Aboriginal communities are increasingly advocating interest-based negotiations as a critical tool in processes designed to reconcile differences and achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. Seven core concepts are critical to effective interest-based negotiations including relationships, communication, interests, options, legitimacy, alternatives and commitment.
It's not easy being Leonardo DiCaprio. While preaching that fossil fuel use is triggering a global climate catastrophe, Leo hops around the world on fuel-guzzling private jets. "If we do not act together, we will surely perish," he tells the United Nations. I'll say it again: Leo has a hard time aligning his message with his actions.
Despite recent headlines, Canadian rates of suicide and attempted suicide have remained largely unchanged over the last several decades. What has changed is that we've seen increasing rates of suicide in the Canadian military recently, after stable rates for decades. The problem of suicide is not limited to the military in Canada; indigenous populations, especially in northern remote communities, have high rates of suicide. We need a unified approach across provincial and federal sectors to reduce suicides in the military, among veterans and civilians.
Indigenous leaders today are faced with the daunting task of balancing the socio-economic needs and priorities of their people with the finite resources passed on from government and their own source revenues. So, what is the answer to closing these socio-economic gaps and creating a more promising future?
Getting food into Pikangikum has a sense of urgency, as there is a narrow window of time when the RFDA is able to safely deliver food to the community before the winter freeze sets in. Both the Health Centre and School Meal Program are desperately in need of food, and cannot wait an additional two months until the ice roads fully form.
In a world where a two-way exchange between government and citizen is the goal, it's encouraging when we see it actually happening. Since September, there have been a number of calls for insights from citizens. The end goal is to create the first ever comprehensive culture strategy for the province of Ontario.
What happens to kids who authorities determine can't live safely with their own parents or caregivers? Thousands of Canadian children are in this situation right now. Many go into foster homes, while others go into other types of out-of-home care on behalf of child welfare agencies. But we don't know how many, nor do we know how well they are doing.
The election of Justin Trudeau has been variously described as historic. And it was. Another less talked about historic moment was the election of 10 First Nations MPs. Add to this that a record-breaking 54 Aboriginal candidates put their names forward during the election. Each of these candidates ran in one of the 51 swing ridings identified by Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Chief Perry Bellegarde. Bellegrade was blunt and clear that the Aboriginal vote could make a difference between a majority and minority government.
While some political parties are more responsible for instances of blatant racism than others, no political party has committed to action on combating racism in Canada. Aboriginal and racialized realities of being heavily surveilled, unfairly carded in the streets, and higher rates of violence remain fringe issues.
The Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act sets high standards but without the adequate funding, leaves communities without the necessary tools to meet those standards. Despite repeated pledges from the federal government to ensure clean drinking water, there are routinely more than 100 water advisories in effect in First Nation communities, with some living under advisories for up to 20 years.
The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs called for the dismantling of the current child welfare system and the development of a completely new system. While this idea may seem radical, child welfare as it exists now in Manitoba is failing our children and our families, particularly our Indigenous children and families. What if we separated prevention and care services so that they are not delivered by the same agencies? This would encourage families in need to seek support services without worrying that admitting their challenges will result in their children being taken away from them.
I recently attended a mental health first aid course in order to further educate myself on the various mental illness disorders, the consequences of their severity and their overall prevalence in the population -- My eyes were opened to an entire population of our Canadian people whose rate of suicide was too horrifying to further ignore. As statistics related to aboriginal suicides were listed, I realized that this war being waged against the stigma of mental illness is but one of the many battles that will need to be addressed honestly in order to understand the magnitude of the affliction our mentally ill population is facing. As communities of aboriginals are fighting an invisible disease, society can dismiss the reality of the stigma by citing drugs and alcohol as the weak link in this people's history.