EDITORIAL: The rumours of reconciliation’s death are greatly exaggerated (Globe and Mail – February 27, 2020)


The use of police in British Columbia and Ontario to clear illegal blockades, part of a broader dispute over a pipeline that runs through disputed Indigenous territory, has led to an outbreak of people declaring that “reconciliation is dead.”

That’s not surprising. The Trudeau government turned “reconciliation” into a political slogan; it now finds it thrown back in its face anytime it, or anyone else, makes a decision that doesn’t jibe with the expectations of Indigenous leaders – or non-Indigenous activists claiming to act on behalf of Indigenous Canadians.

Live by the ill-defined word, die by the ill-defined word. What does reconciliation look like? How is it measured? How will we know when it has been achieved? The Liberals lifted the word from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, but beyond a promise of a “renewed nation-to-nation relationship,” they never defined their terms.

As a result, “reconciliation” has become a vessel that holds whatever meaning anyone wants to pour into it.

For some, it appears to mean that when protesters, Indigenous or otherwise, illegally block a railway, their removal by police is always unjustified. For others, reconciliation will have only arrived when all 94 of the calls to action in the TRC’s report are enacted.

For the rest of this editorial: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/article-the-rumours-of-reconciliations-death-are-greatly-exaggerated/

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