First Nations & Indigenous

Time for a forest reserve

Mar 9, 2020
Almost inevitably, when someone suggests that logging of privately-owned lands should be subject to tougher regulations, there is an outcry from landowners. It is “their” land after all. But this ignores important historical realities in British Columbia—realities that are hopefully being considered in a current review by the provincial government.  Up until 2003, a much… View Article

Blockades aren’t the crisis. It’s the crumbling legitimacy of Canada’s democracy

Mar 5, 2020
Our democratic institutions are in crisis. Their very legitimacy is in question, and Canada’s national leaders appear ill-equipped to respond. The Indigenous re-occupation of Wet’suwet’en land and nationwide actions in support have sparked debate and deliberation about the causes, consequences, complications and solutions. The debate has been emotional and traumatic and, I fear, is defining… View Article

Coastal GasLink connects bad economics with terrible climate policy while trampling on Indigenous rights

Feb 25, 2020
Protests around BC and the rest of the country have put Indigenous issues front and centre in discussions of Canadian politics and energy policy. Approved by the BC government, TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink pipeline would run through Wet’suwet’en territory and the company argues it is in the broader “public interest” because of “substantial benefits to First… View Article

Elevating Indigenous women’s voices is critical to addressing gendered colonial violence

Apr 3, 2019
These are the voices of Indigenous women survivors documented in a powerful new report, Red women rising: Indigenous women survivors in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The comprehensive study centres the stories of Indigenous women living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The research grew out of activities around the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Women and was carried… View Article

Through the front door, then the back: How government methodically killed environmental oversight of major gas industry projects

Jan 23, 2019
Few regulations in British Columbia have died as quick and ignoble a death as a 2014 Order in Council exempting proposed natural gas plants from having to undergo environmental assessments. It was a change that fossil fuel companies drilling and fracking for natural gas in the northeast of the province had demanded for some time…. View Article

Designated Indigenous seats: A possibility for political inclusion?

Oct 15, 2018
As the Federal Court of Appeal’s quashing of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX) showcases, a wide chasm remains between the federal government’s platitudes of reconciliation and real action. Canada, the Court ruled, has again fallen short of its obligations to consult with and accommodate Indigenous peoples—to say nothing of the right to free, prior… View Article

What’s Kinder Morgan’s real end game?

Apr 16, 2018
Here’s a different take on Kinder Morgan’s ultimatum and the so-called “constitutional crisis” it has sparked. I’m speculating, of course, as we all seek to understand what Kinder Morgan is really up to. But allow me to posit a minority theory: We’re getting played! It is entirely possible that Kinder Morgan has already decided to… View Article