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BTL 2

Pam Palmater

  • 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’

    In this case, the laws of Canada were neither equally enforced, nor compliant with international human rights standards. 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 despite the inevitable claims of “lateral violence,” “colonial mentality” or “unsafe space” every time someone questions the appropriated identities of these groups.

  • 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.

  • Social conflict is inevitable in decolonization battle

    If there is to be peace on Turtle Island, Canadian governments will have to go beyond superficial words and gestures and take substantive action to address our rights. Until then, if being Indigenous, protecting our lands and waters and exercising our Aboriginal and treaty rights means we are breaking Canadian laws; then we need to continue to be “criminally Indigenous” for the sake of our future generations.

  • Unravelling the secrets of the National Inquiry

    The inquiry’s secretive process has resulted in a loss in faith by many would-be participants. Several commentators have said that being trauma-informed should not be an excuse for not getting started. Some family members feel that all this secrecy is re-traumatizing them. Even the former Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Murray Sinclair, told the Inquiry to just start already.

  • Evidence of good faith lacking in Trudeau’s Indigenous agenda

    We gave Trudeau’s government more than a year to put some good faith on the table. Instead, we see a lot of talk but very little substantive action on the matters that matter most to us. If our right to free, informed and prior consent before development on our lands is not respected, that is the equivalent of breaching our Aboriginal, treaty and title rights. How does that make him any different from Harper?

  • PM Trudeau’s Nation to Nation Relationship Disppeared with Empty Budget Promises

    If you are the kind that is ok with endless “first steps” or “its a start” or believe “every dollar counts” or “something is better than nothing” or “we better take what we can get” - then I’m sure the budget works for you. However, I think our children deserve better than this.

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