Day: July 1, 2020

Celebrating Canada Day Doesn’t Erase Its Ugly History. So, What Can We Do?

Last year's Canada Day celebrations at Parliament Hill drew a huge crowd.

July 1 is a national holiday in a country that doesn’t always agree on all that much. Most people get the day off work. In non-pandemic years, there are Canada Day parties and BBQs and specialty beers and discounts at furniture stores. It’s a day to think about the freedoms we have in this country. It’s also a day that celebrates genocide.

Reconciling those ideas is something Canadians struggle to do at all times of the year, and have for generations. But this year, three years after the Canada 150 conversation, it feels like it’s taking an even more urgent hold. Anti-Black and anti-Indigenous violence, which happen constantly, are impossible to ignore.

When I was little, I loved celebrating Canada Day. My parents would help me put temporary maple leaf tattoos on my hands on arms, sometimes on my cheek. We got to play outside all day. In the evening, we would walk down to the park by the water to watch the fireworks. I was such a scaredy cat as a kid that I would sometimes watch wearing earmuffs to protect myself from the loud noises, an incongruous accessory on a humid July night.

Like a lot of white people, I didn’t grow up particularly aware of racism. We didn’t learn much about colonialism at school. I knew there was Mohawk territory across the lake from the Montreal suburb where I watched those fireworks, but I didn’t really know what that meant.

I never thought about what it might feel like for the people living there, to see fireworks celebrating the establishment of a country that resulted in their genocide.

Kevin Daniels from the Plains Cree nation in Saskatchewan, joins Mohawks in a peace march in 2010, on the 20th anniversary of the Oka crisis. The crisis played out in Montreal suburbs, near where I grew up.

Canada doesn’t do a good job acknowledging the horrors in our history. Our education system is rarely honest about the extent of the atrocities that led to our country being formed. I didn’t learn about residential schools until outside of the classroom, in my late teens.

“Laws were enacted in Canada offering bounties for scalps of Indigenous men, women and children. The treaty negotiation process itself was conducted under conditions of starvation or threats of violence,” Mi’kmaw lawyer Pamela Palmater wrote in a piece about Canada 150 for Now Toronto.

“While some argue that these acts were committed pre-Confederation, it must be kept in mind that they are in fact how Canada became Canada.”

These aren’t issues of the past. Indigenous women continue to be harmed in what experts call a genocide. Nearly 3,000 homes on First Nations don’t even have access to clean drinking water.

Watch: Cree Nation In Manitoba Still Waiting For Safe, Clean Drinking Water. Story continues after video.

As a white person, I’m lucky to live in Canada. I can make a good life for myself here, a life where I can get an education and choose what kind of career path I want to follow. I have the right to vote. I live in freedom, and I’m allowed to publicly criticize the government without fear of suppression or jail time. My grandparents, who lived in various parts of Eastern Europe, didn’t have the luxury of living that way.

Lots of immigrant communities celebrate Canada Day because of the freedom the country offers them. Not all, of course — some refugees are turned away, or treated with cruelty when they arrive. But for many people fleeing persecution and tyranny, finding a home in a country that allows them freedom is something to be celebrated.

But that doesn’t erase the ugly truth about Canada’s history. And as that relief becomes less immediate — for those of us who are the children or grandchildren or great-grandchildren of those immigrants — it gets harder and harder to justify our place here. Because we have to reconcile the fact that we’re able to live a good life here — a better life than we might be able to live in our parents’ or grandparents’ homeland — with the fact that that promise came out of an existing culture’s suffering.

Canada “simply would not be the wealthy country it is, one of the best countries in the world to live and raise a family, were it not for the removal of Indigenous peoples from the source of Canada’s wealth,” Palmater wrote.

Many Canadians live in the space between being grateful for our freedom and aware of the cost it took, and continues to take. That queasy, uncomfortable in-between is what Canada is for us.

To live with that understanding in any meaningful way means consistently unlearning a lot of what we grew up assuming to be true. It means checking in on our own motivations, to ask if they’re purely selfish. 

“Being an ally goes beyond checking actions off a list and it is not a competition,” according to the Indigenous Ally Toolkit, a great resource published by the Montreal Indigenous Community Network. “Being an ally is about a way of being and doing. This means self-reflection, ‘checking in’ with one’s motivations and debriefing with community members is a continual process; it is a way of life.”

For those of us living in that uneasy expanse, the least we can do is try to educate ourselves. Here’s a very short and not even close to exhaustive list of some of the work worth watching, reading, or donating to this Canada Day. 

