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King Khan pays tribute to Buffy Sainte-Marie and missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls with new song Melody Lau · CBC Music · Jul 01, 2020
'She is the Keeper of My Soul' is a response to Sainte-Marie's 1969 song, 'He's a Keeper of the Fire'
Indo-Canadian musician King Khan's new short film, Rat-Tribution, features a new song dedicated to Buffy Sainte-Marie and missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. (Artwork by Saba Lou Khan, courtesy of King Khan)
In 1969, Buffy Sainte-Marie released the revolutionary album Illuminations. On it was a track called "He's a Keeper of the Fire," a blazing psychedelic number where Sainte-Marie belts passionately about a man who's "got a funny kinda voodoo, baby."
This Canada Day, Indo-Canadian musician King Khan (best known for his band King Khan and the Shrines) is releasing a song titled "She is the Keeper of My Soul," a song Khan describes as a "response to the epic anthem of Buffy Sainte-Marie."
The track, which was written by Khan and performed by his daughter Saba Lou, accompanies his short film titled Rat-Tribution Now, a project for the 2020 Pop Kultur Festival based in Berlin. The film, Khan says, "is an attempt at achieving retribution," referencing North America's historical mistreatment of Indigenous peoples.
As such, the release of this song is also in dedication to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and proceeds from the song will go to the NDN COVID-19 Response Project.
"I have decided to release this song for Canada Day to be a stark reminder that these women are still ignored by the majority of people in Canada," Khan tells CBC Music over email.
"The song asks, 'Who will be the keeper of my soul?' I wanted to write it from the perspective of MMIWG." Written in a similar structure to Sainte-Marie's "He's a Keeper of the Fire,"
Khan's song confronts listeners with powerful questions:
When you put me down
Without a sound
How will the world ever know?
When my judgment day
Seems like it's gone astray
Who'll be the keeper of my soul?
Saba Lou, who is the main vocalist on the track, says that having a woman sing Khan's words "gives the words another meaning."
She adds: "These topics need attention and awareness, so again and again they must be mentioned from all perspectives, using different approaches.
I was glad when [Khan] asked me to sing it." "Buffy's activism always inspired me, she's probably the most important Canadian singer of all time," Khan says, of Sainte-Marie's legacy as a musician.
Another artist that "She is the Keeper of My Soul" is dedicated to is Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq. Khan says Rat-Tribution Now is "an homage" to Tagaq's 2016 music video for "Retribution."
"I am so happy that such a power frau has emerged from the aurora borealis," he adds.
Khan has also commissioned tarot illustrations of both Sainte-Marie and Tagaq by Game of Thrones graphic artist Michael Eaton for a tarot deck he is creating.)
King Khan teamed up with Game of Thrones graphic artist Michael Eaton on an upcoming tarot deck that includes illustrations of Canadian artists Buffy Sainte-Marie and Tanya Tagaq. (Courtesy of King Khan)
In addition to Rat-Tribution Now and "She is the Keeper of My Soul," Khan has spent his time in lockdown working with American social activist Malik Rahim on raising money for people in New Orleans who are in need of insulin supplies.
Titled Just Insulin, the fundraising initiative aims to "uplift a community ravaged by diabetes, no access to medicine, with COVID-19 preying on healthy young people, killing them just like the cops do."
The hope is to "set up a source of Canadian insulin and send it to this community in New Orleans."
Through tarot card readings, Khan has already raised close to $2,000 US. For Khan, the time to be active is now, to confront problems in our reality and to channel change with creativity, especially as an artist.
"This pandemic is not simply a wake-up call, it's utter devastation in your own backyard," he warns. "Creativity is our only way out."
"If you are not creating something to show your empathy, then you are useless," he adds. "Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer."
Chantel Moore's family calls for justice, public inquiry during healing walk
Moore, a 26-year-old Indigenous woman, was shot and killed by police in Edmundston June 4
by Sarah Morin · CBC News · Jun 13, 2020, Updated: June 14
Hundreds gathered in cities across New Brunswick and in Halifax on Saturday afternoon to take part in a healing walk in honour of Chantel Moore, the 26-year-old Indigenous woman shot and killed by police in Edmundston, N.B.
Moore's family addressed the crowd of about 100 people at the end of the walk in Edmundston's town square, asking for justice and a full public inquiry into Chantel's death.
Joe Martin, a relative, said Moore was the second person in the family to die at the hands of a police officer.
"We've been hurt many times," he said. "How can we ever trust any police force? Why should we answer a door for a wellness check?"
"How in the hell did that happen?"
Moore, originally from Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation in British Columbia, was killed by Edmundston police on June 4 during a wellness check. Her funeral was Thursday. Quebec's independent police investigation agency, the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes, is investigating the shooting.
The agency is also investigating the death of a man from Metepenagiag First Nation who was shot and killed by RCMP Friday night. Friends and community members have identified the man killed as Rodney Levi, 48.
