August 17, 2020 Updates to Indigenous Watchdog

What the hell is happening with Reconciliation?

Indigenous Watchdog was launched on Feb. 25, 2020 primarily to track progress on the 94 Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action. In the past six months, that progress was delivered roughly every two months via three updates documenting a total of 153 specific actions as follows:

SectionsApril 21June 15Aug. 17Total
Current Reality74112
Current Problems and Issues22302476
Legacy Calls to Action17131545
Reconciliation Calls to Action77620
Total535446153

Indigenous Watchdog Total Updates = 153

Federal Government Total Updates = 2

The Federal government has delivered two updates since Sept. 5, 2019 via the official Crown – Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada website: one on Feb. 27, 2020 and the other on July 6, 2020 both relating to the same data on Jordan’s Principle. Both changes are documented in the April 21 and August 17 Indigenous Watchdog updates respectively.

What does “Reconciliation” really mean when 50% of the updates delivered over that six-month period relate to “Current Problems and Issues”? 14 of the 76 have generated positive outcomes:

  1. Cancellation of Birth Alerts in Manitoba
  2. PM Trudeau celebrates Louis Riel on National Indigenous Peoples’ Day
  3. Manitoba NDP Bill 206 “The Louis Riel Act” recognizes Louis Riel as a Father of Confederation
  4. Alberta Energy Regulator ends suspended reporting and monitoring requirements on July 15, 2020 x 3
  5. Federal Government invests $2.7M to support Nishnawbe Aski Nation
  6. Minister of Aboriginal Affairs in New Brunswick supports public inquiry into police shootings in opposition to Premier Blaine Higgs
  7. Nunavut Senator convenes roundtable meeting to support deployment of body-worn cameras in Nunavut
  8. BC Civil Liberties Association and Union of BC Indian Chiefs challenge integrity and findings of Vancouver Police Board Street Check Review
  9. 90% of respondents to Campaign Research survey in Toronto want mandatory body cameras for all police officers
  10. Superior Court of Ontario sides with Anishnabek Nation in two of three challenges (one pending) around Annuities claims x 3

That’s leaves 62 instances of Problems and Issues – at least the one that Indigenous Watchdog has flagged and documented – that are still festering across all five Legacy themes and 10 of 15 Reconciliation Themes more than five years after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission issued its Executive Summary and Calls to Action in June, 2015.

Combine that with the August 17 Status Update conclusion that 45% of the 94 Calls to Action are either “Not Started” or “Stalled”, and the question not only needs to be asked but must be asked:

“What the hell is going on with Reconciliation?

The tables below identify:

  • Impacted Theme and/or specific Call to Action
  • Description of what the specific Call to Action is asking for
  • Where content is located (i.e. within Theme and/or Call to Action)
  • More detailed description of current response/action

What has happened in the nine weeks since June 15, 2020:

For full details please go to:

Child Welfare

Child Welfare Home Page
Current Reality – Update
July 14, 2020 – Ontario commits to end the practice of using Birth Alerts to apprehend Indigenous babies as of Oct. 15, 2020
July 7, 2020 – AFN and Federal Government sign Protocol confirming First Nations distinction-based approach to implementing the Indigenous Child Welfare Act.
June 23, 2020 – Manitoba ends practice of using Birth Alerts to apprehend Indigenous babies as of June 30, 2020
Child Welfare Home Page
Current Problems and Issues
June 15, 2020 – Office of Newfoundland and Labrador Child and Youth Advocate issued a Statement of Concern – Unacceptable Delay in Establishing Inquiry for Innu Children in the Child Protection System
Child Welfare Home Page
Current Problems and Issues
Update to “Manitoba commits to end practice of Birth Alerts
June 23, 2020 – Government of Manitoba commits to end the practice of Birth Alerts to apprehend Indigenous babies as of June 30, 2020
Child Welfare Call to Action # 1
Commit to reducing the number of Aboriginal children in care
Government Commitments to Child Welfare: Ontario
July 29, 2020 – Ontario releases strategy to redesign the Child Welfare System  built on five pillars 
July 14, 2020 – Government of Ontario commits to end the practice of using Birth Alerts to apprehend Indigenous children by Oct. 15, 2020
Child Welfare Call to Action # 1
Commit to reducing the number of Aboriginal children in care
Government Commitments to Child Welfare: Manitoba
June 23, 2020 – Government of Manitoba commits to end the practice of Birth Alerts to apprehend Indigenous babies as of June 30, 2020
Child Welfare Call to Action # 4
Enact Aboriginal Child Welfare Legislation
The Protocol on the Indigenous Child and Family Services Act
July 7, 2020 – AFN National Chief Bellegarde signed a Protocol with Minister of Indigenous Services Marc Miller, which confirms a First Nations distinctions-based approach to implementing An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families

