“Canada faces a crisis when it comes to the situation of indigenous peoples of the country.” So concludes United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples James Anaya, after wrapping up, October 15, a fact-finding mission on human rights issues facing Aboriginal communities.
Anaya cited appalling living conditions; a suicide rate that is five times greater than other populations; the ongoing gap in well-being between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Canada; a patchwork of unresolved treaties across the country; and high levels of distrust between Aboriginal communities and their governments as some of his key areas of concern.
Among his recommendations: more comprehensive economic development strategies and, in particular, greater efforts to improve avenues of communication between Aboriginal peoples and others in Canada, in order to build consensus on the path forward.
That is the spirit behind Leading Together, a series launching today, and commissioned by The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation of Montreal, that profiles innovative, collaborative experiments in youth empowerment that are delivering concrete results for Aboriginal communities. Those stories, produced via Journalists for Human Rights and Tyee Solutions Society, will be will be published first with the CBC, and subsequently co-published on the websites of JHR, The Tyee and Wawatay Native Communications Society.
Featured journalists include Wawmeesh G. Hamilton, reporter for the Alberni Valley News, Lenny Carpenter of CBC Thunder Bay, Angela Sterritt of CBC NWT, Shawn Bell of Wawatay Native Communications Society, Trina Roache of CBC Halifax, award-winning Montreal filmmaker Nicolas Renaud, Maisonneuve editor Haley Cullingham, and Pia Bahile, editor of JHR’s Speak magazine.
This project showcases what is possible with collaboration and good faith. Use the sidebar to explore the project and look for new reports weekly as the series unfolds.