Indigenous peoples also have the right to say “yes” to resource projects

End the ideological posturing that has proved so detrimental to Indigenous rights

Indigenous peoples also have the right to say “yes” to resource projectsFor the last few decades, Indigenous communities have fought for the right to have a say in resource projects. In earlier generations, major resource and infrastructure projects were imposed on traditional territories without consultation, engagement, and collaboration. In some instances, these projects did severe environmental damage or caused significant social and cultural disruptions. Indigenous peoples…

National Day of Truth and Reconciliation well-intentioned but hollow

The transition from symbolism to action will be more difficult than Canadians imagine

National Day of Truth and Reconciliation well-intentioned but hollowCanada’s first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation fell far short of expectations. The continuing pandemic did not help, nor did the unevenness of the holiday/commemoration across the country. As expected, most Canadians who had a day off used it as personal time. Only a small number took the opportunity to engage with Indigenous peoples…

The cities are taking over Canadian politics

Recognizing the political power of Canadian cities has become a core element of national politics

The cities are taking over Canadian politicsThe parsing of the federal election results is underway, as Canadians seek insights into leadership, party fortunes, regional concerns, and the priorities of special interest groups. This process often exposes major currents in Canada’s political culture and provides the country with a glimpse into what lies ahead. In my view, a major focus should be…

How did we make reconciliation about white folks?

Many of the educational efforts associated with reconciliation are targeted at non-Indigenous peoples

How did we make reconciliation about white folks?Something strange has been happening on the road to true reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission produced clear recommendations on how the country could shed the bitter legacy of Indigenous residential schools. Yet, following revelations about gravesites near formal residential schools, the process seems to have morphed into measures designed to serve…

What if money is not the answer for Indigenous communities?

The feds tend to use money as a surrogate to real commitment

What if money is not the answer for Indigenous communities?The government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made extraordinary financial commitments to Indigenous peoples in Canada. The number and scale of the allocations over the past few years have been staggering, both in comparative and absolute terms. Last week, the federal government and First Nations reached an agreement on water supplies on reserves, estimated…

Finding a new path forward driven by Indigenous people

The graves of residential school children symbolize the abject failure of decades of government policy

Finding a new path forward driven by Indigenous peoplePeople are mad. Finally! And sadly, belatedly. The discovery of the locations where hundreds of children were buried around abandoned residential school grounds has touched the country in ways that perhaps even the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission did not. People are responding to…

Mining sector needs to get in on the hunt for strategic minerals

Local access is crucial if we are to ensure the long-term viability of our technology sector

Mining sector needs to get in on the hunt for strategic mineralsThe Canadian mining sector has been a vital cog in the country’s economy during the pandemic, with the importance of the industry growing steadily over time. Operations and exploration continued during the COVID-19 outbreak, collaborations with Indigenous communities expanded, technological sophistication accelerated, and, at a time when environmental assessment processes deter investment in Canada, international…

The horrible cost of constantly punting Indigenous claims to court

Governments have more resources and delays can drag on for years. Indigenous peoples pay heavily for the delays in resolving their claims

The horrible cost of constantly punting Indigenous claims to courtAt any given time, the government of Canada is dealing with hundreds of legal matters with Indigenous Canadians. This is inevitable given the complexity of Indigenous rights, the history of Canadian policy and patterns of government ‘lawlessness’ that left the country liable for the administrative misdeeds of the past 150-plus years. The number, diversity and…

Indigenous engagement charts positive course for oil and gas industry

Environmentalists only support Indigenous peoples when the First Nations and Métis agree with them

Indigenous engagement charts positive course for oil and gas industryMuch as opponents of Canadian oil and gas production hate to admit it, the future of the industry appears to be set. Construction on the Coastal GasLink pipeline to Kitimat, B.C., continues. Work on the Trans Mountain pipeline is well advanced. The Canadian portion of Enbridge’s Line 3 is essentially finished. Protests killed the Northern…

Our “lost generation” of Canadian youth

Young people who graduate into a recession often take decades to recover

Our “lost generation” of Canadian youthAs we bid farewell to 2020, an annus horribilis if there ever was one, spare a thought or two for Canada’s youth. Hard as 2020 was on Canada a whole, young Canadians are paying big time for the unavoidable consequences of COVID-19. Many Canadian young people were supposed to be having the proverbial ‘time of…