CRE’s Policy Forecast is a quarterly roundup of what’s happening in policy – whether that’s at the grassroots or parliamentary level – and how it could impact you, your community, your politics, and your activism.
Highlights from this issue include:
- Budget 2021 is released
- UNDRIP bill moving to the Senate for study
- Media Indigena’s interview with Chief Lady Bird
Budget 2021: On April 19, 2021, the federal government tabled its first budget in two years. The centerpiece of the budget is a $30 billion dollar plan to subsidize child care – meaning that by the end of 2022, parents in every province and territory will be able to secure high-quality early learning and childcare services for $10 a day. This investment includes roughly $2.5 billion over the next five years dedicated to Indigenous-specific early learning and child care facilities and community capacity to deliver those services.
Budget 2021 also includes roughly $18 billion over five years for a range of First Nation, Metis, and Inuit priorities, including $6 billion for infrastructure, $2.2 billion to address the MMIWG Inquiry calls to action, and $1.2 billion for the ongoing pandemic response in Indigenous communities.
Click here to read our full breakdown of Budget 2021 and how it could impact Indigenous youth!
UNDRIP: Bill C-15, An Act Respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, was introduced in the House of Commons for its first reading in December. This month, the Bill was adopted at its second reading and will soon be studied in the Senate.
The Bill mandates that the Government of Canada must bring Canada’s laws in alignment with UNDRIP and that an action plan must be developed to achieve the goals of the Declaration – all of which must be done in consultation and cooperation with Indigenous peoples and within three years from when the bill becomes law.
If you want to know what Indigenous communities and organizations have been saying about how UNDRIP will be implemented, you can watch, listen, or read their feedback here.
As part of the study, CRE submitted a brief to the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs highlighting Indigenous youth’s perspectives on UNDRIP implementation in their communities. Read the submission here!
Implementing UNDRIP as Canada’s framework for reconciliation will not reflect the needs and values of Indigenous youth or their communities’ unless it is done in a good way, including making sure communities can roll-out UNDRIP in their own way. (Indigenous Youth Leadership & Implementing UNDRIP – CRE’s Submission to the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs)
Mi’kmaw Fisheries: In Mi’kma’ki, a fisher from Sipekne’katik First Nation is calling out the federal fisheries department for confiscating traps of Mi’kmaq fishers fishing under their treaty rights. Meanwhile, the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans has continued to debate its report on implementing Mi’kmaq treaty fishing rights to support a moderate livelihood. Click here to read the read, listen, or watch what community organizations are raising to the government about this.
COVID-19: As of April 20, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is reporting that 654 First Nations and/or Inuit communities have vaccinations underway.
If you are Indigenous and haven’t signed up for your vaccine yet, click here to find out what the process is in your area.
If you are not sure whether you are eligible for a vaccine, click here to find out where your province/territory is at in terms of vaccine roll-out, and how you can register for one.
- MEDIA INDIGENA: Check out this conversation with Chief Lady Bird on one of her recent art projects that garnered some controversy, interviewed by co-hosts Rick Harp and Professor Kim Tallbear.
Tools & Resources
- Youth & Water: Youth at Six Nations of the Grand River are collaborating with the University of Waterloo on an innovative research project into water monitoring practices. Click here to read the whole story.
- #ThroatSinging: This piece focuses on how one Inuit throat singer is using TikTok and Instagram to preserve and catalogue throat singing.
What did you think of this issue of CRE’s Policy Forecast? Send your feedback, ideas for future topics, and/or podcast suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.