Jerry Natanine, community leader and former mayor of Clyde River, holds a feather as he speaks during a press conference on Parliament Hill following a ruling at the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa on Wednesday, July 26, 2017.
Photo Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Talking about Indigenous people: news and reports from RCI


Read Radio Canada International recent reports on issues related to Indigenous communities, culture and rights.

Inuit activist blasts Canada’s foot-dragging on dirty fuels ban in the Arctic

By Levon Sevunts, Wednesday 11 April, 2018

Photo: Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

Ottawa should to stop procrastinating and get on board with the proposed ban on the use of highly polluting heavy fuel oil by ships operating in the Arctic, says Sheila Watt-Cloutier, a Nobel Peace Prize-nominated Inuit activist and author… more

Mystery surrounds death of baby girl in Alberta First Nation community

By Levon Sevunts, Friday 6 April, 2018

Photo: Emilio Avalos/CBC

Two days after paramedics responding to a distress call at a First Nation community in Alberta discovered a four-month-old girl dead in her crib and rushed 14 members of her immediate family to hospital with flu-like symptoms, provincial authorities remain tight-lipped about what might have caused the tragedy… more

Efforts to save Mohawk language continue to expand

By Terry Haig, Tuesday 27 March, 2018

Photo: Simon Nakonechny/CBC

As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continues his drive to make amends for horrific past abuses inflicted on Canada’s First Nations, it appears progress is being made by Indigenous communities to resurrect and reclaim their native languages… more

Canada vows to eradicate TB in the North

By Lynn Desjardins, Friday 23 March, 2018

Photo: Submitted to CBC by Katie Suarak

Just as a teenage boy is thought to have died from tuberculosis last weekend, the Canadian government has unveiled plans to eradicate active TB in the North by 2030. Tuberculosis is a preventable and curable bacterial infection that mainly affects the lungs and can cause death if untreated… more

Canada wants to list mysterious Arctic petroglyphs as UNESCO World Heritage Site

By Levon Sevunts, Saturday 17 March, 2018

Photo: Robert Fréchette/Avataq

Their exact location is a jealously guarded secret but a set of mysterious petroglyphs in the Eastern Canadian Arctic feature among Ottawa’s latest submission to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for consideration as a new World Heritage Site…more

Canada’s northern justice system needs victim-focused overhaul, national inquiry told

By Levon Sevunts, Saturday 10 March, 2018

Photo: MMIWG/Facebook

Charlotte Wolfrey’s daughter, Deidre Michelin, was just 15 days shy of her 21st birthday when she was shot and killed by her partner who then turned the gun on himself. All four of her grandchildren were in the house when their mother’s life was snuffed out in act of senseless rage, but there wasn’t a single police officer within at least 160 kilometres…more

MMIWG Inquiry requests two year extension

By Carmel Kilkenny, Wednesday 7 March, 2018

Photo: Jillian Taylor/ CBC

MMIWG, the acronym for the inquiry into the estimated 1,181 missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in Canada is underway. The inquiry is stopping into community after community in an effort to understand why Indigenous women are statistically five times more likely to die by violence than other women in this country…more

Whither the troubled MMIWG inquiry?

By Marc Montgomery, Thursday 18 January, 2018

Indigenous expert looks at the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry. The federally funded inquiry looking into the national tragedy of a high proportion of missing and murdered First Nations females has been plaqued by controversy from the outset about its direction, its slow pace, and treatment of family members testifying… more

Supreme Court rules in favour of Yukon First Nations in Peel watershed dispute

By Levon Sevunts, Friday 1 December, 2017

Photo: CBC

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled in favour of Yukon First Nations in their fight to protect a large area of almost pristine sub-Arctic wilderness from resource development. The unanimous ruling released Friday ends a five-year legal battle between the Yukon government and a group of First Nations and environmental groups over… more

Thousands of indigenous elders meet in first national gathering

By Marc Montgomery, Wednesday 13 September, 2017

It is a huge gathering, and the first event of its kind in Canada. Thousands of indigenous elders from communities across the country are meeting to discuss issues of concern and share ideas… more

