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Articles on First Nations

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AFN Regional Chief Cindy Woodhouse and Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu listen to Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller as he responds to a question during a news conference on Jan. 4, 2022, in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

As a lawyer who’s helped fight for the rights of First Nations children, here’s what you need to know about the $40B child welfare agreements

In the next year, public support will be needed more than ever to ensure that the spirit of the agreement is respected and translated into meaningful change for First Nations children.
Canadian Taxpayers Federation former Federal Director Aaron Wudrick announces the winners of the 18th annual Teddy Waste Awards during a news conference on Parliament Hill in 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s politics are anti-Indigenous — so why do media outlets still quote them?

When the media consults the CTF, it demonstrates contemporary hostility towards Indigenous nations. Viewing the CTF’s advocacy as a whole demonstrates their orientation very clearly.
Grey Owl was an original ‘pretendian,’ portraying himself as the the son of a Scottish man and Apache woman after moving to Canada in the early 1900s. (Canadian National Railways/Library and Archives Canada, e010861684)

Fraudulent claims of indigeneity: Indigenous nations are the identity experts

Those quick to call-out are often not clamouring for Indigenous nations’ jurisdiction over citizenship, nor are they demanding “pretendians” be held accountable to Indigenous nations.
New Brunswick Aboriginal Affairs Minister Arlene Dunn and Premier Blaine Higgs speak with the media as part of National Indigenous Peoples Day in Fredericton on June 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Stephen MacGillivray

New Brunswick ban on land acknowledgements is a death blow to nation-to-nation relationships

If senior ministers of the Crown in New Brunswick responsible for Indigenous relations cannot accept or acknowledge Indigenous sovereignty, then surely nation-to-nation must be dead.
In this episode, two Indigenous scientists offer a different theory of pollution — one that includes colonialism at its root. This understanding may help us make a better future. Here, logging activities in Australia. Matt Palmer/Unsplash

Why pollution is as much about colonialism as chemicals — Don’t Call Me Resilient transcript EP 11

Colonialism is manifested by the way pollution impacts the lives of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Two Indigenous environmental scientists discuss how they’ve overcome obstacles in their research.
For some Indigenous people, participating in Canadian elections continues the legitimacy of the Canadian state. (Shutterstock)

A vote for Canada or Indigenous Nationhood? The complexities of First Nations, Métis and Inuit participation in Canadian politics

Indigenous people who vote are reminding Canada of the nation-to-nation relationships that continue to exist and to bring change from within the very structure that has been used to erase them.
Jesse Popp is an Indigenous scholar who is regularly inundated with requests for input and assistance. Here she shares a few things you should consider before reaching out to an Indigenous scholar. (Jesse Popp)

Want to reach out to an Indigenous scholar? Awesome! But first, here are 10 things to consider

As people recognize the value in weaving together knowledge systems and move towards reconciliation, Indigenous Peoples are being increasingly approached.
Rally participants hold up signs and wear orange shirts as they march in support of residential school survivors and the families of missing and murdered Indigenous children in Winnipeg on. July 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Sudoma

Ignore debaters and denialists, Canada’s treatment of Indigenous Peoples fits the definition of genocide

A better understanding of what most genocide scholars believe can help people understand how Canada’s Indian Residential School system fits with the definition of genocide.
At the beginning of the 12-day celebration of life ceremony, Elder Wendy Phillips performs a smudge. (Josh Lyon)

Who decides what’s essential? The importance of Indigenous ceremony during COVID-19

Was participating in ceremony despite pandemic restrictions an act of Indigenous resistance and resurgence and did it reflect reassertion of nationhood and self-determination?
A man from Skuppah Indian Band rides off on his motorcycle after stopping to watch a wildfire burn on the side of a mountain in Lytton, B.C., in July 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Why we must address the colonial dimension of climate migration

While climate migration may be on the rise in Canada, it has been disproportionately impacting Indigenous people and communities for years.
Queen’s University professor Celeste Pedri-Spade says a basic first question to determine identity is: ‘Who is your grandmother?“ Here a group of Métis children and two women sitting on a large rock, Fort Chipewyan, Alberta, 1931. H. S. Spence, Canada. Department of Mines and Technical Surveys. Library and Archives Canada, PA-014406 /

Stolen identities: What does it mean to be Indigenous? Don’t Call Me Resilient Podcast EP 8 Transcript

Transcript for Don’t Call Me Resilient Podcast EP 8: Stolen identities: What does it mean to be Indigenous?
Being Indigenous is more than just genealogy. Here Lorralene Whiteye from the Ojibway Nation checks her hair in a mirror before the start of a healing ceremony, held by Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction, to commemorate the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Toronto. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Evan Buhler

Stolen identities: What does it mean to be Indigenous? Don’t Call Me Resilient Podcast EP 8

In recent years, some prominent people have been called out for falsely claiming Indigenous identity. Why would someone falsely claim an identity? And what does it mean to be Indigenous?
A man fishes the head of a statue of Queen Victoria from the Assiniboine River in Winnipeg. Her statue and a statue of Queen Elizabeth were toppled and vandalized on Canada Day. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kelly Geraldine Malone

‘History wars’ in the U.S. and Canada provoked by a racial reckoning with the past

Movements that challenge former national icons demonstrate the importance of history-making in an age of racial reconciliation. But ‘history wars’ won’t get us anywhere.
A temporary memorial for Canada’s residential schools is blessed by Indigenous elders in a pipe ceremony in Calgary in August 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Bill Graveland

Reckoning with the truths of unmarked graves of Indigenous children, education systems must take action

Here’s what the education system needs to do to help teachers address, repair and heal education towards and beyond reconciliation.
In an photo from 2016, Potlotek First Nation resident Patricia Paul holds a sample of water she says came from her taps at home. In December 2019 the community got a new water treatment system. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Steve Wadden

Federal election: If all parties agree that we need to end drinking water advisories in Indigenous communities, why haven’t we?

It seems all party leaders can agree, water advisories in First Nation communities need to end. If there is agreement, then isn’t it time to stop making it a campaign promise and make change?
The children’s book, Little Louis, tells the story of a young boy preparing for his COVID-19 vaccination. (Morning Star Lodge)

Indigenous children’s book ‘Little Louis’ aims to curb COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy with a culturally relevant story

There is an urgent need to combat historically fuelled vaccine hesitancy within Indigenous communities. The best way to do this is through evidence-based knowledge and community-led work.

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