One Indigenous inquiry after another proves fruitless

All the social and justice indicators show that things have only worsened among Indigenous peoples

One Indigenous inquiry after another proves fruitlessThe March 9, 1988, police shooting of J.J. Harper on the streets of Winnipeg and the much earlier murder of Helen Betty Osborne in The Pas in 1971 led Manitoba Premier Howard Pawley’s government to commission the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry (AJI) on April 13, 1988. This occurred in the middle of the election campaign that…

Lockdowns damage the vulnerable the most

Clearly having a disproportionately negative effect on Indigenous peoples

Lockdowns damage the vulnerable the mostOne clear takeaway from the convoy protest is the realization that pandemic restrictions and mandates are not affecting everyone equally. Liberal MP Joel Lightbound’s clever retort of, “Not everyone can still earn a living using their MacBook while at the cottage,” encapsulated this sentiment almost perfectly. For many working-class and wage economy Canadians, lockdowns and…

Note to Americans: Education is not genocide

The claims of thousands of “missing children” are false

Note to Americans: Education is not genocideThings have taken a strange turn in Canada on the genocide front. Genocide? Canada? Those are words that you would not normally see together. Words like “polite” or “peaceful” might come to mind. But “genocide,” not so much. In fact, the picture of placid Canadians as practitioners of genocide is downright disturbing. But that is…

Oil and gas provides nothing but opportunity for Indigenous peoples

The success of the industry is a success for Indigenous people

Oil and gas provides nothing but opportunity for Indigenous peoplesI learned from my dad about sharing opportunities and lending a helping hand. That principle of generosity now sets the tone for my business and its interactions with customers. The oil and natural gas industry has provided opportunities for me and my family, which I’m proud to pay forward to my employees, community and beyond.…

Indigenous peoples also have the right to say “yes” to resource projects

End the ideological posturing that has proved so detrimental to Indigenous rights

Indigenous peoples also have the right to say “yes” to resource projectsFor the last few decades, Indigenous communities have fought for the right to have a say in resource projects. In earlier generations, major resource and infrastructure projects were imposed on traditional territories without consultation, engagement, and collaboration. In some instances, these projects did severe environmental damage or caused significant social and cultural disruptions. Indigenous peoples…

National Day of Truth and Reconciliation well-intentioned but hollow

The transition from symbolism to action will be more difficult than Canadians imagine

National Day of Truth and Reconciliation well-intentioned but hollowCanada’s first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation fell far short of expectations. The continuing pandemic did not help, nor did the unevenness of the holiday/commemoration across the country. As expected, most Canadians who had a day off used it as personal time. Only a small number took the opportunity to engage with Indigenous peoples…

How did we make reconciliation about white folks?

Many of the educational efforts associated with reconciliation are targeted at non-Indigenous peoples

How did we make reconciliation about white folks?Something strange has been happening on the road to true reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission produced clear recommendations on how the country could shed the bitter legacy of Indigenous residential schools. Yet, following revelations about gravesites near formal residential schools, the process seems to have morphed into measures designed to serve…

Understanding treaties is essential to reconciliation

Indigenous peoples agreed to share the land – with conditions. It’s important that we learn and talk about what that means

Understanding treaties is essential to reconciliationMy husband and I grew up in families that hunted wild game, mainly moose, for our primary meat source. So, it is no surprise that our children grew up hunting and eating wild game. Now our six-year-old grandson is learning the importance of our interconnectedness to our four-legged relative, the moose, and to the land.…

How to be a better treaty person

No two treaty agreements are alike, but all of them offer a lot to the people who reside on treaty territory

How to be a better treaty personMost Indigenous people know that their ancestors envisioned a strong future for them through treaty negotiations, says Chelsea Vowel, an assistant lecturer at the U of A’s Faculty of Native Studies. And many Indigenous people have signed treaties, which describe how they can live together in a good way with settler society (descendants of European…

What if money is not the answer for Indigenous communities?

The feds tend to use money as a surrogate to real commitment

What if money is not the answer for Indigenous communities?The government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made extraordinary financial commitments to Indigenous peoples in Canada. The number and scale of the allocations over the past few years have been staggering, both in comparative and absolute terms. Last week, the federal government and First Nations reached an agreement on water supplies on reserves, estimated…
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