Killing energy projects only hurts First Nations

Stringent environmental oversight already protects native rights to land and water, negating the need for veto rights

Killing energy projects only hurts First NationsThe right of First Nations to question resource development is not the same as a right to veto much-needed projects. Ron Tremblay, Grand Chief of the Wolastoq Grand Council in New Brunswick, said he believes Canada’s adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) gives First Nation communities veto power…

Giving First Nations the power to flourish

Across Canada, significant projects have improved conditions in many communities, thanks to a funding model that demands accountability

Giving First Nations the power to flourishFirst Nations have long been the stepchildren of the Canadian economy. But a funding initiative is changing that. By measures like income, health, longevity, access to services and others, many First Nations people fall well below what are considered normal levels in the rest of Canadian society. The resulting problems rightfully disturb us all. Insufficient and/or…

Atlantic First Nations lead on transparency

By ensuring revenues are wisely spent, transparency and accountability is of most benefit to First Nations communities

Atlantic First Nations lead on transparencyAtlantic Canada's First Nations are leaders in complying with salary reporting requirements of the federal government's First Nations Financial Transparency Act (FNFTA). This law obliges Canada's 581 First Nations to publicly disclose band spending as well as salaries and expenses collected by chiefs and councillors. Its success in Atlantic Canada is why Ottawa should uphold…

Strong link between culture and health for indigenous populations

We need to to restore cultural practices to indigenous communities, which provide more value than simply moving entire communities

Indigenous educator, activist, journalist and politician Wab Kinew has been telling scientists and health care professionals for years that culture is medicine. It's a message that must be heard. Epidemics of obesity, diabetes, infectious diseases and suicide that plague First Nation children across Canada are complex and multi-faceted. Yet government solutions often focus on simplistic biomedical…

Urgent investment in Indigenous health care needed

A shared federal-provincial initiative could bring new focus to a desperate problem

Urgent investment in Indigenous health care neededBy Brian Postl University of Manitoba and Pierre-Gerlier Forest University of Calgary Being an indigenous person in Canada is too often a dangerous reality. But it doesn’t have to be this way. The tragic reality is that the health of Canada’s indigenous people lags substantially behind other Canadians. The well-documented data shows the problem across all major illnesses and…

Canada’s isolated Aboriginal communities can thrive

We can prevent tragedies like that in Attawapiskat by focusing on culture, connectivity and commerce

Canada’s isolated Aboriginal communities can thriveThe tragedies of Attawapiskat – suicides, hopelessness and poverty – have touched us all. But what can we do? Former prime minister Jean Chretien proposed shutting down that and perhaps other small, isolated settlements and shipping the residents elsewhere. But that ignores the feelings of the people who call these communities home. Instead, there are steps we can take to bring long-term viability…

Money alone won’t solve the Attawapiskat crisis

To stop the tragedy of youth suicide, Canadians must reach out in real human ways to mentor and support

Money alone won’t solve the Attawapiskat crisisThe recognition that a youth suicide pact was in place in Attawapiskat, an indigenous community in Northern Ontario, has sent shockwaves throughout Canada. Like many First Nation reserves, Attawapiskat is an isolated community; this one has just slightly more than 2,000 souls. As a rule, reserves in Canada lack essential services and suffer disproportionate unemployment, mental illness, and drug…

Waiting for things to get better in Astawapiskat not an option

The time for waiting is over. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, per the cliché, is the definition of insanity

Waiting for things to get better in Astawapiskat not an optionWhat do you do when times get really bad where you are, and when your loved ones are at risk? Well, you either stay where you are, and hope that things finally get better. Or you move. Around here, that question isn't an abstraction. Around here, a majority of Calgary's residents came from somewhere else,…

Lack of property rights root cause of on-reserve housing problems

A contributing factor to the deplorable housing conditions may be a lack of property rights on reserve

Lack of property rights root cause of on-reserve housing problemsIn its recent federal budget the Liberal government committed $227 million in 2016/17 to “address urgent housing needs on reserve,” noting that First Nations people living on reserve are “more likely to experience poor housing conditions and overcrowding than the general public.” In fact, according to recently released data from Statistics Canada, in every province…

Land claims largest deterrent to mining investment in B.C.

77 per cent of respondents for B.C. said that uncertainty from disputed land claims was a deterrent to investment

Land claims largest deterrent to mining investment in B.C.By Ravina Bains and Taylor Jackson The Fraser Institute British Columbia has extraordinary mineral potential. In the recent Fraser Institute annual survey of mining companies, mining executives from around the world placed B.C. in the global top 20 in terms of pure mineral potential and overall investment attractiveness, which is a combination of mineral potential…