Monday, February 26, 2007



Monday, February 26, 2007

Honourable Prime Minister,

My name is Timothy Schwinghamer. I am a Master’s candidate at the University of Manitoba’s Department of Plant Science. I am contacting you to voice my concerns and demand that the government recognize Six Nations Land Rights. I demand that the Canadian government uphold its responsibilities and return full title of Kanohnstaton (the Douglas Creek Estates) to the people of Six Nations. Further, I demand: that you put an end to the stalling tactics (being used by the Government of Canada) and recognize Six Nations title to the land once and for all; stop the criminalization of the people of Kanohnstaton; and fully recognize the traditional Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy, the traditional government, and stop undermining the Confederacy.

Land claims put forward by First Nations communities are overdue. Section 35 (1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states clearly: "The existing aboriginal and treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples of Canada are hereby recognized and affirmed." I demand the federal and provincial governments follow basic universal rules of human decency, and I demand that the government follow its own Charter of Rights and Freedoms outlined in the Constitution Act of 1982.

Sincerely and Respectfully,

Timothy Schwinghamer
120 Dafoe Road, Box 524B
Winnipeg MB R3T 6B3

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Cell phone, radio, and television towers act as mass killing machines for migratory songbirds, 5 to 50 million per year.

So, on Monday, tomorrow, I will abandon my cell phone and hook up the land line.

Here's what turned me on to this issue: via David Malkoff's article "Faulty Towers" from the September-October 2001 issue of the magazine Audubon. This was cited in endgame by Derrick Jensen.

I think Derrick Jensen is the cat's pajamas, the cat's meow, the icing on the cake, and the best thing since sliced bread.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Two things


The Forest Action Network (FAN) and the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), similar names, different animals.


Canadian boy caught in Texas detention
Aircraft's chance landing in U.S. calamitous event for 9-year-old, his Iranian parents
February 16
by Michelle Shephard (and Rick Westhead?)

A 9-year-old Canadian boy is in a Texas detention centre after his flight to Toronto made an unscheduled stop and U.S. officials detained his family.

Now the boy's Iranian parents are pleading with Canadian officials to help secure the family's release from the immigration holding facility, which has come under fire for allegedly detaining children in sub-standard conditions.

"All the time he is asking me, `Why am I wearing the uniform? Why I am here?'" the boy's mother said, as she sobbed during a telephone interview from the detention facility yesterday.

"We didn't do nothing. My child is innocent."

The parents, who have no status in Canada, asked that their names not be published out of fear of eventually being returned to Iran, where they say they were previously imprisoned and suffered physical and sexual abuse.

The family's complicated journey began after the couple fled Iran and arrived in Toronto in January 1995. They lived here for 10 years while seeking asylum, giving birth to a son. But on Dec. 6, 2005, with all legal avenues exhausted, the parents were deported back to Iran.

The boy's father claimed he had been originally persecuted in Iran after he was discovered with novelist Salman Rushdie's book. Once they were sent back there from Canada, they were detained and tortured for three months while the boy lived with relatives. Once released from custody, they again fled, reaching Turkey with the help of relatives. They bought fake passports and eventually travelled to Guyana, the parents said.

On Feb. 4 they boarded a direct flight from Guyana to Toronto aboard Zoom Airlines, planning to seek refuge again in Canada. The boy's father said the plane was diverted to Puerto Rico after a passenger suffered a mid-flight heart attack.

Once they disembarked, U.S. officials discovered the family was travelling with the fake Greek passports. They were detained for five days, then flown to the T. Don Hutto Family Detention Center in Taylor, Tex., the boy's father said.

Immigration rights groups have condemned the detention facility since it opened last May and last Saturday, officials opened its doors to the media to try to deflect some of the criticism. The New York Times reported that the American Civil Liberties Union is studying conditions there as it considers filing a lawsuit contending that the laws protecting detained juveniles are being violated.

On Tuesday, the boy's father phoned the University of Texas's immigration clinic and spoke with Matthew Pizzo, a student worker there. Pizzo then called the Canadian consulate in Dallas, where an unnamed employee told him the consular officials would investigate the detainment.

