Carving a new territory out of Canada’s Arctic in 1999 was done in the name of protecting the traditional ways of its majority Inuit population from the pernicious effects of modernism. Fifteen years on, is the so-called “Nunavut Project” a success? No, according to just about every measure of social and economic health, despite the territory’s tremendous potential. At the root of its problems is an enduring tension between the desire to uphold the Inuit traditional way of life and the reality of living in the modern world. And until this tension is resolved and modernity embraced as an advantage instead of a threat, writes Yule Schmidt, Nunavut’s promise will remain unfulfilled.
Author: Yule Schmidt
There is a special poignancy to Remembrance Day this year, with the Islamic terrorism-inspired attacks in Quebec and Ottawa last month that killed two Canadian soldiers so fresh in our minds. 2014 also marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, and the end of Canada’s 13-year military mission in Afghanistan. So there is much to contemplate as we gather at sombre ceremonies across the country, including the causes that our soldiers fight and die for. Is the war against Islamic fundamentalism, first in Afghanistan and now in northern Iraq, a good and just war, like the war against Nazism? Yule Schmidt reflects on Canadians’ uncertain answer…
The aboriginal rights provisions in the 1982 constitutional reforms profoundly changed the way Canada deals with First Nations land and treaty claims. Before then they were mostly resolved through negotiation with governments. Since 1982, the courts have taken a lead role. As Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Beverley McLachlin has made “reconciliation” the guiding principle of decision-making related to aboriginal rights cases. But after 30 years of litigation, writes Yule Schmidt, reconciliation is still a long way off.
All wars are crimes, but all soldiers are noble
The trouble with two major protest groups taking to the streets in one democracy is the number
When lawyers recently launched a sexual harassment lawsuit against the RCMP, and which now numbers 300 female RCMP officers as claimants, the eventual verdict risks ignoring individual circumstances and painting with a very broad brush. It will also further erode the sphere of free speech between adults. Yule Schmidt explains…