Archive for May, 2018



A declaration of war has been issued against Indigenous peoples in Canada by the federal government. By bailing out Kinder Morgan’s investment in the Trans Mountain pipeline, Canada has announced its ongoing intention to violate Indigenous title, law and jurisdiction, as well as the constitutional rights of Indigenous peoples, and all protocols of international law protecting Indigenous peoples’ homelands and right to consent to development on their lands.

Kinder Morgan purchased the pipeline for $600 million dollars. They sold it for a return of almost 650 percent for a product that proved faulty only a few days ago. Canadians are increasingly complicit in this swindle because they are all part-owners now. But Canadians have legal, moral, and treaty obligations to respect Indigenous jurisdiction, especially in light of what is to come. So the strategy must remain the same: we must devalue the pipeline by blocking its construction by any means necessary and supporting those who do.

Indigenous peoples from affected nations along the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion have already been arrested and violently removed from the path of destruction that will expand tar sands production and multiply tanker traffic and the risk of pipeline spills through their watersheds.

While there is much talk in the federal government about respecting Indigenous rights, not only does the pipeline bisect the lands and waters where Indigenous Peoples practice their right to hunt, fish, trap, pick berries, and sustain themselves, rendering those rights vulnerable to the imminent threat of a spill, its direct contribution to climate change already cuts these rights off at the legs.

Furthermore, the law itself and the deployment of police forces must be an object of scrutiny in the protection of Indigenous rights. Canada’s use of legal and police forces to repress Indigenous peoples is widespread and goes hand-in-hand with extraction. It is done in conjunction with corporations like Kinder Morgan, where the risk of Indigenous rights to commercial profit is mitigated through state police criminalizing Indigenous land defenders.

When we write that this is a declaration of war, we mean it literally. The military will be called. But the threat is not only the criminalization of land and water defenders protecting their territory from pipeline construction, but from the harmful corollary effects of pipeline construction, such as the ‘man-camps’ that are being established in four locations along the route. As the Women’s Declaration Against Kinder Morgan Man Camps reads: “Today, wherever man camps are set up, we face exponential increases in sexual violence. As development results in the destruction of our land base and our food sovereignty, it also drives up food and housing prices. This further intensifies our economic insecurity and we are forced into even more vulnerable conditions”.

Indigenous jurisdiction is collectively held. This means the deals Kinder Morgan has made with individual bands do not replace the need for engagement with the nation as a collective, as the proper title and rights holder on a territorial basis. Canada now bears the risks from the company’s failure to obtain consent from the appropriate jurisdictional authority. They are now the ones operating illegally, not the Indigenous land defenders.

It is the national pattern to use criminalization, civil action, and other penalties to repress Indigenous resistance to these policies by bringing to bear the weight of the law and police forces against Indigenous individuals and communities. The widespread surveillance of Indigenous peoples – e.g. the “hot spot” reporting system established under Harper, or the RCMP’s Project SITKA that monitored “Aboriginal public order events’ – is also part of a pattern of intimidation and risk mitigation. The use of incarceration is a long-term strategy to contain Indigenous rights within the carceral state, rather than see them asserted on the ground.

It is the failure of Canada to find peaceful measures to resolve this fundamental conflict that must be examined. Indigenous blockades are not acts of civil disobedience, but encounters between Indigenous and settler law.

And they should be dealt with as political conflict between Nations through diplomacy, not by security forces. Together, we will shut it down.

Support the Tiny House Warrior project!

Read more: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/kanahus-manuel/kinder-morgan-indigenous-resistance_a_23349533/

Donate: here – https://www.gofundme.com/tinyhouse2

Please email reconciliationmanifesto@gmail.com to add your support and solidarity to this call to action!

