rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

KAIROS Witness

KAIROS Canada's picture
In this monthly blog, KAIROS explores the social and ecological justice issues related to the extractive industry and watersheds, the rights of Indigenous peoples, women and migrant workers, and how to build movements of change. KAIROS brings awareness and offers insights on Canadian and global issues that are too often ignored.

11 ways to improve the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in 2016

| January 26, 2016
Two participants at the mass Blanket Exercise on Parliament Hill, June 2015

Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming.

It's a new year and Canada's new federal government has already taken some promising steps towards reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and a more climate friendly economy.

These steps, however, are only the beginning of a long journey, one fraught with many obstacles. By year's end, KAIROS hopes it will be able to look back at the following achievements that will bring us closer to our goals of a reconciled, respectful relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, and a just transition to a clean energy economy. These are our top 10 wishes for 2016.

  • Fulfillment of the Canadian government's promise to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples including the right to free, prior, informed consent, ensuring that natural resource development benefits the public interest.
  • The appointment of an independent ombudsperson to ensure that Canadian mining companies respect human rights wherever they operate.
  • The perspectives and experiences of Indigenous women in Canada and in the global South are heard and are visible when resource extraction projects and their impacts are being considered.
  • Women, particularly victims and survivors of militarized conflict, are empowered to participate in peace building processes at all levels, from local to international.
  • Indigenous kids in Canada receive the same level of services as other Canadian kids.
  • The families of missing and murdered Indigenous women have an inquiry that gives them healing and justice.
  • The federal government creates a path to permanent residence for all migrant workers.
  • Temporary migrant worker permits do not tie them to a single employer.
  • The federal government lives up to the commitment it made at the Paris climate conference -- to hold the global temperature increase to under 1.5 degrees Celsius -- by working with Alberta to forge a detailed plan to phase out tar sands production. 
  • The federal government implements a national, rising price on carbon that integrates with provincial carbon pricing mechanisms to effectively drive down greenhouse gas emissions across the country and spur the country's renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors.
  • KAIROS has one more wish for 2016, one that the provinces are asked to fulfill. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its final report in 2015, after a five-year, cross-Canada consultation process on Indian Residential Schools. Too many Canadians do not know the history of these schools and the impacts of colonization on Indigenous peoples in this country.

    Our wish:

  • All provinces receive strong grades in KAIROS’ Report Card: Provincial and Territorial Curriculum on Indigenous Peoples because they are implementing the TRC's Calls to Action #62.i. This Call urges provinces to make mandatory in grades Kindergarten to 12, age-appropriate curriculum on residential schools, Treaties, and the historical and contemporary contributions to Canada of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
  • Photo credit: Inspirit Foundation

    Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming.



    We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


    • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
    • Add context and background.
    • Report typos and logical fallacies.
    • Be respectful.
    • Respect copyright - link to articles.
    • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


    • Use oppressive/offensive language.
    • Libel or defame.
    • Bully or troll.
    • Post spam.
    • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.