• 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

  • Ottawa to begin fully funding Indigenous child-welfare agencies

    The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal issued its order on Thursday, saying Ottawa was not complying with a 2016 ruling that found it discriminates against Indigenous children by underfunding child welfare services. In a statement, Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott on Thursday said… that Ottawa would immediately begin to cover agencies’ actual costs for prevention, intake and investigation, along with legal fees and building repairs, with reimbursement retroactive to Jan. 26, 2016.

  • Let residential school survivors share their stories

    Angela Shisheesh… would like her harrowing story of abuse to be part of the historical record, accessible to the public like those of many of her fellow victims. Yet because she, like so many others, settled her legal case before 2006, it is up the organizations responsible for her maltreatment to determine whether her testimony can be made public… To deny her and other victims a voice amounts to a sort of cultural erasure, an important aspect of the residential schools’ terrible impact.

  • With Philpott at the helm, Ottawa (finally) takes action on Indigenous issues

    One of Dr. Philpott’s most welcome actions is to finally get Ottawa to comply with a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling related to Jordan’s Principle… Health Canada has approved more than 29,000 requests in recent months, most for children with disabilities and mental-health issues… the boldest shift of all has been in funding… First Nations with good financial records will now get guaranteed 10-year funding, fully indexed, and with little paperwork. Rather than be wards of the state, we will see the emergence of more autonomous First Nations.

  • A memo to Canada: Indigenous people are not your incompetent children

    Although Indian Affairs has had to report to numerous people and departments throughout its history, it certainly has never had to report to Indigenous people. That lack of accountability and responsibility has continued for more than 150 years, unchecked… Canada agreed to include Section 35 in the Constitution, legally enshrining recognition and affirmation of Indigenous rights. Although… There have been no moves to change the Indian Act in a way that reflects the Indigenous right to both self-government and self-determination

  • Treatment of women in Canadian prisons a human rights travesty

    “… CSC’s tool to assign women offenders to security levels was designed to assess men, not women. CSC also used this tool to refer women offenders to correctional programs, which is problematic since the tool was not designed for this purpose.” … “being classified as maximum security… limits your access to programs and services… It makes the experience of punishment more onerous and more punitive than it should be.”

  • Can the First Nations poverty trap be broken?

    Federal law also limits use of on-reserve property as collateral, severely restricting Indigenous people’s ability to start businesses or get personal loans. If Canada’s current efforts at reconciliation with its First Nations are to bear fruit over the long term, creating a financial system that works for Indigenous populations must be a priority. One solution that could help: Tapping the potential of Canada’s $9.2-billion “impact investing” market.

  • Liberal government withdraws court case on First Nations health care

    An agreement has now been reached… saying there is a legitimate role for clinical case conferences – discussions related to the delivery of services involving professionals… when “reasonably necessary” to understand a First Nation’s child’s clinical needs so professionals can access more information on a case. The agreement also says decisions on service delivery made within a 48-hour window may not always not be in the child’s best interests.