Resilient, Strong and Indigenous

By Bronte Phillips

Changing their last names after marriage and sharing their bodies with their unborn children are two ways in which many women and mothers have given up pieces of themselves. First Nations women and mothers in Canada are no exception and no strangers to loss. Starting in 1851 and for the next 116 years, women lost their entire identity through the loss of their status due to the patrilineal Indian Act. Under section 12, the legislation stated that; “any Indian woman who married a non-Indian man would cease to be an Indian anymore.” In losing their status, Indian women also lost; treaty benefits, health benefits, the right to inherit family property, the right to live on a reserve, and lastly, the right to a burial near family on a reserve.

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14 Facts You May Not Know About Contributions of Indigenous Veterans

Did you know November 8 is Indigenous Veterans Day? If you are new to the knowledge of the significant contributions of Indigenous veterans during the First and Second World Wars, and the Korean War, here are some facts to pique your interest and build your knowledge.

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National Day of Truth & Reconciliation, September 30

Orange is the New Symbol of Truth & Reconciliation

The recent discoveries of 215 unmarked graves at a former Residential School near Kamloops, British Columbia and subsequent discoveries at other Residential Schools have brought the issue of Truth and Reconciliation sharply back into focus. While most Canadians were made aware of the excesses and degradations visited upon Indigenous children through such announcements as Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Statement of Apology in 2008, the Idle No More movement, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission with its 94 calls to action, few non-Indigenous people knew just how horrendous these “schools” were.

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Hereditary Chiefs vs. Elected Chiefs: What’s the difference (and why it’s important)

The Wetʼsuwetʼen protests in 2019 and 2020 were widely reported on and sparked public interest around one of many misconceptions of Hereditary Chiefs and Elected Chiefs, and what differences they have in an Indigenous community. When the elected chiefs voted TransCanada, now known as TC Energy, to allow Coastal GasLink to begin construction through their territory, the resulting reactions from the traditional hereditary chiefs, an Indigenous governance that pre-dates colonialism pushed back the project, causing costly delays for the company. 

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What is the Moccasin Identifier?

Guest contributor: Moccasin Identifier Team

Initiated, designed, and led by Carolyn King and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, the Moccasin Identifier is a teaching tool and public awareness-building program for Treaty relationships between Indigenous and Non- Indigenous Canadians.

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Indigenous War Heroes - More Than a Few Good Men

When we think of Aboriginal war heroes Tommy George Prince immediately and justifiably jumps to mind. But, there are many other Indigenous heroes who fought on the front lines of every major battle Canada has been involved in.

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Reconciling Thanksgiving

 

 “. . . Reconciliation is about establishing and maintaining a mutually respectful relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in this country. In order for that to happen, there has to be awareness of the past, an acknowledgement of the harm that has been inflicted, atonement for the causes, and action to change behaviour.” [1]

This article is intended to bring awareness to the past and provide “some food for thought” about the Thanksgiving narrative many of us have been raised to believe. 

Note: In this article, we use the term “tribes” as that is the terminology used in the United States.

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The Red Paper: A Counter-Punch to the White Paper

There have been watershed moments in the history of Canada in which Indigenous leaders, outside of the courts, have stood up for their rights to the federal government and actually forced a change in policy direction. We’ve written about a couple of them in our blog Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples®

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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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A Brief Timeline of the History of Indigenous Relations in Canada

National Indigenous Peoples History Month is a time to acknowledge the history of Indigenous relations and Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Reconciliation, in part, means learning about the past in order to understand the present, and with that understanding, contribute to creating a better future for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada. 

On the dedication page for 21 Things You May Not Know About The Indian Act Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples A Reality, I quote former Governor General Michaëlle Jean at the relaunch of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada:

When the present does not recognize the wrongs of the past, the future takes its revenge. For that reason, we must never, never turn away from the opportunity of confronting history together - the opportunity to right a historical wrong.”

Prior to 2015, when the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada published its final report and 94 calls to action, much of the history of the Crown-Indigenous relations was not taught in schools so simply was unknown to a vast percentage of the population. “I just didn’t know” is a common refrain when the topics of residential schools or the sixties scoop or the relocation of Inuit come up.

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