Is Reconciliation dead or alive? Indigenous Watchdog updates as of Sept. 5, 2021

A lot has happened since June 14, 2021, the last update from Indigenous Watchdog.

So far this year, Indigenous Watchdog has documented 362 updates: 171 mostly positive actions by stakeholders across all 94 Calls to Action vs 160 “Current Problems” across those same Calls to Action.

What does that mean?

60 of those “Current Problems” relate to the 5 Calls to Action that directly address Aboriginal Rights and Title: The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the Royal Proclamation and Covenant of Reconciliation. For those same 5 Calls to Action, there have been 6 positive actions so far in 2021, 4 of which have to do the with the passage of UNDRIP legislation on June 21, 2021.

That’s 6 positive vs 60 negatives!

UNDRIP “constitutes the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the indigenous peoples of the world” (UN Declaration). The Royal Proclamation echoes the original Proclamation of 1763 – 258 years ago – that was also ignored and broken by successive governments since 1867. The main issues have to do with an ongoing lack of consultation with First Nations, Métis and Inuit people on issues that directly impact Indigenous rights and title and Indigenous laws and legal traditions. Federal, Provincial and Territory governments persist on viewing Indigenous issues through a colonial lens that perpetuates the issues not resolve them.

The right of Indigenous peoples to make their own decisions includes the right to say “yes”, the right to say “no”, and the right to “yes with conditions” to proposals brought forward by others.

Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous People, February, 2021

What the above means to Indigenous Watchdog is that governments are committed to various degrees to address those issues that resonate mostly with the general public and where the inequities are most obvious and call out for attention: Child Welfare, Education, Language and Culture, Health andJustice (Legacy Calls to Action).

Look at the numbers: Since the beginning of the year there have been 116 mostly positive actions across the 42 Legacy Calls to Action vs 55 for the remaining 47 Calls to Action (excluding the 5 UNDRIP and Royal Covenant Calls to Action). And of those 47, 23 have been for Missing Children and Burial Information since the discovery of the 215 graves of Indigenous children at the Kamloops Indian Residential School on May 27, 2021. That seems to speak volumes about the reactivity of governments to issues that have potential negative political impacts and the need for immediate corrective action.

As of Sept 5, 2021 the government has now completed an additional 2 Calls to Action – in 3 months – vs the previous 5 Calls to Action completed over a 6 year period.

Call to ActionOutcome to be delivered by federal government
# 15 Appoint an Indigenous Language Commissioner
# 94 Replace the Oath of Citizenship with a new oath with Indigenous content
Call to ActionPrevious Federal Government Completed” Calls to Action
# 13Acknowledge Indigenous Rights include Indigenous language rights
# 68Establish a reconciliation funding program to commemorate Canada 150
# 80Establish a statutory holiday, “National Day for Truth and Reconciliation”
# 83Establish strategies for funding Indigenous reconciliation projects
# 84Increase funding for the CBC to support reconciliation

That’s now seven Calls to Action completed by the federal government after six years!

In addition the following Calls to Action have had a change in status:

C2ADescriptionStatus ChangeWhy?
3Fully implement Jordan’s PrincipleFrom In Progress to StalledMultiple reasons. See Call to Action # 3
32Mandatory minimum sentencesFrom In Progress to StalledBill C-22 died due to election
81National monument in OttawaFrom Stalled to In ProgressDetails announced on Aug. 11, 2021

Indigenous Watchdog Updates

Section2020Mar. 31June 14Sept. 52021 Totals
Current Reality265131331
Current Problems189555649160
Legacy Calls to Action96354239116
Reconciliation Calls to Action555173355
Total366100128134362

NOTE: Of the 55 updates to the Reconciliation Calls to Action in 2021, 23 are for “Missing Children and Burial Information” since May 27, 2021 when 215 unmarked graves of Indigenous children were discovered at the Kamloops Indian Residential School

Sneak Peak: Some of the Calls to Action “Updates” included below will be integrated in the re-designed indigenous Watchdog website scheduled for launch in the fall. This will be part of a significant expansion of content across the entire site: re-organized, optimized, intuitive and searchable to answer your questions with a click of the mouse.

For complete details on each of the content updates, please go the relevant Call to Action Home Page or Call to Action # for full details.