Education

Education Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Education
Update to Manitoba Premier Pallister ignoring Métis legacy in Manitoba
June 21, 2020 – On National Indigenous Peoples Day Prime Minister Trudeau celebrates Louis Riel, the Métis leader who led Manitoba into Confederation 150 years ago as an example of Indigenous leadership
Feb. 17, 2020 – Manitoba NDP Bill 206 “The Louis Riel Act” recognizes Louis Riel as Manitoba’s first premier and the political leader who brought Manitoba into Confederation
Education Call to Action # 11
Provide funding to end backlog for First Nation post-secondary schooling
Federal Indigenous Post-Secondary Review
June 23, 2020 – Federal funding for the Inuit Post-Secondary Education (IPSE) Program comes from an investment of $125.5 million over 10 years and $21.8 million per year thereafter announced in Budget 2019. About three-quarters of the funding will go towards direct support for Inuit students

Health

Health Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Indigenous Health
June 24, 2020 – BC Government has failed to respond to multiple requests from BC First Nations for more information and resources to protect communities from COVID-19 and has ignored the four specific measures recommended by First Nations to protect their communities
June 25, 2020 – The Heiltsuk, Nuu-chah-nulth, and Tsilhqot’in nations say the provincial government didn’t consult them before opening the doors to non-essential travel
Health Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Indigenous Health
June 19, 2020 – San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training program documents thousands of cases of racism in BC healthcare
July 9, 2020 – Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, a former judge and provincial child advocate, launches an independent investigation into Indigenous-specific racism in British Columbia’s health care system
Health Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Indigenous Health
Update to “Suspension of environmental monitoring by Alberta Energy Regulator.”
June 23. 2020 – All temporarily suspended reporting and monitoring requirements will come back into effect on July 15, 2020
Health Home page
Current Problems and Issues in Indigenous Health
Update to “Declaration of Public Health Emergency by Nishnawbe Aski Nation in northern Ontario”
July 9, 2020 – Minister of Indigenous Services, announced $2,657,560 to support the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Mental Health and Addictions Pandemic Response Program, a unique First Nation-led initiative responding to the specific health needs of community members
Health Call to Action # 18
Recognize and implement healthcare rights of Indigenous peoples
Recognition of Indigenous Rights to Health – Manitoba
June 18, 2020 – Federal Government and Southern Chiefs Organization of Manitoba sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to build a First Nation Health system responsible for the design and delivery of community-based health care services
Health Call to Action # 22
Recognize value of Indigenous healing practices and use in health system
Integration of Indigenous Healing Practices: Quebec
June 18, 2020 – $5M in funding from BMO and Hewitt Foundation to The Minnie’s Hope Social Pediatric Centre in northern Quebec partnering with Montreal Children’s Hospital to maintain social pediatric services in Northern Quebec reflecting Indigenous values and knowledge

