Indigenous peoples around the world are being oppressed by governments, resources extraction companies, lack of clean water, loss of their lands and more.
We Matter July Newsletter
Tara MacLean and SHiFT FROM THA 902: Beneath the Path of Crows.
Tara MacLean in a stunning performance of her song Beneath the Path of Crows, featuring SHiFT FROM THA 902.
From THE EAST COAST MUSIC HOUR'S last public presentation on March 10th: The SURRENDER edition of the Story and the Song.
Written by Tara MacLean/ Daniel Howlett/Dennis Ellsworth/Hubert Francis/Gilbert Alex Sark/ Senator Brian Francis and special guest Todd Googoo.
We Matter Campaign
February 23, 2020
Indigenous people - Our identity is our land
August 21, 2019 - GCCM
Our identity is our land. #Indigenous people play such a key role in protecting the planet we all depend on for survival from exploitation.
It’s important to take time to reflect during this transition, so that we are ready to face whatever comes our way. It’s a good time to write in a journal, create a list of goals, come up with a self-care plan, or anything that will help you feel ready for whatever life throws your way.
We Matter Toolkits have a Self-Care Plan to help you begin creating yours.
Email email@example.com to inquire about our Toolkits for educators, support workers and youth, and be sure to have the youth you work with complete the self-care plan. READ MORE
Women, children lead Attawapiskat march calling for permanent water fix
July 24, 2019 - CBC
Carrying hand-drawn signs declaring, "Our Kids Matter, Water is Life" and, "Our People are Dying Slowly," dozens of Attawapiskat residents marched through their community Tuesday to press for an end to the Ontario First Nation's long-standing water problems.
About 50 marchers, mostly women and children, stopped at the band office and confronted Attawapiskat Chief Ignace Gull, handing him a letter and, speaking in Cree, demanding a permanent water fix.
Rayanna Seymore - encourages, you matter!
July 15, 2019 - We Matter
reflect on our own lives. It’s okay to take care of yourself first, do the things you love most, and celebrate your year’s successes. If you have stories about your challenges, accomplishments, or things you’ve learned, we want to hear them. Go to: WE MATTER
Beyond the National Inquiry: The need for concrete action to end violence against Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people in Canada
July 8, 2019 - Amnesty International
Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people in Canada experience staggeringly high levels of violence, and for decades, government failed to acknowledge and address this human rights crisis. Indigenous women’s organizations, grassroots activists, violence survivors, and the families and loved ones of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people long called for a national inquiry to compel government to investigate and take urgent action to end the violence. Amnesty International advocated alongside Indigenous partners in calling for a national inquiry....
...What can you do now?The Inquiry’s 231 Calls for Justice make strong recommendations to government, police, and institutions like the media and healthcare sectors to take urgent action. They also include specific Calls for Justice to all people in Canada.
....READ MORE and read the eight Calls for Justice for every person in Canada
Pick at least one for you, your fraternity or your group to do. (Download a pdf handout)
Cree-Anishinaabe doctor 'optimistic' about plan to combat anti-Indigenous racism
'Deep grief, and outrage': Family of Colten Boushie shares frustration at justice system in new film
Family of Indigenous man shot and killed in 2016 'don't feel like we've been heard'
Indigenous youth, Colton Boushie, was shot by a farmer who believed Coulton was there to steal from the farmer. In truth Coulton had a flat tire. "Boushie, 22, and four other young people from the Red Pheasant Cree Nation reserve drove onto Stanley's rural Saskatchewan property in an SUV on Aug. 9, 2016. An altercation occurred between them, Stanley, his son and his wife, resulting in Boushie being shot." As a younger fellow Coulton was quoted as having said, "The world would get along if everybody just got a good book and just go sit under a tree." A film about this story has just been released.
Link to the CBC podcast here which puts a spotlight on this Canadian justice issue that continues to be ignored by the governments, the judicial system and the people, meaning "us".
See the movie trailer below.
Create a self-care plan
May 1, 2019 - We Matter
In this We Matter Toolkit Video, Tunchai and Kelvin talk about how important it is to take care of ourselves - and they also talk about the Youth Toolkit, and how youth can use it for their own support! See the
WE MATTER - April Newsletter
April 8, 2019 - Download the Newsletter
Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada
Kanaka Bar: Harnessing the power of community
February 12, 2019 - David Suzuki Foundation
“Our ancestors lived in harmony with the land for over 8,000 years,” he says. “There were some basic principles: take what you need, no more. If you’re going to do something, do it right. If you take it in, take it out. And when you’re done, clean up after yourself.”
