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    June 27, 2021

    The Indian Residential Schools Survivors Society is available for survivors and those affected at 1-800-721-0066 or on the 24 hour crisis line at 1-866-925-4419. British Columbia has a First Nations and Indigenous Crisis Line offered through the KUU-US Crisis Line Society at 1-800-588-9717.  

    The remains of 215 Indigenous children were found buried on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation near Kamloops, British Columbia on May 27, 2021.Hundreds of remains have since been found in unmarked graves at other former residential school sites in Manitoba and Saskatchewan and more are expected. 

    These children should never have been taken from their families.  

    Residential schools were part of a colonial policy to eradicate Indigenous cultures, languages, and communities and break children’s connections to their Indigenous identities. The last school did not close until 1996 and intergenerational trauma, ongoing harms, and discriminatory practices against Indigenous children and families continue.  

    June 23, 2021

    Johanne Durocher is the mother of Nathalie Morin, a Quebec woman who has lived in Saudi Arabia since 2005 with her husband and four children. Nathalie, who Amnesty International considers to be a survivor of gender-based violence, has unsuccessfully been trying to return to Canada with her children for 15 years. Amnesty International spoke with Johanne about her tireless advocacy to bring her daughter and grandchildren to Canada, and about her recently released book outlining her struggle for family reunification.

    Your daughter Nathalie met a Saudi man named Saeed in Montreal. Then what happened?

    She met him in the beginning of October 2001. He said he was a student at Concordia University. She got pregnant right away. Saeed was very smiley and said it wasn’t a problem because they would get married. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe that at age 17 she was pregnant. He said he was 24 years old but we were never really sure of his age.

    June 17, 2021

    By Justin Mohammed, Samer Muscati and Hanna Gros

    “I felt like the world was ending for me,” an asylum seeker told us, describing her experience in immigration detention after fleeing her home country in Africa. “I thought, ‘Maybe I should have stayed back home and died there.’” She is only one of the hundreds of thousands of uprooted people who are detained around the world every year.

    Stories of mistreatment of migrants and asylum seekers – particularly by US authorities – are widely covered in Canadian media. But what may come as a shock to Canadians is that the woman we interviewed experienced this abuse in Toronto.

    She was arrested and handcuffed upon arriving at the airport in 2019. She was taken to the Toronto immigration detention centre and held alone in a cold cell with a metal bed, a toilet, and surveillance cameras. When she became sick, she reported it to a nurse, who gave her Tylenol and said, “I have no right to talk to you.”

    June 17, 2021

    Amnesty International has worked closely with grassroots activist Connie Greyeyes for many years, most notably on the Out of Sight, Out of Mind report on the intersection of gender rights, Indigenous rights, and energy development in northeast British Columbia. Connie lives in Fort St. John, BC and is a member of the Bigstone Cree First Nation in Alberta. She is the daughter of residential school survivors and the Northern Case Manager for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls with the Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS). On June 15, 2021, Amnesty International spoke with Connie about the impact the discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School has had on her.

    June 16, 2021

    Amnesty International spoke with educator and water defender Angela Levasseur. Angela is from O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation (also known as South Indian Lake) and lives in Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (also known as Nelson House). Her home community is deeply impacted by decades of Manitoba Hydro operations. Angela spoke about the impacts of these operations and the urgent need for action to stop Manitoba Hydro from being granted permanent access to continue flooding her community.

    June 14, 2021

    All people should have the right to a healthy environment, including clean air, water and soil, and a safe and stable climate. That's why Amnesty Canada has joined forces with a diverse coalition of organizations to launch the Coalition for Environmental Rights today.

    The organizations that comprise the Coalition for Environmental Rights share a collective interest in fighting environmental injustice using a human rights-based approach. We recognize that Canada’s unfair pattern of environmental harm is a reflection of deeper systemic issues that require systemic change. 

    Our goal is to ensure that the right to a healthy environment is recognized in law and in practice in Canada. We strive to bring to light the inadequacy of existing laws and resulting failures to protect people, and explore how achieving recognition of the right to a healthy environment could strengthen environmental governance. 

    For more information about the Coalition for Environmental Rights, please visit this website: www.environmentalrights.ca

    June 11, 2021

    Content warning: This message contains references to violence, racism and Islamophobia 

    By Ketty Nivyabandi, Secretary General and Mohamed Huque, Chair of the Board 

    We are all reflecting in the aftermath of the horrific and devastating Sunday evening attack that left four members of a Muslim family dead in London, Ontario.  

    London police have said they believe the attack was intentional and that the family was targeted because of their Islamic faith. A 20-year-old man has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder. 

