Many Canadians know that the federal government is responsible for funding social services, health care, education and income supports on First Nations reserves.
Few people realize that the escalator for these transfer payments has been frozen at 2% per year since 1996, without consideration for population growth or need.
According to the Assembly of First Nations, by 2011 this resulted in an average funding gap of $3,500 per student in First Nation schools compared to per student funding in provincial schools.
This operational funding gap is on top of a physical infrastructure funding gap for resources such as libraries, computer labs, (Read more…)
Winnipeg, June, 5, 2015: At the Manitoba Legislative Building, Maeengan Linklater answers journalists’ questions about his proposed Manitoba Indian Residential Schools Genocide and Reconciliation Memorial Day Act. Photo: Paul S. Graham
Now that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has completed its work, and the major federal political parties have have adopted predictable positions, what can ordinary folk do to make sure Justice Sinclair’s message isn’t lost between now and the election this fall?
I’m rather taken with a draft Act that was made public yesterday on the steps of the Manitoba Legislature that would set aside one day a (Read more…)
. . . → Read More: Paul S. Graham: Video: Manitoba government urged to recognize the genocide and help heal the trauma
Is that all is good with our native peoples. I mean it would have to be if the government department tasked with providing services to them was able to lapse a billion dollars in budget over the past five years. Of course there is also another possibility, that the Conservatives just don’t care.
Who, aside from the occasional professional grump, has not taken delight from the sound of children’s laughter and marveled at their ingenuity as they play at being pirates and princesses, artists and acrobats, witches and warriors? Child’s play is fun to watch and fun to join in (even with the aches and pains my grandfatherly body suffers from after a visit with the grandkids).
There is a serious side to play, though, one I had never considered until I met with some remarkable women who are in the midst of an ambitious project in the heart of Winnipeg’s North End.
Map of Proposed Energy East Pipeline route. Source: National Energy Board
Energy East Pipelines, Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of TransCanada Oil Pipelines (Canada), has applied to build the Energy East Pipeline, a project that will use aging natural gas pipelines along most of its route to move explosive, toxic diluted bitumen from the Alberta oil sands to refining facilities on Canada’s east coast.
The plan is fraught with risks to human health and the natural environment, but the National Energy Board, the federal regulatory body charged with assessing the suitability of this project, seems determined to turn a (Read more…)
The prospect of freer trade with European nations is generally popular among Canadians. And why shouldn’t it be? Doesn’t the Canadian left repeatedly point to the advantages of many European social and economic institutions? Who could argue with lower prices for European cheese, wine, or chocolate?
After all, we’ve been waiting for years for the Canadian economy to pivot to export-led growth, and how can we do that without free trade deals. This is the government’s line. (Even though classical economic theory would say that trade deals are meant to benefit consumers, not exporters).
Well, there are a number of (Read more…)
Labour market data in Canada is easily available by sex, age, and region. We spend a great deal of time talking about these factors. More recently Statistics Canada made labour market data available on CANSIM by landed immigrant status, going back to 2006. This factor is less often included in most labour market analysis, and too few know that it is even available.
But if you want to know how racialized workers or Indigenous workers (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples) are doing in the labour force you basically have to rely on the census … oh, wait. And on (Read more…)
Some of the people camping out in Memorial Park to call for a national inquiry into the deaths and disappearances of over 1200 Aboriginal women. Photo: Paul S. Graham
The hatred directed at aboriginal people in Canada is appalling, as is their poverty and exclusion from the opportunities that exist for non-indigenous Canadians. Nowhere is this more evident than in the federal government’s continuing refusal to hold a national inquiry into the causes of the deaths and disappearances of over 1200 aboriginal women. Now, aboriginal women are beginning to speak up for the aboriginal men who have disappeared over the (Read more…)
I don’t normally reprint news releases. This time I will make an exception. At the end of the news release are two videos I recorded earlier this year that speak to this issue. In the first, Dr. Stéphane McLachlan, of the Environmental Conservation Lab at the University of Manitoba, talks about the research that is the subject of this news release. In the second, Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May explains why Canada needs an energy policy that is good for Canada’s economy and its environment.
