Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Update on Indian Status Bill C-3

There will be a live televised debate on C-3, the legislation that has come out of the Sharon McIvor decision tomorrow as the Bill goes before the
Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. Watch on TV or online.

Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
April 1, 2010 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. (EDT)
Meeting 7
Centre Block, Room: 237-C

Other Posts on this topic include :


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mystery Diagnosis Fantasy

I am not a hypochondriac, at least not normally. However, one night I watched back-to-back episodes of Mystery Diagnosis on Discovery Health and suddenly I realized that a number of things that happen to my body mind and spirit every single day... Things that I normally don't pay much attention to might actually be symptoms... sleepiness, restlessness, crankiness, foot aches, the blister on my toe... Alone they seem innocuous, but added together with a CGI anatomy sequence, these everyday occurrences might add up to a bonafide medical mystery.

Actually, it’s sort of become a fantasy.

My fantasy goes like this. My symptoms are an allergy to housework, an addiction to Farmville, bizarre and inexplicable cravings for chocolate and nachos. I dismiss these warning signs in my self-depreciating way until one day my doctor decides to refer me to a series of medical specialists who conduct and analyze numerous tests finally puzzling together the condition behind these seemingly unrelated symptoms. They tell me I have a rare illness, not life threatening, but hopelessly incurable. I am told that I will never be able to wash dishes, vacuum, or wash laundry like a normal spouse, and I will only suffer mental anguish if I try to push away the chip bowl or the M & Ms. I feel sad about this, and they give me some good drugs to help me cope.

My husband, who was previously annoyed by this behaviour, now knows it is all caused by a medical condition that is beyond my control, and falls in line to support me. Naturally I absolve his previous lack of support. I am after all a forgiving person.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Check out buckdog

I've been kind of rendered speechless by the whole health care reform debate in the US. Buckdog found the best youtube video. Check it out.


Kind of reminds me of that movie Up in the Air. Only instead of firing people, they break up for you, call off an engagement or make a divorce call for $10, $25, or $50 respectively. This ran in the Globe and Mail earlier this month, but between the budget and throne speech etc, I somehow totally missed it.

Globe and Mail Update
He’ll dump your lover for you over the phone – and post it online
In most of his previous relationships, Bradley Laborman has been the dumpee rather than the dumper. But the 35-year-old from Mount Pleasant, Iowa, has found a way to turn that ratio around – and make some cash doing it. Last fall, Mr. Laborman launched, an e-business through which strangers pay him $10 to break up with their significant others by phone. He posts some of the heart-wrenching, sleazy and just-plain-uncomfortable recordings of the calls on his YouTube channel. While he’s faced many accusations that his business is mean-spirited, Mr. Laborman said in a phone interview that he believes he’s offering a useful public service. .. more at Globe and Mail .


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunshine Tenasco-Brazeau appears on Dragon's Den

Patrick Brazeau's wife, Sunshine popped on to Dragon' Den recently looking for $20,000 to buy a better sewing maching so she can expand a side business making baby moccasins. Check it out: go about 16 minutes in.

I like the part where Kevin asks why not make them in China.

Also worth noting that just before offering her a loan Arlene Dickinson states: "I was a single mom with four little kids.. I completely understand what your going through..." I am guessing Arlene didn't release she had a senator's wife in front of her. Later Arlene adds "I remember being exactly where she is and having no money and nobody helping me. So good for her."

THe CBC episode description is also strangely misleading: "Sunshine Tenasco-Brazeau is a mother of three, trying to support her family off the fruits of her labour. She’s managed to create a small business based on a product she creates, and about which she is passionate. "

Sunshine was earlier awarded a third place prize at the Big Idea Aboriginal Innovations Conference which came with $10,000 to support her business.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Pass along to First Nations Metis and Inuit youth: writing contest