One of the ways Kanaka Bar (Indian Band) can honour those principles is to return to greater self-sufficiency and sustainability, in energy as well as food.
“My mandate as chief of this community, of what we call Kanaka Bar today, is that there is the same — or if not more — opportunity for my future generations,” he says. READ MORE
Living without safe and reliable drinking water on First Nations
January 9, 2019 - CBC National
We in the southern part of Canada never think of having to live without running water. Our people living in the Canadian north have been living without clean water for years. The challenges they face to get safe and reliable drinking water remains a daily reality for thousands living on reserves in Canada. We in the south cannot remain silent. Call or write your member of parliament.
Pope Francis states in Laudato Si': "30....access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights....Our world has a grave social debt towards the poor who lack access to drinking water, because they are denied the right to a life consistent with their inalienable dignity."
While Nestlé extracts millions of litres from their land, residents have no drinking water
November 25, 2018 - The Guardian
Iokarenhtha Thomas, a mother of five. ‘That’s just the reality of living on reserve,’ she said of the lack of water. ‘You grow up being treated unfairly.’ Photograph: Jennifer Roberts for the Guardian
Just 90 minutes from Toronto, residents of a First Nations community try to improve the water situation as the beverage company extracts from their land
The mysterious rash on the arm of six-year-old Theron wouldn’t heal. For almost a year, his mother, Iokarenhtha Thomas, who lives in the Six Nations of the Grand River indigenous reserve in Ontario, went to the local doctor for lotions for the boy. It worked, for a time. But the itchy red rash always returned. Thomas came to suspect the culprit behind the rash: water – or, rather, the lack of it... ....Thomas, a university student and mother of five, has lived without running tap water since the age of 16. Her children lack access to things commonplace elsewhere, like toilets, showers and baths. For washing and toilet usage, they use a bucket....
....This legal ambiguity has allowed Nestlé to move in and extract precious water on expired permits for next to nothing. Nestlé pays the province of Ontario $503.71 (US$390.38) per million litres. But they pay the Six Nations nothing....
....Martin-Hill believes that the exorbitant suicide rate among First Nations youth – five to seven times that of other Canadians, according to the federal government – is directly related to the lack of drinkable water. For a Six Nations person, water is sacred and a symbol of life. But the lack also has metaphorical significance, as it becomes representative of the myriad ways that indigenous Canadians are treated as second-class citizens....“There’s a strong element of depression, sadness and hopelessness because it’s been going on for so long. Young people don’t see a future.” READ THE FULL STORY
Consider boycotting Nestles - Here is a list of their brands
Suicide shouldn't be 'normal' in Indigenous communities, says Massey lecturer Tanya Talaga
It's ok to reach out
November 1, 2018 - We Matter
Take the #HopePact
October 2, 2018 - We Matter
Indigenous youth across the nation are choosing to take the We Matter #HopePact, that serves as a reminder that you are never alone in what you are feeling or experiencing.
“Jordan’s message reminds us that not everyone can recognize we’re struggling that it’s important for us to open up and share our stories and be receptive to hearing others so we can share tools to help one another cope.”
-Frances Moore, We Matter Operations & National Outreach Manager
We Matter - Ontario Support Network
The Ontario Support Network (OSN) is an exciting new project that hopes to build deeper partnerships between We Matter and a select number of Northern Ontario communities and deeper relationships between youth and their supports across communities. We Matter is looking for 6 community partners across Northern Ontario who are interested in bringing discussions of mental health and life promotion, and hope, culture, and strength into their schools and communities.
30 Traditional Crops to Celebrate Indigenous Farming
August 8. 2018 - Foodtank
Of the roughly 250,000 plant species known to humankind, an estimated 30,000 are edible and approximately 7,000 have at some point been used as food. However, more than 90 percent of crop varieties have disappeared from farmers’ fields during the past 100 years; the varieties left that build our food system are predicted to suffer under climate change. The biodiversity maintained on indigenous peoples’ farms may be the key to building resilient food systems that can withstand changing weather patterns, meet nutritional and cultural needs of communities, and rehabilitate degraded ecosystems. LEARN MORE...
