While the Canadian government spends a half-billion dollars on celebrations for “Canada 150,” Indigenous organized events and protests are standing in steadfast rejection of Canada’s legacy of colonization and dispossession.
An organization called Idle No More called for a National Day of Action to reject the glorification and gratuitous celebration of colonial occupation, and to celebrate ongoing Indigenous resistance.
“This day of action is to celebrate our Indigenous and human rights to self-determination, our lands, territories and resources. It is also to educate Canadians about how their constitutional framework, first established 150 years ago in the British North America Act of 1867, illegally confiscated our lands, territories and resources, spawned the post-confederation Indian Act and attempted to write Indigenous jurisdiction – and Indigenous Peoples – out of existence,” read the group’s call to action.
Events are taking place around the country, including Toronto, Ottawa, Sorrento, Victoria, and Montreal.
On June 29th during a “reoccupation” action in Ottawa, the Bawating Water Protectors resisted an onslaught of police forces attempting to stop them, and succeeded in erecting a tipi at Parliament Hill, where it will stand through July 1st when Canada 150 celebrations are set to take place.
“The goal of this… action is to reaffirm our rightful claim to these lands as the original caretakers of Turtle Island, and to demand the repatriation of the territories that were and are illegally seized by the Canadian state,” the organizers of the action wrote on the facebook event.
Police and protesters engaged in an hours long standoff, and nine people were arrested initially, although they were later released.
Prime Minister Trudeau later visited the tipi, where he gave a message of working towards “reconciliation,” with Indigenous groups so that “the next 150 years are way better.”
However, organizers of Idle No More have made it clear that Trudeau, often praised as a liberal, progressive favorite, has only acted to continue the occupation of Indigenous land in spite of his rhetoric toward “reconciliation.”
“This assault has not stopped. If anything, it has accelerated under the current government,” Idle No More organizers wrote on facebook. “Prime Minister Trudeau has been approving pipeline projects and continues to bank on the exploitation of our resources. He does not want to recognize indigenous land rights.”
Organizers in Toronto will be holding an “Unsettle Picnic” to “remind MP Carolyn Bennett” who will be hosting a Canada 150 picnic that day, that she is “celebrating 150 years of Colonialism and genocide the Canadian state has and continues to inflict upon Indigenous people.”
NATO Stuck in Ineffective ‘Cold War’ Model, Unable to Combat Terrorism: Russian Foreign Minister
The Russian Foreign Minister has harsh criticism for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, claiming that it is unable to effectively combat terrorism, is operating on an outdated “cold war” model, and exists simply to acquire geopolitical space, Russian news agency TASS reported.
“NATO has been unable to respond to the growth of a major threat – terrorism – and continues shattering security institutions in Europe,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.
Lavrov said that NATO is operating in a cold-war model of bipolar standoff, which he said is unable to be adapted to the complex realities of the 21st century that require cooperation, particularly in dealing with the threats of terrorism and its underlying causes.
“In particular, the North Atlantic Alliance still remains in the logics of the Cold War, trying to justify it’s own existence,” Lavrov said.
The top Russian diplomat has also recently criticized what he called the “greedy” geopolitical aspirations of the major defense alliance.
“NATO’s plans have never changed and with different intensity degree have been aimed at greedily acquiring geopolitical space, which they considered as unclaimed after the collapse of the Soviet Union,” he said last week said
NATO permanent operations have since 2014 encroached increasingly closer to the borders of Russia, stationing troops and constructing infrastructure. The move was justified by NATO nations as being necessary following the crisis in Ukraine, when Russia re-annexed Crimea.
Referring to the movement of NATO toward Russia, Lavrov said “we understand very well that pretexts used to justify such steps are far fetched.”
Lavrov has said that he believes the given justification is simply an excuse to encroach geopolitically on Russia.
“If there had not been the coup d’etat in Ukraine, after which we were forced to defend those people who refused to obey neo-Nazi perpetrators of the coup, then something else would have been invented,” he continued.
“The NATO-centric thinking is a bad thing,” Lavrov said criticizing cold-war standoff policies. “It does not help build confidence, strengthen good neighborly relations and reduce tensions.”