The 2010 Canadian Aboriginal Writing ChallengeShare your story
The Canadian Aboriginal Writing Challenge is a short story contest for young Aboriginal Canadians (aged 14 – 29). Showcase your talent and creativity for your chance to win great prizes! Visit to learn more, and to read winning entries from past years. Guidelines and Prizes
Participants of Aboriginal descent (status, non-status, Métis and Inuit) are invited to submit an original short story that explores a moment in Aboriginal history – this could be an event of personal, regional or national significance.
Submissions are judged by a group of esteemed Aboriginal authors and leaders including Drew Hayden Taylor, Tomson Highway, and Joseph Boyden.Honorary patrons of the Challenge include National Chief Shawn Atleo, Governor General Michaelle Jean and Patrons include Former National Chief Phil Fontaine and The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs.
The first place winner in both age categories (14 – 18 and 19 – 29) will receive a $2,000 cash prize and a trip to Regina to be honoured at an event attended by Aboriginal leaders from across Canada. Their winning entries will be published in Canada’s History (formerly The Beaver). Students who place in the top ten in each age category will also receive cash prizes.
Groups or classrooms of 10 or more who participate are eligible for additional prizes. The individual entries within the group are still eligible for the main prizes!
What story will YOU tell?
If you or someone you know would like to enter the 2010 Canadian Aboriginal Writing Challenge, please visit, check out our Facebook page, call us toll-free at 1-866-701-1867, or email us at
Don’t miss it! The contest deadline is March 31st, 2010!


Sunday, March 14, 2010

I will NOT read the comments page. I will NOT read the comments page (I mean it this time) I will NOT read the comments page...

I just read the comments page on the Globe and Mail re: McIvor. I have promised myself, time and again that I will NOT READ THE COMMENTS SECTION ON ANY FIRST NATIONS STORY. It's like a cast call for ignoramuses, red-necks and losers (and certainly from what I can see the groups are by no means mutually exclusive).

I usually get upset enough to post something back. Admittedly my responses are angry and pointed, but I believe they fall far short of the abusive, racist comments that I am responding too. Yet, my comments are usually reported and removed within an hour, while far worse ones are allowed to remain, uncensored, under the guise of political opinion.

But I am not writing this because I hoped to win a prize for being the biggest prick on the comment page. There’s a bigger issue here. The comment pages have completely opened my eyes and changed my world view about racism in Canada.

I believed that racism was waning in Canada. I didn't think we'd eradicated it, by any means. (Certainly we have racists in Indian country as well.) But I really believed that racists, having failed to adapt their thinking to globalization and an increasingly cuturally mosaic, mutually dependant world, were a dying breed condemned to extinction in ironic blaze of social Darwinism.

Comment pages have convinced me I was naïve and wrong.

People who are deeply racist seem to have the smarts to lower their voices and self-censor their words when their bare faces are showing in public with names and identity attached. That’s why we don’t know they are out there.

But given anonymity and a chat room, they find each other and pool their hatred. They help each other reinforce stereotypes, and spend hours, even whole weekends building ‘house of cards’ arguments, like it’s an addiction. In fact, as they cheer each other on with reply posts “thumbs ups” they seem gleeful.

This community of people whose happy past time is hating me, my family, and my friends are not, as I once hoped, fading from existence. Their way of thinking is old and may be a poor fit for the global community, but they have managed to modernize and revolutionize hatred.

At one time this community would have covered their faces with white sheets, today a computer, a pseudonym, and a lenient webpage moderator does the trick. And their message is reaching a wider audience than in those bad old days, or even the late 80s when racists were segregated onto websites where normal folks would never hang out, like Heritage Front and White Pride. Comment pages have allowed them to crawl from the darker corners of the web, back into the mainstream with absolutely no risk to their day jobs.

So lately, whenever I am buying lettuce, or choosing a seat on a bus, I wonder – could that be “Saskatchewan River Pirate" by the tomatoes? Is that dude in the window seat giving me the stink-eye "Joe Technicality"?

While I’m munching buttered popcorn at the movies, I pause to wonder if the guy sitting next to me is fantasizing about kicking my pink half-breed ass. Did the clerk who sold me those red pumps wish she could give me a piece of her mind when I asked for PST exemption? Is my mailman pausing to spell-check prairie n****r before he hits the “publish” button?

I wish comment pages had never been invented. I was happier when I blissfully ignorant. I swear.. and I mean it this time… I am not reading them anymore.

