Monday, May 11, 2009

It isn't surprising...

... that 'Status Indians' face threat of extinction, since the Indian Act was implemented specifically for the purpose of eradicating indigenous peoples and culture. Indian Status was designed to reduce the Indian population, a neat solution to the "Indian Problem".

Within a few generations, it was assumed, the Indian population would nearly disappear. This was ensured through the restrictive nature of Indian Status: an indigenous woman who married a white man lost her status, as did her children, plus if you were enfranchised to vote or got a university education you were no longer considered an Indian.

In the past 40 years there have been many changes to the Indian Act, some positive and some negative, but most aboriginals in Canada are unable to access the benefits of the Act, while dealing with many of the negative consequences of their heritage. Canadians often display an incredible degree of racism, particularly towards aboriginal individuals and groups. Don't believe me? Just read the comments on the Star article, if you can stomach it.

Personally, I can't imagine if the government was able to decide for me who I am (legally speaking). Imagine they all of a sudden decreed that only those with two Christian parents could be Christian, or that those women who vote were no longer legally women, or that men who go to university are no longer legally men, or if you have a slice of pizza you are now Italian.

Also see How the Indian Act made Indians act like Indian Act Indians

Saturday, May 09, 2009

ACTION ALERT: Keep Terminator Seed out of Canada

Member of Parliament Alex Atamanenko (NDP) has reintroduced his Private Members Bill (C-343) to ban the release, sale, importation and use of Terminator technology.

What is Terminator? Terminator Technology genetically engineers plants to produce sterile seeds at harvest. It was developed by the multinational seed/agrochemical industry and the US government to prevent farmers from re-planting harvested seed and force farmers to buy seed each season instead. Terminator seeds have not yet been field-tested or commercialized. In 2006, Monsanto bought the company (Delta & Pine Land) that owned Terminator. Terminator is sometimes called Genetic Use Restriction Technology (GURTs) - the broad term that refers to the use of an external chemical inducer to control the expression of a plant's genetic traits.

Member of Parliament Alex Atamanenko (NDP) has reintroduced his Private Members Bill (C-343) to ban the release, sale, importation and use of Terminator technology.

Actions you can take:
1. Send an instant email at
2. Organizations can endorse the call for a ban: go to
3. Write a personalized letter. Remember: postage is free to your elected officials! You can use your postal code to search for your MP at (Note: The New Democratic Party and the Bloc Québécois already support a Ban on Terminator in Canada.) For more information see
4. Distribute Ban Terminator postcards in your community! To order postcards email
5. Donate to support the campaign -- the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network implements the Canadian strategy of the International Ban Terminator Campaign
6. Sign up to Ban Terminator news

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K2P 0R5
Phone: 613 241 2267 ext.5,

Learn more about Terminator Technology here

Via Everdale