We Matter Video - Australia
Cutting Greyhound service in Western Canada puts Indigenous women at risk
July 18, 2018 - Globe and Mail
We Matter Went International
July 1, 2018
This past month, We Matter Co-Founder, Tunchai Redvers, brought We Matter messages of hope, culture and strength abroad to Australia! 200 Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander young people from across the state of Victoria (Kulin Nation) gathered in Melbourne for the Koorie Youth Summit. The Koorie Youth Summit is an annual gathering hosted by the Koorie Youth Council, an organization dedicated to advocating for Aboriginal and Torres Straight youth.
Check out this awesome video from the 2018 Koorie Youth Summit: VIDEO
Indigenous youth everywhere matter and are doing amazing things in their communities -so keep an eye out for some of We Matter’s first international video messages!
We Matter: bringing hope to Indigenous youth - CBC Tapestry
March 15, 2018 - CBC Radio Tapestry
Kelvin (left) and Tunchai (right) are travelling across Canada with the We Matter campaign bringing their message of hope and truth to Indigenous youth.
Lack of clean water. Lack of housing. Lack of educational and job opportunities. Families facing addiction and abuse. These are just of the many struggles facing Canada's Indigenous peoples. Perhaps the most troubling news of all involves the heartbreaking toll of suicide; stories of young people whose circumstances have challenged their will to live.
Kelvin and Tunchai Redvers are a brother and sister team who are doing something about this. They created the We Matter campaign to help sow seeds of hope and connection among Indigenous youth.
Hear the podcast and learn how the We Matter campaign is making a difference and sowing hope for kids who feel they have no hope.
Development and Peace - Caritas Canada signs on to the Leap Manifesto, a call for Canada based on caring for the earth and one another
Check out the website - We Matter - Share this with someone who matters to you!
January 22, 2018
Tiny House Warriors build homes to protest pipeline plans
Indigenous lands and protecting our earth
October 30, 2017 - GCCM
October 10, 2017
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls
October 4, 2017 - Change.org
First Nations Children NOW
(A) group of concerned citizens (are) urging Prime Minister Trudeau and the Canadian government to support culturally based equity for First Nations children.
In a landmark ruling released on January 26, 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal found that the Canadian government is racially discriminating against 163,000 First Nations children and their families by providing flawed and inequitable child welfare services ("FNCFS Program") and failing to implement Jordan's Principle to ensure equitable access to government services available to other children....First Nations children are uniquely impacted by federal underfunding of services on-reserve. It is unacceptable that the federal government does not provide First Nations children, youth and families with equitable education, health care, child welfare and basics like clean drinking water. Read More
I Matter. You Matter. We Matter.
We Matter is a national multi-media campaign designed to gather positive messages from people across the country, to offer support for Indigenous youth going through a hard time.
Suicide rates for Indigenous youth are several times higher that of other Canadians, as well as instances of addiction, abuse, violence, and many other issues. We believe this doesn’t need to be the case.
Go to website - We Matter
March 08, 2017, The David Suzuki Foundation
Hold the federal government accountable to its promise
We can show the federal government that the issue of unsafe drinking water in First Nations isn’t just an Indigenous issue — it’s everyone’s issue.
P.S. Did you know Canada has committed to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and endorsed the UN-recognized human right to safe drinking water and sanitation? Let's ensure our government fulfils those rights here at home. READ MORE AND TAKE ACTION!!
Why are Indigenous Peoples more likely to be poor?
Indigenous Peoples face poverty rates that are on average twice as high as for the rest of Latin Americans. This fact is probably not a surprise to most readers of this blog. More intriguing, however, are three additional findings from recent work on the topic. Read more.....
Human Trafficking in our North?
See the Concerns - Modern Slavery page for the CBC Current report.
Oil Sands and the AFCN Challenge, Canada
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is a component of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. Its mandate is to inform all Canadians about what happened in Indian Residential Schools (IRS).
The TRC has a five-year mandate and will document the truth of survivors, families, communities and anyone personally affected by the IRS experience.
Carey Newman, on a personal and community mission for truth and reconciliation, is gathering artifacts to create a Witness Blanket. Hear a very moving interview with the artist on CBC involving a shoe.
The Pachamama Story - An Indigenous People
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