Child Welfare

Home Page – Current Reality

Update to “Federal Government”
July 9, 2021 – Cowessess First Nation signed a co-ordination agreement with Saskatchewan and the federal government. This is the first transfer of authority under Bill C-92 “An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Children, Youth and Families”
Update to Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT)
June 14, 2021 – Federal Court begins hearing Government of Canada’s arguments for overturning the CHRT decision awarding $40,000 in compensation for Indigenous children apprehended by child welfare authorities as well as the expansion of services covered by Jordan’s Principle
Sept. 2, 2021 – First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada petitioned the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal that Canada was incompliant with a previous order to fund First Nations Child and Family Services Agencies and Jordan’s Principle. The Chiefs of Ontario (COO) brought a separate, but similar motion, that Canada was not adequately funding Band Representative Services

Home Page – Current Problems in Child Welfare

Update to Child and Youth Advocate Reports: “Failure of Government of Newfoundland and Labrador…”
June 24, 2021 – Release of the first “Report on Child Welfare Services to Indigenous Children, Youth and Families: 2019-20”. This report is in response to Recommendation 33 of the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate’s report “A Long Wait for Change: Independent Review of Child Welfare Services to Inuit Children in Newfoundland and Labrador (2019)”

Call to Action # 1

Commit to reducing the number of Aboriginal children in care

Update to “Why In Progress?”
June 14, 2021 – Federal Court begins hearing Government of Canada’s arguments for overturning the CHRT decision awarding $40,000 in compensation for Indigenous children apprehended by child welfare authorities as well as the expansion of services covered by Jordan’s Principle
Update to “Government Commitments to Child Welfare: Newfoundland and Labrador
June 24, 2021 – Release of the first “Report on Child Welfare Services to Indigenous Children, Youth and Families: 2019-20”. This report is in response to Recommendation 33 of the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate’s report “A Long Wait for Change: Independent Review of Child Welfare Services to Inuit Children in Newfoundland and Labrador (2019)”
Update to “Government Commitments to Child Welfare: Yukon
Aug. 20, 2021 – The Child and Family Services Act Steering Committee has provided direction and advice on how to best address the 149 required actions in the final report “Embracing the Children of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”

Call to Action # 3

Fully implement Jordan’s Principle

Update to “Why In progress?”
June 14, 2021 – Federal Court begins hearing Government of Canada’s arguments for overturning the CHRT decision awarding compensation for Indigenous children apprehended by child welfare authorities as well as the expansion of services covered by Jordan’s Principle
Sept. 2, 2021 – First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada petitioned the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal that Canada was incompliant with a previous order to fund First Nations Child and Family Services Agencies and Jordan’s Principle. The Chiefs of Ontario (COO) brought a separate, but similar motion, that Canada was not adequately funding Band Representative Services

Call to Action # 4

Enact Indigenous Child Welfare legislation

Update to “Why In Progress?”
July 9, 2021 – Cowessess First Nation signed a co-ordination agreement with Saskatchewan and the federal government. This is the first transfer of authority under Bill C-92 “An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Children, Youth and Families Act”

Education

Home Page – Current Problems in Education

Distorting impacts of colonial expansion on Indigenous lives in Manitoba
July 10, 2021 – Manitoba’s Premier Brian Pallister is accused of “offering a distorted reframing of the province’s history, omitting the displacement of Indigenous people and violence against them” due to colonial expansion
Only 10 percent of Canadians are very familiar with the history of the residential school system
June 15, 2021 – A poll conducted by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, the Assembly of First Nations and Abacus Data shows that the majority of Canadians believe governments are not doing enough to teach students about the legacy of the residential school system

Call to Action # 12

Develop culturally appropriate early childhood education programs

Update to “Why Stalled?”
July 21, 2021 – “Canada Country Background Report – Quality in Early Childhood Education and Care” released by Employment and Social Development Canada touched on the Indigenous Early Learning and Childhood Framework as part of a historical analysis

Education for Reconciliation

Call to Action # 62

Consultations and collaboration on Indigenous education reform: K-12 curriculum content, post-secondary funding

Update to “Why Stalled”
June 15, 2021 – A poll conducted by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, the Assembly of First Nations and Abacus Data shows that the majority of Canadians believe governments are not doing enough to teach students about the legacy of the residential school system

Call to Action # 63

Council of Ministers Education Canada commitment to Indigenous education reform (K-12 curriculum, teacher training)

Update to “Why In Progress?”
June 15, 2021 – A poll conducted by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, the Assembly of First Nations and Abacus Data shows that the majority of Canadians believe governments are not doing enough to teach students about the legacy of the residential school system

Call to Action # 65

Establish a National Research Program with multi-year funding

Update to “University Actions Towards Research Practices to Support Reconciliation”: University of Guelph
Aug. 13, 2021 – Nokom’s House will be a permanent, Indigenous land-based and community-engaged space with wellness and good relationships in its core
Update to “University Actions Towards Research Practices to Support Reconciliation”: University of Saskatchewan
Aug. 17, 2021 – The Indigenous Strategy, ohpahotân | oohpaahotaan (“Let’s Fly Up Together”) will be gifted in a ceremony as a companion to the University Plan 2025. It celebrates the first Indigenous Strategy that has been solely created by Indigenous people at a Canadian U15 research institution

Language and Culture

Home Page: Current Problems in Indigenous Language and Culture

Federal government computer systems cannot print Indigenous characters in names
Aug. 28, 2021 – Government systems can only print in Roman alphabet with French accents, meaning names with numbers and Indigenous characters and symbols won’t be accommodated

