Whether you’re interested in politics (the drama, the intrigue!), looking for ways to dismantle settler-colonial-hetero-patriarchy, or just confused about what politicians ACTUALLY do all day, Policy Forecast is here for you!
With each season, CRE’s Centre for Indigenous Policy and Research will bring you a new edition of Policy Forecast recapping everything you need to know about what’s going on in Canadian policy when it comes to Indigenous rights, community, and reconciliation.
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Highlights from this issue include:
- Vatican Visit
- Deadly Aunties
- Indigenous Pride Events
- Métis Youth Zine
National Indigenous History Month & Pride Month
> NATIONAL INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ DAY: June 21 marks National Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Canada, and is also the date of the summer solstice – the first day of Summer. This day was first recognized in 1996 as National Aboriginal Day, and was changed to National Indigenous Peoples’ Day in 2017. You can read Prime Minister Trudeau’s statement on Indigenous History month here.
> HOME FIRES CONCERT SERIES: For Indigenous History Month, Native Women in the Arts is hosting an online concert series featuring seven different Indigenous artists. Featured artists include Melody McKiver, Riit, G.R. Gritt, and more! Check them out here on Twitter.
> INDIGENOUS PRIDE EVENTS: Check out this post from CRE highlighting Indigenous Pride events across the country. There are events happening from coast-to-coast-to-coast all through the summer!
Truth & Reconciliation
> ONE YEAR SINCE TK’EMLUPS: May 23 marked one year since the initial discovery of the 215 unmarked graves at Kamloops Indian Residential School. A day-long memorial was conducted close to the site, and Prime Minister Trudeau was in attendance.
> AT THE VATICAN: On March 28, 2022, residential school survivors and other Indigenous delegates met with Pope Francis to tell him their stories. The Pope did not apologize directly to the survivors and family members in this meeting but listened to the delegates’ stories and recommendations for moving forward. However, he apologized for some abuses by the Catholic church in a public speech after the meeting with survivors and family members.
> MMIWG2S+ FINAL REPORT: June 3 marked the third anniversary since the final report from the National Inquiry into MMIWG2S+. Community members and organizations that contributed to the plan have said that not enough work has been done on the Calls for Justice from the plan. The National Survivors Family Circle had called on the government to form an oversight body and a National Indigenous Human Rights Tribunal before June 3, 2022, which was not completed.
> THE RESTOULE CASE: The Yellowhead Institute has released a report discussing the Restoule Case and the reconsideration and reinterpretation of the Robinson-Superior and Robinson-Huron Treaties, and recommending pushing away from the colonial view of Treaties. Read Treaty Interpretation in the Age of Restoule here!
> DEADLY AUNTIES: In Teslin, Yukon, two sisters (Joyce and Margaret Douville) are keeping their Tlingit community safe. The sisters are both in their late 60s and are the only Community Safety Officers in Teslin. The Community Safety Officer program moves away from the police being the first line of contact for minor matters such as checking in on Elders and helping intoxicated folks.
> THE BUFFALO GIRLS: A two-spirit musician couple, Rebecca Benson and Cris Derksen, performed in the Regina Symphony Orchestra’s Forward Current Events festival’s 2SLGBTQ+ aspect with their group, The Buffalo Girls. The two shared stories and anecdotes about their lives and the importance of Indigiqueer representation during their performance.
> ORDER OF CANADA: In May, Governor-General Mary Simon awarded former Senator Murray Sinclair the Order of Canada for his work fighting for the rights of Indigenous peoples. Murray Sinclair was the Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and was the first Indigenous judge appointed in Manitoba.
At Parliament Hill
> SUPPLY & CONFIDENCE: In March, the minority Liberal government and the NDP formed a supply and confidence agreement. This agreement means that the NDP will back the Liberal government’s legislative agenda, in exchange for having some NDP priorities added in. An example of one of these priorities is the universal dentalcare which was outlined in Budget 2022. You can read more about Budget 2022 in our last issue of CRE Explains here!
> HOUSING SHORTAGE: The Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs (INAN) at Parliament has been examining the effects of the housing shortage on Indigenous peoples across Canada. The Committee has received multiple briefs from organizations which have included examples such as inadequate housing stock on reserves, lack of funding, and the rising cost of living as factors affecting Indigenous people.
> SUMMER BREAK: Parliament will be in recess for the summer as of June 23. This means that MPs and parliamentary committees won’t be working until September, and all bills not yet passed will be dropped and would need to be reintroduced in the fall in order to pass. This year, Parliament has 103 sitting (or working) days.
What we’re reading
- MMIWG2S+ ACTION PLAN: The 2021 Action Plan outlines priorities in addressing violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQIA+ folks. This was developed in response to the 231 Calls to Justice from the Final Report of the National Inquiry into MMIWG and from Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak’s report – Weaving Miskotahâ.
- THE MAMAWI PROJECT: The Mamawi Project is focused on Métis youth and creating space for them to celebrate themselves and their culture. Check out their Owning Ourselves zine here.
- BILLY-RAY BELCOURT – NDN COPING MECHANISMS: This book looks at how Indigenous 2SLGBTQIA+ folks are excluded from media through poetry and other mediums.
- JOSHUA WHITEHEAD – JOHNNY APPLESEED: Johnny Appleseed is “novel about a Two-Spirit Indigiqueer young man and proud NDN glitter princess who must reckon with his past when he returns home to his reserve.” This book was the recipient of the 2021 Canada Reads award.
What we’re listening to
- pîkiskwêwin PODCASTS: pîkiskwêwin produces podcasts in Indigenous languages, focusing on things like food sovereignty, identity, and leadership.
- ANACHNID: Anachnid is an Oji-Cree artist and CRE program alumni who creates primarily electronic music.
- CRIS DERKSEN: Cris Derksen (highlighted above with The Buffalo Girls) is a Juno-nominated, Cree and Mennonite two-spirit cellist. Derksen merges her Indigenous heritage with classical music.
What did you think of this issue of CRE’s Policy Forecast? Send your feedback, ideas for future topics, and/or podcast suggestions to email@example.com.