Ontario leaders eye infrastructure clarity in federal budget
iPolitics – March 20, 2017
Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day said this budget will show whether the federal government is serious about reconciliation. If the budget addresses the chronic underfunding of First Nations “we’ll certainly see the spirit of reconciliation moving in this country, and if not then reconciliation has just become rhetoric by this government,” he said. Indigenous leaders had a great level of input during pre-budget consultations so the Liberals know what’s needed, he said. For the 133 First Nations in Ontario, Day said a funding increase of $1 billion is needed. That works out to between $5 and $7 million more per First Nation. If the federal government made that investment it would “turn the tide and ensure that First Nations are actually able to start pulling out of the quagmire of social despair and poverty,” said Day.
'Up to society' to make reconciliation reality: Senator Murray Sinclair
CBC – March 20, 2017
While Canadian society is beginning to move towards reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, the federal government still has a long way to go. That's according to Senator Murray Sinclair, the former head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. For six years, the Commission documented the experiences of survivors of Canada's residential schools, the last of which closed in 1996 and where tens of thousands Indigenous children suffered physical and sexual abuse — and an estimated 6,000 died from starvation and disease.
1 in 4 people in First Nations reserves may lack clean water, says Council of Canadians
Council for Canadians – March 20, 2017
“It is truly appalling that families in First Nations have gone without clean drinking water for so long – many for five years or more,” says Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “There hasn’t been measurable change in years; the number of drinking water advisories remains at roughly the same level as in 2010.”
Indigenous man wins human rights settlement after jail denied request to practise spirituality
CBC – March 20, 2017
The Department of Justice and Public Safety and its jail in Shediac have apologized to a former Indigenous inmate who was denied access to traditional native spiritual services, such as smudging. Anthony Peter-Paul was incarcerated for 16 months, first in Saint John, then at the brand new Southeast Regional Correctional Centre in Shediac for a break-and-enter in 2011. He asked to practise native spirituality, such as smudging, and the request was denied because the newly built jail couldn't "facilitate."
Globe editorial: Who pays when native children fall between the cracks?
Globe and Mail – March 19, 2017
For a long time, Canada has struggled with who is to pay for the medical care of native children who suffer from severe illnesses, and their child-welfare needs. Far too often, these children have been tossed back and forth, in squabbles about who should pay for what – among the federal government, the provinces and the First Nations themselves.
Nogdawindamin Family and Community Services (NOG) is now finalizing the process required to assume full responsibility as the recognized child welfare authority for Lake Huron North Shore First Nations effective Apr. 1, 2017, at which time all Child Welfare concerns and referrals for First Nations families in the jurisdiction will flow through Nogdawindamin. “We are ecstatic with the progress being made and the tremendously supportive stance our sister agencies have taken in assisting us to deliver on the promise of enlightened and culturally appropriate services...”
Former gang member says growing trend a wakeup call for all
Winnipeg Sun – March 18, 2017
When other boys his age were playing on sports teams or joining their friends in online video gaming, Ervin Chartrand was already neck deep in the gang lifestyle. “I grew up around it,” says Chartrand of his tumultuous childhood surrounded by drugs, alcohol and violence. “I was 10 years old when I was introduced to gangs.”
Should police be required to collect race-based data to fight discrimination?
Toronto Star – March 19, 2017
In the U.S., race data has proven instrumental in revealing problems of discriminatory policing. Some also point to the Star’s racial profiling investigations as providing the proof of concept that while race-based statistics can be misused to stigmatize vulnerable groups, they can also be a powerful tool to expose and destroy systemic racism. “It’s not the collection of data; it’s the criminalization of data about us that has been the concern,” said Anthony Morgan, a community advocate and lawyer.
Proposed U.S. cuts to Great Lakes restoration raise concerns
CBC – March 20, 2017
Drastic cuts to Great Lakes protection in U.S. President Trump's proposed budget are raising concerns for residents of northwestern Ontario living on the shore of Lake Superior. If approved by Congress, the budget would gut the $300 million dollar budget for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a program dedicated to looking after the environmental health of the Great Lakes.
Trump 2018 Budget Would Cut Needed Services to Indian Country
Indian Country Today – March 19, 2017
“The Department of Interior and Bureau of Indian Affairs is proposed to receive a 12 percent cut. BIA funding is chronically underfunded at about 40 percent. Further cuts threaten to erode the federal government’s treaty and trust responsibility. It is unclear, what the Trump Administration’s understanding and position is regarding maintaining at least a minimum fidelity to settled law and policy regarding the federal government’s obligations...”
Dakota Access pipeline could operate by Monday as U.S. court refuses tribes' appeal
AP – March 18, 2017
An appeals court on Saturday refused a request from two Native American tribes for an "emergency" order that would prevent oil from flowing through the Dakota Access pipeline. The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit means the $3.8 billion US pipeline to move North Dakota oil to a distribution point in Illinois could be operating as early as Monday, even as the tribes' lawsuit challenging the project moves forward.
We need to start calling out corporate 'redwashing'
CBC – March 20, 2017
Opinion: Have you ever wondered why corporations and banks provide sponsorship for so many Indigenous educational, cultural and artistic institutions? Are they really good neighbours? Socially responsible corporate citizens? It seems like everywhere you look, there they are: sponsoring our Indigenous award shows, our schools, our pow wows — the list goes on.
Taking it to the streets: Sudbury Police supervisors undertake cultural awareness training
Anishinabek News – March 20, 2017
It might be too early to say how cultural training plays out in the real world late on a weekend night in the downtown core. But the Greater Sudbury Police Service (GSPS) hope the first of three rounds of cultural training is the beginning of a new dynamic and greater understanding of the situation facing the Indigenous population in the Sudbury region.
Ontario First Nation Economic Forum 2016: VIDEO INTERVIEWS
COO – March 20, 2017
First Nation leaders and economic development officers gathered with government and industry at the Ontario First Nation Economic Forum (OFNEF), October 12-13, 2016 in Toronto. The two-day event featured a sold-out tradeshow and keynote speakers such as Chief Clarence Louie, Chair of the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board (NAEBD); Gary Davis, former CEO of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) and newly appointed Executive Director of the Native American Financial Services Association; and Ted Nolan, former NHL coach and entrepreneur.