Indigenous Watchdog Status Updates: Nov. 9, 2020 Part 2 – Calls to Action

Part 1 – Current Problems and Issues was posted on Nov. 13, 2020

Is the fact that so much is happening with Indigenous issues an indication that reconciliation is working or does all the activity indicate that reconciliation has gone off the rails? Putting aside for a moment the 53% of updates flagged as “Current Problems and Issues” then the evidence indicates that roughly 47% – or 128 specific updates – are, for the most part, moving the yardsticks forward and chipping away at a number of the problematic issues impeding progress on reconciliation.

SectionsApr. 21 June 15Aug. 17 Nov. 9 Total%
Current Reality7416187%
Current Problems and Issues2230247114753%
Legacy Calls to Action171315317627%
Reconciliation Calls to Action776153513%
TOTAL535446123276100%
Indigenous Watchdog Status Updates: April, 2020 – November, 2020 – Updated from Nov. 9

Consider the facts presented in the following tables that 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 which section within Theme and/or Call to Acton)
  • More detailed description of current response/action

All the content below has been integrated within each of the identified Calls to Action in the Indigenous Watchdog site including two new sections:

  • C2A # 65: University Research Practices to Support Reconciliation
  • C2A # 23: Government Commitment to Cultural Competency Training

Child Welfare

Child Welfare Home Page
Current Reality
Update to AFN class action lawsuit against federal government
Set. 4, 2020 – Federal Government certifies claim in child welfare class action lawsuit put forth by the Assembly of First Nations and Moushoom class counsel
Child Welfare Call to Action # 1
Commit to reducing the number of Aboriginal children in care
Update to Federal Government commitment to Child Welfare
Sept. 4, 2020 – Federal Government certifies claim in child welfare class action lawsuit put forth by the Assembly of First Nations and Moushoom class counsel
Nov. 5, 2020 – $992,895 to support the implementation of the Anishinabek Nation’s Circle Process to Support Child and Youth Well-being. The Circle Process is a culturally-founded alternative dispute resolution mechanism to assist Anishinabek families with conflict resolution. The Circle Process compliments the implementation of Anishinabek Nation’s Child Well-Being Law.
Child Welfare Call to Action # 3
Fully implement Jordan’s Principle
Update to “Why In Progress?”
Status Changed from STALLED to IN PROGRESS
Sept. 4, 2020 – Federal Government certifies claim in child welfare class action lawsuit put forth by the Assembly of First Nations and Moushoom class counsel
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
Child Welfare Call to Action # 3
Fully implement Jordan’s Principle
Update to AFN class action lawsuit including Jordan’s Principle.
Set. 4, 2020 – Federal Government certifies claim in child welfare class action lawsuit put forth by the Assembly of First Nations and Moushoom class counsel including certification of a Jordan’s Principle class
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
Child Welfare Call to Action # 4
Enact Indigenous child welfare legislation
IFSD and AFN issue a new independent funding model for child welfare
Aug. 31, 2020 – Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFSD) and Democracy (IFSD) was asked by the AFN and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society to define a new funding approach and implementation plan for First Nations child and family services that puts the need of the child first

