Mistreatment of Natives in Canada

Something that isn’t globally covered is the mistreatment of Natives by Canadians. With Canadian Thanksgiving having just passed and American Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s important to remember that the land we live on is not ours.

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a youth conference in my city. The conference consisted of a keynote speaker, and workshops on gender and sexuality, oppression, discrimination, and power.

The keynote speaker, Jules Koostachin, is a filmmaker and daughter of a residential school survivor. She uses her films to show the long lasting trauma residential schools have left in her community, while also showing the light hearted and loving parts of the Aboriginal community that the media usually does not focus on. Jules shared with us how hard school was for her, how she never felt that she was smart enough, or smart at all. I feel this is something a lot of youth can relate to, and seeing someone who is so successful share stories of how she felt she would never make it was incredibly inspiring.

Jules also spoke of how oppression is not a competition, and we should not be trying to compare hardships, but instead share our stories in an effort to help each other heal.

Jules shared with us a heartwarming film she made about her youngest sons who are twins, and how the relationship between being a twin and being Native intersect. You can watch that film here. You can learn more about Jules and find some of her other films on her website.

Here is a link to learn more about residential schools, and here is a link on reconciliation, what we as settlers must do to help heal the divide.


By Nadya


Saudi Women

Photo credit to Nouf Abdullah
On the 27th of September 2017, females in Saudi Arabia were finally given their simple right to sit behind the wheel, destroying the longstanding policy that became a symbol of oppression in this kingdom.
It’s saddening when Saudi Arabia has been around for more than seventy years in which a various series of events occurred yet still, women just earned the right to drive.
This royal ruling should take place on the 18th of June; in the mean time I have a few things to talk about.
Personally I saw outstanding courage in the women driving, in protest, against the misogynistic narrow-minded rules, in small towns driving big cars with more skill than a man who’s been familiar with driving for a long, long time.
Funny thing is that it wasn’t legalized because they saw justice or decided it was for the better, but for the soiled reason that it was starting to damage the Kingdom’s international reputation and the fact that this would boost the failing economy of the Kingdom.
Why? Why withhold this decision for so long when women around the globe have a right to and access to many things — not everything — but a sure difference from our Middle Eastern community.
In my opinion our male leaders love the control they have over us, pleasing their ancient mindset that this kingdom shall be run by men who are — of course — wiser than women, though we were never given the chance to speak up about this matter, or to let our words and actions make a difference, or to prove ourselves responsible of our own rights.
That is, until the 6th of November 1990, 47 unforgettable remarkable women staged a protest against this discriminating policy that prevents females from driving. Keep in mind it’s the 90’s and they were the only country to violate this basic human right. As a display of protest against this injustice the women drove around the Kingdom’s capital city, Riyadh. These women took matters and steering wheels into their own hands accompanied by supportive husbands and brothers. Their actions had been planned carefully and not used to riot against religious views. They were mothers, wearing their Abaya and Hijab and nothing about the protest was anti-Islam.
So a protest in the 90’s supported by men, Saudi’s favorite creature, still didn’t do it; instead what was a Kingdom’s precious reputation. What does that tell you about a country that runs on brainwashing politics? It tells you about the enslaved women and immigrant workers, how trapped females are, and the control and power men have over us.
It’s displeasing how insightful the outside world can be about this topic and how little one can talk about it without facing trouble too, but us Saudi females have suffered way too much to just continue to be silenced.
By Robin, a Saudi queer.

The DACA – Take Action

I know a lot of you have been hearing about the DACA repeal recently, which most likely raises a lot of questions such as “What is DACA?” and “Why is it being repealed such a big deal?” And I am here to answer those questions!

DACA (Deferred Action for Child Arrivals) is a program created by President Barack Obama in 2012 that has allowed about 800,000 young people, who were brought here illegally as children, to remain in the country. It also allows those people to work legally for two-year renewable periods.

The Trump Administration is giving Congress six months to try to fix the issues he has with the program. New applications are NOT being accepted, but *if you already are a DACA recipient with a permit that expires before March 5, 2018, apply for a two-year renewal BEFORE OCTOBER 5TH!!!*

DACA has given so many children some hope and comfort that they can work and go to school without constant fear of deportation. Recipients also don’t fear that they will face excessive amounts of discrimination in the work force just because their legal status is different from their colleagues. It gives them a sense of safety to be able to leave their home and make money, buy groceries, get a driver’s license, and buy a home.

Ending DACA will not only be terrible for recipients and their families, but it can also very much hurt America’s economy. 200 billion dollars could be lost because removing protections from people who came here as children would cut a lot more money out of the economy than it would add, therefore worsening our country’s debt.

If you are DACA recipient, or someone you know is one, here are some things to know about this situation:
1. Your DACA is valid until it’s expiration date! Like mentioned before, if your DACA expires before March 5, 2018, apply for renewal BEFORE October 5, 2017.
2. The Department of Homeland Security is no longer granting DACA recipients the ability to travel abroad.
3. REMEMBER: No new applications are being accepted.

IF YOU ARE SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO HELP (hopefully everyone will, if you have the ability) HERE ARE SOME WAYS:
1. Text RESIST to 50409 to automatically be connected to your Senators (which is ESPECIALLY important if u live in a red state!)
2. defenddaca.com allows you to find events near you to defend DACA.
3. Call your state offices and defend DACA.
4. Text DACACall to 877877 to receive updates on ways to defend DACA.


By Shelby

Modesty and Nudity: Nothing Wrong with Either

 In today’s society, people will tell you that what you’re wearing defines who you are; what kind of person you are. If you’re covered up, you’re a nice, respectful, young individual. And if you’re not, you’re a whore, slut, etc. People shame others because of their appearance disregarding the fact that they could actually be a decent human being. What matters is whether the individual feels comfortable in what they’re wearing. However, there will always be hurtful behavior which is usually done to women and by men and surprisingly, by women as well.
 As a Muslim woman, I am told to cover up which I don’t necessarily mind, but to think modesty is the only way to get respect is wrong and we need to stop teaching young girls that. There is nothing wrong with modesty and there is nothing wrong with nudity. The two are basic lifestyle choices which depend on the person. This stigma against the two needs to be stopped. If we don’t stop it, then who will? The next generation will learn from our behavior and shame others. We will never live in peace if this occurs.
   In shows like “Orange is the New Black” and “Game of Thrones”, nudity is shown a lot. Some viewers out there have repeatedly said that they refuse to watch the show because of that sole reason because it disgusts them. Thoughts like these are hurtful because our bodies are art. Our nudity is art. Why can’t our choices be respected? The “FreeTheNipple” movement is something that was created to encourage women empowerment. It shows that women should not be ashamed of their bodies because each one of us are beautiful. If you are bothered by the topic of nudity, then simply refrain from it. Don’t comment injurious things. You will not benefit from it; no one will.
   In other cases, some men and women are also shamed because of their modesty. Because they don’t like to show their skin, they are made fun of. People have to understand that just because someone doesn’t like showing skin in public does not mean they are ashamed of their body and how they look. Maybe they are saving themselves for a special someone and that is perfectly fine. Also forcing someone to strip when you know they’re uncomfortable is sexual harassment. In third world countries, this is fairly common and not okay.
   Understanding that there are different people in the world can make a big difference. Understand that there are people who want to show skin without being called horrible names. Understand that there are people who don’t want to show their body and they should’ve feel ashamed for their decision. The world would be a much better place if people learn to respect others decisions. And remember Modesty empowers some and nudity empowers some and there is nothing wrong with either.