A new start…

Oct. 17, 2021

 CBC News – Nathan Liewicki
Clan Mothers hold ceremony ahead of demolition on site of former Catholic church camp north of Winnipeg – Construction on the new buildings is slated to begin in spring 2022

The donation of the land – some would say the return of the land – to the Clan Mothers for a healing lodge is a good example of the principles enunciated by Justice Sinclair: white assistance ceding the empowerment of the Indigenous people for healing themselves and at the same time respecting the cultural power of the women to both effect the healing and to determine their own purposes, especially since a mere visit to the site can engender shudders of apprehension.    “Elder and Clan Mothers co-founder Mae Louise Campbell, 87, said there is still pain for some who come to the site. That’s why the grotto was covered up and different signs representing Indigenous healing, such as the medicine wheel were put up ahead of the ceremony.”   https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/healing-village-ceremony-before-building-demolition-1.6214227   Related article: CBC Radio – Wawmeesh Hamilton   Tasting Freedom – One evening 60 years ago, some 100 students at the Edmonton Indian Residential School took control in a little-known riot.   (A 53 minute audio, some text ) https://www.cbc.ca/radiointeractives/docproject/residential-school-riot

Toronto Star – Noor Javed and Kristin Rushowy
Minister in Doug Ford’s government accused of using controversial new law to try to ‘silence’ grassroots groups

The question of a prison for the town of Kemptville, ON, does not have the usual appeal of employment and prosperity.  In fact, two groups there – the Coalition Against the Proposed Prison (CAPP) and the Jail Opposition Group (JOG) in particular have so annoyed the government with their on-going opposition to the prison that the government has initiated a complaint about an unauthorized third party political financial practice.  Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark filed a complaint with Elections Ontario but “Elections Ontario said there was no merit to the complaint against the two groups in Kemptville, which is about 60 kilometres south of Ottawa.”  The maximum security prison arrived in Kemptville without any consultation but the question still remains why the Ontario government chose Kemptville and why persist to the point of bogus election complaints.   https://www.thestar.com/politics/provincial/2021/10/17/minister-in-ford-government-used-controversial-law-to-try-to-handcuff-grassroots-groups-fighting-to-stop-new-prison.html

Washington Post (US) – Griff Witte
In New Mexico, a bold experiment aims to take police out of the equation for mental health calls

A special mental health, addictions and homelessness patrol in Albuquerque, New Mexico is becoming an effective alternative for calls about these issues to the 911 line.  “While many of the changes demanded by protesters in the wake of Floyd’s killing remain unfulfilled — overall police budgets remain largely intact, along with rules that shield officers from liability — the concept of shifting the burden of mental health calls to unarmed responders continues to gain traction.”  What’s different is that this program is not tentative:  “It’s a free-standing department, with a multimillion-dollar budget and ambitions to hire hundreds of responders, field tens of thousands of calls each year, and fundamentally reshape an emergency response system that hasn’t been altered this significantly since EMTs were added half a century ago.”  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/mental-health-community-safety/2021/1  Related article: CBC News (NB) – Shane Magee   Missed calls prompted Levi inquest jury to seek changes to mobile mental health team – Jury called for expanded hours, improved dispatch after crisis unit didn’t arrive in time  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/rodney-levi-inquest-recommendation-mental-health-unit-1.6209762

 The Marshall Project – Eli Hager
The Hidden Trauma of “Short Stays” in Foster Care – Every year, thousands of children are removed from their homes by officials who fear for their safety—only to be returned within days. It “felt like being kidnapped,” one said.

The more usual understanding of the removal of children to state custody when a single parent is incarcerated is that the removal is necessary and one of those unfortunate unintended and secondary punishments.  This article goes to the root of the issue and asks if even a little alternate custody of the child is hugely injurious to the child.  “When most Americans think of foster care, they think of children waiting years in homes or institutions to return to their families or to be placed for adoption. But every year, an average of nearly 17,000 children are removed from their families’ custody and placed in foster care only to be reunited within 10 days, according to a Marshall Project analysis of federal Department of Health and Human Services records dating back a decade.”  Is there harm from just a few days? There certainly appears to be trauma.  “Short stays,” as they are called by child-welfare experts, appear to happen most often in high-poverty areas where law enforcement officials are the only group authorized by state law to remove children without a court order.”   https://www.themarshallproject.org/2020/02/11/the-hidden-trauma-of-short-stays-in-foster-care

Wisconsin Public Radio – Clare Amari, Wisconsin Watch
Wisconsin imprisons 1 in 36 Black adults. No state has a higher rate.

“A “staggering” one of every 36 Black Wisconsin adults is in prison, the report found. Black people comprise 42 percent of the Wisconsin prison population, but just 6 percent of the state’s population.”  By contrast with the national rate of 5 to 1, Wisconsin’s rate is 12 to 1, 42% of the prison population vs 6% of the wider population.  The Wisconsin rate makes the state the highest on the scale for incarceration of Black persons.   https://www.wpr.org/wisconsin-imprisons-1-36-black-adults-no-state-has-higher-rate

CTV News – Jackie Dunham
33-year sentence for U.S. man in case of fentanyl ring run from Canadian prison

“From a Canadian jail cell, Daniel Vivas Ceron directed a deadly drug ring that fueled the opioid epidemic and took the lives of four Americans.”  Ceron, and three other Canadians residing in Quebec, continued a distribution chain for fentanyl in Rhode Island.  Ceron, extradited from Canada to the US in 2017, now faces a life sentence in the US.  https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/33-year-sentence-for-u-s-man-in-case-of-fentanyl-ring-run-from-canadian-prison-1.5624944

Broadview – Glynis Ratcliffe
When her father was murdered, this writer turned to poetry – Margot van Sluytman has used writing to cope with her grief and help others with theirs

Van Sluytman is a poet with an unusual background as the springboard for the cultivation of better living skills among us: her father was murdered.  Ratcliffe explores the influence of poetry on Van Sluytman’s coping.  “I’ve always liked writing, and when my dad was killed, I started to write more. I found it a kindred, personal way to walk with my own harrowing grief. Over time, I discovered that others were doing this kind of work: expressive writing, therapeutic writing. I started to publish and to offer classes. Poetry has been an ally, and it has offered help and solace and a way to address painful and complex things. It’s a lifelong conversation on the page.”  https://broadview.org/margot-van-sluytman/