In Canada July 9th is Nunavut Day. Nunavut Day is a public holiday that commemorates the passing of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act and the Nunavut Act. Nunavut is the northern most territory of Canada and officially split from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999.
Nunavut Day is celebrated throughout the day as a community, stores, organizations, and government offices may be closed. Nunavut Day is not celebrated in other parts of Canada.
The history of First Nations groups within Canada has been anything but pleasant. Starting from the slaughter of peoples throughout history the government has done very little to rectify the ravaging of Indigenous peoples and their lands.
I am an immigrant. My family came to Canada in the 80s and I am a first gen born in Canada. Throughout my life I haven’t encountered a single First Nations person. I have heard people say they’re part Cherokee Princess. I remember in middle school we watched a documentary on First Nations people and gas-sniffing. It was enough of an issue that even in the 90s we devoted class time to it — I never connected it to a group of people that existed today. Even in my academic career it was always taught in a dissociative manner — as if these people were more fiction than reality. I felt not association to these people because they seemed fake.
A decade after the people of Davis Inlet were relocated, they are still hunting demons
The people of Davis Inlet were relocated to Natuashish in a desperate attempt to fix a broken community. More than a…
Where I grew up it was considered a “melting pot.” Almost every race existed but none of them Canadian. Everyone was first or second generation — we all came here but none of us were from here. I didn’t learn much about First Nations outside of learning about Pioneer classes. We even took a trip to Pioneer Village so we could churn butter and eat maple syrup. The education system acted like First Nations people existed, suffered, and then were forgotten.
Everything was in a context of was. These were issues — they aren’t issues anymore. I never questioned what happened to those people from Davis Inlet — people who struggled so immensely children from the age of 11 were sniffing gas because life wasn’t worth living. I don’t remember what I was thinking about but I was recently thinking about them, I looked them up. The problem still exists, as far as 2017 there are still articles that talk about a gas-sniffing epidemic.
New gas-sniffing 'epidemic' grips Labrador's Innu community | The Star
NATUASHISH, N.L.-Fifteen years after the Innu of Davis Inlet were moved to a fresh start in nearby Natuashish, leaders…
How did it get this way? Well the general population of Canada in southern Ontario, the metropolis of Toronto, don’t interact with First Nations groups on a regular basis. You can travel the GTA and never see a single First Nations person. The running joke on how to find a First Nations person is seeing if they pay taxes. In Canada, First Nations people do not.
I once saw people fighting on Facebook about First Nations news. It was July 1st — Canada Day. A mutual posted a satirical image about First Nations people and the current government — one commenter got mad because he wanted a day when he wasn’t assaulted by the horrors of Indigenous people’s suffering. His ability to feel okay about himself was the priority here, he wanted to feel good.
It’s not that the media even really discusses First Nations people frequently. Every once in a while you get a news blast about missing Indigenous women — an academic that has been labelled genocide. We don’t hear about anything being done, a part of why it is now considered genocide. I’ve only seen the coverage of housing on social media. The housing crisis of First Nations is separate from any real estate boom or crash, it’s the crisis that allowed full families to live in tents on other people’s properties because they can’t afford anything else. The government provides housing for First Nations people but with strict regulations. These are people that can’t afford housing so the government provides buildings and nothing more.
'Beggars in our own land': Canada's First Nation housing crisis
A caravan of trucks carrying material for new homes is currently winding through northern Ontario, on its way to a…
When I first saw the notification of Nunavut Day it was joined by another piece of First Nations coverage. A report done by the Assembly of First Nations revealed over 47% of First Nations children on and off reserve property lives in poverty. This is the highest rate of child poverty found anywhere in Canada. Both of these headlines were on Twitter at the same time.
Half of First Nations children on reserve live in poverty, new study says - APTN News
APTN News Indigenous children face the highest rates of poverty in the country with almost one in every two First…
While the Canada Twitter account was tweeting about Nunavut news is being reported about the terrible living conditions of First Nations people. Now not all First Nations people are the same — far from it. The reserves in question are mainly concentrated in the prairies. That doesn’t mean things are great in Nunavut either.
Where the government has failed to respond to their treatment of Indigenous people they have certainly managed to maintain their stance across the board. Have you ever looked at orange juice and thought it was too expensive at $5? What about $26.29? That’s the list of a Simply Orange 3.49L jug in Nunavut. People have difficulty making ends meet regardless of their funds because everything costs that much more. People rely on traditional hunting to feed them because a whale can last all year when kept properly.
The High Cost Of Food In Nunavut Should Shock All Canadians
A lot of news happened in 2018. We're looking back at some of the biggest stories from the last 12 months. Also, we…
Where we are as a society is docile. All of these things that are happening have been happening for a long time. Any of these topics feature images and instances from a decade ago and they’d be longer if we had regular internet records. First Nations people suffer a number of crises. If you can help I encourage you to do so.