1889 book provides a way forward for Aboriginal policy today

1889 book provides a way forward for Aboriginal policy todayAn eye-opening description of Aboriginal culture as it was in the 1880s John McLean was a Christian missionary who lived for nine years with the Blood (Kainai) Indians in present-day Southern Alberta, learning their language, customs and traditions. In 1889, at the request of the Smithsonian Institution, he wrote The Indians of Canada, a balanced…

House of Commons finally describes residential schools as genocide

House of Commons finally describes residential schools as genocideBut until all wounds caused by genocide are healed, we cannot be satisfied On October 27, a motion was unanimously passed in the Canadian Parliament recognizing what happened in Canada’s Indian Residential Schools as genocide according to Article II of the United Nations Genocide Convention. It should be noted that this is a culmination of…

Innovative teacher brings skateboarding into class

New program allows students to create their own skateboard brand and business for high school credit

Innovative teacher brings skateboarding into classUniversity of Alberta grad Kristian Basaraba, ’01 BEd, has been skateboarding for over 30 years. But the high school teacher never thought he’d be leaning so heavily on the sport in the classroom. In 2019, he started the Sk8trepreneur program at Salisbury Composite High School in Sherwood Park, Alta., challenging students to create their own…

Any violation of human rights is a crime against humanity

Doing a little isn’t good enough, especially when we ignore abuses

Any violation of human rights is a crime against humanityPrince George, B.C., officials recently decided to change the name of O’Grady Road, named after a former Catholic bishop of Prince George, to Dakelh Ti, meaning First Nation Road in the language of the Lheidli T’enneh. I knew Bishop Fergus O’Grady fairly well and I don’t think anything would have made him happier. The decisions…

Improve Indigenous lives by looking forward

Being stuck in the past won’t improve Indigenous lives. We need to focus on what’s next

Improve Indigenous lives by looking forwardThe overwhelming majority of Canadians regret the history of European contact with Indigenous peoples, and the injustices and hardships that followed over the hundreds of years since. At the same time, they celebrate Canada’s accomplishments, which have created a Canada that is the envy of the world. New Canadians are more than glad to be…

Earning a law degree fulfils grad’s lifelong dream

Assisting landmark Indigenous cases, Anita Cardinal-Stewart graduates with even stronger passion

Earning a law degree fulfils grad’s lifelong dreamThe caption on her junior-high yearbook photo reads, “Dreams of being a lawyer or an actress.” That was when Anita Cardinal-Stewart was full of hope, and anything seemed possible. But that hope evaporated through her teen years growing up in the Woodland Cree First Nation in northern Alberta. “I started to see how hard it…

Does the Pope’s apology really mean reconciliation is coming?

Catholic church doctrine was used to justify colonization, subjugation and exploitation worldwide

Does the Pope’s apology really mean reconciliation is coming?The papal apology to the Indigenous peoples of Canada on April 1 was an extraordinary moment for the individuals whom Pope Francis addressed directly. And it has the potential for much broader implications. In the days leading up to the apology, Francis listened intently and embraced the pain of the residential school survivors who spoke…

Indigenous Language Club fosters connections to culture and history

Indigenous students engage in the spirit of kinship, learn ancestral languages and enrich lives

Indigenous Language Club fosters connections to culture and historyDanni Okemaw remembers playing outside with her cousins when her mom asked her to stop and watch the television. It was 2008 and Stephen Harper, then prime minister of Canada, was publicly apologizing on behalf of the Canadian government for its role in Indian residential schools – the first step for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of…

Why is Canada’s chief archivist rewriting our history?

Has ordered a purge of documents that “may offend people”

Why is Canada’s chief archivist rewriting our history?Nikolai Ivanovich Yezhov was not a nice man but, for a time, he was an important one. He was a favourite of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and was head of the NKVD, the Soviet Union’s secret police. He was responsible for the arrests, tortures and executions during his master’s Great Purge of 1936 to 1938.…
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