One sentencing standard for all offenders

Terri-Lynne McClintic shouldn't have been sent to a healing lodge. In fact, the very nature of such institutions defies fair practise

One sentencing standard for all offendersTerri-Lynne McClintic, convicted of the 2009 abduction, rape and murder of eight-year-old Tory Stanford, was recently moved from federal prison to a healing lodge. Canadians were surprised – to say the least – that the transfer of a convicted child murderer to a healing lodge was not something new but had being going on since…

One set of laws for all the only way to end racism in Canada

In his new book There is No Difference, Peter Best details a way to resolve Canada’s legal and social relations with its Indigenous

One set of laws for all the only way to end racism in CanadaIn his new book There Is No Difference, Ontario lawyer Peter Best begins a long-repressed national conversation about Canada’s legal and social relations with its Indigenous people. Best asks: Why can’t Nelson Mandela’s goal and vision of one set of laws for all be the goal in Canada? Why keep and even extend the demonstrably-failing separate…

We can’t ignore the roots of some rural crime

Trotting out historical excuses for criminal actions will only leave rural residents to continue to be terrorized by gangsters

We can’t ignore the roots of some rural crimeRural crime near troubled reserves on the Prairies must be acknowledged if there’s any hope of remedying the situation. Doug Cuthand, an Indigenous Saskatchewan columnist, believes the phrase ‘rural crime‘ is code for crimes committed by Indigenous thugs. But in Saskatchewan, for example, an Indigenous man is 33 times as likely to be convicted of…

The strangling nature of Canada’s ‘duty to consult’ the Indigenous

A recent Supreme Court decision seems to have loosened the constraints, but will new legislation push such matters to the UN?

The strangling nature of Canada’s ‘duty to consult’ the IndigenousThe Supreme Court of Canada’s Mikisew decision, delivered on Oct. 11, 2018, marks what could be a very significant development in Canadian law – possibly ushering in a more reasonable era, where courts intervene less in matters that properly belong to the people’s elected representatives. Let me explain: Section 35 was written into Canada’s brand…

Skills training, education keys to finding work for First Nations people

Eight of 10 unemployed Indigenous Albertans living off reserve said there was a shortage of jobs: StatsCan

Skills training, education keys to finding work for First Nations peopleSkills training and more education were identified by First Nations people living off reserve as the key to finding work, according to the 2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey released on Monday by Statistics Canada. The survey found 27 per cent of respondents said those two factors would help them most to find a job. “The off-reserve…

A bad rap: one singer’s misplaced perspective on treaty rights

The federal government now spends approximately $100,000 per year on each First Nations family

A bad rap: one singer’s misplaced perspective on treaty rightsAs a regular attendee of the Winnipeg Folk Festival, I’ve had the good fortune to watch and hear a wide variety of interesting musicians over the years. One such performance was that of an Indigenous rapper. His main theme in a number of his songs was treaty rights. Basically, he powerfully denounced the government and…

Jean Chretien tried to end Canada’s apartheid system

As a cabinet minister under Pierre Trudeau, his bold plan would have improved the lives of Indigenous Canadians. It was doomed

Jean Chretien tried to end Canada’s apartheid systemFormer prime minister Jean Chrétien, now 84, sounded just like the feisty street fighter he once was during a recent CBC Radio interview. But his tenacity wasn't enough to win one of Canada’s gravest – and enduring – fights. From a very young backbencher, through many cabinet posts, and finally to a prime minister who only…

Canada’s persistent apartheid system

Canadians passionately denounced South Africa while not noticing that we had an apartheid system of our own. It's still here

Winnipeg’s Canadian Museum for Human Rights is commemorating Nelson Mandela’s long struggle against the white South African apartheid regime. Mandela, who died in 2013 at age 95, was imprisoned for 27 years because of his defiance of the regime and his determination to end apartheid. That apartheid regime divided people into racial categories and issued…

How to get First Nations onside with resource-related projects

The support of B.C. Indigenous communities for LNG projects provides a working model for agreements

How to get First Nations onside with resource-related projectsThe division and acrimony among First Nation communities over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project can mask the many examples of Indigenous communities that have reached agreements with resource companies. For example, how many Canadians know that the experience of First Nations on liquefied natural gas (LNG) development has been extremely positive? “While B.C. First…

Stop playing the racist card and deal with the real problems

To ignore a safety issue involving alcohol use among Indigenous communities for fear of being labelled a racist is just plain wrong

Stop playing the racist card and deal with the real problemsEver since Wilbur and Orville Wright proved that heavier-than-air machines could fly, safety has been a priority when it comes to air travel. Engines and chassis are inspected and re-inspected. If some gizmo in your car engine breaks, your car stops and you look under the hood. You don’t have that luxury in an airplane.…