indigenous Tag

11 May 2018 How Canadian: government forces an apology but ignores the substance of the issue

by André Schutten Members of Parliament voted overwhelmingly (269 to 10) in favour of a motion calling on Canada’s Roman Catholic bishops to request the pope visit Canada to apologize for the Church’s role in the residential schools. The residential school system was deeply flawed and perpetrated much evil against vulnerable children. It separated indigenous children from their parents without the families’ consent, violating the family unit with the force of law. The Roman Catholic Church and other denominations were willing cooperators with the government in running this school system. Nevertheless, this call...

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14 Nov 2017 Protecting the grizzly bear spirit?

Derek Ross, Executive Director of Christian Legal Fellowship One of the intervenors in a recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling on freedom of religion says even though his side lost the case, there are some positives to be drawn from the final ruling. This is about the Ktunaxa decision, which we told you about last week. The case centred on claims that the object of native spirituality for the Ktunaxa Indian band in BC should be protected by the Charter. The object of that faith is the "Grizzly Bear Spirit", which...

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07 Nov 2017 Freedom of religion for the ‘grizzly bear spirit’?

The Supreme Court of Canada issued a major ruling last week, which places some restrictions on the definition of the Charter right of "Freedom of Religion." The ruling was in the Ktunaxa case in British Columbia. You may recall we featured that case on Lighthouse News last December. It involved a challenge by the Ktunaxa Indian Band in southeastern BC against the BC government's decision to approve a ski resort development. The Band claimed the government hadn't properly considered the "Freedom of Religion" clause in the Charter of Rights, because approving...

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18 Aug 2017 Irreconcilable? Indigenous Peoples and Canada at 150

by Colin Postma Despite all the talk of reconciliation with Canada’s aboriginal population over the years, all is still not well in the minds of many Canadians. Canada recently celebrated its 150th Birthday. Canadian flags, parades, and fireworks were the staple in every Canadian city, town, and village. In my home town of Ottawa, thousands waited in line for hours in heavy rain just to be a part of the events on Parliament Hill. But many Canadians felt differently. One of my Facebook friends posted a picture of himself wearing a shirt with...

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01 Dec 2016 Supreme Court Hears First Nation’s Freedom of Religion Case

The Supreme Court of Canada is hearing an historic Aboriginal religious freedom claim today. The Ktunaxa First Nation challenged the British Columbia government’s decision to permit the construction of a ski resort, claiming that it would violate their religious freedom by desecrating a mountain that is sacred to them and interfering with their spiritual practices. The British Columbia Court of Appeal rejected the Ktunaxa’s claim, saying that religious freedom does not protect religious exercise or belief to the extent it requires third parties to “act or refrain from acting and behave in...

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10 Sep 2014 Myths and Realities of First Nations Education

  The Fraser Institute has published a research paper titled "Myths and Realities of First Nations Education" and as can be seen by the graphic to the left, there is a visible distinction between First Nations and public schools, and not for the right reasons. The report looks at the per student cost of educating children in public schools compared with reserve schools and the standards required (or not) by both systems. The authors state that "simply increasing government funding for education does not result in a better education...

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02 Jul 2014 Report Card: Assessing Canada’s Conservative Government

The following article, "Report Card: Assessing Canada's Conservative Government on 10 Key Issues" was originally published in the Reformed Perspective magazine. It has been updated and included here as a reference item for our readers. You can download a PDF of the updated version, linked at the bottom of the text if you wish to print a copy. By Mark Penninga (Updated July, 2014) In a June 2011 article for Reformed Perspective I detailed 10 realistic goals that could be accomplished for our nation under this Conservative government if our leaders have the courage to lead and if citizens give them the encouragement and accountability to do so. Now that we are about halfway through this government’s mandate, how are we faring on these issues? 1. Give Aboriginals the responsibility and hope that belongs to all Canadians Grade: B+ Not long after ARPA published a policy report on this issue in 2012, we were very encouraged to see the federal government announce a number of bills and policies to increase accountability, equality, and opportunity for Canada's Aboriginal peoples. In June 2013, the First Nations Financial Transparency Act became law. Aboriginal MP Rob Clarke has also introduced a private member's bill C-428 entitled the Indian Act Amendment and Replacement Act. And the government has also taken steps towards allowing private property ownership on reserves and increasing parental responsibility in education. As encouraging as these changes are, they are small steps in light of the enormity of the problem. And given that the issue crosses into provincial responsibility, much more can also be done in having the provinces and federal government work towards a common vision. 2. Reform the Canadian Human Rights Commission Grade: C- In light of all the opposition from all sides of the political spectrum to problematic sections of the Canadian Human Rights Act, it is striking that it took a private member's bill (Brian Storseth's C-304) to finally abolish Section 13 in the summer of 2013. This was a huge victory, but the current government can't take much credit for it, apart from not actively opposing it. Much more can be done to reform or even abolish the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
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