Canadian Dimension: Trudeau’s forked tongue reconciliation at the UN

Screenshot from YouTube On September 21, Justin Trudeau addressed the United Nations in New York. It was, by all accounts, a historic speech. For the first time, a Canadian prime minister devoted the bulk of his UN address to Indigenous issues. Trudeau’s words were powerful, even hopeful, about reconciliation with Indigenous peoples — a welcome ...

Canadian Dimension: UNsettling Canada 150

Image by Idle No More Idle No More & Defenders of the Land call to action: In the spirit of Arthur Manuel, we want to make July 1st a National Day of Action. This day of action is to celebrate our Indigenous and human rights to self-determination, our lands, territories, and resources. It is also ...

Canadian Dimension: Unravelling the secrets of the National Inquiry

Photo by Obert Madondo During Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s election campaign, he promised that, if elected, the Liberal’s first order of business would be to conduct a national inquiry into the thousands of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls in Canada. This was a welcome change from the former prime minister Stephen Harper’s position ...

Canadian Dimension: Evidence of good faith lacking in Trudeau’s Indigenous agenda

Photo by Jake Wright (The Hill Times) After 10 oppressive years under Stephen Harper Conservatives, the long-awaited change in government brought a collective sigh of relief from most Indigenous peoples in Canada. Justin Trudeau’s many pre-election promises to Indigenous peoples represented a drastic departure from Harper’s racist, assimilatory agenda. Trudeau even inspired Indigenous people who ...

Canadian Dimension: Trudeau’s promises unravel in legal battle over Indigenous rights

Photo from Pangaea-Project.org Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party campaigned on the promise of a “renewed, nation-to-nation relationship” between the government and Indigenous communities. Trudeau promised the Assembly of First Nations that he would govern “not only in accordance with constitutional obligations, but also with those enshrined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.” ...

Canadian Dimension: Decolonizing Cottage Country: Anishinaabe Art Intervenes in Canada’s Wild Rice War

Photo by Sean Carleton A battle is raging between cottagers and Mississauga Anishinaabe over the harvesting of wild rice (minomiin, manomin, or manoomin) on Pigeon Lake. The conflict, which started in the summer of 2015, is ongoing and gaining international attention as “Canada’s wild rice war.” Pigeon Lake is part of a cluster of lakes ...

Canadian Dimension: Why aren’t Conditions of Life for First Peoples a National Emergency?

Photo by Paul Lantz May of 2012, the U.N.’s Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Prof. Olivier De Schutter, visited his first NATO country, Canada. He found Canada’s poor generally deprived of adequate nutrition (“People are simply too poor to eat decently”). He found the Aboriginal peoples at risk. In October, 2013, the UN ...

Canadian Dimension: PM Trudeau’s Nation to Nation Relationship Disppeared with Empty Budget Promises

Photo by Renegade98 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won the hearts of many Canadians by finally getting rid of Stephen Harper and his decade of oppression, violation of civil rights and vilification of First Nations. Most breathed a sigh of relief on October 20th, 2015 when newly elected Trudeau talked about changing everything in Canada. He ...

Canadian Dimension: The ongoing legacies of Canadian genocide

Photo by Izithombe The question of whether the horrors committed upon Indigenous peoples by colonial and then Canadian officials can be called genocide often attracts a great deal of controversy. Most Canadians cling to the notion that genocide means something that happens to other people, in other, far away countries. They misunderstand genocide to have ...

Canadian Dimension: First Nations in the Crosshairs

Graphic from VHS jacket for the film Blockade: Algonquins Defend the Forest (1991). Written and directed by Boyce Richardson, the film recounts the struggle of Barrier Lake Algonquins to defend their land against clear-cut logging. The Harper government’s agenda of aggressively expanding and accelerating resource extraction projects has identified Indigenous Peoples as the primary obstacle ...

Canadian Dimension: Violence against Indigenous women and the case of Cindy Gladue

Photo by Thien V. (Howl Arts Collective) This conversation is triggering and discusses violence against and the injuries of Indigenous women. I wish we didn’t have to have it and that I didn’t have to say any of this. At 12, I knew enough to be scared of the men who would drive by our ...

Canadian Dimension: Stephen Harper and the myth of the crooked Indian

Image from Library and Archives Canada Can you think of any Prime Minister, President or World Leader that would withhold food, water, or health care as a bullying tactic to force its citizens into compliance with a new government law, policy or scheme? Can you ever imagine this happening in Canada? I don’t think most ...