Our Times 3

Indigenous Politics

  • Statues, churches, vandalism, and the nationalist and colonial tales we like to call ‘history’

    Those who want to save these statues in the ostensible name of history are the same people lighting the planet on fire, refusing to acknowledge climate change, refusing to honour the spirit of the treaties, and refusing to fund history and the humanities in the first place. They are not protectors of “History.” On the contrary, they are the hand-maidens of its demise.

  • Cancelling Canada Day is a move towards truth, justice and reconciliation

    The calls to cancel Canada Day continue to grow louder after hundreds of Indigenous children were found in unmarked graves near former Indian residential schools in British Columbia and Saskatchewan. A national day of mourning and collective reflection in honour of these children is far more fitting than the usual fireworks and parades which celebrate a country founded on genocide, writes Pam Palmater.

  • Tear down that statue!

    Today, things are changing as marginalized groups including Indigenous peoples fight for rights, recognition and justice. There is and will continue to be a backlash against them and their work, but the struggle continues. That work will include rethinking our history and tearing down the symbols of oppression and orthodoxy that represent, even glorify, past wrongs and underwrite current ones.

  • Canada’s genocidal past and present exposed with mass Indigenous child grave

    It is one thing to recognize our society as having genocidal roots in the distant past. But the reality of Indigenous genocide, in particular children kidnapped and killed in the manufactories of murder otherwise known as Indian Residential Schools, confronts us today, and what we see in the here and now is the ongoing genocide of Indigenous people and cultures.

  • Reckoning with genocide and the denialism of the Canadian state

    Tamara Starblanket is a Nehiyaw iskwew (Cree woman) from Ahtahkakoop First Nation. She holds a Master of Laws from the University of Saskatchewan, and an LLB from the University of British Columbia. Here, she is interviewed by Aziz Choudry, a writer and academic based in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Canada’s history of genocide, the failures of reconciliation, and the imperative of decolonization.

  • Federal budget ignores Canada’s ongoing genocide against Indigenous peoples

    Canada’s continued denial of the basic human rights of Indigenous peoples is written right into budget 2021, a document that clearly falls well short on addressing this country’s ongoing genocide crisis. How many more Indigenous women and girls need to go missing before the federal government addresses this historic crime for what it is—genocide—and takes the nationwide urgent action that is needed to end it?

  • Who controls the basic income narrative?

    Instead of protecting the status quo, it is time for governments to pay their fair share in support of greater equality and equity in this country, especially when that wealth was borne out of the deliberate and ongoing oppression and dispossession of BIPOC communities. Basic income is the way forward in lifting millions of Canadians out of poverty, and empowering them to make their own choices.

  • Canada’s duty to consult: A legal veneer for colonialism?

    As in most areas of Canadian law, courts are more interested in legitimating and maintaining capitalist relations of domination than in providing real justice. Opposition to extraction should focus on transforming or working outside of the current legal system, since the duty to consult as it is used today is woefully inadequate, and sometimes even actively detrimental, to the attainment of justice for Indigenous peoples.

  • Nuclear colonialism and the Marshall Islands

    On March 1, 1954, the United States military detonated a 15 megaton thermonuclear weapon called “Bravo” (the first in the “CASTLE” test series) and exposed the residents of the Bikini Atoll to its radioactive fallout. Those down-wind of the explosions suffered severe burns and were exposed to massive amounts of radiation, irreversibly altering the trajectory of the region and its inhabitants forever.

  • Doug Ford’s racism is risking First Nation lives

    The time to confront individual and systemic racism is long overdue. Ontario Premier Doug Ford needs to do more than apologize to NDP MPP Sol Mamakwa late on a Friday afternoon. He needs to apologize to all Indigenous peoples for what Mamakwa calls “shaming First Nations people for getting medical care.” Then he needs to kick priority vaccinations for off-reserve Indigenous peoples into high gear.

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