PS, if you came to this site looking for an update on McIvor/Indian Status, Click Here


Thursday, March 11, 2010

McIvor update!!!! How Do the New Legislative Changes to the Indian Act Affect Me?

Click here for update

From INAC's website

What are the proposed legislative amendments?
The proposed amendments, if enacted by Parliament, will ensure that eligible grandchildren of women who lost status as a result of marrying non-Indian men will become entitled to registration (Indian status) in accordance with the Indian Act. The proposed amendments do not extend to other situations.

As a result of the amendments, who will be eligible for first-time registration under the Indian Act to respond to McIvor decision?
You should consult the web site of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada for the specific eligibility criteria. Generally speaking, the key criteria to be newly entitled to registration are:
Did your grandmother lose her Indian status as a result of marrying a non-Indian?
Is one of your parents registered, or entitled to be registered, under sub-section 6(2) of the Indian Act?
Were you born on or after September 4, 1951?
Those who can answer yes to all of the above questions are encouraged to submit an application for registration as an Indian.
If you are the registered Indian parent of a minor child that fits the above scenario, you may apply on their behalf. Your entitlement to Indian registration will be automatically amended from 6(2) to 6(1) to allow for the registration of your child. No application for this amendment is required as it will be done at the time of your child's registration.
For more information on the criteria please call 1-800-567-9604.

Will the amendments address the Subsection 6(2)/Second Generation Cut-Off?The proposed amendments to the Indian Act will only extend registration to eligible grandchildren of women who lost status as a result of their marriage to a non-Indian man before April 17, 1985. Other cases will not become eligible as a result of this amendment.

How would these proposed amendments affect band membership?
For those being registered for the first time, there are two scenarios that govern band membership. For bands whose membership is determined by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada in accordance with section 11 of the Indian Act, applicants will be added to the band list at the time of registration. For bands who determine their own membership in accordance with section 10 of the Indian Act, applicants would be directed to the band with which they are affiliated to apply for membership. This does not affect their entitlement to registration under the Indian Act.
For persons already registered who are being amended to sub-section 6(1) of the Indian Act, if you are affiliated with a section 11 band there will be no change to your band membership. If you are currently a member of a section 10 band who determines their own membership, you will not lose membership unless the membership rules of your band are amended to that effect.

Could I lose my Indian status as a result of the proposed amendments?
No one will lose their status as a result of the proposed amendments.
Contact information
Phone: (toll-free) 1-800-567-9604

The family tree of a brother and a sister where the sister has lost status as a result of her marriage prior to April 17, 1985

Other Posts on this topic include:


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ask and ye shall receive....

Note: March 11, Update has new info on McIvor and status. Check it out: Click here to read, get links to INAC and a call in number.

humph. Two days ago I posted that media had failed to follow the McIvor case and the new amendments. Next thing I know it's all over CBC . Clearly Crazy Bitches R Us has captured the attention and admiration of CBC's newsrooms and they are following our lead.

What their story doesn't mention is that Chuck Strahl is expected table legislation tomorrow. This is just the initial step. It will be about a week before anything else happens. Stay tuned. We'll keep you posted.

On other news it seems that none of the $200M over 2 years slated for mental and emotional health supports for residential school survivors and their families in the federal budget will be going to the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. According to AHF this means that one hundred and thirty-four community-based healing initiatives will no longer have AHF support after March 31, 2010, when current funds run out.

Today, officials in the federal Minister of Health's office told reporters that $66 million will go to the First Nations Inuit Health Branch into existing one-on-one counselling programs. The remainder seems to going into that black hole of bureaucracy known as INAC because of "higher than expected funding needs" for compensating former students.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ahem... Minister Strahl..Pot-Kettle-Black

Something I read recently gave me a flash back. Let's play a little game of then and now...