    This family was killed while doing something most of us do every day – going for a walk – because of who they were. Not only were four innocent lives taken, but now a 9-year-old boy must face life without his parents, grandparent, and sister. 

    Our hearts break for this young boy, for the loved ones of this family, and the broader Muslim community, who are now grieving this tragic loss. No one should be made to feel unsafe in their community. 

    June 09, 2021

    On June 3, 2019, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls released its final report, with 231 Calls for Justice.

    May 31, 2021

    I am excited to announce the unveiling of model legislation called the Corporate Respect for Human Rights and the Environment Abroad Act. If adopted, this law would require Canadian companies to prevent human rights and environmental harm throughout their global operations and supply chains (and if a company causes harm or fails to do its human rights and environmental due diligence, those affected would have the statutory right to bring a civil lawsuit against that company in Canadian court). 

    Similar laws are in place or being developed in several countries, however Canada is falling behind. Together with the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability, Amnesty Canada urges Canadian law makers to adopt our model law to strengthen corporate accountability. The world is watching: over 150 organizations and unions that work with people impacted by the activities of Canadian companies in 32 countries around the world have endorsed the CNCA’s proposed law.

    April 25, 2021

    The Government of Canada must do more to prevent human rights abuses by Canadian companies operating overseas.

    In 2019, Canada created the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise, but failed to give the ombudsperson the powers needed to conduct effective investigations into human rights abuses involving Canadian companies. Amnesty continues to press the government to give the Ombudsperson the power to compel documents and testimony. 

    April 22, 2021

    Climate change is one of the greatest human rights challenges of our time. Here are four ways you can take action for climate justice this spring:

    April 21, 2021
    From Amnesty's Powering Change Comic, two characters stand in front of electric bus while one removes her bike from the front bike rack
    Recharge for Rights this Earth Day: Time for Canada to take a climate justice approach to transportation

    Guest blog by Eric Doherty, member of AI Canada’s Corporate Accountability and Climate Justice specialized team on Energy Transition. To join, please send an email to Elena: edumitru@amnesty.ca and indicate your interest in the Energy Transition team. 

    Last month the U.S. Department of Transportation put a Texas highway expansion project on hold, because it could violate U.S. human rights law by increasing pollution and displacing people from their homes in lower income Black and Latino neighbourhoods. And, after some intense campaigning by climate justice organizations like the Sunrise Movement, under the Biden administration, U.S. transportation spending is finally being shifted away from highway expansion and toward public transit.

    April 20, 2021

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    The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls finished its work a year and a half ago, and the issue has largely faded from news headlines during the pandemic. But this human rights crisis has not gone away. In fact, according to a survey conducted last Spring by the Native Women’s Association of Canada, violence against Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people has increased during the pandemic.

    The federal government has still not issued a formal response to the National Inquiry’s Final Report. The much-anticipated National Action Plan to implement the National Inquiry’s 231 Calls for Justice, which was set to be released in June 2020, was delayed because of the pandemic. The government has stated that the plan is under development, but the timeline remains unknown.

    April 19, 2021

    People understand climate change as an environmental issue of course, but tend to forget that it affects our basic human rights too. The rights to life, health, food, water, housing, security and the rights of Indigenous peoples.

    While all of us are affected by climate change, disadvantaged communities around the world and right here in Canada -  that have done the least to cause climate change - will be hit the hardest.  From those who live in coastal communities, to poorer communities who experience toxic and polluted air, and indigenous people who frequently live and depend on fragile ecosystems that are in danger.

    Climate change is a crisis. And the Canadian government must act like it is. 

    The response of the Canadian government so far has been lethargic in commitment and inadequate in response. 

    Simply put -  Canada needs to do more, and do more now! 

    March 11, 2021

    Gladys Tolley, the mother of Bridget Tolley from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation in Quebec, was struck and killed by a police officer’s vehicle on October 5, 2001. Ever since, Bridget has been advocating for police to be held accountable for her death. She runs Families of Sisters in Spirit, a volunteer-run, grassroots initiative supporting the loved ones of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people across Canada. Since 2006, Bridget has been instrumental in organizing a vigil every October 4 on Parliament Hill, bringing together loved ones to honour their stolen mothers, aunties, sisters, and daughters.

    Bridget is one of the grassroots Indigenous advocates at the heart of the movement to end violence against First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women, girls, and two-spirit people in Canada. On February 18, 2021, Amnesty International spoke with Bridget about her many years of art, activism, and her guidance for Amnesty International’s supporters.

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