Education

Education Call to Action # 11
Provide funding to end backlog for First Nations post-secondary education
Update to Current Status “Why In Progress?”
Update to “Federal Funding for Early Learning Care Framework”
Oct. 23, 2020 – Task Force on Northern Post-Secondary Education will assist in delivering on objectives identified in the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework that seek to close gaps in education and skills training that exist between the North and the rest of Canada
Education Call to Action # 12
Develop culturally appropriate early childhood education programs
Update to Current Status “Why Stalled?”
Oct. 30, 2020 – Additional funding of $120.7M for Indigenous Early Learning and Childcare Centers to support up to 35,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children
Education Call to Action # 62i
Consultations on mandatory K-12 Indigenous education reform: curriculum content, funding
Update to Current Status “Why Stalled?”
Oct. 21, 2020 – Curriculum advisers are recommending changes to the kindergarten-to-Grade 4 curriculum for fine arts and social studies that would eliminate all references to residential schools and “equity.” Education experts also say the proposed changes are regressive, racist and unsupported by research
Education Call to Action # 62i
Consultations on mandatory Indigenous K-12 education reform: curriculum content, funding
Update to Alberta commitment to mandatory K-12 Indigenous curriculum reform
Oct. 21, 2020 – Curriculum advisers are recommending changes to the kindergarten-to-Grade 4 curriculum that would eliminate all references to residential schools and “equity.” Education experts also say the proposed changes are regressive, racist and unsupported by research
Education Call to Action # 65
Establish a National Research Program with multi-year funding
Update to “Why In Progress?”
Aug. 24, 2020 – Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council is funding $2.5 million over six years to support the Rebuilding First Nations Governance (RFNG) project, an investigation into transforming Indian Act governance. RFNG is an alliance of First Nation communities and tribal councils, and academic researchers and practitioners
Education Call to Action # 65
Establish a National Research Program with multi-year funding
Update to “University Research Actions to Support Reconciliation” NEW
Aug. 31, 2020 – a memorandum of understanding and an Indigenous Knowledge Protocol Agreement were signed by the Tŝilhqot’in Nation and the University of British Columbia to ensure that research is undertaken with cultural safety, recognize the intellectual property rights of the Tŝilhqot’in knowledge and solidify the Nation’s data ownership and control.
Education Call to Action # 65
Establish a National Research Program with multi-year funding
Update to “University Research Actions to Support Reconciliation” NEW
Oct. 30, 2020 – Indigenous Research Support Team (IRST) is an advisory entity that provides guidance on Indigenous research and scholarship, as well as opportunities that support culturally responsive and collaborative research. IRST will be the point of contact for all UCalgary researchers doing any work within the broader Indigenous landscape
Education Call to Action # 65
Establish a National Research Program with multi-year funding
Update to “University actions towards research practices to support Reconciliation NEW
Oct. 28, 2020 – The Canada Research Chairs Secretariat has awarded $500,000 to Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT) to fund the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Women’s Issues to highlight, document and map the experiences of Indigenous women from various parts of the world in governance, relations to the land, and research and knowledge on the environment

Language and Culture

Language and Culture Call to Action # 14
Enact an Indigenous Languages Act
Update to “Part 1: Federal Actions towards implementing Bill C-91”
Sept. 28, 2020 – Announcement of essential steps to advance the implementation of the Indigenous Languages Act. The government is working with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), Inuit Tapariit Kanatami (ITK) and the Métis National Council (MNC) on the development of the consultations
Language and Culture Call to Action # 14i
Enact an Indigenous Languages Act: Preserve Indigenous languages
Update to C2A Response: Part iv: Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Inuit Art Centre has a new name “Qaumajuq
Oct. 28, 2020 – “Qaumajuq [HOW-ma-yourq]”, meaning “It is bright, it is lit,” which celebrates the light that flows into the new building connected to the Winnipeg Art Gallery. The circle of language keepers representing Indigenous communities across Inuit Nunangat and Treaty 1 territory endowed the WAG building with an Anishinaabemowin name: Biindigin Biwaasaeyaah [BEEN- deh-gen Bi-WAH-say-yah], meaning “Come on in, the dawn of light is here” or “the dawn of light is coming.” 

Health

Health Call to Action # 18
Recognize and implement healthcare rights of Indigenous people
Status Update changed from “STALLED” to “IN PROGRESS”
Added tp “F/P/T Recognition of Indigenous Rights to Health
Sept. 23, 2020 – Federal government’s Speech from the Throne commits to expediting work to co-develop distinctions-based Indigenous health legislation with First Nations, Inuit, and the Métis Nation, and a distinctions-based mental health and wellness strategy
Health Call to Action # 19
Establish measurable goals to identify and close gaps in health outcomes
Update to “Research Investments in Indigenous Health: Federal”
Aug. 24, 2020 – Funding of $82.5 million in mental health and wellness supports to help Indigenous communities adapt and expand mental wellness services, improving access and addressing growing demand, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Health Call to Action # 23
Increase the hiring and retention of Indigenous healthcare workers and cultural competency of all healthcare workers
Update to “Why In Progress?” and
“Government Commitment to Cultural Competency Training: Quebec” NEW
Oct. 5, 2020 – The Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association and Canadian Nurses Association have emphasized the need for a “mandatory” cultural competency and humility training program for health-care professions after the death of Joyce Echaquan, a 37-year-old woman from the Atikamekw community of Manawan, Que.
Nov. 6, 2020 – Quebec government will invest $15M in training to management and workers in the health and social services network to familiarize them with the concept of cultural safety.
Health Call to Action # 24
Mandatory course on Indigenous health, history, culture and awareness training
Update to “Why In Progress?”
Oct. 5, 2020 – The Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association and Canadian Nurses Association have emphasized the need for a “mandatory” cultural competency and humility training program for health-care professions after the dearth of Joyce Echaquan, a 37-year-old woman from the Atikamekw community of Manawan, Que.

