Trudeau’s ‘less than ideal’ comment doesn’t begin to capture the concerns of Indigenous communities

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the arrest of 14 Wet’suwet’en land defenders a “less than ideal situation” this week, adding everyone has the right to protest, as long as they respect the rule of law.

Let’s unpack that for a moment. A “less than ideal situation” is missing the sale on three-ply Kleenex at Shopper’s Drug Mart and having to settle for two-ply instead.

A land defender is tackled to the ground by an RCMP officer in tactical gear after police breached the Gitimt'en checkpoint barricade on Monday, January 7, 2019. Fourteen people were arrested at the barricade.
A land defender is tackled to the ground by an RCMP officer in tactical gear after police breached the Gitimt’en checkpoint barricade on Monday, January 7, 2019. Fourteen people were arrested at the barricade.  (Jesse Winter / Star Metro)

A “less than ideal situation” is locking your keys in your car.

The arrests of 14 people by heavily armed RCMP officers over an issue that will loom large in the 2019 federal election — adherence to Indigenous human rights and land title? Less than ideal doesn’t capture it.

As this week again showed, on a number of important fronts, the Trudeau government’s relations with Indigenous communities are nowhere near ideal.

Take the situation that transpired in an Ottawa hearing room on Wednesday, as Canada once again found itself arguing against Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations Family and Caring Society. At issue was which children are Indigenous enough, according to the Indian Act (a paternalistic law created in 1876 that governs the lives of all Status Indians in this country), and therefore who should qualify for services under Jordan’s Principle, which aims to ensure all Indigenous kids receive equitable care no matter where they live.

Read more:

Agreement reached in Wet’suwet’en, Coastal GasLink land dispute

RCMP and Wet’suwet’en chiefs strike tentative deal

Wet’suwet’en land defenders rally after 14 arrests, retreat from Gitimt’en checkpoint: ‘We lose this, we lose our culture’

At the end of the hearing, Blackstock said “nobody had an answer as to what will happen to children” in need of urgent care for life-threatening conditions while the tribunal process continues — or, more to the point, who will pay for their care. At least until the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal meets again to discuss this issue in March, children will remain at risk.

She added the society has offered to sit down and mediate directly with the government.

Blackstock will never support using Canada’s Indian Act blood quantum method to determine who is, or is not, First Nations. Belonging should be decided by the Indigenous communities themselves, not by Ottawa.

“Our ancestors were distinct First Nations citizens before the Indian Act and so are we,” Blackstock eloquently tweeted.

Time and time again, Canada fails to understand the importance of Indigenous law and the sacred bonds with the land and communities.

This was evident, too, in the “less than ideal” situation playing out in northern British Columbia this week. Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs are caretakers of 22,000 square kilometres not covered by any treaty. Hereditary chiefs have protected the land, on behalf of families, since before Canada existed.

This isn’t a part-time job; it is a sacred duty.

When it came time to “consult” on the proposed $6.2 billion Coastal GasLink pipeline, the hereditary chiefs, unlike the chiefs and band councils, were left out.

On Wednesday, in the interests of the safety of the land defenders, Wet’suwet’en chiefs struck an interim agreement to give the company temporary access behind the gates.

This isn’t over by a long stretch, warned the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) Grand Chief Stewart Phillip.

It is neither “adequate nor substantial” for companies and governments to deal with the elected band councils and then turn around and say we have done our consultation work, Phillip said.

The 675-kilometre pipeline project could be further delayed if the National Energy Board decides that the pipeline falls under federal, not just provincial, jurisdiction, he said. That would mean environmental hearings would take place.

For the prime minister, the Site C Dam on the Peace River presents yet another situation that is far from ideal. And it is one that has caught the attention of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which was first reported by The Narwhal, an online investigative news site (full disclosure: I am a volunteer on The Narwhal’s board of directors.)

The U.N. body has ordered that Canada suspend construction on the 1,100 megawatt hydro dam, which would flood 128 kilometres of the Peace River in Treaty 8 territory. The UBCIC has launched a civil suit against construction.

“The committee is concerned about the alleged lack of measures taken to ensure the right to consultation and free, prior and informed consent with regard to the Site C dam, considering its impact on Indigenous peoples control and use of their lands and natural resources,” said the Dec. 14, 2018 letter that was sent to Rosemary McCarney, Canada’s ambassador to the UN.

The committee gave Canada until April 8, 2019 to respond.

Now, prime minister, that is less than ideal.

