Canada is a signatory to nearly a dozen international legal instruments upholding human dignity and the rights of Indigenous women. But the agreements have yet to influence the current analysis of nearly 1200 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) in Canada.
The recent Standing Rock standoff over the Dakota Access Pipeline and eight-year Unist’ot’en resistance camp in northern British Columbia are a manifestation of “indigenous resurgence” against colonialism and fossil fuel developments, including pipelines.
Today, on the occasion of Canada 150, we should be asking ourselves tough questions relating to the role of public policy in Canada’s ongoing efforts at reconciling with Indigenous people. According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives: “Above all, we must deliberately put Indigenous voices and lived experiences at the centre of policy-making conversations in Canada”.
The federal court’s recent ruling on the Dakota Access Pipeline saga could start a new chapter guaranteeing the rule of law and protection of water protectors, argues Mark Trahant, the Charles R. Johnson Endowed Professor of Journalism at the University of North Dakota.
Open Letter to Chief Commissioner Marion Buller on National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
Read the open letter recently dispatched to Marion Buller, the Chief Commissioner for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, by the victims’ families, advocates, Indigenous leaders, experts and grassroots people. The “inquiry is in serious trouble.”
According to Tara Williamson, a singer-songwriter and poet from Manitoba, one of the many problems inherent in Canada’s current effort to reconcile with Indigenous peoples is this: “We must be willing to reconcile, willing to hear apologies, willing to share our trauma with others, willing to heal and willing to forgive.”
The planned Innavik Hydro Electric Project will provide clean energy and propel the indigenous Inukjuak community in Northern Quebec off its dependency on dirty diesel energy. But the project faces serious challenges, including lack of adequate funding, and mega hydro projects’ disastrous legacy of wiping out thousands of caribou and flooding large swaths of land.
The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs is suing the Trudeau government over its approval of Enbridge’s Line 3 tar sands pipeline. First Nations leaders have repeatedly stated that no genuine reconciliation is possible as long as Canada continues to approve fossil fuel-based projects that threaten their communities and the planet.