• Philpott calls emergency meeting with provinces on Indigenous child welfare

    “To me, this is arguably the most pressing priority of my new department,” Philpott said in an interview. There is no cohesive plan to examine how to get children back into Indigenous communities, she said, suggesting it is necessary to get everyone together who has a role to play, including First Nations, Metis and Inuit leaders, child and family services agencies and groups such as the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society.

  • Ottawa has made a mess of Indigenous policy in this country

    … the entrenchment of their right to comprehensive negotiation about anything they claim affects their lives as natives, has placed the whole country in the absurd position of being held to blackmail by this nebulous community… by a policy of exaggerating their authority, vesting the natives with the right to extort treasure, retard reasonable development and tar the 95 per cent majority of Canadians of other descent as trespassers, interlopers, and usurpers, we have created a monster…

  • Canada’s universities commit to diversity with plan to make demographic data public

    The promise to address under-representation of some groups in areas where it may occur, whether it’s the lack of Indigenous students in professional faculties or women in leadership posts, comes as universities are discussing how to meet equity targets in the Canada Research Chairs (CRC) program… schools have consistently failed to meet equity targets set by the program’s steering committee. Academics with disabilities are particularly poorly represented among CRC holders

  • Mr. Trudeau, stop the residential school to solitary confinement pipeline

    Canadian prisons are filled with people who carry the deepest of traumas from a young age. Many of the incarcerated are disproportionately Indigenous people, and about a third of all prisoners who are isolated in segregation cells are Indigenous… Justin Trudeau’s government speaks of reconciliation for past wrongs, but doesn’t seem to recognize its responsibility for the traumatic legacy it actively perpetuates within its own prisons.

  • First Nations leaders break with Ottawa on environmental policy

    The AFN’s rebuke on what they believed to be “co-development” of environmental legislation illustrates the significant challenges the Liberals face as they look to put those principles in practice. Rather than insist on the right to free, prior and information consent, the Liberals’ principles for relations with Indigenous people says the government “aims to secure” their consent “when Canada proposes to take actions which impact them and their rights, including their lands, territories and resources.” Mr. Carr said last week that the government must strike a balance among interests when assessing major projects like pipelines and mines.

  • Census: Median income in four of five Indigenous communities below poverty line

    Statistics Canada reported a spike in income levels in 2015… Only 26 of the 503 of reserves with income data had higher median household incomes… research has shown that Indigenous Peoples regularly earn less than the median income. A 2014 study found they were almost as disadvantaged as in 2006 as they were 25 years earlier in 1981… income isn’t always tied to location, such as being in a remote community.

  • Historical redress for the Sixties Scoop

    … the $800-million agreement represents meagre compensation for the trauma suffered by aboriginal children who were ripped from their families… It is a worthwhile and significant gesture nonetheless, and a tangible attempt at rectifying a deep historical wrong… Minister Carolyn Bennett happens to agree that aboriginal child welfare, a shared jurisdiction, needs an overhaul… Money has been added in the system, and Ms. Bennett says she wants more of it to go to families and children.

  • Ottawa is right to settle with Sixties Scoop victims

    Not only was the past program shameful, so was the government’s continuing defence of it. Now Ottawa has taken two other steps that should help in the healing process… $50 million for a new Indigenous Healing Foundation to help the victims reclaim their identity… $75 million to pay the legal fees of the estimated 20,000 victims who are expected to receive $25,000 to $50,000 each… Now… it should set its sights on correcting other ongoing wrongs to Indigenous children.

  • Give First Nations children an equal chance

    First Nations children are uniquely affected by federal underfunding of services on-reserve… Your government has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on litigation to resist full implementation of the tribunal’s decisions – a move that is incompatible with your pledged support for a new partnership with First Nations, and all Indigenous people in Canada and their governments… We are asking you to implement the tribunal’s decisions immediately…

  • Now is the time for Ottawa to create a path to progress with Indigenous people

    On this day in 2007, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which sets out minimum standards necessary “for the dignity, survival and well-being of Indigenous peoples,” was adopted by the UN General Assembly. Let this be the year that sees the leaders of all federal parties agree to work with each other and with Indigenous peoples to make the full and effective implementation of the declaration a priority.