Thursday, March 08, 2007


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


While, many women today may be celebrating International Women's day, and so we should, after all, there has been many advances in the realm of women's equality. However, I am mindful of the many abuses and violence perpetrated against women. In particular, Aboriginal women, trans women and female children face extreme hardship, poverty, human rights abuses and danger on a daily basis, especially in Vancouver's troubled Oldtown areas.

So while women are celebrating hard fought gains regarding the right to vote, choices on matters of reproductive health and movement toward a more balanced outcome on pay equity issues, I want women and men continuing to espouse how too many women and children are still being left behind in society.

I also ask people to be reminded of local acts which have led to the De-humanizing of women and which have left a major blemish on women's hard fought gains.

Locally, examples of these injustices include the horrific violence on the victims of the Pickton farm carnage and the horrendous abuse of Transformed female, Kimberly Nixon, perpetrated by a supposed women's equality seeking organization, Vancouver Rape Relief.

But there are also gains which I'm proud of and today over lunch, this celebratory mood will be in effect. Today, I'll also toast my late Mother, Alice Hamilton, who 43 years was an instrumental member in starting the Aboriginal Friendship Movement. It brings me such joy to see her name proudly displayed on the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre website alongside other pioneering Aboriginal women like Hattie Ferguson, Mrs Kelly, Marg White, Marg Cantryn White and Mabel Stanley.

Today, on IWD, I'm having lunch at the Wedgewood Hotel with another Aboriginal Leader named Sarah Hunt. We are both part of a funded project, exploring sex trade and youth exploitation issues. This project is funded by the Assistant Deputy Ministers fund.

As Sarah and I enjoy our working lunch, I will be giving thanks, since not that long ago, it would have been unheard of that two Indigenous Women, were seated at a Hotel like the Wedgewood. Hence, this stark reality will not be missed by the two of us.

Locally, I also toast current female political leaders who continue to pave the way for others. I give thanks to our Creator for giving us hard working City Councillors Suzanne Anton, Elizabeth Ball, Kim Capri and Heather Deal.

In Vancouver, local Indigenous Political Leaders who instill pride and inspire us include, MP, Dr. Hedy Fry and MLA, Jenny Kwan. Also, same sex campaigner and MP for Vancouver-East, Libby Davies, has worked diligently on a number of marginalizing issues. And I know these women will understand and not take offense when I personally say to them--Thank You Girls!

And not to leave Men out of the picture, I leave you with a quote extracted from Green USA political leader, Ralph Nader. Mr. Nader says "where Justice prevails--Charity is unnecessary".

Pass it on folks since we still have a long way to go!

Jamie Lee Hamilton


At 4:49 AM, Blogger Raigen D'Angelo said...

Hi Jamie,

We sometimes see the world through different lenses; however, I agree with what you had to say about Rape Relief and Kimberly Nixon.

They are the only organization by law are entitled to promote hate and bigotry as part of their mandate.

Granted they are a vital service; but, how can I ever support their organization. Kimberly Nixon is A WOMAN!!!

I can't believe in the 21st century, they are stuck in the 19th century regarding their policies. Shame on Rape Relief.

At 9:55 AM, Blogger Jamie Lee Hamilton said...

Hi Raigen, Thanks for the comment. It's OK and we might not always see eye to eye however we continue to espouse our issues from a place of honour, respect and equality.

Keep working it Sistah!

At 1:25 PM, Anonymous Tamara said...

Hi Jamie,
I got to your site because I was googling the Raymur Mothers and since you mentioned them in your site, voila!

I read your analysis of the APC with interest and also PIVOT. I would never quote a cop, personally, regarding matters of protest, particularly since every non-violent protest I have ever been on has become 'violent' because of the cops...Anyway, I am pretty sure that APC tactics are not always thought out (partiuclarly individuals acting in APC's name) and that leads to undermining of their work, particularly in relation to the people in our neighbourhood. I no longer attend their events myself, but I am glad someone is willing to be a bit cheeky in this town. Even if they are occasionally wrong headed.

So I go off to check out your other posts and I check out the IWD one.

And then, you just jumped the shark Jamie. Placing Rape Relief and Picton in the same paragraph is the utmost of insults and hyperbole, to say the least. You, out of most people in this city probably know the facts of the case almost as well as Kimberly. It just isn't okay that this kind of myth creating and attack goes on. Equating the Rape Relief collective with Robert Picton is just not on, and makes me lose all respect. Really. It has to stop somewhere Jamie. Why are you so invested in perpetuating this sort of misinformation?

One five minute conversation where the facts were asked for and policy described is not a personal attack, nor is it against the law. It is not even close to hate or bigotry as the other poster espouses. Even the original Human Rights Decision acknowledged the main event here was hurt feelings. There was no discrimination, there was no bigotry, there was no hate. Every court which has heard this case concurs.

I encourage everyone who thinks they have an interest in this case to read the materials publicly available and you will see this is true.

Kimberly and Barbara Findlay chose to extend the fight for so long - Rape Relief offered compensation much before this hit the courts, and has been nothing but respectful of Kimberly in court and in public, including in the media.

I want a vibrant movement for women, where we can continue to gather together to end violence against women and racism and every other sort of oppression. There is much work to do. Can we please just get on with it?



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