Montreal refashions city emblems to honour Indigenous peoples

By Levon Sevunts, Wednesday 13 September, 2017

The City of Montreal has unveiled a new flag honouring the contributions of Indigenous peoples, along with the French, Scottish, Irish and English settlers. (City of Montreal)
© City of Montreal

As Montreal celebrates the 375th anniversary of its founding, municipal authorities have presented changes to the city’s flag and its coat of arms to finally acknowledge and honour the contribution of Indigenous peoples whose presence on the island predates by millennia the arrival of French settlers in 1642more

Supreme Court landmark decisions on development-indigenous rights

By Marc MontgomeryWednesday 26 July, 2017

Jerry Natanine, community leader and former mayor of Clyde River, gestures after the Supreme Court quashed seismic testing for oil in Nunavut
© Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press

It’s been a three-year battle for the mostly Inuit communities of Baffin Island, but today they’ve won their battle at the highest court in the land. The Supreme Court of Canada has cancelled plans for seismic oil and gas exploration off the coast of Baffin Island, which residents say could potentially harm marine life and their reliance on the fish and animals for sustenance and traditional way of life… more

Canada’s Indigenous leaders kick off annual meeting in Saskatchewan

By Levon SevuntsTuesday 25 July, 2017

Assembly of First Nations Chief Perry Bellegarde speaks with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett before the start of the Assembly of First Nations Special Chiefs assembly in Gatineau, Quebec on Tuesday December 6, 2016.
© PC/Adrian Wyld

Hundreds of Indigenous leaders from across Canada are meeting in Saskatchewan today to  discuss the ongoing suicide crisis, the beleaguered inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and troubled relations with various police forces. The three-day annual meeting of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) in Regina will also be attended by several federal cabinet ministers, including Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna... more

Still more delays with already controversial inquiry

By Marc MontgomeryFriday 21 July, 2017

Thunder Bay’s scheduled community hearing for the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls has been pushed back three months.

After facing sometimes severe criticism for delays and lack of information the inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls, has announced yet more delays this weekmore

Indigenous throat-singing featured at museum

By Lynn DesjardinsMonday 17 July, 2017


Throat-singing is one of the jewels of Inuit culture and will be featured at musical events at the Canadian Museum of Nature. The museum is running special exhibits and programming this summer called Focus on the Arctic. Kathleen Merrit, known as Iva, will be joined by Riit (Rita Claire Mike-Murphy) for a musical show that celebrates Inuit and Celtic roots… more

North American Indigenous Games kick off in Toronto

By Levon SevuntsMonday 17 July, 2017

Taboo performs during the opening ceremony of the 2017 North American Indigenous Games, in Toronto on Sunday, July 16, 2017.
© PC/Mark Blinch

More than 5,000 athletes from across North America are in Toronto this week to take part in the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG), which are being held in Eastern Canada for the first time in 25 years. The opening ceremony was held on Sunday in a packed stadium at the Aviva Centre in Toronto’s North York suburb… more

Oka Crisis: brewing up again 27 years later

By Marc MontgomeryThursday 13 July, 2017

July 11, 1990: A Mohawk man stands on an overturned police vehicle blocking a highway through Kanesatake.
© CP/Paul Chiasson


The crisis began in early 1990 when the small town of Oka Quebec, just off the north east tip of Montreal Island where the Ottawa River empties into the Lake of Two Mountains. The town wanted to expand a golf course and housing development onto land which had been long claimed by the local Mohawk reserve as theirs… more

Labrador Innu slam Ottawa’s foot dragging on funding for foster care program

By Levon SevuntsTuesday 4 July, 2017

Residents walk in the northern Labrador community of Natuashish, N.L. on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2007.
© PC/Andrew Vaughan

The federal government’s indecision in funding a critical community-developed foster care program for Innu children in Labrador is leading to devastating loss of identity, culture and language in dozens of children who are placed in care far from their communities and families, say Labrador Innu leadersmore

Indigenous chiefs will go protest pipelines in U.S.

