“They say we have been here for 60,000 years, but it is much longer. We have been here since the time before time begin. We have come directly out of the Dreamtime of the Creative Ancestors. We have lived and kept the earth as it was on the First Day.”
(Anonymous Aboriginal Tribal Elder)

June 21 was chosen because of the cultural significance of the summer solstice, the first day of summer and longest day of the year. Many aboriginal groups mark the date as a time to celebrate their heritage.

“On June 21st, this year and every year, Canada will honour the native peoples who first brought humanity to this great land,” said Leblanc. “And may the first peoples of our past always be full and proud partners in our future.”

[extracted from http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/aboriginals/aboriginalday.html ]

 

The day’s proclamation was an event 14 years in the making.

 

I have been to the end of the earth.


I have been to the end of the waters.
I have been to the end of the sky.
I have been to the end of the mountains.
I have found none that are not my friends.
 

Navajo proverb

 

 

A brief history of National Aboriginal Day:

1982: National Indian Brotherhood (now the Assembly of First Nations) calls for the creation of National Aboriginal Solidarity Day on June 21.

 

1990: Quebec legislature recognizes June 21 as a day to celebrate aboriginal culture.

1995: The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples recommends the designation of a National First Peoples Day. The Sacred Assembly, a national conference of aboriginal and non-aboriginal people chaired by Elijah Harper, calls for a national holiday to celebrate the contributions of Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples.



1996: June 13: Gov. Gen. Roméo LeBlanc declares June 21 as National Aboriginal Day after consultations with various aboriginal groups. The inaugural day is celebrated with events from coast to coast to coast.

Since then, the day has been celebrated in both small venues – such as elementary schools – and large venues alike.

http://6nsolidarity.wordpress.com/

In 2005, two of Canada’s big banks hosted events at their downtown Toronto offices to mark the day. Also that year, in Iqaluit, the day was marked in a special way – 11 Inuit men and women made up the graduating class of the Akitsiraq law school, a one-time co-operative venture between the University of Victoria and Nunavut Arctic College meant to boost the number of lawyers in the North. Overnight, Nunavut’s population of Inuit lawyers grew from one – Premier Paul Okalik – to 12.

To mark the 10th anniversary of National Aboriginal Day, dozens of formal and informal events were planned across the country, ranging from sunrise ceremonies at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto to aboriginal art workshops at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Que. There’s also a conference on Aboriginal contributions to the Canadian military experience at Royal Military College in Kingston.

The day kicks off the beginning of the annual 11-day Celebrate Canada! festivities held from June 21 to July 1. The festivities also include St-Jean Baptiste Day (June 24), Canadian Multiculturalism Day (June 27) and Canada Day (July 1).

 

FAQs on aboriginal Canadians:

http://friendsofsixnations.bravehost.com/

How many aboriginal Canadians are there in Canada?
In 2001, 3.4 per cent of Canadians were aboriginal, a total of 976,305 people. Of those, 62 per cent were North American Indian, about 30 per cent were Métis, and 5 per cent were Inuit.

 

How many live on and off reserves?
About seven out of 10 aboriginal people live off a reserve, according to the 2001 census, with almost a third of those living in large cities. Nearly 30 per cent live on reserves.

Where do aboriginal people live in Canada?
In 2001, the provinces with the largest aboriginal populations were Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Winnipeg had the largest North American Indian population among census metropolitan areas, with 22,955. Alberta had the highest proportion of Métis, at 23 per cent. And half of Canada’s Inuit population lives in Nunavut.

http://sisis.nativeweb.org/index.html
What are the projections for Canada’s aboriginal population?
By 2017, there will be an estimated 1.39 million to 1.43 million aboriginal persons, according to Statistics Canada. Aboriginals would represent 4.1 per cent of the Canadian population, up from 3.4 per cent in 2001.

Canada’s aboriginal population is expected to grow by 1.8 per cent annually, more than twice the rate of 0.7 per cent for the general population. The aboriginal birth rate is 1.5 times the Canadian birth rate.

“Oh, Eagle, come with wings outspread in sunny skies.
Oh, Eagle, come and bring us peace, thy gentle peace.
Oh, Eagle, come and give new life to us who pray.”

Pawnee Prayer

ase, ase

ase, ase o.

