“Spill the Tea with Ms. Rabbitt”

On Saturday, October 24th, 2020, rally’s across Canada are planned in solidarity with the Mi’kmaq people of Canada. The rallies are being called “ALL EYES ON Mi’kmaq” and will be taking place in twelve major cities across Canada. Edmonton’s rally will take place at 1:00 pm, in front of RCMP HEADQUARTERS 11140 109 St NW, EDMONTON AB.

Photo Supplied: ALL EYES ON MI’KMAQ

This past week Canadians watched in horror as they witness online videos of Mi’kmaq fisherman experiencing what can only be described as domestic terrorism. The RCMP have been criticised for their inaction and failing to protect Mi’kmaq People. Leaving many Canadians to question why they didn’t and point to ongoing systemtic racism within RCMP organizations.

Lenore Janvier, a organizer for Edmonton’s rally states, “As an advocate for Indigenous people, we have made treaties for centuries to accommodate non-indigenous groups. Our Treaties have been ignored for too long. In this case its about treaties established 250 years ago called Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1752 which promised Mi’kmaq people the right to hunt and fish their lands and establish trade. More recenlty in 1999, The Supreme Court of Canada made a landmark ruling that affirmed Mi’kmaq and Maliseet people had the right to earn a “moderate livelihood”.

Janvier goes on to say that Indigenous peoples, “have an inherent right and obligation to sustain our lives and our environment. We have the right to govern our own, and our land that has been forcefully taken. It is time Canada honors our Treaties and decolonize the hierarchy of neocolonial systems that have been established”.

Photo Supplied:

A supporter of Edmonton’s rally Tiera Williams says, “You don’t have to be indigenous peoples and a person of color to feel angry and disgusted at what is going on in Nova Scotia” and “What is happening to Indigenous people is wrong and stand up for the people when they are going through terrorism”.

Anti-Hate and Anti-Racism rallies have been seen across the globe as part of a larger social movement. Closer to home Edmonton’s Inaugural Hate to Hope rally was held over the summer to raise awareness about hate and discrimination towards Indigenous people. The event echoed Senator Murray Sinclair’s recommendation that all Canadian police officers need to be trained on de-escalation and screened for racist beliefs.

There are some changes taking place in Canada when it comes to police reform but clearly not enough and not all in the same way. It often feels that it’s up to progressive cities like Edmonton or Calgary.

There are some changes taking place when it comes to police reform but clearly not enough. Last month, Edmonton Chief Dale McFee, in a statement said Edmonton  Police Service will make a commitment to engage with the Edmontons Black, Indigenous, racialized, and underserved communities in improving policing, and reimagining community safety and well-being. He aims to accomplish this through the 11 million allocated from EPS towards racialized community programming and support.

Canadians are encouraged to attend rallies being held across Canada. Please follow AHS covid guidelines. Below is a list of events that have been planned in support of Mi’kmaq People:

Ucluelet/Tofino, B.C:
Oct. 24th – 1:00PM (PST) 
Location: Junction 

Victoria, BC:
Oct. 23rd – 8:30 PM (PST)
Location: Online
Vancouver, BC:
Oct 24th – 1:00PM (PST) 
Location: Vancouver City Hall 
Calgary, AB:
Oct 24th – 3:00PM (MDT)
Details of the exact location will be announced by 6 pm on Friday this is a safety measure due to violent attacks on Black and Indigenous youth here in Alberta.
Edmonton, AB:
Oct. 24th – 1:00PM (MDT)
Location: 11140 109 St NW

Lloydminster, AB:
Oct. 24th – 1:00PM (MDT) 
Location: Lloydminster City Hall 

Regina, SK:
Oct. 24th – 2:00 PM (CST)
Location: RCMP “F” DIVISION (6101 Dewdney Ave)

Winnipeg, MB:
Oct. 24th – 4:00PM (CDT)
Location: RCMP ‘’D’’ DIVISION

Kenora, ON:
Oct 23rd 3 – 5 PM (EST)
Location:  Hwy 17 & Hwy 17A

London, ON:
Oct. 24th – 2:00PM (EDT)
Location: Victoria Park

Barrie, ON: 
Oct. 24th – 11:00AM (EDT)
Location: Meridian Place, Downtown Barrie
Saint John, NB:
Oct. 24th – 1:00PM (ADT)
Location: City Hall Saint John (15 Market Square)

A reminder, if you are unable to attend events in person, here are other ways to help: 
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1u_LF_bCFBbSijzqJgHNh4-MfpYz0hfdv/view?fbclid=IwAR3v8leJpW8673HoJ4s_kF-gcXS1_uUuuEy_sOoAzwr5bnZ6Z0iOQbIQ3EI

Thank you for taking the time to read my article.

Chevi Rabbitt, Human Rights Advocate, Edmonton top 40 under 40

Email: rabbit@ualberta.ca

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