Indigenous Issues 101
Since I began this blog, I have endeavoured to create resources for people unfamiliar with specific aboriginal topics. I like to call them Indigenous Issue Primers, because they are introductions to topics you could spend a lifetime specialising in. Not every post I put up is a Primer, so I’ve decided to list them below topically, for ease of reference (and so I remember what I’ve already addressed!).
My focus is very much on what I call “myth debunking”. I have found it very difficult over the years to have discussions about anything related to indigenous peoples because so many bizarre beliefs get in the way. Try discussing what happened at Oka, for example, and you’ll quickly realise you’ve got to explain a lot of history and address a lot of misunderstandings before you can even get to that topic.
For me, this is a time saving device. A series of resources for myself and anyone else who wants them, so that some of the most prevalent myths can be quickly and clearly addressed, allowing a bigger conversation to (hopefully) happen.
These pieces have been written over a number of years, so many hyperlinks will probably no longer work.
Specific Myths or Misunderstandings
- An Explanation of Indian Status.
- First Nation Taxation.
- “Free Housing for Indians” is a myth.
- The Stereotype of the “Drunken Indian”.
- The wandering nomad myth
- Are we just our genes? Blood quantum.
- The myth of progress/post-colonialism.
- The level playing field myth.
- The myth of the corrupt chief and band council, part I.
Identity and Culture
- Aboriginal, Indian, First Nations? What To Call Us.
- Does traditional mean “frozen in time”?
- Issues in Defining Métis Identity.
- Who are the Métis?
- What is cultural appropriation?
- HOW TO: an example of an analysis of cultural appropriation
- How to sniff out fake “Native American” stories/legends and why you should.
- Two-Spirit identity.
- What my kids learn about themselves in school (spoiler: nothing)
- The mythology of Métissage: Settler moves to innocence
Aboriginal Law and Treaties
- A brief intro to: approaches to Treaty Making in Canada.
- The Nature of Aboriginal Law and Historical/Contemporary Treaties.
- Watch out for derogation clauses.
- Without Prejudice Agreements as a Method of Denying Aboriginal Rights.
- The White Paper and the First Nations Property Ownership Act.
- Understanding the Navajo trademark and restrictions on claiming “Native made” in US.
- Hunters/gatherers to trappers/harvesters, does it matter?
- Law school is a hostile place for Indigenous people
- Are you an Indigenous person thinking about studying law?
- Our laws are in our stories
Historic and Continuing Injustice
- Canada’s closets are packed with skeletons
- Residential Schools (introduction)
- Some of the arguments used to deny Aboriginal rights (heavy satire).
- The 60s scoop and present day Child Welfare problems, our stolen generations.
- High Arctic relocations.
- First Nations farming in the Prairies.
- What was the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples?
- How do we use the RCAP to move forward?
- Ruby’s Story
- Education: the First Nations Education Act
- We can’t be allowed to manage wildlife?
- The Natives are restless, wondering why?
- Rhymes for Young Ghouls: The Indian Agent
- An inquiry on murdered and missing Indigenous women.
- How the debate over a MMIW inquiry has been framed.
- Read the TRC report!
Indigenous Health and Safety
- Access to safe drinking water in First Nations communities
- OxyContin, targeting First Nations on issues of abuse
Thoughts About Language/Culture
- Problems with fluency as authenticity
- Roadblocks to effective indigenous language development
- Cree kinship terms
- Why Indigenous language learning should be mandatory for all Canadians
- Sovereignty schools needed
- Nationhood is a verb, just do it!
- The reports of our cultural deaths are exaggerated.
- Play a game! Idle No More: Blockade
- That our languages thrive, not merely survive: Skwomesh immersion
Articles About Attawapiskat
- Dealing with comments about Attawapiskat. Dealing with Comments About Attawapiskat_print version
- What is Chief Spence Hiding? Not your logical fallacy.
- Third-party manager gets the boot and you don’t even care (heavy sarcasm).
- Attawapiskat not mismanaged says the court.