A list of people who stand in solidarity with this Call to Action:

Kanahus Manuel, Secwepemc Womens Warrior Society + Tiny House Warriors

Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade

Christi Belcourt (Michif of the Belcourt & L’Hirondelle Families from Mânitow Sâkahikan)

Melina Laboucan-Massimo, Lubicon Cree, David Suzuki Fellow

Jeffrey McNeil, TRU//

Audra Simpson (Kahnawake Mohawk) Professor, Department of Anthropology, Columbia University

The Indigenous Environmental Network

Janice Makokis, Indigenous Scholar (Saddle Lake Cree Nation)

Dallas Goldtooth, Keep It In The Group Campaigner

Eriel Deranger, Executive Director Indigenous Climate Action and member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation

Hayden King, Beausoleil First Nation, Director, Yellowhead Institute, Ryerson University

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Distinguished Visiting Professor, Ryerson University

Nick Estes, Kul Wicasa, Co-Founder of The Red Nation, Assistant Professor of American Studies, University of New Mexico

Erica Violet Lee, Nêhiyaw nation, University of Toronto

Pamela Palmater, Chair of Indigenous Governance, Ryerson University

Tori Cress, Beausoleil First Nation, Idle No More Ontario

Clayton Thomas-Müller, Stop-it-at-the-Source Campaigner – 350.org

Avi Lewis, The Leap

Naomi Klein, Writer

David Suzuki, geneticist and broadcaster

Bill McKibben, author and environmentalist

Dr. Damien Lee (Zoongde), Band member, Fort William First Nation

Deborah Cowen, Associate Professor, Geography, University of Toronto

Sherry Pictou, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Women’s Studies: Indigenous Feminism, Mount Saint Vincent University

Audrey Huntley, No More Silence

June McCue, Ned’u’ten. Water is Life!

Judy Rebick, Author and Activist

Harsha Walia, Activist and Author

Anne Spice, Tlingit, CUNY Graduate Center

Maude Barlow

Stephen Lewis

Sheelah McLean Idle No More Organizer

Tony Wawatie, Interim Director General, Algonquins of Barriere Lake


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“Two Years for Escaping,” Toronto Globe. May 31, 1916. Page 16.

“Guelph, May 30. – (Special.) – Fred Carson and David Lee, whom Magistrate Watt last week committed for trial on a charge of escaping from the Ontario Reformatory, were brought before Judge Hates at the Court House this afternoon. They both pleaded guilty to the charge, and were sentenced to two years at Kingston Penitentiary.”

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“Three Years for Arson,” Kingston Daily Standard. May 31, 1912. Page 03.

Man Tried to Burn Wife’s House by Lighting Fire Outside.

Niagara Falls, Ont., May 31. – It took Magistrate Fraser less than two minutes yesterday afternoon to sentence Simon Bolitho to three years in Portsmouth Penitentiary. Bolitho pleaded guilty to attempted arson, in attempting to set fire to a dwelling in which his wife was living, they having been separated. Bolitho started the fire outside the house, and it would have been difficult for it to have become ignited with the woodwork of the dwelling, but this did not prevent the magistrate in handing out a punishment that was severe.

The offence for which Bolithi was sentenced was committed early Sunday morning.

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“Minister of Justice At Pen,” Kingston Daily Standard. May 31, 1912. Page 06.

Hon. C. J. Doherty Here To Inspect Prison.

Is Spending the Whole Day Looking into Diffent Departments of the Penitentiary.

Hon. C. J. Doherty, Minister of Justice, is in the city to-day for the purpose of inspecting the penitentiary. Accompanied by his private secretary, Mr. Hackett, he arrived in his private car, ‘Empire’, Thursday night from Ottawa, and at six o’clock this morning he, his secretary and W. F. Nickle, K. C., M.P., went out to the big prison. Mr. Doherty and Mr. Hackett remained there all morning, looking into the different departments, and will complete their inspection this afternoon, leaving for Montreal to-night.

In conversation with The Standard this afternoon Mr. Doherty said he was well pleased with what he had seen of the institution. Asked if his visit had been prompted by the recent escapes from the penitentiary, Mr. Doherty replied in the negative. His object, he said, was to familiarize himself with the penitentiaries of Canada, and this solely explained his visit to Portsmouth Prison.

‘Are we to have a new warden soon?’ asked The Standard.

‘We can’t very well be on with a new warden until we are off with the old,’ replied the minister.

‘Then Warden Platt hasn’t resigned yet?’

‘No, not yet,’ answered Mr. Doherty.

‘Have you anything to say regarding the report which Mr. Hackett prepared after investigating the recent escapes at the penitentiary?’

‘I have nothing to say at the present time, I wish to form some conclusions from the report before making any statement.’

As the reporter was leaving, the minister said that he could make one definite statement and that was that Kingston was a very beautiful city. He envied the citizens of Kingston who had so delightful a place in which to dwell.

