Treaty-based strategies are required to address the unique needs of Indigenous communities in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. A treaty-based approach should recognize provisions within the Numbered Treaties, including the Famine and Pestilence Clause and Medicine Chest Clause, agreed to during the signing of Treaty 6 in 1876. The Famine and Pestilence Clause established the Crown’s obligation to aid Indigenous Peoples within Treaty 6 Territory in the event of calamities such as locust raids, storms, starvation, and disease. The Medicine Chest Clause instituted the means through which the Crown would provide medical care for Indigenous Peoples within the jurisdiction. The Government of Canada has a legal obligation to invoke the Famine and Pestilence Clause and Medicine Chest Clause in a strategy to address the spread of COVID-19 in Indigenous communities.
As binding contracts among sovereigns, treaties between Indigenous and Western Nations set parameters for and guide policies that recognize Indigenous Peoples’ rights and that harmonize those rights with non-Indigenous interests. Because treaties engage specific terms, parties, and geographies, detailed analyses of treaty texts and historical contexts are required foundations for understanding Treaty Rights and for proposing policy reforms. The litigious “Save Oak Flat” battle over the Resolution Copper mine proposed for Apache Nation Treaty Territory in present day Arizona prompts close scrutiny of the 1852 Treaty between the United States and the Apache Nation. Because the 1852 Treaty guarantees rights to both parties, it provides mandates and suggests co-management mechanisms to safeguard Apache Nation Treaty Territory and Apache rights to religious practice free from threats of sacred site destruction.
Josée G. Lavoie, Leah McDonnell, Nathan Nickel, Wayne Clark, Caroline Anawak, Jack Anawak, Levinia Brown, Grace Clark, Maata Evaluardjuk-Palmer, Frederick Ford, Rachel Dutton, Alan Katz, Sabrina Wong and Julianne Sanguins
Manitoba is home to approximately 1,500 Inuit, and sees 16,000 consults yearly from the Kivalliq region of Nunavut to access services. The purpose of our study was to develop detailed profiles of Inuit accessing services in Manitoba, by using administrative data routinely collected by Manitoban agencies, to support the development of Inuit-centric services. This study was conducted in partnership with the Manitoba Inuit Association, and Inuit Elders from Nunavut and Manitoba. Findings shows that the Inuit community living in Manitoba is fairly stable, with only approximately 5 percent of Inuit moving in and out of Manitoba on any given year. Inuit settle primarily in Winnipeg, and a significant proportion depend on social programs such as Income Assistance and housing support. A significant number of Inuit children have contact with the Child Welfare System. Our results support the need for more Inuit-centric programming, including family support and language programs.
This comparative study examines how the framing of Indigenous land governance issues—such as resource extraction activities on Indigenous territory and treaty negotiation—in Indigenous media differs from that in corporate news. Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis were applied to 66 news texts published in 2018 in large corporate newspapers, such as the National Post, and small Indigenous news outlets, such as Eagle Feather News. Researchers found that Indigenous media connected land governance issues to contemporary issues, such as racism and control over child welfare, as well as historical colonialism and Indigenous-Settler relations, while corporate news generally excluded any discussion of these contextual factors. While the main news frame in the Indigenous press was Indigenous people were not consulted, the dominant frame in corporate news was Indigenous peoples have already been adequately consulted. Corporate news discourse valorized Indigenous traditional territory solely based on its presumed “economic value.” By contrast, Indigenous publications offered a counternarrative, one that positioned land and the rest of the natural environment as something that has absolute value, and as indivisible from all living things, including people.
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