Blog Archives

Who belongs in Canada’s newest and possibly largest First Nation?


An application for membership in the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation. (Colleen Connors/CBC)

Bureaucratic process conflicts with cultural identity as Newfoundland band and federal government disagree on enrolment points system

Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation, which includes Mi’kmaq from all across Newfoundland, stands to become the largest First Nation band in Canada with more than 104,000 applicants for membership since 2008.

That is, if the band and the federal government can figure out who belongs. Read the rest of this entry

Justice Minister Wilson-Raybould tells AFN to prepare for future beyond the Indian Act


Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould meets with media at the AFN gathering in Regina. Photo: Larissa Burnouf/APTN

by Jorge Barrera, APTN National News, July 24, 2017

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould on Tuesday said First Nations need to prepare for a future that has been set into motion by the Justin Trudeau government that will permanently alter their relationship with Canada. Read the rest of this entry

Government delays shutdown of Indian status-registration amid legislative deadlock

Indian Act status card 1After a Quebec judge refused to give parliament more time to pass a bill to fix sex-based inequities in registration, another judge prevented Monday a complete shut-down of the process — for now

by Marie-Danielle Smith, National Post, July 4, 2017

OTTAWA — The Liberal government has prevented — or at least delayed — a complete shutdown of the Indian status registration system via a last-minute effort.

A Quebec judge decided last week not to give parliament more time to pass an already-overdue law fixing sex-based inequities in the registration system. The rules, found to be unconstitutional, were to be struck down this week. Read the rest of this entry

Inside INAC’s ‘coup d’état’ that decapitated Algonquin leadership system

Algonquins of Barriere Lake protest in Ottawa, 2010

Algonquins of Barriere Lake hold protest in Ottawa, 2010

By Shiri Pasternak, APTN National News, May 27, 2017

Before the axe dramatically fell on Barriere Lake’s customary government in August 2010, there were many forewarnings that the customary band’s days were numbered.

As early as 1995, during the first leadership crisis with the IBC, the Department of Indian Affairs debated imposing Section 74 of the Indian Act onto the community as an exit strategy to the Trilateral Agreement. In March 2008, an internal report summarizing impact scenarios of Ratt council recognition over the Nottaway council also offered the possibility of not recognizing both councils and instead imposing Section 74 on the community. Read the rest of this entry

BC Treaty Commission aims for more First Nations deals with expedited process


Leaders of the Tla’amin Nation celebrate their final agreement in 2014, one of few First Nations to complete the modern-day treaty process in British Columbia. (Tla’amin Nation)

WP Note: every few years the governments and BC Treaty Commission attempt to revitalize the “modern day” treaty process, which began in 1993 and has seen over half a billion dollars paid out to band councils involved in negotiations, most of which must be repaid once a treaty is completed.  Many grassroots Natives oppose the BC treaty process because it’s 1) a fraudulent process negotiated between government funded and imposed band councils and the provincial and federal governments (meaning these are not treaties between sovereign nations), and 2) it is part of the state’s long term strategy of legal, political and economic assimilation through which bands will no longer be under the Indian Act and reserve lands are transformed to fee simple property which can be bought, sold or leased like any other property, and 3) it is part of the overall “self-government” policy which ends with bands self-managing their own oppression.

Read the rest of this entry


Trudea FHQ meeting

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets FHQ Leadership (File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council) April 26, 2016.

By Johnny Hawk,, April 29, 2016

With the recent attention mainstream media has given to the on-going genocide within our communities that is sugar coated as “emergency crisis” and as grassroots and INAC leadership call for an abolishment of the Indian Act we must question and look at some truth’s that can help us find solutions to our liberation.

A key solution lies within our perspective of our condition as the majority of our people may not see that genocide is still being waged on our Nations where just because guns, smallpox and residential schools are no longer being used, war is still being waged  nonetheless through the sophistication of liberal economic and judicial warfare as relatives fall in love with Trudeau 2.0 as he visits our communities.  The boiling frog dilemma. We must also acknowledge the RCMP and Army are always on standby and present when our peoples assert who we really are and protect what we have to. Read the rest of this entry

INAC protesters fenced out in Regina

INAC occupation regina tents fences

REGINA,Sk: APRIL 19, 2016 – The landlord has put up a temporary fence to keep protesters at the INAC office on city property on the 1800 block Albert St. . Photo by Bryan Schlosser

by Kerry Benjoe, Regina Leader-Post, April 19, 2016

A fence wasn’t enough to deter protesters in front of the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) office in Regina Tuesday.

For a third day the office remained closed to the public as protesters maintained a presence outside. At 3 p.m., a six-foot metal fence was placed on the property line in front of the INAC building, but protesters only moved their tents outside of the fence onto public property. They plan to stay put. Read the rest of this entry

Ottawa to amend Indian Act, eliminate ‘discriminatory’ clauses


Stéphane Descheneaux with his three daughters, Marie-Lee, 11 , Emmy, 8, middle and right, Audrey-Ann, 13, in front of a teepee outside the Abenakis Museum Odanak Indian reserve near Sorel. Marie-France Coallier / Montreal Gazette

by Christopher Curtis, Montreal Gazette, Feb 26, 2016

In a move that could affect thousands of aboriginal people across Canada, the federal government announced Wednesday it will amend sections of the Indian Act that discriminated against the descendants of bi-racial marriages.

News of the amendments comes six months after a Quebec judge ordered the government to revise segments of the law that violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The federal government’s lawyers had immediately appealed the Aug. 3 ruling and were set to fight it in court. Read the rest of this entry

The pass system: another dark secret in Canadian history

Pass system card 1.pngUnreserved, CBC News, Sunday November 29, 2015

Canadians are becoming increasingly aware of residential schools and their impacts on First Nations people. But many have not yet heard about another system of segregation — one that often kept First Nations confined to their communities.

Read the rest of this entry

“Sometimes the law is an ass”

Mohawk Ellen Gabriel.

Mohawk Ellen Gabriel.

by Ellen Gabriel, Two Row Times, August 13, 2014

With Respect to All my Relations

Let’s be clear here, the Kahnawà:ke residency Law that states anyone who marries a non-Mohawk or non-“Indian” automatically has to leave: “you marry out stay out”; this is not a Mohawk law but colonial assimilation rhetoric implementing the Indian Act’s policy. Read the rest of this entry