Indigenous Watchdog Status Update: Nov. 9, 2020 Part 1 – Current Problems and Issues

“Part 2 Status Updates – Calls to Actions” will be released on the weekend

Indigenous Watchdog was officially launched on Feb. 25, 2020. Since then there have been 4 updates that have identified and documented 275 specific updates across all “Themes” and “Calls to Action“. Of those, the greatest percentage (53%) have to do with “Current Problems and Issues” – specific actions by various governments, organizations, business etc. that perpetuate fundamental roadblocks to reconciliation.

SectionApr. 21June 15Aug. 17Nov. 9Total%
Current Reality7416187%
Current problems and Issues2230247114753%
Legacy Calls to Action171315307527%
Reconciliation Calls to Action776153513%
TOTAL535446122275100

Of those 147 fundamental roadblocks fully 79% deal with deep-rooted systemic issues of racism and discrimination in Indigenous Health (20%), Indigenous Justice (39%) and Aboriginal Rights and Treaty and Indigenous Laws and Legal Traditions (42%).

SectionsApr. 21 June 15Aug. 17 Nov. 9 Total%
Health74122320%
Justice11107174539%
UNDRIP254142522%
Royal Proclamation54142320%
TOTAL13271957116100%
Total Indigenous Watchdog Status Updates: April, 2020 – November, 2020

What does that mean?

The undeniable crisis in Indigenous Health and Justice is so well entrenched, so visible, and so pervasive that those accountable for Indigenous health and justice outcomes can no longer ignore the issue(s). The broader Canadian population is demanding action and governments, institutions, associations and organizations are responding to pressure to fix the underlying problems. For example:

  • The Quebec government is investing $15M in culturally safe policies and programs in Indigenous health care after the death of Joyce Echaquan (November)
  • City of Montreal has released their “Reconciliation Strategy with Indigenous People” (November)
  • Federal government is expediting work to co-develop distinctions-based Indigenous health legislation (September)
  • Canadian Nurses Association emphasize need for ‘Mandatory” cultural competency and humility training for healthcare professions (October)
  • Bill 53, an “Act to Amend the RCMP Agreement Act” introduced in Nunavut for independent investigations into police-involved civilian injuries or deaths (October)
  • RCMP Civilian Review and Complaints Commission has initiated a complaint into the conduct of RCMP officers in Nunavut (August)
  • Federation of Law Societies of Canada unanimously approves recommendations that chart path towards reconciliation (August)
  • Add to this the investigations into provincial, territory and municipal policing in Vancouver, Montreal, Winnipeg, Toronto, Thunder Bay and Quebec and the RCMP in BC, Alberta, New Brunswick and Nunavut

The above are all significant advances on the road to reconciliation. The problem, however , continues to be the intransigence in most levels of government to address the issues of Aboriginal Rights and Title and Indigenous laws and legal traditions. In the last three months alone, the following actions in 9 jurisdictions across Canada highlight how far reconciliation still has to go.

  • Lac Seul First Nations in Ontario suing federal government for flooding ancestral lands with no compensation while they made millions in profit
  • RCMP removing Wet’suwet’en women conducting ceremony on traditional lands in BC at request of Coastal GasLink
  • Ancinape Nation in Quebec calling for moratorium on moose hunting on its un-ceded ancestral territory
  • Innu Nation in Labrador suing Hydro-Quebec for damages relating to Churchill Falls hydro project
  • Six Wolastoqey Nations in New Brunswick launch lawsuit to recognize their Aboriginal title lands dating from Peace and Friendship Treaties
  • New Brunswick premier sacks Minister of Aboriginal Services for pushing for a public inquiry into systemic racism and eliminates Aboriginal Affairs as a distinct cabinet role as First Nations launch a lawsuit on their Aboriginal Rights and Title
  • Quebec’s Bill 66 ignores economic issues identified by First Nations
  • Supreme Court hearing case arguing that Indigenous constitutional orders are distinct but equal to Euro-Canadian laws (Manitoba)
  • Federal Government for refusing to define Moderate Living Fishing and Nova Scotia government for failure to uphold rule of law
  • Haudenosaunee Land Protectors in Ontario protest housing development at 1492 Land Back Lane on un-ceded territory that is part of an unsettled land claim
  • Government of Saskatchewan doesn’t recognize Métis Aboriginal title to land and resources
  • Government of Alberta continued refusal to acknowledge and accept Aboriginal Rights and Title
  • Ontario’s omnibus Bill 197 “COVID_19 Economic Recovery Act” rejected by Matawa Chiefs Council and Mushkegowuk Council
  • Erin O’Toole, new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada is firmly opposed to UNDRIP. Ontario and Quebec have also reversed earlier positions

