TanjaTizianas Buzzing Lights captures the glow of neon an art form thats

October 15th, 2019

first_img Facebook Tanja-Tiziana, in her new coffee table photo book, Buzzing Lights: The Fading Neon Landscape of North America, finds this Yonge Street landmark in a rather less dazzling state. Colossal it still looms in Tiziana’s photo, hardly less the marvel against a gunmetal overcast sky. But it’s burnt-out, shut down, fried and decommissioned — as it was officially, lamentably, in 2008, just one year shy of its half-centenary. Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Login/Register With: Advertisement Buzzing Lights: The Fading Neon Landscape of North America Tanja-Tiziana176 pp; $150For nearly 50 years, the great gleaming neon sign that crowned the Sam the Record Man storefront on Yonge Street had a strong claim on being the most distinctive landmark in Toronto.What a sign! 1,500 feet of neon tubing, more than a quarter-mile of the stuff, looped into a pair of huge resplendent circles, like luminous vinyl records, their electric-blue light set to flicker on and off round-the-clock, to simulate the spinning of a turntable. In the centre of those azure LPs, in blazing scarlet: “THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT,” like the Band Wagon song. The sign stood 36 feet high and 49 feet wide. It could be seen twenty blocks away, at all hours – a dazzling beacon, a cultural guiding light.last_img read more

Reel Asian at 20 5 festival films reviewed

October 15th, 2019

first_imgAdvertisement Twitter Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment center_img Advertisement Facebook This week the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival – running from November 8 to the 19th – celebrates its landmark 20th year of bringing moviegoers in the GTA some of the best and biggest films in Asian cinema. Boasting a wide array of films from China, Japan, Korea, and across South Asia, and films by members of the Asian community living in Canada or abroad, Reel Asian continues to broaden not only the horizons of viewers, but the festival itself, growing bigger and bigger with each passing year.Screening a diverse selection of fictional features, animated efforts, and documentaries around Toronto and Richmond Hill, Reel Asian has always prided itself on offering something for everyone (provided that the something is tied to the Asian community). This year there are programmes specifically for kids, a look inside the critically acclaimed CBC series Kim’s Convenience, photography exhibits, the always popular pitch competitions, a musically minded centrepiece presentation that finds Canadian pop rock outfit Obhijou coming back from their hiatus to perform alongside some deeply personal works by Asian filmmakers, and plenty of industry talks. I could go on, but for more details and to scoop up tickets to some of the awesome events they have planned, you’re better off just going to their website. You’re guaranteed to find at least one thing that will pique your interest over the next couple of weeks.Reel Asian has always been one of the best curated and diverse film festivals in the city, and one that I hope gets supported by the community at large for another twenty years to come. To kick off our coverage of this year’s historic festival, here are reviews of five films screening this week and next.last_img read more