Call to Action # 14

Enact an Indigenous Languages Act

Update to “Provincial Responses to Indigenous Languages Act”: Nova Scotia
July 13, 2021 – Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey will be in charge of administering $513,492 in funds for various programs and projects under the federal Indigenous Language Cultures Program to revive and preserve the Mi’kmaw language in the province
Update to “Provincial Responses to Indigenous Languages Act”: Northwest Territories
June 29, 2021 – $1.9 million will be directed to the Inuvialuit Communications Society, Native Communications Society of the N.W.T. and Norman Wells Land Corporation. Funding is being allocated over two years, providing operational stability for the production and broadcasting of culturally relevant radio and television programming

Call to Action # 17

Update toGovernment Responses to Reclaiming Indigenous Names: Federal
Aug. 28, 2021 – Government systems can only print in Roman alphabet with French accents, meaning names with numbers and Indigenous characters and symbols won’t be accommodated.

Call to Action # 15

Appoint an Indigenous Language Commissioner

Status Changed from IN PROGRESS to COMPLETE
June 14, 2021 – Announcement of the first appointees to the new Office of the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages 

Call to Action # 17

Enable residential school survivors to reclaim Indigenous names

Update to “Government Responses to Reclaiming Indigenous Names: Federal
June 14, 2021 – The federal government announced that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their traditional names on passports and other government ID
Aug. 28, 2021 – Government systems can only print in Roman alphabet with French accents, meaning names with numbers and Indigenous characters and symbols won’t be accommodated.

Health

Home Page – Current Reality

NEW SECTION: “Health Summit: National Dialogue to end Systemic Racism
June 29: At the conclusion of the Third National Dialogue on Indigenous Health Care the Federal Government announced specific funding allocations of $126.7 million over three years, first announced in Budget 2021, to support efforts to address racism in Canada’s health systems

Home Page – Current Problems in Indigenous Health

Update to “Ongoing Health Crises”
Threat to Jordan’s Principle funding for Matawa Education and Care Centre (MECC) in Thunder Bay
June 30, 2021 – ‘”Matawa Education and Care Centre 5th Annual Report on the Seven Youth Inquest – Academic 2020-2021.” included an alert for the first time regarding MECC’s potential inability to meet inquest recommendations 64, 71, 81, 83, 84, 85, 114 as a result of the lack of federal government commitment to funding the Jordan’s Principle and Choose Life programs past March 2022
Update to “Systemic Racism in Indigenous Health”
Failure of BC Government to advise First Nations around deadly wildfires around Lytton, B.C.
July 5, 2021 – Chief Matt Pasco of the Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council said nobody from the province contacted leadership in his community until hours after the fire began Wednesday. They had to start their own evacuation plans
Update to “Systemic Racism in Indigenous Health”
Systemic discrimination against First Nations with disabilities in Manitoba
July 12, 2021 – Three human rights complaints were filed against the federal government this week by the Public Interest Law Centre challenging systemic discrimination as well as a failure to provide proper services where they were needed for First Nation adults with disabilities
Update to “Ongoing Health Crises”
Update to “No national fire protection code…. on reserves”
July 13, 2021 – The First Nations Fire Template is a tool that can allow for the sharing of information from fire death investigations and can assist in the evaluation and comparison of fire fatalities in First Nations communities
Update to “Ongoing Health Crisis”
Mercury poisoning at Grassy Narrows First Nation
July 27, 2021 – After decades of failed negotiations with all levels of government the Federal government commits $90M to Grassy Narrows First Nation to build a mercury treatment centre

Call to Action # 18

Recognize and implement healthcare rights of Indigenous people

Update to Governments Recognition of Indigenous People’s Rights to Health: Federal
June 29: At the conclusion of the Third National Dialogue on Indigenous Health Care the Federal Government announced specific funding allocations of $126.7 million over three years, first announced in Budget 2021, to support efforts to address racism in Canada’s health systems
Update to “Governments Recognition of Indigenous People’s Rights to Health“: BC
June 23, 2021 – Health Standards Organization in partnership with the First Nations Health Authority opens a public review on its new BC First Nations, Métis and Inuit Cultural Safety and Humility standard (HSO 75000:2022 E Cultural Safety and Humility B.C.) to encourage an end Indigenous-specific racism
Update to “Governments Recognition of Indigenous People’s Rights to Health: Northwest Territories
June 30, 2021 – The government is committed to embedding cultural safety throughout the health and social services system by strengthening staff capacity for cultural safety; honouring traditional knowledge and healing approaches in care; and improving client and community experiences
Update to “Governments Recognition of Indigenous People’s Rights to Health: Ontario
Aug. 5, 2021 – Federal government committed $17.8 million over the next two years in additional federal support to Nishnawbe Aski Nation for their continued efforts and progress towards transforming the design and delivery of their health services
July 9, 2021 – Federal Government announced $2,657,560 to support Nishnawbe Aski Nation Mental Health and Addictions Pandemic Response Program