THEN: Leading up to the November 2000 election the following appeared on Chuck Strahl (now Minister of Indian Affairs) website:
High unemployment, social problems and infrastructure decay still plague many native areas despite billions in federal monies going to assist them. Natives live in Third World poverty while their chiefs and councils – and an industry of lawyers and consultants surrounding native affairs – live in regal splendor. The Canadian Alliance is aggressively pressuring the government to implement accountability measures so that grassroots aboriginals get the services they need.
"The government spends billions of dollars on aboriginal-specific programming that it claims will better the lives of Canada’s aboriginal people. Why is it that grassroots aboriginals get so little and band councils get so much?” – Chuck Strahl, Vancouver Sun, April 7, 2000.

NOW: Chuck Strahl will recieve an MP pension of $155,733 annually if he retires. Regular working people in Canada, who are eligible for Canada Pension Plan after decades of contributions at the age of 65, will receive approximately $5,800. a year, only $150,000 less than Strahl. (Source: National Post)

Major employers in the Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon riding are the construction and manufacturing industries, retail trade and the service sector. The 2006 census showed an average family income of $66,138 and an unemployment rate of 6.7 per cent. (source CBC)

As a cabinet minister, Chuck Strahl earns a base salary of $233,247 per year.

Why is it that grassroots white people get so little and their white MPs get so much, Chuck? Why?


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Update on McIvor/Indian Status.

March 11, Update has new info. Check it out: Posted here with links to INAC and a call in number.

Click here for March 31 update

We realize that there is very little information getting out to First Nations on what happens next with the McIvor Case. [Our McIvor got more than a thousand hits for the first month they were up and are still popular.]

Recognizing that people are hungry for info, when so little is available, we pledge to keep you updated with accurate info here. So stay tuned to Crazy Bitches R Us as we track the amendments. We expect the legislation will be introduced on Wednesday or Thursday. Indian Affairs must amend the Indian Act before April 6th, 2010, which means they must rush it through the House of Commons. They estimate that 45,000 people will be added to the registry as a result of this amendment.

On April 6, the BC court of appeal struck down two subsections of the Indian Act as discriminatory against First Nation women. The court gave parliament one year to amend the Indian Act. Many children who did not previously have status will become C-1’s. If you haven't already seen it, there is more detailed explanation on our previous post:

Saturday, January 9, 2010

McIvor decision: Important info for non-status Indians looking to gain status.

Note: the amendments ONLY impact those whose status lineage was broken when a FN woman married a non-Native man. It your parents/grandparents lost status for other reasons, you will not benefit from this legislation.

Other Posts on this topic include :


How Crazy Bitches R Us Saved Canada's Liberal Party

For a long time the Liberals were trailing the Conservatives in the polls, but they have started to gain, and despite some blips almost every poll now has liberals and conservatives neck and neck. If they haven't quite pulled ahead yet, no worries to you liberal fans, all they need to do is keep reading Crazy Bitches R Us. Allow me to explain.

On Saturday, January 23, 2010 I posted under the title "It's not apathy, I'd just rather not cast my ballot passive aggressively" that with the outrage over the prorogation of Parliament, it was striking that the liberals had not taken a strong lead in the polls, and.. allow me to quote myself: " that Parliament has been prorogued, and liberals and NDP are determined to show up anyway, well maybe they can workout a platform and some bundles of goods and services that will actually make me want to elect them, instead of merely wanting to unseat Harper." So when you read the following Globe and Mail article, you will discover that Iggy not only reads Crazy Bitches R Us, but fervently follows the good advice he receives here. You're welcome to all fans of the Liberal Party. It is our pleasure to help your leader.