Add to the above the following from preceding months:

  • Muskrat Falls Inquiry in Newfoundland and Labrador conclude that the government and Nalcor did not consult with First Nations and Innu in good faith (July)
  • Ontario government using COVID-19 to sabotage Duty to Consult First Nations on resource development in Ring of Fire (May)
  • Resumption on mining in Nunavik in Quebec over objections of Inuit (April)
  • Ontario appeals Robinson-Huron and Robinson Superior Treaties court decision around “Annuities: claims (July)
  • Ontario’s omnibus Bill 197 “COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act” fast-tracks approval for resource extraction industries that override Indigenous treaty rights (July)
  • Premier of Manitoba states UNDRIP should not be passed (March)
  • Supreme Court refuses to hear Trans Mountain Pipeline appeal BC (July)
  • Premier of Manitoba ignores contributions of Métis and First Nations in speech on 150th anniversary of Manitoba entering Confederation (Mar.)
  • Premier of Alberta continues to deny Aboriginal Rights and Title (Sept,)

Only the three territories don’t seem to have the same issues as the 10 federal and provincial jurisdictions identified above. They also have the largest Indigenous populations in Canada: Nunavut (86%), NWT (51%) and Yukon (23%). Yukon also has already signed land claim and self-government treaties with 11 of the 14 First Nations. Based on the above, reconciliation seems to be advancing slowly in most areas except the core areas of Aboriginal Rights and Title and Indigenous laws and legal traditions. Perhaps the federal and provincial governments should listen more closely to the legal arguments of the Supreme Court who recognize that there is significant legitimacy to Indigenous claims.

The tables below identify:

  • Impacted Theme
  • Where content is located within the theme
  • Summary description of over-all content

Child Welfare

Child Welfare Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Child Welfare
Federal Government cuts off funding for Jordan’s Principle child for being too expensive and has so far refused to provide budget guidance to the family to find less expensive options for her complex medical treatment
Nov. 5, 2020 – Indigenous Services Canada has so far refused to provide budget guidance to the family to find less expensive options for her complex medical treatment
Child Welfare Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Child Welfare
Update to Manitoba Bill 34 “Budget Implementation and Tax Statutes Amendment Act” that denies First Nations and children access to justice
Oct. 7, 2020 – Bill 34 retroactively legalizes Manitoba’s actions since January 1, 2005 in clawing back $338M in federal Children’s Special Allowance as well as takes away the right to any reparations for the children and families affected by the practice.
Nov. 6, 2020 – Bill 2 “Budget Implementation and Tax Statutes Amendment Act” was passed into law effectively preventing First Nations from challenging the government’s clawback in court
Nov. 9, 2020 – A group of 19 Indigenous child and family agencies and Authorities and the Southern Chiefs Organization are filing a constitutional legal challenge against Manitoba’s Bill 2.
Child Welfare Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Child Welfare
Jordan’s Principle jurisdictional issues between federal government and provincial government of Manitoba
Sept. 16, 2020 – Manitoba seeks judicial review of a Manitoba Human Rights Commission decision to award damages to a First Nations family for systemic racism and denial of access to health care in order to provide clarity to the legal obligations of federal and provincial governments around Jordan’s Principle

Education

Education Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Indigenous Education
Open Letter to University of Saskatchewan demanding more respect for Indigenous knowledge and faculty in the college of education
Sept. 13, 2020 – More than 200 people including current and former faculty, alumni and others have signed an open letter following revelations that at least nine Indigenous faculty, as well as other senior Indigenous staff, have recently departed the U of S in frustration. It refers to a “toxic culture” and “climate of fear” inside the college

Language and Culture

Language and Culture Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Language and Culture
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) calls on the Legislative Assembly to reject Bill 25, “An Act to Amend the Education Act and the Inuit Language Protection Act”
Nov. 4, 2020 – Bill 25 fails to incorporate recommendations for the protection of Inuktitut throughout the school system and government workplace from NTI, the Coalition of Nunavut District Education Authorities (CNDEA), the Office of the Languages Commissioner and the Nunavut Teachers’ Association.