The silent healing walks began at 1 p.m. ADT Saturday in Edmundston, Fredericton and Moncton. Walkers wore orange-coloured clothing for Madawaska First Nation, which is near Edmundston. Others wore yellow and gold for Chantel Moore, whose favourite saying was "Stay Golden."
Chantel Moore's family led the march in Edmundston.
Martha Martin, Moore's mother, said all she wants is justice for her daughter.
"Nobody should have to feel afraid," she said.
She called on Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to educate each other so everyone can live in peace.
"We shouldn't have to be afraid of having that wellness call. The message today is we're going to come together as one and that's really important."
She said her heart goes out to families who are experiencing the same thing.
Most attendees wore masks and physically distanced themselve from others. Moore's family wore masks with her name written across it. Moore's six-year-old daughter Gracie gave out cards with her mother's name, photo and a message written on them.
Nora Martin, a relative of Moore's, said Gracie told her she didn't want to die like her mother.
"There's no way on this earth that Chantel should have been shoot five, six times," Nora Martin said. "No way. She did not deserve that."
Amanda Myran, an organizer of Fredericton's healing walk, said people are understandably angry and sad over Moore and Levi's deaths.
"I think having two Indigenous people killed in Wabanaki territory within the span of eight days speaks to the fact that this is a crisis and it needs to be addressed as such," Myran said.
Jake Stewart, New Brunswick's minister of Aboriginal Affairs, offered condolences to Moore's family and the community of Metepenagiag.
"I'm deeply sorry that this has happened," Stewart said.
Stewart admitted systemic racism exists throughout government. He said the death of Levi has amplified the call for politicians and the public to act.
Edmundston Mayor Cyrille Simard and New Brunswick's Lt. Gov Brenda Murphy also offered condolences.
"I'm shocked, I'm dismayed, I'm saddened and I'm angry that this systemic injustice has happened," Murphy said.
Those who took part in the walk used sacred drums to soothe shared anguish and wore ceremonial skirts and shirts to honour First Nations colours and pride.
Imelda Perley, the former Elder-in-residence at the University of New Brunswick and instructor at the Mi'kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre, said healing is crucial right now.
"Rather than showcasing anger, confusion, fear, I wanted us to unite in solidarity," Perley said Friday. "To pray and to call on our ancestors and allies to walk with us."
During the walk, women carried a bowl of water that was poured into the centre of a healing circle so Moore's family could witness the emotions being given back to Mother Earth.
"Our gift of water is to carry the emotions of all people who are feeling the pain," Perley said.
The healing walk should not be called or be seen as a protest, Perley said. The walk is Ikatomone, which translates to "Let's guard."
"Let's guard our spirits, our languages, our cultural ways of doing things. This is what I wanted to revitalize and remind the next generation that this is how we ask for justice."
Rape conviction rates rise 75% in Sweden after change in the law
by Emma Batha | @emmabatha | Thomson Reuters Foundation
22 June 2020
Amnesty calls for more countries to define rape as sex without consent
By Emma Batha
LONDON, June 22 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Rape conviction rates in Sweden have risen 75% in two years following a major change in the law, spurring calls on Monday for other countries to revamp their legislation.
Sweden changed the legal definition of rape in 2018 to sex without consent. Unlike in many countries, prosecutors do not have to prove the use or threat of violence or coercion.
The National Council on Crime Prevention (Bra) said the rise in convictions - up from 190 in 2017 to 333 in 2019 - showed the change had had a greater impact than expected.
"We were surprised there was such an increase," Bra senior researcher Stina Holmberg said on Monday.
"It's a good sign. This has led to greater justice for victims of rape," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, adding that she hoped the law would encourage discussions on the issue of consent in schools and homes.
Women's rights campaigners called on other nations to follow Sweden's example.
"This shows an urgent need for other countries to follow suit," said Katarina Bergehed, senior policy adviser on women's rights at Amnesty International in Sweden.
"Sexual activity must be consensual. Anything else is rape."
Britain, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland and Luxembourg already define rape as sex without consent, while Denmark, Finland, Spain and Portugal have promised similar reforms.
Bergehed said most people still thought of rape as an attack by a stranger, but a review of court cases in Sweden showed almost all victims knew their assailant.
"These stereotypes are not helping victims to step forward - it makes them unsure of whether they really experienced rape or not," she added.
Bergehed said many women also blamed themselves for what happened, particularly if they had frozen and not fought back.
Police and courts often query a victim's story if she did not retaliate, but there is growing evidence that many victims experience temporary paralysis when raped.
Bergehed said a study by a Swedish emergency clinic for rape victims showed 70% had experienced a "frozen fright" reaction.
While Bergehed welcomed the rise in convictions, she said the overall number remained "shockingly low".
Reports of rapes rose to 5,930 in 2019 from 4,895 in 2017, but Bergehed said this was the tip of the iceberg. She said sexual crimes were not prioritised and investigations often flawed, meaning few cases went to trial.
Police said last year they would recruit new staff to focus on sexual crimes and domestic violence.
