Meet the Hosts of Porcupine Podcast: Merrell-Ann Phare and Michael Miltenberger
Reconciliation tends to be perceived as a door that only swings. It’s like a bat-wing door. Indigenous/non-Indigenous. However, in reality, it’s a 360 degrees. Everybody is involved in reconciliation on an ongoing basis with family and friends. Besides the scale, what makes reconciliation between Indigenous and non-indigenous Canadian’s different?
Merrell-Ann has an extensive background of working with Indigenous Canadians across Canada. She is a writer, lawyer. She is also the director of the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources.
Michael is Métis. He works with Aboriginal and Crown governments, ENGO’s, industry and also the private sector providing strategic political advice.
This podcast is rooted in practical action. Merrell-Ann and Michael draw on their personal, professional, and legal experiences to authentically call for structural change and progress.
In this episode you’ll get to know Merrell-Ann and Michael as friends. Over the series, they take you on a journey with various politicians, authors, activists, and musicians. Some of the conversations will challenge the way you think about reconciliation in Canada. Some of them will be funny. But most importantly, all of the episodes feature intimate discussions about real people, doing real things, to advance reconciliation in Canada.
In This Episode
- Center for Indigenous Environmental Resources
- Ethical Water: Learning to Value What Matters Most (An RMB Manifesto) by Merrell-Ann Phare and Robert William Sandford
- Northern Voices, Northern Waters: NWT Water Stewardship Strategy
- The Collaborative Leadership Initiative
- Indian Act
- Meech Lake Accord
- Elijah Harper
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Merrell-Ann and Michael Say:
>> 12:04: “Reconciliation is something we do in our lives on an ongoing basis. [We do it] with all the people that are significant to us, that’s the only way relationships survive.” – Michael Miltenberger
>> 12:18: “I tend to look at it also at a high level government systems kind of approach… The structures that we have that govern decisions in Canada need to change. Reconciliation is about changing the way decisions are made at the highest government levels.” – Merrell-Ann Phare
>> 13:44: “You can’t change the institution until you change the mentality, the attitude, and that’s the hard part. And that’s where the fear comes.” – Michael Miltenberger
The Purpose of Porcupine Podcast
>>(4:04): As a non-Indigenous person, it’s also my country and my future and the future of people I love including Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. And it matters to me that we try to address this terrible past. And I just think it’s everybody’s responsibility, regardless of who you are. – Merrell-Ann Phare
>> 14:26: “We’re trying to show real people doing real things.” – Merrell-Ann Phare
>> 14:58: “As Canadians we shouldn’t have that difference, that strong dichotomy and level of where some people are looked down upon and you have to have to fight to get treated fairly. And it never has made sense to me. [For example,] why is it so hard to talk about treating Indigenous people like Canadians? When it comes to rights, their ability, their freedoms, they’re the only people that have had legislation that puts them on reserves. That took away their land titles. And that took away their rights. And that took away their ability to do economy. It’s not fair.
It’s been driven over the years by two main institutions: the government and the church. And so the issue is sticking up for the people that always had somebody’s foot, some government foot, institutional foot on their neck. And for me, it’s always been, you fight about institutions. But you know that the personal issue is not right, and nobody should be treated like that.” – Michael Miltenberger
>> (16:25): And I think to myself, geez, if I’m nervous about it – don’t know how to approach it – and I’ve been working with Indigenous people for 25 years, how would other people who haven’t had that opportunity? How afraid must they be or worried must they be? And so I just feel like I want to take the risk to try to ask the questions. Have the conversation. – Merrell-Ann Phare
Merrell-Ann Phare is a lawyer with the Phare Law Corporation, a writer and the founding Executive Director of the ‘Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER), a national First Nation charitable environmental organisation.
Continue Reading about Merrell-Ann Phare
Michael Miltenberger is the principal of North Raven. His interests are water protection and governance, working collaboratively on environmental protection, renewable energy development, building efficient government, expediting land claims, and strategic planning.
Continue Reading about Michael Miltenberger
Thanks. Looking forward to listening to the rest of the podcasts. Thanks for doing this work – it’s important
Thank you Pat. We appreciate the kind words!