Call to Action # 22

Health leaders to recognize value of Indigenous healing practices and use

Update to “Integration of Indigenous Healing Practices in Provinces and Territories: Northwest Territories
June 30, 2021 – The government is committed to embedding cultural safety throughout the health and social services system by strengthening staff capacity for cultural safety; honouring traditional knowledge and healing approaches in care; and improving client and community experiences

Call to Action # 23

Increase the hiring and retention of Indigenous healthcare workers

Update to “Commitment to Aboriginal Health Care Workers and Cultural Competency Training: NWT
June 30, 2021 – “Action Plan for Critical Incident Investigation Report Recommendations”: Recruit and train Indigenous first responders, nurses, and physicians from within the communities and surrounding areas to decrease turnover and transiency, ensuring continuity of care

Health – Suicide Prevention

Current Problems in Indigenous Suicide

Suicide epidemic in Tataskweyak Cree Nation
July 14, 2021 – Manitoba’s Tataskweyak Cree Nation declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, after nine young people were lost to suicide in the last 14 months alone. Approximately 2300 people live on the reserve
Threat to “Choose Life” funding for Matawa Education and Care Centre in Thunder Bay
June 30, 2021 – ‘”Matawa Education and Care Centre 5th Annual Report on the Seven Youth Inquest – Academic 2020-2021.” included an alert for the first time regarding MECC’s potential inability to meet inquest recommendations 64, 71, 81, 83, 84, 85, 114 as a result of the lack of federal government commitment to funding the Jordan’s Principle and Choose Life programs past March 2022

Health – Drinking Water Advisories

Home Page – Current Reality

Updated Drinking Water Advisory Graphic from Indigenous Services Canada
August 28, 2021 – 109 Long-Term Water Advisories lifted; 51 long-term advisories in effect in 32 communities
$1.5B in compensation to settle national drinking water class action lawsuit
July 30, 2021 – Tataskweyak Cree Nation, Curve Lake First Nation and Neskantaga First Nation (1995) announced that an historic Agreement in Principle has been reached…to resolve national class action litigation related to safe drinking water in First Nations communities along with the creation of a $400 million First Nation Economic and Cultural Restoration Fund

Home Page – Current Problems with Drinking Water Advisories

The cost of buying and transporting water puts a significant strain on the community’s limited financial resources
June 29, 2021 – Marten Falls First Nation has agreed to join the class-action litigation on drinking water advisories in First Nation communities
July 30, 2021 Tataskweyak Cree Nation, Curve Lake First Nation and Neskantaga First Nation (1995) announced that an historic Agreement in Principle has been reached…to resolve national class action litigation related to safe drinking water in First Nations communities along with the creation of a $400 million First Nation Economic and Cultural Restoration Fund
Drinking water and sanitation infrastructure as well as water and sanitation services in Inuit communities tend to be of substandard quality
Aug. 30, 2021 – Joint submission by Inuit Circumpolar Council, Inuit Tapariit Kanatami to the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation

Health – Food Insecurity

New Section: Inuit Nunangat Food Strategy
July 12, 2021 – The Inuit Nunangat Food Security Strategy identifies drivers of food insecurity that are common to all regions of Inuit Nunangat. It sets out the coordinated actions required to address the interrelated drivers of food insecurity

Justice

Home Page – Current Problems in Indigenous Justice

Update to “Systemic Racism in Policing”
Ontario Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) recommends reinvestigation into nine sudden deaths involving Indigenous people
June 14, 2021 – The Matawa Chiefs Council has raised significant concerns about the Thunder Bay Police Services implementation of the 44 recommendations from the OIPRD report
Update to “Systemic Racism in Policing”
Systemic racism against Heiltsuk Nation grandfather and his 14 year-old granddaughter at branch of Bank of Montreal
June 16, 2021 – This intervention is about supporting a complaint that aims to fight systemic racism, hold institutions (Bank of Montreal) accountable, and offer redress for the racial profiling and wrongful detainment that Max and his granddaughter experienced at the hands of the Vancouver Police Department
Aug. 12, 2021 – The BC Human Rights Tribunal has allowed the Union of BC Indian Chiefs to intervene in an ongoing BC human rights complaint against the VPD for the racial profiling and wrongful detainment of Maxwell Johnson and his granddaughter outside a bank in Vancouver in December of 2019
Update to “Systemic Racism in RCMP Policing”
Systemic Racism against northern Indigenous people by the RCMP
June 23, 2021 – A lawsuit alleging RCMP systematically brutalized Indigenous people in Northern Canada can proceed as a class action despite objections from the government, Federal Court ruled
Update to “Federal and Provincial Justice Inquiries
Threat to Matawa Education and Care Centre in Thunder Bay ability to comply with Coroner’s Inquest recommendations
June 30, 2021 – “Matawa Education and Care Centre 5th Annual Report on the Seven Youth Inquest – Academic 2020-2021.” included an alert for the first time regarding MECC’s potential inability to meet inquest recommendations 64, 71, 81, 83, 84, 85, 114 as a result of the lack of federal government commitment to funding the Jordan’s Principle and Choose Life programs past March 2022
Update to “Federal and Provincial Justice Inquiries
Continued exclusion of Métis survivors from Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement
June 30, 2021 – a call to action from Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak to the Government of Canada to address its historic wrongs including the continued exclusion of Métis survivors from the Indian Residential School Settlement
Update to “Systemic Racism in Policing”
First Nations experience of systemic racism from police services throughout Manitoba
Aug. 9, 2021– Southern Chiefs Organization survey identified that a majority of our citizens face racism, and even violence and intimidation, when interacting with police officers that are meant to serve and protect them
Update to “Federal and Provincial Justice Inquiries
Update to the “Public Inquiry Commission on relations between Indigenous Peoples and certain public services in Québec: listening, reconciliation and progress: Viens Commission Final Report”
June 23, 2021 – Establishment of an Advisory Committee under Québec Ombudsperson Marie Rinfret to assess whether the Viens Commission’s calls to action are being implemented

