Who ever thought a federal election would generate a new discussion of “What exactly is the Canadian nation?”
I had thought was already settled: the Canadian “nation” being the sum of all its parts … a cohesive society made up of all its citizens … peoples originating from all around the world.
In Italy, Germany, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Uganda, Turkey, Hungary etc. …” nationalities” were long more easily defined based on common genealogy, ethnicity, culture … but even that has been changing/expanded in each country as diversity has increased.
In the New World … where EVERYBODY’s descendants came from somewhere else … “nations” (Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Australia, etc.) have been regarded in modern times as a compendia of all the people … from everywhere … that is, ANYONE holding citizenship is part of the Canadian “nation”.
But apparently Mulcair and Trudeau do NOT see Canada this way.
Both of them, during the course of the campaign, have expressed the view that Canada is composed of TWO nations: those of us from all around the world, as outlined as above … and aboriginals.
Because both have said, if elected, they will establish a new relationship and regard any negotiations between the government and aboriginals as being on the basis of “NATION TO NATION”
Amazing that NO MEDIA have questioned that, because it raises very serious questions/issues regarding the NDP and Liberals’ view of Canada … and the place our First Nations occupy within it.
I have always seen aboriginal Canadians as a full, equal part of our Canadian “nation” … to be INCLUDED within that great family encompassing ALL of us…. together as the Canadian “nation”.
Of course, our founding peoples (aboriginals, the French, the British) enjoy special historical status that should be respected.
BUT … EVERYONE holding Canadian citizenship is an EQUAL part of the Canadian “nation” , deserving EQUAL rights, EQUAL status and EQUAL respect from our politicians. Including Canada’s natives.
Not as a separated out group … holding citizenship and passport … but not to be regarded as REALLY a part of the Canadian nation.
And it disrespects the aboriginal community from coast to coast who are made up of more than a HUNDRED different bands, tribes, and nations …yes that’s nations, with an “s”…. as in the Assembly of First Nations or the United Native Nations or the Coastal First Nations Alliance.
Negotiate “nation to nation”??? Note the clear SINGULAR reference by Mulcair and Trudeau for each side … trying to win votes by dividing Canadians instead of uniting us. (And by the way, if Harper has also done that kind of pandering, please let me know, where and when ..because I’ve tried to find an instance.)
And how will these “nation to nation” discussions/negotiations actually take place?
I guess the federal government will represent the “Canadian nation” … you know, all the rest of of us from all over the world … but which “nation” will represent Canada’s aboriginals from coast to coast at the table?
The Mohawks from Kanhawake, Quebec? Bet the Iroquois won’t like that! Nor will the Haida, the Tsimshian or the Assiniboine.
The pledges by Mulcair and Trudeau to view and negotiate with Canada’s hundreds of aboriginal bands, tribes, nations as “nation” to “nation” is either pandering at its worst or a warning to taxpayers they do intend to literally negotiate everything with each and every aboriginal “nation” separately.
Well, I guess that’s one way of creating jobs! Think of all the lawyers who will become millionaires if an NDP or Liberal government tried to keep THAT election promise.
As for me, I will continue to treat Canada’s aboriginal citizens as an integral part of the Canadian nation … yes, with grievances to be dealt with WITHIN our family … but not as some segregated out and categorized outsiders, to be dealt with separately … as was done under apartheid.