or her way of thinking as not to give a damn about social justice, First Nations or First Nations land rights, perhaps they’ll sit up and take notice of the new threats to their treasured cottage properties and country retreats and their own now threatened rights.

For these and other reasons, I think Idle No More may grow wider and endure to become, ironically, one of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s enduring legacies. But wait, there is still time for him to do something about fixing this.

Meanwhile, here is lawyer and Idle No More co-founder Sylvia McAdam, who in 12 minutes gives us a pretty clear idea of what is at stake:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/pKJ4mW5urgU[/youtube] ©IdleNoMoreAlberta

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A timeless word from Woody

As Toronto braces itself for the G20 Summit, a lovely interview with Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie on CBC’s The Current

I never stopped to think of it before, but you know — a policeman will jest stand there an let a banker rob a farmer, or a finance man rob a workin man. But if a farmer robs a banker — you wood have a hole dern army of cops out a shooting at him. Robbery is a chapter in etiquette.

—Woody Guthrie
From “Woody Sez” in
The People’s World

Remembering the Quebec Summit of the Americas, 2001

flower

flower_girl_gassed_1

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“touching something that is untouchable”

In the same vein as my last post, and from a work done at great legal risk by the documentary makers, the following quotations:

“Monsanto, where creative chemistry works wonders for you.”

“I have never seen a situation where one company could have so much overwhelming influence at the highest levels of regulatory decision making, as an example of Monsanto with its GM food policy and the government.”

“More powerful than bombs; it’s more powerful than God”.

“We’re touching something that is untouchable.”

The World According to Monsanto

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Greasing the Cloud

If there can be found to be any silver lining to such incipiently disastrous events as BP’s recent and ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, it is the reminder that we must be constantly vigilant of the hubris of Humankind and vigourous in demanding that our leaders and policy makers adhere to the wisdom and good leadership protocols embodied in the Precautionary Principle. After all, such man-man catastrophes have always been completely avoidable.

To reprise an earlier blog post:

“The proposal of any new law or regulation which comes from [businessmen], ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men, whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it.”

Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Cause of the Wealth of Nations, vol. 1, pt. xi, p.10(1776)

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Classic Documentary -Fourteen Dollars a day, Twenty-six dollars an acre

How things have changed for the farmer… or have they?

“The best way to keep a gang happy is to set a good table. It’s mainly women and girls who work the table gang, a few boys, but the work is so hard that they’re paid as much as the primers in the field.”

The beautiful work of Terence Macartney-Filgate Shared via the NFB

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Guest Column: Cynical Canadians: Shame on you!

Guest Column Rant

By Curmudgy Mapleblight:

Some might suggest that it is cynical behaviour by Canada’s Conservative federal government led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to prorogue parliament in the middle of the Christmas/New Years holiday week, on the eve of New Years eve, when the hearts and minds of the Canadian electorate were presumably taking a break…

Taking a break from:

  • heartbreak of first Christmases without friends and relatives lost in a war in Afghanistan that few can make sense of
  • the suffering of escalating hardship after a more than year long recession
  • the consternation, puzzlement and international embarrassment of the Canadian diplomat James Colvin’s recent Parliamentary Committee testimony over the handling of Afghan detainees
  • the deepening international embarrassment of Canada’s grotesquely obvious foot-dragging and role in the failure of the Copenhagen climate summit
  • the record numbers of starving Canadian children
  • the record numbers of northern First Peoples without access to clean drinking water and safe living conditions
  • the record number of unresolved Native land claims
  • the record low numbers of surviving family farmers
  • growing fear and escalating discomfort stemming from official reactions to that fear for the flying public
  • the struggle of families in Canada’s hinterlands struggling with the invasion of their private properties by mining companies
  • the lingering uncertainty of impending global pandemics
  • and so many other petty issues

But it would be irresponsible—undemocratic—to accuse the government of taking such cynical actions, or for that matter the opposition who has said relatively little in the wake of this latest prorogation—the second in a year—when all these well paid public servants are away from their offices, support staff and other resources they might use to defend themselves, which taxpayers pay for.

Since that damn commie outfit, the CBC began reporting on the new Facebook group Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament ) late yesterday the groups numbers have increased by 25%, as updated in the past couple of hours.

This is ridiculous! You so-called “engaged Canadians” and especially those belonging to that most infernal of special interest groups—FAMILIES—who claim you care about our country, and yet who yourselves so cynically would think so badly of our government, should feel ashamed of yourselves.

You should ignore silly, childish distractions like Facebook and those few remaining ways that citizens have left of engaging in the political process, and get back to your day jobs (and second night, night jobs and off-farm jobs) so you can keep those tax dollars rolling in and keep those big stone buildings in Ottawa heated, and lights on—even if nobody’s home—so the pipes don’t freeze. That way, when the government finally is ready to come back to work, they don’t have to waste more time and our money debating a budget full of emergency building repair bills.

And one more thing: don’t waste your time trying to contact your MP to tell them to get back to work; they’re on vacation for the next Quarter, and won’t be picking up their messages until late March.

Post Script: And for that matter, that damn CBC shouldn’t be allowed to report on such matters of public interest. When the government finally does get back to work, if they ever survive the confidence vote on their budget, they should finish what they started with that despicable band of pinko intellectuals: eliminate their funding altogether: muzzle’em and then scrap’em!!

_________

Disclaimer:

The opinions expressed on this page are for informational purposes only. Mixed Farmin’ makes no claim to the opinions expressed by our guest columnist. Mixed Farmin’, its affiliates and content licensors assume no liability for any inaccurate, delayed or incomplete information, nor for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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Toronto Star’s Lucas Oleniuk and Randy Risling: State of our art

Here’s a really fine piece that is firing on all four cylinders: story, technique, presentation, relevance: http://www.thestar.com/videozone/737443–william-and-the-windmill

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Nearly December

? To be concerned or delighted by the persistent lack of snow here, let alone Copenhagen (at 55º 41’N is 12º further north than Toronto)?

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