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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Frank Calder The Man who Moved the Mountain

This is another installment in our series on the people behind the transformational court cases that affect Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Please visit Delbert Guerin Defender of the Musqueam Nation and Delgamuukw and Gisday’way to learn about the men behind those court cases.

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The Choctaw and the Irish Have an Enduring Bond of Gratitude

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many stories have emerged about the amazing selflessness of the front line workers, about patients who against all odds survive the ordeal, about artists in numerous genres sharing their art to buoy up the spirits of those quarantined, about neighbours helping neighbours, and about strangers helping strangers. These are stories about sacrifice, strength, courage, kindness of heart, and generosity of spirit. 

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Dr Bonnie Henry, Elders, Reconciliation, and COVID-19

When Dr Bonnie Henry announced the death of an Elder from Alert Bay, I was struck by her compassion, her understanding of the enormity of the immediate and long term loss to the Elder’s family and her community, the loss to the greater society, and the deep emotion in her voice. 

"Included in the deaths in the last 24 hours, is our first death in one of B.C.’s First Nations communities. Along with the many lives we have lost to COVID-19, this is a tragedy that’s beyond just us. This is a tragedy for all of us. Our Elders, in particular, in our First Nations communities are culture and history keepers.

When they become ill and when they die, we all lose and I want you to know that we feel that collective loss today. My thoughts are with her family and her entire community as I recognize the tragic impact this has on all of them.

It is particularly a challenging time to not be able to come together physically, in the normal way that we would, to respect the customs that we have in communities at this time and my condolences and my heart goes out to this community and to the family.” 

You can listen to Dr Henry by clicking this link; her above comments are in the first 100 seconds. 

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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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Indigenous Title and The Doctrine of Discovery

Indigenous Peoples believe they have held title to their traditional lands or territories from the moment their Creators placed them on that land (time immemorial) and bestowed them with the responsibility to care for it……...forever. But then European explorers arrived, planted flags, and laid claim to all they saw. How was that possible?

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Indigenous culturally modified trees

 

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National Indigenous Peoples Day: 10 ways to celebrate

Every June 21st, thousands of Indigenous Peoples celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day (NIPD). This is a special day to acknowledge the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada. Joining in the celebrations is a wonderful way to learn more about Indigenous Peoples and cultures in your area.

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