Uluru Convention delegates Irene Peachey, Jackie Huggins (National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples), Irene Davies and Commissioner June Oscar. (c) Australian Human Rights Commission)
I’m constantly drawn to the similarities between the history of Indigenous People in Canada and Australia. In both places, settlers stole their land and tried to wipe out their cultures, mainly by taking children from their parents with an aim to ‘kill the Indian in the child’. (The approach was shockingly similar in the US also).
The newcomers failed however, and today Indigenous People in both Canada and Australia are becoming more powerful, as their populations grow, become better educated and politically active. This has led to reconciliation movements in both places. In Canada, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has finished its work and now, as they say, the hard work begins. Continue reading
Canoes in front of the museum in Haida Gwaii.
I was happy to read an article recently about the Haida people repatriating articles from museums in Canada and around the world. In many cases the articles were stolen, in the 19th and 20th centuries, in the name of collecting evidence of dying indigenous peoples. Continue reading
A Nepali woman gets a pre-birth checkup. (c) UNICEF.
On the surface they are poles apart: Canada, one of the world’s most ‘developed’ nations and Nepal, still classified as a least developed country. But still, I keep finding parallels between villagers in Nepal and Canada’s poorest — Indigenous People. (See a previous post). Continue reading
Report of Canada’s TRC, at the 2-year point of its 5-year mandate.
Two Canadians in powerful positions with totally divergent views about the impact of residential schools on Indigenous Peoples: thankfully the one with the decision-making power has taken the time to understand the painful history, and legacy, of this atrocious system.
In January, Justice David Gibson of the Ontario Court of Justice wrote an insightful commentary on the history of Pikangikum, a First Nation community in northern Ontario.
(I’ve written about Pikangikum before, including in this post.) Continue reading
I am astounded. One of the first items I posted on this blog, in 2010, was about girls’ toilets in schools in Nepal and other ‘developing’ countries. It described how the lack of designated toilets for girls in many schools meant that once they reached the age of menstruation, girls would stay home when they had their periods.
Today I read that in Canada’s province of Saskatchewan, girls in some northern communities are staying home from school because they can’t afford sanitary pads or medicine when they are menstruating. The CBC article lacks details, but I’m assuming that some, or all, of those communities are “reserves” where many of Canada’s Indigenous People live. (The article does mention “First Nations” communities). Continue reading
Broadcaster Jesse Wente discusses Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s apology, on 30 May, for the province’s residential schools system for First Nations children. (c) CBC
Yesterday, 30 May, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne apologized for the treatment meted out to First Nations children in the province’s residential schools and for the racism that underpinned the schools system.
The apology felt anti-climactic following last year’s release of the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission but it should be welcomed as a sign that follow-up to the report continues. Continue reading
People walk near the high school in Attawapiskat. (c) CBC.ca
The Canada brand has been trending everywhere since the election of a Liberal government led by photogenic Justin Trudeau on Oct 19, 2015. This resurgence has featured Trudeau’s ‘bromance’ with US President Barack Obama and the prime minister’s declaration to the Paris climate summit in November that, “Canada is back” to assume its historical role as a nation that punches above its weight in engaging in global issues.