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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  December 21, 2016 4:30am-5:01am GMT

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similar blasts destroyed parts of the market in 2005 and 2006. the extremist group, the so—called islamic state, has claimed one of its militants carried out the lorry attack on a berlin christmas market which left 12 dead. police say the driver may still be at large, and armed. they've released a pakistani asylum seeker, detained earlier, saying they have insufficient evidence to link him to the crime. president 0bama has banned new oil and gas drilling in us arctic waters and introduced significant new curbs in the atlantic for the next five years. the move — one of his last major environmental protection actions — could prove difficult to reverse for the incoming trump now on bbc news, it's hardtalk. news report: people on the remote first nation of attawapiskat say the spate of suicide attempts
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started last october with the death of a 13—year—old girl. since then, dozens of the community's 1,800 people have attempted suicide, culminating in 11 attempts in one night last week. i was being told i was a dirty indian and that i wouldn't make it in life. i might as well not try because my people are weak. the policies that have got us there were definitely racist. share this land fairly, that's what the original treaties were about. we've got to start fighting for our people. i'm tired of being belittled just because of who we are. my story today is all about the aboriginal people here, and their experience makes a mockery
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of canada's reputation as a progressive, wealthy nation. calgary — the business hub of oil—rich alberta. prosperous, diverse, seemingly at ease with itself. but, as in much of canada, there is one community that appears to be falling through calgary's cracks. early this summer, the body of a young aboriginal woman was found in this park. she was 25, a mother of three. her name, joey english. she'd been brutally dismembered.
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identifying joey's remains wasn't easy. even now, much of her body is still missing. it's a shocking case, but it was greeted here in calgary, and across canada, with weary resignation becausejoey english is just the latest in thousands of indigenous women who have gone missing or been murdered in canada over the last three decades. joey english's family and friends gather for a vigil to commemorate her life and mourn her death. also, to vent their anger at a system of policing, healthcare, social services,
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that they say is failing first nations women. i'm really, really angry at the justice system. look at how we're being treated. are we going to be treated like this for the rest of our lives? we've got to start fighting for ourselves, for our people. i'm tired of being belittled just because of who we are. i'm tired of it. i really want something to be done. i really think we need help. all our families, all our sisters out there, enough is enough. please, hear my cry. please help me. help me to fight this injustice and stand together. justin trudeau, if you see this
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and hear this, you can apologise to other countries, but you can't even look at us. no—one knows exactly howjoey english died. she had a mental health problems, she had served time in prison. but her family say she desperately needed help that never came. to lose a daughter in the way you have lost joey, it's unimaginable. i feel so dishonoured by this... this unhuman being that has torn my world apart. so many women have gone missing, have been murdered in the indigenous
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community in this country. do you have any faith at all that this pattern can change, can be ended? i have hope. i do. i believe it can. i drove into the calgary suburbs to better understand the alienation of first nations women. this, the home of sandra manyfeathers, a teacher in calgary. sandra, i'm stephen. she's a member of the blackfoot tribe, an ardent defender of her people's language and culture.
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is that your son? yes. as a child, sandra manyfeathers was one of the hundreds of thousands of first nations people taken from their families and put into so—called residential schools, deprived of their culture and identity. it was a national trauma which ended just 20 years ago. i want you to explain to me a phrase i've heard from many first nations peoples here in calgary, intergenerational trauma. what do they really mean? over the last 100 years, canada has essentially created a relationship that has separated first nations people, categorised them. you make it sound a bit like apartheid in south africa. yeah, well it is pretty similar. as pernicious as, many people would see it as evil as, that? i do believe that it is as evil, if not more evil.
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most canadians are really ignorant to the issues that first nations people have to go through on a daily basis. do you think most white or euro—canadians are racist? i do. iface racism every day. i walk into a department store, racism in my face, every single day of my life. you experienced something which has been so fundamental to the experience of many first nations people of your generation and older, and that is being forced into these so—called residential schools, where your own culture was denied to you? my parents had to surrender me to the indian residential school. they had no choice, it was like a forcible thing? yes, it was. i was about five years old. i did stay there for a number of years. what do you remember of it? i was being told that i was a dirty indian and that i wouldn't make it in life.
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that i might as well not try, because my people are weak. it was daily. we were being told that we weren't going to make it in life, so we shouldn't try hard. we were only taught rudimentary skills. so, you are of a contemporary generation that has been forced through the most difficult experience as a child, alienated from your own community. do you carry anger with you today? no, i don't think i'm angry towards them as much as i am wanting to make a difference. there's no anger towards the canadian state. colonisation still exists today in canada. so that has a lot to do... but this is supposed to be one of the most progressive, liberal countries in the world. you know, canada will sell that to the world. canada will bring in refugees,
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you know, as many as they possibly can, to shine this light that canada is this great place to live. but you still have the issue of first nations people. and it used to be quiet, because we were taught to be quiet. and we're not going to be quiet any more. you're not going to kill us, you're not going to kick us and make us stay down, because we're going to say something about the plight of first nations people. every summer, calgary stages the stampede, a week—long party celebrating the pioneering days of old canadian bank gets west. the stampede looks and feels like a celebration of all things canadian cowboy.
