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Something to ponder

World Day of Social Justice, which was celebrated on February 20th, brings me to reflect about where we are today, in Canada, as regards to social justice towards Indigenous Peoples. The legacy of centuries of colonisation, eviction, and cultural genocide continues to loom large over Indigenous people, extending from the imposition of legislation such as the Indian Act and the creation of residential schools to the forced removal and expropriation of Indigenous territories.

Indigenous Peoples in Canada experience a wide range of social injustices, such as disproportionately high rates of unemployment, poverty, and substandard housing, as well as restricted access to vital services like healthcare and education. Systemic racism, discrimination, and cultural norms that support marginalisation and inequality all contribute to these gaps. The acknowledgement and affirmation of Indigenous Peoples’ innate rights to their land and resources is a crucial component of their fight for social justice. In spite of legal triumphs like the acknowledgment of Indigenous title and rights in historic court judgements like British Columbia v. Delgamuukw, Indigenous groups still have difficulties claiming their ancestral lands as their own.

There are notable differences in the health outcomes of Indigenous Peoples in Canada, including greater rates of chronic illnesses, mental health problems, and drug misuse. These differences have their origins in historical trauma, socioeconomic inequality, and the legacy of colonialism throughout generations. In order to address these health disparities, a holistic strategy that recognises the connection between one’s physical, mental, and spiritual well-being as well as culturally competent healthcare services are needed.

By offering chances for cultural revitalization, self-determination, and empowerment, education is essential to achieving social justice for Indigenous Peoples. Yet, there are still obstacles that Indigenous students must overcome in order to receive a high-quality education, such as underfunded schools, curriculum that is insensitive to their culture, and high dropout rates. In order to alleviate these discrepancies, it is imperative that efforts be made to support Indigenous-led education projects and integrate Indigenous knowledge and viewpoints into mainstream education.

In order to achieve social justice for Indigenous Peoples in Canada, reconciliation must be based on substantial action and responsibility. This means confronting the legacy of colonialism with concrete actions, like implementing the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, of which only 13 have been achieved so far, continuing to acknowledge Indigenous government and self-determination, as it was recently the case for Nunavut, and distributing opportunities and resources fairly.

In summary, achieving social justice for Indigenous Peoples in Canada is a continuous process that necessitates teamwork, unity, and steadfast dedication. We can create a more equitable and inclusive society in which Indigenous Peoples are acknowledged, appreciated, and allowed to prosper on their own terms by admitting historical wrongs, elevating Indigenous voices, and working towards reconciliation and empowerment. The wisdom of Indigenous Elders and leaders should be heeded as we face the difficulties ahead, as they remind us that genuine reconciliation starts with acknowledging the inherent rights, dignity, and resiliency of Indigenous Peoples.

Volunteers needed at the Indigenous Health Centre of Tiohtià:ke!

You can find the sign-up form here.


On March 5th, 1928, the Sexual Sterilization Act was introduced in Alberta (1933 in British Columbia). It was revoked only in 1972, and in 1973 in British Columbia. During that period, the Eugenics Board had 2,834 sterilizations performed, of which Indigenous women represented 6 to 8 percent.

Here is the full article in The Canadian Encyclopedia.

Save the date

March 8 is International Women’s Day. This year, the theme is Invest in women: Accelerate Progress. Here is also an article on International Women’s Day in Canada.

Food for thought

How do you think the concepts of Doctrine of Discovery, terra nullius, and Manifest Destiny continue to influence land and law in Canada today?

Resource: Home on Native Land, a ten-week course from Raven


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Email Avi Abrams, program coordinator, at respect.kanoronhkwatshera@gmail.com