Health

Health Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Indigenous Health
Developing culturally safe health policies and programs that will remake an inherently racist system (Policy Options)
Nov. 2, 2020 – Recommendations to make substantial changes to Canada’s health policies and legislations to create a culturally safe place for Indigenous health
Health Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Indigenous Health
First Nations in Manitoba at risk with rapid expansion of COVID-19 cases and failed response of provincial government to contain the spread
Nov. 2, 2020 – Southern Chiefs Organization makes urgent appeal to all levels of government for increased funding and resources to contain COVID-19. As of October 31, 2020, 26 First Nation communities across Canada have reported two or more active cases with 17 of them located in Manitoba which also was the hardest hit during the H1N1 pandemic
Health Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Indigenous Health
COVID-19 outbreak at Keeyask Hydro dam construction site puts First Nations at risk
Nov. 2, 2020 – Since Oct. 22, almost 10% of the workforce of 750 is now in isolation. Manitoba Hydro has staff working at the site from various parts of Canada, including a current COVID-19 hotspot—Winnipeg.
Health Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Indigenous Health
Assembly of First Nations’ recommendations to eliminate systemic racism in Indigenous health care
Oct. 16, 2020 – At the emergency meeting on racism within Canada’s health care system AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde stated “Joyce Echaquan ‘s tragic death must lead to positive systemic change”
Health Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Indigenous Health
Canada Health Act fails the health needs of Inuit women and girls
Oct. 15, 2020: In a national meeting to address racism in the healthcare system on Oct. 16, President Kudloo of the Pauktuutit Women of Canada will table recommendations to address racism experienced by Inuit women and children in the healthcare system and highlight the role systemic racism plays in health determinants for Inuit women which lead to poorer health outcomes, relative to other women in Canada.
Health Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Indigenous Health
Systemic racism in Quebec healthcare system
Sept. 30, 2020 – Death of Joyce Echaquan, a 37 year-old Atikamekw woman, while experiencing deeply entrenched systemic racism at a Joliette, Quebec hospital as validated by the Viens Commission
Nov. 6, 2020 – Government of Quebec invests $15M to implement targeted actions to enhance cultural safety for members of First Nations and Inuit in the health and social services sector.
Health Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Indigenous Health
Indigenous coalition asks Information and Privacy Commissioner to order the BC Government to release proximate COVID-19 information
Sept. 15, 2020 – The application is supported by several First Nations, civil society groups, and doctors for the government to release proximate case information on the location (not the identity) of confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases near their communities
Health Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Indigenous Health
Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) sues government of Manitoba over COVID-19 data sharing agreement that ignores Métis citizenship criteria
Sept. 11, 2020 – MMF filed a complaint with the Manitoba Human Rights Commission claiming systemic discrimination by the Manitoba Government throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by refusing to use the MMF citizenship criteria to identify Métis COVID-19 victims
Health Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Indigenous Health
Release of Unicef Report Card on Child Well-Being
Sept. 8, 2020 – Release of Unicef “Innocenti Report Card 16: Worlds of Influence – Understanding What Shapes Child Well-being in Rich Countries” where Canada placed in the bottom 10 of 38 countries. Experts attribute this to the poor health outcomes of Indigenous kids

Health – Drinking Water Advisories

Health: Drinking Water Advisories Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Drinking Water Advisories
State-of-emergency over drinking water crisis in Neskantaga First Nation
Oct. 22, 2020 – State of Emergency declared by the remote community in northern Ontario as immediate heath threats from the broken water system has forced the community to evacuate its members. Indigenous Services Canada has refused to acknowledge the severity of the situation and classify it as a public health crisis. Naskantaga has not had safe drinking water since 1995 – 25 years!