When he didn't receive a return call, Pizzo said he called back late Wednesday and left a message. There's been no further word from Canadian officials and consulate spokesperson Henry Wells could not be reached for comment yesterday.

"The interesting issue here is they weren't even trying to get into the U.S.," said Francis Valdez, a supervising attorney at the university's immigration clinic. "They were just trying to get back to Canada."

The parents said they hoped to reapply for asylum in Canada armed with evidence of what happened to them in Iran after they were deported.

Authorities at the Hutto detention centre have acknowledged holding 170 children there, says Barbara Hines, a University of Texas law professor.

It's a frightening experience for children, she said. Families are held in prison cells that have had the locks taken off. Laser beams detect when people get out of their beds, the professor said.

"Families get 15 minutes to eat and then the food is thrown out," Hines said. "Have you tried to feed a child and then yourself in 15 minutes?"

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Prime Minister Stephen Harper:

My name is Timothy Schwinghamer. I am a resident of Winnipeg and a graduate student at the University of Manitoba. I am contacting you to echo the concerns voiced previously by the Council of Canadians. I must add my own voice to their call. I am deeply troubled by the idea of deep integration between Canada and the U.S.

I am very concerned by the Security and Prosperity Partnership ministers meeting, scheduled for February 23rd. I am most particularly concerned by the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC). You ought to dissolve the NACC. Corporations such as Manulife Financial, Home Depot, Wal-Mart and Lockheed Martin should not be shaping economic policy between Canada and the United States. Furthermore, you ought to make NACC's list of priorities available to the public.

Please keep the promise from the Throne Speech, i.e., that "significant international treaties will be submitted for votes in Parliament." Surely no treaty is more significant to people in Canada than The Security and Prosperity Partnership. It ought to be subject to public hearings, as well as brought to the House of Commons for a thorough debate and vote.

These economic manipulations are not abstractions. They have real effects on real people and our home communities. Please take some time to consider all this seriously, and I am sure that you will be able to advocate for the people who you represent.

Sincerely and Respectfully,

Monday, February 12, 2007

Defenders of the Boreal Forest charged with mischief

The snowy coniferous forest that encircles the North, the Boreal, is the lung of the planet Earth. The Earth depends on the Boreal Forest to capture carbon and provide habitat and biodiversity. The Earth needs biodiversity to be able to stay in balance and survive climatic crises. The Boreal Forest is the most precious jewel in Canada. We ought to defend and protect the Boreal, for the continued practice of environmentally sustainable and traditional livelihoods, and the wellbeing of us all.

David Sone, Leah Henderson, Chrissy Swain, Bonny Swain, and Adrienne Swain have been protecting the Boreal Forest. It is a travesty that they are facing now charges of mischief. It is only by their excellent work that any awareness of the sanctity of the land has been communicated to the average Canadian. They have fought for the land around Grassy Narrows to be preserved. They have asked the government to put an end to the decadent and wasteful clear-cutting industry that encroaches, unwelcome, upon Grassy Narrows land.

Historically, the Government of Canada has made the people of Grassy Narrows move long distances for no good reason. The Government has allowed mercury poisoning without meaningful compensation. The Government only further insults and defiles any kind of respectful or friendly relationship with Grassy Narrows by allowing industrial clear-cutting in the area.

The medicinal herbs and plants that grow in the forest immediately around Grassy Narrows provide the people with healing and a sustainable way of life. The animals that inhabit that forest can also provide Grassy Narrows people with livelihoods. The clear-cutting must stop.

All charges against David Sone, Leah Henderson, Chrissy Swain, Bonny Swain, and Adrienne Swain ought to be dropped immediately. They have been doing what every person in Canada ought to have been doing, if we only were so fearless. If only we were all people of integrity.

