Reconciliation Isn’t Dead. Here are 94 Reasons Why

This year, 2020, has seen some difficult moments in Indigenous relations in this country. But, I don’t think it has been so dire that reconciliation can be deemed dead, as some naysayers are declaring. Do they have the right to make that declaration? What is to be gained by declaring reconciliation dead? Why would anyone want to give up at this point? What is there to gain from giving up? And those who make this declaration, do they have an alternative option? Something better that is going to effectively change the status quo faster?  

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Back to School Then and Now

This article includes a video of a conversation I had with my father  Chief Robert Joseph O.C, O.B.C, about his first day at residential school and how he felt when he took his children to school. 

The return to school in September fills some with great glee and others with a pit of dread in their stomach. This year, under the shadow of COVID-19, teachers, parents, and caregivers, alike share a common theme of deep concern and anxiety about how safety measures of physical distancing can be managed in classrooms, during recess and lunch breaks, and during sports activities in order to protect the students. 

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The Day I Met Joe Gosnell

First and foremost, on behalf of myself and my father, Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, O.B.C., O.C, I want to give my condolences to the Gosnell family and the Nisga’a Nation for the loss of a great leader, Mr. Joe Gosnell. We would like to express our gratitude and admiration for the work that he did. We believe that the nation was better because Joe was here. 

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ABC of Indigenous Awareness

We have over 700 articles on our blog so decided to see if we could put the blog to the test of having an article that applied to every letter of the alphabet. Well, with a wee bit of leniency, at the very least, we have articles that apply in some way from A to Z. We really struggled with the "x" and "z".

Here are our ABCs of Indigenous Awareness:

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The Impact Of COVID-19 On Indigenous Cultural Continuity

The COVID-19 pandemic could be the single greatest threat in this generation to the continuity of Indigenous cultures and preservation of languages. The danger of infection has put on hold countless cultural activities and collective ceremonies around the world. Indigenous peoples in both urban and rural locals account today for over 476 million individuals spread across 90 countries, accounting for 6.2% of the global population, according to the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. “Indigenous communities are nearly three times as likely to be living in extreme poverty, and thus more prone to infectious diseases. Many indigenous communities are already suffering from malnutrition and immune-suppressive conditions, which can increase susceptibility to infectious diseases.” [1]  Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

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Celebrate 21 Indigenous Athletes for National Indigenous Peoples Day

Indigenous athletes often face tremendous difficulties beyond the rigours of training for their sport. They are frequently from geographically and economically challenged home communities which means access to elite training facilities and resources for training and travelling for training can be limited. During national and international competitions, they can be subjected to institutionalized racism and stereotyping. 

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What is the Seventh Generation Principle?

The Seventh Generation Principle is based on an ancient Haudenosaunee (Iroquois)* philosophy that the decisions we make today should result in a sustainable world seven generations into the future. This extremely prescient philosophy is currently somewhat overused as a “green” marketing ploy to sell everything from dish soap to cars.

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Indigenous Peoples and COVID-19

We are in uncharted waters these days as countries around the world scramble to respond to the COVIE-19 pandemic. While we are all at risk and all have a role in helping minimize the spread of this virus, some are at heightened risk, due to age, underlying health, geographic locations, or a combination of all those factors. 

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Myth: Indigenous cultures were primitive at time of contact

A widely held belief about Indigenous Peoples is that they were primitive cultures living in primitive conditions at the time of the arrival of Christopher Columbus (1492). 

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Commercial Racial Profiling and Indigenous Peoples

As an Indigenous relations trainer, I strive to maintain a positive attitude that we are making progress on reconciliation. There are setbacks but I firmly believe we must stay the course and build on what we’ve accomplished so far, especially since the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report and calls to action in 2015, many of which included calls for skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.

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