Christi Belcourt Profile picture
Jun 1, 2018 27 tweets 7 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
My dad and Maria Campbell have known each other since before I was born. They consider each other brother and sister. When I was getting into a lot of trouble, my dad sent me to stay with her & we have been fast friends now for 20+years.
Maria is one of the seminal influences of my life as an Auntie, Elder, Mentor and friend. Next month I will be taking a road trip with them. I'm hoping they let me record our conversations. I'm particularly interested in their memories about Indigenous movements from 60's-80's.
This past week Deanna Reder and Alix Shield uncovered the excised passage from Maria Campbell's groundbreaking book "Halfbreed" where she recounted being raped at 14 by RCMP members. McLelland and Stewart the publishers edited out that part fearing potential legal repercussions.
Over the years Maria had told me about what happened and how that section had not made it into her book. But I never thought I would see it and be able to read it myself. I'm grateful to Reder and Shield for their research.
Maria Cambell is a powerhouse as a revolutionary, an artist, organizer and defender coming generations. Although renowned as an author, she has never wavered from her roots and grassroots organizing against violence against Indigenous women and defending the lands and waters.
The publishing this week of Maria Campbell's 1973 excised text where she recounts being raped at 14 by RCMP is incredibly important. Especially given rising awareness of police violence against Indigenous and Black people. Here is the link:…
I think the #MeToo social media campaign has done a lot of good to bring awareness to the mainstream about just how common violence, especially sexual violence is against women and girls. Seeing people support and verbalize that they believe the victims has been heartening.
However, that same courtesy has not yet been extended to Indigenous women, two-spirit or trans people who are speaking about about state violence and the state-supported violence originating from resource extraction industrial "man-camps".
Indigenous people have had more than 300 yrs of state-sanctioned violence perpetrated upon us. Now that Trudeau bought Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline, I suppose that means that the man-camps he is planning on setting up will be staffed with Government of Canada employees.
Meaning that while Trudeau looks to extend National Inquiry's mandate to investigate the over 1300 Murdered and Missing Indigenous women and girls in Canada over the last 30 years, he is also going to be setting up man-camps which increases the risk to Indigenous women and girls.
As it has been proven that wherever these man-camps are set up by the oil and gas industry, they bring with them violence towards the Indigenous populations whose lands the camps are set up on. For example:…
The Secwepemc people do not consent to Trans Mountain pipeline nor to any man-camps in their territory. In the recent McLean's article, a Trans Mountain spokesperson said "the company acknowledges risks when workers are isolated and lack cultural sensitivity."
According to MacLeans, TransMountain when it was still under Kinder Morgan said they would put their employees through "cultural sensitivity training"…
MacLeans: "Fort St. James area experienced 38% increase in sexual assaults in one industrial project’s 1st yr. In same region, along route of 2 planned natural-gas pipelines, a pair of remote First Nations have ensured health stations r stocked w/ rape kits b4 work camps arrive"
Increased violence against Indigenous people brought on by the sudden influx of workers in man-camps on pipeline construction routes cannot be denied when the company itself admits it and FN's are stocking their health stations with rape kits. FFS. #MMIW #ManCamps #TransMountain
As @KanahusFreedom states: “The colonial corporate system of resource extraction relies on the connected violences of destroying our lands and violating our bodies,” Hudson Bay Outposts are what she calls the "original man-camps".
Importantly, the Secwepemc people do not consent to this pipeline or to man camps. It hasn't happened yet. We still have a chance to stop TransMountain and to help the people protect their lands and their people. Donate directly here:
I'm going to end this thread with the excised passage from Maria Campbell's book Halfreed. With a reminder that we don't have to accept the Trans Mountain pipeline. We can & should fight against because the violence towards Indigenous Peoples on Indigenous lands needs to stop.
The excised passage contained a story from Campbell’s childhood, taking place when she was only fourteen years old:

"Dad worked for Bob and poached on the side, and as usual the Mounties and wardens were often at our house."
"One day he was away and Grannie and I were drying meat in the bush. We had a tent set up about a mile from the house. I raced home to get something we’d forgotten just as three R.C.M.P drove up in a car."
"They said they were going to search the house as they knew Daddy had brought meat home the day before. I let them in and said that everyone else was at the store. While one Mountie was upstairs and another in the barn, the third followed me into the kitchen."
"Suddenly he put his arm around me and said that I was too pretty to go to jail. When I tried to get away, he grabbed my hair and pulled me to him. I was frightened and was fighting back as Robbie (my brother) came running into the room."
"Robbie tried to hit the Mountie but was knocked to the floor. I was nearly to the door when the other one came in. All I can recall is being dragged to Grannie’s bed where the man tore my shirt and jeans."
"When I came to, Grannie was crying & washing me off. I must have been in a state of shock, because I heard everything she said but could not speak or cry despite the pain. My face was all bruised and I had teeth marks all over my chest and stomach."
"My head felt as if my hair had been pulled out by the roots. Grannie was afraid that Dad would come home, so she helped me upstairs and put me to bed. She told me not to tell Daddy what had happened, that if he knew he would kill those Mounties for sure and be hung"
"She said that no one ever believed Halfbreeds in court; they would say that I had been fooling around with some boys and tried to blame the Mounties instead."
Let us never forget that the state perpetrated, supported, defended and denied violence against Indigenous women. Let us now come to the aid of the Secwepemc people who are calling on support to protect their lands and people.


