“First Nations continue to be the only citizens in this country whose rights, opportunities and access to services are denied or limited by legislation and lack of recognition. We must work now to enable and empower First Nations to drive their own solutions. This means creating education and health systems that are stable, equitable and culturally relevant and recognizing and implementing First Nation rights to their lands and resources that will in turn create jobs and generate tremendous new partnership opportunities. And it means ensuring First Nations peoples are safe with access to clean drinking water and adequate housing and infrastructure.”
A moment of reckoning
The call to move beyond the Indian Act is not a response to the current situation in Attawapiskat. It is a response to 150 years of a failed system and failed outcomes for First Nation citizens and all Canadians. And it’s nothing new.