In the wake of the Vancouver motion, municipalities across the country now have a clear path laid out before them: building relationships and engaging respectfully leads towards reconciliation. But, Reimer cautions, there's a lot of groundwork to be done first. "I wouldn't have my opening salvo be a motion recognizing unceded territory. I think you'd want to have some process that led up to it.
I understand that PETA brings in about $30 million annually, the Humane Society of the U.S. collects more than $100 million and their executives make six-figure salaries. They and other groups like the International Fund for Animal Welfare are clamouring for this easy target. Who could blame them? After all, it is good money in a competitive charitable market.
Nations have a narrative that explains their culture, their common shared experiences, beliefs, rituals, symbols and stories. Now the Palestinian people want a defined border for their nation. But, in my opinion, they don't seem to have a story, a narrative specific to them. They have been seconding the stories of others in an attempt to make one of their own.
If I were to make a PSA about the difference between mainstream schools and northern Aboriginal schools, I would start with a shot of a classroom in the Ontario's south. I'm in a classroom in the Orangeville, Ontario area. I show them pictures, a bit of video, and talk about our students in Canada's Aboriginal Communities. I tell them to imagine the classroom they're in is actually in the north. They're drinking bottled water or their parents are boiling it for five minutes for safety. Their food is three to five times as expensive as in the south. They realize that, in the short time they've been on this planet, they have had so much.
Canada's taxpayers have been increasingly generous to Aboriginal Canadians over the decades, but that reality is not often the narrative one hears from selected First Nations leaders. Instead, the oft-stated opinion is that taxpayers should ante up ever more. A quick look at the numbers shows us why that view will always be tragically misinformed.
Last year the Conservative government spent more fighting Indigenous people in the courts than it spent going after tax frauds. From First Nations' child welfare to resource development, the government's response has been "see you in court." Who knew in 2011, when a government document listed Indigenous peoples as "adversaries" in terms of resource development, that this attitude would permeate every aspect of the Conservatives' approach when dealing with Aboriginal people? Prime Minister Harper's decision to abandon consultation and negotiation to drag Aboriginal issues through the courts is failing, costly, time consuming and undermines the honour of the Crown.
Mrs. Maryon Pearson, famously witty wife of Canada's 14th Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Lester B. Pearson, once said: "Behind every successful man, stands a surprised woman." Mrs. Pearson disliked politics and the demands public service placed on her husband and family. I wish she could have met my wife.
Christy Clark has weighed into Quebec's not-yet-debated, not-yet-modified, not-yet-voted, not-yet-implemented or enforced charter. B.C. has come a long way from the 1907 race riots. Many are proud of B.C.'s rich diversity, but there is still work to do. There have been sporadic deplorable acts of intolerance in B.C. during the Premier's tenure. Curiously, she wasn't compelled to comment on issues occurring in her own province: Indigenous slurs, neo-Nazi enclaves, racial profiling...
In January, the Morris Mirror ran an editorial by the community paper's editor-in-chief Reed Turcotte, that likened First Nations to terrorists and decried our "corruption and laziness." Not to be outdone, 80-something Nanaimo resident Don Olsen submitted a letter to the editor in March, detailing our supposed total lack of achievements and inability to survive in a modern world.
In the end, an author was able to provide a simple and feasible solution to all of the issues facing my people; "Wai-Wah!" in his west coast Tsimshian native language roughly means "just do it" and may sound like a Nike slogan. What Helin believes has been crippling the Aboriginal Community for 150 years is dependence on government programs and services.
Many companies are realizing the benefits of partnering with First Nations, especially in the resource sector, and are developing Aboriginal Engagement strategies. Most are new to this process and don't know how to begin engaging with First Nations. Here is a simple five-step process that has been used successfully by many Canadian companies, governments and NGO's.
"Otesha" means "reason to dream" in Swahili -- a word chosen by founders Jocelyn Land-Murphy and Jessica Lax after meeting in Kenya. After 10 years and dozens of tours, this is Otesha's first "nation-to-nation" tour,in collaboration with the ecumenical justice group KAIROS, to nurture the connection between aboriginal peoples and non-aboriginal Canadians.
Many Canadians hold the misconception that First Nations are against any form of development or resource extraction within their traditional territories. But the simple truth of the matter is that First Nations are very cognizant of the bigger picture and forward thinking in terms of sustainable development.
Some fifteen years ago, at a Peace Gathering, an elder shared a prophecy. A baby boy would be born in a teepee on a buffalo robe, his birth signalling that now is the time to act. Last Thursday, on the eve of the 4th Annual Healing Walk in Fort McMurray, Alberta, a young woman went into labour. Her contractions came closer together. Grandmothers and mothers gathered to pray. And, at the stroke of midnight, inside a teepee, a healthy boy was born on a buffalo robe.
When Elijah Harper passed away on May 17, 2013 I felt as though an arrow had pierced my heart. The man who inspired me to become what I am today was dead. In my childhood, there was only one Elijah Harper. Today, because he inspired an entire generation of First Nations youth, there are thousands of us.
In 1990 when Quebec Mohawks were protesting plans by the community of Oka to build a golf course on traditional Mohawk burial grounds, a Canadian soldier thrust his bayonet into the chest of Mohawk teenager named Waneek Horn-Miller, nearly killing her. In the years that followed, Horn-Miller used sports to help overcome her trauma and anger.