Thursday, June 17, 2021


As part of its coverage of Indigenous History Month, Canada's History happened yesterday to feature my article Finding Reconciliation, about the wisdom of rebuilding the treaty relationship. 

I also happened to come across my own forgotten post from six years ago, from when I'd been reading the Truth and Reconciliation Report, and asking:

How and where will all the dead of Canada's residential schools be memorialized? It's pretty sure they will be, sometime, somewhere.

Still, I'm not about to join the currently trending #CancelCanadaDay. It's not like I have some other, better country I can go to. Odd as it may seem at this time, if we are going to address these issues, the Canadian state structure and the Canadian constitution offer the best and probably only mechanism to do so, again, through the treaty relationship that has been integral to indigenous-newcomer relations for centuries and was imbedded in the Canadian constitution in 1867. 

When they came to draft a constitution for Canada, however, that same generation of politicians, representing all parties, had endorsed an alternative model for relations between the Canadian state and the First Nations. When they made Confederation in 1867, the politicians who negotiated the terms of union put a Treaty-based relationship with First Nations permanently into Canada’s Constitution. [from Finding Reconciliation]

In order to address what we wish to repair, we are going to have to draw on what we have.

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