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Canada Fails (Again) to Ensure Clean Water in First Nations: Auditor General

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AUDITOR GENERAL REPORT ON CLEAN WATER IN FIRST NATIONS PRIME MINISTER JUSTIN TRUDEAU had no problem finding $7 billion dollars to buy Trans Mountain pipeline - so where’s the money for water pipelines to First Nations? This week, the Auditor General for Canada (AG) released her report on whether Canada is providing enough support to ensure that First Nations have access to clean drinking water. The answer was a clear no. This is despite the Liberal government’s promise back in 2015 to eliminate all long-term drinking water advisories in First Nations by March 2021. The report entitled "Access to Safe Drinking Water in First Nations Communities" found that federal policies and funding amounts did not align with its promise to end all long-term drinking water advisories (DWA) on reserve. But the story doesn't begin or end with DWAs.               https://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_oag_202102_03_e_43749.html FIRST NATIONS LANDS & WATERS First of all, we woul

Canada's Shell Game on C-92 Funding

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  C-92 An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Children, Youth and Families THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT has once again proven that legislative initiatives tend to be effective deflections from their ongoing failures to address human rights abuses against Indigenous peoples. Bill C-92:  An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Children, Youth and Families  (2019) was heralded by the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the federal government as the solution to the “humanitarian crisis” of First Nations children in foster care. The AFN in particular pushed hard for the legislation to pass in Parliament, despite widespread opposition and protests from First Nations from all over Canada. First Nations legal and child welfare experts also warned Parliament that C-92 did not align with Canada’s political promises and could in fact make things worse. They were right. NO STATUTORY GUARANTEE OF FUNDING There are many substantive problems with C-92, but the most obvious is that there

In Plain Sight: Widespread Racism in BC Healthcare

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  RACISM IN BC HEALTHCARE I magine living in a country, where hospitals refused to treat you for a stroke, because the doctors and nurses assumed you were drunk? Imagine further, that the emergency room doctor refused to treat your young child for epilepsy, because they assumed she was on drugs? Well folks, that country is Canada. It doesn’t sound like the Canada you know. It doesn’t seem to reflect Canada’s world-renowned medical experts and hospitals. Nor does it seem to jive with Canada’s impressive array of human rights protections. Yet, if you are Indigenous in Canada, you can expect this kind of treatment and worse - even in Canada’s best hospitals in British Columbia (BC). Just before the holidays, a report was released which confirmed what most Indigenous peoples already knew – that racism against Indigenous peoples, especially First Nations peoples - is widespread in BC’s healthcare system. IN PLAIN SIGHT The report entitled -   In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-spe

Explosive Report Finds RCMP Toxic Culture of Racism, Misogyny & Homophobia

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                          "This process has forever tarnished the image of the RCMP as a Canadian icon."  (The Honourable Michel Bastarache, Independent Assessor) RCMP'S TOXIC CULTURE Racism, misogyny and homophobia - these are the characteristics of Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) toxic culture according to a new report released this week.  The report: Broken Dreams Broken Lives was written by former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Michel Bastarache, who had been engaged as an independent assessor to review the more than 3,000 claims of sexual harassment experienced by women who worked for the RCMP. He found that the experiences of these women in the RCMP were nothing short of devastating. In addition to those women who suffered from violent sexual assaults by their male RCMP colleagues, many women have been left with deep psychological injuries which range from major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder to substance dependence and even suicide. 

Transitional Justice Plan Urgently Needed to End Genocide in Canada

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(Pam Palmater, Shelagh Day and Sharon McIvor testifying before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington, DC - fall 2019). For decades, the families of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls and their communities; together with Indigenous women leaders and experts and allied human rights organizations, advocated for government action to end the crisis. Many families had called for a national inquiry, which was supported by various international human rights treaty bodies. After a tumultuous start and numerous set-backs, the National Inquiry concluded its work and released its final report at a ceremony on June 3, 2019, before hundreds of Indigenous family members, leaders and advocates. They found Canada guilty of both historic and ongoing genocide. Throughout the National Inquiry’s proceedings, Minister of Indigenous Affairs Carolyn Bennett committed that Canada would not sit idly by while the inquiry proceeded. They committed to take action to en