#Canada; #IndigenousChildren, #Compensation; #CanadianHumanRightsTribunal
Ottawa/Canadian-Media: The federal government of Canada has been given until the end of the day to decide whether a bitter 14-year battle over compensation for discrimination in the Indigenous child welfare system would end or be prolonged.
First Nations Children. Image credit: Twitter handle of @indigenouskids
Discrimination of the federal government against First Nations children by underfunding an on-reserve child welfare system by paying little attention to the result of removing First Nations children from their homes led Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in 2016 to look into this matter.
Heated debate ensued between critics casting the Trudeau government's commitment to reconciliation as hypocritical and those arguing the tribunal's order was problematic.
The federal government is given the end of the day to decide whether to appeal the order.
#IndigenousPeople; #JeanChrétien; #ResidentialSchools; #UnmarkedGravesDiscovery
Ottawa/Canadian-Media: During an appearance on the popular Radio-Canada talk show, Tout le Monde en Parle on Sunday, Canada's former prime minister Jean Chrétien said during his tenure as minister, he did not hear anything about the occurrence of abuse in residential schools.
Image: Unmarked Graves. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
"This problem was never mentioned when I was a minister. Never," said Chrétien of his time in the department from 1968 to 1974.
In the French interview, Chrétien compared his own experience as a teenager attending a conventional college boarding school to that of Indigenous children who were forced to attend residential schools and said,
Another guest on the talk show Michel Jean, Innu author was angered by Chrétien's comments.
"Respectfully, I don't think Mr. Chrétien knows exactly what residential schools are...The word boarding school makes people think it was a school where we teach people to write, but it wasn't that," said Jean.
Jean added that Chrétien's recalling eating poor-quality food, doesn't compare to the treatment children in residential schools were subjected to and described how members of his own family suffered abuse in residential schools.
"My mother's cousin told me that when there was duck, the nuns would keep the duck meat and cut the feet off, with its toenails still on, boil that in water, and that's what they gave to the kids...There is someone in my family who attended a residential school in Fort George who was sexually assaulted every day for eight years by a nun. It was called a boarding school, but it was not a school," said Jean.
Chrétien said in defense of his record, that he had tried to improve the lives of Canada's Indigenous people both personally and politically.
"I even adopted an Indigenous son, to lead by example...proves my investment in this issue," said Chrétien.
More recent discoveries of unmarked graves on residential school sites have once again brought the issue to the forefront.
#Ontario, #Recommendation; #OntarioCoroners; #IndigeneousFamilies; #RegularCommunication
Ottawa/Canadian-Media: Ontario Government's new recommendation calls for Ontario's coroners to improve communication and transparency with families, especially Indigenous people.
Ontario Chief Coroner Office. Image credit: Official logo
The recommendation was motivated by a father's search for answers after the 2017 death of his son in Thunder Bay, Ontario
"Families should have as much information as possible. That's their loved one that they lost and clearly a tragedy for them. And so there is the expectation throughout the organization that coroners are readily available and regularly communicating," Ontario's chief coroner, Dr. Dirk Huyer, told CBC News today.
Dr. Dirk Huyer. Image credit: Screenshot
Huyer also was reported to say that his office is developing tools to improve the clarity of expectations and expects all coroners to communicate regularly with families, not just when there is a change in who is leading a death investigation.
Anna Betty Achneepineskum, deputy grand chief with the Nishnawbe Aski Nation also said that coroners did not regularly communicate with Indigenous families living in remote communities when they are investigating the deaths of loved ones.
Huyer is also working with organizations like the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) to develop an approach to improve death investigations and communication with families.