Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

If you’ve been waiting for the right time to support our work—that time is now.

Our mission is simple: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

But without the support of our readers, this model does not work and we simply won’t survive. It’s that simple.
We must meet our Mid-Year Campaign goal but we need you now.

Please, support independent journalism today.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Indigenous rights activits mark National Day of Truth and Reconciliation in Canada

People listen to speakers during the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on September 30, 2021. (Photo:Lars Hagberg / AFP via Getty Images)

As Canada Honors Indigenous Children, Judge Rejects Trudeau Challenge to Compensation

"Mr. Trudeau's government should end the legal battle, address the systemic underfunding and chronic denial of services to Indigenous children, and take clear steps towards truth, justice, and reconciliation," said New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh.

Julia Conley

As Canada marked its first-ever National Day of Truth and Reconciliation on Thursday to honor the victims and survivors of brutal anti-Indigenous policies, rights advocates celebrated a major Federal Court ruling in favor of tens of thousands of Indigenous people who were taken from their families in recent decades.
 
The court on Wednesday rejected an appeal by Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government, in which the administration sought a judicial review of a 2019 ruling by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal that awarded billions of dollars to an estimated 54,000 Indigenous people who were affected by the underfunding of children's and family services.
 
The government's decision to "willfully and recklessly" underfund the services resulted in tens of thousands of Indigenous children being forcibly removed from their families and placed in foster care.
 
The Tribunal ordered Trudeau's government to pay about $31,000 to each Indigenous child affected by the policy. On Wednesday, the Federal Court ruled that the government had "not succeeded in establishing that the compensation decision is unreasonable."
 
"No one can seriously doubt that First Nations people are among the most disadvantaged and marginalized members of Canadian society," Justice Paul Favel said in the ruling. "The Tribunal was aware of this and reasonably attempted to remedy the discrimination while being attentive to the very different positions of the parties."
 
The decision marked "a victory for Indigenous children," tweeted Jagmeet Singh, leader of Canada's left-wing New Democratic Party.
 
 
"Mr. Trudeau's government should end the legal battle, address the systemic underfunding and chronic denial of services to Indigenous children, and take clear steps towards truth, justice, and reconciliation," Singh wrote.
 
Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, told the Washington Post that judging by the federal government's "past behavior...they will appeal" the decision.
 
As the country marked its first-ever National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, Blackstock urged Canadians to call on the government "to not appeal, to drop the litigation, to finally treat First Nations children equitably. It's the number one call to action."
 
 
The new holiday was held on Orange Shirt Day, when Canadians honor First Nations people. The National Day of Truth and Reconciliation was established to commemorate the victims and survivors of the country's residential school system, in which more than 150,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend schools where many faced neglect and physical and sexual abuse. A estimated 10,000 children died at the schools, the last of which remained open until 1996.
 
The holiday was codified earlier this year after hundreds of Indigenous children's remains were found at some of the former schools.
 
Events were held across the country on Thursday to commemorate the children and reflect on Canada's treatment of First Nations people.
 
 
Blackstock expressed a wish that "we together can raise a generation of First Nations children...who never have to recover from their childhoods and a generation of non-Indigenous children who don't have to say they're sorry."
 
"That means that we wear the orange shirt today, we learn today, but we act the other 364 days of the year," she said.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.

 

'A Hate Crime': Oslo Pride Parade Canceled After Deadly Shooting at Gay Bar

A 42-year-old gunman has been charged with terrorism following what Norway's prime minister called a "terrible and deeply shocking attack on innocent people."

Kenny Stancil ·


'We WILL Fight Back': Outrage, Resolve as Protests Erupt Against SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Demonstrators took to the streets Friday to defiantly denounce the Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority after it rescinded a constitutional right for the first time in U.S. history.

Brett Wilkins ·


80+ US Prosecutors Vow Not to Be Part of Criminalizing Abortion Care

"Criminalizing and prosecuting individuals who seek or provide abortion care makes a mockery of justice," says a joint statement signed by 84 elected attorneys. "Prosecutors should not be part of that."

Kenny Stancil ·


Progressives Rebuke Dem Leadership as Clyburn Dismisses Death of Roe as 'Anticlimactic'

"The gap between the Democratic leadership, and younger progressives on the question of 'How Bad Is It?' is just enormous."

Julia Conley ·


In 10 Key US Senate Races, Here's How Top Candidates Responded to Roe Ruling

While Republicans unanimously welcomed the Supreme Court's rollback of half a century of reproductive rights, one Democrat said "it's just wrong that my granddaughter will have fewer freedoms than my grandmother did."

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo