• A university president apologizes for academia’s role in residential schools

    The continuing failure to address this history has meant the previous ways of thinking — or of not thinking — about the residential school system have remained largely intact. Failing to confront a heinous history, even if it is one we did not cause, is to become complicit in its perpetuation… While we cannot rewrite this history, we must not deny it either. It is our history to own and learn from.

  • Turns out there is discrimination in hiring professors — but not against minorities

    If we really want to understand why blacks and Indigenous citizens might be underrepresented in the professoriate, there’s a good explanation, but it’s not discrimination in hiring. It’s that only 2.9 per cent of people with Indigenous identity and only 3.4 per cent of black Canadians hold graduate degrees, compared to 9.5 per cent of the workforce at large. Graduate degrees — and highly-specialized ones at that — are prerequisites for these jobs.

  • A plan to overhaul Canadian health care systems

    … core elements: A strong national drug agency to provide the necessary machinery to support universal pharmacare… a strong data and technology agency that will help collect and link information, feeding it back to patients and the people who deliver care to them so health care can learn and improve… [and] a “signature” agency, one that will embody the value the government wishes to pursue most aggressively – be it efficiency, innovation, engagement or equity.

  • Ottawa pits ‘traditional knowledge’ against ‘science’, and then walks away

    Ottawa’s recently introduced legislation to amend the federal environmental impact assessment process so that it “takes into account scientific information, traditional knowledge of the Indigenous peoples of Canada, and community knowledge.” … Asking for the term “traditional knowledge of the Indigenous peoples of Canada” to be defined, and for ways to evaluate it, is a good idea. Doing so doesn’t devalue traditional knowledge; in fact, a strong definition will only serve to give it more value.

  • Ottawa takes an important first step on Inuit welfare

    The federal government’s promise, announced last week, that it will eradicate tuberculosis from Inuit communities by 2030 (and reduce its occurrence by 50 per cent by 2025) shows a welcome and overdue seriousness about a tragic problem that has for too long been ignored. But to succeed the government will have to make a real dent in socio-economic problems on which it has often talked big but failed to deliver.

  • Queen’s joins the academic bullies against author of colonialism article

    Gilley argued that the modern “notion that colonialism is always and everywhere a bad thing needs to be rethought,” and he argued persuasively that one of the things the colonial governance agenda was good at was recognizing “that the capacity for effective self-government (in fledgling states) is lacking and cannot be conjured out of thin air…” … He was also crystal clear that “colonialism can return (in any form) only with the consent of the colonized.” Predictably, the piece caused a holy uproar.

  • Ottawa’s conservation plan puts Indigenous people in charge of protecting land

    The federal government will ask Indigenous people to take on the job of protecting vast regions of Canadian wilderness after this week’s budget promised “historic” investments in nature conservation.
    Environmentalists, who praise Ottawa’s decision to spend more than a billion dollars to meet the country’s international biodiversity targets, say the Inuit, the Métis and the First Nations are eager to accept the official role of stewards of the land.

  • The law has done its job, but there must be justice for Tina Fontaine

    Outrage at her death in 2014 was a crucial factor in prompting the Trudeau government to set up the inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) two years later… its success will be measured… in how effective it is in sparking real change. The inquiry… has compiled 1,200 recommendations to address the problems it is looking at. The issue isn’t more recommendations — it’s whether they are put into action.

  • Guilt over Aboriginals can lead to teaching children untruths. It’s happening in Canada

    Much of what is said and done in the name of native reconciliation in Canada today amounts to a troubling misrepresentation of historical facts… History is no longer the collection of facts bequeathed to us by those who went before. Today it is whatever story satisfies current sensitivities, regardless of what actually happened.

  • It’s time to let Indigenous communities manage native child welfare

    Ottawa should start funding aboriginal communities who either have, or are in the midst of developing, their own child-welfare laws. As aboriginal child welfare advocate Cindy Blackstock says, “Fix it now. We can always argue later.” Of course, reforming child welfare is just the start. Knowing that children are safe and, wherever possible, living in their home community are minimum standards that shouldn’t take years to meet. But it is only one of many needed fixes. Too many remote reserves still lack clean drinking water, adequate food and decent housing