Canada Aboriginal

Indigenous Women: Harper Is on the Wrong Side of History

Hon. Carolyn Bennett | Posted 03.13.2014 | Canada
Hon. Carolyn Bennett

Although the unanimous vote in the House of Commons to create the Special Committee on Violence Against Indigenous Women (the "Committee") was an excellent beginning, the report it tabled last Friday was a complete betrayal of the memory of those we have lost, the grieving family and friends left behind and those Indigenous women and girls who continue to be victimized by violence. The Prime Minister is on the wrong side of history.

Dear Harper, It's Time to Reset Your Relationship With Aboriginals

Hon. Carolyn Bennett | Posted 02.12.2014 | Canada Politics
Hon. Carolyn Bennett

Dear Prime Minister, We are writing to outline our deep and ongoing concerns with how your government has managed the relationship between the Crown and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. Two hundred and fifty years ago, the Royal Proclamation laid out how the richness of the land would be fairly shared. That hasn't happened. In other words, you need to completely rethink your approach to dealing with Aboriginal Peoples, not only because of the need for social justice and respect for their Constitutionally protected rights, but because the failure to do so will have enormous negative impacts on the Canadian economy.

Why Hitchhiking is a Risky Road for Aboriginal Women

Jared Brock | Posted 02.12.2014 | Canada Politics
Jared Brock

As my wife and I were driving home in Duncan, B.C. three years ago, we noticed a young girl hitchhiking. She was young, First Nations, and not dressed for the weather. As we stopped to pick her up, we noticed a white truck stop on the other side of the road, and two guys got out and walked towards her. We cut them off, and told her to hop in. This was just weeks after a gruesome murder. Fast-forward to last night. On our way home we noticed another young girl hitchhiking. Until people all over Canada demand better from our leaders, nothing will change, and Aboriginal girls will continue to go missing in record numbers, numbers that already concern the U.N.

Written Proof Harper Doesn't Care About Aboriginal Education

Hon. Carolyn Bennett | Posted 01.27.2014 | Canada Politics
Hon. Carolyn Bennett

We now know the Conservatives' refusal to fund First Nations students attending school on reserves at the same level as their provincial counterparts is coming straight from the top. This is not just a shocking example of Stephen Harper's anti-democratic command and control style of government, but clearly demonstrates that the Prime Minister callously refuses to provide First Nations students with the equality of opportunity they deserve.

Shining a Light on First Nations Poverty

Frank Busch | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada
Frank Busch

If you have never lived in isolation and poverty it is hard to imagine exactly what it is like. It is easy for those living a life of relative privile...

'See You In Court': An Expensive, Time-Consuming Wrong-Headed Strategy

Hon. Carolyn Bennett | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Politics
Hon. Carolyn Bennett

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.

A Brighter Future Through Indigenous Prosperity: My Talk at TEDxToronto

Gabrielle Scrimshaw | Posted 11.06.2013 | Canada Impact
Gabrielle Scrimshaw

As the first Aboriginal woman to present at TEDxToronto, I shared with the audience how the tides are shifting in the Indigenous community in ways that affect all Canadians. Listen to my talk to learn why.

Improving First Nations Education Outcomes Must Be First Nations Led

Hon. Carolyn Bennett | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Politics
Hon. Carolyn Bennett

With the start of the new Parliamentary session next week, a key part of the government's agenda is expected to be sweeping legislation dealing with First Nations' education. The Conservative government has unilaterally developed a blueprint for the legislation and is now trying to characterize a number of strictly controlled information sessions over the summer as consultation. Put simply, First Nations are about to be presented with another top-down, one-size-fits-all government solution, absent proper consultation and without the necessary resources to fix the problems. First Nations have told the government that this approach is unacceptable and will simply produce a bill that won't work.

Happy Birthday to a Woman of Honour

Hon. David C. Onley | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Politics
Hon. David C. Onley

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.

Hey NDP, Canada Is Doing Plenty to Combat Human Trafficking

Joy Smith, M.P. | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Politics
Joy Smith, M.P.

Earlier this month, NDP MP Nikki Ashton, in a post criticizing the Canadian government for its apparent lack of action on human trafficking, revealed she was shocked to learn over the summer that First Nations women were being trafficked for sex. I am hardly surprised that Ms. Ashton is oblivious to the significant work that Canada's government has done to combat human trafficking as she admitted her lack of awareness of the sex trafficking of Aboriginal women and children until just two months ago. The gaping hole in Ms. Ashton's statement is the absence of any acknowledgement of the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking that Canada developed and launched on June 6, 2012.

Taking the Long View on Aboriginal Education

Gabrielle Scrimshaw | Posted 11.24.2013 | Canada
Gabrielle Scrimshaw

In our culture, it is often said that it is easier to step where someone else has stepped before you. This rings true for career and leadership development. We need to continue to build pathways for Aboriginal people to develop and succeed in meaningful careers.

TIFF Film Review: Jeff Barnaby's "Rhymes for Young Ghouls"

Wayne K. Spear | Posted 11.12.2013 | Canada
Wayne K. Spear

2013-08-12-blog_spotlight_on_tiff_v01.jpg The story of Rhymes for Young Ghouls is well-told, well-paced and nicely poised between moments of tension and tenderness. The frames are well-lit and well composed and the music -- a good portion of which is old-school Delta blues -- perfectly complements the rawness of the film's visual character.

