Fine words need to be matched by action on Indigenous issues: Ken Coates for Inside Policy – MLI

by ahnationtalk on October 11, 2017134 Views

Oct. 5, 2017

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave a rousing and warmly received speech at the United Nations on September 22. The talk was a tad self-congratulatory, but it was perhaps the most powerful mea culpa in Canadian diplomatic history. The Prime Minister laid out, quite graphically, the nation’s responsibility for the social, cultural and economic ills experienced by Indigenous peoples in the country.

He erred when he claimed there was a national determination to make things right. We are edging closer to a political consensus – closer than we have been in decades, perhaps – but Canadians are far from unanimous. More than a few Canadians are worried about the Prime Minister’s commitment to Indigenous empowerment and government-led investments and policies, which are designed to rectify problems created by, you guessed it, government-led investments and policies.

It is hard to believe that enough Canadians have read the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) to assert that Canadians endorse its full and immediate implementation. Prime Minister Trudeau did not use the UN podium to make any major policy or spending pronouncements. Many remain unconvinced that the Liberal government will make major headway on this file.

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