Health – Food Insecurity

Health: Food Insecurity Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Indigenous Food Insecurity
Human Rights Watch releases “My fear is Losing Everything” Climate Crisis and First Nations’ Right to Food in Canada.
Oct. 21, 2020 – The report details how longer and more intense forest fire seasons, permafrost degradation, volatile weather patterns and increased levels of precipitation are all affecting wildlife habitat and, in turn, harvesting efforts. The report also found that climate change is driving up prices for less-nutritious, store-bought alternatives that need to be brought in from the south.
Health: Food Insecurity Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Indigenous Food Insecurity
Community Food Centres (CFC) releases “Beyond Hunger – The Hidden Impacts of Food Insecurity”
Sept. 29, 2020 – “Beyond Hunger” illustrates that food insecurity is about equity and income. “We urgently need a national solution that goes beyond emergency food assistance. We need a solution founded in solid policy that addresses inadequate social programs, systemic racism and precarious employment.”

Justice

Justice Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Indigenous Justice
Updates to random street checks in Montreal targeting Indigenous people (Oct. 8, 2019) and to systemic racism in Montreal policing (June 20, 2020)
Nov. 4, 2020 – The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) welcomes the announcement by the City of Montreal which today unveiled its Reconciliation Strategy with Indigenous peoples
Justice Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Indigenous Justice
AFN National Chief calls for sweeping changes to the RCMP
Oct. 27, 2020 – Perry Bellegarde identified nine specific expectations First Nations chiefs have of the federal government in the wake of multiple incidents across Canada where Indigenous peoples were put at risk due to the actions and inactions of the RCMP
Justice Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Justice
Update to Inuit call for RCMP to end systemic violence across Inuit Nunangat on June 5, 2020
Oct. 26, 2020 – Bill 53, an “Act to Amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Agreement Act“, received its first reading in the legislative assembly on Thursday, Oct. 22. The new bill adds provisions to allow independent investigations to look into police-involved civilian injuries or deaths in the territory and the terms to create such a body.
Justice Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Justice
Coastal GasLink called in the RCMP to remove a group of Wet’suwet’en women and community members who are holding ceremony at a proposed drill site for Coastal Gaslink’s pipeline.
Oct. 13, 2020 – Indigenous land defenders and community members cannot be criminalized and targeted for asserting their Title and Rights and conducting ceremonial and cultural traditions; this stands in acute opposition to the provincial government’s obligations under the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.
Justice Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Indigenous Justice
Assembly of Fist Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) update to government of Quebec’s Action Plan to review systemic racism in Quebec (Aug, 12, 2020)
Sept. 30, 2020 – AFNQL released its “Action Plan on Racism and Discrimination: Engaging with First Nations Against Racism and Discrimination” identifies 39 Recommendations and 141 specific actions that the following groups can undertake to advance reconciliation across all aspects of life in Quebec:
Justice Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Indigenous Justice
Update to Viens Commission Final Report submitted on Sept. 29, 2019
Sept. 29-30, 2020 – The government is pleased to announce that out of 142 calls for action, 51 of direct concern to it are already under discussion, completed or on the way to completion….
Justice Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Indigenous Justice
Indigenous Police Forces only police force in Canada not classified as an essential service
Sept. 27, 2020 – Federal government has promised four times “to speed up the development of a legal framework to recognize First Nations policing as an essential service”. None of the First  Nations policing services or their police boards have been consulted on what legislation needs to include….The government also hasn’t approached the leaders of the Indigenous communities on the issue yet.”
Justice Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Indigenous Justice
The federal government argued that Indigenous women and girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people do not face a “special threat from a special source” and are not unique victims of criminal violence.
Sept. 25, 2020 – Arguments used against certification of a $600M class-action lawsuit for families of MMIWG’s. The National inquiry into MMIWG found that Indigenous women and girls are 12 times more likely to go missing or be murdered than non-Indigenous women and girls. It also revealed that Indigenous women make up twenty-four percent of all female homicide victims in Canada, yet they only made up four percent of the total population.
Justice Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Indigenous Justice
The Supreme Court of Canada will hear arguments that First Nation constitutional orders are distinct but equal to Euro-Canadian laws