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but every year there is an effort to integrate the experience of the aboriginal peoples of this country. one area of the showground is always given over to the first nations experience. but there's no effort to be politically correct — they call it the indian village. the highlight of a visit to the indian village is the pow—wow. dancers from indigenous communities all over canada, and the us as well, bring their best outfits and dance moves. visitors to the stampede lap it up. there are roughly 1.4 million indigenous canadians, 4% of the national population. white canada sees them, but very often doesn't listen.
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what i'm trying to find out is whether white canada, frankly, cares. oh, yes. they care. it's up to them, i guess. they get lots. you mean the government gives them plenty of support? they get lots of money. they get lots. and you think they squander it? no, they get their treaty money, and they got a lot. and if it's only the chief who's getting it and it doesn't trickle down to the rest of it... that's right, the chiefs get lots of money. while big cities like calgary have become home to many first nations people, many more live in remote reserves on ancestral land. i'm heading to attawapiskat,
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in a remote corner of northern 0ntario. this is a community of 2,000 cree people. it's come to symbolise the despair and alienation felt by many indigenous canadians. my guide is jackie hookimaw, a teacher and writer born and raised here. so, this is our water plant, this is where we get our drinking water. every day, people come in the mornings till late evening. most people have to come every day to get the water? yes, for drinking, for eating.
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even just to take a shower. sometimes you'll see people have some outbreaks from their skin once in a while. what's missing in attawapiskat isn't just basic infrastructure. there's an absence of hope. over the past 18 months, more than 100 residents have tried to kill themselves here, many of them children. jackie took me to the sports hall. a makeshift gym in a corner room is where some of attawapiskat‘s boys hang out. we've heard about the problems in this community and the numbers of young people who've tried to take their own lives. can you explain to me what is going on? why is this happening?
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i don't know. sometimes i think it's family problems, drugs and alcohol getting to them. since the family are too busy with drugs and alcohol, they're not focusing on their kids any more and their kids feel like they're being left alone to them, they don't even matter to the family. you're 19 years old, have you known any of the young people who've tried to take their own lives? i lost a sister to suicide. it's been ten months. your own sister killed herself? yeah, sheridan. how old was sheridan? she was 13. what drove her to it? bullying. she was getting tired of being sick. what's the impact been on you, and yourfamily? it doesn't even feel real, still. feels like it's just a dream. like it didn't even happen. but it did. itjust happened right away. do you feel optimistic,
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do you feel hopeful for the future? with all the things that's going on, people sending donations and letters of hope, i feel like there's hope being restored to attawapiskat. there's a lot of people helping us out. attawapiskat is a community in trauma. the local chief doesn't even live here. the government in ottawa has for decades looked the other way. late last year, canada's newly elected premier, justin trudeau, promised a new beginning in canada's relationship with its indigenous people. it is time for a renewed
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nation—to—nation relationship with first nations people. one that understands that the constitutionally guaranteed rights of first nations in canada are not an inconvenience, but a sacred obligation. he set up an inquiry into the murdered and missing women. he promised new resources for mental health services. but it'll take an extraordinary effort to undo the damage of centuries. do you think that the condition of the roughly 1.4 million people of first nations, indigenous people of canada, do you think the condition they live in country represents canada's shame? absolutely.
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it's third world conditions for way too many first nations, inuit and metis. it's unacceptable. is that down to pure racism? i think that the policies that have got us there were definitely racist. yes. the original deal in this country was to share this land fairly. that's what the original treaties were about. i'm very struck by your frankness, your honesty. i'm just wondering how on earth you are going to deliver. well, the good thing is that the prime minister put it in the mandate letters of all the ministers. and so that most important relationship, to him and to canada, is in the mandate letter of all the ministers. you mean across everything, from economy, to health care, prisons, everything?
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everything. every minister knows that is the most important... but look at what the indigenous people have seen from politicians of late. for example, the truth and reconciliation commission, which will set up to investigate the aftermath of the scandal with the residential schools, which damaged so many indigenous children over many years, that commission sat, i believe, for seven years. it came out with a 94 recommendations. i understand why people feel, indigenous people in canada feel they have been let down for generations. because they have been? but the good thing is that the truth and reconciliation commission has given us a very clear road map on both on closing the gap, but also on the healing that needs to take place. the problem is, and again, i'm just quoting one activist who said this just the other day, setting up commissions of inquiry, procedure can be an excuse for not taking action. i think that perhaps in the past people have desperately worried that you get a commission and some recommendations and then they sit on the shelf and nothing happens. we, ithink, have been warned about that. what on earth is behind
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the thousands of women, over a 30—year period, who have disappeared and many have been murdered? certain lives seem to be valued less. but there also seems to be something very different when an indigenous woman goes missing or is found murdered, in terms of whether it is the quality of the search, the quality of the investigation, whether it's even deemed a murder, whether it's deemed a suicide or an overdose, or an accident. the charges that are laid out the plea bargaining, the sentencing, the time served, all of that seems to be a very uneven application of justice. i spoke just the other day to the family of a young woman, joey english, whose body was found in a park only a few miles from here, severely brutalised and dismembered.
