CBC News
The back of an unassuming, though magenta, hoodie that sparked a controversy far beyond the middle school where it was banned. These and other stories dominated the headlines of indigenous-related stories in Canada during 2014.

'Got Land' Hoodies, Sealfies and Missing Women: 10 Stories of Indigenous Note in Canada for 2014

Theresa Braine


The Inuit were outraged when the European Union banned the sale of seal products, saying that the move undercut the market so severely as to threaten their way of life.

RELATED: Inuit Furious as World Trade Organization Upholds European Union Seal Ban

But the rage boiled over when Academy Awards host Ellen DeGeneres donated some charity money gathered with the A-list selfie that “broke Twitter” to an international organization that opposes the seal hunt. In response, they took pictures of themselves wearing seal products, posing with dead seals and chowing down on seal.

RELATED: Inuit Flood Twitter With 'Sealfies' After Ellen DeGeneres Selfie Funds Hunt Haters

Inuit Answer Hollywood With Sealfie Photo Booths, Giant Group Pic

Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq, Inuit, sports seal attire in answer to Ellen DeGeneres's donation to opposers of the seal hunt. (Photo: via Twitter)


In August, a tailings pond dam burst at a mine outside the town of Likely, British Columbia, sending four billion gallons of mining waste into pristine B.C. waterways. The footage was horrific and the incident drew comparisons with the notorious Exxon Valdez oil spill. The mining company’s chief executive’s assertion that he would have no problem drinking the water from the rivers the waste had flowed into was met with derision.

RELATED: Horrific Toxic Spill in B.C. Called Another Exxon Valdez

Video: Watch 4 Billion Gallons of Mining Waste Pour Into Pristine B.C. Waterways

Pour Him a Tall One! Mining Exec Insists He'd Drink Water From Tailings Pond

Beyond damage to the watershed, the disaster led neighboring First Nations to eject the owner, Imperial Metals, from another mining site. And in neighboring Alaska, Native Alaskans and others—afraid of what they saw as lax regulation—requested that the British Columbia government tighten its rules.

Klabona Keepers Ordered by Court to Stop Blocking Imperial Metals Mine

Alaska Natives to British Columbia: Please Tighten Up Your Mining Act

Still from video of Polley Mine spill flyover. (Photo: Global BCTV)


The fate of one of the largest tracts of undisturbed wilderness in the world hung in the balance for much of the year as a lawsuit against the government of Yukon for opening its vast Peel Watershed up to potential mining operations wound its way through the courts. First Nations, environmentalists and others who wished to preserve the wildlife habitat and fishing industry in the remote region had sued the territorial government for scrapping a carefully developed plan for the watershed; a new administration had substituted another plan that opened up much more of the sensitive area to development. In what observers called a precedent-setting ruling, the court told the Yukon government to return to the consultation stage, using the agreed-upon plan as a starting point.

RELATED: Video: Yukon's Peel Watershed Is Imperiled, and Here's Why You Should Care

Peel Watershed: Yukon Judge Sides With First Nations in Historic Ruling

Indigenous Leaders Applaud Peel Watershed Court Ruling as Precedent-Setting

The Peel Watershed has been preserved. (Photo: Juri Peepre/Flickr/protectpeel.ca)


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