June 24: Day of Action for Indigenous Rights!
11:00AM, March start point: Queen’s Park, South Lawn
To arrange a bus ride from Ottawa to Toronto for June 24, please send your request at

http://g20.torontomobilize.org/ottawatranspo

Come MARCH with community members at the Indigenous Day of Action Against the G8/G20 on June 24th in Toronto:

http://www.defendersoftheland.org/story/179

Media Statement

1 March 2010

Uganda: last chance to shelve Anti-Homosexuality Bill should not be missed, warn UN human rights experts

GENEVA – With its third and final reading imminent before the Ugandan Parliament, two UN Special Rapporteurs* voiced their deep concerns about the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which, if adopted, would have an extremely damaging impact on the important and legitimate work of human rights defenders in the country, and would curtail fundamental freedoms.

“The Bill would not only violate the fundamental rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Ugandan people,” stressed Margaret Sekaggya and Frank La Rue, “but would also criminalize the legitimate activities of men and women, as well as national and international organizations, who strive for the respect for equality and non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”

 According to the Bill, in addition to a fine, the offender would face imprisonment of at least five years, and in the case of a non-governmental organization, the cancelling of its certificate of registration and criminal liability for its director.

 “The Bill would further unjustifiably obstruct the exercise of the right to freedoms of opinion and expression, peaceful assembly, and association, by prohibiting the publication and dissemination of materials on homosexuality, as well as funding and sponsoring related activities,” the Special Rapporteurs said.

The experts welcomed “the recent attempts made by President Museveni and other members of the Government to prevent the Bill from becoming law, and call on them to redouble their efforts at this crucial time.”

“We urge Parliamentarians to refrain from adopting this draconian Bill,” said the independent experts echoing previous statements made by the UN human rights chief, Navi Pillay, and the UN Special Rapporteur on health, Anand Grover.

“Adopting the Bill would be in clear breach of international human rights norms and standards contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights,” warned Ms. Sekaggya and Mr. La Rue.

“The passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill,” they noted, “would also gravely tarnish the image of Uganda on the regional and international scenes.”

(*) Ms. Margaret Sekaggya, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, and Mr. Frank La Rue, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

ENDS

For more information on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, please visit:
http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/defenders/index.htm
 
For more information on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, please visit:
http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/opinion/index.htm

For more information or interviews, please contact: Mr Guillaume Pfeifflé (Tel: +41 22 917 9384 / email: gpfeiffle@ohchr.org). 

To see the Media Statement as published on the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, visit:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/Media.aspx?IsMediaPage=true

Black white operations of the Kanyotu era

Story by KAMAU NGOTHO

Under Mr James Kanyotu, the State security intelligence apparatus largely operated through intrusion, torture and mysterious murders.

In the minds of ordinary citizens, the mention of what was popularly known as the Special Branch brought up images of shifty-eyed characters in smoky cellars extracting information by duress when not peeping through keyholes or staging mafia-style killings.

Barely two months after Kanyotu was appointed the Director of Intelligence in February 1965, a radical politician of Asian origin, Pio Gama Pinto, was gunned down outside his house in the city’s Westlands suburb.

Point-blank.

He was reversing outside his gate one early morning when a lone gunman appeared from nowhere and shot him at point-blank range.

Four years later, an assassin’s bullet cut short the life of Tom Mboya — a dashing politician and Cabinet minister.

He was walking out of a chemist in a crowded city street on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 1969 when he met his death.

Then in March 1975, a herdsman stumbled on a decomposing body at the foot of the scenic Ngong Hills on the outskirts of Nairobi.

It turned out to be the body of the charismatic MP for Nyandarua North, Josiah Mwangi Kariuki, popularly known as ‘JM’, who had been reported missing nine days earlier after he left a Nairobi hotel in the company of the then GSU commandant Ben Gethi.

Fifteen years down the line in February 1990, another body — this time burnt almost beyond recognition — was found by a herdsboy at the foot of Got Alila near Kisumu.

It was that of then Foreign Affairs minister Robert Ouko. He had gone missing for four days after being picked by a white car from his rural home in the wee hours of the morning.

‘Disappeared’

And in the period between 1986 and 1989, several Kenyans were reported to have “disappeared” after they were arrested by the Special Branch and taken to the infamous Nyayo House torture chambers for interrogation in connection with a shadowy outfit called Mwakenya.

Inevitably, in all the “black operations”, fingers were pointed at the institution Mr Kanyotu headed.

In two of the cases — the Ouko and JM murders — he was personally summoned to assist the investigating teams.

He ignored the summons in the case of Ouko, but helpfully cooperated in the JM matter.

In the Mboya and Pinto assassinations, there was no direct mention of the intelligence team or Mr Kanyotu, for that matter.