Sept. 21, 2020 – Neither the federal nor provincial governments acknowledge the existence of First Nations laws. The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs will argue “First Nations people and laws have always been here…Our First Nations laws constitute Canada’s first constitutional order, alongside the French Civil Law and English Common Law. This is a constitutional debate that must acknowledge our nation-to-nation relationships and help frame reconciliation.” AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas
Justice Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Justice
Reduction of second degree murder charges to manslaughter and aggravated assault for the death of 34-year old Barbara Kentner
Sept. 18, 2020 – The question to consider is “Why does a violent crime resulting in the death of an Indigenous women merit a reduction of a second degree murder charge to one of manslaughter?” If throwing a trailer hitch from a moving car at a person is not an “extreme reckless disregard for human life” then what is?
Justice Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Justice
Update to “Lack of Women’s shelters” in Inuit Nunangat… on June 2, 2020
Sept. 14, 2020 – Inuit communities are not eligible to access funding for shelters through the federal government’s Family Violence Prevention Program for Indigenous women, children and families. Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada reiterated its shelter ask as an urgent priority along with two recommendations
Justice Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Justice
Increasing arrests of Indigenous journalists at protests across the country
Sept. 10, 2020 – Brent Jolly, the President of the Canadian Association of Journalists, condemned the arrest of Karl Dockstader stating:
“The OPP are well aware that journalists have an established constitutional right to be present and cover matters of public interest,” he said. “Attempting to prevent a properly credentialed journalist from documenting a moment of contentious action is impermissible in a country like Canada. Journalism should never be silenced.”
Justice Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Justice
Update to “AFN calls for investigation into New Brunswick killings of Indigenous people”
Sept. 9. 2020 – The six Chiefs of the Wolastoqey Nation had not received a reply to their numerous requests to the ruling Conservative Party and their coalition partners, the People’s Alliance, to a 12 question survey asking about their approach to Indigenous priorities including systemic racism and police violence. The Liberals, NDP and Greens all responded.
Sept. 20, 2020 – Premier Higgs has removed Jake Stewart from his position as Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and folded Aboriginal Affairs in with the duties and responsibilities of the Minister of Economic Development and Small Business, Minister responsible for Opportunities New Brunswick and Minister responsible for Immigration
Justice Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Justice
The Ontario government continues to ignore some of the 100 recommendations from the Ipperwash inquiry 25 years ago
Sept. 7, 2020 – The Chiefs of Ontario call on the province to meaningfully look at the 100 recommendations as not a checklist, but as the basis for good relationships which must be continually revisited and acted upon. In the years since Ipperwash, little has fundamentally changed
Justice Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Justice
Studies by the MacDonald-Laurier Institute (MLI) and CBC explore rise of systemic racism in policing in Canada
Aug. 30, 2020 – MLI’s “Systemic racism in policing in Canada and approaches to fixing it,” argues that the fault lies primarily with political leaders who set the framework conditions and constraints for the delivery of police services
July 23, 2020 – The CBC “Deadly Force” database (2000 – June, 2020) indicates that the RCMP are 3x more likely to use lethal force than other police forces in Canada.  The CBC data found that 68 per cent of people killed in police encounters were suffering with some kind of mental illness, addiction or both.
Justice Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Justice
Update to Toronto SIU Investigation into the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet on May 28, 2020
Aug. 27, 2020 – Special Investigations Unit (SIU) concluded no criminal charges should be laid against any of the seven police officers in the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet. The detailed report documented “systemic racism exists and continues to challenge the relationship between racialized communities and the institutions of our justice system”. The report also identified specific actions for the police to take.
Justice Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Justice
Update to Inuit call for RCMP to end systemic violence across Inuit Nunangat on June 5, 2020
Aug. 18, 2020 – Chairperson of the RCMP Civilian Review and Complaints Commission (CRRC) has initiated a complaint into the conduct of RCMP members involved in an incident in Nunavut. RCMP appointed the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) to investigate and determine whether criminal charges should be laid. In addition, an RCMP internal Code of Conduct investigation into the actions of the officer is underway

