Indigenous leaders step up but no applause from environmentalists

First Nations are fighting to determine their own futures. Why are environmental groups standing in the way?

Indigenous leaders step up but no applause from environmentalistsNot enough has been said about the recent memorandum of understanding between the First Nations Climate Initiative table and the First Nations Major Projects Coalition, which represents 70 First Nations from across Canada. In December 2020, the two parties signed an agreement to advance an Indigenous-led, net-zero carbon-emissions policy framework, including nature-based solutions for carbon…

History shows a path to resolve lobster fisheries dispute

Non-Indigenous fishers in Atlantic region need not be worried that Indigenous rights will come at the expense of conservation

History shows a path to resolve lobster fisheries disputeA dispute in Ontario may help us understand ongoing tensions over the lobster fisheries on the East Coast and offer a solution. The war over Indigenous fishing rights has played out before in Canada. As we reflect on recent violence in Nova Scotia over the lobster fisheries, it’s important to know if there are any…

Indigenous communities leaping the digital divide

Indigenous communities are setting up their own satellite, fibre optics and even cellular phone networks

Indigenous communities leaping the digital divideWhen Bruce Buffalo returned to Maskwacis after years away in the big city, he was appalled to discover parts of his community still had no internet service. Just an hour’s drive from Edmonton, some neighbourhoods in the Indigenous community remained cut off from the rest of the world as recently as 2016, apart from a few…

First Nations need safe drinking water now

The government should be bolder on reform commitments and less grandiose in its promises

First Nations need safe drinking water nowCanada and its Indigenous communities should finally commit this year to making the systemic reforms needed to ensure First Nations drinking water standards are the same as the rest of the country. For starters, Indigenous communities ought to experiment with more regional water authority agreements to deliver safe drinking water. In late 2020, Indigenous Services…

The horrible cost of constantly punting Indigenous claims to court

Governments have more resources and delays can drag on for years. Indigenous peoples pay heavily for the delays in resolving their claims

The horrible cost of constantly punting Indigenous claims to courtAt any given time, the government of Canada is dealing with hundreds of legal matters with Indigenous Canadians. This is inevitable given the complexity of Indigenous rights, the history of Canadian policy and patterns of government ‘lawlessness’ that left the country liable for the administrative misdeeds of the past 150-plus years. The number, diversity and…

How much First Nations business comes from government?

The Yukon government recently unveiled a procurement policy that offers a roadmap for Canadian jurisdictions like B.C.

How much First Nations business comes from government?The Business Council of British Columbia sees “a generational opportunity to accelerate and realize a new future where Indigenous communities and businesses are equitably participating in B.C.’s open trading economy.” And Kim Baird, a First Nations leader and advocate, says: “From resource extraction projects on First Nation traditional territories to First Nations developing their reserve…

U of A graduate helps ensure Indigenous voices are counted

Krista Chiponski is building relationships with 63 First Nations communities to help gather vital data for 2021 Census

U of A graduate helps ensure Indigenous voices are countedTo get a snapshot of the country’s population, a national census focused on gathering household information is held every five years. The resulting data from Statistics Canada helps businesses, associations, community organizations and governments – including Indigenous leadership – shape their policies and programs. In preparation for the May launch of the 2021 Census, University of Alberta…

Indigenous engagement charts positive course for oil and gas industry

Environmentalists only support Indigenous peoples when the First Nations and Métis agree with them

Indigenous engagement charts positive course for oil and gas industryMuch as opponents of Canadian oil and gas production hate to admit it, the future of the industry appears to be set. Construction on the Coastal GasLink pipeline to Kitimat, B.C., continues. Work on the Trans Mountain pipeline is well advanced. The Canadian portion of Enbridge’s Line 3 is essentially finished. Protests killed the Northern…

A lost economic opportunity in northern B.C.

Windy Craggy is a perfect example of how misguided environmental activism is fuelling northern alienation

A lost economic opportunity in northern B.C.A World Heritage Site designation continues to prevent development of one of the largest cobalt and copper deposits in North America. That lack of development is denying opportunities for Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. And it serves as an example of how environmental activism is fuelling northern alienation. Windy Craggy is in northwestern British Columbia, about…

Twenty stories that defined the University of Alberta in 2020

In a year of unprecedented challenges, the people of the U of A gave us plenty of reasons to expect a brighter future

Twenty stories that defined the University of Alberta in 2020Let’s be honest: 2020 has been a tough year. Amid a global pandemic whose rising tide continues to take an enormous human and economic toll every day, it’s been hard to hold out hope for whatever the “new normal” might look like once COVID-19 finally ebbs for good. But through everything – including academic and…
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