Grassy Narrows Protesters Refuse to Plea to Charges

from the Kenora Daily Miner and News, February 6th
by Dan Gauthier

Three Grassy Narrows First Nation women, charged with mischief in connection to a pair of highway blockades last summer, refused to enter pleas to the charges during a brief appearance in Kenora provincial court Monday. Adrienne Swain, 27, Bonnie Swain, 32, and Chrissy Swain, 27, told visiting Justice Thomas McKay, from Fort Frances, they neither had a lawyer, nor were they planning to seek one to deal with the charges. Each is facing two counts of mischief related to the July 13, 2006 roadblock at the Highway 17A Kenora bypass, and the July 26, blockade of the English River Road at the Separation Rapids Bridge. Bonnie Swain told the court she was being represented by Lester John Howse who attended court with the three women, along with approximately 30 supporters seated in the body of the court. Howse, who hails from Rocky Mountain Territory in Western Canada, told Justice McKay the women would not be entering pleas to the charges. He claimed there was no “rule of law” giving the court jurisdiction over the Swains and that it was a criminal act to press charges against them. “The law speaks for itself,” said Howse. “The court has no jurisdiction over these women.” In 2005, Howse himself refused to enter a plea to an assault charge, claiming he had diplomatic immunity as a member of the “Signatory Indians”. However, Kenora Justice Donald Fraser rejected Howse’s claim at the time, reasoning that the Signatory Indians could not be recognized in provincial court as a sovereign nation, and diplomatic immunity would not apply. Assistant Crown attorney Mary Anne Mousseau noted several other protesters involved in the same incidents have had charges withdrawn upon completing a court-approved diversion – community service – for their offences. Two other protesters, Leah Henderson, 22, and David Sone, 28, had charges of mischief put over until March 12. Howse said it was the Swains’ fifth appearance in court on the charges and he expected the matter to be dealt with on Monday. Justice McKay told the Swains their options were to plead guilty, plead not guilty and set a date for trial, or arrange to discuss their matters with Kenora Crown attorney Richard Cummine, who is handling their cases. The threesome told the judge they didn’t want to take any of these options. As a result, McKay adjourned their cases to Feb. 26 to set a date for trial in front of Justice Fraser. He also recommended that Cummine attend court that date to deal with the charges. A total of 21 protesters were charged – mainly with mischief – in the two blockades.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Trevor Miller released from custody


CAYUGA (AM 900 CHML) - The aboriginal man charged with assault at the standoff in Caledonia has been released into the custody of the Mohawk traditional council. Trevor Miller has been in jail for six months since his arrest in a northern Ontario reserve. Miller's detention was a bone of contention among supporters of the Six Nations people, because he has been behind bars for so long. He was charged with assault and two counts of robbery after two incidents in Caledonia in June. One involved the assault of a television cameraman and another involved the theft of a U.S. border patrol vehicle. A judge said he doesn't see why Miller shouldn't be released. The council said they guarantee that Miller will be in court for any future hearings.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

An action and a story


This statement and petition calls for the respect of the Muslim woman. The purpose of this statement and petition is to fight for the respect of the Muslim woman. Lately, the Islamic veil (Hijab) and the ''Reasonable Accommodation" debate became a public issue. Several heinous, degrading and disrespectful remarks were made towards Muslim women. The mayor of Quebec, Mrs. Boucher, demonstrated the perfect example of discrimination towards religious minorities. It was reported in the Journal de Québec that Mrs. Boucher would not allow Muslim women wearing the Islamic headscarf to work in the town hall as long as she holds office as the mayor of Québec city. The community, as well as the Québec Government has taken no significant action in denouncing Mayor Boucher's remarks. Therefore as Canadians, Quebecers, Citizens and people of Faith we have the duty to take action. We do not only denounce the remarks made by Mayor Boucher but also the recent xenophobic movement and intolerance towards veiled women in Québec. This movement is unfortunately fed by the media. We will be heard and we will not remain silent any longer. We will defend our rights and inform people of our faith that has too often been misunderstood If you would like to help in any way, please contact us. Please send this link to all the people you know:


Fadwa Benmbarek
Aisha Boudjarane
Zayneb El Mardi
Fadwa Fribgane
Rababe Jouti
Safya St-Hilaire


Mine could impact everything from fish to grizzlies
by Heidi Desch for the Hungry Horse News

Environmental experts continue to warn against the creation of a huge coal mine just north of the border.

The Cline Mining Corp. is proposing to create a coal mine in the North Fork of the Flathead. The company plans to mine coal from the open pit project for 20 years as well as upgrade a road system into the drainage.

