A fundamental flaw at the centre of the Truth and Reconciliation report

The commission seems to have begun its work with a conclusion in mind, then spent six years and more than $60 million amassing evidence to support it

A fundamental flaw at the centre of the Truth and Reconciliation reportThis close to Christmas is a good time to test our knowledge of Christianity and Christian charity. So ponder this: When Christian churches founded schools in Canada, what names did they use? Perhaps you think these schools were named after saints, days in the Christian calendar and important church leaders. If so, give yourself part…

Facing up to tragedy and injustice is the first step to healing

What if your children were taken to a place far away where they would cry themselves to sleep every night?

Facing up to tragedy and injustice is the first step to healing“I am only one, but I am still one,” Helen Keller said. “I cannot do everything, but I can still do something.” In 2008, the government of Canada created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate the residential school system in Canada and to give recommendations for moving forward as a nation. The commission’s findings,…

In defence of Sen. Lynn Beyak’s stance on Indigenous rights

Racial purity laws – status cards – have no place in a modern country. They should have been gone long ago

In defence of Sen. Lynn Beyak’s stance on Indigenous rightsSen. Lynn Beyak says in an open letter that the Indigenous should give up their status cards and become true Canadians. The reaction to the letter has been fast and furious. She has been denounced by a host of worthies. As I write this, I’m listening to a CBC radio interview with the mayor of…

An education system’s journey to inclusion

One B.C. school district is making huge strides in embracing First Nations culture – and improving outcomes for all students

An education system’s journey to inclusionIn 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized to the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada for the crimes committed against them in the residential school system. It's sometimes difficult to see where this has made a difference. Canada's aboriginal populations tend to have lower levels of education, lower average income, higher levels of incarceration and higher incidence…

School choice should apply to every First Nations family

The days of dictating where indigenous families ought to educate their children are over

School choice should apply to every First Nations familySome indigenous activists in Winnipeg are upset over plans to establish a Catholic middle school in Winnipeg’s indigenous-dominated North End. Given the Catholic character of the school, they compared it to Canada’s past residential schools system, which included church-run institutions. First Nations families do not have to apologize for their concern about education systems designed…

First Nations education funding comparable to public school funding

So why do less than 40% of students on First Nations reserves graduate?

First Nations education funding comparable to public school fundingFirst Nations education is a hot topic. With graduation rates on First Nations reserves below 40 per cent (compared to graduation rates above 80 per cent for all other Canadian students), the issue deserves ample attention from Canadians and the newly elected federal government. Unfortunately, discussions about First Nations education often solely focus on funding…

How to get Aboriginal kids’ grades up

A voucher system would ensure teachers have incentives to increase the time their students spend on literacy and numeracy

How to get Aboriginal kids’ grades upAboriginal students’ educational achievement is, on average, two years behind other Canadian students and their graduation rate is less than half the national average. How can their educational outcomes be improved? Hire private tutors. First, it is important to know that the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development funds education for many bands. These…

Canadians are very generous to Canada’s Aboriginal people

A few facts about native funding in Canada

Canadians are very generous to Canada’s Aboriginal peopleThinking hard about history can be a useful exercise if incorrect assumptions are reformed. This was one goal of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s report on residential schools, which, in early June, published a 388-page summary of its forthcoming final report. Others have already debated some assumptions in the report – healthy, given that history…