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Aboriginal rights

Q&A: Award-winning Indigenous artist Shelley Niro

On her start, working with family, and working in multiple mediums

Anqi Shen

Mohawks in Beehives (1991) Shelley Niro’s visual art and film have explored a borderless continent, power and pop culture, life on First Nations reserves, and much more – never without a sense of self. Niro, born in 1954 in Niagara Falls, New York, is a Mohawk artist from the Six Nations Reserve near Brantford, Ont. Living […] More »
March-April 2017

Q&A: Renu Mandhane of the Ontario Human Rights Commission

The chief commissioner on the fight to end solitary confinement in provincial jails

Carine Abouseif

In the fall of 2016, an inmate spoke to Renu Mandhane through a small hole in the glass at a provincial jail in Thunder Bay, Ont. He told her he had been in segregation, or solitary confinement, awaiting trial for more than four years. The Ontario Human Rights Commission and Mandhane, the chief commissioner, brought […] More »
January-February 2017

Q&A: Why a Mohawk community established its own legal system—the first of its kind in the country

In conversation with Joyce King

Blair Mlotek@blairmlo

The Mohawk community of Akwesasne straddles the Ontario, New York, and Quebec borders. As of August 2016, it holds the first Indigenous legal system in Canada outside of a federal framework. The Council is a community government that is elected by residents and is composed of elected chiefs from each district along with a Grand […] More »

Inside the Toronto rally for Standing Rock

Hundreds showed up in the city to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline

Mick Sweetman@MickSweetman

As more than 200 people rallied against the Dakota Access Pipeline in Toronto’s financial district Saturday night it began to snow. The significance of the snow wasn’t lost on the attendees: their slogan, after all, is “water is life,” and they welcomed it joining them on the cold night. The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is a […] More »
January-February 2017

2017 Kick-Ass Activist: Vanessa Udy

Whether it’s through her work as a law student or a volunteer, Vanessa Udy wants all Quebecers to feel included

Jennifer M. Joseph@IamJenniferMJ

In 2011, the Navajo Nation made headlines after an American clothing retailer appropriated its name and started using its traditional patterns on products. It wasn’t the first time Indigenous communities faced such appropriation. That’s why Vanessa Udy, a corporate commercial lawyer from Montreal, is trying to find solutions to these problems. This year, the 30-year-old took a leap […] More »
January-February 2017

2017 Kick-Ass Activist: Peyton Straker

For Yellowknife’s Indigenous youth looking to learn more about their cultures, Peyton Straker highlights the importance of land-based education

Larkin Schmiedl@LarkinSchmiedl

Peyton Straker was a five-time high-school dropout when she took a job as an Indigenous support worker at the public school board in Yellowknife. Straker, 23 and Anishinaabe, knew from experience many of the ways the education system failed her. As a youth she felt displaced in schools where she couldn’t see herself reflected in the […] More »
January-February 2017

2017 Kick-Ass Activist: Courtney Skye

Comedian Courtney Skye uses her dark humour to address tough-to-broach Indigenous issues

Hana Shafi@hanashafi

Courtney Skye first thought to dabble in comedy after a trip to the makeup store. While in a Sephora in Hamilton, Ont., shopping for mascara and matte lipstick, she presented her First Nations status card while paying. The cashier took notice. “Oh you’re First Nations?” she said. “I hear a lot of your women have been […] More »
November-December 2016

The media organization Canada needs to understand Indigenous issues

Rick Harp's mediaINDIGENA is a much-needed platform for an underserved population

Laura Eley@tweetsbylaurae

Photo by Greg Gallinger Rick Harp is no stranger to the power of digital media to incite change. In 2015, the 48-year-old media veteran launched a crowdfunding campaign aimed at raising $10 million to build an all-weather road that would connect Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, a community near Winnipeg that’s been without access to clean […] More »
September-October 2016

It’s time for Canada to recognize Indigenous peoples as equal founders of our country

On rewriting Canada's origin story

Kathleen Mahoney@ProfMahoney

For our special 50th anniversary issue, Canada’s brightest, boldest, and most rebellious thinkers, doers, and creators share their best big ideas. Through ideas macro and micro, radical and everyday, we present 50 essays, think pieces, and calls to action. Picture: plans for sustainable food systems, radical legislation, revolutionary health care, a greener planet, Indigenous self-government, […] More »
September-October 2016

Canadians must acknowledge Indigenous history

It may be hard to hear, but we have to hear it

Susan Crean

For our special 50th anniversary issue, Canada’s brightest, boldest, and most rebellious thinkers, doers, and creators share their best big ideas. Through ideas macro and micro, radical and everyday, we present 50 essays, think pieces, and calls to action. Picture: plans for sustainable food systems, radical legislation, revolutionary health care, a greener planet, Indigenous self-government, […] More »
September-October 2016

What are Canadians missing about Indigenous men?

We are finally having conversations about Indigenous women. Now, we need to talk about men.

Kim Anderson

For our special 50th anniversary issue, Canada’s brightest, boldest, and most rebellious thinkers, doers, and creators share their best big ideas. Through ideas macro and micro, radical and everyday, we present 50 essays, think pieces, and calls to action. Picture: plans for sustainable food systems, radical legislation, revolutionary health care, a greener planet, Indigenous self-government, […] More »