Stylist Box partners with Judy Inc and Plutino Models for Designer of

October 15th, 2019

first_imgAdvertisement Toronto, ON – Canada’s exclusive fashion and celebrity showroom, Stylist Box is opening their Designer of the Season Award to independent designers across Canada in partnership with artist agency Judy Inc and Plutino Models.After four successful seasons partnering with the Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI) at their seasonal Press & Buyers Brunch, the Designer of the Season Award is now going national to mark the fifth award. The competition is open to all independent accessories, menswear, and womenswear brands which are owned and operated in Canada and available for sale to consumers across Canada. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment  follow on Twitter | like on Facebook A look book photo shoot with a top team from premiere artist agency Judy Inc; including photographer, fashion stylist, hair and makeup artist and professional model from Plutino ModelsOn-going business mentorship with Stylist Box founders Christian Dare and Gail McInnesInclusion in The Stylist Suite – an exclusive celebrity styling lounge held during the Toronto International Film FestivalAn editorial feature in The Pull MagazinePrevious winners of the Stylist Box Designer of the Season Award include Christopher Paunil, Patrica Wong, Bano eeMee, and Miriam Baker.The contest is open to independent womenswear, menswear, and accessory designers who are based in Canada and available for sale nationwide. Applications are available by emailing gail@stylistbox.com. Designers will be judged based on brand development, media kit, product quality, and marketing materials.Deadline to apply is 11:59pm EST Friday, April 28, 2017. The announcement of the Stylist Box Designer of The Season Award will take place on Monday, May 8, 2017.For interviews, images, or additional information, please contact Gail McInnes, Magnet Creative Management, gail@magnetcreative.ca or 647-283-1931.ABOUT STYLIST BOXStylist Box connects emerging and established fashion and accessory brands to high-profile personalities, top fashion and celebrity wardrobe stylists, and fashion editors. Founded by fashion veterans Christian Dare and Gail McInnes, Stylist Box offers inimitable and attainable promotional opportunities for designers to appear in the pages of magazines and on celebrities for high-profile events.Stylist Box clients’ designs have been seen on the red carpet at the Emmy Awards, Cannes Film Festival, Canadian Screen Awards, Juno Awards, Toronto International Film Festival, as well as in numerous national and international publications, including VOGUE Italia, ELLE Canada, Marie Claire (Philippines), Glamour (Russia), Harper’s Bazaar (Kazakhstan), FASHION Magazine, FLARE Magazine, and many more. Celebrity clientele includes the likes of Susan Sarandon, Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen, Patrick Stewart, John Travolta, Mischa Barton, Kim Cattrall, Natalie Brown, Nelly Furtado, and Stacey McKenzie. For more information, visit stylistbox.com.ABOUT JUDY INCJudy Inc is Canada’s leading artist agency with international reach and offices in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Judy Inc represents top artists in the divisions of hair, makeup, wardrobe, prop and food styling; as well as offering creative/art direction and photography services. Recent clients include Holt Renfrew, Simons and Lise Watier. Celebrity clients include Celine Dion, Robert Pattison and Jennifer Hudson. For more information, visit judyinc.com.ABOUT PLUTINO MODELSPlutino Models is a premier agency that takes into account each individual and their own unique brand as model, talent and influencer. The experience of the managers has played a major role in some of the most recognizable models over the past two decades. For more information, visit plutinogroup.com. Facebook “I always love the process of discovering new designers and strategizing with them on how to gain maximum exposure through our services. It’s always very exciting when they see their designs on the red carpet or in leading fashion magazines,” says Stylist Box co-founder Christian Dare.“Canada has such a wealth of fashion talent which deserves to be seen on an international level; our mandate at Stylist Box is to do just that,” says Stylist Box co-founder Gail McInnes, “Knowing first-hand the struggles independent designers in have to promote their brand makes this award all the more important. For our fifth season, we have partnered with the professionals at Judy Inc and Plutino Models to create a prize which will elevate the winning designer to the next level of their brand development.”The winning designer receives a prize package valued over $18,000, including:a six-month contract with Stylist Box valued at over $7,800 of services and monthly exposure valued at an average of $100,000 per monthplacement in the exclusive Stylist Box fashion and celebrity showroominclusion in special events and VIP/Industry seasonal previewscelebrity gifting and dressing opportunitiespromotional and sales opportunitiesmonthly reports, including inventory pulls, exposure values, celebrity images and editorial tears Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

FIRST LOOK AT SUPERGIRLS LEX LUTHOR JON CRYER IN VANCOUVER

October 15th, 2019

first_imgThere’s a new Lex Luthor in town.Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men) is Supergirl’s Lex Luthor.Michael Rosenbaum was Smallville’s Lex Luthor. Advertisement Login/Register With: Twitter Advertisement Facebook We’ll meet Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath)’s brother Lex in Supergirl 4×15 O Brother Where Art Thou? Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img

Nelson says Canadian government only listens when challenged

October 14th, 2019

first_imgAPTN National NewsFormer Roseau River chief Terry Nelson led a blockade to shut down a rail line in Manitoba as part of the National Day of Action Wednesday.APTN National News reporter Matt Thordarson was there.last_img

Feds ask court to stop human rights tribunal thats already started

October 14th, 2019

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe federal government is trying once again to quash human rights tribunal hearing looking at First Nation on-reserve child services funding.This is the third time Ottawa has turned to the courts in an effort to kill the case.Only this time the tribunal has already started and is looking at allegations the feds discriminates against First Nation children because of lack of funding.APTN National News reporter Annette Francis was at the federal court in Ottawa Wednesday.last_img

Grassy Narrows continues battle with Ontario over logging

October 14th, 2019

first_imgAPTN National NewsThere’s more to the ongoing battle between Ontario and Grassy Narrows First Nation.The latest misunderstanding was over where the province was actually going to clear-cut.APTN’s Delaney Windigo has this story.last_img

