What’s Happening with Reconciliation? Indigenous Watchdog Updates: Dec. 31, 2021


If you really want to see what is happening with reconciliation, take a glance through these updates as well as the previous ones. Every 6-8 weeks on average, these updates aggregate what is happening within that time period – good and bad, big and small, substantive and inconsequential – across the full spectrum of Indigenous issues. Doing nothing else, I can guarantee that you will be much better informed and armed with relevant facts from authoritative sources.

If you want even more detail, go the relevant section on the Indigenous Watchdog website. For even more, click on any one of the links to the primary source data: white papers, articles, reports, press releases, studies etc. The revamped website that is almost ready for launch will have over 2,000 embedded links. You can take a dip, dive into the deep end or simply hang out, read, and stay informed.

So what’s happening?

Call to Action Status as of December 31, 2021

Not StartedStalledIn ProgressComplete
16204810
17%21.3%51.1%10.6%
Legacy Calls to Action (1 – 42) + 50-52, 62-65Reconciliation Calls to Action (43 – 94)
Not Started6, 9, 26, 34, 42, 51, 52, 6445, 46, 47, 53, 54, 55, 56, 89
Stalled8, 10, 12, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20,
25, 29, 30, 32, 41, 62
71, 77, 78, 87, 92, 93
Complete13, 1549, 59, 68, 80, 83, 84, 85, 94
Legacy C2A also includes “Education for Reconciliation” and “Equity for Aboriginal People in the Legal System”

Status Change

The following Calls to Action (C2A) have changed their status since the last update on Dec. 5, 2021.

Five of the Calls to Action (6, 9, 46, 53, 54) that had been flagged as “Stalled” have been adjusted to “Not Started”. Given the complete lack of any actions or news in 3 – 6 years – “Stalled” seems highly dated. These five appraisals also align with the views of CBC Beyond 94 and the Yellowhead Institute “Calls to Action Accountability: a 2021 Status Update on Reconciliation“.

C2ADescriptionStatus ChangeWhy has the status changed?
2Publish annual child welfare reportsFrom STALLED to IN PROGRESSFederal government released distinctions-based data reporting actions and strategies on Dec. 22, 2021
3Fully implement Jordan’s PrincipleFrom STALLED to IN PROGRESSTentative agreement reached on CHRT litigation
6Repeal Section 43 of the Criminal CodeFrom STALLED to NOT STARTEDNo action in over 4 years!
9Prepare and report annual education reportsFrom STALLED to NOT STARTEDFederal government has not released any reports since a 2016 StatsCan report
46Develop and sign a Covenant of Reconciliation From STALLED to NOT STARTEDChurches have committed to Covenant, Federal govt. has only paid lip service. No activity since 2016
53Enact legislation to establish National Council for ReconciliationFrom STALLED to NOT STARTEDInterim Board submitted their report in June 2018 – almost 3 1/2 years ago!
54Provide multi-year funding to sustain National Council of ReconciliationFrom STALLED to NOT STARTEDNo news since April 11 Budget 2019 funding release – almost 3 years ago

Indigenous Watchdog Updates

The following represents a statistical snapshot of stakeholder actions: federal. provincial, territory and municipal governments, churches, business, associations, organizations etc. All the actions itemized in the following have been integrated into the Indigenous Watchdog website. The curated data from multiple sources delivers insight into what is happening with reconciliation across the country in each of the 5 Legacy Themes (Child Welfare, Education, Language and Culture, Heath and Justice and the 15 Reconciliation Themes.

Two of the Reconciliation themes, “Equity for Aboriginal People in the Justice System” and “Education for Reconciliation” have been included in the Legacy Education and Justice themes respectively to keep all actions related to Education and Justice in one place.

Section2020Mar. 31June 14Sept. 5Oct. 4 Dec. 5Dec. 312021 Totals
Current Reality265131346647
Current Problems18955564911339213
Legacy Calls to Action9635423961720159
Reconciliation Calls to Action55517336161188
Total366100128134277246507

Sneak Peak: A re-designed Indigenous Watchdog website will be ready for launch in January 2022. This will be part of a significant expansion of content across the entire site: re-organized, optimized, intuitive and searchable to answer your questions easily and effectively. 60+ entirely new sections with additional content have already been added throughout Indigenous Watchdog with considerably more on the way…

For complete details on each of the content updates, please go the relevant Call to Action Home Page or Call to Action # for full details.