United Nations Declaration and Royal Proclamation and Covenant of Reconciliation

UNDRIP Home Page and Royal Proclamation Home Page
Current Problems and Issues with UNDRIP & Royal Proclamation
Federal Governments failure to issue adequate compensation to Lac Seul First Nation for flooding their ancestral lands to advance a hydro-electric project yielding massive profits for the government and none for Lac Seul
Oct. 28, 2020 – The Supreme Court is expected to clarify how equitable compensation is calculated where a First Nation’s reserve lands have been taken or damaged by the Crown in the absence of a valid surrender or expropriation. The decision could directly affect First Nations across Canada dealing with claims relating to the unlawful taking of their reserve lands.
UNDRIP Home Page and Royal Proclamation Home Page
Current Problems and Issues with UNDRIP & Royal Proclamation
Coastal GasLink called in the RCMP to remove a group of Wet’suwet’en women and community members who are holding ceremony at a proposed drill site for Coastal Gaslink’s pipeline.
Oct. 15, 2020 – Indigenous land defenders who are protecting the Wedzin Kwa, the river that sustains and gives life to their Nation, from test drilling. Indigenous land defenders and community members cannot be criminalized and targeted for asserting their Title and Rights and conducting ceremonial and cultural traditions; this stands in acute opposition to the provincial government’s obligations under the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.

