Are we on the home land of the Metis Nation?

When the Metis began coalescing as a distinct people, they simply took control of territory previously used by Indigenous tribes

Are we on the home land of the Metis Nation?I’ve been paying attention to public event openings announcing that we’re now on treaty land. Perhaps the most unusual is the one advising people that they’re now on the home land of the Metis Nation. Does an acknowledgement that one is on Metis treaty land not imply that the Metis were the first people to…

Nation to nation at the Calgary Stampede

So long, Indian Village. Welcome, Elbow River Camp. The Stampede spirit shines through to embrace reconciliation

Nation to nation at the Calgary StampedeAs a member of a family who never missed a Calgary Stampede in 30 years of Calgary residency, I was made incredibly happy by Facebook pal George Brookman’s recent post. His announcement was simple, and direct: “A wonderful representative of the Indigenous people, Cieran Starlight will be the last ‘Indian Princess’ to represent the ‘Indian…

Two visions of mining for Manitoba

A path that includes meaningful consultation with Indigenous groups is destined to move development forward

Two visions of mining for ManitobaThere are two visions of engaging with First Nations on mining projects in Manitoba. The first will likely lead to considerable opposition and increased delays. The second focuses on meaningful consultation with Indigenous groups and is destined to move development forward. One can only hope that policy-makers adopt the latter vision and reject the former.…

Where is the wisdom and conciliation from Indigenous leaders?

Creating a greater divide between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians is not likely to benefit people in the long run

Where is the wisdom and conciliation from Indigenous leaders?In a line at the supermarket checkout, I glanced back at the woman who was placing her purchases on the belt behind my grocery items, and I couldn’t help but wonder what life had done to her to put such an expression of tired crabbiness on her face. That unpleasant expression, mixed with an obvious…

Treaty land admission is just the thin edge of the wedge

The treaty land acknowledgment is part of a very sophisticated strategy to soften Canadians up for a new and radical campaign to rewrite treaties

Treaty land admission is just the thin edge of the wedgeThe governing body of the Ontario Medical Association recently voted down a motion to open its meetings with the currently fashionable acknowledgment that “you are on treaty land.” They were roundly criticized for their effrontery by Indigenous spokespeople. Andre Picard wrote an article in The Globe and Mail thoroughly scolding them and saying that the…

Manitoba Hydro’s ‘persuasion money’ symptom of a greater problem

It has become commonplace to seek large monetary settlements to allow resource development to proceed

Manitoba Hydro’s ‘persuasion money’ symptom of a greater problemEvery member of the Manitoba Hydro board, except Conservative MLA Cliff Graydon, resigned on March 21, 2018, over a dispute with Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister. According to Pallister, the board resigned because the province won’t agree to pay $67.5-million to the Manitoba Metis Federation to smooth the process for the Minnesota-Manitoba transmission line. The outgoing…

Are we really all on treaty land?

The phrase ‘you are now on treaty land’ is part of a slick marketing campaign with clear financial goals

Are we really all on treaty land?I recently attended an event that began with an announcement that “you are now on treaty land.” By now, we’re all familiar with this new way of starting public functions. It stems from a recommendation from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The claim is that such announcements will be a step in the direction…

How to unleash Indigenous entrepreneurial potential

Chief Reginald Bellerose of Muskowekwan encourages First Nations to find the correct balance between politics and business

How to unleash Indigenous entrepreneurial potentialTo Chief Reginald Bellerose of Muskowekwan First Nation in southern Saskatchewan, the wave of the future belongs to Indigenous entrepreneurship. “Our entrepreneurial spirit has been dormant. We must re-ignite that spirit,” said Bellerose, the 13-year chief of the small Anishinaabe community on Treaty 4 territory. For the 49-year-old, the key is changing laws to unleash…

Indigenous children continue to pay a steep price

No amount of funding plans or reorganization can solve this problem as long as alcohol and drug abuse persists in First Nations communities

Indigenous children continue to pay a steep priceWe want simple answers. But, sometimes, there aren’t any. Take Manitoba’s child welfare system, for example. We want to find a solution to a problem that has plagued us for generations: What to do about the huge numbers of Indigenous children taken into the care of child welfare agencies each year? Meetings are held in…

Moving forward together to be a light for a broken world

We gain strength when we decide that we won’t allow the crimes of others to hold us back. We gain true freedom when we forgive our oppressors

Moving forward together to be a light for a broken worldCanada is on a journey of healing. But in many ways, we’re travelling through uncharted territory. Few of us understand what needs to happen or where it will lead. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission published a report and a call to action in 2015. It’s consistent with United Nations documents on human rights and it…