On Native Land

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Our Home On Native Land

This year marks 150 years since Confederation. There will be events and festivities all across the country throughout 2017. But a sombre note will underlay the celebrations. Our country rests on a shaky foundation: the forceful colonization of First Nations land and First Nations people.

What does real reconciliation mean to you? How can we build a fair and equal relationship between Indigenous peoples and settlers as promised in the early Peace and Friendship treaties? How can we make real the UN declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples which Canada is a signatory to?

There have been so many promises made – and so many promises broken. This is your opportunity to be part of the solution.

 

  • commented 2017-03-14 22:45:24 -0400
    I think we will need to listen to First Nations people about the solutions they want to see. I have trouble seeing a clear path foward. Clearly, we need to reduce poverty – but how to do so, when so many reserves are in remote areas where building and maintaining infrastructure is a constant challenge, where opportunities for jobs and economic development are scarce, and (in the North) where basic necessities are so expensive as to be unaffordable? Clean drinking water is a basic human right and no one in Canada should lack for it, but how can we maintain water treatment plants for isolated communities of a couple hundred people?


    There will need to be some serious thought about economic development and diversification in the north. What options are there for production of food (especially fruits and vegetables) in the territories so that it doesn’t need to be flown in at incredibly high prices? What are other northern countries like the Scandanavian nations and Iceland doing?


    As a starting point, we need to make tertiary education free for all First Nations and Inuit people. (I know that you have proposed to do this for everyone – I think heavily income-graduated bursaries would be more effective – but it’s particularly crucial for indigenous people, who have much lower tertiary education rates than other Canadians.) In its treaties, the Government of Canada committed to providing education, and in the present day a trades, college, or university education is virtually necessary (though not sufficient) for obtaining a decent, stable job. We also need programs at universities to support First Nation students who are feeling isolated. We also need to make sure that elementary and secondary schools on reserves are funded equally to equivalent schools in the rest of Canada – the current government has made progress on this front,, but there is further to go.


    I also agree with Jeremy that we seriously need to deal with racism in our police forces.
  • commented 2017-03-14 22:36:44 -0400
    The government, whether conservative or liberal, has been at odds with the First Nations community to no end. In order to maintain a solid relationship and allow ourselves to live as a unified country, the federal government needs to step up to the plate and actually treat the First Nations population equal to the rest of us, instead of drastically lower as they have and continue to do. They must provide funding for education and infrastructure for first nations schools. They also have to ensure that law enforcement is responsible and accountable for their treatment of First Nations people, in order to end racist mistreatment. I also hope that one day we can say that all children in our country have access to adequate shelter, food, and water, instead of the embarrassing state of affairs that is the quality of life for first nations children. Before right wingers demand that first nations people to be proud Canadians, our government needs to truly end discrimination against them, and uphold their agreements to equal and appropriate treatment.
  • commented 2017-03-12 22:02:14 -0400
    We are also the 99% that are not aboriginal. Try to keep a reasonable balance.
  • commented 2017-03-04 12:13:03 -0500
    Real reconciliation means listening to Tribal Councils and First Nations activists about the solutions they want to see. To me (an ignorant citified white dude) it means a massive boost in funding to schools and First Nations communities, and retraining of our police forces to curb the unacceptable hostility and racism between law enforcement and first nations communities in places like Manitoba.
  • commented 2017-03-02 07:54:30 -0500
    Gosh, where do you start? We can’t rest until every child in Canada has access to the necessities of life (shelter, food, clothing, etc.) and a chance to follow their dreams. The biggest crime colonialism has ever committed IMHO, is taking away the dreams, and the chance to be the best they can be.
  • commented 2017-02-27 21:49:29 -0500
    I’m hoping this short video about reconciliation that came across my Facebook feed shows up. If not, and you are interesting you can probably copy and paste the URL into your browser. https://www.facebook.com/TheatreForLiving/videos/vb.170119864185/10155678580934186/?type=2&theater
  • commented 2017-02-23 11:07:24 -0500
    The Liberal’s lost all my respect and any faith in their calls for a renewal of respecting values of the First Nations, when they gave their support of the Kinder Morgan pipeline and renewed same for the Keystone XL. I currently live in an area of Canada (South Bruce, Ontario) designates as a prime site for the disposal of nuclear waste. (Adaptive Phased Management) Both the industry and government had said that such a project will not proceed without first consultation with the Saugeen First Nations, a poor municipality , who may just get bought out by an industry with deep pockets. As an example, my municipality alone, has been given $400,000 by the Nuclear Waste Management (NWMO) just for being co-operative in “learning process” of APM.

    I feel this is an unethical process that should be reviewed by Parliament.

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