Canada’s not a genocidal state — despite what our self-hating PM would have you believe – by Conrad Black (National Post/ – May 6, 2023)

On Oct. 27, 2022, a motion by NDP MP Leah Gazan was presented to the Canadian Parliament, and later unanimously approved, demanding that the federal government recognize the genocidal nature of Indian residential schools. All of our legislators agreed to equate Canada with regimes that have committed the most horrible crimes in human history.

Surely, not one per cent of Canadians would agree that this country belongs in the same moral category as those responsible for the eight genocides officially recognized by the Canadian government.

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Gold standard: Peru miners phase out mercury in bid to clean up industry – by Izzy Sasada (The Guardian – April 21, 2023)

The hope is that ecological certification will bring higher prices and squeeze out criminal gangs running illegal operations

The mixture of gold, sand and dirt is laid out on top of the table. Faustino Orosco adds water and at the flick of a switch the table begins to shake. Orosco is using a new technique to extract gold in Madre de Dios, Peru’s goldmining centre, in an attempt to clean up the industry.

The shaking table separates the precious metal without the need for mercury, traditionally used to separate gold, which should reduce the health and environmental risks associated with mining.

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Robinson Superior Treaty annuity trial continues at University of Sudbury – by Jenny Lamothe and Heidi Ulrichsen (Northern Ontario Business/ – February 17, 2023)

Experts, economists debate the value of development, resource extraction in treaty area

The third stage of the Robinson Superior Treaty annuity trial resumed this week at the University of Sudbury with the testimony of David Hutchings, an economist who specializes in conducting economic analysis in complex tax, securities and antitrust matters.

Presenting his report on behalf of the Anishnaabe people of the Superior area Feb. 13 and 14, and continuing next week, Hutchings offered his report as a reply to the economists who testified on behalf of the Crown.

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Ontario First Nation hires outside firm to investigate 28-year boil water advisory – by Olivia Stefanovich (CBC News Politics – February 3, 2023)

Neskantaga has lived under a boil water advisory longer than any other First Nation

A northern Ontario First Nation that has lived under a boil-water advisory for nearly three decades has hired an outside consultant to find out once and for all what ails the community’s water system.

Neskantaga First Nation, roughly 450 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, Ont., is marking a grim milestone this month — 28 years under a boil water advisory, longer than any other First Nation.

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State-of-the-art healthcare complex officially coming to Moosonee – by Sergio Arangio (CTV Northern Ontario – January 28, 2023)

A project decades in the making is taking a major step forward in providing state-of-the-art healthcare to the James and Hudson Bay area.

First Nations chiefs, community members and government officials gathered for a ground breaking ceremony at Northern College’s Moosonee campus Thursday, to celebrate that development is now underway to replace the area’s outdated regional hospital with a modern healthcare complex.

“Certainly a historic moment, a moment that everyone’s been waiting for for 25-plus years,” said Weeneebayko Area Health Authority (WAHA) CEO, Lynne Innes, in an interview the next day.

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Government regulatory duplication slowing progress in the Ring of Fire – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – January 27, 2023)

Ring of Fire Metals CEO Steve Flewelling seeks balanced, faster approach to advance Far North nickel project

Federal Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson wants to avoid government duplication with the provinces in regulations and permitting in order to bring new critical mineral mines into production quicker. So does Ring of Fire Metals CEO Steve Flewelling.

But when it comes to proposed mine development in the James Bay region, Wilkinson insisted last month that no shortcuts will be taken in safeguarding the environment, protecting fragile peatlands, and in respecting the rights of Indigenous people and communities near any proposed mine site.

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News Release: Kingfisher Lake First Nation Energized by Wataynikaneyap Power (November 24, 2022)

The ‘line that brings light’ connects Kingfisher Lake First Nation to the provincial power grid

FORT WILLIAM FIRST NATION, Ontario, Nov. 24, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Wataynikaneyap Power announces the energization of Kingfisher Lake First Nation, a remote northern Ontario community, which was connected to the provincial power grid on November 8, 2022. Upon grid connection and onto a reliable power source, the community turned off its diesel generators which had previously provided primary power to this remote community.

The Wataynikaneyap Power transmission system connects the Kingfisher Lake community distribution system to the Ontario grid through a total of 250 km of line and two substations, originating from its Pickle Lake Substation. Kingfisher Lake will continue to be served by Hydro One Remotes Communities Inc. (HORCI) for the local distribution of electricity.

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OPINION: Canada’s paternalistic mindset toward supporting Indigenous communities just doesn’t work – by Ken Coates (Globe and Mail – August 5, 2022)

Ken Coates is a distinguished fellow and director of the Indigenous Affairs program at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, and a Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation at the University of Saskatchewan.

Despite a decade of dramatic increases in federal funding for Indigenous affairs, a damning report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer released in May revealed a gaping disconnect between the government’s aspirations and the amount of money spent on the one hand, and the actual consequences on the other.

