The COVID-19 pandemic crisis resulted in more than 100 countries legislating school closures in March 2020. In response, provincial ministries and their respective publicly funded school boards have implemented online learning platforms to avoid disruptions to student learning. For students already ostracized in public education, on-line learning may serve to further embed them in the proverbial margins. This editorial speaks to the urgency for educators at all levels to prepare for the potentially devastating outcomes on Indigenous student learning and progress in post-pandemic public schools and classrooms. The preparation for these realities has to be both immediate and retrospective given the complexities of these unique circumstances that have created interwoven layers of marginalization for Indigenous students.
The case of Brian Sinclair, a First Nations man who died in a Winnipeg, Manitoba, hospital emergency room in 2008 after waiting 34 hours for medical care to treat a preventable infection, represents the degree to which structural indifference exists within Canadian society. This article reviews the book Structures of Indifference: An Indigenous Life and Death in a Canadian City by Mary Jane Logan McCallum and Adele Perry, published by University of Manitoba Press in 2018. The review will provide a content summary of each chapter along with an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the book. A critical analysis of how the authors examined this case, using a place-based approach of the city, the hospital, and life and death of Brian Sinclair, is discussed. The review will identify critical concepts and lessons relevant to the development of Indigenous health policy and practice, which will be applicable to both a national and international audience.
Internationally, declining voter turnout is a topic of considerable concern in many liberal democracies. In this article, we investigate whether these similar trends can be discerned in the voter turnout for Māori governance entities. We first explore some of the demographic contexts within which Māori governance entities operate with a specific focus on population, residence, and age. We then provide a detailed descriptive analysis of voting data from one particular entity: Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, with whom we worked to understand how their elections inform their aspirations for continuing connectedness with tribal members. In the final section of the article, we present findings from an analysis of publicly available tribal voting data to see whether the trend of declining voter turnout is observable and whether online voting is shown to impact turnout.
Current challenges relating to water governance in Canada are motivating calls for approaches that implement Indigenous and Western knowledge systems together, as well as calls to form equitable partnerships with Indigenous Peoples grounded in respectful Nation-to-Nation relationships. By foregrounding the perspectives of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples, this study explores the nature and dimensions of Indigenous ways of knowing around water and examines what the inclusion of Indigenous voices, lived experience, and knowledge mean for water policy and research. Data were collected during a National Water Gathering that brought together 32 Indigenous and non-Indigenous water experts, researchers, and knowledge holders from across Canada. Data were analyzed thematically through a collaborative podcasting methodology, which also contributed to an audio-documentary podcast (www.WaterDialogues.ca).
This mixed methods study examined the impact of a prison–community partnership, entitled Work 2 Give. The partnership supports a program in which federally incarcerated men in Canada make items to donate to Indigenous communities. Qualitative interviews were conducted with participating men (n = 32), recipient community members (n = 29), and other prison and community stakeholders (n = 14). Selected outcomes (transfers to higher security, successful transfers to lower security, and serious institutional charges) were examined for 60 incarcerated men for whom data were available. Findings suggest that the program positively affected the men’s identities and provided opportunities for communities to help incarcerated men to heal; both sets of stakeholders see potential to strengthen the program. Whereas the emphasis has been on unidirectional donation, and the impetus for the program has been with correctional staff, findings suggest a bidirectional model with stronger feedback loops between the prison and community to support reciprocity, investment, and visibility would enhance impact. This model has broad implications for strengthening community–prison partnerships.
Objectives: This article articulates the complexity of modeling in First Nations, Metis, and Inuit contexts by providing the results of a modeling exercise completed at the request of the First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba.
Methods: We developed a model using the impact of a previous pandemic (the 2009 H1N1) to generate estimates.
Results: The lack of readily available data has resulted in a model that assumes homogeneity of communities in terms of health status, behaviour, and infrastructure limitations. While homogeneity may be a reasonable assumption for province-wide planning, First Nation communities and Tribal Councils require more precise information in order to plan effectively. Metis and urban Inuit communities, in contrast, have access to much less information, making the role of Indigenous organizations mandated to serve the needs of these populations that much more difficult.
Conclusion: For many years, Indigenous organizations have advocated for the need to have access to current and precise data to meet their needs. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the importance of timely and accurate community-based data to support pandemic responses.
How and why is Indigeneity expressed differently in different contexts? This article examines the articulation and expression of Indigenous Rights in one of the most challenging contexts—that of Siberia in the Soviet Union era. Based on primary, archival research carried out in the Republic of Sakha, Russia, the review finds that re-claiming and re-defining Indigeneity can serve as the first step in crafting an effective challenge to the domination and control exercised by states over Indigenous populations. The study of Indigeneity in unlikely places has important ramifications for Indigenous Peoples worldwide who are struggling against colonial-minded governments that have not only deprived Indigenous Peoples of their lands and resources, but also suppressed their right to self-identification through imposed administrative definitions of Indigeneity.
Indigenous children are overrepresented in child protection systems in the United States and to an even greater degree in Canada. Canada has recently passed federal child welfare legislation, Bill C-92, with the goal of affirming the rights of Indigenous Peoples and establishing guidelines with respect to child and family services for Indigenous children. The aim of this article is to contribute to ongoing discussions about the recently passed Canadian legislation, drawing on lessons learned in the United States context. The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), passed in the United States in 1978, has created a legislative paradigm, which in some cases has been bolstered by state-level provisions. The ICWA can provide helpful lessons to consider in Canada as the new legislation is implemented and amended over time. Specifically, we examine elements of the ICWA related to accessibility and compliance with the law, along with deeper analysis of state-level statutes related to adoption provisions in light of the phenomenon of transracial adoption of Indigenous children. As reactions to the Canadian federal law have been mixed, this policy analysis may be supportive of conversations regarding its further development, particularly related to funding and enforcement. On a broader level, considerations of Indigenous community jurisdiction over child and family policies within our discussion are relevant to various settler-colonial contexts.
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted society. Vulnerable populations are at heightened risk for exposure, as well as adverse health and social consequences. Policymakers are operating under difficult circumstances, making crucial policy decisions to maximize impact and mitigate harm, with limited scientific evidence. This article examines the pronounced vulnerability of Indigenous Peoples in Canada to the pandemic. We highlight the importance of moving beyond individual-level risk factors associated with COVID-19 by identifying and classifying Indigenous communities most vulnerable to the pandemic. We propose the use of a social diagnostic tool, the Community Well-Being Index, rooted in the social determinants of health, to predict community vulnerability and potentially guide policy decision-making in the fight against COVID-19.
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