To end racial inequality, Canada must embrace equal rights and obligations

Canadian elites accepted the old-world model of political and social organization based on identification with racial groups

To end racial inequality, Canada must embrace equal rights and obligationsColumnist and author Richard Gwyn wrote that the 1950s was a time “when Canadians came to realize and believe that a ‘new nationality’ could be political rather than ethnic, or composed of  values and attitudes, rather than races.” Gwyn, author of Nation Maker – Sir John A. Macdonald: His Life, Our Times, a biography of Canada’s first prime…

We minimize, revise and ignore history at our own peril

Confronting the horrors of our past and trying to make things right isn’t an easy task but a peace comes from doing the right thing

We minimize, revise and ignore history at our own perilIt seems that everywhere we turn we find a new scandal, some memory from the past that haunts us. Though virtually every state and institution has something to hide, there’s something liberating in speaking the truth. While his tenure hasn’t been without controversy, many around the world have been relieved to see the openness and…

U of A researcher to work with N.W.T. communities to promote vaccinations

Project to develop culturally appropriate program is among 19 projects to receive funding from Canadian Institutes of Health Research

U of A researcher to work with N.W.T. communities to promote vaccinationsA University of Alberta researcher will consult with two Indigenous communities in the Northwest Territories to co-create a culturally appropriate promotion program for the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection and the main cause of cervical cancer worldwide, but it is preventable with a vaccine for females aged nine to…

Ancient moccasin suggests Dene migrated farther south than thought

Artifact found in a cave in Utah reveals precolonial connection between Canadian Subarctic and American Southwest

Ancient moccasin suggests Dene migrated farther south than thoughtA piece of leather from an 800-year-old moccasin found in a Utah cave has helped researchers retrace the ancient steps of a remarkable migration that saw some Dene (Athapaskan) people leave their homes in the continent’s Subarctic and eventually create new homes scattered across the southern United States as Dineh (Navajo) and Ndee (Apache) ancestors,…

Adjusting language can improve the health of LGBTQ+ patients

Two-spirit Indigenous nurse will share insights at upcoming Inclusive Health Conference

Adjusting language can improve the health of LGBTQ+ patientsPronouns are a matter of life or death for Keith King, a registered nurse who identifies as two-spirit and Métis. “When I greet a new patient I’ll say, ‘Hi, my name’s Keith, I’m a registered nurse and my pronouns are he/him. What can I do for you today?’” King said. “And that just sets the stage…

Indigenous language learning made easy through technology

After finding few digital resources available, Delaney Lothian decided to create a game and app for learning Cree language

Indigenous language learning made easy through technologyDelaney Lothian jumped at the chance to take an introductory Cree language course – an opportunity to expand beyond the programming languages of her computing science major at the University of Alberta. Like any 21st-century student, she turned to the internet for help. To her surprise, she found very few digital resources for Cree. “The…

Indigenous housing crisis can be solved using market forces

Only the private sector can deliver the high-quality housing that reserves need. Government waiting lists will never catch up

Indigenous housing crisis can be solved using market forcesAdequate housing – especially in remote and northern locations – is an intractable problem facing First Nation communities. The high cost of housing in these locations and the never-ending cycle of backlogs plague reserve communities across Canada. The federal government must pledge to make housing a commitment on the same level as safe drinking water…

How to support Indigenous entrepreneurs on the road to success

Business leaders should help build up capacity through mentorship and coaching, then start looking to spend at Indigenous suppliers

How to support Indigenous entrepreneurs on the road to successJeff and William approached me in the fall of 2019 about helping with their ecotourism business. They started the business in 2014 and wanted help growing it and getting more clients. They felt if they could share their traditions and culture with the world, they could provide meaningful jobs for the youth of their community.…

Indigenous leaders step up but no applause from environmentalists

First Nations are fighting to determine their own futures. Why are environmental groups standing in the way?

Indigenous leaders step up but no applause from environmentalistsNot enough has been said about the recent memorandum of understanding between the First Nations Climate Initiative table and the First Nations Major Projects Coalition, which represents 70 First Nations from across Canada. In December 2020, the two parties signed an agreement to advance an Indigenous-led, net-zero carbon-emissions policy framework, including nature-based solutions for carbon…

History shows a path to resolve lobster fisheries dispute

Non-Indigenous fishers in Atlantic region need not be worried that Indigenous rights will come at the expense of conservation

History shows a path to resolve lobster fisheries disputeA dispute in Ontario may help us understand ongoing tensions over the lobster fisheries on the East Coast and offer a solution. The war over Indigenous fishing rights has played out before in Canada. As we reflect on recent violence in Nova Scotia over the lobster fisheries, it’s important to know if there are any…

Indigenous communities leaping the digital divide

Indigenous communities are setting up their own satellite, fibre optics and even cellular phone networks

Indigenous communities leaping the digital divideWhen Bruce Buffalo returned to Maskwacis after years away in the big city, he was appalled to discover parts of his community still had no internet service. Just an hour’s drive from Edmonton, some neighbourhoods in the Indigenous community remained cut off from the rest of the world as recently as 2016, apart from a few…

First Nations need safe drinking water now

The government should be bolder on reform commitments and less grandiose in its promises

First Nations need safe drinking water nowCanada and its Indigenous communities should finally commit this year to making the systemic reforms needed to ensure First Nations drinking water standards are the same as the rest of the country. For starters, Indigenous communities ought to experiment with more regional water authority agreements to deliver safe drinking water. In late 2020, Indigenous Services…

The horrible cost of constantly punting Indigenous claims to court

Governments have more resources and delays can drag on for years. Indigenous peoples pay heavily for the delays in resolving their claims

The horrible cost of constantly punting Indigenous claims to courtAt any given time, the government of Canada is dealing with hundreds of legal matters with Indigenous Canadians. This is inevitable given the complexity of Indigenous rights, the history of Canadian policy and patterns of government ‘lawlessness’ that left the country liable for the administrative misdeeds of the past 150-plus years. The number, diversity and…

How much First Nations business comes from government?

The Yukon government recently unveiled a procurement policy that offers a roadmap for Canadian jurisdictions like B.C.

How much First Nations business comes from government?The Business Council of British Columbia sees “a generational opportunity to accelerate and realize a new future where Indigenous communities and businesses are equitably participating in B.C.’s open trading economy.” And Kim Baird, a First Nations leader and advocate, says: “From resource extraction projects on First Nation traditional territories to First Nations developing their reserve…

U of A graduate helps ensure Indigenous voices are counted

Krista Chiponski is building relationships with 63 First Nations communities to help gather vital data for 2021 Census

U of A graduate helps ensure Indigenous voices are countedTo get a snapshot of the country’s population, a national census focused on gathering household information is held every five years. The resulting data from Statistics Canada helps businesses, associations, community organizations and governments – including Indigenous leadership – shape their policies and programs. In preparation for the May launch of the 2021 Census, University of Alberta…
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