Health – Food Insecurity

Health: Food Insecurity Home Page
Current Reality
Addition of graph: Statistics Canada. Community Health Survey 2017-18
Percentage of households in Canada that are food insecure: White = 11.1%; Indigenous Off-Reserve = 28.2%; Indigenous On-Reserve = 50.8%

Justice

Justice Call to Action # 27
Ensure lawyers receive cultural competency & Indigenous rights training
Federation of Law Societies of Canada unanimously approves recommendations that chart path towards reconciliation.
Aug. 7, 2020 – The “Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action Advisory Committee” was released on June 6, 2020 with 9 recommendations. The framework encourages a broad approach to reconciliation which highlighted the need to raise awareness and competence among all legal professionals and law students in Canada as it relates to Indigenous peoples.
Justice Call to Action # 28
Mandatory law school course on Aboriginal people and the law
Federation of Law Societies of Canada unanimously approves recommendations that chart path towards reconciliation.
Aug. 7, 2020 – One of the nine recommendations is to consider mandatory Indigenous cultural competency training, and ensuring access and availability to educational opportunities, and collaborating with Indigenous organizations in the development and delivery of cultural competency training
Justice Calls to Action # 31
Provide stable funding to implement alternatives to imprisonment
Nova Scotia premier apologized to Black and Indigenous Nova Scotians for systemic racism in the provincial justice system committed to reform
Sept. 30, 2020 – Premier Stephen McNeil is putting together a restorative justice team composed of members of the Black and Indigenous communities, as well as members of government and the police, to work on ways to reform the justice system: policing, jail system, judiciary as well as “social issues underlying the criminalization of Black and Indigenous communities”
Justice Calls to Action # 41
Appoint a public inquiry into MMIWG
Update to Current Status “Why Stalled?”
Update to “Responses to MMIWG Final Report from Indigenous Organizations”: ONWA
Oct. 4, 2020 – Ontario Native Women’s Association of Canada releases
Reconciliation with Indigenous Women: Changing the Story of MMIWG (2020)” with 13 key recommendations covering 28 systems that Indigenous women navigate throughout their lifetime and the forms of violence they face within them.
Justice Calls to Action # 41
Appoint a public inquiry into MMIWG
Update to Federal Government in ” Federal/Provincial/Territory Commitments to Preventing Violence Against Indigenous Women
Oct 2, 2020 – Federal Government announced $50M in COVID-19 related funding including up to $10 million to support organizations providing services related to gender-based violence to Indigenous people off-reserve
Justice Calls to Action # 41
Appoint a public inquiry into MMIWG
Update to Ontario in ” Federal/Provincial/Territory Commitments to Preventing Violence Against Indigenous Women
Aug. 24, 2020 – $7.65M in funding over 5 years for specialized services to support human trafficking victims and survivors as part of the government’s comprehensive anti-human trafficking strategy.
Aug. 31, 2020 – The new tools – “Speak Out and Stop Sex Trafficking” and “The Trap” are designed to provide innovative ways to actively engage youth in discussions about human trafficking and provide culturally-specific resources for Indigenous communities
Justice Calls toi Action # 41
Appoint a public inquiry into MMIWG
Update to PEI in ” Federal/Provincial/Territory Commitments to Preventing Violence Against Indigenous Women
Release of “Calls for Justice. MMIWG. A Preliminary Status Report for the Government of PEI” with updates in actions taken in response to all of the Calls to Justice
Justice Calls to Action # 42
Commit to recognize and implement Aboriginal Justice Systems
Update to “Current Status”
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 before the Supreme Court of Canada “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 Calls to Action # 42
Commit to recognize and implement Aboriginal Justice Systems
Rebuilding First Nations Governance to build alternatives that realize the inherent right to self-government as affirmed in the Constitution Act
Aug. 24, 2020 – Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council is funding $2.5 million over six years to support the Rebuilding First Nations Governance (RFNG) project, an investigation into transforming Indian Act governance. RFNG is an alliance of First Nation communities and tribal councils, and academic researchers and practitioners
Justice Calls to Action # 42
Commit to recognize and implement Aboriginal Justice Systems
Update to BC in “Federal/Provincial/Territory Commitments to Aboriginal Justice Systems”
Sept. 7, 2020 – Indigenous justice centres have recently opened in Merritt, Prince George and Prince Rupert.
Nov. 3, 2020 – The latest Indigenous courts under development is on northern Vancouver Island, led by the Gwa’sala-`Nakwaxda’xw First Nations in partnership with the RCMP, local Crown counsel, judges and other stakeholders.
Justice Calls to Action # 42
Commit to recognize and implement Aboriginal Justice Systems
Update to Nova Scotia in “Federal/Provincial/Territory Commitments to Aboriginal Justice Systems”
Oct 26 & 28, 2020 – Cape Breton University is seeking funding from the federal and Nova Scotia governments to build a Centre for Discovery and Innovation, a modern research and instructional facility, including the Marshall Institute which would focus its work on environmental justice and Indigenous approaches to climate change

