CHECKUP EPISODE

Is the Trudeau government succeeding in improving the lives of Indigenous people?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has outlined a new political framework for First Nations in Canada. Some say the intentions are good but short on detail. He made this his signature issue in the last election. How's he doing so far?
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is embraced by Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould after delivering a speech on the recognition and implementation of Indigenous rights in in the House of Commons. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)
Listen to the full episode1:53:00

Indigenous report card

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in the House of Commons this week, vowed to end colonial politics by writing a new chapter based on recognition of Indigenous rights.

It is soaring language suitable to sky-high expectations on this file stoked by the Prime Minister, who often repeats no relationship is more important to him than with Indigenous peoples.

There is no question that there has been change, such as the renaming of government departments, buildings and parks. But there have also been controversies, from a floundering Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls to First Nations frustration over pipeline politics. 
Host of Cross Country Checkup, Duncan McCue. (Kevin Van Paassen)


This week, efforts toward reconciliation seemed especially tenuous as Colten Boushie's family travelled to Ottawa demanding the government improve Indigenous representation on juries.

Coincidentally, the Prime Minister chose this week to outline a new political framework for First Nations in Canada. In so doing, he made reference to the government of his father, Pierre Trudeau, to a time when Indigenous rights were denied. That era is over, Justin Trudeau promised, saying Canada has spent too much time and money challenging Indigenous rights in courts and it's time for a new relationship.

Does the government's framework for Indigenous rights sound like a concrete plan of action or more rhetoric and promises?

We heard directly from the Minister of Indigenous Services outline her government's efforts on improving First Nation living conditions, from drinking water to health care delivery.

Trudeau made this his signature issue in the last election. How's he doing so far?

QUESTION: Is the Trudeau government succeeding in improving the lives of Indigenous people?

GUESTS

Jane Philpott, Canada's MInister for Indigenous Services

Sheila North Wilson, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Grand Chief

Joe Alphonse, Chief of the Tsilhqot'in First Nation in B.C.

Isadore Day, Ontario regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations

Merle Alexander, practices Indigenous Resource Law as Partner at Miller Titerle Company based in Vancouver

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