Call to Action # 29

Settlement agreements for those excluded from the TRC process

Update to “Settlements for parties excluded from the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement: Métis Nation
June 30, 2021 – a call to action from Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak to the Government of Canada to address its historic wrongs including the continued exclusion of Métis survivors from the Indian Residential School Settlement
Update to “Settlements for parties excluded from the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement: St. Anne’s Residential School
June 17, 2021 – TVO published detailed timeline on St. Anne’s Residential School fight for compensation. NDP leader Jagmeet Singh orders a motion calling for the government to end its litigation with survivors, including those of St. Anne’s. The vote on Singh’s motion is carried unanimously, 271 to zero. Liberal cabinet ministers — including Justice Minister David Lametti, Indigenous Services Canada Minister Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Norther Affairs Canada Carolyn Bennett and Prime Minister Trudeau – all abstain
Update to “Settlements for parties excluded from the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement: Indian Day Schools
Aug. 19, 2021 – The McLean Day Schools Settlement Corporation is beginning consultations on how to roll out a $200-million fund earmarked for initiatives that support Indian Day School survivors and their families
Update to “Settlements for parties excluded from the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement: Sixties Scoop
Aug. 2, 2021 – Call for a federal inquiry into actions and policies of governments that led to the Sixties Scoop and an apology to Métis and Non-Status Indian survivors who were excluded from a 2017 class-action settlement

Call to Action # 31

Provide stable funding to implement alternatives to imprisonment

Update to “Why In Progress?”
Bill C-22 “An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act“ died with the dissolution of parliament due to the federal election
Update toGovernment Commitments to Restorative Justice: Manitoba
June 29, 2021 – The Manitoba government will transition operations of the Indigenous Court Workers Program to Indigenous rights holder organizations in key regional and circuit court locations through an annual grants of over $1M a year for two years

Call to Action # 32

Amend criminal code to depart from mandatory minimum sentences

Status changed from IN PROGRESS to STALLED
Bill C-22 “An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act died with the dissolution of parliament due to the federal election
Update to “Legislative Progress of Bill C-22”
Bill C-22 “An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act “ died with the dissolution of parliament due to the federal election

Call to Action # 38

Commit to eliminate overrepresentation of Aboriginal youth in jail

Update to Programs to improve Access to Justice for Aboriginal Youth: Manitoba
June 25, 2021 – Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth is renewing her call for more mental health and cultural supports for youth in custody in the interest of improved rehabilitation and public safety in “Breaking the Cycle: An Update on the Use of Segregation and Solitary Confinement in Manitoba Youth Custody Facilities”

Call to Action # 41

Appoint public inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG)

Update to “Responses to MMIWG Final Report from Indigenous Organizations“: Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC)
June 1, 2021 – Release of NWAC Action Plan “Our Calls, Our Actions: NWAC Action Plan to End the Attack Against Indigenous Women, Girls, and Gender-Diverse People”
June 4, 2021 – NWAC is filing a Human Rights complaint in Canada requesting international intervention and investigation by the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations
June 28, 2021 – Native Women’s Association of Canada has initiated “Safe Passages” an online project to “collect and collate data related to the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.“  
Sept. 2, 2021 – NWAC is demanding that the federal government explain its decision to appoint a non-indigenous man to head the secretariat established to address the ongoing tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls…

Call to Action # 42

Commit to recognize and implement Aboriginal Justice Systems

Update to “Government Commitments to Aboriginal Justice Systems”: BC
Aug. 12, 2021 – The Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs (Nation/Huwilp) and the governments of BC and Canada have signed the Gitanyow Governance Accord. The accord provides a path forward in the B.C. Treaty process toward full self-government, led by a restored Gitanyow hereditary governance system.