Mr. Doherty and Mr. Hackett had luncheon at the residence of Mr. Nickle.

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…as soon as someone else dreams, there is danger…

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The writer of this article has experienced life in a federal
correctional system. In fact, was an inmate at Warkworth
Institution, Ontario, when the living unit concept,
which he describes below, was introduced. His views
are entirely his own, based on reactions to the system
prior to and during the initial stages of the project.

“The past 25 years have produced an enormous amount of
research, some empirical and some of the arm-chair variety,
into the subject of the inmate subculture, and almost every
study in corrections since 1950 has dealt with an aspect of
it. This avalanche of information gives one the feeling every
pillar, in every institution, has seemed as a hiding spot for
countless sociologists and psychologists as they peer at unsuspecting
convicts. The common factor in all these studies
is to depict an inmate population held together as a cohesive
unit by an inmate code.

It became clear to me that the type of prison population described
by researchers was not at all like the one familiar to
me. Sensing my hunch was not based on fiction, I decided
to look into the subject, hoping it might result in a paper for
my criminology class. The topic seemed a natural one as I
had been part of that subculture for three years as an inmate.
I was not disappointed in my search for facts. A blend
of available literature, my own experience within the system,
and a return visit to an institution formed the foundation of
my research. 

The inmate subculture or code (the terms are synonymous)
is distinguished by its relative completeness in developing
certain cultural traits. Universals or customs, norms and
values, and a distinctive language have all been clearly defined
by generations of inmates. The convict argot, or slang,
perhaps best epitomizes this cultural phenomena. Being
right or solid, in terms of the subcultural norms, is a necessity
for most inmates. In fact, for the largest percentage of
inmates, right or solid is probably a sign of least resistance
to the institutional milieu.

The dominant drive of the code is to form a cohesive inmate
population … a united front against prison officials and
staff. Gresham Sykes, a criminologist in the United States,
in his book, The Society of Captives, calls the code “. .. a
war of all against all.” The closer an inmate population
moves toward this cohesive attitude, the more the pains of
imprisonment are reduced. This was obviously the dominant
stance when Sykes and others researched their books. I am
convinced this is no longer the case. 

Certainly, solidarity among inmates has a very real place in
a maximum institution and may be strengthened in this setting
more than in medium or minimum security institutions. I
would even say the inmate in a maximum facility could not
do without this reference group. A large number of right or
solid inmates are sent to this kind of prison and, most often,
the type of inmate considered by the majority of the inmate
population to be deviant, such as rats or sex-offenders, are
segregated from the general population. This helps to draw
the other inmates closer together. 

My notion of an eroding inmate subculture is founded on
medium and minimum security institutions, where I contend
the subculture is not as significant, yet affects the majority of
Canadian prisoners. In the past five years I believe federal
corrections has altered its treatment stance in most institutions.
This has the effect of eroding the inmate subculture.
Programs directed toward treatment in medium and
minimum security prisons will, in my view, result in hastening
the departure of the inmate subculture, and could make
it almost invisible in the next few years. Inmates will neither
want nor need the sustaining influence of the inmate subculture.
There are a number of concepts and programs which
bear out my contention, but the most outstanding example
is the living unit concept.

In the wake of the bloody riot at Kingston Penitentiary in
April 1971, which resulted in most of the inmates being
transferred to nearby institutions, and a preoccupation by
federal correctional authorities with a move toward a more
conducive climate for rehabilitation, the living unit concept
was introduced in early 1972. First to try the new concept
was Warkworth Institution, an Ontario medium security institution,
originally opened to house young, first offenders.

Warkworth, because of the type of prisoner it held, was ideal as a try-out institution for the new method of operation. Its stated aim was “. .. a redirected approach in dealing with inmates through better interpersonal relationships between
staff and inmates.” Does it work? I think so, and when I talked with staff and inmates recently at Warkworth, they agreed for the most part. Maybe not 100 per cent, but a marked change for the better is noticeable. As the living unit concept gained momentum, the barrier between
con and staff, while it failed to disappear, caused a

blurring of the barriers in a relatively short time. I hesitate to
term the change a mutual interest; rather, a form of cooperation
and dialogue, if not respect, did take shape. In a few
months rapping with a screw (guard) did not carry with it
the label, rat or stool pigeon, which was an inevitable result
of a conversation between inmate and staff, other than
when official, as dictated by the inmate code. Inmates
and staff at all levels became aware of a totally different
atmosphere in the institution. They began to feel involved
in something which might benefit everyone. 