Why Pointing Fingers Will Not Stop Aboriginal Youth Suicide

Frank Busch | Posted 10.26.2013 | Canada
Frank Busch

The Aboriginal community is reeling from the recent suicide of an 11-year-old boy in Nunavut. And before the shock has even had a chance to wear off, the finger pointing began. Did the boy commit suicide because he was living in an isolated northern community? Did he suffer from abuse? Were mental health services not readily available? Was there not enough funding for suicide prevention programs?

5 Keys to Achieving an Aboriginal Engagement Strategy

Frank Busch | Posted 10.01.2013 | Canada Business
Frank Busch

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.

How the Trayvon Martin Tragedy Would Have Looked in Canada

Anthony Morgan | Posted 09.28.2013 | Canada
Anthony Morgan

Are race relations in Canada so much further advanced than in the US that the Trayvon Martin tragedy would never happen here? I'm not so sure. As troubling as it is to face, the Canadian version of the Zimmerman-Martin horror would actually look something like the following scenario: Zimmerman is a South-Asian or Asian male. Trayvon is an Indigenous teen girl who was simply walking to her home in one of Canada's upper-middle-class suburban neighbourhoods. She is brutalized and dumped on the side of the road afterwards. And the Canadian public doesn't bat an eye.

How I'm Working With First Nations in Ontario

Hon. David C. Onley | Posted 09.25.2013 | Canada Impact
Hon. David C. Onley

Living conditions on some reserves are now so dismal that they are routinely likened to those of the Third World. Needless to say, youth literacy and education have not thrived in this environment. Working together will not only hasten progress, but elevate the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Ontario to a new level of friendship and respect.

Did Sitting Bull Die For Canada's Sins?

Robert Waite | Posted 09.21.2013 | Canada
Robert Waite

Little Bighorn, MT -- Some say George Custer died for the White Man's sins. What I hadn't heard before was that Sitting Bull, the great Hunkpapa Lakot...

Racism Isn't Just An American Thing

Elizabeth Hawksworth | Posted 09.14.2013 | Canada
Elizabeth Hawksworth

Canadians gloss over our bloody history in order to pretend that we're better than the rest of the world, that racism isn't an issue here. It's only not an issue if you're not a person of colour. It's only not an issue if you've never had to watch your children grow up and battle their own skin colour in order to live. It's only not an issue if you're not someone like Trayvon Martin, walking in a neighbourhood where he looked suspicious because he was black.

Tips for a Great Canadian Weekend in Whistler

Adrian Brijbassi | Posted 09.09.2013 | Canada
Adrian Brijbassi

I've been to Whistler at least two dozen times and never once bombed down one of its mountains. Not on skis, or a snowboard, or a mountain bike. Am I missing out? I've never felt like it. That's because this haven for intense outdoor sports activities is also fabulous for soft-core warm-weather enjoyment, too, including golfing, hiking, zip lining, and cycling. It's a beautiful part of the world that never bores me.

The First Nations Leader Who Inspired a Generation

Frank Busch | Posted 09.04.2013 | Canada Impact
Frank Busch

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.

Where Child Poverty Thrives

Megan Yarema | Posted 08.21.2013 | Canada Politics
Megan Yarema

While the federal government adjourns for summer break, they would be hardpressed to ignore headlines this week about their failure to ensure Indigenous peoples in Canada are thriving. A report released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Save the Children illuminates a stark reality for status First Nations populations: 50% of children are living in poverty. This came after a second report by the Canadian Human Rights Commission outlined how far behind Aboriginal populations are in regards to income and employment. All in all, the picture is bleak.

The Right Aboriginal Women Desperately Need

Joy Smith, M.P. | Posted 07.15.2013 | Canada Politics
Joy Smith, M.P.

For 25 years, Aboriginal women on reserves have been without the legal protections that are available to all other Canadians. When a relationship breaks down a husband can ban his spouse from the home, sell the house, and even keep all the money, without consent of the woman. The Government of Canada has introduced Bill S-2, Matrimonial Property Rights Legislation.

This Party Scores Dead Last in Diversity

Rachel Décoste | Posted 07.10.2013 | Canada Politics
Rachel Décoste

Statistics Canada has finally released its 2011 pseudo-long form census data. Of the 29 visible minority MPs, half of them are in the NDP. The Conservative Party is a close second, which is a testament to the inroads the party has made to court the so-called "ethnic vote." The Liberal Party, self-styled "inventors" of multiculturalism, is dead last in diversity as the caucus stands today. As the third-place Liberals renew and rebuild, they might be wise to emulate the nation's demographic self-portait.

Why Are There So Many Stillborn Babies Among First Nations?

CP | Benjamin Shingler, The Canadian Press | Posted 04.21.2013 | Canada Impact

MONTREAL - A new study has detected significantly higher stillbirth rates in aboriginal populations than in non-aboriginal ones in Quebec, especially ...

For Aboriginals, Life Is Better Off-Reserve

Mark Milke | Posted 03.23.2013 | Canada Politics
Mark Milke

With all the attention paid to the Idle No More movement and the off-again on-again talks between some native chiefs and the Prime Minister, one basic fact about boriginal life in Canada has been forgotten: Most aboriginals do not live on reserve and seem to be better for it. In 2006, on-reserve Indians had a median income of $29,014. In contrast, off-reserve Indians had a median income of $37,477. In other words, First Nations people/Indians who live off-reserve have a median income that is almost $8,500 higher than their counterparts on-reserve.