Child Welfare

Home Page – Current Reality

Update to Canadian Human Rights Tribunal
Dec. 31, 2021: Agreements-in-Principle have been reached on a global resolution related to compensation for those harmed by discriminatory underfunding of First Nations child and family services and to achieve long-term reform of the First Nations Child and Family Services program and Jordan’s Principle, to ensure that no child faces discrimination again

Call to Action # 1

Commit to reducing the number of Aboriginal children in care

Update to “Why In Progress?”
Dec. 14, 2021 – Federal government announced $40B in funding “to settle outstanding Indigenous child welfare lawsuits and meet the long-term health, education and social welfare needs of First Nations children and families
Update to “Government Commitments to Child Welfare”: Federal
Dec. 31, 2021: Agreements-in-Principle have been reached on a global resolution related to compensation for those harmed by discriminatory underfunding of First Nations child and family services and to achieve long-term reform of the First Nations Child and Family Services program and Jordan’s Principle, to ensure that no child faces discrimination again
Update to “Six Points of Action”
Dec. 22, 2021: Government of Canada posted a detailed update on each of the “Six Points of Action” announced at an Emergency Meeting on Child and Family Services held in January 2018 to address the over-representation of Indigenous children and youth in care in Canada

Call to Action # 2

Publish annual child welfare reports: Indigenous vs non-Indigenous

Status change from “Stalled” to “In Progress”
Dec. 22, 2021– Federal government update to the six-point action plan announced at an Emergency Child Welfare meeting held on Jan. 25 – 26, 2018, on data and reporting strategies in consultation with First Nations, Metis and Inuit groups as well as provincial and territories partners
Update to “Emergency Meeting on Child and Family Services”: Data Strategy
Dec. 22, 2021: Federal government update on data and reporting strategies in consultation with First Nations, Metis and Inuit groups as well as provincial and territories partners

Call to Action # 3

Fully implement Jordan’s Principle

Status change from “STALLED” to “IN PROGRESS?”
Dec. 31, 2021: Agreements-in-Principle have been reached on a global resolution related to compensation for those harmed by discriminatory underfunding of First Nations child and family services and to achieve long-term reform of the First Nations Child and Family Services program and Jordan’s Principle, to ensure that no child faces discrimination again
Update to “Government Commitments to Child Welfare”: Federal
Dec 14, 2021 – The federal government announced up to $40B in compensation including to Jordan’s Principle “which stipulates that First Nations should receive equitable funding for health, education and other social services.”

Call to Action # 4

Enact Indigenous Child Welfare Legislation

Update to “Why in Progress?”
Jan. 6, 2022: Since Bill C-92 An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families came into force two years ago, 59 Indigenous governing bodies have submitted notices and requests concerning the exercise of jurisdiction in relation to child and family services, representing more than 120 Indigenous groups

Education

Call to Action # 6

Repeal Section 43 of the Criminal Code

Status Change from “Stalled” to “Not Started”
Dec. 31, 2021: No action or progress since Bill S-206 “An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (protection of children against standard child-rearing violence) didn’t progress beyond second reading in the senate on May 31, 2018 almost four years ago

Call to Action # 9

Prepare and publish annual education reports: Indigenous vs non-Indigenous

Status Change from “Stalled” to “Not Started”
Dec. 31, 2021: Latest public report on the official government website is for the 2016 – 2017 fiscal year. Report does not address federal funding for schools off-reserve vs on reserve nor educational and income attainments for Indigenous vs non-Indigenous peoples

Education for Reconciliation

Call to Action # 62

Consultations on Indigenous education reform: curriculum content, funding

Update to “Mandatory Govt. Commitments to Indigenous K-12 Curriculum Development: Yukon
Dec. 12. 2021: Six schools will hold referendum on falling under the authority of a newly established First Nation School Board
Update to “Mandatory Govt Commitments to Indigenous K-12 Curriculum Development: NWT
Dec. 9, 2021: “What We Heard Report” presents the findings from the first round of engagement on modernizing the Northwest Territories (NWT) Education Act
Update to “Mandatory Govt Commitments to Indigenous K-12 Curriculum Development: NWT
Dec. 10, 2021: “What We Heard Report: NWT Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 Curriculum Renewal” presents the findings on the renewal of the Northwest Territories JK-12 school curriculum and possibilities for a western provincial partnership
Update to “Mandatory Govt Commitments to Indigenous K-12 Curriculum Development: Manitoba
Dec. 14, 2021: A new pilot program will support engagement with Elders and Knowledge Keepers in schools to promote the inclusion of First Nations, Métis and Inuit histories, culture, traditional values, contemporary lifestyles and traditional knowledge in the provincial curricula

Call to Action # 65

Establish a National Research Program with multi-year funding

Update to “University Actions Towards Research Practices…”: McGill University
Dec. 7, 2021: Creation of a new Institute for Indigenous Research and Knowledge. The Institute will have three main focusses: Language, Land and Governance

