Two Indigenous Nova Scotian Human Rights Commissioners to Attend United Nations Meeting

Friday, July 7, 2017 - 12:13

Two commissioners with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, Chief Andrea Paul and Cheryl Knockwood, will attend a United Nations meeting on the rights of Indigenous peoples in Geneva, Switzerland, from July 10-14.

“We want to publicly recognize the contribution that these two Indigenous women from Nova Scotia will make on the world stage,” said Christine Hanson, director and CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. “They will no doubt be instrumental in helping to bring attention to Indigenous rights not only in Nova Scotia, but throughout Canada.”

Organized by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the session, titled the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, is held annually to discuss how the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples can improve indigenous peoples’ lives. The year 2017 is the 10th anniversary of the declaration. 

Andrea Paul is the chief of Pictou Landing First Nation. She was first appointed to the commission in 2013 and was reappointed in 2016. She taught Mi’kmaw in the local community school and, prior to that, she was a student counselor and worked with both youth and adults in her community. 

Chief Andrea Paul


Cheryl Knockwood was appointed to the commission in 2015. She is a lawyer and currently works for the Membertou First Nation as its governance coordinator. She has also taught aboriginal and treaty rights at Cape Breton University. 

Cheryl Knockwood

For more information on the 10th session, please visit:http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IPeoples/EMRIP/Pages/Session10.aspx.

 

Read more about Two Indigenous Nova Scotian Human Rights Commissioners to Attend United Nations Meeting

Youth Art on Human Rights Appearing in Halifax Transit Buses in July 2017

Friday, June 30, 2017 - 15:46

If you’re riding a Halifax Transit bus in July 2017, take a look up. The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, in cooperation with Partners for Human Rights, is pleased to share the work of four young artists on the interior bus signs. This initiative, launched to coincide with the Commission’s 50th Anniversary, aims to help raise awareness of important human rights issues in Nova Scotia. Youth across the province submitted artwork that represents what human rights mean to them.

 

The Commission will also continue to feature young artists throughout 2017, including through exhibits in communities across Nova Scotia and at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport this Fall. More information on the Commission's 50th anniversary and related events can be found here. See an exhibit coming to your community? Contact us (HRCInquirie@novascotia.ca) if you are aged 12 to 24 and want to submit a piece of artwork according to the guidelines of this initiative.

 

The four pieces in Halifax Transit bus interiors are:

 

Jillian Connors, Age 21, Truro, Nova Scotia

“We are all human regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, etc. and should be treated as such.”

 

LACEY BROWN, AGE 13, Grande-Pre, Nova Scotia

“We are all equal no matter what our colour, religion or gender are.”


 

MANANI JONES-LAMONT, AGE 16, Halifax, Nova Scotia

“This piece is about the human rights of women around the world. I am an African Nova Scotian young woman and I believe in advocating for all women.”

 

TRINITY DEJONG, AGE 13, Brookside, Nova Scotia

“This piece is about being transgender and hiding that you are.”
No one should have to hide who they are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more about Youth Art on Human Rights Appearing in Halifax Transit Buses in July 2017

1967-2017 - 50th Anniversary of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission

Thursday, June 29, 2017 - 11:03

The Nova Scotia Human Commission was established in 1967 due to the racism faced by African Nova Scotians. Over the last 50 years, the Commission has assisted Nova Scotians facing discrimination and promoted respect for human rights and inclusivity in our province. We’ve seen evolutions in human rights law responding to the needs of our population. In our effort to advance human rights, we’ve protected family status and recognized the rights of same-sex couples. We’ve added sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression to our protections. We developed a policy for breastfeeding mothers. We’ve helped women and girls play sports. We have helped employees and employers alike address the needs of persons with mental and physical disabilities in the workplace. We continue to address complex human rights cases, including those involving systemic racial discrimination working in cooperation with partners in the justice system.  These are just some examples and there are many more.

Anniversaries are time for reflection and renewal.

We recognize there is much to do. We continue to work to advance equity and dignity, foster positive and respectful relationships, and actively protect and promote the human rights of all Nova Scotians. As the Commission continues its work, we are making important investments in technology, such as those to develop elearning tools to address and prevent discrimination. For all Nova Scotians to prosper and flourish, an effort to promote respect for human rights and diversity is needed across all sectors and communities in our province. We are here to provide advice and guidance to all -- education and outreach continue to be a central part of our efforts.

Please stay tuned with us throughout the year as we recognize the extraordinary accomplishments of Nova Scotians promoting human rights and as we reflect on how far we have come.

Check back for more information on our 50th Anniversary events:

  • 50th Anniversary Youth art exhibition at the Margaret Hennigar Library – July 2017
  • Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission at Halifax Pride (Parade July 22, 2017)
  • 50th Anniversary Youth Art Exhibition - Wolfville Farmer's Market – August 2017
  • 50th Anniversary Youth Art Exhibit - Truro Library – September 15-29, 2017
  • 10th Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People – September 13, 2017 
  • Celebrations for International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2017 (location TBD)

Interesting in partnering with us on an event? Contact us at HRCInquiries@novascotia.ca

 

Read more about 1967-2017 - 50th Anniversary of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission

Yuille v. the Nova Scotia Health Authority, Board of Inquiry Decision

Friday, April 7, 2017 - 14:48

 

 

An independent human rights board of inquiry has ruled that the Nova Scotia Health Authority discriminated against Melanie Yuille when it revoked her conditional job offer to work as a registered nurse at the Dartmouth General Hospital.

 

Read the news release: here

Read the decision: here.