Watch

“Angry Inuk”: Director Alethea Arnaquq-Baril joins a new tech-savvy generation of Inuit as they campaign to challenge long-established perceptions of seal hunting. Rent it from the National Film Board.

Canada’s State of Emergency: Layer and activist Pamela Palmater’s TED Talk is a short intro to some of Canada’s unjust treatment of Indigenous peoples. Watch it on YouTube.

“Colonization Road”: Comedian Ryan McMahon travels Ontario’s colonization roads learning about their impact on First Nations and settlers. Watch it on CBC Gem.

nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up: Centred around the death of Colten Boushie, a young Cree man who was shot and killed by a Saskatchewan farmer in YEAR, the documentary looks at the colonial history of the prairies and the racism embedded within Canada’s legal system. Watch a 44-minute version for free on CBC Gem, or watch the 98-minute version with a National Film Board subscription.

Rocks at Whiskey Trench:” A comprehensive look at the fallout from the 1990 Oka Crisis, when Mohawk people fled their land that was occupied by the Canadian army, only to be pelted with rocks by non-Indigenous protesters. Watch for free from the National Film Board.

Urban.Indigenous.Proud: A series of very short films that provide a window into some of the facets of urban Indigenous life throughout the province. Watch them for free from the National Film Board.

You can also browse the National Film Board’s archives for many more titles.

Read

21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act: Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a Realityby Bob Joseph

A history of residential schools in Canada,” CBC News

Canada: Blind Eye to First Nation Water Crisis,” Human Rights Watch

The Inconvenient Indianby Thomas King

A Mind Spread Out On The Ground by Alicia Elliott

Seven Fallen Feathersby Tanya Talaga

Whose Land Is It Anyway? A Manual For Decolonizationby Peter McFarlane and Nicole Schabus

Why Adam Capay spent 1,560 days in solitary,” Macleans

Listen

All My Relations,” a podcast about what it means to be Indigenous today.

Métis in Space,” a podcast that takes an anti-colonial approach to science fiction.

Missing and Murdered,” an investigative podcast about the deaths and disappearances of Indigenous women.

The Secret Life of Canada,” a podcast about largely unknown parts of Canada’s history, including many episodes about Indigenous issues.

Thunder Bay,” a Canadaland podcast about the deaths of nine Indigenous teenagers in the city with the highest hate crime rate in the country.

Donate

First Nations Child & Family Caring Society supports Indigenous youth by launching education initiatives and public policy campaigns.

The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund runs programs that support reconciliation through education and action.

Indspire invests in education and wellbeing for Indigenous people across the country.

The Legacy of Hope Foundation raises awareness about the intergenerational impacts of oppression.

Native Women’s Association of Canadasupports the political voices of Indigenous women, through a variety of issues such as employment, labour and business, health, violence prevention and safety, justice and human rights, environment, early learning childcare and international affairs.

Native Women in the Artsraises money for Indigenous women in artistic careers who want to advance Indigenous people through their work. 

Reconciliation Canada facilitates community outreach programs that teach the tenets of reconciliation.

True North Aidprovides humanitarian support for northern Indigenous communities.

Also on HuffPost:

@repost Family Lawyer

Via Divorce House in One Name Only

source https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/canada-day-black-indigenous_ca_5efa0c9bc5b6acab28451ca1

By The Wall of Law July 1, 2020 Off

Judge temporarily blocks tell-all book by Trump’s niece

A tell-all book by President Donald Trump’s niece cannot be published until a judge decides the merits of claims by the president’s brother that its publication would violate a pact among family members, a judge said Tuesday.

New York state Supreme Court Judge Hal B. Greenwald in Poughkeepsie, New York, issued an order requiring the niece, Mary Trump, and her publisher to explain why they should not be blocked from publishing the book: “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.” A hearing was set for July 10.

The book, scheduled to be published in July, was written by Mary Trump, the daughter of Fred Trump Jr., the president’s elder brother, who died in 1981. An online description of it says it reveals “a nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships, and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse.”

The judge said no portion of the book can be distributed before he decides the validity of Robert Trump’s claims. Robert Trump argues Mary Trump must comply with a written agreement among family members that such a book cannot be published without permission from other family members.

Mary Trump’s lawyer, Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., and her publisher, Simon & Schuster, promised an immediate appeal.

“The trial court’s temporary restraining order is only temporary but it still is a prior restraint on core political speech that flatly violates the First Amendment,” Boutrous said.