Equity for Aboriginal People in the Legal System

Call to Action # 50

Fund establishment of Indigenous Law Institutes

Update to “Revitalization of Indigenous laws across Canada”
July 8, 2021 – Update the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Framework for First Nations Justice System and revitalize Indigenous Laws of First Nations

Canadian Governments and United Nations Declaration

Home Page – Current Reality

Update to “Federal Government Updates”
June 21, 2021– Bill C-15 – “An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act” receives Royal Assent and becomes law
July 6, 2021 – Mary Simon (Ningiukudluk), an Inuk born in Kangisualuujjuaq, Nunavik (Quebec) who is an advocate for Inuit rights and culture, appointed as Canada’s 30th Governor General since Confederation

Home Page – Current Problems with UNDRIP

The following “Current Problems” apply equally to the “Royal Proclamation and Covenant of Reconciliation” as they all relate directly to Aboriginal Treaty and Rights – a foundational cornerstone of both themes and their respective Calls to Action

Update to “Newfoundland and Labrador”
Canadian Human Rights Commission Innu Follow-up Report 2020-21
Aug. 9, 2021 – Report finds lack of progress since the original report in 1993: Modern Treaty has still not been signed, significant gaps is delivery of basic services and that systemic barriers are entrenched
Update to “Newfoundland and Labrador”
Muskrat Falls Rate Mitigation Plan
Aug. 12, 2021 Innu in Labrador are suing Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador for a plan that “breaches the Crown’s fiduciary duties to the Innu, breaches the duty to consult and accommodate, and breaches the honor of the Crown.”
Update to B.C
Nuxalk Stataltmc issue eviction order against Juggernaut Explorations
Aug. 16, 2021 – Juggernaut Explorations does not have Nuxalk consent to operate in our territory,” said elected Chief Samuel Schooner. The Nuxalk Nation has never ceded rights and title to its territory, nor has it entered into any treaty negotiations with the Canadian government
Update to New Brunswick
Department of Fisheries (DOF) declares war on Sipekne’katik First Nations Treaty Fishery
Aug. 17, 2021 – DFO officers arrested and detained Chief Mike Sacks before finally releasing him. Two days later, DFO officers seized 70 lobster traps
Update to B.C
Surveillance and intimidation of Indigenous land defenders in unceded Secwepemc territory
Aug. 20, 2021 – Surveillance and intimidation of Tiny House Warriors, Indigenous land defenders opposed to expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline and the construction of associated work camps that negatively impact Indigenous communities and Indigenous women
Update to New Brunswick
Cancellation of 25 + years of tax revenue sharing agreements with New Brunswick First Nations
June 29, 2021 – The provincial government and six Mi’kmaq First Nations agreed to not litigate issues related to the terminated tax agreements but to focus on implementing a fair and mutually respectful negotiating process and positive dialogue toward a new, sustainable and beneficial First Nation Development Agreement
Update to Ontario
Supreme Court of Canada rules 8-1 in favour of Lac Seul First Nation’s suit against the federal government
July 16, 2021 – A $30-million award to the Lac Seul First Nation to cover the federal government’s intentional flooding of its reserve land in 1929 was insufficient, and has sent the case back to trial to be re-evaluated. In doing so, the top court has also established a framework for how to compensate Indigenous groups for historic injustices suffered decades ago, or, in this case, almost a century ago
Update to Ontario
Government of Ontario fights Robinson-Huron Treaty Claim for increase in annuities compensation
August 11 2021 – Government of Canada is ready to negotiate and settle the ongoing annuities claim. The province of Ontario is still holding out
Update to Yukon
First Nations lawsuit against Yukon government for failure to implement Land Use Planning
Aug. 30, 2021 – Supreme Court of Yukon dismissed an application from Yukon Government that had asked the court to strike out claims related to land use planning, treaty breaches, and breaches of the honour of the Crown from a lawsuit filed by the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun. In dismissing the application, the court rejected every single argument advanced by Yukon Government lawyers

Call to Action # 43

Fully adopt and implement UNDRIP as the framework for Reconciliation

Update to “Why In Progress?”
June 21, 2021– Bill C-15 – “An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act” receives Royal Assent and becomes law. Action Plan must be developed within three years
Update to “Indigenous Organization Responses to Bill C-15
June 18, 2021 – Assembly of First Nations Québec – Labrador (AFNQL) demands that the federal government support AFNQL against Québec opposition to UNDRIP
Update to “Government Commitments to UNDRIP”: Federal
June 21, 2021– Bill C-15 – “An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act” receives Royal Assent and becomes law. Action Plan must be developed within three years

Call to Action # 44

Develop national action plan and strategies to achieve UNDRIP goals

Update to “Why In Progress?”
June 21, 2021 – Passage of Bill C-15 also specifies a three-year timeline to implement the Action Plan with specific measures but is silent on Treaty rights

Church Apologies

Home Page – Current Reality

Update on Pope Francis Apology
July 1, 2021 – Pope Francis has agreed to meet with Indigenous survivors of Canada’s residential schools in December 2021

