Indigenous Sovereignty, Immigration and Detention

Posted: January 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

Indigenous Sovereignty, Immigration and Detention
Presented by No One is Illegal London on SAT FEB 9, 1-4 pm @ Old East Studios

Indigenous Sovereignty

A Tribute to Harriette Nahanee: Our Elder Our Friend
Videographer: G. Alvernaz Mulcahy, Ph., D., CPsych
This video was created as a tribute to respected elder Harriette Nahanee, Tsibeotl (Pacheenat) who died following incarceration in Surrey Prison (for men). She was arrested for protesting the Eagles Ridge Bluffs widening of the highway to the Vancouver Olympics because of its impact on Mother Earth, the fragile ecology of the Squamish Nation. Harriette was an activist for Indigenous Peoples and was a founding grandmother for the DTES Vancouver Vision Quest and Fast held in Pigeon Park, Victory Square and Oppenheimer Park. She was one of four grandmothers who slept on the cement at Pigeon Park in response to the atrocities of Residential Schools, genocide, and the conditions in the DTES Vancouver– lowest average income in Canada for this postal code. Harriette was a member of the Squamish Nation and was 71 years old when she died from pneumonia. Her husband was not allowed to see her while in prison because of not having an updated photo ID. At the time of sentencing Harriette was weak from the flu and asthma, however, she was given a 14 day sentence.

Harriette and Betty Krawczyk defied an injunction and returned to Eagleridge Bluffs to say prayers for the dead and dying creatures and to give a traditional death song for the land in her Pacheenaht language. Harriet is the granddaughter of Queesto, the legendary Pacheenaht hunter of whales and hereditary chief from Vancouver Island.

Immigration and Detention
In the new bill “Protecting Canada’s Immigration System”, refugees will be imprisoned in higher numbers. Individuals deemed as “irregular arrivals” will result in mandatory arrests and detention for up to a year, without access to information about pending status. If claims are accepted, refugees labeled as irregular arrivals are still barred from applying for permanent resident status and sponsoring family members for 5 years. Children have the choice of remaining with their families in detention, or being placed into care. Although these new reforms will increase the amount of refugees in detention, Canada has a long history of imprisoning immigrants. Since 2004, there have been up to 94, 000 immigrants in detention centers across Canada.

Security Consciousness: Detained in Guelph
Reel Alternative Productions (12:4 min)
With no film-making experience six University of Guelph undergraduate students and a Sheridan College student created a video project to engage a wide audience in dialogue about the role that post-9/11 security consciousness has had on the detention and deportation of immigrants and refugees in Canada. The film’s starting point is the recently negotiated use of the Guelph correctional facility for detaining immigrants. The film aims to inspire collective opposition to current practices of detention

Pedro: A Child in the Refugee System

Firdaus Kharas (50min)
In Canada, refugee status is the most emotional element of the immigration process. The government’s decision can mean the difference between life and death, and those being judged can only hang on to the hope that they will be allowed to remain in the country. So in 2011 when a young Angolan refugee claimant named Pedro looked straight into the lens of a Canadian documentary film maker and said “Maybe if I die it will be a solution for everything,” it was impossible to miss the overwhelming helplessness that accompanied the news that his request to stay in Canada had just been turned down.

Migrant Children in Detention 
(CBC) (4:7 min)
CBC senior investigative correspondent Diana Swain reports on Canada’s treatment of migrant children whose families are seeking asylum, or are being deported.

Hidden Stories of Canada’s Immigration Detention 
(No One is Illegal Toronto) (4:48 min)
In 2012 under the Harper government, Canada implemented laws that will see more immigrants locked up in jail. In this short past and current immigration detainees share their stories

Speakers include:

Sâkihitowin Awâsis: Awâsis is a mixed Métis Two-Spirit of the Carré Clan. They are a spoken word artist, community organizer, and writer currently based out of London, Ontario.


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