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Growing up in North America the US was always the bad sibling and Canada the good one. You hear about how beautiful the land still is, how they are more open minded, a place where draft dodgers found their refuge from the evil American government, that Canada is not all about the insane capitalism worshiped in America, and how still in this day and age people don’t lock their front doors, so imagine my surprise when cruising the Rainforest Action Network I came upon this action alert, Help Free Political Prisoners in Canada!

Political Prisoners in…Canada? I don’t believe it! I decided to do some investigating, here’s what I found…

On March 17th, 2008, Chief Donny Morris and five other band council members (five men and one woman, KI councilor Cecilia Begg, who sits alone in the Thunder Bay District Jail. A jail which has had three aboriginal deaths in the last four years.) of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation were sentenced to six months in prison by Justice Patrick Smith of the Ontario Superior Court in Thunder Bay, for contempt of a court injunction which prohibits them from interfering with a mineral exploration program by Platinex Inc., where they have lived in the Boreal forest for over 5,000 years.

The KI6 and tribe believe that according to the Adhesions made in 1929 of Treaty 9 it is their right by law to defend their land from Platinex Inc. In 2005, Platinex, prepared to drill on land it had staked a claim pursuant to Ontario’s mining laws, land covered by Treaty 9. KI First Nation members protested on the site, preventing the drilling. Plantinex sued for damages and sought an injunctionto prevent further protests.

KI First Nation, then received an interim injunction. The injunction was granted on the condition that the parties negotiate toward an agreement that would allow Platinex to drill. Ontario joined as the “intermediary”, between the two parties, but no agreement was reached.

Justice Patrick Smith lifted the injunction last May and imposed an agreement, proposed by Platinex and Ontario. This proposal pretty much ordered KI First Nation members to allow Platinex onto their land to drill. When they did not submit, they were found in contempt of court and have been jailed ever since.

What they KI First Nation did was defend an agreement enforced by the Treaty No. 9 to share the land as equals and to protect their land in accordance to their spiritual beliefs. The results was they were inprisoned. Watch out Canada you’re sounding more and more like America here. I enjoy thinking right above me is a place, that if need be, I can run to escape the evils of the U.S.A….don’t ruin it for me now.

Below I listed the KI demands, which I discovered in an article on Canadian Dimension‘s website, by Matthew Brett, an anti-war activist and freelance journalist based in Montreal.

THE KI DEMANDS:

With consultation between the exiled Council members and the Council in Kitchenuhmaykoosib, we take a strong stand on the following:

1. No Parliamentarian, be it federal or provincial member, is allowed in the Homelands of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug;
2. No more free entry to Kitchenuhamaykoosib lands by Platinex or any other mining entity including First Nations mining companies;
3. Ongoing blockade will be more protected and secured in order to protect our KI Homelands;
4. Assembly of First Nations must abandon the partnership agreements with the mining industry in Canada;
5. All First Nation political territorial organizations in Ontario do not speak directly for or on behalf of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, but their support on the issue is welcome;
6. Ontario must respond to our proposal made with our brothers and sisters of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, to establish a joint panel on mining on First Nations lands.

These demands don’t seem so bad when you look at the history between Native Americans and North Americans, but I will not get into all of this here.

If you feel that injustice is being done, there are ways to get involved. First, the Rainforest Action Network has set up a letter to the Ontario government, where you just enter your information and click! Second, send this entry to everyone you know to educate people on what rights violation are occurring towards the KI First Nation. You can also email Premier McGuinty here.

I will leave you with a photo (and thought) I saw on the Free the KI6 site.

Amen.

-Cara

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Reason 62 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
In what is still the most comprehensive study of diet and life-style ever made, the China Study found that the consumption of relatively small amounts of animal protein is linked to chronic disease. The findings from this grand epidemiological study are especially compelling because they allowed meaningful comparisons between populations with similar genetic backgrounds, yet with nonhomogeneous diets. All together, the China Study provides the ultimate vegetarian vindication.

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I am on the hunt for a job right now. The last job I was at outsourced jobs to Argentina, mine being one of them. Luckily, we received a package that has given me the time to find a job without worrying about money. This has been a great opportunity for me, due to the fact that at the time we were let go, I was not so happy at this company. I mean, I loved the people and such, but I was not really giving anything good back to the world or humanity, just taking.

Enough of all that; this is not what this entry is about, I was on Grist today looking through their jobs and found one for The Innocence Project. What are these guys all about you may ask? Well, according to their mission statement…

The Innocence Project was founded in 1992 by Barry C. Scheck and Peter J. Neufeld at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University to assist prisoners who could be proven innocent through DNA testing. To date, 215 people in the United States have been exonerated by DNA testing, including 16 who served time on death row. These people served an average of 12 years in prison before exoneration and release.

The Innocence Project’s full-time staff attorneys and Cardozo clinic students provided direct representation or critical assistance in most of these cases. The Innocence Project’s groundbreaking use of DNA technology to free innocent people has provided irrefutable proof that wrongful convictions are not isolated or rare events but instead arise from systemic defects. Now an independent nonprofit organization closely affiliated with Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, the Innocence Project’s mission is nothing less than to free the staggering numbers of innocent people who remain incarcerated and to bring substantive reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment.

I think this is awesome service that we need and am really glad they exist [even if they don’t hire me!!! :)]. I remember a few years back, I think it was on Oprah, there was this episode about the death penalty in America, something she is passionately opposed to. Oprah was discussing the controversy of judges in Texas NWP (napping while presiding) during death penalty hearings. Can you imagine falling asleep when someone’s life is on the line? That’s crazy! The lawyer [I think it was a lawyer, don’t quote me, as it was years ago that I saw this episode. I tried to find information on the internet about this particular show with no luck. I will email Harpo Studios and ask them for a transcript and permission to publish certain parts in this blog. It really was insane.] said that this occurrence is so common in Texas courthouses that they have a nickname for it [I do not remember the nickname but something like NWP.]! That is outrageous! You might be asking yourself, but what can I do about it? Well…I’m glad you asked. If you click on the link below you will be taken to The Innocence Project’s web site where you will find…

10 Things Anyone Can Do To Help Exonerate Innocent People and Prevent Wrongful Convictions

I just completed number 1 two minutes ago and invited my friends to join as well. I think a society that feels they are allowed to kill some people and not others is an ignorant one. No one has the right to take another’s life, period. Sorry, I had to say it.

Electric

Keep it real people and never forget to think, just because society and the government say it is OK, doesn’t mean it is!

Revolt against ignorance!

-Cara

 

 

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