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More from @christibelcourt

Aug 5, 2018
I am seriously hoping that the National Indigenous orgs, and specifically the MNC is not the granting body for all Metis looking to access Indigenous Languages funding. That would be an absolute disaster for so many reasons. @HeritageCanada I hope you are paying attention.
To that end, Heritage Canada should not be the one heading up the language legislation either. An independent body of language experts who have been working for decades on language revitalization and retention should be at the helm of this.
So far what I have seen is the national Indigenous orgs and Heritage Canada doing this and language experts I know have not been contacted or been asked to lead. The Canadian Government always takes the lazy route. They keep going to orgs as "one-stop-Indigenous-shopping."
Read 4 tweets
Aug 4, 2018
Traditional tattoos are deeply personal. @Alethea_Aggiuq made a film about the revitalization of Inuit tattoo and expressss her concern that non natives will misuse Inuit designs...and then @HeritageCanada uses a picture of the artist’s tattoos without her permission. Ffs.
Just another reason in a long list of why @CanadianHeritage is the wrong department for handling Indigenous languages. We need our own granting department similar to the Canada Council for the Arts model, which despite limitations as a gov department, serves Arts & artists well.
So let’s explore the idea of a Canada Council for the Arts model which is used to promote & distribute grants to artists and arts organizations, being used for Indigenous Languages.

What if we had a Canada Council for Indigenous Languages with budget equal or more than French?
Read 19 tweets
Jul 28, 2018
Climate change isn’t hard to understand. I think most people don’t prioritize it because there is a certain amount of powerlessness we feel as individuals that it’s not within our control. ie. that individual consumer choices we make won’t change the trajectory.
I agree. The power of individual choice is made moot by a world monetary system and corporations who are shadow governments. The transition to green tech could happen sooner, swifter, and at a fever pitch if governments, like Canada, didn’t kowtow to the will of big oil and gas.
Consumers want affordable options. Why aren’t green tech, hemp products or sustainable products subsidized to the rate that oil and gas are, or more so than oil and gas?
Read 6 tweets
Jul 25, 2018
At a motel in Minnesota. East Indian couple owners with their little baby. The man checks me in. The mom is speaking her language to her little baby as they watch a cartoon in her language. I feel happy for her but sad because in our own lands Indigenous people don’t have this.
I am in Anishinaabeg territory. Like almost everywhere on Turtle Island the kids aren’t spoken to in the language. The adults speak English to the kids. Many communities have only a few speakers left. Two generations is all it takes to lose a language.
The good news is that two generations is all it take for a language to be restored.
Read 5 tweets
Jul 22, 2018
My prediction on this “historic” agreement btwn the MNS and Canada: the issue of actual land will be tabled but money will be made available right away & increased for education, training and conferences for health...

As it has been with every new government since the 80’s...
And let’s correct that headline shall we?

“The non profit registered corporation known as the Metis Nation of Saskatchewan has signed an MOU framework agreement to talk further with the Trudeau government putting any progress that may be made at jeopardy in the next election”
The Metis/Michif/Halfbreeds were 100% screwed out of all our land, excluded by British and Canadian Treaty Commissions (Britain did this not First Nations) and systematically excluded from land claims. Except in AB, we have NO LAND.
Read 6 tweets
Jul 7, 2018
For anyone who has been following @TamaraMStory, Tamara asked me to let everyone know that her youngest boy has FINALLY come home after 10 years. CFS has not yet relinquished “crown ward” status on either of her two middle children. So the fight with the lawyers continues.
If anyone wants to see an an example of criminal abuse of power by the child welfare system towards Indigenous families, go read @TamaraMStory about her 10 year fight to get her kids back.

Tens of thousands of dollars in debt in lawyers fees and untold anguish. Unbelievable.
She will update her twitter later. Right now she wants to just focus on her children and their needs. She is letting her lawyers handle the legal stuff to get the crown ward status removed. Her legal fees are still mounting. I will post the go fund me link on this next tweet.
Read 4 tweets

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