Instead of dehumanizing people who engage in extremism inspired by hate and white supremacy, we should try to understand their humanity, and the experiences, pain and vulnerability fueling their inclination to violence.
Today, on the occasion of Canada 150, we should be asking ourselves tough questions relating to the role of public policy in Canada’s ongoing efforts at reconciling with Indigenous people. According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives: “Above all, we must deliberately put Indigenous voices and lived experiences at the centre of policy-making conversations in Canada”.
According to Tara Williamson, a singer-songwriter and poet from Manitoba, one of the many problems inherent in Canada’s current effort to reconcile with Indigenous peoples is this: “We must be willing to reconcile, willing to hear apologies, willing to share our trauma with others, willing to heal and willing to forgive.”
The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs is suing the Trudeau government over its approval of Enbridge’s Line 3 tar sands pipeline. First Nations leaders have repeatedly stated that no genuine reconciliation is possible as long as Canada continues to approve fossil fuel-based projects that threaten their communities and the planet.