In the Blog
Making our headlines: Mid-week round up
Illustration: Erin McPhee
Compiled by Ronak Ghorbani
Welcome to the first edition of our news, arts and culture mid-week round up. Check out what’s been making our headlines this week:
• The RCMP’s recently released report “Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women: A National Operational Overview” confirmed what Indigenous activists, community members and allies have known all along: that the number of missing and murdered Indigenous women is far greater than the previous “official” number of 500. The report states that between 1980 and 2012 there have been 1,017 police-recorded Indigenous women homicide victims and 164 police-recorded missing person cases of Indigenous women. Please check out some of the statements to learn about the decades-long activism and community-based responses to violence against Indigenous women:
• “Supporting the Resurgence of Community-Based Responses to Violence” – Statement by the Families of Sisters in Spirit, No More Silence, and the Native Youth Sexual Health Network
• “February 14th Women’s Memorial Marches - Not Forgetting the Legacy and Honoring through Action” – Statement by the Native Youth Sexual Health Network
• Migrant-justice activist network No One Is Illegal has released a short film titled Know Your Rights. As the organization states, the film “aims to provide basic legal information to people without immigration status so that they will be able to better protect themselves from the risks of immigration arrest and detention.”
• To protest the proposed bill, “First Nations Education Act,” a group of Manitoba Indigenous youth are running and walking to Ottawa in time for the May 27 special chiefs assembly on the education act. The bill, which has the support of the Assembly of First Nations, has received much resistance, as many say the act will actually deny Indigenous self-determination and will instead give the federal government more control over Indigenous education.
• Set to take place this June in Brazil, the 2014 soccer World Cup has mobilized people in São Paolo into action to protest the millions of dollars spent on the tournament which, they argue, should have been spent to improve healthcare and fight poverty. Under the name of the Landless Workers Movement, 10,000 people have occupied a space close to the arena where the first World Cup game is to take place.
• Newly released short documentary Yoga and Diversity: People of Colour explores the resistance to the domination of whiteness in western yoga practice. Produced by E.K. Park, co-director of Global Mind Body a non-profit online yoga and meditation community, the doc features past Shameless contributor Kim Katrin Crosby (now Kim Katrin Milan) who is an instructor with the Brown Girls Yoga collective.
• The now viral #BringBackOurGirls hashtag (a call-to-action originally started in Nigeria in response to the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls from their dorms in Chibok, Nigeria) has led to many conversations about how to do global solidarity, the irony of Michelle Obama supporting the #BringBackOurGirls campaign while the U.S. continues to use drones, and the wrong photos used in the Twitter campaign. As we now go into a month since the kidnapping, conversations about global response need to continue while recognizing that in Nigeria there has been for decades and continues to be women’s movements (see here and here for a brief overview) and to credit and honour the work in Nigeria that is already being done.