Many Canadians would say that it has reconciled with the First Nations people, referring to former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s speech back in 2008. In simple terms, reconciliation means the restoration of friendly relations. When it comes to the issue of the reconciliation between the Canadian government and Aboriginal Canadians, there are obstacles that hold the Canadian government back one step. “The absence of an apology has been an impediment to healing and reconciliation.” (Harper, 2008). It seems Canadians do not know how much the First Nations people were affected by the coming of European settlers, considering that the government had to be reminded about Indigenous people’s rights.
Maybe it is because they can never accept the genocide that occurred in residential schools, or how Aboriginal people were stripped of their culture, tradition, and land. The government has not been able to accept all this in full terms. The importance of reconciliation is not brief, due to the fact that so much wrong has been done to the First Nations peoples of Canada. The Canadian government needs to reconcile past treatment of Aboriginal Canadians as a mean to move the country forward, because there are so many factors that depend on the free, prior and informed consent of First Nations people in order for the county to develop economically, politically, and socially. A lot of the economic development of Canada depends on natural resources and land. There have been issues in the recent past that withheld companies from extracting natural resources from the land and using the land to distribute natural resources, concerning the land rights of First Nations people.
Aboriginal people in Canada have been deprived of their land rights, even after the establishment of the treaties.” The treaties promise land that would be ours forever. We have not received the land promised to us over 100 years ago,” a chief of the Swampy Cree Tribal Council said.
If the government reconciles with the First Nations people of Canada, it will be much easier for them to use the land and natural resource to build the economy. If we consider the issue of the Trans Mountain pipeline project, First Nations people protested against the oil companies, refusing to let it complete the project in their rightfully owned land. Of course, this protest can be traced back to broken treaty promises, and how First Nations feel obligated to protect their land. The government of Canada has to reconcile with the First Nations people in order to make mutual agreements on these kinds of issues. At the same time there were First Nations communities who gave consent to the pipeline projects. “We have 39 support agreements signed with First Nations communities that will bring shared benefits.
.. (The Dissent is in the Pipeline, par. 8). First Nations people would be more willing to mutually work with the government economically, if they were included in all the decisions made concerning anything that belongs to them.
Basically, the government of Canada needs to focus on free, prior, and informed consent. This would require companies and governments to work closely with Aboriginal communities to ensure they are included in the evaluation and monitoring of projects, are properly consulted, and have their concerns heard and accommodated. Establishing better relationships with Aboriginal People of Canada means improved social and political development.
Canada is supposed to be on big multicultural society, but that cannot be ensured until the government reconciles with the Fist Nations people. The government must take into account the tragedy of residential schools where the children were their homes and put into boarding schools in order to be assimilated to Christianity values (“Kill the Indian in the child”). Residential schools play a huge role in the lives of the First Nations families, still affecting and traumatizing them, and this is something which the Canadian government cannot take back.
It left thousands of children broken up into their adult years, and the emotional effects would have also affected the next generations that came after them. It is not an issue First Nations can ever forget, hence why the government needs to live up to their expectations. First Nations people must be given the rights they have been denied since European settlers came to this country. The government should consider using the ideas of traditional First Nations when it comes to politics. This way, the tension between the Canadian government and First Nations people can be broken and a safe, interactive, and beneficial social/political environment can be formed. In fact, there is a lack of trust between police officers or RCMP and the Aboriginal people of Canada.
Instead of feeling safe around these officials who are supposed to be figures of protection, many First Nations communities do not trust them. This can be linked to the social injustice and bias experienced by Indigenous people from the RCMP and police officers. ” Aboriginal people feel that the RCMP and other police forced discount them” (Hugh Baker) In terms of social development, the Canadian government needs to stop viewing Aboriginal people as impediments in Canada. Many Canadians misunderstand the reasons why some First Nations communities seem unstable today. It can be said that many people in Canada are ignorant towards the history of Aboriginal people of Canada. This is obviously not the case with all communities and those Aboriginal families who seem to fit this description are not always at fault for who they have become. Canadians have to understand, that negative circumstances concerning First Nations people, are a consequence of the Residential schools Indian Act, broken treaty promises, and even murdered missing Indigenous women.
The Aboriginal people were taken advantage of because of their vulnerability, and kindnesses treaty promises, and even murdered and missing Indigenous women. The government of Canada needs to reconcile past treatment of Aboriginal Canadians as a means to move forward, because it is simply the right thing to do. So many atrocities have been committed against First Nations people in the past such as residential schools, broken treaty promises, abuse and killing of Aboriginal people by European colonialists, forced assimilation and cultural genocide from them. It is terrible to think even today, we have social injustices and biases happening towards Aboriginal Canadians, despite the fact that they are the First People of this land.
When we have people in the government like Senator Lynn Beyak who try to deny the atrocities of residential schools, it is difficult to get Aboriginal Canadians to come to terms with the government of Canada. When European to Canada, they did not have to put much effort in making a living and settling because First Nations people were already here and welcoming, willing to help. In return they received broken promises and torture. This reality still haunts First Nations.