The definition of “myth”, according to the Oxford Canadian Dictionary, is “a widely held but false notion.” When it comes to the topic of Indigenous Peoples there are many widely held but false notions or myths.Read More
It has been over three years (June 2, 2015) now since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada released its summary report and 94 calls to action for reconciliation. Testimony gathered during a six-year period from over 7,000 survivors of the residential school system, forms the basis of the report.The calls to action (CTAs) targeted key institutionsincluding child welfare, health, justice, education, and business.Read More
The severity and impact of forest fires dominate the headlines every summer. In 2016, the Fort McMurray, Alberta, wildfire invoked the largest mass evacuation in Canadian history, with nearly 90,000 people forced from their homes. Many of the evacuees were Indigenous from urban areas and reserves.Read More
We all belong to some form of culture and identify with that culture in varying degrees. Our understanding of our own cultural identity begins at birth and is developed by the environment in which we grow up. It may be a loose affiliation or the guide that directs our daily activities. Whatever the connection, our cultural identity provides a sense of belonging.
There’s lots of lore and misconceptions about First Nation totem poles. In this article we address six of the more common misconceptions.Read More
Indigenous people account for less than five percent of the Canadian population, yet represent 25 per cent of the total inmate population. Canada is not alone, however, in having over representation of Indigenous inmates. In Australia and New Zealand the rate of incarceration of Indigenous people is also disproportionately high.Read More
Canada has a complicated history with the totem pole. Totems have been misunderstood, coveted, stolen, quashed, copied, and celebrated.
The first recorded mention of a pole, which was a house pole, was on Langara Island in the Haida village of Dadans, c.1790, by John Bartlett, who wrote:
“We went ashore where one of their winter houses stood. The entrance was cut out of a large tree and carved all the way up and down. The door was made like a man's head and the passage the house was between his teeth and was built before they knew the use of iron."
In Canada, access to clean drinking water is considered a given. A given, I suspect, that is frequently taken for granted by those who enjoy clean drinking water at the twist of the tap. For thousands of Indigenous Peoples, clean water at the twist of tap is an elusive dream. Entire generations in some communities have grown up under various degrees of drinking water advisories (DWA). The Neskantaga First Nation, with a population of about 240, in northern Ontario has had a DWA in place since 1996. That means one full generation has grown up under a DWA and a second generation is now growing up having never turned on the tap for a glass of water.Read More
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