AFN executive meets to discuss next steps

October 14th, 2019

first_imgAPTN National NewsOTTAWA—Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo announced his resignation Friday afternoon amid growing political pressure over his perceived support for the Harper government’s First Nations education bill.Atleo said he was resigning his position as the head of the organization representing First Nations chiefs across the country because he didn’t want to be an impediment to improving First Nation education.“This work is too important and I am not prepared to be an obstacle to it or a lightning rod distracting from the kids and their potential,” said Atleo, during a hastily called press conference in Ottawa. “I am therefore today resigning as national chief. I have carried out my actions based on principle and on integrity. Personally, I believe this work must happen, it can and should happen in parallel to other efforts addressing fundamental questions of how we do this work.”Atleo is the first AFN national chief to resign from his post.Atleo was in his second term as national chief. The term was scheduled to end in 2015. Atleo was first elected in 2009 after a marathon, 23-hour vote in Calgary. He handily won re-election in Toronto for a second term in 2012.A hereditary chief for the Ahousaht First Nation in British Columbia, he also served as AFN regional chief for the province before his election to the top post.Atleo was facing increasing political pressure over his perceived support for the Harper government’s First Nation Control of First Nation Education Act. A group of chiefs from the prairies and Ontario were planning to try and seize control of the AFN.Atleo said that the prime minister was being sincere in his desire to improve First Nation education on-reserve through the bill.“The current proposal on education is the latest attempt in a sincere, constructive effort on the part of Prime Minister Harper to take a step forward,” said Atleo. “The work must be understood in that context, as a challenge, not for me, or any one individual, but a challenge and a call to action for the entire country.”Atleo compared the Harper government’s work on the education bill and its impact to constitutional negotiations, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and the Kelowna Accord executed by former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin.“Now the work started so many years ago must continue. It must continue in every community, it must continue within Parliament. I challenge every party and every First Nation to carry this work forward. Failure is simply not an option. Fighting for the status quo is simply not acceptable,” said Atleo.Atleo did not offer any hints on what he planned to do next, saying only he would continue the “struggle.” He took no questions from reporters after announcing his resignation.“I will, as I have all my life, continue this struggle in other ways,” said Atleo.Reaction from First Nation leaders was swift from across the country.Many were surprised.Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office sent out a release late Friday. “Together, we helped improve opportunities for greater participation by First Nations in the economy and standards of living and quality of life on reserve, including through the Crown-First Nations Gathering in 2012. We also shared a commitment to improving First Nation education and ensuring that students on reserve have the same education standards, supports and opportunities that most Canadians take for granted.”“National Chief Atleo was a conciliator and strengthened the relationship between First Nations and the Crown.”NDP Leader Tom Mulcair said, ““It was with sadness I learned of Shawn-A-in-chut Atleo’s resignation. As Grand Chief, as Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, as AFN Regional Chief for British Columbia, or as a teacher, he has shown himself to be an inspiring leader. I thank him for all the work he has done in support of Canadians and aboriginal communities across the country.”Liberal leader Justin Trudeau tweeted: “I would like to thank Shawn Atleo for his dedication to improving the lives of First Nations and the goal of a better country for everyone.”From the east, AFN regional chief Morley Googoo, Atleo’s point man on education and ally satated, “I was saddened today to learn of the sudden resignation of National Chief Atleo. I understand, however, that in making his decision he is putting, as he always has, the interests of Canada’s First Nation children and communities before all others.”On the west coast and Atleo’s home province, B.C. AFN regional Chief Jodi Wilson-Raybould, who recently called the education act an illusion said: “It was with surprise, disappointment and sadness that I learned of the resignation of National Chief Shawn Atleo today. (Atleo) is a respected leader who articulated clear priorities and has a positive vision for First Nations within Canada.”A group of First Nation chiefs who flercely fought Atleo on the education plan, announced plans to revive a dormant oversight body within the AFN to turn the organization against the Harper government’s First Nation education bill were largely silent after the announcement.Ontario AFN regional chief Stan Beardy criticized Atleo’s handling of the file, saying he appeared to have overstepped the mandate given to him by the chiefs which was simply to negotiate with Ottawa on education, not finalize an agreement.“My understanding is that the national chief got a mandate to negotiate, but a negotiator usually comes back to the people who sent him to say, ‘this is what I managed to negotiate,’” said Beardy.The AFN executive including Beardy and Wilson-Raybould, Saskatchewan regional chief Perry Bellegarde, Quebec and Labrador regional chief Ghislain Picard and Nova Scotia regional chief Morley googoo held conference call late Friday afternoon to discuss the next steps for the organization.last_img read more

Metis veteran was youngest sergeant in Canadian military during Korean War

October 14th, 2019

first_imgAPTN National NewsLeading up to the annual Batoche Day celebrations in Saskatchewan this coming weekend, APTN’s Larissa Burnouf sits down with a Metis war veteran to talk about life as a Metis soldier during the Korean War.last_img

After 2 decades of lobbying northern Metis finally recognized

October 14th, 2019

first_imgAPTN National NewsAfter a two decade long fight for recognition, Metis in the Northwest Territories are now tasting the fruit of their labour, which in this case, is caribou.The group was formally recognized by the government in January.APTN’s Iman Kassam reports.last_img

Young people talk about residential schools and the TRC

October 14th, 2019

first_imgAPTN National NewsWhen we think of residential schools, many will picture images of elderly survivors struggling to cope with their experiences.But the legacy of the schools, lives on in generations of Indigenous Canadians.Here’s APTN’s Shaneen Robinson, with the stories and experiences of two young men in Winnipeg.srobinson@aptn.calast_img

