Yes, indigenous children must receive medical and social services equal to other Canadians. A tribunal can define those rights, but the precise details of where the money comes from, and where it goes, must largely be left to negotiations among Ottawa, the provinces and First Nations.
Equality Debatesposted March 20, 2017 / No Comments
The government should do as it promised and, as the tribunal’s legally binding order demands, immediately close the funding gap… Ottawa’s slow response has been a persistent source of shame, particularly for a government that so often touts its lofty promises on indigenous issues… energy would be better spent protecting the health and safety of indigenous children than pushing back at the tribunal.
Equality Delivery Systemposted March 16, 2017 / No Comments
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal does not have the power to ensure its rulings are followed or to dictate how public money is spent, the federal government has argued in response to accusations it has not met a tribunal demand to end the discriminatory underfunding of Indigenous child welfare… “the tribunal does not have the statutory authority to enforce its own orders.”
Equality Debatesposted March 9, 2017 / No Comments
… black and Indigenous children are more likely to be placed in foster care and remain in care longer. They are more likely to drop out of school. In Ontario, they are three times more likely to be incarcerated than non-blacks… The high mortality rate of black men and women is traumatizing and takes an emotional and psychological toll because we see our brothers, sisters and fathers in the victims. “The thing is that as a community, when one bleeds, we all do…”
… the government has barely begun to act on its promises to bring about transformational change for First Nations communities through investments in education and basic infrastructure… Significant new revenues could, and should, be raised – by tackling tax loopholes for the most affluent… progressive policies, rather than a race to the bottom, will create not just a fairer society, but also a more productive and future-oriented economy.
As we celebrate the 150th year of Confederation surely it is time to recognize that Aboriginal Peoples are intrinsic to what we are as a country. It would be a symbolic gesture but it would go a long way to recognizing and embracing the idea that First Nations have always been much more than refugees in their own country.
Inclusion Delivery System
The Slaight Family Foundation has committed to providing that money over the next five years to 15 non-profit organizations that are engaged with the First Nations, Inuit and Métis on a wide range of initiatives, from health and education to cultural activities and preventing violence against Indigenous women.
Governance Debatesposted March 4, 2017 / No Comments
The government should… index the Canada Child Benefit to inflation, fix the EI system by creating fair and universal criteria for access, and pay for… affordable housing… [and] the $155 million in emergency relief it promised to First Nations children living on reserves… On the revenue side… it should continue to invest in tax compliance… [and] limit or scrap some of the many loopholes… that benefit the richest with no evident contribution to the public good.
Inclusion Debatesposted March 3, 2017 / No Comments
This isn’t a “First Nations issue” except inasmuch as First Nations, as a population, are disadvantaged relative to other Canadians on social indicators that predict a vast catalogue of bad outcomes, from going to jail to homelessness to dying in a fire or getting murdered. Individual white Anglo-Saxon Canadians so disadvantaged run similar risks; individual aboriginal Canadians who are not so disadvantaged do not… truly transformational change on this front will only come with transformational change on the most basic fronts: education, employment, income. That’s a massive job.
Inclusion Policy Contextposted February 26, 2017 / 2 Comments
Particularly heinous is the untold number of Indigenous Canadians that are currently stateless because their parents never registered their births, rightfully fearing their children would be sent to a residential school. Now adults, these Canadians have no rights or benefits. They are citizens of nowhere, unable to legally work, marry, attend school, buy a home, get a loan, drive a car or even take a bus, train or plane without identification.