Language and Culture

Call to Action # 14

Enact an Indigenous Languages Act

Update to “Provincial Commitments to Aboriginal Languages: NWT
Dec. 9, 2021: The Discussion Paper “What We Heard Report: Education Act Modernization” identified three current challenges and considerations related to the effective development and implementation of language and culture programs in schools

Health: Drinking Water Advisories

Home Page: Current Reality

Updated Federal Government “Drinking Water Advisories” Infographic and DWA Updates Table
Dec. 9, 2021: Updated the Infographic and Table to reflect DWA status as of Dec. 9, 2021
Update to “Drinking Water Class Action Lawsuit”
Dec. 23, 2021: The Federal Court and the Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba issued a joint decision approving an agreement to settle an $8B class-action litigation related to safe drinking water in First Nations communities

Justice

Home Page: Current Reality

Updated Infographic Statistics: Incarceration Rates for Indigenous People: 2015-2021
Dec. 17, 2021 – Correctional Investigator issued report indicating that incarceration rates for Indigenous people in federal prisons has increased to 32% and almost 50% for Indigenous women despite only comprising less than 5% of the population in Canada

Home Page: Current Problems in Justice

New content: “Court Challenges” – Incarceration of Indigenous women
Dec. 17, 2021: The Correctional Investigator released new data showing the proportion of incarcerated Indigenous women continues to increase and is nearing 50% of all federally-sentenced women
New content: “Systemic Racism in Policing”: Sûreté du Québec
Dec. 14, 2021 – Val-d’Or Native Friendship Centre launches a class action lawsuit against police officers in the Sûreté du Québec for discriminatory practices and abuses committed against Indigenous people
New content: “Federal and Provincial Justice Inquiries”: Criminal Case Review Consultation
Dec. 14, 2021: Canadian Commission makes 52 recommendation including “A Miscarriages of Justice Commission” to review claims of wrongful conviction among women, Indigenous or Black people
Update to “Systemic Racism in Policing”: Winnipeg Police Services (WPS)
Dec. 23, 2021: The family of Eishia Hudson filed a civil claim for damages against the unnamed police officers for acts of recklessness, carelessness, and negligence that resulted in her death as well as the Chief of Police for failing to adequately address systemic racism in the WPS toward Indigenous people

Call to Action # 41

Appoint public inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG)

Update to “Government Responses to MMIWG Final Report”: Alberta
Dec. 22, 2021: Alberta RCMP Historical Homicide Unit (HHU) secured funding for a federally-funded investigator to support recommendations of the National Inquiry into MMIWG
Update to “Government Responses to MMIWG Final Report”: Northwest Territories
Dec. 8, 2021: Changing the Relationship details 93 actions the territorial government plans to take to address colonialism and racial and gendered discrimination in its departments, agencies, and policies
Update to “Government Responses to Preventing Violence Against Indigenous Women”: Québec
Dec. 3, 2021: Québec Native Women make recommendations on making tracking bracelet for offenders and victim of domestic violence more effective for Indigenous women
Update to “Government Responses to Preventing Violence Against Indigenous Women”: Québec
Dec. 16, 2021: Québec government is increasing the funding for the 2021-2022 call for projects – Sexual, domestic and family violence in Indigenous contexts by $6 million

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People

Home Page: Current Problems

New Content: Federal – 24th anniversary of the Supreme Court Delgamuukw-Gisday’wa decision
Dec. 11, 2021: The Supreme Court was unanimous in their conclusions that the Gitxsan and  Wet’suwet’en Title and Rights were never extinguished and are inalienable, collective rights, based on their continuing use and occupation of their territories.
Update to “New Brunswick”: Peace and Friendship Treaties
Dec. 1, 2021: The chiefs of Wolastoqey Nation have added a number of corporations to their lawsuit against the province of New Brunswick for conducting business on their territory without consent including J.D. Irving and “18 of its subsidiaries or related entities;” NB Power; Acadian Timber; Twin Rivers Paper; HJ Crabbe & Sons; and A.V. Group.

