We can’t ignore the roots of some rural crime

Trotting out historical excuses for criminal actions will only leave rural residents to continue to be terrorized by gangsters

We can’t ignore the roots of some rural crimeRural crime near troubled reserves on the Prairies must be acknowledged if there’s any hope of remedying the situation. Doug Cuthand, an Indigenous Saskatchewan columnist, believes the phrase ‘rural crime‘ is code for crimes committed by Indigenous thugs. But in Saskatchewan, for example, an Indigenous man is 33 times as likely to be convicted of…

Staying when the government tells you to move

How a decision to remain in an ancestral village helped ensure a family maintained strong ties to a culture

Staying when the government tells you to moveIn 1968, my father took me to Yuquot on Nootka Island, off the west coast of Vancouver Island, because he wanted me to see where Capt. James Cook first stepped ashore in 1778. Little did he know that because of this visit, our family was about to begin a lifelong friendship with Ray and Terry…

The strangling nature of Canada’s ‘duty to consult’ the Indigenous

A recent Supreme Court decision seems to have loosened the constraints, but will new legislation push such matters to the UN?

The strangling nature of Canada’s ‘duty to consult’ the IndigenousThe Supreme Court of Canada’s Mikisew decision, delivered on Oct. 11, 2018, marks what could be a very significant development in Canadian law – possibly ushering in a more reasonable era, where courts intervene less in matters that properly belong to the people’s elected representatives. Let me explain: Section 35 was written into Canada’s brand…

Skills training, education keys to finding work for First Nations people

Eight of 10 unemployed Indigenous Albertans living off reserve said there was a shortage of jobs: StatsCan

Skills training, education keys to finding work for First Nations peopleSkills training and more education were identified by First Nations people living off reserve as the key to finding work, according to the 2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey released on Monday by Statistics Canada. The survey found 27 per cent of respondents said those two factors would help them most to find a job. “The off-reserve…

Awareness fatigue weighing us all down, particularly millennials

They are the gatekeepers of so much change necessary to forge new norms of behaviour and social standards

Awareness fatigue weighing us all down, particularly millennialsI had a discussion with a bright young millennial in my family network last week and predictably learned something new. “I think I have awareness fatigue,” he said. “What?” I inquired. “Awareness fatigue, Mike. Too much knowledge of too much stuff that collectively is emotionally hard to carry.” Arguably, the syndrome currently includes: the whole…

Truth and Reconciliation proposals on child welfare destined to fail

Government is called upon for yet more legislation and more money when the real problem is poor parenting

Truth and Reconciliation proposals on child welfare destined to failFive calls to action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada report concern child welfare. They are all destined to fail. The calls to action focus on increasing funding for Indigenous welfare, establishing national standards for the various agencies, keeping Indigenous children in culturally-relevant homes, and reducing the number of Indigenous children in the…

Why Canada needs more restorative justice

‘Imagine what society would look like with more empowered, restored individuals, giving back like I am, changing like I did’

Why Canada needs more restorative justiceBy Sen. Art Eggleton and Sen. Raymonde Saint-Germain A Department of Justice survey conducted earlier this year discovered that over half of Canadians (52 per cent) have little familiarity with restorative justice despite its use in our criminal justice system for over 40 years. So what is restorative justice? And can it provide better justice…

Putting Columbia River salmon restoration at risk

Including Indigenous voices in U.S.-Canada water agreement discussions would give the environment a leading role

Putting Columbia River salmon restoration at riskSalmon used to swim all the way up the Columbia River from the Pacific Ocean near Astoria, Ore., to the Canadian Rocky Mountains at the river’s headwaters in Canal Flats, B.C. It was an astounding journey of 2,000 kilometres upstream that cut through a landscape of lush forest, dry desert and high peaks. But since…

John A. Macdonald’s mistake

Tearing down statues and decrying historic decisions in no way takes the measure of a great man, or his flaws when it comes to the Indigenous

John A. Macdonald’s mistakeLooking for a bargain statue of Sir John A. Macdonald? Victoria city council has removed just such a statue from City Hall, where it has stood for as long as anyone can remember. The intent is to promote reconciliation with Indigenous people. This is but the latest of a series of attacks on Canadian historical…

Let’s not ‘whitewash’ Cindy Gladue’s death

We must come to terms with the systemic racism and sexism the Canadian justice imposes on Indigenous people

Let’s not ‘whitewash’ Cindy Gladue’s deathThe Supreme Court of Canada recently heard the most important case in a generation regarding the Canadian legal system’s response to murdered and missing Indigenous women. The hearing was the culmination of a case that was set in motion on the morning of June 22, 2011. On that day, Bradley Barton checked out of a…
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