Nation to Nation
It’s been almost exactly five years since Idle No More got started on the Prairies.
Although it held a rally in Toronto today and plan another one in Winnipeg this weekend, it’s public presence is arguably not like it was in 2012.
However, one of the movement’s co-founders, Sheelah McLean, said community involvement is just as high as ever.
“Idle No More is just as busy now as it’s ever been because people are realizing (the Trudeau) government makes promises that they’re not keeping,” she said.
It was a similar theme of unfulfilled promise that NDP MP Charlie Angus promoted the new edition of his 2015 book, Children of the Broken Treaty.
“But we still have a very broken system at Indian Affairs. We still have government officials who are refusing to even examine their responsibilities. And until we have a full picture on the underfunding of Indigenous children, these patterns and they’re abusive patterns by the government will continue,” he said.
“This is sort of laying out the pattern. The Trudeau government has made commitments. But that system that was built by Duncan Campbell Scott, it was built to last. And we have to take that system down.”
However, the Trudeau government or at least one minister in his cabinet got kudos. The Macdonald Laurier Institute (MLI) named Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould its policymaker of the year.
“(Wilson-Raybould has) done a remarkable job of taking the whole field of Indigenous Affairs from the margins of Canadian politics and moving it to the centre of Canadian politics,” said University of Saskatchewan history professor, Ken Coates, who wrote the policy-maker article for the MLI.