A fundamental flaw at the centre of the Truth and Reconciliation report

The commission seems to have begun its work with a conclusion in mind, then spent six years and more than $60 million amassing evidence to support it

A fundamental flaw at the centre of the Truth and Reconciliation reportThis close to Christmas is a good time to test our knowledge of Christianity and Christian charity. So ponder this: When Christian churches founded schools in Canada, what names did they use? Perhaps you think these schools were named after saints, days in the Christian calendar and important church leaders. If so, give yourself part…

Court decisions hurting Aboriginal communities

It’s time to look beyond the courts for political leadership that works to achieve greater certainty for everyone

Court decisions hurting Aboriginal communitiesIn recent months, several major resource projects across Canada, which would have led to billions of dollars of investment, were cancelled. Another project, the multi-billion dollar Trans Mountain pipeline (which carries oil from Alberta to the west coast of British Columbia), faces an eight-day court hearing that started this week in the Federal Court of…

Entrenched dependence one of the worst legacies of the Indian Act

Bands under the oversight of the act should take steps toward financial self-sufficiency now, in preparation for eventual self-government

Entrenched dependence one of the worst legacies of the Indian ActSplitting Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) into two departments means one will be in charge of negotiations with First Nation communities and the other will be responsible for service delivery. Presumably that means the negotiating department can focus on signing self-governing arrangements with more bands under the Indian Act. As a result, the economic future…

In defence of Sen. Lynn Beyak’s stance on Indigenous rights

Racial purity laws – status cards – have no place in a modern country. They should have been gone long ago

In defence of Sen. Lynn Beyak’s stance on Indigenous rightsSen. Lynn Beyak says in an open letter that the Indigenous should give up their status cards and become true Canadians. The reaction to the letter has been fast and furious. She has been denounced by a host of worthies. As I write this, I’m listening to a CBC radio interview with the mayor of…

Indigenous department changes herald an important new beginning

The federal government must ensure that dividing the department into two helps bands negotiate self-government and create own-source revenue streams

Indigenous department changes herald an important new beginningRecent changes at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada are causing consternation across indigenous communities, and with other Canadians. The decision to split the department in two, one part overseeing Crown-indigenous relations and the other overseeing service delivery to communities, comes right out of the 20-year-old report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP), which…

Andrew Scheer must put First Nations issues back on the agenda

The new Conservative leader can do much to advance indigenous issues and the national agenda – and get his party elected in 2019

Andrew Scheer must put First Nations issues back on the agendaIndigenous issues didn’t play a large part in the recent federal Conservative leadership race. They were mentioned but took a back seat to other matters. But Conservatives must understand that indigenous issues are of vital concern to all Canadians. For instance, candidates devoted considerable time debating TransCanada’s Energy East and Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline projects. Energy…

The Indian Act should have been abolished years ago

Aboriginal Canadians must accept that remaining in grievance mode and relying on the government is preventing them from moving forward

The Indian Act should have been abolished years ago“The Indian Act is the root cause of all of the maladies that our people suffer from,” aboriginal leader Craig Blacksmith said recently. He's absolutely right. Blacksmith was a candidate in the recent Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) election. He ran on a platform of getting rid of the Indian Act. While he made it…

Cornwallis and Ryerson: heroes or villains?

Recognizing that all of us are an amalgam of good deeds and bad attitudes will save us from a ceaseless round of endless moaning about the sins of our ancestors

Cornwallis and Ryerson: heroes or villains?How much of a hero do you have to be to warrant a statue? How much of a villain do you have to be to have your name stripped from streets, bridges or schools? The brouhaha surrounding the memory of Edward Cornwallis and Egerton Ryerson means that Canadians and their governmental representatives need to seriously…

Missing women, evil men: inquiry must examine both

Far too many aboriginal men insist on locking themselves and their families in a deadly prison of dependence, alcohol, abuse and violence

Missing women, evil men: inquiry must examine bothThere’s turmoil within the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. It could all be about the breadth of the inquiry. Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson, from northern Manitoba, has called for the resignation of the inquiry’s chief commissioner, British Columbia Judge Marion Buller. At least four staff members have left, and…

Canadians’ US$38-million-a-day gift to Americans

Failure to build pipelines leaves us with no choice but to sell our oil to the U.S. at cheap prices, leaving it to sell its own oil at the international price

Canadians’ US$38-million-a-day gift to AmericansPresident Donald Trump has said Canada’s energy exports are unfair to the U.S. He’s clearly oblivious that we’ve given Americans the biggest trade gift ever to flow from one country to another because of our self-inflicted inability to access offshore markets with Canadian oil. After almost a decade and more than $1 billion spent on…
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