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Articles on First Nations

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Orange flags fly representing children who died while attending Indian residential schools in Canada, at Major’s Hill Park in Ottawa, on July 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

When ‘good intentions’ don’t matter: The Indian Residential School system

Variations on the myth of “good intentions” are invoked as a tool against the truth that the legacy of the IRS tells. Here’s why that needs to stop.
A man hangs a protest banner where the Egerton Ryerson statue used to sit at Ryerson University. The statue was toppled in June by those protesting the discovery of graves at Indian Residential Schools. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Suburban monumentalism: How do we change Indigenous-settler relations when there are no statues to destroy?

The suburban-built environment whitewashes the violence and theft on which Canada is built.
Margot King, age four, touches an orange flag, representing children who died at Indian Residential Schools in Canada, placed in the grass at Major’s Hill Park in Ottawa, on July 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Honour those found at residential schools by respecting the human rights of First Nations children today

Canadians who wish to pay tribute to the children who died at Indian Residential Schools should demand the government stop fighting First Nations children in court.
Protesters wave a flag at Parliament Hill in Ottawa at a “Cancel Canada Day” protest in response to the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves at Indian Residential Schools. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle

Indian Residential School tragic discoveries see calls for action, but words can make a difference too

People often decry words and call for action after tragic events. But words are action and they’re fundamental to Canadian democracy.
Chief commissioner Marion Buller and commissioners Brian Eyolfson, Qajaq Robinson and Michele Audette prepare the final report to give to the government at the closing ceremony for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Two years after the MMIWG report, targeted work must move urgently ahead

The MMIWG Inquiry two years later: What’s changed and what still needs to be done?
Two young children sit next to shoes left in front of a statue of Egerton Ryerson, who was instrumental in the design and implementation of the Indian Residential School System. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Indigenous lawyer: Investigate discovery of 215 children’s graves in Kamloops as a crime against humanity

An Indigenous lawyer makes the case that what happened to Indigenous children who went to residential schools is genocide and the case should be tried by the International Criminal Court.
People embrace in front of the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill at a memorial for the 215 children whose remains were found at the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

As an Indigenous doctor, I see the legacy of residential schools and ongoing racism in today’s health care

A commitment to eliminating racism must be reflected in accountability mechanisms that focus on the impacts of coordinated and consistent anti-racist action.
People across Canada, including this scene in Edmonton, have left shoes and candles at public displays in recognition of the discovery of children’s remains at the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

No longer ‘the disappeared’: Mourning the 215 children found in graves at Kamloops Indian Residential School

Ground-penetrating radar located the remains of 215 First Nations children in a mass unmarked grave, revealing a macabre part of Canada’s hidden history.
A voter waits to enter a polling area to cast his ballot for Assembly of First Nations National Chief on July 25, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Indigenous communities should be able to choose online voting, especially during COVID-19: Report

The federal government needs to amend the necessary regulations of the Indian Act and First Nations Elections Act to allow First Nations to choose their own voting methods.
A boy sits on a bridge over a man-made channel in the First Nation of Shoal Lake 40, straddling the Manitoba/Ontario border, in June 2015. Until recently, a boil-water advisory had been in place in the community for more than 20 years despite its relative close proximity to Winnipeg. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Tip of the iceberg: The true state of drinking water advisories in First Nations

The federal government’s announcement that boil-water advisories on First Nations won’t end until 2023 at the earliest isn’t surprising. The true crisis is much greater than widely known.
Tjapukai Shaw, the Air Force’s Indigenous liaison officer, on an outreach mission to Indigenous communities in a remote part of NSW in 2019. DAN HIMBRECHTS/AAP

With Dutton in defence, the Morrison government risks progress on climate and Indigenous affairs

These issues matter to our strategic allies, particularly in the Pacific. Dutton’s climate change scepticism and attitudes toward First Nations people could have a damaging effect.
Clayoquot Sound, part of the Tla-o-qui-aht territory, has been the site of numerous protests against logging the forest. Meares Island was declared a Tribal Park in 1984. (Shutterstock)

Respect for Indigenous knowledge must lead nature conservation efforts in Canada

To combat the biodiversity crisis, we need to fundamentally shift our economy and society and make nature conservation the norm.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gives Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland the thumbs up after she delivered the federal budget in the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Federal budget 2021: $18 billion is a step towards closing gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities

Budget 2021 includes significant investment in Indigenous communities. Moving forward, post-pandemic recovery and future budgets need to address systemic inequalities.
Students of the Metlakatla Indian Residential School, B.C. (William James Topley. Library and Archives Canada, C-015037)

Residential school survivors’ stories and experiences must be remembered as class action settlement finishes

The destruction of IAP residential school records and media reports that continually emphasize compensation will ensure that if remembered, the process will be remembered through a colonial gaze.

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