Certainly the new trip (program) started out with a bang.
Very quickly staff and inmates were cognizant of their part in
an experimental situation which had not been duplicated in
any prison in which they had worked or served time. The
general feeling, during the first year, was directed toward
discussion and mutual involvement in the decision-making
process, hoping to find solutions more acceptable to both
sides. This give-and-take attitude gave the inmates the feeling
they were taking part in the day-to-day planning of activities
within the confines of the double fence surrounding
the institution. Certainly more than had ever been allowed
before the living unit concept was introduced. 

The new penitentiary life in federal institutions, as I see it, is
structured to facilitate many types of programs under a conceptual
umbrella, termed living unit, and is characterized by
its lack of formal outline. It appears to be guided by an “if it
doesn’t work, try something else” philosophy. The resulting
change in staff attitudes, vis-a-vis inmates, is evident to
even the most casual visitor. While security and discipline
remain prime goals, the change in methods of maintaining
them has altered, sometimes radically. Almost all
leisure-time activity for the inmate population has been designed
and set in motion by inmates and their committees.
From the inception of the social-development department at
Warkworth Institution, programming has been the result of a
joint effort by staff and inmates.

During the first year of the living unit concept, the institution
seemed to be in a constant state of flux, which gave needed
impetus to the total concept and its application. Almost
daily, new ideas and short and long-term planning became
a shared process. Different methods were tried, accepted or
discarded, leading to a basic sense of community and
mutual agreement which tended to ease, if not erase much
of the tension that comes from change within any established
system. Inmate newspapers, sport programs, community
involvement inside and outside the walls, open and
often frank discussion with staff, all helped to provide inmates
with a rather drastic alternative to the way in which
they had previously done time. Liaison with nearby Loyalist
Community College in Belleville gave Warkworth inmates an
opportunity to learn new social skills with both credit and

special-interest courses taught within the confines of the

When I spoke recently to inmates, ex-offenders, and staff at
Warkworth, I found most of what I have described above is
still valid, but … a few wrinkles have developed in the past
year. The programming, implicit in the original concept,
seems to have peaked. “For a time,” admitted Robert (Bob)
Clark, the newly appointed director, “we seemed to be sitting
still, spinning our wheels.” I came away from Warkworth
thinking the spinning wheels had allowed the conceptual
vehicle to slide backward a little. Not much, but some. 

at Warkworth has tried to get the whole bag (program)
back on track, but the results of their endeavors will
take time to assess. One of the most positive steps was a
study undertaken by staff, under assistant director of
socialization A C Boothroyd. The report is a look at the original
concept and where it is now in terms of original goals.
Short- and long-range goals are delineated, and possible
ways of attaining them. 

Reading the report, I became convinced time had blurred
the initial concept and the community it envisioned. I found it
particularly noteworthy that, since the impetus for the concept
was heralded as “… better interpersonal relationships
between staff and inmates …,” and “… use democratic
means of dealing with staff and inmates …,” nowhere did
the report indicate consultation with inmates. A significant
remark by one of the four living unit supervisors at Warkworth
lends credence to this notion. In answer to how the living
unit concept had changed, he said, “I think we have lost
the democracy which was one of the basic tenets of the
entire concept." 

Some inmates suggested a formalized inmate committee
might no longer be the most effective approach to resolving
inmate problems. "Concerned inmates, with management
and staff, could probably be far more effective in finding solutions
to mutual problems if a form of lobbying could be effected,”
said one. Another suggestion – some of the more
mature (not necessarily older) inmates, who have demonstrated
a genuine concern for creating a more desirable institutional
climate, could work together with staff to make the
change a reality. Inmates at Warkworth Institution talked
about the decreasing credibility from which inmate committees
are suffering, and staff, at line and middle-management
levels, agreed the inmate suggestions are sound and worth
a try.

