Sunday, February 10, 2013

Insight into the Struggles and Hopes of Canadian First Nations

Siksika First Nation Chief and Council for the period 2010-2013. The term of the Chief and Council expire in December, 2013. Members of the Siksika First Nation people, including Ms. Lillian Crow-Chief who is interviewed by the FDA, accuse the current Chief and Council of selling out the interests of their people to special interests and the federal government.
In this podcast, Mr. Stephen Garvey, Foundation for Democratic Advancement Executive Director, interviews Ms. Lillian Crow-Chief, member of the Siksika School Board and mediator for the Siksika Justice. Lillian is considering running for chief of the Siksika First Nation in its December 2013 elections. The Siksika First Nation is located one hour's drive east of the city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Alberta is infamous for the tar sands and the oil derived from it. Lillian discusses the Siksika peoples' struggle to protect their water and land with reference to a case of water contamination in the form of sewage flowing from the city of Strathmore, Alberta through the community, and the Hidden Valley resort and golf course which is seeking to renew a 50-year lease on the Siksika land. In regard to the resort lease, Lillian says that the current Chief and Council has acted in the interests of themselves, outside developer, and the federal government, rather than the interests of the Siksika people. She documents how the Siksika Chief and Council tried to force the 50-year land lease on the Siksika people, but somehow against all odds the people rose up and said no. Lillian talks about the importance of the Siksika land to their identity and culture, and her commitment to protect the First Nations people's sovereignty against constant pressure to assimilate into the settlers' system. She says that the current direction of the Canadian federal government with Bills C-38 and C-45 violates the process of Indian treaty agreements, and the Canadian First Nations have never surrendered their lands. In addition, Lillian talks about the Canadian Idle No More grassroots movement, and how it has created hope in the struggles that face all Canadians against neo-colonialism and government policies which put special interests over the interests of the people. Lillian believes that people around the world need to stand up and protect the water and land as it is integral to all life. This podcast shows that Lillian is a true First Nation and Canadian leader by putting the interests of her community and Canadians first. Her interview is both informative and inspirational. For more information on the Siksika First Nation, issues facing all Canadians and the Idle No More movement, Lillian can be contacted at crowlf@uleth.ca. For non-mainstream, insightful, and provocative discussion from people working in the field of international politics, listen in or download the FDA podcasts.

The views expressed in the Foundation for Democratic Advancement's podcast do not necessarily represent the views of the Foundation. The FDA supports broad and free speech, and the purposes of its blog posts and podcasts are to encourage discussion and education, and to compensate for deficiencies in mainstream media coverage.

Question for Podcast Listeners:

How are the struggles of the Canadian First Nations similar to the struggles you face in your own communities?

Ms. Lillian Crow-Chief Interview

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2 comments:

Thank you for sharing your perspective.