Justice

Justice Home Page
Current Problems and Issues
Aug. 12, 2020 – Government of Quebec establishes action plan to review systemic racism in Quebec staffed exclusively by the government with no Indigenous representation. Ignores published findings and recommendations from the Viens Commission, MMIWG Inquiry and TRC
Justice Home Page
Current Problems and Issues
July 2, 2020 – The Supreme Court of Canada dismisses First Nations appeal of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion
Justice Home Page
Current Problems and Issues
Update to “AFN calls for investigation into New Brunswick police killings of Indigenous people.”
July 9, 2020 – Wolastoqey Nation in New Brunswick released proposed terms of reference for an independent inquiry into systemic racism against Indigenous people in New Brunswick. As of Aug. 5, 2020 Premier Blaine Higgs was opposed even though Jake Stewart, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs believes a public inquiry should be called
Justice Home Page
Current Problems and Issues
Update to ” Entrenched systemic racism against Inuit by RCMP in Nunavut.”
July 7, 2020 – Nunavut Senator Dennis Patterson convened a roundtable meeting to discuss support for the deployment of body-worn cameras in Nunavut. The meeting was not open to the public but they did release a detailed “Summary Roundtable document” of the meetings
Justice Home Page
Current problems and Issues
Update to “Overrepresentation of Indigenous people by random police checks in Vancouver.”
June 25, 2020 – The BC Civil Liberties Association and Union of BC Indian Chiefs have released a letter to the Vancouver Police Board calling into question the objectivity, methodology, and findings of the Pyxis-authored Vancouver Police Board Street Check Review
Justice Home Page
Current problems and Issues
Update to “Death of Indigenous Black women in Toronto”
July 10, 2020 – The Campaign Research survey for the Toronto Star revealed 68% of respondents believed “Black people and/or Indigenous people and/or other people from racialized communities are treated worse by police than other citizens” and “90 per cent want mandatory body cameras for all officers”
Justice Home Page
Current problems and Issues
Supreme Court dismisses First Nations appeal of TMX approval
July 2, 2020 – Supreme Court of Canada has refused to hear an appeal of the federal government’s approval of the $12.6 billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The decision upholds the crown’s colonial extinguishment of Indigenous title and rights to their ancestral territory
Justice Call to Action # 39
Develop national plan to publish data on Indigenous criminal victimization
Why “In Progress”?
July 15, 2020 – The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and Statistics Canada announced a commitment to work with the policing community and key organizations to enable police to report statistics on Indigenous and ethno-cultural groups in police reported crime statistics on victims and accused persons
Justice Call to Action # 41
Appoint a public inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Woman and Girls (MMIWG)
New Section: “Joining the Circle: Identifying Key Ingredients…”
August 6, 2020 – Release of “Joining the Circle: Identifying Key Ingredients for Effective Police Reconciliation” an outcome of the MMIWG Inquiry
Justice Calls to Action # 41
Appoint a public inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Woman and Girls (MMIWG)
Response to the MMIWG Inquiry from Indigenous Organizations: Native Women’s Association of Canada
June 23, 2020 – Open Letter to Commissioner Lucki of the RCMP in advance of July meeting with a request to implement three reforms to reduce violence against Indigenous women based on the Calls to Justice from the MMIWG Inquiry
Justice Call to Action # 41
Appoint a public inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Woman and Girls (MMIWG)
Government Commitments to reduce violence against Indigenous women: Federal Government
July 29, 2020 – Federal Government invests $19M to National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking to support victims and survivors of human trafficking. $14 million will be distributed by Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE) and $5 million through Public Safety Canada
Government Commitments to reduce violence against Indigenous women: Ontario Government
June 15, 2020 – Ontario government invests $46M over 5 years to the Anti-Human Trafficking Community Supports Fund and Indigenous-led Initiatives Fund to increase community-based and Indigenous-specific supports for child and youth victims of sex trafficking
Government Commitments to reduce violence against Indigenous women: Nova Scotia Government
July 8, 2020 – Appointment of first Crown attorney dedicated to the prosecution of human trafficking offences
Government Commitments to reduce violence against Indigenous women: Inuit Nunangat
July 13, 2020 – President Rebecca Kudloo of the Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada and RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki discussed police practices as they relate to Inuit women, and the possibility of creating an MOU between Pauktuutit and the RCMP
Justice Call to Action # 42
Commit to recognize and implement Aboriginal Justice Systems
Government Commitments: Government of Manitoba
June 16, 2020 – Letter to Brian Pallister, Premier of Manitoba, from Grand Chief of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) about jurisdiction and revitalization of First Nations laws and inherent rights

United Nations Declaration (UNDRIP)

United Nations Declaration Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in UNDRIP
July 24, 2020 – Ontario omnibus Bill 197 COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act guts the Environmental Assessment Act to fast-track approval for resource extraction industries that override Indigenous treaty rights
United Nations Declaration Home Page
Current Problems and Issues
Update to “Appeal against Trans Mountain Pipeline approval”
July 2, 2020 – Supreme Court of Canada refuses to hear an appeal by
The Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish First Nations and Coldwater Indian Band against the approval of Trans Mountain pipeline clearing the way for construction despite Indigenous protests
United Nations Declaration Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in UNDRIP
Update to “Suspension of environmental monitoring by Alberta Energy Regulator”
June 23. 2020 – All temporarily suspended reporting and monitoring requirements will come back into effect on July 15, 2020
United Nations Declaration Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in UNDRIP
Update to “Appeal of Robinson-Huron and Robinson Superior Treaties Superior Court decision around Annuities claims”
July 8, 2020 – The Superior Court has sided with the Anishinabek Nation in two of three challenges: fiduciary responsibility, statute of limitations and crown immunity
United Nations Declaration Call to Action # 43
Fully adopt and implement UNDRIP as the framework for reconciliation
Updates to Federal/Provincial/Territory commitments to UNDRIP: BC
June 30, 2020 – Release of the 2019/2020 UNDRIP Report Card outlines progress made towards implementation from the date the Declaration Act was brought into force until end of fiscal year 2019/20 (March 31, 2020)

