8 key issues for Indigenous Peoples in Canada

Eight of the key issues that are of greatest concern for Indigenous Peoples in Canada are complex and inexorably intertwined - so much so that government, researchers, policy makers and Indigenous leaders seem hamstrung by the enormity. It is hard to isolate just one issue as being the worst. The Indian Act greatly contributes to these eight issues and more. Be sure to read this article 21 things about the Indian Act, if you want to know the intent and extent of the Act. 

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Indigenous language immersion

Indigenous languages the world over are in jeopardy. So much so that the United Nations declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages to raise awareness of the fragility of thousands of Indigenous languages and to underline the enormity of the situation.  

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3 elements for developing reconciliation strategies for businesses

"Reconciliation is not an Aboriginal problem — it is a Canadian problem. It involves all of us." Senator Murray Sinclair

If Canada is going to heal from the pain and suffering inflicted upon Indigenous Peoples through colonization then we all need to look for ways to contribute to the recovery. If you think of the Indian Act as the wound, then the 94 calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) can be thought of as the tourniquet and reconciliation strategies as salve for the scars.

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Indigenous Fire Management and Traditional Knowledge

For the last few summers news reports were dominated by coverage of raging, massive, out-of-control wildfires. The fires devastated some communities, forced others to evacuate, destroyed vast tracts of forest, fields, fauna, and disrupted livelihoods. These massive forest fires consumed phenomenal capital to fight, flee and rebuild in the aftermath.

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Resource Revenue Sharing is Not a New Idea

Canada is renowned for the wealth and diversity of its natural resources and has long relied on royalties from extractive industries to contribute to the gross domestic product.  

“Governments derived $22 billion annually on average from the natural resource sectors during 2012-2016. There are 418 major resource projects under construction or planned over the next 10 years in Canada, worth $585 billion in investment.” [1]

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Making science relevant to Indigenous students

“If only we could understand how students make sense of their natural world, we could design a science curriculum so that science makes sense to all students.“ [1]

Until relatively recently, science educators taught science from the perspective of Western science, and only Western science. Which, when taken in the context of Canadian history, is not surprising given that under the Indian Act education was the tool of assimilation policies designed to alienate Indigenous Peoples from their cultures, traditions, and identities.

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The Evolution of Indigenous Relations in the City of Kamloops

Tammy Robertson, External Relations Manager for the City of Kamloops has an ambitious goal: for the City of Kamloops to become a role model for Indigenous/municipal relations. The relationship between the City and Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc, over a short period of 18 months, has evolved from one of much uncertainty into one based on mutual trust and respect. They’ve gone from annual community-to-community forums with little outcome to working collaboratively on significant community projects and actively looking for additional opportunities to collaborate on projects.

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The Role of Indigenous Games in Culture

Agility, strength, balance, reflexes, hand-eye coordination, accuracy, strategy, intuition, patience. These are skills Indigenous hunters and fishermen relied on to feed their communities. And those skills were learned at an early age through games and maintained throughout adulthood through play.

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Why is it important to protect & revitalize Indigenous languages?

Of the most spoken languages in the world, English is the third after Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. But English is the most commonly spoken second language in the world and is the most common language used on the internet. As accessibility to the digital world expands, so too will the spread of English as a second language.

This will impact all languages but those languages already endangered will be the most severely impacted as young people become fluent in the language of the internet and not their home language; the impact will be compounded through the following generations.

 

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What is the Nation Rebuilding Program?

In January 2019, a situation arose in northern BC that brought to the public’s attention the fact that some Indigenous communities have two forms of leadership, hereditary and elected. The public also became aware that the two forms of government have different roles and responsibilities and that they may not necessarily agree.

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