However, there were powerful pointers that his boys loomed large in the shadows.

In the Mwakenya affair, blood was all over Mr Kanyotu’s hands as the interrogations were conducted by his officers at Nyayo House, the then Nairobi Area Intelligence offices.

Mr Kanyotu’s baptism by fire came on February 25, 1965, hardly two months after he assumed office.

It came with the murder of leftist politician Pio Gama Pinto, a close ally and strategist for then Vice-President and later opposition doyen Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.

A self-confessed socialist, Mr Pinto had sharpened his teeth as a radical during Kenya’s fight for independence when he served as the editor of a string of nationalist newspapers and a radio station.

For his troubles, the colonialists detained him without trial for a long period.

Come independence, he identified himself with a radical camp opposed to policies pursued by the Government of the day. The group gravitated around Mr Oginga Odinga. Then somebody decided that he must die.

Early in the morning of February 25, Mr Pinto reversed his car at the gate to his residence in the city’s Westlands suburb. With him was his five-year-old daughter, who he was taking to school.

Before he could engage the forward gear, a man appeared from the corner of the fence and shouted: “Hallo, Sir!”

As he looked up to answer, three bullets hit him in the neck and chest. He slumped dead on the steering wheel.

Three weeks later, a 19-year-old unemployed youth, Kisilu Mutua, was hauled to the courts and accused of killing Mr Pinto. He denied the charge, but admitted having been within the vicinity when the radical politician was shot dead.

Kisilu’s evidence at the trial court had all the elements of a James Bond thriller.

He said he had been a pick-pocket operating at downtown Nairobi.

Police had caught and pardoned him once, but on the second instance, they offered to help him quit the world of crime by getting him a job with a man they simply called Sammy.

Sammy turned up with an interesting kind of job. He would only need him once in a while and for a specific assignment, which would change from time to time.

He helped Kisilu start a business of selling tyre rubber sandals, popularly known as akala, at Ngara Market, from where he would pick him whenever there was a job to be done.

Scare off

Kisilu’s first assignment was to scare off a certain trade-unionist who Sammy said was “joking around with the Government.”

He would drive Kisilu to the unionist’s gate in the evening and wait for the latter to arrive.

Once he showed up, Kisilu would run towards him a knife in hand, hurl a few insults at him and tell him to watch his tongue in future lest the knife ends in his chest.

The first assignment had gone off well and Sammy handsomely rewarded him, Kisilu told the court.

The next assignment would be in Westlands. He was to do the same to a certain muhindi (Indian) who too, as Sammy put it, was giving the Government some trouble.

As with the first assignment, Sammy did not tell him the name of the person and he did not bother to ask as he thought that was none of his business.

On the fateful day, Mr Kisilu told the court, he met Sammy in the company of another man he introduced as Mr Chege Thuo.

The three then got into a taxi, a blue Fiat car, and headed to the gate of their target in Westlands.

Before Kisilu could make his move as instructed, he heard a sudden burst of gun-fire and saw the Indian slump forward as blood gushed from his neck.

A few days later, Sammy got in touch with him and they agreed to meet at a secret rendezvous.

It turned out to be a trap when Kisilu found waiting policemen and Sammy nowhere in sight.

The court found Kisilu guilty and sentenced him to hang. He escaped death for life imprisonment upon appeal.

Doubtful

The court was doubtful that Kisilu was the man who pulled the trigger, but said he must be taken as an accomplice having knowingly gone to Westlands to “scare” his target, whatever the scare entailed.

However, the appeal judge, Chief Justice John Ainley, punched enough holes in the prosecution case to suggest Kisilu may just have been a scapegoat.

“The case for the Republic is that three men were present and that three men ran away from the scene of Mr Pinto’s murder,” said the Appeal judge.

“Yet it has been asked, why has the police not demonstrated the truth of their findings through further investigations?”

Kisilu was set free in 2001 after serving 35 years in jail. He still insists he was punished for a crime he never committed.

 

Courtesy of http://www.nationmedia.com/dailynation/nmgcontententry.asp?category_id=39& newsid=124092

a matter for the United Nations

 a few minutes in response to Wyclef’s message at the NAACP Image Awards….brotha, much respekt to your efforts for our people.

you should(a) jus’ ask (President) Obama for resitution for Ayiti though…..if we’re get to the nitty gritty of it all…there’s the not so small matter of louisiana, en seeing as Bush & Clinton are still running a racket, you could approximate Texas into the mix……that would be some drops in the bucket 🙂

hands-on policies to solve the problems at hand….