Home Page – Current Problems with Church Apologies

Court in Saskatchewan is refusing to release documentation of Catholic Church’s “In-Kind Services”
July 26, 2021 – Catholic Church documentation of $25M of “in-kind services delivered to survivors of residential schools is needed to verify claims that the services were actually delivered as stated
Catholic Church raised $292M for church renovations vs $3.2M for residential school survivors
July 6, 2021 – Catholic Church could only raise $3.2M of the $25M they were supposed to raise for residential school survivors as part of the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement
Update to “Pope Francis refuses to apologize for the role of the Catholic Church in the residential school system
June 7, 2021 – After discovery fo 215 unmarked graves of Indigenous children are discovered at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, Pope Francis expresses sorrow but does not apologize
July 1, 2021 – Pope Francis agrees to meet representatives from First Nations, Métis and Inuit in December, 2021

Museums and Archives

Call to Action # 69

Fully adopt and implement UNDRIP, ensure access to records, add resources for public education

Update to “Library and Archives Canada Exhibits of Record Holdings: Listen, Hear My Voices”
Aug. 13, 2021 – $739,305 to support 19 projects by First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation organizations to digitize and make accessible their existing audio and video heritage for future generations as part of the initiative’s second call for applications, which closed in December

Missing Children and Burial Information

Home Page – Current Reality

NEW SECTION: Sites of unmarked graves at former Indian Residential Schools (IRS)
June 25, 2021 – Marieval IRS: Discovery of 751 unmarked graves, primarily of Indigenous children
June 30, 2021 – St. Eugene’s IRS 182 unmarked graves, primarily of Indigenous children
July 13, 2021 – Kuyper Island IRS 160+ unmarked graves, primarily of Indigenous children
Call for criminal investigation into letter to David Lametti, Minister of Justice
July 22, 2021 – Nunavut MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq and her fellow NDP MP Charlie Angus ask federal Justice Minister and Attorney General David Lametti to launch an investigation into a system they said “represents a crime against humanity.” 
Appointment of Special Interlocutor and $321M in funding for Missing Children and Burial sites
Aug. 11, 2021 – The federal government is committing $321M in new funding for Indigenous communities and appointing a special interlocutor to propose law and policy changes to better responds to the findings of unmarked graves at former residential school sites

Home Page – Current Problem with Missing Children

Discovery of 751 unmarked graves at the site of the former Marievale Indian Residential School
June 25, 2021 – “This is not a mass grave site. These are unmarked graves,” Cowessess Chief Cadmus Delorme said. He also said some of the remains discovered may be people who attended the church or were from nearby towns
Discovery of “182 unmarked graves near St. Eugene Mission School in Cranbrook, B.C.
June 30, 2021 – The community of Aq’am conducted a search of the schoolgrounds using ground-penetrating radar in 2020 and they are still in the early stages of interpreting the reports from those searches
Discovery of 160+ unmarked graves at former Kuper Indian Residential School on Penelakut Island in BC
July 13, 2021 – Indigenous children from up and down the B.C. coast were sent there, and its remote locations earned it the nickname of “Canada’s Alcatraz”
Update to Kamloops Indian Residential School and 215 unmarked graves
June 6, 2021 – The Missionary of Oblates of Mary Immaculate “says it will disclose all historical documents in its possession… They operated 48 schools in Canada,
July 16, 2021 -Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation released a report on the preliminary findings of their search of the 215 unmarked graves including revising the total number of unmarked graves down to 200

Call to Action # 75

Identify, protect and commemorate residential school cemeteries

Update to “Why In Progress?”
Aug. 11, 2021The federal government is committing $321M in new funding for Indigenous communities and appointing a special interlocutor to propose law and policy changes to better responds to the findings of unmarked graves at former residential school sites
Update to “Stakeholder Commitments to Preserving Residential School Cemeteries“: BC
June 20, 2021 – Discovery of 182 unmarked graves, primarily of Indigenous children, at St. Eugene’s IRS
July 13, 2021 – Discovery of 160+ unmarked graves, primarily of Indigenous children, at Kuyper Island IRS
July 20, 2021 – BC Residential School Support Fund is now available with up to $475,000 for each community
Aug. 5, 2021 – Appointment of two First Nations liaisons to support caretaker communities in accessing Support Fund and connect with provincial and federal agencies, provide advice to the provincial government on former residential school and hospital sites, and serve as a communications link between communities and the provincial government
August 10, 2021 – Investigation into unmarked graves at St. Paul’s IRS
Update to “Stakeholder Commitments to Preserving Residential School Cemeteries“: Alberta
June 23, 2021 – Establishment of Alberta Residential Schools Community Research Grant with $8M in funding. Maximum grants are $150,000 to communities and organizations
August 17, 2021 – Kapawe’no First Nation welcomed a team from the Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology at the University of Alberta to assess the site of the Grouard Residential School Aug. 10 to 12, 2021
Update to “Stakeholder Commitments to Preserving Residential School Cemeteries: Manitoba
July 28, 2021 – RCMP have been conducting a “large-scale, years long criminal investigation into sexual abuse allegations” beginning in 2010 at Fort Alexander IRS. The school operated from 1905 until 1970
Update to “Stakeholder Commitments to Preserving Residential School Cemeteries“: Ontario
June 21, 2021 – Government of Ontario is committing $10M over the next three years on the ‘identification, investigation, protection and commemoration of residential school burial sites across the province
July 19, 2021 – Woodland Cultural Centre to restore the Mohawk Institute Residential School site with funding help from the governments of Canada ($7.6M) and Ontario ($1.8M) as a national historical and cultural site
Aug. 16, 2021 – Mohawk Institute is creating a Survivors’ Secretariat to commence a death/criminal investigation
and is currently working to put in place an Indigenous Human Rights Monitor and a Cultural Monitor to oversee the work
Update to “Stakeholder Commitments to Preserving Residential School Cemeteries: New Brunswick
August 30, 2021 – The New Brunswick government is now calling on the province’s museum, archives and “other institutions” to make records of the day schools for Indigenous children available to First Nations communities
Update to “Stakeholder Commitments to Preserving Residential School Cemeteries“: Newfoundland & Labrador
June 24, 2021 – Premier Andrew Furey says government will support whatever plan Indigenous leaders come up with regarding unmarked burial sites in the province

