Exploring the rise of ‘economic reconciliation’ in Canada – by Brett Forester (CBC News Indigenous – July 2023)


Canadian institutions are adding a new buzzword to their Indigenous agenda. But what does it really mean?

As the luminaries of the Indigenous finance world met for a luncheon on “economic reconciliation” last month, they found themselves seated in a building honouring a man who helped ensure their peoples’ exclusion from the Canadian economy for more than a century.

Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister, now lends his name to a former bank building across from Parliament Hill, an imposing granite and limestone structure with marble-panelled walls, ornate stone carvings and bronze banisters. For many gathered there, it represented precisely the sort of wealth they say Indigenous lands have yielded Canada, but which the country’s early leaders guaranteed Indigenous peoples wouldn’t see.

Former Wall Street investment professional Bill Lomax, of the Gitxsan Nation in northern B.C., pointed it out. Taking the stage in the building’s cavernous main hall, he explained the Bank of Montreal occupied it until 2005. That’s when federal officials booted the bank, later renaming it and occupying it themselves.

“Given that whole situation,” Lomax said, “I think it’s entirely appropriate that this building is named after Sir John A. Macdonald.” The event, dubbed “advancing economic reconciliation on Parliament Hill,” was hosted by two senators on June 14.

For the rest of this article: https://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/economic-reconciliation-indigenous-people-canada-1.6919721?__vfz=medium%3Dsharebar