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Pam Palmater

  • Canada Should Declassify, Deconstruct and Defund the RCMP

    Governments won’t simply give us what we want—we must force the change we need. It is going to take all of us working together to keep up the pressure and not stop until we see the radical transformation that is required. Anything less will result in continued police racism and brutality and the loss of more Black and Indigenous lives.

  • Yes, Canada Has a Racism Crisis and It’s Killing Black and Indigenous Peoples

    The oft-repeated mantra of “we are not a racist country” provides comfort to many Canadians that racism and white supremacy are uniquely American problems. Nothing could be further from the truth. Anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism and violence in policing is as big an issue in Canada as it is in the US. But don’t take it from me. Let’s just look at the facts.

  • Inquiry Needed Into Police Violence Against Indigenous Peoples

    Until we take the bold step to demand police transparency and hold them accountable for the actions of their officers, deaths of Indigenous peoples will continue. We, as a society, owe Neil Stonechild, Dudley George, J.J. Harper, Frank Paul, Greg Ritchie, Stewart Andrews, Jason Collins and 16 year-old Eisha Hudson better than that.

  • Canada Is Ignoring the Gendered Impacts of COVID-19 on Indigenous Women

    Every level of government and state agency in Canada has had a hand in creating and maintaining the worst socio-economic conditions for Indigenous peoples, especially Indigenous women and girls. Their continued failures to address ongoing genocide puts Indigenous women and girls at higher risk for infection and death from COVID-19.

  • Where the parties stand on Indigenous issues

    This year’s federal election campaign has seen a significant drop in priority for Indigenous issues, especially in terms of the federal leaders’ debate and their campaign commentary. This stands in stark contrast to the 2015 election campaign, which saw Liberal leader Justin Trudeau centre his campaign on rebuilding Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples.

  • RCMP invasion of Wet’suwet’en Nation territory breaches Canada’s ‘rule of law’

    Canada is not a country that follows the rule of law. Canada makes and breaks laws to suit its own economic and political interests, which run counter to those of Indigenous peoples. It is time to be honest about it, and call out Canada as an outlaw, and take action to support the Wet’suwet’en Nation, who have occupied their lands since time immemorial.

  • Appropriated identities and the new wave of dispossession

    This new wave of dispossession is something completely different. French settlers and indeed other non-Indigenous peoples will quickly be able to undermine our Indigenous efforts to reassert our identities and rights if we allow reconciliation to become the shield under which white supremacists hide. We must confront this threat head-on.

  • True test of reconciliation: respect the Indigenous right to say No

    The right to say no is the core of any future relationship with the Canadian state and its citizens. It’s a basic right — one which is grounded in our sovereignty as individuals and Nations to decide for ourselves the life we wish to live. Canada has made it clear we have no right to say no, only an obligation to say yes. First Nations leaders and citizens should not wait to see how this plays out in court – they should assert and defend their right to say no now.

  • Resurgence or revelation? White nationalist legacies in Canada

    If we don’t feel uncomfortable, then we are not in reconciliation. Reconciliation was never intended to be a feel-good process. The acknowledgement of historical atrocities, the revelation of Canada’s white nationalist and racist foundations, and the transfer of wealth and power back to Indigenous peoples are going to make lots of people very uncomfortable and maybe even angry. But imagine how Indigenous peoples have felt all these decades, going to schools named after those who tried to kill us off.

  • Trudeau’s forked tongue reconciliation at the UN

    While Trudeau’s speech ignored his actions at home, the most offensive part was holding up First Nation suffering as a prop to bolster his desire for a seat on the UN Security Council. Canada has a great deal to account for and other countries are starting to take note of its hypocrisy. Canada is before no fewer than four UN treaty bodies for “grave,” “alarming” and “crisis-level” human rights violations of Indigenous peoples, including land rights, treaties and self-determination.

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