Put bluntly, Canada is not getting what it is paying for – and what’s worse, the massive spending is not improving lives in Indigenous communities. The PBO’s report on Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) and Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) summarized the situation succinctly, in the passion-free language that defines Ottawa’s civil service:

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Pope says genocide took place at Canada’s residential schools – by Ka’nhehsí:io Deer (CBC News Indigenous – July 30, 2022)

Pontiff concludes ‘penitential pilgrimage’ of reconciliation between Catholic Church and Indigenous people

While the word genocide wasn’t heard in any of Pope Francis’s addresses during a week-long trip to Canada, on his flight back to Rome, he said everything he described about the residential school system and its forced assimilation of Indigenous children amounts to genocide.

“I didn’t use the word genocide because it didn’t come to mind but I described genocide,” Pope Francis told reporters on the papal flight from Iqaluit to Rome on Friday. Over the last week, the Pope visited Edmonton, Quebec City and Iqaluit on a “penitential pilgrimage” of healing, reconciliation and hope between the Catholic Church and Indigenous people.

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Curse the church if you will, but spare some consideration for this Pope and what he’s doing – by Rosie DiManno (Toronto Star – July 27, 2022)

QUEBEC CITY—On that mild March evening in 2013, with tens of thousands jammed into St. Peter’s Square, all eyes looked anxiously toward the central balcony of the Basilica. Who would emerge?

And when Jorge Mario Bergoglio stepped outside, from behind the velvet curtains, a murmur swept across the crowd, building into a crescendo. Who is that? Pope Francis. Pope who? Pope Francis, who’d taken his papal name from Francis of Assisi, for the saint’s gentleness and humility, for the Franciscan order’s plainness.

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As Pope Francis visits Canada, the Church may be too belatedly sorry – by Rosie DiManno (Toronto Star – July 25, 2022)

And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those that trespass against us.
The Lord’s Prayer

There is apology and, just as powerful, there is forgiveness.

Pope Francis will repent for the Catholic Church, for all the sins that were visited upon Indigenous people over a century of residential school harm. I hope the Holy Father, and the church he leads, will also receive mercy, if not absolution.

Because forgiveness is a state of divine grace. It is why Catholics go to confession, also known as reconciliation or penance — acknowledgment of our sinfulness.

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Inside the chaos of the Assembly of First Nations national chief’s office – by Olivia Sefanovich (CBC News Politics – July 1, 2022)

RoseAnne Archibald’s lawyer calls the accusations ‘inappropriate and inaccurate’

When RoseAnne Archibald staffed her office following her election win last July as the Assembly of First Nations’ first female national chief, it was seen by some working in First Nation politics as a dream career opportunity.

Now, a year into her first term, what was considered a chance to usher in a new era at the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) under female leadership has devolved into workplace turbulence, according to sources who spoke with CBC News.

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Australia’s Northern Territory: red earth paved with gold? – by Andrew Tunnicliffe (Mining Technology – January 24, 2022)

Covering more than 1.3 million km2, around 17% of the Australia’s entire land mass, the Northern Territory (NT) is home to some of Australia’s most alluring natural phenomena: Alice Springs, Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon and the spectacular Uluru or Ayres Rock.

Its uniquely red terrain – cast against the often sunny skies – is awash with historical Aboriginal culture too; much of the land is owned by the Aboriginal people comprising a wide assortment of tribes. However, those cultures have often clashed with state and federal governments , particularly when it comes to matters associated with land and its use.

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Upcoming election won’t change federal response to Robinson-Huron Treaty annuities – by Jenny Lamothe ( – August 18, 2021)

A recent announcement regarding the Robinson-Huron Treaty annuities case has Chief Dean Sayers of Batchewana First Nation feeling a little more at ease, especially in light of the upcoming federal election.

The 21 signatories of the Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850 have been in court since a 2018 decision in favour of the signatories, one that the provincial government appealed. Both stages of that appeal are complete but the decision has yet to be rendered. The federal government, however, decided against appealing.

And now, the correspondence recently received by the signatories states that regardless of the party behind the new Canadian government, the decision will not be appealed.

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First Nation’s court victory sets precedent for equitable compensation – by John Woodside (Toronto Star – July 21, 2021)

More than 90 years after the Lac Seul First Nation’s reserve land was flooded to build a hydroelectric dam, Chief Clifford Bull says his people may finally receive just compensation.

The impact of the dam on the Lac Seul First Nation, traditionally the home of the Obishikokaang Anishinaabeg, was severe. It destroyed the nation’s way of life and many people moved away, Bull says.

“When I talk about total devastation, I mean there were 80 homes that went under … our sacred grounds, campsites, burials were washed up and bones were exposed — skulls were exposed — and that continues to this very day,” he said.

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