Billy Lewis on CKDU
Format: mp3, 128 kbps
Length: 20 minutes
Size: 17 MB
Aboriginal elder Billy Lewis is an active member of communities in Halifax, Nova Scotia. A self-described anarchist, Billy has decades of experience to draw on in struggles of self-determination.
Billy was upset with a recent article published in the Chronicle-Herald newspaper that declared the majority of Canadians felt OK with the way the police acted during the G20 in Toronto, citing a public opinion poll.
In part one of this in depth interview, CKDU talks to Billy about the police crackdown on the streets of Toronto last month, drawing links and connections to Indigenous struggles against the Tar Sands, in the American Indian Movement, and beyond.
This interview originally aired on Operation Wake Up! on CKDU 88.1fm, in Halifax Nova Scotia, on July 15, 2010.
An on-going project by Mi’kmaq from the community of Listiguj (in Quebec) and researchers in Cape Breton are developing an on-line resource of more than 6,000 words in the Mi’kmaq language.
The database is meant to eventually create podcasts of audio lessons to teach the language. In on-line audio recordings, three speakers’ voices pronounce each word, and then each word is used in a sentence to give it’s meaning, and to allow listeners to pick out the word from a sentence.
The Mi’kmaw language is in danger of extinction, with only 3 to 4,000 people speaking the language currently, according to Radio Canada.
You can see the website project at www.mikmaqonline.org.
St. Stephen, NB, seen from Calais Maine. Source: Timothy Montgomery (2001).
Mi’kmaq from New Brunswick and Canada experienced an aggressive search operation by U.S. Customs officials as they crossed to work as blueberry rakers in Maine last week.
Some of the Mi’kmaq interviewed by the Bangor Daily News said they were held as long as three hours. Many complained of an aggressive attitude by the Customs agents. The blueberry rakers who were stopped felt they were searched and stopped because of racial discrimination. Some reported that their personal belongings were confiscated, and at least two vehicles were damaged by the U.S. Customs search dogs.
Vincent Simon, a crew boss for Northeastern Blueberry Co., and a Mi’kmaq from Thunder Bay, Ontario, said that of his crew of 120 workers, 100 were stopped. Many other crews reported similar numbers. In total, about 800 Mi’kmaq cross the border to work as blueberry workers every year during blueberry season. According to Simon, several hundred Mi’kmaq vehicles were stopped by US Customs.
Ted Woo, public affairs officer for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Boston, confirmed Tuesday that there was “a temporary enforcement action in effect but it is now over” at the Calais, Maine and St. Stephen, New Brunswick, crossing. Woo said it is Customs and Border Protection’s policy not to discuss individual operations and declined to tell the Bangor Daily News how many vehicles were stopped.
blueberry, border, Boston, Calais, harassment, Maine, Mi'kmaq, migration, New Brunswick, St. Stephen, U.S. Customs
The New Brunswick Tribune reported that a peaceful protest started last Wednesday night at the welcome sign on the Quebec side of the J. C. Van Horne Bridge. The bridge is the border crossing between Campbellton, N.B., and Pointe-aux-Croix, Quebec. The land belongs to the Listuguj First Nation, and protest spokesman Alex Morrison said they are reclaiming Mi’kmaq land. Morrison alleged that the lease with the province was not properly signed because there wasn’t quorum at the band council meeting which approved it, and a relation of a band councillor got compensation for a land deal which put the councillor in a conflict of interest. Protesters want a teepee erected on the land, as there once was, to welcome people to Listuguj.
Danny Boy Stevens is a young Mi'kmaq from Truro Nova Scotia, and a dancer at MLSN events. Photo: Barry Bernard
The Mi’kmaw Legal Support Network is an organization that seeks to provide support for aboriginal people in the justice system. Such a need was identified in part due to the historic Marshall Inquiry, involving a Mi’kmaq man wrongly accused of murder over 30 years ago. The Marshall inquiry found racism to be a systemic problem throughout the case of Donald Marshall, at the hands of the police, the courts, and finally the prisons where Marshall spent 11 years for a crime he didn’t commit.
The MLSN exists to ensure fair treatment for Mi’kmaw and Aboriginal peoples within the justice system. In this exclusive interview, CKDU interviews Barry Bernard and Grace Vos of MLSN.