Read more about Yuille v. the Nova Scotia Health Authority, Board of Inquiry Decision

New Education Campaign Helps Business Address Consumer Racial Profiling

Monday, March 27, 2017 - 16:47

 

The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission has launched a free online course to help businesses address and prevent consumer racial profiling.

 

The course, Serving All  Customers Better, is expected to train thousands of front-line service staff in Nova Scotia.

 

 "This new free training, the first of its kind in Canada, is a definite win-win for businesses and their customers by helping  promote inclusive and welcoming environments," said Christine Hanson, director and CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. "We're thrilled by the overwhelming support of Nova Scotia's business community, who partnered with us to create this course."

 

 Serving All Customers Better was officially launched on March 27, at an event at the Halifax Chamber of Commerce.

 

"Retailers appreciate the steps the commission took to collaborate with the Retail Council of Canada in developing the course, which will complement their existing training," said Jim Cormier, Atlantic Director for Retail Council of Canada. "We're confident this course will give retail employees and other service industry staff a better understanding of the shopping experiences of all Nova Scotians."

 

Consumer racial profiling is a serious issue in Nova Scotia. Visible minority customers are significantly more likely to be followed, searched and ignored than non-minority customers. Under the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act, it is illegal to deny someone service or discriminate against them by treating them differently because of their race, colour or ethnicity.

 

"The Halifax Chamber of Commerce is excited to share this announcement with our members and the business community at large," says Patrick Sullivan, president and CEO of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce. "We encourage our members to use this software and consider how they can integrate it into their ongoing skills development for their workforce. The more information we have on how to be a more welcoming business community, the better it is for us all."

 

You can learn more about Serving All Customers Better by visiting www.servingall.ca.

 

 

Read more about New Education Campaign Helps Business Address Consumer Racial Profiling

Youth Art Competition - 50th Anniversary of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - 12:56

 

The year 2017 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. To celebrate the protection and promotion of human rights in the province, the Commission, in collaboration with Partners for Human Rights, is inviting Nova Scotia youth ages 12-24 to submit their original works of art for exhibition and display in Nova Scotia. We call on educators, youth leaders and parents to work with youth to help them make submissions.

Deadline: Extended to MAY 31, 2017

Download the contest guidelines and consent forms, and find out how to make a submission here.

Téléchargez les lignes directrices et les formulaires et découvrez comment présenter une soumission en cliquant ici.

Theme: Human Rights for all Nova Scotians

Top works will be featured:

  • On Halifax Transit bus interior signage – July 2017
  • At the Halifax Stanfield International Airport – Fall 2017
  • In an exhibit at the Halifax Central Library (May 2017) and other locations across the province (dates and locations to be announced).
  • On social media channels, including the Nova Scotia Human Right's Commission's Facebook page, Twitter, etc.
  • On printed posters (for select submissions).

Questions? Email: HRCEducation@novascotia.ca

 

 

Read more about Youth Art Competition - 50th Anniversary of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission

Board Rules in Favour of Insurance Coverage for Medical Marijuana

Thursday, February 2, 2017 - 10:33

An independent human rights board of inquiry has ruled that Gordon (Wayne) Skinner's medical marijuana expenses are to be covered by his employee insurance plan. Benjamin Perryman, the board chair, issued his decision on January 30, 2017.

Read the press release.

Read the decision

Read more about Board Rules in Favour of Insurance Coverage for Medical Marijuana

2016 Human Rights Awards Presented

Monday, December 12, 2016 - 10:21

Recipients of the 2016 Nova Scotia Human Rights Awards were honoured at a ceremony today, Dec. 10, at the Halifax Central Library.

Dec. 10 is the United Nations' International Human Rights Day. Each year the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission honours deserving Nova Scotians nominated by their peers for work in the field of human rights, social justice and advocacy.

The theme this year is, Stand up for someone's rights today!.

"This year's recipients have all answered this call to action, and Nova Scotia is a better province because of them," said Christine Hanson, director and CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. "The people and groups honoured today have impacted the lives of those in their communities and our province.

"Their passion and commitment to human rights at its most local level represent the qualities we value as Nova Scotians, openness, hospitality and perseverance."

The following are recipients of the awards:

Youth Award

-- Samuel Gregan, Halifax, Grade 9 student at Gorsebrook Junior High, honuored for his work as an LGBTQ advocate

Dr. Allan Burnley "Rocky" Jones Individual Award

-- David Leitch, Halifax, recognized for his work improving access to education for people with disabilities

-- former Halifax Poet Laureate El Jones and Raymond Tynes, Truro, for their commitment to advancing human rights, equity and inclusion

Organization Award

-- Alexa McDonough Institute, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, for its annual Girls' Conference for girls and young women to learn in a safe space about human rights and social justice issues

-- Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia, Halifax, in recognition of its work and the work of all Nova Scotians who assisted in the settlement of more than 1,100 Syrian refugees.

Bios of the recipients are available here.

"Human rights play a role in our daily lives," said Ms. Hanson. "Honouring the Immigrant Settlement Association of Nova Scotia represents the incredible work not only of their organization but of all Nova Scotians who assisted in the settlement of more than 1,100 Syrian refugees this year.

"Amid such national and international turmoil, Nova Scotians answered a call to step up and welcome people seeking a safer life in our province. We should all be very proud and continue to seek opportunities together to enrich our province."

The event included award presentations, music and dance performances by local students, poetry and an opportunity for guests to network with this year's winners.

For more information on the Nova Scotia Human Rights Awards visit humanrights.novascotia.ca.

 

 

 

Read more about 2016 Human Rights Awards Presented

Pages