Showing posts from March, 2019

Bill C-92’s Indigenous Child Welfare Act: More Pan-Indigenous Legislation that Risks Continuing the Status Quo

Bill C-92 An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Metis children, youth and families has been heralded as a “historic turning point”, an “important first step”, a “major milestone” and other similarly over-used and under-impressive political phrases to describe yet another top-down initiative from the federal government. While the Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde (AFN) claimed that this legislation was “co-drafted” by the AFN and the federal government, that was not the case. In fact, Dr. Cindy Blackstock confirmed that First Nations did not co-draft the legislation and First Nations were not even permitted to see the second draft before it was tabled. This should be no surprise as Justice Canada does not co-draft legislation with anyone other than the French and English legislative drafters at Justice Canada – this is their long-standing practice. Bill C-92 content is glaring evidence that First Nation experts in child welfare did not hold the pen on

Federal Budget 2019: Indigenous Women and Children Left Behind - Again

                                     (Pam Palmater, photo by Ben Powless) As expected, the Assembly of First Nations was first out of the gate offering glowing praise for this Liberal government’s federal budget, followed shortly thereafter by the Metis National Council and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami – the three male-dominated national Aboriginal organizations. Their organizations have seen substantial increases in funding for their political organizations in recent years. Meanwhile, the Native Women’s Association of Canada – the only political organization representing Indigenous women at the national level - issued its own press release criticizing the government for failing Indigenous women. They accused the federal government of, once again, ignoring the pressing needs of Indigenous women and in so doing, not only hampering reconciliation but breaching their core human rights. NWAC is especially aggrieved about this lack of funding for Indigenous women and families, given the