Ignatieff uses the pause By laying out policy and holding public roundtables during prorogation, the Liberal Leader is showing welcome signs of maturity From Wednesday's Globe and Mail From Wednesday's Globe and Mail Published on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010 12:00AM EST Last updated on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010 4:39AM EST Crickets continue to chirp in the House of Commons chamber. But elsewhere in the prorogued parliamentary precinct, there is activity, with some help from Michael Ignatieff and the federal Liberal Party. In the absence of Question Period, Mr. Ignatieff has used the time to formulate some worthwhile policy proposals. It's a welcome sign of maturation from a leader and a party that, for most of 2009, seemed focused on only short-term political calculations. These proposals are set out in an eight-page letter Mr. Ignatieff sent to Stephen Harper this week. He describes a wide-ranging policy agenda he wants the Prime Minister to adopt, including more restitution for the victims of white-collar crime, a reconvening of the Special Committee on Afghanistan and revision of pay-equity legislation. Given a minority government and the desire of both major parties to delay a general election, some of the letter's ideas could actually end up as law or government policy. Other issues raised by Mr. Ignatieff may not occupy a regular spot on the Prime Minister's briefing schedule, but demand his attention nonetheless: the national shame of missing aboriginal women (223 killed or missing since 2000) and the need for a national neurological strategy. It wasn't all demands, though. In the past four weeks, Mr. Ignatieff ran a sort of seminar series, 24 public hearings on some of the country's biggest problems. Many were on topics that once took centre stage but have passed into the wings: medical isotopes, the independence of arms-length government agencies, and aviation security. That the Liberals have returned to these issues shows that they are trying harder to delve into the messy work of governing. The Liberals also developed two new proposals during their involuntary parliamentary break, on economic growth and parliamentary democracy itself. Combine those with recent proposals around pensions and renewable energy, and the Liberals are starting to develop a coherent alternative to the Conservatives. A bigger push is still to come, with a three-day policy conference in March that ought to give some further clarity and shape to a Liberal electoral platform. But Mr. Ignatieff still has much work to do. These disparate elements must be woven into an overarching narrative of what 21st-century Liberalism stands for, taking into account the country's fiscal problems. And some of Mr. Ignatieff's political naiveté persists; he could have extracted from the Conservatives a commitment to pass his anti-prorogation proposal before assenting to their request (which needed all-party support) to cancel two weeks of planned parliamentary breaks. The Conservatives have offered relatively few new domestic policy initiatives of late. Much of the work of defining Conservatism will go into their March Throne Speech and budget. In the meantime, Canadians wondering what Michael Ignatieff stands for can find answers to some of their questions.


Friday, March 5, 2010

First Nations in the throne speech and budget

So I have been waiting a few days to let it all settle in. Hearing in the throne speech that Harper is going to sign on to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples convinced me that I'd been hit on the head and knocked into some other-worldly dream. It's not because I actually set much stock by the Declaration, (for short UNDRIP.) It's non-binding. Just an aspirational document. However, seeing the Harper government sign on is just weird. Over the past years they have argued:

It contains provisions that are inconsistent with the Canadian charter," Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Jim Prentice said of the deal. "It contains provisions that are inconsistent with the Constitution Act of 1982. It's quite inconsistent with land-claims policies under which Canada negotiates claims."

"I am sorry we can't sign on," Strahl told CBC News on Thursday from Ottawa. "It's not balanced, in our view, and inconsistent with the Charter."

"We shouldn't vote for things on the basis of political correctness; we should actually vote on the basis of what's in the document," Harper said.

And yet I suspect that political correctness is exaclty what made them sign on. After all the document hasn't changed. On the other hand there has been a steady stream of embarrassing media. Signing on costs nothing, (Not politically either. So far, the blogging Tories seem to have not even noticed). Signing it looks good, and stems criticism. On to the budget. The fate of the funding for post-secondary students is unknown. There is money for K-12 education, but only to fund a tripartite agreement in Alberta. There is a little for water, which considering that as of January 31, 2010, there were 105 First Nations communities across Canada under a Drinking Water Advisory. The big surprises were the $10 million over two years to address the issue of hundreds of missing and murdered native women in Canada and the 200 million over two years for mental health supports and to facilitate payment to residential school survivors. On the last item the question is will the funding go to save the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, which has by all accounts done a good job getting programs and services on the ground, or will it get thrown into Health Canada? What is the split between health supports which will be increasingly important as the Truth and Reconciliation commission rolls out, and how much will get eaten by the monster of a bureaucracy at Indian Residential Schools Canada to roll out CEP compensation? (or in many cases, to NOT roll it out as they seem to be denying or partly denying a number of claims)


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I had the weirdest dream

I dreamt that Canada's Governor General gave a throne speech and in it the conservative government, under the leadership of Stephen Harper, said they would implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Anyway, I am going to hop in my hover car and fly to Saturn for a space coffee now.


Personal Business Directory - BTS Local