Sweden's 2018 rape law also introduced a new offence of negligent rape for cases where courts found consent had not been established, but that the perpetrator had not intended to commit rape.
The Bra review showed 12 people had been convicted of this offence.
Holmberg said the Supreme Court needed to provide clearer guidance to lower courts on the offence.
End Femicide and Misogyny in Nova Scotia. An Inquiry Now!
Eleanor Cowan started this petition to Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister of Canada/Premier ministre du Canada)
The mass murders in Nova Scotia were not “senseless.” They were ‘predictable.’
We, concerned about the well-being of women and girls in Nova Scotia,
1. Ask for a public, independent inquiry with a feminist analysis of the persistent pattern of Nova Scotian women beaten, burned, sexually assaulted, stalked, strangled, shot, stabbed, tortured, trafficked, murdered (femicide), disappeared, and dismembered.
2. Let the inquiry happen on Nova Scotian turf. This worst mass murder in Canadian history happened here!
3. Examine the misogyny within the Nova Scotia culture and within the RCMP policies and practices that ignore warning signals of male violence against women, femicide, and mass shootings.
4. Ask that this inquiry has a healing and caring framework for all children, women, and men who have been harmed by this mass killing.
Please join ROSE in the call for a public inquiry. Take action today by emailing your member of Parliament and the representatives below.
Re: Call for feminist Public Inquiry into the Nova Scotia massacre of April 18 and 19, 2020
Dear Sirs and Madams,
As the organizers of Remember Our Sisters Everywhere we are deeply concerned about turning the tide of violence against girls and women and creating a better world.
We are writing to urge you today to support a call for an independent public Inquiry into the Nova Scotia massacre, one that strongly includes a feminist perspective.
Our sisters in Nova Scotia, NS Feminists Fighting Femicide, have articulated what such an Inquiry could look like and the vital changes that could be brought about:
“Femicide is a crime distinct from homicide; unless such a feminist analysis is included in an inquiry there will be no discussion about femicide. Such an analysis is necessary to determine the changes needed in police practices; the early warning signs and red flags of male violence against women; the necessity to remove guns when there are threats of violence; the importance of pressing charges when there are indications of any of the many forms of male violence against women. All forms are early indicators of potential femicide.”
“Such an inquiry could be a model for other provinces and other countries to start examining the multiple and interrelated elements of male violence against women. It would contribute to promoting more safety, well being and freedom in women and girls’ lives.”
We ask you to do whatever you can to set into motion a Nova Scotia led Public Inquiry that could save the lives of so many innocent women and girls, men and boys, in the future.
Remember Our Sisters Everywhere
N.S. law profs call on premier to commit to inquiry into April's mass shooting
by Emma Smith, CBC, May 15 2020
While it is important to write letters that are calls for change, there is also value in writing letters that express thanks to those in positions of power for making decisions and taking action that has been long-awaited.
Please read the sample letter below which we hope will inspire you and others to write a similar letter.
In addition to addressing it to Prime Minister Trudeau, Chrystia Freeland and Bill Blair, you could also include your local Member of Parliament. You can find your MP here: https://www.ourcommons.ca/members/en
Dear Sirs and Madam,
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister
The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety
Re: Thank you for your huge effort at gun control
Please accept my heartfelt gratitude for the action taken on May 1st banning military style assault weapons. What you did will be forever remembered as an historic moment for Canada, stemming the tide of violence in our country.
Thank you for reacting to the terrible massacre in Nova Scotia by bringing forward these regulations to increase gun control. The speed of your actions has taken my breath away.
When you are criticized for what you have done, please remember that the majority of Canadians applaud, and are relieved by, these new regulations. And we understand that change takes time, and you’re going as fast as you can.
If you ever have a moment’s doubt, please review the statistics below from the Coalition for Gun Control and Statistics Canada.
With love and respect, yours sincerely,
Number and Street
City, Province, Postal Code
1. Most Canadians support stronger gun control legislation*
67% of Canadians support a ban on hand guns
88% support stronger licensing requirements and back ground checks
8 out 10 Canadians support a national database for tracking gun sales
83% support banning civilian possession of military assault weapons
2. Women’s safety and gun violence*
Women and children suffer disproportionately in situations involving fire arms, most often long guns
3. Police officers killed on duty
92% were killed by a firearm: 56% by a rifle or shot gun, 44% by a hand gun (Statistics Canada, between 1961 to 2009)
You may also want to CC the Leader of the Opposition to inform him of the support that the majority of Canadians have for gun control:
Honourable Andrew Scheer, MP: email@example.com
“Trudeau announces ban on 1,500 types of 'assault-style' firearms — effective immediately”
ROSE is dedicated to the prevention of violence against women and the remembrance and honouring of women and girls who have been murdered or are missing. It is also an activist group that organizes events and actions to create a better world.
Follow on Twitter @ ROSE_Resists
Sign Up to join ROSE (upper right)
Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
By remembering our sisters everywhere we work together to prevent violence.