Royal Proclamation and Covenant of Reconciliation

Royal Proclamation Home Page
Current Problems and Issues
July 24, 2020 – “Bill 197 The COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, 2019” violates the Environment Bill of Rights according to the Auditor-General of Ontario by significantly weakening environmental protections that impact Inherent, Aboriginal, and Treaty rights, all under the guise of COVID-19 response
Royal Proclamation Home Page
Current Problems and Issues with Royal Proclamation
July 2, 2020 – Supreme Court of Canada refuses to hear an appeal by
The Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish First Nations and Coldwater Indian Band against the approval of Trans Mountain pipeline clearing the way for construction despite Indigenous protests
Royal Proclamation Home Page
Current Problems and Issues with Royal Proclamation
Update to “Appeal of Robinson-Huron and Robinson Superior Treaties Superior Court decision around Annuities claims”
July 8, 2020 – The Superior Court has sided with the Anishinabek Nation in two of three challenges: fiduciary responsibility, statute of limitations and crown immunity
Royal Proclamation Call to Action # 47
Repudiate Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius
Why “Not Started?”
June 18, 2020 – The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has taken a minor step in choosing to rename ‘Discovery Day” after consultations with Indigenous governments

Youth and Reconciliation

Call to Action # 66
Multi-year funding for community-based youth organizations and programs
Provincial Commitments to Indigenous Youth Programs: Manitoba
June 19, 2020 – Investing $675K over three years in PAX Dream, a successful youth-led mental health and addictions prevention program to support PAX Dream Makers a youth engagement and leadership initiative
Provincial Commitments to Indigenous Youth Programs: Ontario
June 25, 2020 – Investing $13M for the 2020 Youth Opportunities Fund, a province-wide initiative that creates opportunities for young people and empowers and supports parents, guardians and caregivers

Museums and Archives

Museum and Archives Home Page
Current Problems and Issues
Aug. 5, 2020 – Canadian Museum of Human Rights has released the interim report of the independent third-party review into allegations of systemic racism and other forms of oppression within the Museum. Harris’ report identifies systemic racism within the Museum

Missing Children and Burial Information

Call to Action # 75
Identify, protect and commemorate residential school cemeteries
Update to “Commitments to preserving residential school cemeteries“: Alberta
July 27, 2020 – Digitally archiving two former provincial residential schools — Old Sun Community College and University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills

Sports and Reconciliation

Sports and Reconciliation Home Page
Current Problems and Issues
June 24, 2020 – Failure of organizers in Birmingham, Alabama to invite Iroquois National men’s lacrosse team to the world lacrosse games because as members of the Six Nation confederacy they travel with Haudenosaunee passports not Canadian passports

Business and Reconciliation

Business and Reconciliation Home Page
Current Problems and Issues
July 29, 2020 – Government of Newfoundland and Labrador delivers update on the progress of recommendations from the Commission of Inquiry into the Muskrat Falls Project released on March 10, 2020 including # 13 that relates specifically to Indigenous people
Business and Reconciliation Home Page
Current problems and Issues
Update to “Suspension of environmental monitoring by Alberta Energy Regulator
June 23. 2020 – All temporarily suspended reporting and monitoring requirements will come back into effect on July 15, 2020
Call to Action # 92
Adopt UNDRIP as a reconciliation framework, apply to policy and operations
Other Business Association Commitments: Forest Stewardship Council
July 22, 2020 – Forest Stewardship Council’s new forest management standard enhances and clarifies the deep-rooted need for Free, Prior and Informed Consent and compels all stakeholders to uphold these rights. See in particular “Principle 3: Indigenous Peoples’ Rights”

Federal Government update on Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs website

Child Welfare Calls to Action # 3
Fully implement Jordan’s Principle
July 6, 2020 – Deleted “Between July 2016 and Feb. 29, 2020 more than 550,000 products, services and supports were approved under Jordan’s Principle” and replaced with “Examples of this include mental health supports, medical equipment, speech therapy, educational supports and more

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