A Gustafsen Warrior in Exile The Story of OJ

October 14th, 2019

first_imgThings were falling into place, the eagle bones were showing up, feathers were showing up.” “It could have been the Spirit himself.”– James PitawanakwatHe remembers it was sometime after 8:30 a.m. at the Burger King in New Westminster, British Columbia, when the stranger gave him the newspaper with a front page photograph of a masked warrior holding a stop sign girded with feathers.James “OJ” Pitawanakwat hadn’t slept that night. He was with the hangover crowd having a fast-food breakfast. His long hair a disheveled tangle like the life he was living.It was 1995 and the blockade trail was all dry grass in high summer. The rumble of the Canadian military machine and the report of Mohawk AK’s from the battle in the pines at Kanesatake five years earlier still echoed like distant thunder across the country.Lighting could strike anywhere.Pitawanakwat sat at the Burger King with last night’s liquor still on his breath with no thought beyond the greasy hash brown patty he was about to eat; no notion he would soon be thrust into the most violent confrontation in modern history between First Nations and the state.A confrontation that would nearly kill him and lead to a life of exile.And then the stranger appeared.“And an Indian man come walking by looking at me, I had my long hair, probably all scraggly from the night before, and he looked at me, ‘Hey you want a newspaper.” I said, ‘sure,’ and he plopped it in front of me,” said Pitawanakwat. “He was just walking by and he handed it to me and he kept on going. It could have been the Spirit himself.”He remembers it was the Vancouver Province newspaper and the photo was of a warrior at a blockade in Douglas Lake.“I looked at that and I looked at what I was doing to myself and I came to the realization that I have stop what I am doing here and look at what is going on in the province,” he said. “At that moment things started happening. The dominos were falling into place that would lead me up to Douglas Lake where I had seen the man holding that stop sign.”The trail would continue beyond, to Gustafsen Lake, and a battle over Sundance grounds in the province’s interior that would see Pitawanakwat blown up by an IED and throw him into a pitched gun battle against RCMP tactical teams firing from armoured personnel carriers driven by Canadian Forces personnel.77,000 rounds of gunfire would rip through the underbrush during the summer conflict, eclipsing the number of bullets fired during the Kanesatake crisis.But that was 20 years ago.A Life in Exile My father tried blaming my other uncle for shooting him and her …”Pitawanakwat was born on July 31, 1971, the youngest of 11 children.On October 30 of that year, his father Francis Eli Pitawanakwat, after a dance at the community hall in Wikwemikong, took his wife Mary Grace to the gravel pits and shot her dead with a bolt-action rifle. Francis Eli then turned the gun on himself in a failed suicide attempt. An uncle found Pitawanakwat’s mother’s body and the wounded Francis Eli.“My father tried blaming my other uncle for shooting him and her,” said Pitawanakwat. “After the second trial he pled-out for eight years manslaughter.”Pitawanakwat was raised by relatives with a different last name in Toronto and didn’t know this history until one day, when he was about 12-years-old, he was leafing through an encyclopedia at home when a newspaper clipping fluttered to the floor.“I reached over and picked it up and seen my family name on it, my last name and I read it and I started to ask questions and they said, ‘Yeah, we went to the trial and we heard what he did to your mother,” said Pitawanakwat. “I was raised not knowing, which was fine with me, I grew up happy.”Things began to darken for him around that same time period when he said he was molested by a Catholic priest. As he grew into his late teens he hooked up with the boyfriend of one of his sisters and entered the gang life. At first they used knives for the corner store stick-ups, then, with proceeds from the crimes, they bought pistols. They would steal cars for their getaways after hitting spots in places like Scarborough, York and Mississauga.“I was part of the crime wave in Toronto,” he said. “We started getting a little careless and started to get closer and closer to home.”Toronto police detectives from 14 Division, using security footage, identified him as a suspect. They picked him up and took him home where detectives showed the video to his foster parents who provided the positive identification.He was 19-years-old and sentenced to two years. He spent stints in a Guelph, Ontario, provincial jail before he was transferred to Collins Bay penitentiary and then to Millbrook where he said a mix up with his sentence led to a complaint filed with the ombudsman which led to his release.He ended up in Hamilton, Ontario, to be with a woman from his home community he developed a relationship with over letters and telephone calls while behind bars.After a miscarriage—which Pitawanakwat said was caused by Hamilton police brutality while responding to a noise complaint at his apartment—the couple had a baby girl.His father died on June 25, 1994, and was buried at the Wikwemikonsing cemetery in Kaboni on Manitoulin Island.Pitawanakwat never met his father, he denied a request to see him when he was 16, but he did manage to speak to Francis Eli on the telephone before he died.James Pitawanakwat, far right, with his 4 brothers on Manitoulin Island after the funeral of their father Eli. Photo courtesy of the family.