“This book, which addresses matters of great public concern and importance about a sitting president in election year, should not be suppressed even for one day,” Boutrous said in a statement.

Adam Rothberg, a Simon & Schuster spokesperson, said the publisher was disappointed but looks forward “to prevailing in this case based on well-established precedents regarding prior restraint.”

Charles Harder, an attorney for Robert Trump, said his client was “very pleased.”

He said in a statement that the actions by Mary Trump and her publisher were “truly reprehensible.”

“We look forward to vigorously litigating this case, and will seek the maximum remedies available by law for the enormous damages,” he said. “Short of corrective action to immediately cease their egregious conduct, we will pursue this case to the very end.”

In court papers, Robert Trump maintained Mary Trump was part of a settlement nearly two decades ago that included a confidentiality clause explicitly saying they would not “publish any account concerning the litigation or their relationship,” unless they all agreed, the court papers said.

___

Associated Press writer Michael Balsamo contributed to this report from Washington.

Larry Neumeister, The Associated Press

@repost Family Legal

Via Legal Separation Papers

source https://toronto.citynews.ca/2020/06/30/judge-temporarily-blocks-tell-all-book-by-trumps-niece/

By The Wall of Law July 1, 2020 Off

Experts dismiss dealer’s claim to have long-lost Kahlo work

MADRID — Scholars in the work of surrealist Frida Kahlo have searched for more than six decades for “The Wounded Table,” a 1940 oil painting illuminating her pain over the breakup of her marriage to muralist Diego Rivera that hasn’t been seen since an exhibition in Poland.

And the historians strongly reject the idea that the mystery of its whereabouts has been solved, as claimed by a Spanish art dealer who says the painting is now sitting in a London warehouse awaiting a buyer willing to spend more than 40 million euros ($45 million).

Experts consulted by The Associated Press have concluded that published images of the work now on sale show nothing more than a copy of Kahlo’s painting.

Helga Prignitz-Poda, an art historian who has fruitlessly tried to track down the long-lost painting, said that there are clear differences between the work for sale and old photographs of the original and that there are similarities between the offered work with inaccurate replicas based on those old images.

In addition, she said, Kahlo did the painting on wood and not on canvas. The work for sale is described as a canvas painting.

Cristian López, the Spanish art dealer who says he represents the anonymous owner of the painting, stands firm in defending its authenticity.

“Time will give us the truth,” López said during a phone conversation in which he offered few details on the painting.

López, who is little known in the art world, said specialists have endorsed the painting’s authenticity, but he declined to identify them.

“Whoever proves genuine interest and the ability to pay the figure of 40 million euros, can spend as much time as wanted with their experts analyzing the work,” López said.

“The Wounded Table” was unveiled at the International Surrealism Exhibition in 1940 in Mexico City. It includes a self-portrait of Kahlo at a long table, flanked by a Holy Week Judas and a monster that embraces her, while the two sons of her sister stand at one end and her pet fawn is at the other. Blood flows from knots of the wood table, which is considered to represent the artist’s anguish of the just concluded divorce from Rivera.

Kahlo donated the painting to the Soviet Union in 1945 for a planned Mexico room at the Museum of Western Art in Moscow, but Soviet art officials disdained surrealism as decadent and the project was dropped. The Mexican works ended up in a cellar.

A year after Kahlo’s death, a Mexican group organized a travelling art exhibition for shows in Soviet bloc nations and arranged for a loan of “The Wounded Table.” Prignitz-Poda said there is photographic evidence the 46-inch by 98-inch painting was shown in Warsaw, but nothing is known of it after that. There is no clue whether it was returned to Moscow, destroyed or perhaps acquired by someone.

Susana Pliego, an art historian who has studied the work of both Kahlo and Rivera, is among the experts who don’t think the painting for sale is the real thing.

She said there is a big problem with faked Kahlo painting because the art market thirsts for more works by an artist who produced only about 200 paintings before her death in 1954.

“Fridamania has been a marketing invention,” said Pliego, who directs cultural programming at the Casa de México in Madrid and who worked for years on Kahlo’s archive. “Because her paintings are sold so expensively, someone makes a proposal to see if anyone falls for it.”

Hans-Jérgen Gehrke, an art collector who operates a museum dedicated to Kahlo’s works in southwestern Germany, considers it “implausible, if not directly ridiculous,” that an unknown 22-year-old businessman operating a website from a town in northwestern Spain is the guardian of the missing painting.

