Home Page Election 2019 News Opinion Foreign Policy Politics Policy Legislation Lobbying Hill Life & People Hill Climbers Heard On The Hill Calendar Archives Classifieds
Hill Times Events Inside Ottawa Directory Hill Times Store Hill Times Careers The Wire Report The Lobby Monitor Parliament Now
Subscribe Free Trial Reuse & Permissions Advertising FAQ
Log In
Opinion

The colonial toxicity of the ‘be patient’ speech

By Cindy Blackstock      

If we want to really honour Shannen Koostachin and the many children like her—we need to speak up, keep talking until government takes immediate action to end the inequality. If they don’t—vote them out because kids like Shannen are worth the money. The time for patience is over.

Shannen Koostachin, pictured Nov. 26, 2008, at the Attawapiskat Human Rights Forum shorty before she spoke to 600 youth activists in Toronto as part of the Attawapiskat fight to close underfunding gaps of First Nations schools on reserve. Koostachin died in a car accident when she was 15 years old. She and her Grade 8 classmates had launched the campaign when they were being educated in squalid, broken down portables and her campaign later became the largest youth-led human rights movement in Canadian history. She was nominated for the 2008 International Children's Peace Prize. Koostachin's campaign was made into the 2013 documentary film, Hi-Ho Mistahey, directed by Alanis Obomsawin. The fight for Koostachin's dream of equal rights for First Nations children continues. Photograph courtesy of Janet Doherty

MONTREAL—What does it feel like when the Canadian government does not feel like you are worth the same amount of money as other children in Canada and being told to “be patient” by the government when you talk about the problem? Shannen Koostachin could answer this because she lived on reserve at the Attawapiskat First Nation, where the federal government funds public services but does so at far lesser levels than other people in Canada receive from their provincial/territorial governments.

Politics This Morning

Get the latest news from The Hill Times

Politics This Morning


Your email has been added. An email has been sent to your address, please click the link inside of it to confirm your subscription.

‘It’s an ongoing battle’: Bob Rae’s push to move the needle on human rights at the UN

News|By Neil Moss
'You don't stop trying to find ways of resolving differences in opinion, but I do think in this day and age you need a whole range of ways of expressing concern and trying to move opinion,' says Bob Rae.

In parliamentary ‘game of chicken,’ NDP side with Liberals to defeat Conservative motion, averting snap election

News|By Beatrice Paez
The nail-biter 146-180 vote came down in large part to the NDP. Its 24 representatives voted alongside the Liberals and the Greens’ three-member caucus in defeating a Conservative motion.

Liberal MP Lamoureux continues prolific speaking record, raising opposition ire

‘I’m living the dream,’ says Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux of his regular House of Commons presence. With more than 550 House interventions so far this Parliament, he’s second only to the Speaker.

Feds misled House Defence Committee in 2019 on status of peacekeeping pledges

News|By Neil Moss
'It's a bald-faced lie if they actually said they did and didn't,' says Conservative Defence Committee vice-chair James Bezan of the non-registration of the promised 200-member Quick Reaction Force.

Canada can increase pressure on NATO-ally Turkey to calm Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: Armenian envoy

Anahit Harutyunyan says new information proves Canadian drones are being used by Turkish-backed Azerbaijani fighters, justifying an ‘indefinite’ arms ban on Turkey.

Infrastructure bank’s $10-billion growth plan raises hope of green bond push in Canada

Green bonds are fixed-income financial instruments usually used to secure funding for sustainable infrastructure projects.

Violence directed at Indigenous fishers in Nova Scotia leaves ‘black eye’ on Canada, says Mi’kmaq Senator, as he and rookie Mi’kmaq Grit MP urge long-term solution

News|By Palak Mangat
'I think the current route is a dead end, so if they continue to bang their heads against a wall, everyone’s going to get a headache,' says Independent Nova Scotia Senator Dan Christmas.

House vote looms over Conservative motion that could trigger federal election, as Liberals double down

News|By Palak Mangat
Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez dodged questions if the government was responsible for setting the stage for a stand-off that could trigger an election, saying the question should be asked of the Conservatives.

‘Six systemic crises’ confronting Canada, and politicians, policy-makers, health-care professionals need ‘systems thinking’ to tackle them, says public policy expert

News|By Mike Lapointe
Global Brief magazine editor Irvin Studin says politicians and policy-makers' thinking is 'too small, it’s too linear, it’s too path dependent, and it looks increasingly absurd as these systemic crises.'
Your group subscription includes premium access to Politics This Morning briefing.