“I did thank him for bringing me into this world before he departed,” said Pitawanakwat.Francis Eli and Mary Grace’s remaining 10 children, plus a daughter born to Francis Eli after the murder, gathered together for the first time at their father’s funeral. There are photographs of the day. One photograph is of the six sisters, the other of the five brothers.“We were never together at once and most of the family was there,” said Pitawanakwat. “It was a life changing moment…to be unified even in death.”Pitawanakwat’s sisters after the funeral of their father on Manitoulin Island. Photo courtesy of the family.Pitawanakwat returned to Hamilton and then he, his girlfriend, along with their new daughter, and a friend hopped the Greyhound for the West Coast.Vision in the Clouds He was driving in the pickup truck, an AK-47 and a hunting rifle inside, and Suniva Bronson, a non-First Nation activist from Alberta, in the passenger’s seat, on a water run when he hit an IED planted by the RCMP on the logging road. A YouTube video from a police eye-in-the-sky camera captured the moment of impact, the plume of smoke.Pitawanakwat’s dog Idaho was in the back and the video shows it scrambling from the truck only to be shot by an RCMP sniper.“It was blackness all around,” he said.Pitawanakwat and Bronson managed to escape through the haze of smoke. Pitawanakwat headed for the lake, cut his boots off midway through the water while bullets skipped around him. The other warriors were already on the other shore and once he reached them he was handed a weapon and the gunfight exploded.He said he still suffers bouts of PTSD from the IED strike. One of the strongest attacks hit him while he was in a holding cell in Kamloops, B.C. There was a radio on the wall playing the local commercial station. One morning, as he was emerging from sleep, one of the radio commercials played the sound of a helicopter.“I jumped up and leapt out of bed and I was standing in the middle of that cell and a full rush of adrenaline through me,” he said. “I was standing there, almost angry at where I was, but that was my first moment when I realized I had post-traumatic stress.”Then, later, it could be the backfire of a car, fireworks and even movie detonations that would trigger the emotions, causing his hands to shake and his mind to relive the gun battles, the explosion.“It will always be there,” he said.But it has faded slowly over time.Pitawanakwat said he is selective about who he tells his story to now. He said the story of his experience in Gustafsen Lake is what got him expelled from Baraga, Michigan, after he recounted it at a bar that was also the local watering hole for off-duty police officers. One word led to another about “Indians” and he ended up in a brawl. He was thrown into the local jail and then told to get out of town on the next bus.He planned to go to Lansing, Michigan, but chance encounters on the trip diverted his path and found him one snowy March day in 2004 at the Seven Generations cultural centre in Saginaw. He stayed for a sweat and never left.That first night, he spent it in the sweat lodge. The next morning, he walked into the cultural centre where breakfast was being made and told his story. He said he was then given work by the cultural centre and one of his first tasks was gathering wood for the fire to make maple syrup.There were the expected initiations, fights with the local young men testing his mettle during the pow wow and outside the bars. Eventually, he was accepted as a member of the community. He was married by the tribal chief under the pipe to Christina Keshick.Pitawanakwat is now invited to dance with the war veterans at pow wows because of his Gustafsen Lake experience.A longing for homeChip Neyom became good friends with Pitawanakwat after they randomly bumped into each other 10 years ago.“OJ is a warrior for sure. The type of guy who stands up for what he believes in,” said Neyom. “Most certainly, from his story, it’s the right thing to do, to stand up, stand your ground…sometimes we have to stand up and take arms, I guess.”Pitawanakwat’s younger sister Melissa Manitowabi also lives on the reservation and she moved here with her husband from Canada to be closer to her brother.James Pitawanakwat’s sister Melissa Manitowabi moved to the community to be closer to her brother.“We decided to stay because I saw how much he needed family,” said Manitowabi. “Everyone is back home and some can’t come over here either and he can’t go over there.”Manitowabi said Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould should pardon Pitawanakwat, who still has an active warrant out for his arrest in Canada, and let him come home.“He was just standing up for what he believes in and helping the people out there,” she said. “He did a fair amount of his time. He was a free man here and he should be considered that over there too…It’s time for him to come home to be with his family.”Pitawanakwat wants the right of return.“I have been living in exile, being here, away from my family, away from my traditional territories. Being away from where I grew up is a prison sentence itself. In essence, I have been sentenced for 20 years because of this sovereignty argument,” he said. “Since I have been here I have lost a brother and a sister, people wonder why I am crying at night, when I sit here crying…I do want to return to Canada, I do want to return to the forefront.”jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarrera Sitting in a cold trailer on the Saginaw Chippewa Indian reservation in Michigan, Pitawanakwat sands a piece of fossilized coral called Petoskey stone he retrieved from an area near a city by the same name.This type of ancient stone, spawned by the force of glaciers, is named after a 19th Century Odawa chief who grew wealthy from trading and settled about 200 kilometres north. He wants to mold the stone into the figure of a beaver and a clam.