Chief Day, Serpent River First Nation

Chief Day, Serpent River First Nation

“There was a time when discriminatory slurs and insidious racial commentary fired at Indigenous people were accepted in Canadian society  – the tragedy; it still is to an alarming degree today. We must remove racism from journalism in Canada – the effects are simply not in anyones best interest.”

I am attaching an open letter to Government and the Mining Industry; more particularly the Canadian Mining Journal and its editorial staff.

I strongly urge and suggest a three-fold response from both the Canadian Mining Journal:

1) Remove the April 13 Commentary: “First Nations beating War Drums”

2) Canadian Mining Journal publish a statement of apology responding to that gross oversight;

3) That the Journal run a story about Indigenous Rights, Culture and Connection to the Land; asap.

Contrary to popular belief, First Nations do not beat “war drums”  – and very rarely our history in [Canada], is this actually even heard of happening. Mind you, there are very sacred protocols in times of conflict that this would be the case – that simply hasn’t happened very often in our history. There are times during conflicts where drums have been used to communicate and to commence spiritual petition  – I cannot go into detail on these matter at this time. The point is; the term used by the field editor is misleading, disrespectful and damaging.

This derogatory statement and title, may wish to be minimized by some – but you will be hard-pressed to find any First Nation person to agree with that sentiment – its racism; period.

We live in a time where resource extraction, Indigenous rights, environmental health, economic dependancy and jurisdictional conflicts all collide into this country’s process of making good public policy – media simply has a very important part to play in ensuring this process also links society and a full cross section of constituencies. There are simply enough conflicts within many relationship in coming up with those policies that to have to contend with the effects of racism.

Lastly, the issues regarding BillC-51 that concern First Nations the most have to do with 1) Los of being able to assert Protection of Lands as it pertains to treaties and a human right to water; 2) unilaterally imposed policies that infringe on privacy, safety and freedoms of all Canadians and this country’s Indigenous Peoples; 3) Criminalization of peaceful protest and standing firm against developments that is detrimental to the protection of treaty lands that must be preserved for future generations. Why I mention this reference to Bill C-51 is simple: the title suggests that “war” is our objective (or its a loosely used term of ‘journalistic jokery’?) Racism is no joke. Any slip in the media that perpetuates the divide between jurisdictions working through these types of issues should be swiftly corrected.

It might be helpful to read of reference the article that I was asked to submit to the Canadian Mining Journal – Treaties mark legitimacy of First Nation jurisdiction 2015-02-01, simply because the article gets to the heart of the issues and concerns that First Nations generally have regarding mining in our treaty territories and the focus toward sustainability.

Based on these explanations, I am urging the Canadian Mining Journal to follow-up appropriately – remove the article.

Chief Isadore Day, Wiindawtegowinini

Serpent River First Nation

Robinson Huron Treaty Territroy

Copied:      First Nations in Ontario