A First Nation that only seems to get the spotlight when bad things happen is once again in the headlines: Shamattawa. Literally left devastated last week after a major fire destroyed key services and infrastructure—including the reserve's only grocery store—it's all the more worrisome when you consider the northeastern Manitoba community is only accessible by plane or boat most of the year. Then there's the disturbing cause of the blaze: according to the RCMP, it was started by a group of children, most of whom aren't even 12 years old.
Shamattawa's high rates of poverty, unemployment, substance abuse and youth suicide are well-documented by news outlets. Less so are the efforts of its people to reverse these trends. Among the more determined is this week's guest: Michael Redhead Champagne, founder of Aboriginal Youth Opportunities in Winnipeg.
For the third time in 9 months, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has ordered the federal government to end its discriminatory practice of inequitably funding child welfare services on-reserve. The Tribunal’s initial ruling happened in January, the result of a 2007 human rights complaint. But despite Indigenous Affairs Canada being told to "immediately remove the most discriminatory aspects of [its] funding schemes" for First Nations agencies, the federal government has failed to show the Tribunal how it’s done so. Will this latest order to comply make a difference? Joining us with her observations is lawyer Maggie Wente, part of the legal team advising the Chiefs of Ontario, which has "interested party" status at these proceedings.
According to The Guardian, it's a discovery that "challenges the accepted history behind one of polar exploration’s deepest mysteries." This week, 168 years after it sank, a ship once captained by the famous British explorer Sir John Franklin seems to have finally been found. Known as the HMS Terror, it was one of two large crafts used by the ill-fated Franklin expedition, now the stuff of legend for both Britain and its colonial offspring, Canada. But amidst these tales of Terror's ruin and reported recovery in Arctic waters, we might ask where Arctic people fit into all of this. Our guest this episode is Kisha Supernant, an anthropological archaeologist and associate professor at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. // Our theme is 'nesting,' by birocratic.
This week: Standing up for the Standing Rock Sioux. For the US state of North Dakota, massive deposits of unconventional oil have brought much prosperity for some, great pain to others. In a bid to get even more of that oil to market, a new project is underway: the Dakota Access Pipeline. But the 1900 km, $3.8 billion project has long been opposed by local Indigenous people, the Standing Rock Sioux, who argue any spill would both devastate regional water sources and desecrate sites of spiritual significance. Pipeline proponents claim it will boost jobs, revenues, even safety, when compared to oil moved by rail or road. My guest this week has been an ardent follower of this struggle. A member of the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe in neighbouring South Dakota, Taté Walker is the editor of Native Peoples magazine.
According to preliminary new data released this week, Indigenous people in Canada are 10 times more likely to use an emergency shelter than their non-Indigenous counterparts. That's according to the National Shelter Study, a decade-long look at the use of emergency shelter beds across the country. And for the first time ever, the study has tracked stats according to Indigenous identity. Our guest this week is Jesse Thistle, a graduate student of history who once spent much of his young adulthood in and out of homelessness and addiction. // Our theme is 'nesting' by birocratic.