“This is the leftover of the coral reef that was deposited in the Petoskey area where my ancestors are from,” he said.The Saginaw Chippewa Indian reservation, an Anishinaabe community, is as close to home as Pitawanakwat can get. There are strong links between families here and in his home reserve of Wikwemikong First Nation on Manitoulin Island on the other side of the Canada-U.S. border that cuts through Lake Huron.Pitawanakwat has lived here since 2004.For nearly two decades Pitawanakwat has lived across the U.S. in places like, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Lincoln City, Oregon, where in June 2000, he was chased on his bicycle after going out for pizza, then tackled in a bramble of thorn bushes by U.S. Marshals executing an arrest warrant.Canadian authorities had been hunting for him since he slipped across the border before finishing the day parole portion of his sentence from his 1997 conviction on charges of mischief and possession of a weapon for a purpose dangerous to the public peace in relation to the 1995 Gustafsen Lake standoff.But the extradition request failed after a U.S. Federal Court judge in the District of Oregon ruled in November 2000 that Pitawanakwat’s actions during the standoff were “of a political character” and qualified for an exemption under the extradition treaty between Canada and the U.S.He was granted political asylum and began a life in exile.The Newspaper ClippingFrancis Eli Pitawanakwat in an undated photo. Photo courtesy of the family. Video: Rob Smith, APTN Investigates, reporting. He saw the vision of the explosion after he was cut down from the tree during the Sundance.The Gustafsen Lake standoff centred on land leased by the province to a rancher near 100 Mile House, B.C., that was used for Sundance ceremonies.The land, which was never surrendered, was reclaimed by the Ts’Peten Defenders in 1995 who refused to leave despite attempts by the rancher to evict them.The RCMP intervened, and, with support from the Canadian Forces, faced down the Ts’Peten Defenders, who numbered between 30 to 40 people.Things escalated in mid-August when Defenders spokesperson William “Wolverine” Jones Ignace said if the RCMP moved into the camp it would be “clearly war…We’re not going to go peaceful. Body bags or do a hell of a long stretch…Nobody is going to tell you to put your weapons down,” according to the court record.The RCMP and the Canadian Forces, working through Operation Wallaby, set up a base called Camp Zulu which included armoured personnel carriers, helicopters, a field hospital, communications centre, military assault weapons and a tactical unit of about 400 heavily armed militarized police.After several incidents, which saw tens of thousands of rounds exchanged between both sides, the Defenders’ camp surrendered by Sept. 17, 1995.There were 18 people, 13 men and five women, at the camp by the standoff’s end. All 18 were convicted by a jury following a 10-month trial.During the standoff Pitawanakwat smuggled assault weapons purchased in the U.S. across the border and into B.C. through bush trails by foot. A group would move across the border at night to pick up the weaponry, slinging the rifles over their shoulders for the trudge back north to the camp.It wasn’t all war, however. There was a strong spiritual aspect to the camp at the centre of the standoff.Pitawanakwat still remembers his last Sundance and gathering the items for the spiritual ceremony that would suddenly seem to materialize.“Things were falling into place, the eagle bones were showing up, feathers were showing up,” he said. “People were walking and they would say here is this eagle fan right here, here are these feathers for your crown, here, let’s pick up these bushes of cedar, let’s grab the red willow for thunder sticks, lets grab the tree for the dance.”He remembers carving the Sundance pegs, which would pierce his back, from Cherrywood branches and molding the pitch into the eagle bone for the whistle. He remembers the feel of the tension from the leather rope attached to the pegs and being lifted up into the air.“We start early in the morning when the sun comes up and you are dancing and praying when you feel the people in there and they are all dancing with you in unison and the harmony of eagle whistles and drums and you see your feet dancing,” said Pitawanakwat. “On the third day of the Sundance a few of my brothers and I were pierced from our back and were pulled up the tree and I was pulled up the tree and I was hanging from my back and we were dancing and it felt like I was up there for hours. They staked me to the ground and I was up there praying and that is when I felt people pulling me away from the tree…and that is what scared me…knowing there is something there that you can’t see.”He shouted to be cut down. A few moments later as he felt the blood still dripping down his back, he saw the clouds.“I seen a cloud in that state I was in, it unfolded before me at a faster rate, and I was like, ‘It’s an explosion.’ I told the elders, this is what I seen, I seen an explosion.”To this day, he believes the vision foreshadowed what would happen to him on Sept. 11, 1995.The IED Jorge BarreraAPTN National News  I was standing there, almost angry at where I was, but that was my first moment when I realized I had post-traumatic stress.”last_img read more

