Jukasa News Update – Thursday, August 13, 2020
Six Nations Elected Council issued a public apology to Police Commissioner Steve Williams on Wednesday.
The council sent out a public announcement in June, asking for the immediate resignation of Williams but did not explain why his resignation was being sought or what prompted the call for his resignation.
Williams is a former Six Nations Elected Chief. In their apology the council said that as a gesture of good will they will be making a $10,000 donation to a charity of Williams’ choice.
A new survey shows that the majority of non-Indigenous people in Quebec believe First Nations people in the province are subject to racism or discrimination
The survey conducted by the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador found that 92 per cent of respondents agreed that Indigenous communities face racism or discrimination.
Eight out of 10 Quebecers have a positive opinion of First Nations, but 58 per cent say they don’t have an understanding of the issues facing those communities.
More than half believe relations between non-Indigenous Quebecers and First Nations are poor, and 91 per cent believe the provincial government has an important role to play in repairing and maintaining relations.
Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says a Liberal promise to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is still a top priority.
But he could not definitively say today whether it is still possible to introduce the needed legislation within the promised timeline, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised during the 2019 election to introduce legislation, developed with Indigenous Peoples, by the end of 2020 that would enshrine the UN declaration in Canadian law.
Miller says that remains an “utmost priority” for the Trudeau government, and that legislation will come in the “shortest time frame possible.”
He says he believes introducing a bill before the end of the year is possible, but he also says this hinges on factors that are out of anyone’s control _ namely, the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The House of Commons has been operating under special rules adopted after the pandemic forced the country into lockdown, which only allow legislation to be tabled that deals with COVID-19 emergency measures.
The federal government has announced an additional $305 million to help Indigenous Peoples combat COVID-19.
Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says the money is meant to help Indigenous communities prepare for emergencies and prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
He says communities can also use the money for a variety of other measures, including helping elders and vulnerable people, food insecurity, educational and other supports for children and mental health assistance.
The new money will flow through the Indigenous community support fund, bringing the total amount to $685 million this year.
Some funding will also go to First Nations living off-reserve as well as Inuit and Metis people living in urban centres, distributed based on need through an application process.
Miller says Ottawa is committed to ensuring Indigenous leaders have the tools and support they need to implement the various aspects of their pandemic plans.
- Previous Jukasa News Update – Tuesday, August 11, 2020
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