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her family are furious. they feel that her death can directly be ascribed to neglect. and you're the minister who is supposed to be taking care of these people. i've heard a lot of those stories. the families are rightfully upset that the lives of their loved ones didn't seem to be valued. but they need action now. guess what, i agree with them. i agree with them totally. we can't wait for two years until the commission comes up with a report. we knew we have to do way better on housing, and shelters. let me talk to you about one specific case. again, one we are looking into. that is the small settlement of attawapiskat, in ontario. since october 2015, there have been more than 100 suicide attempts. what are you going to do about that? listen to the youth. the youth there know what they need. they want back their language
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and culture, they want to be out on the land, they want to be competent. right now, frankly, many of them just want to disappear. they want to end their lives because they're so miserable. this week, i was at a conference with a number of the kids from attawapiskat, at this feathers of hope conference. they are inspiring in terms of what they know has happened to their colleagues that feel that way and what it will take to get them back, to feel that they can be successful. to do what? there are nojobs. more than 40% unemployment for young first nations people. the imprisonment rate is so high. for many of them, there does not appear to be a viable future. that's the opposite of what i'm hearing. we have a country where all our natural resources are in the north. all of our natural resources, or a lot of them, are in that big,
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huge part of canada where first nations, inuit and metis people live. we need mining engineers and forestry technicians, and we are going to need people who want to live there. but your predecessor as minister for aboriginal affairs, bernard valcourt, he said repeatedly these people have to step up themselves. maybe that's not politically correct, but maybe there's some truth in it? we want the focus also to be put on the successful communities. i want people to start talking about the number of phds, the number of mas, the number of doctors. what i'm seeing is this huge opportunity for us to change this around. what happened to me differently, maybe because i'm a dreamer, i have new friends, more than most canadians, and i don't think you should have to be an mp to have fabulous friends that happen to be first nations, inuit and metis, who inspire me every day. canada's treatment of its indigenous communities is a stain on the country's reputation.
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0ur native people are developing programmes to revitalise our languages, our culture, activities. i see hope there. and you saw that this winter, when we had the crisis, the youth took the initiative to do a healing walk. so, they crossed the attawapiskat river when it was frozen. they walked up to fort albany. for me to see young people doing this, fighting for their lives, that gives me hope because they're very resilient. let's hope so. yes. i hope so! the wounds inflicted on canada's first nations people run deep.
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they'll take many decades to heal. you have probably heard already, but as we go towards the christmas weekend, it looks as if things will turn exceptionally stormy, especially in the northern half of the british isles. i will show you why injust a second. by the weekend, we will show you a pressure chart with more isobars on it than this. a breezier day on wednesday than many of us have seen for a while. two weather fronts to deal with. a lull in proceedings. this more northerly feature will drift away out of the western
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side of scotland where it will produce a bit of rain. it will weaken as it comes into the north england and england and wales and into the south—west. by the afternoon, maybe the cloud will thicken again in southern parts of england and wales to produce a really miserable end to the day. it is the shortest day, of course, and i think it will get darker awfully quickly in the afternoon given the amount of cloud we will see. temperatures are at least 10—11 degrees. something of that order. brighter skies behind. as it comes to scotland and northern ireland, cold air dominating the scene. the added strength of the wind here. wintry showers will fall to low levels. showers will keep going in northern ireland and scotland. this area will gradually move off to the near continent allowing a bright and crisp start to the day across the greater part of england and wales.
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another blustery one for scotland and northern ireland, wintry showers falling to a low level. it will feel very fresh indeed. eventually showers will go up through northern and western parts of both england and wales as well. generally speaking, further south, a decent day in prospect. although not overly warm. and then it is on into friday where we bring in the second named storm of the season, this is storm barbara. and notice the number of isobars in northern and western parts especially of scotland. that is why the storm has been named and why we have the amber warning from the met office. the strength of the wind. how strong? look at this. close to the centre of the storm could see around 90 miles an hour. to the south, england and wales, the gusts could reach 70 miles an hour. that is disruptive and possibly damaging at the same time. as we move towards christmas day itself, the exact track of this storm
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is in doubt at the moment. that is why we are just giving an indication. it could produce some severe gales and therefore some disruption. hello you're watching bbc world news. i'm adnan nawaz. a deadly inferno in mexico — after a chain of explosions at a fireworks market. at least 29 people have been killed and dozens more injured at the open—air market in tultepec — north of mexico city. welcome to the programme — our other main stories this hour — german officials say investigators won't rest until they've caught those responsible for monday's truck attack in berlin. police have released the man who was their sole suspect. president 0bama bans oil offshore drilling in much of the arctic for five years, in the hope of blocking some of donald trump's
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energy plans.
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