By Lynn DesjardinsFriday 30 June, 2017

Indigenous people in the U.S. have been staging anti-pipeline protests like this one North Dakota and have asked Canadian chiefs for their support.
© Terray Sylvester/Reuters

A large delegation of chiefs from indigenous communities across Canada will travel to the U.S. to protest oil pipelines on American Independence Day, July 4th. There are over 120 First Nations from Canada and Tribes in the U.S. which have signed the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion opposing the extraction of bitumen from oilsands in western Canada and its shipment to the U.S… more

Indigenous rights movement wins Amnesty award

By Lynn DesjardinsMonday 29 May, 2017

Canadian activists accepted the award on behalf of Canada's Indigenous rights movement.
© Amnesty International

Canada’s Indigenous rights movement has won Amnesty International’s top award for human rights work. It is the first time a Canadian entity or person has won the Ambassador of Conscience Award. The honour was shared with U.S. music artist and activist Alicia Keys… more

First Nations doctor strives to combine Aboriginal and Western medicine

By Levon SevuntsFriday 12 May, 2017

Karen Hill is a family physician at the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory who combines Western medicine and traditional Indigenous medicine in her practice.
Karen Hill is a family physician at the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory who combines Western medicine and traditional Indigenous medicine in her practice. © Levon Sevunts

Karen Hill knows that to help her community she needs more than what the Western medicine she practices can offer. For years now, Hill, a family doctor in her home community at the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, in southern Ontario, has been working with traditional Indigenous medicine practitioners to care for the sick in her Haudenosaunee or Iroquois community… more

New guide aims to break stereotypes in stories on mental health in Indigenous communities

By Levon SevuntsMonday 10 April, 2017

Six-year-old Chenille Tomagatick visits a relative’s grave at a cemetery in the northern Ontario First Nations reserve in Attawapiskat, Ont., on Tuesday, April 19, 2016. The James Bay community of 2,000 is under a state of emergency due to a spike in youth suicide attempts.
Six-year-old Chenille Tomagatick visits a relative’s grave at a cemetery in the northern Ontario First Nations reserve in Attawapiskat, Ont., on Tuesday, April 19, 2016. The James Bay community of 2,000 is under a state of emergency due to a spike in youth suicide attempts. © PC/Nathan Denette

Canadian reporters working on stories involving Indigenous mental health issues are getting some much-needed guidance and advice from seasoned journalists. The Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma, an educational charity promoting physical and mental wellbeing of journalists, has added a new chapter to the second edition of its bilingual guide Mindset: Reporting on Mental Health / En-Tête : Reportage et Santé Mentalemore

Indigenous woman to head RCMP division in B.C.

By Carmel KilkennyThursday 2 March, 2017

Brenda Butterworth-Carr is the first Indigenous woman to head the RCMP Division E in British Columbia.
Brenda Butterworth-Carr is the first Indigenous woman to head the RCMP Division E in British Columbia. © RCMP

Brenda Butterworth-Carr is from the Tr’ondek Hwech’in Han Nation in Yukon. Now she will be the first Indigenous woman to hold the top RCMP job in British Columbia.

Currently the Assistant Commissioner, Butterworth-Carr is Division E’s new commanding officer, the largest of the RCMP’s 15 divisions in Canada… more

Indigenous community voices support for oil development

By Levon SevuntsThursday 29 December, 2016

Construction continues in northern Alberta’s energy sector, including this new Enbridge pipeline in the area between Fort McMurray and Conklin. (Kyle Bakx/CBC)
© Kyle Bakx/CBC

Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline has been vehemently opposed by many Indigenous groups in Canada, but there are also Aboriginal voices that strongly support the oilpatch. Chief Jim Boucher, from Fort McKay in northeastern Alberta, is one of them… more

Indigenous family bans English to preserve culture

By Lynn DesjardinsMonday 5 September, 2016

Like many parents, Nancy Mike and Andrew Morrison have to work hard if they want to preserve their aboriginal language. Because so much English is spoken in Iqaluit in the northern territory of Nunavut, they have decided to ban Englishmore

Dam threatens indigenous culture: Amnesty International

By Lynn DesjardinsSunday 14 August, 2016

Amnesty International Canada has launched a worldwide campaign to stop construction of a massive hydroelectric dam in western Canada. It says the dam violates Canada’s commitments to uphold the human rights of indigenous peoples. “This is a dam that wouldmore

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