Former Ontario coroner looks back on suicide study in Pikangikum

October 14th, 2019

first_imgDelaney Windigo APTN National NewsBetween 2006 to 2008, the remote community of Pikangikum, about 800 kilometres west of Attawapiskat had a big problem.16 young people between the ages of ten and 19 took their own lives.Ontario’s Coroner tasked Bert Lauwers to write what is called a death review to find out why.APTN’s Delaney Windigo reports.dwindigo@aptn.calast_img

First Nations opposing fish farms concerned over possible changes to fishery regulations

October 14th, 2019

first_imgLaurie HamelinAPTN NewsThe federal government recently announced it is looking to make changes to the Fisheries General Regulations Act.Although the feds say the key focus of the changes to increase protection for fish and waters, First Nations in British Columbia, who oppose open-net fish farms, are worried about the move.Such as testing for piscine reovirus (PRV), a contested virus found in fish farms that has long been fought over by industry, government, scientists and First Nations.The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has been under pressure to test for PRV in B.C. fish farms that some believe is potentially deadly.Potential changes to the act could mean that responsibility moves to a different department, like the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).“All these little chess moves that they are enjoying right now is nothing more than to obfuscate the facts that are coming out,” said Chief Bob Chamberlain of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.The facts he is referring to is PRV and the worry that farmed Atlantic salmon could pass the virus to wild salmon.“To remove disease testing and transfer of fish from DFO – who has the precautionary principle to guide it – to the CFIA, which does not, to me it’s just another piece of a complicated game, where DFO continues to support the industry at the expense of its primary obligation of looking after wild salmon and the environment in B.C.,” said Chamberlain.Kegan Pepper-Smith, a lawyer with Ecojustice, says the notice of intent is concerning as no one knows exactly how the Fisheries Act will change but some hints have been put on DFO’s website.“What we do know is that … they intend to transfer the consideration of disease risks to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The second is that they used euphemisms like ‘reducing regulatory overlap’, ‘ increasing efficiency’, ‘reducing burden on businesses’ for what we are saying is an abdication of the minister’s responsibility,” said Pepper-Smith.APTN requested an interview with DFO but a spokesperson directed a reporter to their website.lhamelin@aptn.calast_img read more

Halifax programming darling DHX launches strategic review could be sold

October 13th, 2019

first_imgHALIFAX – Less than five months after scooping up the Peanuts gang of children’s cartoon characters in a blockbuster US$345-million deal, the decision this week by DHX Media Ltd. (TSX:DHX.B) to consider putting itself on the auction block has some speculating the Halifax-based children’s entertainment company may have taken on too much debt.The surprise decision to launch a review of strategic alternatives came Monday. On Tuesday, the chairman of DHX’s strategic review committee, Donald Wright, distanced the Peanuts acquisition from the review.“Whenever you purchase something as large as Peanuts it takes a lot of management time and effort to integrate it,” said Wright, president and CEO of The Winnington Capital Group.“We’re pleased with where we are on the Peanuts integration. We took on some debt but we also have a plan and we’re committed to lowering the leverage ratio over the next couple of years substantially.”Wright said it’s not unusual for a company like DHX to look at strategic alternatives from time to time, especially in light of the company’s recent drop in revenue and stock value.DHX posted disappointing financial results last week for fiscal 2017. In the fourth quarter, the company recorded a year-over-year decrease in revenue of more than 15 per cent. The company’s stock price took a hit following the lacklustre results, which included transactional charges related to the Peanuts deal.“I think it’s fair to say the board looks at the value of our businesses and assets and thinks they’re worth a lot more than the stock price indicates,” Wright said.David McFadgen, an analyst with Cormark Securities, said the company took on too much debt in acquiring its most recent gang of characters.“Their financial leverage is very high,” he said, noting that the fourth-quarter results were “quite a bit below expectations.”As the world’s largest independent owner of children’s content, DHX has positioned itself as a global player with many potential suitors. The company’s impressive library of brands includes Teletubbies, Inspector Gadget and Degrassi.As for possible buyers, McFadgen said a Canadian suitor is more likely to buy the entire company because a foreign buyer like Netflix would not be able to take advantage of certain tax credits and government incentives.However, Adam Shine of National Bank Financial says a large U.S. media company could acquire DHX’s library while avoiding its broadcasting assets, given foreign ownership restrictions on Canadian broadcasters.“We don’t rule out Canadian buyers of DHX, but these are not obvious and leverage is high,” Shine said in an analyst’s note.An analyst’s note issued by Drew McReynolds with RBC Dominion Securities said the launch of the review was a surprise.“The company owns a variety of valuable content assets that could be of interest to what appears to be a proliferating pool of potential buyers,” he said. “However, there remains considerable uncertainty with respect to scope, probability, timing and valuation of any potential transaction or transactions.”Michael Donovan, executive chairman of DHX, said during an earnings call last week that over his 37 years in the business, it’s “never been this positive.”“It’s getting more and more positive in terms of demand than it was six months ago, and that was breaking new ground,” he said. “We are very … well positioned as the leading independent owner of content in this space.”The company has said it is poised to take advantage of growing demand from industry giants like Netflix, Disney and others as they look for family-friendly premium content for their video-on-demand services.Donovan said Netflix’s recent promise to fund $500 million in Canadian production was like “a starting gun” going off for “a whole new arms race.”As for the company’s poor financial results, he admitted management “took our eye off the ball,” saying the acquisition of the Peanuts and Strawberry Shortcake brands “took really all of management’s time for six months.”last_img read more

