Oct 30, 2013 - Cameco, Exxon, CIBC and other Ecocidal Corporations announce this years 2013 Indspire Award Winners! by Clayton Thomas-Muller
Dear Indigenous Peoples Movement,
We need to talk about a serious issue threatening our livelihood and collective rights known as corporate sponsorship [of our artistic and education institutions].
Today our largest Leadership and Indigenous Education Awards organization – Indspire, just announce this years amazing winners of their prestigious award/s:
Another way to look at today’s announcement is that some of the most evil companies responsible for Bill C-45, the USA government shut down, the Tarsands, the Keystone XL Pipeline/Energy East, Climate Change, Cancer in our communities, Uranium mining & milling, pot ash mining, Clear Cut Forestry-and on and on and on announced who they were using to green wash or redwash their genocidal/ecocidal activities they are implementing on our sacred native homelands and across Mother Earth. Here are a few of these evil doers with the main sponsor of this years event being CIBC and Cameco (A uranium mining company operating in my own homeland in Northern Saskatchewan):
Exxon [Syncrude/Imperial Oil]
Pot Ash Corp.
This list along with just about every other company that is committing genocide & ecocide on Indigenous peoples and our sacred lands can be seen here in the corporate sponsors list of Indspire:
Here is a post I put up a year or so ago on the matter…..
Couple thoughts on Corporate Sponsorship of our Indian Arts Institutions…for those of you that recently went to the Indispire Awards Show (formally National Aboriginal Achievement Awards). You should know they approached me a couple years ago about receiving their National Award for Environmental work…I told them no thank you, and that the minor recognition I would receive to the work I do from the award ceremonies and its associated PR machine would not come anywhere close to the social capitol their corporate sponsors would receive by green washing (or redwashing in this case) their operations with my personal name or the social license to operate as business as usual in our Native Lands they receive by being showcased in front of Canada as “Good” corporate neighbors to First Nations. When the truth of the matter is, they are the reason along with Canadian Apartheid Indian Policies that we as Native Peoples continue to suffer under colonial occupation…..we must end corporate sponsorship of our arts institutions by these genocidal corporations…having a major mining company or energy company sponsor these events is no different then having Du Marier or Players (Imperial) tobacco company sponsor our head start programs, or having a porn company sponsor a teen age body image campaign…..they bring death, cancer and destruction to our people, land and water in all places they operate.
I know that many of our people have become dependent on this and other artistic and educational mechanisms for your livelihood, I am not attacking this. I am however pointing out that this kind of private sector incursion in to our institutions greatly supports the devolution & termination agenda of our Federal Governments legal and fiduciary obligation to fund Native education in this country….and also exacerbates many of the front line impacts that these companies externalize on local communities like in the tar sands. They do this by blinding us and Canadians into thinking its OK, cause they give so much back….the money these companies give to Indspire and other awards groups is nothing compared to the costs our Sovereign Nations absorb in the form of Human and Ecological health impacts, Treaty and aboriginal rights violations and erosion, violence against our woman, assimilation of our youth to a fundamentally unsustainable world and cosmo vision that directly violates our natural laws and on and on….
It is my belief that to be sovereign we must develop a comprehensive multi-pronged approach to becoming economically self sufficient that is rooted in Anti-Colonialism, Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression and bio-regionally planned. We must do this in a phased long term strategic framework that addresses in a intentional and meaningful way our dependency on these revenue streams that come from the very companies that would see us disappear like the buffalo…..
We must not be afraid to call out injustice, we must not be muted by the perceived social license that Indspire lends to these corporations…we are in a fight that is about Corporate Power vs the carrying capacity of our sacred Mother Earth and the communities that depend on her for their livelihood.
I challenge all the recipients of this years 2013 Awards to call out on the stage, these companies and their operations in your homelands….to speak for your people who are being harmed, to speak for our water, our air our sacred earth, the cosmos and for your children yet unborn, speak out even if your voice shakes.
Clayton Thomas-Muller is a member of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation. He is the co-director of the Indigenous Tar Sands (ITS) Campaign.