Shiri Pasternak

Journalism

Originally published on Desmog Canada

Link: http://www.desmog.ca/2014/11/02/wars-home-what-state-surveillance-indigenous-rights-campaigner-tells-us-about-real-risk-canada

Recent revelations that the RCMP spied on Indigenous environmental rights activist Clayton Thomas-Muller should not be dismissed as routine monitoring. They reveal a long-term, national energy strategy that is coming increasingly into conflict with Indigenous rights and assertions of Indigenous jurisdiction over lands and resources.

A “Critical Infrastructure Suspicious Incident” report was triggered by Thomas-Muller’s trip in 2010 to the Unist’ot’en camp of Wet’suwet’en land defenders, where a protect camp was being built on the coordinates of a proposed Pacific Trails pipeline.

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Originally published on Ricochet

Link: https://ricochet.media/en/125/harper-first-nations-assimilation-agenda

By Shiri Pasternak and Russ Diabo

Government response to Supreme Court case on Aboriginal title proposes capitulation, not reconciliation, for First Nations

Last week, in response to this summer’s Supreme Court decision in Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia, the Harper government quietly put forward an aggressive revision of Canada’s Indian policy. It is the first major revision of Canada’s comprehensive land claims and Aboriginal self-government policies since 1986.

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Originally published by CBC News

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/aboriginal/first-nations-social-contracts-how-to-contain-an-aboriginal-rebellion-1.2654595

By David Peerla and Shiri Pasternak

Are economic development agreements the best alternative or a containment strategy?

The new religion of economic development — mines, pipelines, power projects and private property — is being promoted by Bob Rae, Jim Prentice, and even former prime minister Brian Mulroney as the only realistic alternative for First Nations.

Last month Rae, acting as a negotiator for nine Ontario First Nations, joined Premier Kathleen Wynne to celebrate the signing of a framework agreement that would open up the province’s far north to a mineral development bonanza.

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Originally published in The Tyee

Link: http://thetyee.ca/Books/2014/04/10/Resource-Rulers/

‘Resource Rulers’ says industry ignores at its peril wave of ‘native empowerment.’

When news media pay attention to books about Indigenous people in Canada, they tend to select those that stick to a particular script.

Flanagan, Alacantra and Le Dressay’s Beyond the Indian Act, Widdowson and Howard’s Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry, Dances with Dependency all received extensive coverage by the national press upon release.

These books, while different in content, share in common the characterization of Indigenous economies as dependent systems. The solution to achieving self-determination is always conflated with free market access. And while these authors are careful to situate the poverty in First Nations communities within a historical context of land dispossession and legislative discrimination, they are equally careful to avoid analyzing inequalities in systems of free market capitalism.

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Originally published in The Guardian

Link: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/true-north/2014/mar/04/aboriginal-rights-canada-resource-agenda

By Martin Lukacs and Shiri Pasternak

Canadian government closely monitoring how legal rulings and aboriginal protest pose an increasing ‘risk’ for multi-billion dollar oil and mining plans

The Canadian government is increasingly worried that the growing clout of aboriginal peoples’ rights could obstruct its aggressive resource development plans, documents reveal.

Since 2008, the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs has run a risk management program to evaluate and respond to “significant risks” to its agenda, including assertions of treaty rights, the rising expectations of aboriginal peoples, and new legal precedents at odds with the government’s policies.

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Originally published on NationsRising.org

Link: http://nationsrising.org/injunctions-what-land-protectors-need-to-know/

In Elsipogtog right now, a scenario is playing out that repeats itself in communities across the country, but often goes unnoticed: the injunction is mediating conflict between Indigenous-state-private sector parties. While a more detailed and specific analysis is needed on the role of injunctions in the Elsipogtog conflict over fracking on Mik’maq lands, here is a general overview prepared quickly to clarify some basic information about what the remedy can offer and what it restricts in terms of Indigenous assertions of jurisdiction over land.

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Originally published in the Two Row Times

Link: http://www.tworowtimes.com/news/national/new-court-ruling-injunctions-severely-limits-protection-blockaders/

Who has the authority on reservations to protest land development? According to a recent decision by the Supreme Court of Canada, only the band council does.

In Behn v. Moulton Contracting Ltd., a case heard in May of this year, a logging company defended their right to gain access to Fort Nelson First Nation forests against the protests from members of the small British Columbia reserve.

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Originally published by rabble.ca

Link:  http://rabble.ca/news/2013/01/economics-insurgency-thoughts-idle-no-more-and-critical-infrastructure

News reports are ablaze with reports of looming Indigenous blockades and economic disruption. As the Idle No More (INM) movement explodes into a new territory of political action, it bears to amplify the incredible economic leverage of First Nations today, and how frightened the government and industry are of their capacity to wield it.

In recent years, Access to Information (ATI) records obtained by journalists reveal a massive state-wide surveillance and “hot spot monitoring” operation coordinated between the Department of Indian Affairs, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), local security forces, natural resource and transportation ministries, border agencies, and industry stakeholders. These efforts have been explicitly mobilized to protect “critical infrastructure” from Indigenous attack.

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Originally published by rabble.ca.  Republished in The Winter We Danced: Voices From the Past, the Future, and the Idle No More Movement by The Kino-nda-niimi Collective (Editor) (Winnipeg, MB: ARP Books, forthcoming, 2014).

Link: http://rabble.ca/news/2011/10/occupyed-canada-political-economy-indigenous-dispossession-canadahttp://arpbooks.org/books/detail/the-winter-we-danced

The political economy of Canada rests on claims of ownership to all lands and resources within our national borders. So, what, in concrete terms, does it mean to talk about Occupy(ed) Canada to express the demands of the 99 per cent?

Last week, the Globe and Mail reported that the Canadian Forces’ National Counter-Intelligence Unit has been keeping tabs on the activities of Indigenous organizations. While the Department of National Defence — the unit that released the surveillance documents — is tasked with protecting citizens from espionage, terrorists and saboteurs, the content of these co-intel reports do not contain a single shred of evidence that Canadians’ safety is at stake. In fact, what these surveillance reports starkly reveal is that the self-determination, well-being, and territorial heritage of Indigenous peoples are at the heart of Indigenous protest and land reclamation.

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Co-written with Russel Diabo.  Originally published by First Nations Strategic Bulletin, Vol. 9, Issues 1-5, January-May 2011.  Republished on Media Co-op and expanded in Socialist Bulletin.

Links: http://www.scribd.com/doc/57561401/First-Nations-Strategic-Bulletin-Jan-May-2011http://www.mediacoop.ca/story/first-nations-under-surveillance/7434http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/515.php

Harper Government Prepares for First Nations “Unrest”

Russell Diabo and Shiri Pasternak

Internal documents from Indian Affairs and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) show that shortly after forming government in January of 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper had the federal government tighten up on gathering and sharing intelligence on First Nations to anticipate and manage potential First Nation unrest across Canada.

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