Call to Action # 43

Fully adopt and implement UNDRIP as the framework for reconciliation

Update to “Government Commitments to UNDRIP”: Federal
Dec. 10, 2021: Launched a consultation, cooperation and engagement process with Indigenous peoples…to develop an action plan to achieve the objectives of the Declaration, including measures for ensuring that federal laws are consistent with the Declaration
Update to “Government Commitments to UNDRIP”: BC
Nov. 17, 2021: BC Government tabled Bill 29 which amends the Interpretation Act to make it clear that all provincial laws uphold, and do not diminish, the rights of Indigenous people protected under section 35 of the Canadian Constitution

Call to Action # 44

Develop national action plan and strategies to achieve UNDRIP goals

Update to “Why In Progress?”
Dec. 10, 2021: The government launched a consultation, cooperation and engagement process with Indigenous peoples…to develop an action plan to achieve the objectives of the Declaration, including measures for ensuring that federal laws are consistent with the Declaration
Update to “Bill C-15 Action Plan”
Dec. 10, 2021: The government launched a consultation, cooperation and engagement process with Indigenous peoples…to develop an action plan to achieve the objectives of the Declaration, including measures for ensuring that federal laws are consistent with the Declaration

Royal Proclamation and Covenant of Reconciliation

Call to Action # 46

Develop and sign a Covenant of Reconciliation to advance reconciliation

Status Change from “Stalled” to”Not Started”
Dec. 31, 2021: The Church Parties to the Settlement Agreement made commitments to a Covenant of Reconciliation in 2015 and 2016; the federal government did so in their last official update on Sept. 5, 2019. Since then there has been actions or news

National Council for Reconciliation

Home Page: Current Reality

Update on lack of government status updates on establishing a National Council
Dec. 31, 2021: After almost three years, there has been absolutely no status updates on what is happening with the National Council for Reconciliation – the legislative body to be established by an act of Parliament to “monitor, evaluate and report annually to Parliament and the people of Canada” on all aspects of how reconciliation is working “to ensure government accountability”

Call to Action # 53

Enact legislation to establish a National Council for Reconciliation

Status Change from “Stalled” to “Not Started”
Dec. 31, 2021: After almost three years, there has been absolutely no status updates on what is happening with the National Council for Reconciliation – the legislative body to be established by an act of Parliament to “monitor, evaluate and report annually to Parliament and the people of Canada” on all aspects of how reconciliation is working “to ensure government accountability”

Call to Action # 54

Provide multi-year funding to sustain the National Council for Reconciliation

Status Change from “Stalled” to “Not Started”
Dec. 31, 2021: Budget 2019 allocated $127M in one-time funding beginning in 2020 fiscal year but there has been no activity or updates in Budget 2020, Budget 2021 or the 2021 Fall Economic Statement

Church Apologies

Home Page: Current Reality

Update on cancellation of Indigenous group visit to Pope Francis at the Vatican
Dec. 7, 2021: The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops along with the Assembly of First Nations, the Métis National Council and the Inuit Tapariit Kanatami announce that the trip to Rome has been postponed due to COVID-19 and will be rescheduled to the earliest opportunity in 2022

Home Page: Current Problems with Church Apologies

Update to “In-Kind Payments”
Dec. 21, 2021: Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller says he’s “absolutely open” to an independent review of the residential school compensation deal reached between the federal government and Catholic Church

Call to Action # 58

Apology from the pope to Catholic Church residential school survivors

Update to “Why In Progress?”
Dec. 7, 2021: The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops along with the Assembly of First Nations, the Métis National Council and the Inuit Tapariit Kanatami announce that the trip to Rome has been postponed due to COVID-19 and will be rescheduled to the earliest opportunity in 2022
Update to ” Timeline for Pope’s Apology”
Dec. 7, 2021: The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops along with the Assembly of First Nations, the Métis National Council and the Inuit Tapariit Kanatami announce that the trip to Rome has been postponed due to COVID-19 and will be rescheduled to the earliest opportunity in 2022

Museums and Archives

Home Page: Current Problems in Museums and Archives

Update to Library and Archives Prime Minister MacDonald Biography
Dec. 12, 2021: Critics point out how difficult finding the revised biography of Prime Minister MacDonald is on the updated Library and Archives website where it is not as accessible as the previous version

Missing Children and Burial Information

Call to Action # 75

Update to “Disbursements of Federal Governments funding to search for unmarked graves
Dec. 15, 2021: $703,230 funding over three years for the Cowassess First Nation’s “Gravesite Reclamation Project”
Update to “Disbursements of Federal Governments funding to search for unmarked graves
Dec. 16, 2021: $1M funding to Lac Seul First Nation to engage with 33 affiliated northern Ontario to address the location, documentation, mapping, maintenance and commemoration/memorialization of burial sites associated with the former Pelican Lake Indian Residential School

Business and Reconciliation

Home Page: Current Problems with Business and Reconciliation

New Content to Duty to Consult: New Brunswick Businesses
Dec. 1, 2021: The chiefs of Wolastoqey Nation have added a number of corporations to their lawsuit against the province of New Brunswick for conducting business on their territory without consent including J.D. Irving and “18 of its subsidiaries or related entities;” NB Power; Acadian Timber; Twin Rivers Paper; HJ Crabbe & Sons; and A.V. Group

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