Category Archives: Aboriginal Law

Episode 26: Crimes

Welcome et bienvenue to LegalEase: a monthly Montreal-based and produced radio show on 90.3 FM CKUT. We broadcast law broadly. Le collectif LegalEase est un group des etudiants et etudiantes en droit de la communaute montrealaise. This month the program is entitled, “Crimes.” Listen to the Episode Here: http://goo.gl/wVnjX

This month’s show features a diverse set of programming on the topic of crime. New contributor Mark Phillips conducts an interview Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and how it relates to prisoners in the justice system. Garrett Zehr presents a piece on efforts to charge Bush administration officials with war crimes. Host Preeti Dhaliwal revisits some older content on Insite, in light of the new Supreme Court decision which recently came down on the subject. She also offers an update on the MUNACA strike. Finally, Jesse Gutman breaks down the jargon on the Conservative’s Omnibus Crime bill, the Safe Streets and Communities Act.

Tune in live every second Friday of every month from 11h00-12h00 on CKUT 90.3 FM in Montreal or listen on-line at http://www.ckut.ca. For more programming, check us out at https://legaleaseckut.wordpress.com

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Excluding the Subject matter: Inquiring about the Missing Women Commission

Gone from The DTES, Gone from the Commission

Over the past several weeks, high profile actors have been pulling out of the B.C.’s Missing Women Comission of Inquiry, threatening its legitimacy. In recent days, BCCLA and Amnesty Canada have both withdrawn from the commission, citing a disparity of resources allocated to protecting police officers and government officials, while offering the marginalized women in question no legal counsel. Activist organizations, from whose efforts the commission was born, have decided to boycott the government effort and are organizing protests which will be led by the Coalition of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre (DEWC) and Feb 14th Women’s Memorial March Committee (WMMC). They have called the inquiry a “sham”.

The commission was initially intended to shed light on the hundreds of disappearances of women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The most notable case linked to this ongoing problem is that of Robert Pickton, former pig farmer and serial killer convicted of the second-degree murders of six women, though he may have had as many as 49 victims.

Investigation or Sham inquiry?

Ian Hanomansing interviewed several of the key players in this debate on CBC’s flagship radio program The Current. You can hear their conversation here. He interviews Shirley Bond, Harsah Walia, and Ernie Crey.

For more on the subject of Commissions of Inquiry more generally, please see this link provided by the Privy Council’s Office. Indeed, for references sake, the best work on the subject – Commissions of inquiry : praise or reappraise / editors, Allan Manson, David Mullan. Toronto : Irwin Law, 2003.

More on Commissions

Thunder Bay rule of law in Question: Racism in the Jury Roll

Something Rotten in Thunder Bay

March 2011 decision finding jury rolls in Thunder Bay unrepresentative, i.e., systematically excluding the participation of First Nations people. Pierre v. McRae, 2011 ONCA 187 (CanLII) http://canlii.ca/s/6jsqb

“[The] ruling confirms what we have suspected for years – that First Nations have been systematically excluded from the justice system. Even if an inquest into the death of Reggie Bushie could be convened, two more of our youth have died since 2007 and there is no inquest that is designed to address all seven deaths.” – NAN Deputy Grand Chief Terry Waboose

Here is a recent press release calling for a commission of inquiry:
http://www.nan.on.ca/article/nan-calls-for-commission-of-inquiry-into-the-deaths-of-seven-nan-youth-in-thunder-bay-730.asp

Episode 13: Case Study: The Oka Crisis at 20 Years

Welcome to LegalEase: a monthly Montreal-based and produced radio show on 90.3 FM CKUT,  broadcasting the law cast broadly. This episode is entitled, Case Study: The Oka Crisis at 20 years . You can access the show by clicking here.

What is the Oka crisis? Check wikipedia:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oka_Crisis Host Melanie Benard directs this reflection of our collective legal consciousness.

Oka Crisis

Waneek Horn-Miller

First, Olympian and director of the First People’s House at McGill Waneek Horn-Miller shares a recollection of the Oka crisis. Horn-Miller spent a month and a half within the barricade and discusses the experience with the LegalEase collective.

Next, we go back to 1990 and play some CKUT archival footage from the Oka Crisis. This portion includes music and interviews.


Revisioning the Americas through Indigenous Cinema


Revisioning the Americas through Indigenous Cinema

Third, we hear from acclaimed NFB filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin, the director of Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance. These audio clips were recorded in June, 2010 at her presentation at the Revisioning the Americas through Indigenous Cinema conference, which was organized by the GIRA.

Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance is available online You can watch the entire film here.

Finally, we turn to Kahnawake and the Whiskey Point incident. In 1990, residents of a nearby reserve decided to leave, fearing reprisals by neighbouring communities. While leaving, thousands of residents from Chateaguay and surrounding areas attacked cars carrying Mohawk families fleeing the reservation.

Tune in live every second Friday of every month at 11am on 90.3 FM CKUT in Montreal or listen on-line at http://www.ckut.ca

Episode 12 – First Nations and the Law

Welcome to LegalEase: a monthly Montreal-based and produced radio show on 90.3 FM CKUT, broadcasting the law cast broadly. This episode is entitled, First Nations and the Law. You can access the show by clicking here.

Aboriginal Field Course


Professor Kirsten Anker and students Joey Flowers and Justin Douglas discuss the creation of a new interdisciplinary course on Aboriginal issues offered at McGill. The week long course was an intensive learning experience in Mohawk community Kahnawake, offered to students from law, social work, medicine and other faculties. Themes discussed included restorative justice, ceremonies and rituals, and the a holistic approach to law.


Next, LegalEase spoke with Naguset, the executive director of the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal. We learned about its services and the reality facing Native women in Quebec.

Finally, we spoke with Martin Lukacs of the Barriere Lake Solidarity Collective. Barriere Lake is an Algonquin community in north west Quebec that lives in a tradition fashion. The community of several hundred has 90% unemployment and is not part of the power grid. Recently, the Conservative federal government imposed section 74 of the Indian Act, imposing a new governance model on the community. Barrierelakesolidarity.blogspot.com

Tune in live every second Friday of every month at 11am on 90.3 FM CKUT in Montreal or listen on-line at http://www.ckut.ca