Jukasa News Update Friday, October 5, 2018
British Columbia’s former children’s advocate says the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women needs to hold all governments accountable.
Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond says she conducted numerous investigations into the child welfare system in British Columbia and called it a humanitarian crisis.
She says the current child welfare system is not appropriate for Indigenous children and says it often causes them more harm.
The inquiry is holding hearings in Winnipeg this week focused on child welfare.
A First Nations children’s advocate says Indigenous children still aren’t being treated equally because the provinces and territories are shirking their responsibilities.
Cindy Blackstock told the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women in Winnipeg that provinces are still denying Indigenous kids access to services that are available to non-Indigenous children.
Blackstock, who is executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, provinces still aren’t adhering to Jordan’s Principle despite a ruling from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
The principle stipulates Indigenous kids should get access to services without delays that may be caused by jurisdictional issues.
The Liberal government says it’s willing to back down on a proposal _ criticized by Indigenous groups _ that would force users of the Access to Information Act to be precise about the records they’re seeking.
A federal bill would amend the access law by requiring applicants to state the type of record being sought, the subject matter and the time-frame in which the documents were created.
At a Senate committee Wednesday, Treasury Board President Scott Brison said he had heard the concerns of Indigenous groups, who argued the provision could hinder the ability to request archival records needed to settle historical claims.
The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs and the Metis National Council say they are concerned by the growing number of people “misrepresenting” themselves as Metis.
In a new memorandum of understanding, the groups have agreed to work together on the issue and educate the public about what they call “legitimate Metis Nation and Mi’kmaq issues.”
Census data show the number of people who call themselves Metis soared nearly 125 per cent in Nova Scotia from 2006 to 2016, with dozens of new Metis groups cropping up over the same period.
Chief Terrance Paul, assembly co-chairman, says the only Aboriginal rights holders in Nova Scotia are the Mi’kmaq.
A report examining ways to reduce overdose deaths in British Columbia is calling for more involvement of Indigenous drug users, who are overrepresented in the crisis.
The BC Centre for Disease Control released the report after a meeting in June of 160 people including drug users, health and law enforcement personnel, government officials and the medical community.
It says people with past or present “lived experience” of substance use need to play a key role in developing and implementing realistic solutions to an epidemic that has killed thousands of people in B.C.
The federal government will not appeal the court decision that tore up cabinet approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and is appointing former Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci to oversee a new round of consultations with Indigenous communities.
Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi says the government does not intend to start the phase-three Indigenous consultations from the beginning, but will use them to address the weaknesses that led to the Federal Court of Appeal decision in August.
- Previous Jukasa News Update Wednesday, October 3, 2018
- Next Jukasa News Update Friday, October 12, 2018