Home Page 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.

Julie Payette resigns as governor general after investigation into workplace harassment at Rideau Hall, Trudeau says her replacement will be named in ‘due course’

Apologizing for 'tensions' that became public over the last months, Julie Payette said that 'we all experience things differently, but we should always strive to do better, and be attentive to one another’s perceptions.'

Correctional Service ‘abdicating’ responsibility in Quebec woman’s murder, say critics of response to internal report

The killing of Marylène Lévesque by a parolee in January 2020 was a ‘catastrophic failure, which is tantamount to a wrongful death,’ says prison watchdog Ivan Zinger.

Former innovation minister Bains was most-lobbied minister in 2020

Mr. Bains, who was lobbied 214 times in 2020, took the top spot from the 2019 leader, Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau.

Parties ramping up candidate nominations across Canada as election threat looms

Quebec is expected to once again be a key electoral battleground, spurred on by the Bloc Québécois’ resurgence in 2019, with multiple candidates already nominated in three target ridings.

Conservative caucus votes to expel Sloan, former contender for party leadership

News|By Beatrice Paez
He faced potential expulsion last year during the leadership race over comments he made that appeared to question whether chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam, who is of Asian descent, was a pawn of China.

Could Parliament Hill withstand a Capitol Building-style insurrection?

News|By Alice Chen
'I hope that intelligence and security officials in Canada learned after what they saw in the U.S. and can make sure something like that does not happen here,' says Ottawa-turned-Washington correspondent Richard Madan.

‘Democracy has prevailed,’ Biden tells nation as Trump leaves office

News|By Palak Mangat
‘The rise of political extremism, white supremacy, and domestic terrorism [is one] that we must confront and will defeat,’ said U.S. President Joe Biden in his first address.

Post controversy, Green Party executive director position remains unfilled

News|By Alice Chen
The Green Party's former executive director resigned in October, but a public search for a permanent replacement has yet to begin.

Updated mandate letters allow Grits to showcase pandemic fight without being attacked for abandoning promises, say politicos

News|By Neil Moss
The new mandate letters add new priorities to the instructions given to cabinet ministers in the 2019 mandate letters.
Your group subscription includes premium access to Politics This Morning briefing.
DON'T MISS OUT.
Expert, non-partisan policy and political reporting