Health Study Reveals Alarming Links Between Oil Sands Contaminants and Incidence of Illness
The fur trade in Canada is often said to have been less malign than in the US, and it was, but that doesn’t say much given the extraordinary disruption it is said to have createn in colonial America by the American historian Bernard Bailyn in his recent (2012) book, appropriately titled The Barbarous Years: The Peopling of British North America: The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600-1675: “[S]omething general and profound…was developing on the eve of English settlement in North America. Emerging slowly at a latent level were the beginnings of fundamental alterations in native culture that, within a single generation after (Read more…)
Here is Joseph Boyden talking with the Globe and Mail last fall about his novel Orenda:
“You look at this novel and you think immigration, who you allow in and who you don’t. The Hurons allow in the ones who ulimately destroy them, because the Huron aren’t perfect either. They need the trade, and how much greed was involved in that? Look environmentally – you wipe out all the furs and your economy is gone. It’s like the oil sands.”
The fur trade destroyed the Huron economy and the Huron. Bitumen destroys the Canadian economy, and through carbon emissions (Read more…)
Winnipeg, Feb. 17, 2014: Suzanne Patles of the Mi’kmaq Warriors Society, speaking at Thunderbird House. Photo: Paul S. Graham
It is time to “warrior up” according to Suzanne Patles of the Mi’kmaq Warriors Society. She spoke at Thunderbird House in Winnipeg on Feb. 17, 2014 as part of a national tour to raise awareness about the struggle at Elsipogtog First Nation against shale gas fracking and police repression, as well as their ongoing assertion of nationhood.
Their blockade in opposition to shale gas fracking at Elsipogtog First Nation (located in Kent County, New Brunswick) came to national attention on October (Read more…)
Winnipeg, Jan. 21, 2014: Niigaan James Sinclair, speaking at the “Gift of Treaties” teach-in organized by Idle No More Manitoba. Photo: Paul S. Graham
A standard dictionary definition of the word “treaty” will describe it, rather drily, as a formal agreement between two or more states – an instrument of international relations commonly used to make peace, cement alliances, enable commerce, and so on.
For Anishinaabe scholar and activist Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, treaties are gifts which oblige the signatories to accept and value each as equals. Treaties, says Sinclair, are as old as creation and inextricably embedded in the (Read more…)
Filed under: Aboriginal Peoples, Environment, Nibbling on The Empire Tagged: aboriginal rights, Alberta oil sands, alberta tar sands, Neil Young
Several hundred members and supporters of Idle No More gathered at the centre court of the Polo Park Mall in Winnipeg Friday evening to sing and to dance. Some are calling it Idle No More 2.0. Idle No More Manitoba spokesperson Michael Kannon explains why in this video report.
Filed under: Aboriginal Peoples, Winnipeg Tagged: aboriginal rights, idle no more, Idle No More Manitoba, Winnipeg
October 26, 2013: Diane Orihel, founder and director of the Coalition to Save ELA, speaks to a workshop in Winnipeg on water quality sponsored by Idle No More Manitoba. Photo: Paul S. Graham
Diane Orihel is a PhD candidate at the University of Alberta and the founder and Director of the Coalition to Save ELA.The Coalition to Save ELA is a nonpartisan group of scientists and citizens concerned about the future of Canada’s Experimental Lakes Area.
Located in northwestern Ontario, the ELA consists of 58 small lakes and their watersheds that have been set aside for research. Since 1968, (Read more…)
Winnipeg, Oct. 26, 2013: Retired scientist Dennis Le Neveu spoke at a forum on the environmental hazards of fracking, sponsored by Idle No More Manitoba. Photo: Paul S. Graham
Fracking is a process used to extract oil and natural gas. It involves drilling horizontal wells into rock formations and injecting a mixture of fresh water, chemicals and sand under high pressure to fracture the rock and release the oil and gas.
Fracking has been linked with contaminated water aquifers, air pollution and earthquakes.
In Manitoba, the gas extracted with the oil is hydrogen sulfide, a toxic gas that is lethal (Read more…)