“There are thousands of Frida Kahlo fakes,” Gehrke said. “She is possibly the artist who has painted more dead than in life.”

___

Associated Press writer Aritz Parra reported this story in Madrid and AP writer Berenice Bautista reported from Mexico CIty.

___

Aritz Parra on Twitter: https://twitter.com/aritzparra

Berenice Bautista on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BereniceBau

Aritz Parra And Berenice Bautista, The Associated Press

@repost Permanent Spousal Support

Via Domestic Partnership Contract

source https://toronto.citynews.ca/2020/06/30/experts-dismiss-dealers-claim-to-have-long-lost-kahlo-work/

By The Wall of Law July 1, 2020 Off

Police say missing kids’ mom helped keep their bodies hidden

BOISE, Idaho — Prosecutors say the mother of two children who were found dead in rural Idaho months after they vanished in a bizarre case that captured worldwide attention had conspired with her new husband to hide or destroy the kids’ bodies.

The new felony charges against Lori Vallow Daybell came late Monday, the latest twist in a case tied to the mysterious deaths of the couple’s former spouses and their beliefs about zombies and the apocalypse that may have affected their actions.

Daybell is already charged with abandoning or deserting 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan, but because police found their remains buried in her husband’s yard, it’s not clear if the abandonment allegations will stand. She’s also charged with obstructing a police investigation, asking a friend to lie to police on her behalf, and contempt of court for failing to follow a court order to produce the kids to officials.

Her attorney has indicated that she intends to defend herself against the charges, but she has not yet had a chance to enter a plea.

Daybell’s husband, Chad Daybell, was charged this month with concealing evidence by destroying or hiding the children’s bodies. He’s pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors are using the same behaviour alleged in Lori Daybell’s older charges to support the conspiracy charge, saying she aided Chad Daybell’s efforts to hide the bodies by asking her friend to lie to police about JJ’s whereabouts and lying to police herself when she told them JJ was in Arizona and Tylee was attending college.

Authorities have not yet said how exactly the children died or who caused their deaths. But court documents indicate JJ was buried in a pet cemetery on Chad Daybell’s property and that Tylee’s remains were dismembered and burned in a fire pit. Investigators found the remains by tracking the movements of Lori Daybell’s brother, Alex Cox, using his cellphone data.

Cox is also dead, succumbing to an apparent blood clot in his lung at his home in Arizona last December. In the newest court documents filed in Lori Daybell’s conspiracy case, Rexburg police Lt. Ron Ball wrote that Cox also was involved in the conspiracy to hide the kids’ remains by taking JJ to Chad Daybell’s property the day the child was buried and by later telling police the boy was visiting his grandparents in Louisiana.

The documents also reference claims that the Daybells believed dark spirits, or “zombies,” would possess people. Lori Daybell reportedly told her friend Melanie Gibb at different times in 2019 that both JJ and Tylee had become zombies. Gibb said the Daybells also believed the only way to rid a person of a dark spirit was by killing them so the person could be at rest in the afterlife.

“Gibb was informed by Vallow that when a person became a ‘zombie,’ their original spirit left their body and entered ‘limbo’ and is trapped and cannot progress to ‘paradise,’” Ball wrote in an affidavit. “Vallow then informed Gibb that for the person’s original spirit to be freed from limbo the person’s physical body had to die. Despite the teaching that a physical body needed to die, Gibb reports she was never told by Vallow or Daybell that they planned to carry out a physical killing themselves.”

The complex case began last summer with Cox shooting and killing Lori’s estranged husband, Charles Vallow, in suburban Phoenix in what he asserted was self-defence. Vallow was seeking a divorce, saying Lori believed she had become a god-like figure who was responsible for ushering in the biblical end times.

Shortly after Vallow’s death, Lori and the children moved to Idaho, where Chad Daybell lived. He ran a small publishing company, putting out many fiction books he wrote about apocalyptic scenarios loosely based on the theology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He also recorded podcasts about preparing for the apocalypse, and friends said he claimed to be able to receive visions from “beyond the veil.”

He had been married to Tammy Daybell, who died in her sleep last October of what her obituary said were natural causes. Authorities grew suspicious when Chad Daybell married Lori just two weeks later, and they had Tammy Daybell’s body exhumed in Utah in December. The results of that autopsy have not been released.

Police began searching for Tylee and JJ in November after relatives raised concerns. Police say the Daybells lied to investigators about the children’s whereabouts before quietly leaving Idaho. They were found in Hawaii months later.

