...Jennifer Adese, a Metis scholar and professor of sociology at the University of Toronto, pointed to increasingly divisive political rhetoric and a hardening of attitudes against minorities in other countries as a warning sign that political parties in Canada might be heeding.
“Looking at a broader landscape of democracies around the world that are moving right and even further right, I think there’s a political strategy in not mentioning or over-emphasizing what can be perceived as minority rights and an over-appeal to so-called minority rights,” said Adese.
“There’s been a shifting political current and I think avoiding talking about Indigenous issues in a substantive way can potentially be a strategy to avoid feeding into that negativity that’s already out there.”
As for the Conservatives, she says their complete silence on First Nations priorities “is a reflection of what exactly they intend to do: nothing,” Adese said.
“Most Indigenous people remember well the Stephen Harper style of leadership.”
The overall lack of dedicated focus on how the parties plan to work with Indigenous, Inuit and Metis people in their campaign activities is “not in keeping with the spirit and intent of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report,” she added.
“I think Indigenous issues should be at the forefront of all party platforms because we’re not just talking about a special segment of particular rights, this has ripple affects into all areas related to housing, poverty, the environment, so it should be at the forefront.”