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Latest update : 2017-03-17

Canada’s indigenous people determined to improve their lives

Although Canada regularly tops international rankings for its quality of life, the daily existence of the country’s indigenous people, also known as "First Nations", has more in common with that of the world’s least developed countries.

Even today, Canada’s indigenous peoples, also known as First Nations, are still paying dearly for the colonialism they have suffered for centuries – and which the country’s Supreme Court recently described as "cultural genocide." They live a markedly different existence from the rest of Canadians, filled with poverty, unemployment and alarming high suicide rates.

But in recent years, some indigenous people have decided to work together, determined to improve their living conditions through concrete initiatives. As a result of this unprecedented action, a wind of change seems to be blowing and has even caught the attention of the prime minister.

Enthusiasm and scepticism

Justin Trudeau, Canada’s young prime minister, has called for a genuine “nation-to-nation” process to improve the relationship between the two sides. Immediately after his election, Trudeau announced six billion euros in investments in indigenous communities. This historic pledge has been met with both enthusiasm and scepticism. Although the urgency of the situation on the ground is undeniable, indigenous people remain mistrustful of the Canadian authorities, who have so often betrayed them.

From Winnipeg, the capital of Manitoba province, to Cross-Lake, a remote reserve in the province’s north, FRANCE 24’s reporter went to meet Canada’s First Nations.
 

By Frédéric GUIRO

Archives

2017-04-21 France

Battle to stop nuclear waste being buried in a French village

The village of Bure, in eastern France, has become a battleground for environmentalists. It has been chosen as a site to bury radioactive waste, 500 metres underground. An...

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2017-04-14 France

How sick are French hospitals?

Doctors, nurses, nursing aides, executives and even managers… They chose to work in public hospitals to be able to treat people from all walks of life – from the homeless to...

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2017-04-07 French Presidential Elections 2017

Disillusioned French voters speak out ahead of elections

Back in 2012, we went to meet French voters from all walks of life who told us of their hopes and fears. We met Fabrice, a factory worker; Ahdijah, a social worker; Lionel, a...

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2017-03-31 Holocaust

Video: 'If I ever come back', a French schoolgirl's letters from the Holocaust

"If I ever come back" tells the tragic story of Louise Pikovsky, a French schoolgirl who was deported and died at Auschwitz. Using long-forgotten letters Louise wrote to her...

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2017-03-23 Europe

Video: Crimean dissidents silenced by Moscow

Three years after the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, Russia has deployed all the tools at its disposal, in the police and the justice system, to silence...

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