Equity for Aboriginal People in the Justice System

Justice Calls to Action # 50
Fund establishment of Indigenous Law Institutes
Update to “Why In Progress?”
Sept. 3, 2020 – A $13-million investment by the Province will enable the University of Victoria (UVic) to build its much-anticipated National Centre for Indigenous Laws

United Nations Declaration (UNDRIP)

United Nations Declaration (UNDRIP) Home Page
Update to “Current Reality”
Declaration by the Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Sept. 13, 2020 – On the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on Sept. 13, 2007 the Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous People 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”
United Nations Declaration (UNDRIP) Home Page
Update to “Current Reality”
Support the Rebuilding First Nations Governance (RFNG) project
Aug. 17, 2020 – an investigation into transforming Indian Act governance, seeks Indigenous alternatives to the stranglehold the Indian Act has over all aspects of Indigenous lives in Canada
United Nations Declaration (UNDRIP) Home Page
Update to “Current Reality”
Ontario and Quebec change positions on UNDRIP
Aug, 14, 2020 – Quebec Premier Francis Legault no longer supports UNDRIP after previously agreeing to support it in a letter on Sept. 18, 2018 to Ghislain Picard, Chief, Assembly First Nations Quebec-Labrador.
June 15, 2020 – At a press conference Ontario premier Doug Ford was non-committal in supporting UNDRIP
United Nations Declaration (UNDRIP) Call to Action # 43
Fully adopt and implement UNDRIP as the framework for reconciliation
Support the Rebuilding First Nations Governance (RFNG) project
Aug. 17, 2020 – an investigation into transforming Indian Act governance, seeks Indigenous alternatives to the stranglehold the Indian Act has over all aspects of Indigenous lives in Canada.
United Nations Declaration (UNDRIP) Call to Action # 43
Update to “Why Stalled?
Erin O’Toole, new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada does not support UNDRIP. New governments in Quebec and Ontario have changed their positions on UNDRIP as well
Aug. 24, 2020 – Erin O’Toole indicated he would not support the UN Declaration and would also outlaw blockades that target critical infrastructure. Francois Legault, Premier of Quebec has expressed reservations and Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario has been non-committal
United Nations Declaration (UNDRIP) Call to Action # 43
Fully adopt and implement UNDRIP as the framework for reconciliation
Update to Federal/Provincial/Territory Commitments to UNDRIP: Quebec
Aug. 14, 2020 – Premier Francois Legault reluctant to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) because he fears that it will force the government to give Indigenous groups a veto on all economic projects
United Nations Declaration (UNDRIP) Call to Action # 43
Fully adopt and implement UNDRIP as the framework for reconciliation
Update to Federal/Provincial/Territory Commitments to UNDRIP: PEI
June 19, 2020 – The Government of PEI will continue to monitor federal developments and remain responsive to any information exchange opportunities. It is important that we are well informed and have a clear understanding of how Lennox Island and Abegweit First Nations view this document.

