The double standards of the Boushie/Stanley case

The PM seems committed to adding to the differences between Indigenous people and the mainstream, instead of trying to dismantle a divisive system

The double standards of the Boushie/Stanley caseA jury’s recent acquittal of a white man for the killing of an Indigenous man highlights some of the deepest divisions in this country. One of those divisions is between people living on reserves, and the farmers and townspeople living in the vicinity of those reserves. The Red Pheasant First Nation, where Colten Boushie lived…

Time to get serious about water quality in First Nation communities

Solving this seemingly intractable problem should be quite simple, but simply increasing funding will only make the problems worse

Time to get serious about water quality in First Nation communitiesPondering the crisis so many First Nations communities face over water quality, you can’t help but think of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge: “Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.” The ironic dilemma of the mariner is obvious in more than 90 per cent of Canada’s First Nations communities. Most…

Indigenous middle class key to closing tragic cultural chasm

The large and growing Indigenous middle class has shown us the way, by successfully integrating without any loss of their Indigenous culture and identity

Indigenous middle class key to closing tragic cultural chasmThe Great Divide creates the rugged border between Alberta and British Columbia. However, Canada has another great divide: the trial of Gerald Stanley for the killing of Colten Boushie. It brought into sharp focus the huge chasm in this country between mainstream Canadians and Indigenous people. It’s not necessary to recite the facts of the…

Enduring words of wisdom on reconciliation

If we had listened to Pierre Trudeau, we would no longer be talking about reconciliation – we would be at least part way there

Enduring words of wisdom on reconciliationReconciliation between Canada’s Indigenous people and mainstream society is a goal all thoughtful Canadians seek. It’s obvious that too many Indigenous people lag far behind other Canadians by most economic and health indicators, and we must find ways to close that gap. It’s worthwhile considering what Prime Minister Trudeau has said: “The weight of history…

The silence over Indigenous woes is deafening

You can’t solve problems that can’t be discussed, yet we refuse to have frank and open discussions about a very real crisis

The silence over Indigenous woes is deafeningThe controversy over comments made by Sen. Lynn Beyak illustrates that it’s virtually impossible to openly discuss Canada’s most important domestic issue: the chronic problems of poverty and unemployment in Indigenous communities. People who disagree with claims that the problem stems from Indigenous victimization – colonialism, bad governmental policy, discrimination, residential schools and the like…

The soft racism of low expectations

You take away people’s independence and their pride by placing them in a different category than everyone else

The soft racism of low expectationsI recently became engaged in a war of words with the editor of a local newspaper. I was accused of slurring Indigenous people by using the term “gravy train” to describe the rich benefits that a minority of people have been able to extract from the system. I had always been careful to point out…

Ripples from ’60s Indigenous children Scoop continue

If governments hadn’t protected Indigenous children, they would have faced lawsuits for failure to honour their commitments to those children

Ripples from ’60s Indigenous children Scoop continueThe Alberta government is working with the ’60s Scoop Indigenous Society of Alberta to hold “engagement” sessions with Indigenous adults who were placed as children in non-Indigenous homes. It seems likely that after an apology is officially made, discussions will immediately turn to compensation. The federal government established a precedent by apologizing and announcing monetary…

Beyak should not be silenced about Indigenous issues

The senator has enabled all of us to take the first step in honestly discussing race and culture

Beyak should not be silenced about Indigenous issuesSen. Lynn Beyak was recently removed from the Conservative caucus for saying and publicizing things that many people think are true. This has emboldened her opponents, and some Indigenous activists are now suggesting that Beyak be thrown out of the Senate and investigated for thought crimes. A year ago, Beyak had the audacity to assert…

Beyak should not be punished for demanding a broader perspective

The bad experiences at residential schools have been well documented. But we can't forget that there were good experiences as well

Beyak should not be punished for demanding a broader perspectiveSen. Lynn Beyak was finally expelled from the Conservative Party caucus because “she allowed” racist posts to be placed on her website. More significantly, she refused to remove the offending material when ordered to do so by the Conservative leader. I’m one of the people with an email message posted on her website. In the…

First Nations spending accountability is essential

Forward-looking Indigenous governments realize that transparency is the only way to improved social and economic conditions

First Nations spending accountability is essentialIt’s distressing that Indigenous activist Harrison Thunderchild has been forced to go to court to make leaders of Saskatchewan’s Thunderchild First Nation disclose expenditures. Parliament passed the First Nations Financial Transparency Act in 2013, when the Conservatives were in power. The law made chief and band council salaries and benefits public information, as well as…
1 4 5 6 7 8 11