UNDRIP Home Page and Royal Proclamation Home Page
Current Problems and Issues with UNDRIP & Royal Proclamation
The Anicinape Nation is calling for a complete moratorium on moose hunting on its unceded ancestral territory.
Oct. 8, 2020 – Moose hunting is at the heart of the culture and identity of the Anicinape Nation and all First Nations in Quebec. The protection of moose is a collective duty to ensure the vitality and sustainability of culture and traditions. Government leniency in this file has direct impacts on the rights of the Anicinapek, which are enshrined in the Canadian Constitution and protected by Canadian and international law.
UNDRIP Home Page and Royal Proclamation Home Page
Current Problems and Issues with UNDRIP & Royal Proclamation
The Innu Nation of Labrador has filed a lawsuit against Hydro-Quebec seeking $4 billion in compensation for the ecological and cultural damage caused by the damming of the upper Churchill River in the early 1970s
Oct. 6, 2020 – “Hydro-Quebec has made billions of dollars from that contract, (but) it has not paid us a single penny for the damage to our land or damage to our lives, and to our people,” Grand Chief Etienne Rich. “We are extremely disappointed in Hydro-Quebec’s refusal to take responsibility for what they have done to our people and our land 
UNDRIP Home Page and Royal Proclamation Home Page
Current Problems and Issues with UNDRIP & Royal Proclamation
Six Wolastoqey Nation’s lawsuit to recognize their Aboriginal title to lands from Peace and Friendship Treaties between 1725 and 1778
Oct. 5, 2020 – The Crown did not honour the Treaties, and took Wolastoqey lands without consent, and pushed the Wolastoqey people into six small communities along the river. They have carved up the land and given it to private landowners, and kept for themselves all benefits in the form of taxes, royalties, leases and fee
UNDRIP Home Page and Royal Proclamation Home Page
Current Problems and Issues with UNDRIP & Royal Proclamation
Quebec’s Bill 66 – “An Act respecting the acceleration of certain infrastructure projects” ignores the stated wishes of Quebec’s Indigenous people
Sept. 23, 2020 – “First Nations issues must be part of the public debate and they deserve to be heard as part of the study of the Bill, especially with regard to economic issues where First Nations are light years away from Quebec. And yet, a good part of the wealth comes from the ancestral territories of our nations,” said Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL.
UNDRIP Home Page and Royal Proclamation Home Page
Current Problems and Issues with UNDRIP & Royal Proclamation
The Supreme Court of Canada will hear arguments that First Nation constitutional orders are distinct but equal to Euro-Canadian laws
Sept. 21, 2020 – Neither the federal nor provincial governments acknowledge the existence of First Nations laws. The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs will argue “First Nations people and laws have always been here…Our First Nations laws constitute Canada’s first constitutional order, alongside the French Civil Law and English Common Law. This is a constitutional debate that must acknowledge our nation-to-nation relationships and help frame reconciliation.” AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas
UNDRIP Home Page and Royal Proclamation Home Page
Current Problems and Issues with UNDRIP & Royal Proclamation
Refusal of Federal Government to define “Moderate Livelihood” for 21 years leading to racist and violent actions by non-Indigenous fishermen
Sept. 18, 2020 – Federal Government’s failure to define “moderate livelihood” led the Sipekne’katik First Nation to create its own “self-regulated moderate living” fishery. The result: physical violence against Indigenous fishermen, destruction of their property, racist discrimination within the broader community all while the RCMP did nothing
Oct. 1, 2020 – on the annual celebration of Treaty Day, Mi’kmaw fishermen from Potlotek First Nation launched a “Moderate Livelihood” fishery under a plan that follows the Mi’kmaw traditional beliefs of Netukulimk, respects conservation, follows safety protocols and allows for a sustainable and responsible fishery.
Oct. 23, 2020 – Representatives of the DFO Conservation and Protection (C&P) officers, who seized traps from Potlotek and Eskasoni authorized harvesters, refused to attend the consultation discussions (between DFO and Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs) to explain their actions and DFO representatives in attendance said they would not exercise authority over C&P officers
UNDRIP Home Page and Royal Proclamation Home Page
Current Problems and Issues with UNDRIP & Royal Proclamation
Haudenosaunee Land Protectors are protesting a housing development at 1492 Land Back Lane under the sovereignty of the Haudenosaunee First Nation as one of their last unceded territories under the 200-year-old Haldimand Proclamation
Sept. 17, 2020 – The Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council, Six Nations traditional government and the Six Nations elected council have been fighting for the last 40 years to settle this and other land claims
UNDRIP Home Page and Royal Proclamation Home Page
Current Problems and Issues with UNDRIP & Royal Proclamation
Métis Nation-Saskatchewan alleges NexGen Energy is in breach of its obligations to negotiate an Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA)
Sept. 16, 2020 – Seeking a declaration from a Saskatchewan court that NexGen Energy is in breach of its obligations to negotiate an IBA. Métis Nation also lays blame on unconstitutional 2010 First Nation and Métis Consultation Policy Framework, which discourages or outrightly rejects consideration of Métis rights-based concerns
UNDRIP Home Page and Royal Proclamation Home Page
Current Problems and Issues with UNDRIP & Royal Proclamation
Update to Conservative Party of Canada kills Bill 262 “An Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples” (June 21, 2019)
Sept. 13, 2020 – The Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples on the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on Sept. 13, 2007 states “the next session of Parliament must build on this foundation by prioritizing the earliest possible adoption of government legislation that fully reflects or exceeds Bill C-262”
UNDRIP Home Page and Royal Proclamation Home Page
Current Problems and Issues with UNDRIP & Royal Proclamation
Government of Alberta’s continued refusal to acknowledge and accept Aboriginal Rights and Title even after the Supreme Court of Canada declared that Aboriginal title exists in law through the Tsilqot’in Nation decision in June 2014 and Delgamuukw in 1997
Sept. 1, 2020 – Albert Premier Jason Kenney seemed to validate the concepts of “Doctrine of Discovery” and “terra nullius” with his claim that the provincial government “owns” the natural resources despite the 10,000 year history of Indigenous people living in the territory
UNDRIP Home Page and Royal Proclamation Home Page
Current Problems and Issues with UNDRIP & Royal Proclamation
Update to Ontario’s omnibus Bill 197 COVID Economic Recovery Act (July 24, 2020): rejection by Matawa Chiefs Council and Mushkegowuk Council
Aug. 28, 2020 – Matawa Chiefs Council rejects the Ontario Crown’s tactics to unlawfully access the wealth of the north using the cover of COVID-19 to make legislative, regulatory and policy changes that attempt to diminish the obligations of Ontario to honour the constitutionally-protected Inherent Aboriginal and Treaty Rights of First Nations
Aug. 10, 2020 – Mushkegowuk Council is calling on the province to honour Treaty 9 signed 115 years ago to establish guidelines around resources and projects on First Nations land… the Mushkegowuk/ Ininiwuk peoples as a nation had its own governance, laws, language, culture, among others.
UNDRIP Home Page and Royal Proclamation Home Page
Current Problems and Issues with UNDRIP & Royal Proclamation
Premier Francois Legault of Quebec changes position on UNDRIP and is no longer supportive
Aug. 17, 2020 – Premier Francois Legault is concerned that implementation of UNDRIP would give Indigenous people a veto over economic development

