Press release ...
imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival Call for Submissions
The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is an international festival that celebrates the latest works by Indigenous peoples on the forefront of innovation in film, video, radio, and new media. We are currently seeking features, shorts, documentaries, dramas, comedies, animation by international and Canadian Indigenous filmmakers and producers. We invite all genres and lengths and encourage submissions from first-time and emerging directors.
We are also seeking radio programming and new media works made by Indigenous producers and artists. Radio and new media submissions are presented at a Mediatheque centre during the festival.
National chief says day of action should build bridges, not blockades
April 5, 2007 - Canadian Press: SUE BAILEY
OTTAWA (CP) - Canada's top native leader is calling for cool heads and peaceful demonstrations - not blockades - as frustrated chiefs plan a national day of action for June 29.
The point is to draw public support rather than alienate it, says Phil Fontaine, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN). "This day is intended to bring focus to the issues facing our communities and to generate greater awareness, understanding and support for the need to act.
"Through peaceful demonstrations across the country, we will reach out to Canadians by putting our issues and our solutions front and centre," he said Thursday in a statement.
It comes as some chiefs are calling for the swift, if contentious, impact of blocked rail lines. Such tactics can backfire.
"Let's face it: if you irritate Canadians, they're not going to listen to your message," says Bryan Hendry, a spokesman for Fontaine.
"To be absolutely clear, the AFN is advocating peaceful demonstrations," he said in an interview. "We're telling people we don't want any blockades. They're not the answer."
Still, AFN chiefs voted last December for the national day of action as part of a resolution moved by Terrance Nelson, chief of the Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation in Manitoba. The resolution clearly calls for a 24-hour railway blockade (from 4 p.m. next June 29 to 4 p.m. June 30) "to reaffirm the need for the Canadian government to establish a reasonable time-frame for settlement of Indigenous rights."
The document also cites letters written by Canadian National and Canadian Pacific railway officials, "asking Canada to settle matters with Indigenous people so as to maintain the viability of their businesses."
Nelson has called for an emergency meeting of chiefs to discuss railway blockades this summer.
Fontaine's appeal for calm comes on the heels of a rhetorical sparring match between the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice.
The exchange erupted as furious chiefs, including Fontaine, blasted what some have called the Conservative "stone soup budget" - so named because it all but excludes new funds to fight native poverty.
Manitoba Grand Chief Ron Evans responded by threatening to stall provincial hydro dams and other government projects. In turn, Prentice threatened funding cuts and forensic audits if tax dollars are used "in planning illegal and disruptive blockades."
The Indian Affairs minister cites spending in the budget for native housing, children and families, education and training.
Chiefs say it's not nearly enough to "put the wheels on Kelowna" as Prentice promised to do after the Conservatives nixed the $5-billion Kelowna accord reached by the former Liberal government, native leaders and the premiers.
A day of rail blockades to protest native poverty last summer was averted. Canadian National Railway agreed to write to Ottawa, urging quicker action to settle land claims.
The federal budget last month says the Conservatives will work with chiefs to "move forward an action plan" in the next year to speed up specific claims. No timelines for actual compensation were given.
Native chiefs blame unfulfilled treaties and frequent exclusion from the harvesting of lucrative natural resources as prime causes of poverty.
© The Canadian Press, 2007
First aboriginal female judge appointed in Manitoba
Thu Apr 5 16:47:00 CDT 2007
A lawyer from northern Manitoba has become the first aboriginal woman to be appointed a judge in this province.
Doreen Redhead was appointed to the provincial court of Manitoba, effective immediately. A swearing in ceremony will be scheduled as soon as possible.
Redhead graduated from the University of Manitoba Law School in 1996. She has practiced law on behalf of the Fox Lake First Nation in Gillam, and the Keewatin Tribal Council in Thompson.
“It’s a huge step forward for women and for First Nations people,” said Attorney General Dave Chomiak. “It was actually very moving for me this morning to phone her and tell her what an honour it was for me to do that.”
Chomiak said having a female aboriginal judge gives the courts a better reflection of the population of Manitoba.
Redhead was selected by Chomiak from a list of candidates recommended by an independent judicial nominating committee, chaired by chief provincial court judge Raymond E. Wyant. Representatives of the Law Society of Manitoba and the Canadian Bar Association were also on the committee.