Representatives from several state agencies spoke on the mine at a meeting Monday hosted by the Flathead Basin Commission in Kalispell.

“(Canada) has everything to gain. We have everything to lose if this mine goes through,” said Rich Moy, chairman of the commission.

The mine has raised concerns over possible contamination of the Flathead River. The mine is planned for the Foisey Creek drainage, which is a tributary of the North Fork of the Flathead. The river is protected under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. But the river is not afforded the same protection north of the border.

Ric Hauer, with the Flathead Lake Biological Station, called the mine a “very real and present danger.”

Hauer noted that contaminants from the mine could reach the river within 24 hours and could be in Flathead Lake within 72 hours.

Pollutants could impact drinking water, he said, as well as agriculture and fisheries.

About 10 miles from Cline's proposed site, another coal mine is currently operating. This mine sits above Michel Creek, which flows into the Koocanusa Reservoir.

Hauer said water samples taken from the creek show sulfite levels 18 times higher, nitrates 650 times higher and selenium levels 57 times higher than normal.

If Cline's proposal goes through, there is the potential for runoff into the North Fork of the Flathead River and ultimately Flathead Lake. Coal mining creates the possibility for toxic heavy metals or other pollutants, which could in-turn harm the North Fork's fish.

Bull trout and westslope cutthroat are in the proposed area of the mine.

Bull trout migrate from Flathead Lake to British Columbia, noted Mark Deleray, a fisheries biologist with the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks.

“There are a number of things that could affect the water and the fish,” he said. “Including excavation, settling ponds, roads, heavy metals (contamination) - these could result in a loss of habitat and reduce reproduction.”

Chris Servheen, the grizzly bear recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the mine could cause a fragmentation of not only grizzly bears, but other carnivores in the area including lynx and wolverines.

His fear is that the Cline Mine alone would result in a truck every 10 minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week traveling to Canada's Highway 3.

“Populations effected by the mine could be cut off from Canadian populations,” he said. “We'd have island populations which are harder to maintain.”

Many experts are worried that the development of one mine could lead to further development of an area rich in coal.

“This would be a disaster for the terrestrial and aquatic species,” said Servheen.

Groups are calling for an intervention of the International Joint Commission. The group, which is made up of scientists that examine boundary water issues. Recourse could come from the Boundary Waters Treaty, which says Canada can't pollute waters into the U.S. and the U.S. can't pollute Canadian waters.

The IJC prevented a similar proposal for the area in 1988.

Experts also agree that baseline study of the area is needed.

Brace Hayden with Glacier National Park said major concerns for the area include the limited extent of current study, the need for an assessment of the cumulative impacts and the need for more comprehensive pre-mine data collection.

He noted that the U.S. area has been heavily studied, but the Canadian has not.

“The transboundary Flathead is incredibly rich from a biological standpoint,” he said.

Monday, February 05, 2007

King Abdullah Bin ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Al-Saud

The Custodian of the two Holy Mosques
Office of His Majesty The King
Royal Court
Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Monday, February 5, 2007

Your Majesty,

My name is Timothy Schwinghamer. I am a graduate student at the Department of Plant Science at the University of Manitoba, Canada. I am concerned by reports that at least 10 men, including Sulieman al-Rushudi, Essam al-Basrawi, Dr. Saud al-Hashimi, Al-Sharif Saif Al-Ghalib, Dr. Musa al-Qirni, Dr. Abdel Rahman al-Shumayri, ‘Abdelaziz al-Khariji, and at least three others were arrested in Jeddah and Madinah on February 3 and are being held incommunicado. Please ensure that all the detainees are protected from torture and other ill-treatment, and given regular access to their families, their lawyers, and any medical attention they may require.

Do you know why exactly they have been detained? Are they facing charges? If they are held solely for the peaceful exercise of their right to express their conscientiously held beliefs, then please release them immediately and unconditionally. Please send me any details of the proceedings of their trials.

Sincerely and Respectfully,

Timothy Schwinghamer

121 Dafoe Road, Box 524B
Winnipeg MB R3T 3B6


His Excellency Abdulaziz H.I. ALSOWAYEGH
Ambassador for Saudi Arabia
201 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1N 1K6