Museums and Archives

Museums and Archives Home Page
Current problems and Issues in Museums and Archives
Outdated profiles on Canadian Prime Minsters on LAC website
Oct. 11, 2020 – LAC has not updated the profile of John A MacDonald, the primary architect of the Indian residential schools as well as numerous racist policies of forced assimilation and disenfranchisement as well as other profiles on their website

Media and Reconciliation

Media and Reconciliation Home Page
Problems and Issues in Media and Reconciliation
Increasing arrest of Indigenous journalists at protests across the country
Sept. 10, 2020 – Brent Jolly, the President of the Canadian Association of Journalists, condemned the arrest of Karl Dockstader stating: “The OPP are well aware that journalists have an established constitutional right to be present and cover matters of public interest” he said. “Attempting to prevent a properly credentialed journalist from documenting a moment of contentious action is impermissible in a country like Canada. Journalism should never be silenced.”
Media and Reconciliation Home Page
Problems and Issues in Media and Reconciliation
How media perpetuate Indigenous stereotypes in journalism
Sept. 3, 2020: An updated edition ofSeeing Red: A History of Natives in Canadian Newspapersby Carmen Robertson an exploration of how media perpetuates Indigenous stereotypes with updates on Idle No More and Indigenous genocide

Sports and Reconciliation

Sports and Reconciliation Home Page
Problems and Issues in Sports and Reconciliation
Update to Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse team lobby effort to attend World Lacrosse Games
Sept. 19, 2020 – The Iroquois Nationals have been invited to the next World Games in Birmingham after widespread opposition to the decision to deny them an opportunity to compete. 

Business and Reconciliation

Business and Reconciliation Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Business and Reconciliation
Canadian Association of Aboriginal Business released “Promise and Prosperity: The 2020 Ontario Aboriginal Business Survey highlighting successes and challenges facing Aboriginal businesses
Oct. 22, 2020 – Recommendations will assist in the collaboration of a shared path forward for governments, Indigenous businesses, and corporate Canada, and a prosperous Indigenous economy.
Business and Reconciliation Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Business and Reconciliation
Department of Fisheries and Oceans continues to jeopardize the commercial salmon fishing industry in BC to protect the fish farming industry
Oct. 21, 2020 – It is highly unconscionable for the DFO to depend on funding from the fish farm industry to conduct research, and for them to regulate this research in order to gain few profits at the expense of the survival of wild salmon.”
Business and Reconciliation Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Business and Reconciliation
De Beers Canada turning Attawapiskat lands into their garbage dump instead of building a winter road to haul away waste
Sept. 28, 2020 – DeBeers Canada is seeking Ontario Government approval for a third landfill waste site to be built and filled up at the Victor Mine Site, located in a vulnerable James Baywetlands area, and in a place of critical importance to Attawapiskat and avoiding a Comprehensive Environmental Assessment in the process
Business and Reconciliation Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Business and Reconciliation
Métis Nation – Saskatchewan alleges NexGen Energy is in breach of its obligations to negotiate an Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA)
Sept. 10, 2020 – Seeking a declaration from a Saskatchewan court that NexGen Energy is in breach of its obligations to negotiate an IBA. Métis Nation also lays blame on unconstitutional 2010 First Nation and Métis Consultation Policy Framework, which discourages or outrightly rejects consideration of Métis rights-based concerns
Business and Reconciliation Home Page
Current Problems and Issues in Business and Reconciliation
Update to “Big-5 Banks continue to finance oil and gas exploration in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge“.
Oct. 22, 2020 – BMO and RBC commit to stop financing all oil and gas drilling exploration in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge

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