Let’s Occupy #Attawapiskat in Twitter on December 7


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I wrote a piece the other day on Attawapiskat, and how it enrages me.

Not just the case in those communities, but how it’s representative of Canada’s largely racist relationship with first nations and, frankly, all “disposable” people.

This, by the way, is an amazing piece with essential information about the bureaucracy/politics of Attawapiskat from âpihtawikosisân: http://apihtawikosisan.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/dealing-with-comments-about-attawapiskat/. Truly essential reading.

Some of us have been working up an idea to draw and focus attention on the need to not only address Attawapiskat, but the overall systemic problem.

Let’s occupy the #Attawapiskat hashtag in Twitter for most of the day on Wednesday, December 7. Hashtag occupation is an activist technique in Twitter to push a message around a new or existing hashtag. If the hashtag ends up trending in a city/province/country, all the better.

And if you aren’t around/available on the 7th, you can use Hootsuite or some similar Twitter interface to write some scheduled tweets to go out on the 7th.

And I’m thinking that around mid afternoon in each of our time zones, we can start focusing tweets directly at John Duncan’s email/phone number. Clever fellow doesn’t have a Twitter id.

And remember, you tweeps are often the sources of information an insight in your social networks outside the echo chamber of Twitter. Make sure you encourage your people in Facebook, Diaspora and other social circles to take part by sharing their hopes and wishes for a national dialogue on our dysfunctional relationship with first peoples.

If you aren’t in Twitter, but know someone who is, but cares about healing this core failure of Canada as a whole, please ask them to take part. Here’s what I’m thinking:

  1. On December 7, from 8am EST to 5pm PST, each participant makes 3-6 tweets about this topic.
  2. Hashtags to use: #Attawapiskat for sure, plus any of these that fit your individual tweets: #NativeSpring #AFN, #indigenous, #aboriginal, #cdnpoli, #onpoli, #racism, etc. Use your province’s hashtag for your tweets, like #bcpoli #onpoli #skpoli, etc. because hashtag cross-polination is a powerful thing and our nation’s systemic problem exists in your province too!
  3. People to include in tweets:
    1. Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan [john.duncan@parl.gc.ca, 613-992-2503, 250-338-9381]
    2. Stephen Harper [stephen.harper@parl.gc.ca, @pmharper in Twitter, 613-992-4211, 403-253-7990]
  4. Liberally retweet fellow activists’ tweets on December 7 by monitoring the #Attawapiskat hashtag.
  5. Remember, the current event is Attawapiskat, but the systemic problem is nation-wide. And if you’re inspired to be thinking on systems-wide level, enjoy this piece.
  6. Content suggestions for your tweets:
    • Comment on healing our relationship with first peoples.
    • Why do Canadians allow such poverty among first peoples?
    • Why are so many first peoples living in abject poverty?
    • What needs to be healed in our relationship with first peoples?
    • Is Attawapiskat symbolic of larger issues in Canada?
    • Your vision on healthy relationships with first peoples.
    • What poverty means to you.
    • Why you want our governments to begin a sincere national dialogue on healing our racist, imperialist, dysfunctional relationship with first peoples: acknowledging the problems of the past and present, and expanding solutions and best practices around the country into the future. To move forward we need to heal the past and build a respectful future.
    • See the piece and comments here for more inspiration for your tweets, as well as the âpihtawikosisân piece above.

So if you could spare a couple minutes, 3-6 times during the above time range on December 7, to stimulate a healthier nation, thanks! And again, if you know of any Twitter folks who care about this issue, please consider asking them to take part.

And if you have any new ideas for hashtags, event logistics or content suggestions, please toss them into the comments below and I’ll incorporate them into this post.

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Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Post-partisan eco-socialist. at Politics, Re-Spun
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website, dgiVista.org.

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9 thoughts on “Let’s Occupy #Attawapiskat in Twitter on December 7”

  1. I’ve never been a politial person or an activist, but this story and the implications for First Nation’s people and society as a whole have captivated me for the last week. It seems, to me, like the time is right for change to begin. A tipping point has been reached. The time has come for voices to call out peacefully…not for equivalence, but for the rights of the human being in a global society…I’ll be tweeting ( @cat_simmons )

  2. A content suggestion: Leave a comment about what you think of media coverage of #Attawapiskat, and include @riicnews in the tweet – to help reporters tell better indigenous news stories.

  3. Would love some transport trucks to donate services to park at churches from down here (Windsor Area) all the way to Timmins so we can fill them with non pershible foods, house hold cleaners,water, diapers, blankets, pillows, jackets, hats, mitts, household utensils etc. and maybe throw in some things from Santa and get it up north. If we could get CTV and CBC to help us get the messages out we can help these people for the next few months until this almighty government sends in engineers and carpenters to build human living conditions for these Canadians. Lets bring Attawapiskat into the 21st century. I am so ashamed to be a Canadian right now.

  4. I’ve just blasted out a bunch of tweets, as I have been doing the past few days. As an artist, my work deals with the dark, hidden history that is Canada’s treatment of the first people. The situation in Attawapiskatt has started to really tear a hole in the farce of Canada the utopia. I’m really hoping this will finally be a black eye on the Canadian Government and will force them to finally address the situation. What I can’t understand is how some people in Canada are reacting to this, especially this time of year, when the children in 3rd world countries from around the world tug at their heart strings to part with their “$1 a day”. We have these conditions right here, in our own backyard… open your eyes Canada. @sonnyassu

  5. I started using the #indianact hash-tag a few months back for an art work/ artist symposium on indigenous language, rights and title. 2011 marks 135 of the indian act, a piece of backwards legislation designed to facilitate in the physical and cultural genocide of the First People. South african Apartheid was modelled on it, the Nazi’s embraced it fundamental principles…. the world stood up to fight booth those issues, will the world stand up for Canada?

    A basic premiss behind the Indian Act is that it makes ever Status Indian and Inuit person a ward of Canada. In essence, we are Canada’s foster children. The act gives the power to the government to “look after us”. Attawapiskat proves the government has failed. But that failure is based on the fact that the indian act is nothing more than a farce, it’s principles are simple: segregate and assimilate.

    “I want to get rid of the Indian problem. I do not think as a matter of fact, that the country ought to continuously protect a class of people who are able to stand alone… Our objective is to continue until there is not a single Indian in Canada that has not been absorbed into the body politic and there is no Indian question, and no Indian Department, that is the whole object of this Bill.” – Duncan Campbell Scott , head of the Department of Indian Affairs from 1913 to 1932.

  6. I don’t understand what happened to the money that the government gives this reserve yearly? I don’t understand why they won’t let an auditor onto the reserve? Is there some wrong doing on the part of the administrators there? People are always so quick to jump on the government but I have seen what happens on reserves first hand. Lunches being bought for the community for every little thing. Big give aways at the Christmas parties (ie large cash prizes, tv’s etc.) Money being pilfered for personal reasons by band coucillors. Where is the money they recieve already gone to let the auditors onto the reserve and let us see for ourselves if its the Government screwing up or if its the actual people of the community screwing up.

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