The questions left unasked about Indigenous deaths

Including: how was it possible for these deaths to occur without anyone noticing?

The questions left unasked about Indigenous deathsMelissa Mollen-Dupuis and I don’t know each other but we appear to share similar thoughts on the journalism around Kamloops, B.C. and the discovery of an unmarked grave containing remains of Indigenous children. In an interview with Montreal’s Le Devoir newspaper recently, Mollen-Dupuis was sharply critical of media response to the shocking news that ground-penetrating…

Who is to blame for the church burnings across Canada?

Mainstream media may have lit the fuse, but there were accomplices

Who is to blame for the church burnings across Canada?Mainstream media lit a fuse, and churches are burning. Nearly two dozen to date and a greater number have been vandalized with graffiti, paint-dipped handprints, and splatter. Some congregations have accepted acts of vandalism as a visual lesson on the road to reconciliation. Others wonder if their place of worship is safe, or a safe…

Why the Calls to Action should be Canada’s guidebook

Canada is facing a pivotal moment. We can choose to keep the truth buried or we can choose to heal

Why the Calls to Action should be Canada’s guidebookCanada Day 2021 was like none other in our history. The unmarked gravesites of children who died at residential schools seemed to be on everyone’s mind. Efforts to “kill the Indian in the child” in residential schools did tremendous damage to our country. Today, Indigenous people are disproportionately represented in our prison system, their high…

Time to celebrate the Week of Indigenous Women

RoseAnne Archibald, Mary Simon and Jody Wilson-Raybould give Canadians plenty of reason to hope

Time to celebrate the Week of Indigenous WomenThe fifth ballot win that made RoseAnne Archibald the first ever female national chief of the Assembly of First Nations sealed the Week of Indigenous Women in Canada. Fittingly, it came only seven days after the wave of soul-searching national angst over residential schools that led to overwrought cancellations of Canada Day in some corners…

Finding a new path forward driven by Indigenous people

The graves of residential school children symbolize the abject failure of decades of government policy

Finding a new path forward driven by Indigenous peoplePeople are mad. Finally! And sadly, belatedly. The discovery of the locations where hundreds of children were buried around abandoned residential school grounds has touched the country in ways that perhaps even the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission did not. People are responding to…

Will the new AFN chief speak for all Indigenous in Canada?

Each First Nation across the country fiercely guards its status as a sovereign jurisdiction, making it difficult for the AFN to articulate one vision

Will the new AFN chief speak for all Indigenous in Canada?In its 40th year, the Assembly of First Nations is in the throes of a seven-candidate race to select its national chief on Wednesday. But with skeletons of children being rediscovered by the hundreds at former residential school sites, Catholic churches vandalized or burned on First Nations territories, and the AFN accused of financial mismanagement…

Cheap talk and unsubstantiated claims hamper reconciliation

Vacuous electoral promises and virtue-signalling schemes won’t deliver the outcomes Indigenous Canadians need

Cheap talk and unsubstantiated claims hamper reconciliationCanada has consistently failed to make progress commensurate with the many lofty pronouncements and expectations on the Indigenous file. It’s a national shame that most Indigenous Canadians on reservations live far below acceptable socio-economic standards. Money isn’t the problem. By 2022, the federal budget allocations to Indigenous will have doubled since 2016 to nearly $25…

Harmonizing Canadian law with UNDRIP can’t be forced

Would require that Indigenous peoples receive free, prior and informed consent for anything that affects their lands or rights

Harmonizing Canadian law with UNDRIP can’t be forcedCanada’s Senate or an election are the only things that could amend or end a badly-worded and contentious bill that seeks to harmonize federal laws with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Bill C-15 has received third reading in the House of Commons and now goes to the Senate for…

Let’s leave residential school tragedies in the past

The dead should be appropriately honoured. But some opportunists will exploit these dead children for financial and political gain

Let’s leave residential school tragedies in the pastThe discovery of human remains at a former residential school site has set off a firestorm that has already resulted in demands for another national inquiry and massively expensive forensic and excavation projects. But maybe we should pause and ask some questions. The Kamloops Indian Residential School operated as a residential school from 1890 to…

We must discover the truth, no matter how horrible

We must find out the truth about residential schools if we are to heal from the wounds caused by our cruelty

We must discover the truth, no matter how horribleThe recent discovery of the bodies of 215 children at the Kamloops Indian Residential School is tragic but not at all surprising. In 1907, federal medical inspector Dr. Peter Bryce provided a report to the Department of Indian Affairs regarding the horrendous health conditions at residential schools across Canada. Those conditions resulted in up to…
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