On September 22 and 23, the Broadbent Institute hosted Progress Summit BC to chart a progressive path forward for the province in this critical election year. The first keynote was delivered by Law Foundation Professor of Aboriginal Justice and Governance at the University of Victoria, Val Napoleon. Watch her remarks and presentation below.
A year has passed since the closing event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Ottawa — a brief moment of self-reflection that punctured through a stubborn, willful and long-standing national blindness.
The federal government knowingly discriminates against Indigenous children and their families. That discrimination is part of the colonial fabric that holds together Canadian political-economic development.
On a hot summer July afternoon, a social worker handed me over to a young Saskatchewan farming couple. I was three months old, and my adoptive mother tells me I wouldn’t stop crying. She eventually realized I was too hot because my foster mother had dressed me in all the clothes that I possessed.
The tributes emerged mid-afternoon on February 10th, as the news that four artists had died in a horrific car accident that killed five people north of Regina.
Michelle Sereda’s was the first name to emerge, and the close-knit arts family of Regina began to mourn. Michelle had been a long-time figure in the performance, theatre and movement arts community. The next name heard was Lacy Morin-Desjarlais, who was a young woman recently returned to her homeland, also working in theatre and dance. The afternoon waned as the sadness of many continued to rise.
Thursday’s stunning Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) ruling, extending the scope of Indigenous rights to include the right to permanently control “land conferred by aboriginal title”, has the potential to transform the politics of resource extraction and development in Canada.
Grey Cup 101 is in the books. The green and white confetti has been trampled over, the line-ups at the Roughrider stores are no longer out the door, and fans are likely caught up on their sleep after a huge celebration in honour of Saskatchewan winning their 4th Grey Cup victory.
Reviewing the blogs, newspaper coverage and television commentary that came with this victory, I noticed a theme when Saskatchewan’s history is discussed. It is said Saskatchewan was built on the backs of the settlers and pioneers, who had determination, vision, and cooperation. It is said the Riders fans have deep roots in this province, and they bleed green as they don their fanciful green gear to faithfully watch their team win or lose.
Rex Murphy’s commentary in the National Post on recent Mi’kmaq protests is misinformed and demonstrates a profound ignorance of our history.
In his article, he suggests that the behaviour of Mi’kmaq protestors at Elsipogtog First Nation on October 17th constitutes a “rude dismissal of Canada’s generosity”. Even more “raw and provocative an insult”, he argues, is the suggestion that this and other protests (including the Caledonia blockade and the Idle No More movement) are legitimate struggles against oppression. Indeed, what Mr. Murphy appears to find anathema are the co-existence, today, of Indigenous struggles for self-determination and assertions of sovereignty and existing oppression and racism.
Posted by Daniel Wilson · January 10, 2013 5:49 AM
Canadians are awakening to the fact that income inequality is a seriously problematic trend that marginalizes large segments of society and threatens social harmony and progress. However, for Indigenous people, vastly inferior incomes are a longstanding reality that makes up only a part of a much deeper and broader inequality.
While the historical roots of this situation are vaguely familiar to most Canadians, they remain poorly understood. More importantly, an improved understanding of both existing conditions and desired outcomes must inform a markedly different approach to solutions if we are, as a society, to avoid making matters worse.
Posted by Julia Christensen, Colleen Davison & Leah Levac · November 29, 2012 7:12 AM
The Canadian North, which includes the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik, Labrador, and Nunatsiavut, is a vast region rich in Indigenous cultures, pristine landscapes and waterways, natural resources, and increasingly diverse communities. It is also a region known for having the highest rates of chronic housing need in Canada. Across the North, where more than half the population is Inuit (including Inuvialuit), First Nations (including Innu), or Métis, there is chronic housing need (lack of affordability, inadequacy, unsuitability, unavailability) and lower rates of home ownership than in the southern provinces. The 2006 census found home ownership in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories to be 22.7 and 52.9 per cent, respectively, compared to 71 per cent in Ontario or 73 per cent in Alberta. In most small, northern communities in Canada, social housing is the main, if not only, option, with very few opportunities for home ownership. Limited opportunities for home ownership are compounded by the high rates of unemployment in many small, northern settlements.