Author Topic: Critical perspectives on the Pickton trial  (Read 26196 times)

kuri

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Critical perspectives on the Pickton trial
« Reply #30 on: January 24, 2007, 07:16:30 PM »
Even without a capital C "cultural difference" it took me a good year to adjust to life in Vancouver, when I moved there from northern Alberta.

anne cameron

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« Reply #31 on: January 24, 2007, 07:17:02 PM »
Makwa: Cousin, I spent twenty years in Powell River...not as remote or isolated as Tahsis...every year kids headed off to university and every year most of them came back, as good as shell shocked by their first encounter with city life.  Some tried a second time.  Most didn't.  They wore the brand name clothes, the swishtika shoes, had the hair cuts, did the dancing, recited the rap, were cool as they could be and they hit a brick wall.  When I lived in Nanaimo I had first nations kids who KNEW me, knew me as "auntie" come to stay with us and go to college...and they couldn't handle the number of people in the college corridors, let alone on the streets...they had the clothes, hair styles, TV, etc., and thought they were prepared.

TV conditions them to expect something... and then they run into life as it is lived , not as it is on TV and that makes for double culture shock...

I don't know the Cree, or any prairie people.  I only know coast people.  For some, just moving to Tahsis, with less than 300 fulltime year-round residents, throws them.  Even those who came here from reserves which are actually bigger than Tahsis get thrown by the number of WHITE faces...they aren't in the majority any more, they feel threatened (who can blame them?), and very vulnerable...

It's a very tangled skein of twine.  But maybe if we can continue to talk, to meet in places like this, safe in our exchanges, we can make things a bit better.

I go to Vancouver and see more cars in two minutes than I see in a year here and I feel overwhelmed...and so I haven't gone there in probaby six or seven years.  And have no plans to go any time soon.  And I look like the majority of the folks on the street...

Makwa

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« Reply #32 on: January 24, 2007, 07:45:44 PM »
Quote from: lagatta
Aboriginal cultures, with their oral traditions, have been swift to seize upon the Net and video etc to tell their stories and dreams.
Agree with all about the issues of culture shock re city life coming from small community life - imagine what life is/was for the tens of thousing of FN children who were forced out of traditional extended family based lifestyles into urban white single family dwelling lifestyles.  It is interesting how the concept of 'oral tradition' has been cited in the intersection of FN culture and the emergent media culture, and I wonder how much this concept is being used as a means of cultural appropriation.

I heard a story once about an FN IT professional who compared binary code to smoke signals.  While cute on a superficial level, it left me wondering how the significance of cultural transmission is not perhaps being assimilated into the dominant paradigm of the digital universe without considering the potential losses.  For many traditional elders, one-to-one, voice to voice communication is critical for the sharing of cultural information, especially when it comes to traditional knowledge.  For many elders the electronic recording of traditional stories is explicitly forbidden.  Some stories are meant to be held within particular clans, or shared only by permission to others under particular circumstances, etc.  Some traditional people believe that electronic or photo-chemical reproductions of any kind are disrepectful.

In any case, this whole issue is off track, and I apologize for pulling the focus away from what is clearly a tragic and sobering issue for many women, especially for those FN women who were struggling within the urban core away from their roots.
we are the stars that sing / we make a bridge for the spirits to walk over

Toedancer

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« Reply #33 on: January 24, 2007, 07:53:07 PM »
Oh no you weren't drifting, I found what you said clenched my heart re: anything but spoken is disrespectful.  My heart also opens wider into the terrifying world these women faced.
"Democracy is not the law of the majority, it's the protection of the minority." -Albert Camus 1913-1960

anne cameron

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« Reply #34 on: January 24, 2007, 08:11:14 PM »
Makwa: my daughter is First Nations, Haida, and producer of "Ravens and Eagles", which has run of APTN, Showcase, CBC...has gone around the world, won awards...she is just finishing another series on music... she has always been very careful to "clear" all material with the elders, and to screen the product with those portrayed and involved before releasing it.  She brings a traditional awareness and focus to video and there is a huge treasurehouse of material she has not used because she does not have unanimous permission of the Haida people.  "Majority" is not good enough for her, she insists on unanimous.  That's how we raise our kids.  I watch her work and tears slide down my face and I am sure the spirits will forgive me my sense of pride.

Rip-offs happen, and I appreciate your concerns and worries.  I have been told stories I have not been "given" and I do not scribe them.  When it is time, someone will be given the stories and told to tell them, until that time they remain where they have been protected.

I don't think your words were thread drift.  It helps give us all insight into the lives of those women who have been lost.

I've been very emotional today, near tears much of the time, the TV and radio have been turned off, I haven't even been able to listen to AnneSophie Mutter's violin.  The coverage of the Pikton trial seems to me to be just another example of the exploitation of the very worst of what "news" has come to mean.

Dammit, those are someone's daughters!  But for sheer raw luck one of them could have been one of MY daughters..or yours...or... and you'd think we were being told about ordure being tossed in a dumpster.