Royal Proclamation and Covenant of Reconciliation

Royal Proclamation and Covenant of Reconciliation Home Page
“Current Reality”
Rebuilding First Nation’s Governance
Aug. 17, 2020Rebuilding First Nations Governance (RFNG) project, an investigation into transforming Indian Act governance, seeks Indigenous alternatives to the stranglehold the Indian Act has over all aspects of Indigenous lives in Canada
Royal Proclamation and Covenant Calls to Action # 45
Develop with Indigenous peoples a Royal Proclamation and Covenant of of Reconciliation
Added “Getting Rid of the Indian Act.”
Aug. 17, 2020Rebuilding First Nations Governance (RFNG) project, an investigation into transforming Indian Act governance, seeks Indigenous alternatives to the stranglehold the Indian Act has over all aspects of Indigenous lives in Canada
Royal Proclamation and Covenant Call to Action # 47
Repudiate Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius
Update “Why Not Stalled” – Government of Saskatchewan doesn’t recognize Métis Aboriginal title to land and resources
Sept. 16, 2020 – Métis Nation – Saskatchewan is seeking a declaration from a Saskatchewan court that NexGen Energy is in breach of its obligations to negotiate an Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA). Métis Nation also lays blame on the unconstitutional “2010 First Nation and Métis Consultation Policy Framework“, which “doesn’t recognize Métis assertions of Aboriginal title to land and resources
Royal Proclamation and Covenant Call to Action # 47
Repudiate Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius
Update to Provincial/Territory Responses to Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius: Federal
Aug. 17, 2020 – “Rebuilding First Nations Governance (RFNG) project” an investigation into transforming Indian Act governance, seeks Indigenous alternatives to the stranglehold the Indian Act has over all aspects of Indigenous lives in Canada.

Museums and Archives

Museums and Archives Call to Action # 68
Establish a reconciliation funding program to commemorate Canada 150
Update to “Independent Museum Initiatives” UNDER DEVELOPMENT
Oct. 28, 2020 – The Inuit Art Centre has a new Inuit name “Qaumajuq [HOW-ma-yourq]”, meaning “It is bright, it is lit,” which celebrates the light that flows into the new building connected to the Winnipeg Art Gallery
Museums and Archives Call to Action # 69
Fully adopt and implement UNDRIP, ensure records access, add resources
Update to “Library and Archives Canada Exhibits of Records Holdings”. Program details for “Listen, Hear our Voices”
Oct. 1, 2020 – Second round of funding for up to $60,000 per project to support their efforts to identify, digitize and preserve Indigenous language recordings, and build digitization and preservation capacity in their communities
Library and Archives Call to Action # 69
Fully adopt and implement UNDRIP, ensure records access, add resources
Update to “Why In Progress?” Outdated profiles on Canadian Prime Minsters on LAC website
Sept. 15, 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

Commemoration

Commemoration Call to Action # 80
Change in Current Status from “STALLED” to “IN PROGRESS”
Bill C-369 to establish a statutory holiday honouring Indigenous peoples is re-introduced as Bill C-5
Sept. 29, 2020 – Bill C-5 “An Act to amend the Bills of Exchange Act, the Interpretation Act and the Canada Labour Code (National Day for Truth and Reconciliation)” has been re-introduced with First Reading

Media and Reconciliation

Media and Reconciliation Calls to Action # 86
Establish Indigenous history & culture course for all media schools
Update to Why “In Progress?” Seeing Red: A History of Natives in Canadian Newspapers
Sept. 3, 2020: An updated edition explores how media perpetuates Indigenous stereotypes with updates on Idle No More and Indigenous genocide. Media has improved its depiction of Indigenous people but still fails to understand the Indigenous world view – especially the Indigenous relationship to the land that does not recognize the concept of individual property

Sports and Reconciliation

Sports and Reconciliation Calls to Actions # 88
Ensure long-term Indigenous athlete development, support for NAIG
Update to “Why In Progress?””
The 2021 and 2023 Master Indigenous Games will now be held in Ottawa from Aug. 5-9, 2021.
Sports and Reconciliation Call to Actions # 88
Ensure long-term Indigenous athlete development, support for NAIG
Update to “Indigenous Sports and Wellness Ontario “Sports Organizations Funding Commitments to Indigenous Sports”
Aug. 27, 2020 – The Masters Indigenous Games are scheduled for Ottawa from August 5-8, 2021.
Sports and Reconciliation Calls to Action # 89
Amend Physical Activity & Sport Act to ensure Indigenous inclusivity
Launch of the second intake of applications for the Sport for Social Development in Indigenous Communities (SSDIC) program component
Sept. 14, 2020 – The second intake of applications for funding for projects to be delivered in the 2021–22 and 2022–23 fiscal years.

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