Ferdouse Asefi is PhD student at the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto. He wrote the article in collaboration with Erick Laming who is a Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation PhD candidate in criminology, also at the University of Toronto.
Indigenous peoples will continue to suffer under Liberal minority
Wed., Dec. 4, 2019
During the 2015 federal election, Justin Trudeau promised Indigenous Canadians that once elected as Prime Minister, he would enact all the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), beginning with the full implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
Once elected, Trudeau laid out the groundwork for a nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples that would involve respecting and consulting them and their constitutional rights.
Yet, during Trudeau’s first term, the inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) faced significant challenges. Additionally, the decision to purchase a $4.5-billion dollar pipeline without consultation with Indigenous communities, and challenging the landmark judicial ruling to compensate First Nations children impacted by the child welfare system, highlight the contradictions of this renewed and one-sided nation-to-nation relationship.
In October, Trudeau and his Liberals were re-elected with a minority government. In Trudeau’s re-election campaign, he claimed his Liberals will continue their path with reconciliation to end all long-term boil-water advisories by 2021, committing funding to the construction of a mercury treatment facility in Grassy Narrows, and reintroduce the implementation of UNDRIP.
But what will reconciliation look like under this Liberal minority government? The Liberals face steep challenges that range from Western alienation, tensions around Bill 21, the Trans Mountain pipeline extension, and a Conservative opposition that is keen on redemption after defeat.