A Mapuche Indigenous woman protests against then-Chilean President Sebastian Pinera in Santiago, Chile, Nov. 4, 2021 (AP photo by Esteban Felix).
Chile’s recently inaugurated president, Gabriel Boric, campaigned on a platform emphasizing urgent reforms to shore up social rights in Chile, particularly health care, education and pensions, all of which were a focus of the protests that erupted across the country in October 2019. He also emphasized the need to establish a new relationship with Chile’s historically marginalized and oppressed Indigenous peoples, which represent around 12 percent of the country’s population. But to do so, he will have to overcome formidable obstacles, including the daunting prospects facing the Constitutional Convention that is currently drafting a new constitution which is central to [...]
Shoes are placed outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honor the 215 children whose unmarked graves were discovered near the facility, in Kamloops, British Columbia, June 4, 2021 (Photo by Darryl Dyck for the Canadian Press via AP).
Four months ago, the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation in Canada made international headlines when it announced it had discovered 215 unmarked graves near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia. The next month, the Cowessess First Nation announced a similar finding of 751 unmarked graves near Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan. A further 160 were soon found at the site of Kuper Island Residential School, near Vancouver, with many more Indigenous communities taking up their own searches for similar sites.  Secwepemc community members, as well as others from communities mounting their own searches, were quick to [...]
Elisa Loncon, president of the Constituent Assembly, raises an Indigenous Mapuche flag during the inaugural session of the Constitutional Convention in Santiago, Chile, July 4, 2021 (AP photo by Esteban Felix).
In June, Chile’s Constitutional Convention was seated, culminating a process that began with spontaneous protests in late 2019 and soon crystallized into demands for an overhaul to the country’s social model and rewriting Chile’s constitution, which dates back to the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.  As central protagonists in the protest movement that led to the successful constitutional referendum in October 2020, Chile’s Indigenous peoples have sought to make sure that the new constitution drafted by the convention includes formal recognition of their status, as well as a designation of Chile as a plurinational state. Both demands grow out of the deep and [...]
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