Call to Action # 76

Commit to Indigenous residential school cemeteries principles and protocols

Update to “Why In Progress?”
Aug. 11, 2021 – The federal government is committing $321M in new funding for Indigenous communities and appointing a special interlocutor to propose law and policy changes to better responds to the findings of unmarked graves at former residential school sites
NEW SECTION: Federal Government National Advisory Committee and Special Interlocutor
Aug. 11, 2021 – The federal government announced that they will create a national advisory committee, made up of archeology, forensic, pathology and mental health experts, to advise Indigenous communities and the government about the work to find and identify the children. The Special Interlocutor will manage the effort
NEW SECTION: National Framework for Investigation and Protection of Burial Sites
June 2, 2021 – National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre at UBC are calling on the federal government to work in collaboration with residential school survivors and Indigenous governments to establish a national framework for investigation and protection of burial sites, consistent with the rights, laws, jurisdiction and protocols of the affected Nations

Commemoration

Call to Action # 81

Commission and Install a Residential Schools National Monument in Ottawa

Status Change from NOT STARTED to IN PROGRESS
Aug. 11, 2021 – The federal government committed $20M to build a national monument in Ottawa to honour the survivors of residential schools and all the children who were lost

Sports and Reconciliation

Call to Action # 87

Provide public education to tell national stories of Indigenous athletes

Update to “Commitments to Public Education on History of Indigenous Athletes”
Aug. 13, 2021 – Canadian Sports Hall of Fame unveiled a new, first of its kind educational exhibit in Calgary “Indigenous Sport Heroes Education Experience“, offering a glimpse into the truths and experiences of Indigenous hall of famers
Update to Commitments to Public Education on History of Indigenous Athletes”: National Post
July 19, 2021 – The National Post ran a story on Alex Decoteau: Saskatchewan’s first Olympian, Canada’s first Indigenous police officer

Call to Action # 88

Ensure long-term Indigenous athlete development, support for North American Indigenous Games

Update to “Why In Progress?”
July 12, 2021 – The North American Indigenous Games, after two postponements, will now be held from July 15 to 23, 2023 in Kjipuktuk (Halifax) and Millbrook First Nation, Nova Scotia
Update to “Government Commitments to North American Indigenous Games. Nova Scotia
July 12, 2021 – The North American Indigenous Games, after two postponements, will now be held from July 15 to 23, 2023 in Kjipuktuk (Halifax) and Millbrook First Nation, Nova Scotia

Call to Action # 90

Ensure national sports policies and programs are inclusive

Update to “Government Funding Commitments to Aboriginal Sports“:
June 29, 2021 – Aboriginal Sports Circle of the Northwest Territories receives funding to deliver sport for social development projects in Indigenous communities

Business and Reconciliation

Call to Action # 92

Adopt UNDRIP as a reconciliation framework, apply to policy and operations

Update to May 9, 2019 Federal government procurement spend
Aug. 6, 2021 – The Government of Canada is implementing a mandatory requirement for federal departments and agencies to ensure a minimum of 5% of the total value of contracts are held by Indigenous businesses
Update to Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business “Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) Program
Aug. 19, 2021 – Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business announced several prominent Canadian corporations to be recognized at the Business Recovery Forum on September 22, 2021 for achieving certification in Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR)

Newcomers to Canada

Home Page – Current Reality

Citizenship Act receives Royal Assent and becomes law
June 21, 2021 – Bill C-8 “An Act to amend the Citizenship Act (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s call to action number 94)” passed Third Reading in the Senate on June 10, 2021 and received Royal Assent on June 21, 2021 and became law

Call to Action # 94

Replace the Oath of Citizenship with a new oath with Indigenous content

Status Change from IN PROGRESS to COMPLETE
June 21, 2021 – Bill C-8 “An Act to amend the Citizenship Act (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s call to action number 94)” passed Third Reading in the Senate on June 10, 2021 and received Royal Assent on June 21, 2021 and became law

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