The final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG), which labeled the ongoing violence against Indigenous women and girls in Canada a “Canadian genocide” caused by “state actions and actions rooted in colonialism and colonial ideologies”, calls on Canadian society “to address the intersecting settler colonial and hetero-patriarchal wrongs that have led to the injustice of MMIWG,” argues Andrew Woolford, a former president of the International Association of Genocide Scholars and professor of sociology and criminology at the University of Manitoba.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s fight against British Columbia’s efforts to stop the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project ignores the pipeline’s negative impact on First Nations and Canada’s ongoing efforts at reconciliation with First Nations.
Indigenous-led Tiny House Warriors are building homes in the path of the Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline to protest the project, which would increase the flow of Alberta tar sands to the Vancouver coast from the current 300,000 barrels a day to 890,000.
The recent decision by an all-white jury to acquit Gerald Stanley, the killer of Colten Boushie calls on us all to confront systematic racism and demand reforms to Canada’s justice system, which “works against Indigenous people at every level”.
Last week’s decision by an all-white jury to acquit Gerald Stanley, the killer of Colten Boushie, a young Indigenous man from the Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, calls for an overhaul of Canada’s settler-based legal system, and an investigation into the racism embedded within Canadian society and police forces.
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”.