IN THE NEWS: 2014 brought us many interesting news stories and I have narrowed down my top 12 from the last year.
January 1, 2014 – www.IksokapiMagazine.com was born. My dream of creating my very own publication for Indigenous women in North America became a reality on this day one year ago.
February 7, 2014 – Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced what was supposed to be a historic agreement between the federal government of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) who were to proceed with the final draft and introduction of the First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act. Bill C-33 was not supported by many First Nations which resulted in the resignation of AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo.
March 2014 – Artist from Nunavut Tanya Taqaq, created the #Sealfie movement in an effort to raise awareness of the Inuit seal hunt in the north. The hashtag #sealfie popped up on social media site Twitter in response to Ellen DeGeneres’ famous‘Oscar Selfie’ which generated a $1.5 million donation to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) who support an end to seal hunting.
April 2014 – Miss Ariel turns 7, need I say more.
May 2, 2014 – National Chief Shawn Atleo officially resigns as National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. A decision made after education reforms divided many First Nations on the controversial Bill C – 33. This has been the first time in the history of the AFN that a National Chief resigned.
June 2014 – The Supreme Court made a historic ruling in favour of the Tsilhqot’in First Nation, a decision that grants Tsilhqot’in Aboriginal title to a large part of their traditional territory which is approximately 1,700 square km’s. The ruling sets a precedence because it is the first time in Canada that Aboriginal title has been confirmed, outside of Indian reserve lands which have huge ramifications for the provinces in Canada which are blanketed by unresolved land claims.
July 13, 2014 – Sponsored by Tsuu Tina Nation, World Professional Chuckwagon driver Kurt Bensmiller and outriders Shawn Calf Robe from Siksika Nation and Wayne Wright won the Calgary Stampede Rangeland Derby.
August 2014 – The Washington Redskins appealed a decision after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the NFL teams trademark registration in June 2014, a move that does not force the team to change its name but supports those who have been working hard to eliminate this racial slur against Native Americans.
September 13, 2014 – Seven years ago on this day the United Nations adopted an international Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – the first international human rights document for Indigenous peoples around the globe. Today, momentum for implementation of these rights is increasing by Indigenous peoples, courts, and advocacy groups.
October 4, 2014 – The Sisters In Spirit Vigils; a movement for social change that honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada also to support grieving families and provide opportunities for healing. There were many events held across the country to support the movement and highlight a much needed public inquiry.
November 25, 2014 – The United Nations marks today as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This year, the campaign; UNiTE to End Violence against Women invited everyone to “Orange YOUR Neighbourhood.” The campaign invited communities, organizations and individuals to project orange lights, hang orange flags, tie orange ribbons, and organize marches to raise awareness about violence against women and discuss solutions. The date was chosen to commemorate the Mirabal sisters, three political activists from the Dominican Republic, who were assassinated in 1960 during the Rafael Trujillo dictatorship that took place from 1930 to1961.
December 11, 2014 – Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Chief Perry Bellegarde was elected the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) at the Special Chiefs Assembly in Winnipeg, Manitoba on December 10th.