HuffPost Canada closed in 2021 and this site is maintained as an online archive. If you have questions or concerns, please check our FAQ or contact support@huffpost.com.

Idle No More

Indigenous resistance against Kinder Morgan is bigger than one pipeline battle. It's a hallmark of our changing times.
Simeon Tshakapesh's teenage son took his own life in May.
I remember coming home for the holidays a few years ago, around the time of Idle No More, and learning about Shoal Lake through the council. The water we drink in Winnipeg comes from Shoal Lake First Nation, yet the community members themselves cannot drink their own water! I was devastated and angry at such a clear injustice.
"One House, Many Nations."
These works illustrate Indigenous struggles in poignant strokes.
While some political parties are more responsible for instances of blatant racism than others, no political party has committed to action on combating racism in Canada. Aboriginal and racialized realities of being heavily surveilled, unfairly carded in the streets, and higher rates of violence remain fringe issues.
"In time, we hope to grow so that we can reach all Nations."
The RCMP apologized on Monday for the comparing Idle No More to “bacteria” in an internal report obtained by APTN News. “It
Idle No More is not gone. Far from it. This most unusual of movements -- lacking formal structure, operating without money, and without a clear strategy -- had transformed the country and aboriginal public affairs in myriad ways. It was a game-changer in Canadian public life. Its founders urged indigenous people to find and exercise their voice. And they did. Idle No More was not a failure and has not disappeared.
More than half the world's population is under 30, a demographic now at the forefront of international decision-making and some of Canada's most powerful environmental changes. Youth are thinking critically about how we can become better stewards of our landscapes and wildlife and protect the air, water, soil and diversity of nature that keep us healthy and alive.
A B.C. First Nations artist is taking the iconic and menacing image of the stormtrooper and using it for good. Andy Everson
A Tribe Called Red was also the first all-electronic act to perform at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. And they are one of a group of emerging aboriginal thought leaders who are building what Campeau calls a "civil rights movement" for their minority community.
Imagine what would happen if the Crown suppressed thousands of pages of police evidence from an important trial? It wouldn't take a legal expert to tell you there would be an immediate mistrial -- especially if the Crown also prepared a false evidence sheet that mislead the judges. And yet, this was done to the survivors of St. Anne's Residential School.
When 78-year-old Aboriginal education activist Verna Kirkness heard Harper promise legislation giving aboriginal communities full control of on-reserve education, backed with $1.9 billion in new stable funding, she choked up. "I thought I would never hear such words. That feeling that, after all these years, something could finally happen."
If I were to make a PSA about the difference between mainstream schools and northern Aboriginal schools, I would start with a shot of a classroom in the Ontario's south. I'm in a classroom in the Orangeville, Ontario area. I show them pictures, a bit of video, and talk about our students in Canada's Aboriginal Communities. I tell them to imagine the classroom they're in is actually in the north. They're drinking bottled water or their parents are boiling it for five minutes for safety. Their food is three to five times as expensive as in the south. They realize that, in the short time they've been on this planet, they have had so much.
There is no discussion of the fact that part of the reason Mandela was sent to prison was because he was responsible for bombing a power plant. Though we seem to like to imagine that Mandela brought change to South Africa with nothing but wise words and a kind, grandfatherly smile, the truth is very different. Mandela fought for his freedom, tooth and nail.
Canada's taxpayers have been increasingly generous to Aboriginal Canadians over the decades, but that reality is not often the narrative one hears from selected First Nations leaders. Instead, the oft-stated opinion is that taxpayers should ante up ever more. A quick look at the numbers shows us why that view will always be tragically misinformed.
Dear Prime Minister, We are writing to outline our deep and ongoing concerns with how your government has managed the relationship between the Crown and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. Two hundred and fifty years ago, the Royal Proclamation laid out how the richness of the land would be fairly shared. That hasn't happened. In other words, you need to completely rethink your approach to dealing with Aboriginal Peoples, not only because of the need for social justice and respect for their Constitutionally protected rights, but because the failure to do so will have enormous negative impacts on the Canadian economy.
Last year the Conservative government spent more fighting Indigenous people in the courts than it spent going after tax frauds. From First Nations' child welfare to resource development, the government's response has been "see you in court." Who knew in 2011, when a government document listed Indigenous peoples as "adversaries" in terms of resource development, that this attitude would permeate every aspect of the Conservatives' approach when dealing with Aboriginal people? Prime Minister Harper's decision to abandon consultation and negotiation to drag Aboriginal issues through the courts is failing, costly, time consuming and undermines the honour of the Crown.