It's a damned hard day, and it must be much worse for the families.  Even burning smudge doesn't feel as if it has helped.

fern hill

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Critical perspectives on the Pickton trial
« Reply #35 on: January 24, 2007, 08:14:45 PM »
I had my eyes jerked open on the subject of culture shock many years ago on the Spadina bus. A young woman sat down beside me. She seemed nervous, looking around, trying to see street signs it seemed to me. I said, 'You know where you're going?' She said she needed to get off at King. I said that I was too, not to worry. She was relieved and started to talk, out of relief/nervousness, I guess. She told me she was new to Toronto, going to UofT. I asked where she was from. She laughed and said I wouldn't have heard of it. I asked, well, how small is it? She said there were more people on this bus than in her community.

I looked around the bus and thought, shee-it. No fucking wonder she's nervous. If she were home, she'd know all these people.

sparqui

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Critical perspectives on the Pickton trial
« Reply #36 on: January 24, 2007, 09:47:47 PM »
Many of the posts here remind me of the tragic death of Helen Betty Osborne and the miscarriage of justice surrounding her murder. And there are so many more disappearances and murders of Aboriginal women in Manitoba that still seem to garner the same freaking lack of concern from the police. It doesn't even matter whether they are kids, students or sex trade workers.

Quote
...Four young local white men were eventually implicated in her death: Dwayne Archie Johnston, James Robert Paul Houghton, Lee Scott Colgan and Norman Bernard Manger. It was not until December 1987, sixteen years after her death, that any of them were convicted of the crime, and then only Johnston was convicted, as Houghton had been acquitted, Colgan had received immunity for testifying against Houghton and Johnston, and Manger had never been charged.

The Aboriginal Justice Implementation Commission conducted an investigation into concerns surrounding the length of time involved in resolving the case. The Commission concluded that the most significant factor prolonging the case was racism...


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Betty_Osborne

The Picton case just highlights how horrible the official treatment of the disappearance and murder of these women was. There is sexism, racism and a good dose of classism oozing from the police conduct to the media coverage. If even a fraction of the number of women killed were from a white middle/upper class neighbourhood, one cannot help but think that the investigation and reporting would have been extremely different and much kinder to the victims.
If my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a tractor. -- Gilles Duceppe

Holly Stick

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« Reply #37 on: January 24, 2007, 10:02:51 PM »
I will say that the news coverage does talk a lot about the families of the murdered women.  While it may be exploitative in some cases like the young girl being interviewed, I've heard family members saying they want to show that these women had families and were loved.  I think it makes it less easy for some to dismiss them as just drug-addicted prostitutes (with subtext that it's not surprising they were murdered).
Economics is a human creation, borders are human creations and nature doesn’t give a damn about these things. - David Suzuki

Debra

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Critical perspectives on the Pickton trial
« Reply #38 on: January 29, 2007, 02:08:55 PM »
An important post here at indiescribe

Quote
In a story on CBC Newsworld today, we learn that funding is in limbo for another women's shelter in the troubled Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, namely the Young Wolf Lodge for aboriginal women.

snip

There are dozens of news stories being told about the Willie Pickton trial currently taking place in New Westminster, in the Lower Mainland area of Vancouver; these stories focus on the disappearance and murder of dozens of women in the Downtown Eastside over the last couple of decades.  This only points out the need for MORE shelters and more counseling for poor and desperate women forced into prostitution, not less.
“Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.” —  Josephine Hart

Caissa

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« Reply #39 on: January 29, 2007, 02:16:18 PM »
Here's an issue for Jack to grab ob to, instead he is fighting ATM rates. I really wish the NDP would get on message.

anne cameron

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« Reply #40 on: January 29, 2007, 02:30:53 PM »
Thank you, Caissa.
I'd also appreciate it if Jack would start making noise about the way the government is dragging it's feet about paying the settlements for Common Experience, residential school abuse.  Of course, if they wait long enough everyone will die off and they'll save a bundle almost equivalent to what they stole from the EMployment insurance fund.

I hope they all get cancer of the asshole!

Holly Stick

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« Reply #41 on: July 20, 2007, 02:28:54 PM »
I hear reports on the Pickton trial from time to time.  This recent one is pretty disturbing, about the women murdered in Alberta.  Maybe it's just the defence trying to disredit a crucial witness, I dunno.

Quote
Robert William Pickton's defence lawyer said Thursday that police in B.C. went to great efforts to ensure a key Crown witness was not investigated further in a missing women case in Alberta.

Defence lawyer Adrian Brooks said at Pickton's trial on six counts of first-degree murder that Andrew Bellwood was much more connected to the Edmonton police investigations into the disappearances of several women than he would have the jury believe...


http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2007/07/19/bc-pickton.html
Economics is a human creation, borders are human creations and nature doesn’t give a damn about these things. - David Suzuki

kuri

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« Reply #42 on: July 20, 2007, 03:37:32 PM »
Yeah, that story really disturbed me, too, Holly.

Holly Stick

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« Reply #43 on: December 09, 2007, 02:28:06 PM »
CBC radio has interrupted programming to say a verdict has been reached.  And be darned if the radio hasn't now cut out.  Fix your switches, CBC people!

ETA: now fading in and out.
Economics is a human creation, borders are human creations and nature doesn’t give a damn about these things. - David Suzuki

Holly Stick

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« Reply #44 on: December 09, 2007, 02:32:51 PM »
Guilty on first count (not sure if first or second degree); guilty of second degree murder on second to sixth counts.

ETA: Guilty of second degree murder on first count as well.
Economics is a human creation, borders are human creations and nature doesn’t give a damn about these things. - David Suzuki

 

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