Rebecca Boone, The Associated Press

@repost Filing for Legal Separation

Via Amicable Divorce

source https://toronto.citynews.ca/2020/06/30/police-say-missing-kids-mom-helped-keep-their-bodies-hidden/

By The Wall of Law July 1, 2020 Off

Police say missing kids’ mom helped keep their bodies hidden

BOISE, Idaho — Prosecutors say the mother of two children who were found dead in rural Idaho months after they vanished in a bizarre case that captured worldwide attention had conspired with her new husband to hide or destroy the kids’ bodies.

The new felony charges against Lori Vallow Daybell came late Monday, the latest twist in a case tied to the mysterious deaths of the couple’s former spouses and their beliefs about zombies and the apocalypse that may have affected their actions.

Daybell is already charged with abandoning or deserting 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan, but because police found their remains buried in her husband’s yard, it’s not clear if the abandonment allegations will stand. She’s also charged with obstructing a police investigation, asking a friend to lie to police on her behalf, and contempt of court for failing to follow a court order to produce the kids to officials.

Her attorney has indicated that she intends to defend herself against the charges, but she has not yet had a chance to enter a plea.

Daybell’s husband, Chad Daybell, was charged this month with concealing evidence by destroying or hiding the children’s bodies. He’s pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors are using the same behaviour alleged in Lori Daybell’s older charges to support the conspiracy charge, saying she aided Chad Daybell’s efforts to hide the bodies by asking her friend to lie to police about JJ’s whereabouts and lying to police herself when she told them JJ was in Arizona and Tylee was attending college.

Authorities have not yet said how exactly the children died or who caused their deaths. But court documents indicate JJ was buried in a pet cemetery on Chad Daybell’s property and that Tylee’s remains were dismembered and burned in a fire pit. Investigators found the remains by tracking the movements of Lori Daybell’s brother, Alex Cox, using his cellphone data.

Cox is also dead, succumbing to an apparent blood clot in his lung at his home in Arizona last December. In the newest court documents filed in Lori Daybell’s conspiracy case, Rexburg police Lt. Ron Ball wrote that Cox also was involved in the conspiracy to hide the kids’ remains by taking JJ to Chad Daybell’s property the day the child was buried and by later telling police the boy was visiting his grandparents in Louisiana.

The documents also reference claims that the Daybells believed dark spirits, or “zombies,” would possess people. Lori Daybell reportedly told her friend Melanie Gibb at different times in 2019 that both JJ and Tylee had become zombies. Gibb said the Daybells also believed the only way to rid a person of a dark spirit was by killing them so the person could be at rest in the afterlife.

“Gibb was informed by Vallow that when a person became a ‘zombie,’ their original spirit left their body and entered ‘limbo’ and is trapped and cannot progress to ‘paradise,’” Ball wrote in an affidavit. “Vallow then informed Gibb that for the person’s original spirit to be freed from limbo the person’s physical body had to die. Despite the teaching that a physical body needed to die, Gibb reports she was never told by Vallow or Daybell that they planned to carry out a physical killing themselves.”

The complex case began last summer with Cox shooting and killing Lori’s estranged husband, Charles Vallow, in suburban Phoenix in what he asserted was self-defence. Vallow was seeking a divorce, saying Lori believed she had become a god-like figure who was responsible for ushering in the biblical end times.

Shortly after Vallow’s death, Lori and the children moved to Idaho, where Chad Daybell lived. He ran a small publishing company, putting out many fiction books he wrote about apocalyptic scenarios loosely based on the theology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He also recorded podcasts about preparing for the apocalypse, and friends said he claimed to be able to receive visions from “beyond the veil.”

He had been married to Tammy Daybell, who died in her sleep last October of what her obituary said were natural causes. Authorities grew suspicious when Chad Daybell married Lori just two weeks later, and they had Tammy Daybell’s body exhumed in Utah in December. The results of that autopsy have not been released.

Police began searching for Tylee and JJ in November after relatives raised concerns. Police say the Daybells lied to investigators about the children’s whereabouts before quietly leaving Idaho. They were found in Hawaii months later.

Rebecca Boone, The Associated Press

@repost How Long Separated Before Divorce

Via Shared Custody Child Support

source https://toronto.citynews.ca/2020/06/30/police-say-missing-kids-mom-helped-keep-their-bodies-hidden/

By The Wall of Law July 1, 2020 Off