Meet Canada’s new racists: our self-mortifying ‘progressive’ urbanites – by Jonathan Kay (National Post – February 20, 2020)

Witness the white people demanding we strip away democratic Indigenous autonomy and deny First Nations the benefits of resource development

Next year will mark a quarter century since the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) released its final report, a five-year undertaking that laid out a proposed architecture for a new relationship between the Canadian government and its Indigenous peoples.

As Canada remains convulsed by a full-blown economic and transportation crisis that has utterly paralyzed our governments, it’s useful to look back at that landmark document to see how we failed.

The blueprint contained in the RCAP report was, in some ways, fundamentally unrealistic. (One key recommendation, for instance, was that Canada’s 600-plus Indigenous communities would voluntarily consolidate into 60 to 80 regional agglomerations that would share wealth and power among themselves.)

But in other ways, the RCAP earned praise and respect — even from some conservatives, such as University of Calgary professor Tom Flanagan, who noted that the commissioners were focused on leading Indigenous people out of the welfare traps that exist on reserves.

Seen by today’s lights, moreover, the RCAP report was a laudably plain-spoken and practical document. The commissioners weren’t primarily interested in denouncing Canada as a genocide state, or dwelling on esoteric thoughtcrimes connected to language and art.

They wanted to help Indigenous communities assert their legitimate legal and constitutional rights, encourage “the enhancement of educational and economic opportunities,” and thereby build “healthier and happier neighbourhoods” within the context of Canada’s federal union: The goal of Indigenous peoples “is not to undo the Canadian federation; their goal is to complete it.”

For the rest of this column:

Comments are closed.