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.

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

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca for as little as $5 per month!

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.

    Thank you for reading this story…

    More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

    rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

    So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

    And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


    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.