Tanya Talaga is a Toronto-based columnist covering Indigenous issues. Follow her on Twitter: @tanyatalaga

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Chile-Glazed Shallots Are an Ideal Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side

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For a reason I’m still not totally sure of, I decided to host 20 of my closest friends at my apartment for Friendsgiving.

And cook everything myself.

Being the oldest child, being a stubborn taurus, and working at a food magazine all probably had something to do with it. Not only did I have four dishes to cook, but three vegetarians to please, a VERY tiny oven to manage, and no dishwasher to speak of. So when I saw Molly Baz’s new recipe for glazed shallots with chile and thyme, I knew I had to make these sweet and saucy, extremely hands-off, and totally make-ahead-able flavor bombs.

The awesome thing about this recipe is that the shallots get all glazy and wonderful by spending A LOT of time in the oven. Which meant while they were doing their thing, I could chop celery and crush almonds for Josh McFadden’s celery salad, and wash all of the inevitable dishes piling up in my sink. (Again, no dishwasher.)

To begin, I peeled enough shallots for a sprint to the bathroom for a quick cry sesh. (It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without one, TBH.) Then, I added butter to a skillet* (*Dutch oven because I didn’t have a free skillet with everything else cluttered on the stove) and let the shallots bathe in butter until they browned a bit. I added a few sprigs of thyme, red wine vinegar, water, sugar, and pepper. My local grocery store didn’t have red chiles, so I frantically texted Molly Baz (the benefits of working at said food magazine above) about what to replace them with: fresh jalapeño or dried serrano (since that’s what I had in my house). “Fresh jal! Or use dried red pepper flake,” she quickly responded. TYSM Moll, TYSM. I ended up using 2 tbsp of red pepper flakes, which was way too much and made the dish REAL spicy. Word of advice: use more like…1 tablespoon! But again, the magic of being able to control this dish is also controlling the spice level.

Then you pop that warm shallot kiddie pool into the oven for about 45 minutes. After the liquid reduced to a sticky glaze and the shallots got all tender and soft, I took them out and transferred them to a glass baking dish. I did this because I needed my Dutch oven to cook in, and because I knew I could gently reheat the shallots in the oven in the baking dish, and then serve them right from there. I know, I’m literally a genius. I also may or may not have had a note on my phone that broke down my cooking times, as well as cooking vessels minute by minute. I looked like this:

ItsAlwaysThanksgiving

Anyways, these were a breeze to make, didn’t dirty an insane amount of dishes, and accommodated my veg pals. I plan on making them on days that aren’t just Thanksgiving, and will probably assign them to a friend to make next year, when we do Friendsgiving potluck style instead.

Get the Recipe:

glazed-shallots-with-chile-and-thyme.jpg

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Ideal of Sweden – Pardon My Obsession

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Hi loves and happy Monday !

Today’s post is all about my new favorite brand for iphone cases : Ideal of Sweden. For the last year or so, I had no iphone case (I know, I know, kind of stupid for a blogger…).

The thing is usually, I either do things straight away and fast, or I procrastinate for a loooong time. And given the fact that I couldn’t find one I liked, then I didn’t bother even looking for one.

But Ideal of Sweden has the best choice out there : marble, gold, paisley, floral, you name it !

As for me, I chose a gold marble one (my favorite !), and two cute florals one (the ones I took in Milano !). Plus, the iphone accessories are the best : I took a power bank, and a magnetic ring (perfect for stories and selfies !).

What’s your favorite case ? Get 20% off with the code THECAROO !

Coucou les filles, et joyeux début de semaine !

Aujourd’hui je vous parle de ma nouvelle marque préférée pour mes coques d’iphone : Ideal of Sweden. En fait, avant cet été, je n’avais pas eu de coque depuis un an (oui je sais, c’est un peu stupide quand on est blogueuse…).

Mais le truc, c’est que j’ai tendance à soit faire tout, tout de suite et très vite, soit à procrastiner pendant looooongtemps. Et comme je n’arrivais pas à trouver une coque qui me plaisait, je n’en cherchais même plus.

Mais franchement, Ideal of Sweden a, je trouve, le meilleur choix : coques en marbre, florales, dorées… !

Du coup, j’ai choisi une coque illustrée marbre doré, ma préférée, et deux coques florales (celles que j’avais prises à Milan). Et puis les accessoires sont top : j’ai succombé à la bague d’iphone (parfaite pour les stories et selfies), et à une batterie externe !

Quelle est votre coque favorite ? Et vous avez -20% sur Ideal of Sweden avec le code THECAROO !

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