“What First Nation activities are NOT considered a potential threat to Canada?” asked Pam Palmater in a recently published piece on rabble.ca. She pointed to the surveillance being conducted by INAC, CSIS, RCMP and DND, and noted that she has filed Access-to-Information request to review what files these agencies have collected on her.
She made her statement as Idle No More protests had led Prime Minister Stephen Harper to agree to meet with First Nations leaders
“How can First Nations be expected to come to the table with any hope of making real progress when their treaty “partner” comes to the table alleging good faith but with no less than four federal departments spying on our people and treating us like we are terrorists on our own lands?” asks Palmater.
She made note of an article by myself and Martin Lukacs which was published in First Nations Strategic Bulletin, (a version of a story that was original published in the Toronto Star). In that article we revealed that the RCMP ran an Aboriginal Joint Intelligence Group(JIG) that monitored first nations communities that engage in protest activity and shared information with private sector groups. The program ran from 2007 to 2010 but an RCMP spokesperson said they “cannot confirm that RCMP divisions are not performing Aboriginal JIG activities under another name of program.”
For anyone who is interested in understanding the role of surveillance on First Nations communities this article on the subject Russell Diabo and Shiri Pasternak is an important one to read.
I have already begun filling Access-to-Information requests to how police and intelligence agencies are responding to Idle No More. Over time we will begin to see to what extent the state is reacting to Idle No More as political issue, and to what extent it is viewing it as a law enforcement issue or a threat to national security.
If anyone has information or accounts on the role of police in Idle No More, have been visited by CSIS, or have other information they think may be of interest, please email me at timgrovesreports [at] gmail [dot] com.