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Indigenous Nationhood

Dr. Pamela D. Palmater is a Mi'kmaw lawyer and member of the Eel River Bar First Nation in New Brunswick. She teaches Indigenous law, politics and governance at Ryerson University and heads their Centre for Indigenous Governance.

Blog - Indigenous Nationhood March 4
Water faucet. Image credit: Sasikan Ulevik/Unsplash
Pam Palmater | This week, Canada's auditor general released her report on whether Canada is providing enough support to ensure that First Nations have access to clean drinking water. The answer was a clear no.
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood February 16
Parliament Hill, Ottawa. Image credit: Nancy Girard Bégin/Flickr
Pam Palmater | Bill C-92 was heralded as the solution to the "humanitarian crisis" of First Nations children in foster care. Instead it could make things worse.
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood February 9
Hospital room. Image credit: Daan Stevens/Unsplash
Pam Palmater | A new report confirms what most Indigenous peoples already knew -- that racism against Indigenous peoples is prevalent in B.C.'s health-care system.
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood October 18
Still from debate livestream. Image: Global News/YouTube
Pamela Palmater | Reconciliation cannot be achieved if its lifespan is dictated by what carries political currency in each election. The party leaders all have a legal and moral obligation to do better.
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood July 31
Photo: Provice of British Columbia/Flickr
Pamela Palmater | Canada needs to turn its resources inward and work on a national action plan in partnership with Indigenous governments and led by Indigenous women.
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood June 6
Image: Peter Burka/Flickr
Pamela Palmater | The justice system was designed to fail Cindy Gladue, just as it has failed to deliver justice for countless Indigenous women, girls and their communities.
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood April 5
Canadian Parliament. Photo: Sam Szapucki/Flickr
Pamela Palmater | Without substantive amendments, this bill may end up causing more harm than good and inject legal chaos into an already broken system and risk the lives of more of our children.
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood March 21
Prime Minister Trudeau attends the budget speech delivered by Minister of Finance Bill Morneau in the House of Commons. Photo: Adam Scotti/PMO
Pamela Palmater | The exclusion of Indigenous women and girls as a priority in this federal budget is a glaring example of the ongoing racism and sexism that is so deeply embedded in Canada's laws and policies.
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood January 23
Sharon McIvor and Pamela Palmater at the United Nations in Geneva. Photo courtesy of Pamela Palmater.
Pamela Palmater | On January 14, 2019, the UNHRC released their decision which found that Canada still discriminates against "Indian" women and their descendants in the registration provisions of the Indian Act.
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood December 30
Image: Lorie Shaull/Flickr
Pamela Palmater | Trump's presidency represents a clear and present danger to Canada, and his disastrous policies have particularly devastating impacts on sovereign Indigenous nations across Turtle Island.
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood October 31
Aboriginal family near Prince Albert, SK, 1919. Photo: Walter Cross/ Musée McCord Museum/Flickr
Pam Palmater | It is long past the time that Saskatchewan take real steps to stem the race-based violence and deaths of First Nations from whose lands and waters every single resident benefits.
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood October 16
Protestors block the gates of the Kinder Morgan Richmond Terminal in solidarity with First Nations in Canada. Photo: Peg Hunter/Flickr
Pamela Palmater | Canada has already decided that the Trans Mountain pipeline will be built, before ever talking to any impacted First Nations. This renders constitutionally protected Indigenous rights meaningless.
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood September 20
Crowd taking part in Salt Spring-Kinder Morgan action. Photo: Christina Marshall/Leadnow Canada/Flickr
Pamela Palmater | We cannot count on either federal or provincial governments to put the health of peoples, lands, waters, plants or animals ahead of the money to be made from the extractive industry.
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood September 13
Drumming, Vancouver Kinder Morgan protest. Photo: William Chen/Flickr
Pamela Palmater | Despite the fact that the Federal Court of Appeal quashed the decision in this instance, it also set up the conditions under which the federal government can approve the pipeline in the future.
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood August 28
Justice For Tina Fontaine and Colten Boushie. Photo: Memaxmarz/Flickr
Pamela Palmater | At a time when our hearts were collectively breaking, First Nation members from Saskatchewan got together and created the Justice for Our Stolen Children Camp.
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood August 22
Maxime Bernier and Andrew Scheer. Photo: Andrew Scheer/Flickr
Pam Palmater | Last week, Conservative member of Parliament Maxime Bernier posted a series of tweets on Twitter espousing his opposition to "extreme multiculturalism" and the "cult of diversity" in Canada.
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood July 19
Perry Bellegarde at podium. Photo: Andrew Scheer/Flickr
Pamela Palmater | The Assembly of First Nations will hold its election for national chief on July 25 in Vancouver -- and this election feels like a boiling point for Indigenous rights and sovereignty.
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood June 6
Image: JH/Flickr
Pam Palmater | The Liberal Party has taken a significant amount of heat for their collective failures to act on their substantive promises to First Nations. How do Ontario's political parties square?
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood April 5
Loose tobacco. Photo: Lindsay Fox/Flickr
Pamela Palmater | Canada can't have it both ways -- they can't complain about the cost of First Nation poverty and continually criminalize all Indigenous means of subsistence.
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood March 15
Tina Fontaine. Image via Facebook.
Pamela Palmater | Tina Fontaine did not kill herself. Tina died because federal, provincial and state agencies charged with keeping her safe, all failed to protect her. And for that, Canada should stand trial.
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood February 27
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes part in the Canada - Modern Treaty and Self-Governing First Nations Forum. Photo: Adam Scotti/PMO
Pamela Palmater | Since his election, Trudeau has made the same core promises to recognize and implement Indigenous rights in a multitude of strategically timed announcements, but it's been all talk and little action.
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood August 10
Women’s Memorial March - Vancouver. Photo: Jen Castro/flickr
Pam Palmater | Since its launch, the inquiry has been criticized for its numerous and lengthy delays, its failures to communicate with the families and its continued failure to provide information.
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood May 18
Photo: Adam Scotti/PMO
Pamela Palmater | Given that its terms focus on the "vulnerabilities" of Indigenous women and girls as opposed to failures of governments and service agencies -- the inquiry risks missing the whole point.
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood August 2
Image: PMO/Adam Scotti
Pamela Palmater | Trudeau himself promised that the national inquiry would investigate "uncomfortable truths" and seek concrete actions related specifically to law enforcement.
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood May 16
Image: PMO Photo by Adam Scotti
Pam Palmater | Last week, former prime minister Paul Martin told the media that Canadians weren't racist, it's just that Indigenous people are invisible to many of them. That's a bit rich, argues Pam Palmater.
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood April 15
Image: Flickr/amy dame
Pamela Palmater | The Supreme Court ruling on Daniels vs. Canada does not bolster Métis claims, but instead confuses them. Pam Palmater clarifies the decision and what it does and does not say.
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood March 23
Image: Flickr/UN Women
Pamela Palmater | Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won the hearts of many Canadians by finally getting rid of Stephen Harper and his decade of oppression, violation of civil rights and vilification of First Nations.
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood February 1
College Street Protest - Riot Police
Pamela Palmater | Gang rapes, murders and planting evidence: it's not a new Netflix series, it's Ontario policing.
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood November 20
Former AFN Grand Chief Shawn Atleo
Pamela Palmater | There is still a great deal of work to undo the harm that was done and prepare the path ahead for a safer, healthier and more just future for First Nations and Canadians alike.
Blog - Indigenous Nationhood November 4
New justice minister and former First Nations chief Jody Wilson-Raybould
Pamela Palmater | The very act of being in cabinet sets the minister directly against First Nation interests.