A group of First Nations people plans to light a sacred fire near the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg to educate visitors about how many indigenous communities don't have access to clean drinking water.
Daryl Redsky, left, of Shoal Lake #40 First Nation, is part of a group that is raising awareness of water issues in indigenous communities. It plans to light a sacred fire near the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in time for its grand opening this weekend. (CBC)
Stephen Harper really seems to have it out for sociology. In 2013, in response to an alleged plot against a VIA train, Harper remarked that we should not “commit sociology,” but pursue an anti-crime approach. And last week, in response to the death of Tina Fontaine, Harper argued that an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women is not needed, because this is not a “sociological phenomenon” but simply a series of individual crimes.
Canada’s shameful colonial history as it relates to Indigenous peoples and women specifically is not well known by the public at large. The most horrific of Canada’s abuses against Indigenous peoples are not taught in schools. Even public discussion around issues like genocide have been censored by successive federal governments, and most notably by Harper’s Conservatives. Recently, the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights refused to use the term “genocide” to describe Canada’s laws, policies and actions towards Indigenous peoples which led to millions of deaths.
What a relief. Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited Whitehorse yesterday and shared with the territory a fresh insight: the plight of missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada is not, in fact, a “sociological phenomenon.” Rather, the root of the problem is that we simply haven’t locked enough people away in prison.
“We should view it as crime,” Harper said. “It is crime against innocent people, and it needs to be addressed as such.”
Well, that makes things much tidier, doesn’t it?
Stephen Harper’s contention that a national inquiry into murdered and missing aboriginal women is not needed because these crimes aren’t a “sociological phenomenon” is simply wrong — and woe