However, the living unit concept has made it possible for inmates
to retain ties outside prison walls. It’s not necessary,
or desirable, to leave the outside or street on the other side
of the fence when a person enters the custody of a correctional
system. Constant reminders of the society the inmate
has left behind are around him in medium and minimum

security institutions. Free time to take part in activities with
community members, keeping in contact with current events
via radio, television, newspapers and magazines, keep the
street in front of today’s inmate all the time.
Inmates returning from group or individual temporary absences,
the tales they relate on their return, and more comfortable
surroundings for their visitors, further focus the
individual’s attention on the outside, and remind him his return
to society, and the freedom and responsibilities which
will be part of that return, are imminent.
The need and justification for teaching or strengthening the
social skills of an inmate for his eventual release are constant
reminders for the offender that he will not always be
doing time. 

The argument by older, more hardened cons,
that the old way was better because you could do your own
time in peace, and that new programs only increase the
number of head games, fails to ring true to inmates in
today’s more progressive penal setting. True, the distinctive
language of the con remains, but no longer is it a strong
unifying force. Staff understand and use the argot common
inside the prison, and much of it has been adopted by
today’s drug culture. I contend it has less meaning in
today’s prison society. 

An increase in younger, better educated inmates, probably
because of the large number of drug-related crimes, has
filled federal institutions with a far more enlightened type of
inmate. Maybe not about how to do their time, but certainly
more knowledgeable about things such as civil liberties.
They don’t want to leave the street behind them. They don’t
want to become prisonized. They may not want to be rehabilitated
either, but at least the Canadian Penitentiary
Service, with programs such as those at Warkworth Institution,
can provide a climate in which rehabilitation is more
likely to occur than it did in the past. New programs do not
necessarily equal rehabilitation, but perhaps they can lead
to increased life chances which in turn might spur the inmate
to take a more positive route.

As the cohesiveness of the inmate population decreases,
erosion of the inmate subculture will become more apparent.
It is unlikely lo disappear altogether, but the less it is
needed by prisoners as a unifying force, the further it will recede
into the background. I am convinced the inmate code
or subculture is a major stumbling block in the way of the offender
cleaning up his act (making a better life). The subculture
as a reference point for a person returning to society
after being incarcerated can hardly serve as a model for
anything but recidivism. Its lessening hold on the prisoner of
today will help those incarcerated in Canadian prisons and,
in the long run, Canadian society.”

– Edited by Joseph D. Reddy, “Is The Inmate Subculture Eroding?” Discussion, Vol. 3, no. 3,  Sept. 1975. pp. 23-27.

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“Grant agreements show that police in Windsor received $87,846 and the Niagara Regional Police Service received $81,976 to cover costs related to the Provincial Electronic Surveillance Equipment Deployment Program (PESEDP), an initiative to roll out unspecified spying gear in cities across Ontario, for the period from March 2017 to March 2018.

A separate invoice shows that Waterloo police had an active service contract with JSI Telecom, a company that provides data collection and analysis services for police and intelligence agencies around the world, through March 2018.

Police in Durham Region received $81,976, while police in Waterloo received an unspecified amount of funds to cover costs of the program during the same period.

Brenda McPhail, Director of the Privacy, Technology and Surveillance Project for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, finds the secrecy surrounding police’s acquisition and use of surveillance gear troubling.

“The absolute minimum we should be expecting from our police when it comes to invasive surveillance, is sufficient public disclosure.”

“The fact that we have secret processes to buy secret technology raises really serious concerns for civil liberties,” McPhail said in a phone call.

“The absolute minimum we should be expecting from our police when it comes to invasive surveillance, is sufficient public disclosure […] to be able to tell whether or not the tools are truly necessary, whether their use is proportionate, and what safeguards are in place [for their use].”

“We can’t know any of these things if everything happens in secret.”

The Waterloo Regional Police Service and the Niagara Regional Police Service both confirmed in emails that they participated in the PESEDP. Each told VICE News that the program ended in 2016. The Windsor Police Service declined to answer questions. Durham Regional Police Service and JSI Telecom did not respond to requests for comment.

Niagara police spokesperson Stephanie Sabourin wrote in an email that the equipment deployed under the program was used under Section 6 of Canada’s Criminal Code, which allows police to intercept personal communications. Sabourin said that Niagara police do not use “mobile device identifying equipment” as part of the program.”

– Nathan Munn, “Details about a secret police surveillance program in Ontario are emerging.Vice News, May 30, 2018.

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