Ottawa, ON, Sep 09, 2013 — Two weeks from tonight, one of ten artists will win Canada's biggest music award, the Polaris Prize. Previous winners include world-renowned acts Feist, Carabou and Arcade Fire.
One of the bands nominated on the Polaris short list is Native American DJ collective A Tribe Called Red. The three DJs are from Ottawa. They're transforming traditional aboriginal music, and in the process, building one of the hottest club nights in the city.
A Tribe Called Red mixes electronic dubstep beats with pow wow singing and drumming, and a big dose of politics. David Sommerstein profiled the group last year. Here's that story. Go to full article
A family at last Saturday's Idle No More march over the Cornwall bridge. Photo by David Sommerstein.
Ottawa, ON, Jan 11, 2013 — First Nations chiefs are meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa today. The meeting is a response to months of protests by a grassroots aboriginal group called Idle No More.
The group is demanding the government address issues such as poverty, land claims, and profits from natural resources.
As Karen Kelly reports from Ottawa, it may be difficult for today's meeting to soothe decades of discontent. Go to full article
Mohawks on Cornwall Island waited to march in support of the Idle No More movement... Photo: David Sommerstein.
Cornwall, ON, Jan 07, 2013 — Akwesasne Mohawks sent the Canadian government a message of native unity on Saturday. Hundreds of people marched across the two bridges from Massena, NY, to Cornwall, Ontario. Several tribal chiefs were among the marchers.
The demonstration was part of a movement called "Idle No More" that's swept across Canada. It protests legislation that many First Nation people say threatens their land and water.
The protest closed the border crossing for several hours. Despite a history of clashes with border officials, the march was a peaceful, family affair, full of drumming and singing. Go to full article
Cornwall, ON, Jan 04, 2013 — A group of Mohawks is planning to march on the bridge to Canada near Massena, NY, and shut down traffic Saturday. The demonstration is a part of an indigenous rights movement that's spread across Canada. Go to full article
Jun 16, 2008 — Last week, the government of Canada formally apologized for forcing 150,000 native children into boarding schools run by churches. Beginning in the 1870s, the children were forced to learn English and adopt Christianity. Physical and sexual abuse were widespread at the schools. Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered the apology from the floor of the House of Commons Wednesday in Ottawa. The apology is a part of a $1.9 billion settlement reached with some of the schools' survivors in 2006. Reaction among native communities was mixed. Mohawk Council of Akwesasne Grand Chief Tim Thompson called it "long overdue." Hilda Nicholas, a Kanesatake Mohawk, told the CBC that Harper sounded sincere in his apology. But Mohawk Kathleen Gambler, who attended one of the schools for 11 years, told the CBC no apology can erase the kind of trauma she experienced. Ottawa Correspondent Lucy Martin asked a cross-section of Canadians for their reactions to the apology, and the legacy that prompted it. Go to full article