Stocks push higher in Toronto while US stock markets step lower

October 13th, 2019

first_imgTORONTO – The renewed prospect of a trade war between the United States and China caused American stock markets to slump on Monday, but Canada’s main stock index diverged by closing higher after getting a boost from gold, materials and the cannabis-heavy health-care sectors.Rumours about the Coca Cola Company being interested in talks with Aurora Cannabis Inc. to develop pot-infused drinks caused a halo effect for the country’s cannabis sector, said Craig Fehr, Canadian markets strategist for Edward Jones.The S&P/TSX composite index was up 68.82 points to 16,082.31, after reaching a high of 16,117.95 on 222.7 million shares traded.The health-care sector led by gaining 4.58 per cent on the day as Aurora Cannabis gained nearly 17 per cent and Canopy Growth Corp. was in positive territory.“The lift in gold prices and the lift in the health-care sector domestically is kind of carrying the day for the TSX,” Fehr said in an interview.While uncertainty over NAFTA talks have affected markets and the Canadian dollar in the past, the focus Monday was on uncertainty over relations between the world’s two largest economies.“Those trade tensions for today are centred on the U.S. and China. As we progress not only through this week but over the next coming weeks I think that the conversation for the domestic markets is really going to centre around any progress or lack thereof with NAFTA talks,” he said.Investors reacted to speculation that the Trump administration is preparing to impose tariffs on another $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 92.55 points to 26,062.12. The S&P 500 index was down 16.18 points to 2,888.80, while the Nasdaq composite was down 114.25 points to 7,895.79.“We’re still a long, long way away from this being officially a trade war but clearly in terms of some of the rhetoric in the news about potential tariffs being a negotiating tactic we’re starting to see that the U.S. and China are calling each other’s bluff to an extent and we’re inching closer to potentially slightly larger tariffs on a bigger pool of goods,” said Fehr.Technology stocks also moved lower as they often do whenever the mood around the international environment sours.The Canadian dollar averaged traded at an average of 76.81 cents US compared with an average of 76.73 cents US on Friday.The October crude contract was down eight cents at US$68.91 per barrel.“Any time we’re talking about potential disruptions to global economic activity and global trade we’re going to see a commodity like crude oil bear the brunt of that, but relatively modest declines today,” said Fehr.The October natural gas contract was up 4.7 cents at US$2.814 per mmBTU.The December gold contract was up US$4.70 at US$1,205.80 an ounce and the December copper contract was up a half of a cent at US$2.651 a pound.last_img read more

Czech highest court upholds Uber ban in city of Brno

October 13th, 2019

first_imgPRAGUE, Czech Republic — The Czech Republic’s highest legal authority has upheld a ban for the operations of the ride-sharing service Uber in Brno, the second-largest city in the country.Uber was banned after a legal complaint by a taxi company supported from Brno City Hall that claimed new taxi services have to be provided only in line with the law.Uber argued it is not a common taxi company but a court ruled it is.An appeals court sided with Uber but the constitutional Court dismissed its decision Tuesday. The case returns to the appeals court now.The ban doesn’t apply in the capital, Prague, where Uber faces similar accusations in a separate case.The Associated Presslast_img

Grains mixed Livestock mixed

October 13th, 2019

first_imgCHICAGO — Grain futures were mixed Tuesday in early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade.Wheat for Dec. delivery was off 2 cents at $4.9740 a bushel; Dec. corn was up44.40 cents at $3.6040 a bushel; Dec. oats fell 3 cents at $2.70 a bushel; while Jan. soybeans advancedrose 24.80 cents at 8.9240 a bushel.Beef mixed and, pork higher on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.Dec.live cattle rose .27 cent at $1.1695 a pound; Jan. feeder cattle was unchanged at $1.4855 a pound; Dec. lean hogs rose 1.54 cents at .5812 a pound.The Associated Presslast_img

October vacancy rates across Canada

October 13th, 2019

first_imgOTTAWA — A quick look at October vacancy rates across Canada (numbers from October 2017 in brackets):British Columbia: 1.4 per cent (1.3 per cent)– Vancouver: one per cent– Abbotsford-Mission region: one per cent– Victoria: 1.2 per centOntario: 1.8 per cent (1.6 per cent)– Kingston: 0.6 per cent– Toronto: 1.1 per centManitoba: 2.9 per cent (2.7 per cent)Quebec: 2.3 per cent (3.4 per cent)Alberta: 5.5 per cent (7.5 per cent)Prince Edward Island: 0.3 per cent (1.2 per cent)Nova Scotia: two per cent (2.6 per cent)New Brunswick: 3.2 per cent (4.1 per cent)Newfoundland and Labrador: six per cent (6.6 per cent) The Canadian Presslast_img

IMF says it is reviewing data provided by Venezuela

October 13th, 2019

first_imgWASHINGTON — The International Monetary Fund said Thursday that it is reviewing delayed economic data provided by Venezuela.IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters that the executive board will meet in coming weeks to determine whether the South American country has met its obligation to share periodic information.“At this stage, we are reviewing data that we have received from Venezuelan authorities,” Rice said.He would not say when the data was received.The IMF issued a declaration of censure against Venezuela in May for its failure to implement remedial economic measures and provide required information.At the time, the IMF gave Caracas six months to respond with updated figures.Venezuela’s central bank hasn’t published official economic data since 2004, although member states of the international coalition are expected to do so every year.Venezuela’s currency has lost almost all its value as the country’s deep economic crisis has led to one of the worst cases of hyperinflation ever seen.Associated Press, The Associated Presslast_img read more