The Current

Carolyn Bennett pledges better education for First Nations, water safety on reserves

The new minister of indigenous and northern affairs wants a new relationship between Canada's First Nations and Ottawa. And there's much to discuss: From an inquiry into missing and murdered women and girls, to education, water quality and much more.
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett says racist treatment of First Nations by police is more than a few bad apples, a systemic change is needed. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)
"Some people think self-government is a divorce but moving to this nation to nation means to treat one another with respect, that was the original intent how we would share this land."- Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

Again and again we've heard that this newly installed Liberal government wants to make forging a new relationship with indigenous peoples a priority.

Well, one minister who will have a major impact on that relationship is Carolyn Bennett. She was sworn in early November as Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, and she has already been busy.

Carolyn Bennett says Tina Fontaine's death galvanized the nation

7 years ago
Duration 1:03
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs says Fontaine's death is a reminder of need for a national public inquiry

Carolyn Bennett has met with the families of missing and murdered indigenous women as a first step toward the launch of a national inquiry next year.

And, earlier this month, she moved to lift sanctions against First Nations that have not complied with a spending transparency law brought in by the previous Conservative government.

Carolyn Bennett joined our guest host Connie Walker in Toronto.

This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal and Marc Apollonio.