Jeopardy clue: “The Constitution of this 150-year old country exists as “Schedule B” to an ordinary statute of another country.” Correct response: “What is Canada?” This is true of what has been for 35 years the most significant part of the Constitution of Canada, the Constitution Act, 1982, … [Read more...]
Call to Action: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report
For over a century, generations of Aboriginal children, mostly First Nations, were taken from their families, often by force, and placed in residential schools usually far from home, where they were to be assimilated into white society. For most of that time, the schools were run by churches: Roman … [Read more...]
Indian Residential Schools – A Chronology
This chronology was compiled to convey, by historic milestones, how the Indian Residential School system came to be, how it embodied attitudes of its time, how critics were dismissed, and how finally the deep harm it did to many members of generations of Indian children was exposed in the course of … [Read more...]
The Nadon Reference: A Unique Challenge
The judgment of the Supreme Court of Canada in the “Nadon Reference,” more elegantly known as Reference re Supreme Court Act, ss. 5 and 6,  1 SCR 433 is one of the more controversial decisions of the Court in the fairly long list of defeats for the federal government in recent years. Can … [Read more...]
The Indian Act: Can it be abolished?
Two simple observations are made so often about the Indian Act as to amount to clichés: That the 1876 Act is still with us, and that it should be “abolished.” The first of these is technically false; the 1876 Act was repealed in 1951, and replaced with the Act we have today, though it has been … [Read more...]
Aboriginal right – or wrong?
Two eleven-year-old girls from neighbouring First Nations in southwestern Ontario were diagnosed last year with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of the bone marrow. Both received chemotherapy, then stopped. One has died. Makayla Sault of the Missisaugas of the New Credit, after eleven weeks, … [Read more...]
Indian Residential Schools: A Chronology
This chronology was compiled to convey, by historic milestones, how the Indian Residential School system came to be, how it embodied attitudes of its time, how critics were dismissed, and how, finally, the deep harm it did to many members of generations of Indian children was exposed in the course … [Read more...]
The Oil Sands: Westward – How?
Last summer, I mentioned to our editor that I couldn’t understand why Enbridge chose to route Alberta oil via its Northern Gateway line to Kitimat, with its long and narrow channels to open water, when the Port of Prince Rupert had no such obstacles and was closer to Asia. She told me to find out. … [Read more...]