Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples ©

Let this blog be your guide

A Brief Look at Indian Hospitals in Canada

We would like to acknowledge that this article was framed from the research and writing of authors Maureen Lux (Separate Beds A History of Indian Hospitals in Canada, 1920s - 1980s) and Gary Geddes (Medicine Unbundled A Journey Through the Minefields of Indigenous Health Care).

In this article we use “Indian” as that was the term used at the time. For information on appropriate terminology, download our free ebook “Indigenous Peoples: A Guide to Terminology.

Read More

Topics: Indian Act, Aboriginal Health

11 Challenges for Indigenous Businesses

All entrepreneurs face some challenges but not all entrepreneurs face the same challenges. Indigenous entrepreneurs face some challenges that those in the mainstream business sector do not, and the challenges faced by Indigenous entrepreneurs differ again, depending on factors that are unique to Indigenous entrepreneurs. For example, an entrepreneur setting up a business on-reserve may be impacted by the degree of remoteness and size of community whereas an Indigenous entrepreneur in an urban setting may be impacted by the absence of home community support. In this article we take a look at both business and social challenges for Indigenous businesses. 

Read More

Topics: Indigenous economic development

Indigenous Racial Profiling by Retailers

Recently, in the media, there has been discussion of racial profiling of Indigenous and other consumers. In this article we talk about the profiling of Indigenous consumers by retailers and provide hints and tips for retailers should they feel their organization practices Indigenous racial profiling.

Read More

Topics: Indigenous relations

4 Phases of Indigenous Engagement

Indigenous engagement for your proposed project is so much more than 'getting to yes.'  Your organization needs to understand that the goals of engagement are to respect the community’s Aboriginal rights and treaty rights, understand the community, respect issues they may have with the project, and provide capacity funding, if needed, so that the community can process the reports and make informed decisions about the project.

Read More

Topics: Indigenous Engagement

What You Need To Know About Indigenous Language Revitalization

Guest contributors:

Amanda Pereira & Jillian Morgan, wintranslation


Indigenous languages are struggling to survive. With the number of Indigenous language speakers on the decline, some of these languages are on the verge of completely disappearing. Many of Canada’s Indigenous languages, such as Oneida, Cayuga, and Seneca, are estimated to have less than one hundred speakers. But, due to an increasing awareness of Indigenous people and the importance of their culture and language in Canada, Indigenous language revitalization efforts are being made to keep these languages alive.

Read More

Topics: Reconciliation, Indigenous Awareness

The Impact of Smallpox on First Nations on the West Coast


“The Bostonian Robert Kemp, on the brig Otter just north of the Queen Charlotte Islands in December 1810, reported that "the Natives are all infected with the Land Scurvy which Renders them Completely Incapable of Hunting[.] this Coast is as Silent and Solitary as the House of death and I wish that I was Clear from it." [1]

Throughout the Americas, Indigenous contact with Europeans was soon followed with drastic declines in Indigenous populations. With no natural immunity to diseases introduced by the Europeans, Indigenous Peoples were decimated by waves of epidemics of smallpox, tuberculosis, scarlet fever, influenza and measles. [2] The smallpox virus, which came not so much as waves but as tsunamis, decimated the coastal First Nation population not once, but at least twice. Smallpox devastated Indigenous populations in other regions of the country as well but here we focus on the impact of smallpox on First Nations on the West coast.

Read More

Topics: Aboriginal History

A Tribute to the late Chief Beau Dick

Chief Beau Dick, or Gigame’ ‘Walas Gwa’yam, was born on November 23, 1955  and passed away, far too soon, on March 27, 2017.

He was a world renowned Indigenous artist and Indigenous rights advocate who made significant contributions to family, friends, community, and the culture of the Kwakwaka’wakw. His contributions were immeasurable, his reputation immense, his humility legendary.

Read More

Topics: Famous Aboriginal People

Why Canada Needs Indigenous Economic Reconciliation


"Trade and specialization were common to First Nations in Canada and throughout the Americas in the pre- and early contact periods. Moreover, public infrastructure, standards, mediums of exchange, and property rights to support markets were also common before contact. Pre- and early contact First Nations in Canada had all six market characteristics required to promote economic growth.


This conclusion should not be surprising as the history of Canada is one of First Nation trade with Europeans. What would have been the history of Canada if the Hurons had not traded canoes to the eventual voyageurs? It has been argued by Harold Innis that the fur trade created Canada. The stories of initial First Nation contact with Europeans are almost entirely a result of trade and markets." [1]


Read More

Topics: Indigenous economic development

Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples™ Blog Passes 1 Millionth Visitor


I am delighted to announce that our blog, Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples™, surpassed the 1 millionth visitor milestone in mid-March. I started the blog in 2011 as a free resource for people seeking information about Indigenous Peoples. It spluttered along for a couple of years slowly gaining traction. Our biggest month was 7,000 visitors. I wanted to reach a greater audience so moved to a platform called Hubspot, and that is when the blog really took off. We now have an average of 60,000 visitors a month which is quite a leap from our earlier efforts.

Read More

Topics: Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Awareness

A Brief Definition of Decolonization and Indigenization


Decolonization once viewed as the formal process of handing over the instruments of government, is now recognized as a long-term process involving the bureaucratic, cultural, linguistic and psychological divesting of colonial power [1] 



Make indigenous; subject to native influence [2]


 cultural assimilation-128432-edited.jpg


Ever since the release in 2015 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s summary report on residential schools there has been an awakening on the part of non-Indigenous Canadians to the harsh realities of the Indigenous experience in Canada. The Commission’s 94 calls-to-action (CTAs) have ignited organizations and institutions to examine their operations and identify ways to answer and implement applicable CTAs. These actions and initiatives often lead to discussions on a broader context about decolonization and indigenization. But, what do those terms mean? This article provides a very basic explanation of a very complex topic.

Read More

Topics: Indigenous Awareness