Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
  • Like
Myth of Multiculturalism
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.


Now you can save presentations on your phone or tablet

Available for both IPhone and Android

Text the download link to your phone

Standard text messaging rates apply

Myth of Multiculturalism


Canadian Multiculturalism and Aboriginal peoples in Canada

Canadian Multiculturalism and Aboriginal peoples in Canada

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads


Total Views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds



Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

    No notes for slide


  • 1. The Myth of Multiculturalism Supporting Aboriginal Peoples in Canada by Dr. Trent Keough Evidence of multiculturalism1 can be found in social policies, legislation andlaws responding to discrimination, prejudice and racism. Multiculturalism is alsopresent when ordinary motivators of patriotic allegiance, i.e. a shared formationalhistory, common language or religion, singular ethnicity, or an internally/externally defined enemy, are either misaligned or absent.2 At the core of allmulticulturalism is an awareness of alienation and a corresponding hope forinclusion. The existence of multicultural policies and supporting law is notevidence of inclusionary practice or ethical political leadership. Multiculturalism can exist in principle only. Social policies and legislativepractices can maintain status quo discrimination and institutionalized racism. Fauxmulticultural leadership can be identified with public acknowledgement ofhistorical failures of moral arbiters and political decision-makers withoutdemanding changes to the socio-political infrastructure. Those inheriting privilegetaken from discrimination often attempt to distance the political system they alsoinherit from wrong doing by celebrating the presence of multiculturalism. Multiculturalism places an ethical imperative upon its leaders to own deniedprejudices informing Canadian national heritage and current social practices.Effective multicultural leadership challenges ownership of privilege rooted inheritage entitlements. It normally causes unease and discomfort, and is oftenreceived as a dissident leadership. Multicultural leadership must be capable ofwithstanding rejection when challenging systemic discrimination, prejudice andracism. This leadership runs the risk of attacks upon its positionality and authority.Leaders engaging in multicultural dialogue are also vigilant not to speak for‗others.‘ Every appropriation of the other‘s voice is an act of (oppressive)silencing. Multicultural leaders also exhibit self-reflexivity when identifying biasesand prejudices informing their own cultural ‗voices.‘ The emphasis on individualhumanity (both rejected and affirmed) within multicultural dialogue is a counter-measure to the dehumanization conjoint with racism.25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 2. I: Dimensions of Canadian Multiculturalism Canada proclaims itself to be the foremost multicultural nation in the world.3It was a vision of hope for a defined and noble nationhood that made Canada thefirst country to ―adopt multiculturalism as an official policy. . . . The 1971Multiculturalism Policy of Canada also confirmed the rights of Aboriginal peoplesand the status of Canada‘s two official languages.‖ 4 Multiculturalism is alsodirectly written into the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms of 1982.5 TheGovernment of Canada offers the following comment on assurances ofmulticulturalism in Canada: All Canadians are guaranteed equality before the law and equality of opportunity regardless of their origins. Canada‘s laws and policies recognize Canada‘s diversity by race, cultural heritage, ethnicity, religion, ancestry and place of origin and guarantee to all men and women complete freedom of conscience, of thought, belief, opinion expression, association and peaceful assembly. All of these rights, our freedom and our dignity, are guaranteed through our Canadian citizenship, our Canadian Constitution, and our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 6With the passing of the Multiculturalism Act in 1988, Canada became the firstnation of the world to make multiculturalism part of its judicial system. 7 Today, in2012, Canada‘s Multiculturalism Program resides within the purview of theFederal Government‘s Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).―CIC‘s Multiculturalism Program draws its mandate from the CanadianMulticulturalism Act (1988).‖ 8 On its website CIC defines multiculturalism in thisway: Canadian multiculturalism is fundamental to our belief that all citizens are equal. Multiculturalism ensures that all citizens can keep their identities, can take pride in their25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 3. ancestry and have a sense of belonging. Acceptance gives Canadians a feeling of security and self-confidence, making them more open to, and accepting of, diverse cultures. The Canadian experience has shown that multiculturalism encourages racial and ethnic harmony and cross-cultural understanding, and discourages ghettoization, hatred, discrimination and violence. Through multiculturalism, Canada recognizes the potential of all Canadians, encouraging them to integrate into their society and take an active part in its social, cultural, economic and political affairs. 9 Why is Canada such a homeland for multiculturalism? The answer istwofold. First, Canada is a federation of distinct political ‗others.‘ We have nounity of singular space and no common, formational history. Canada is comprisedof ten provinces and three territories who participate in a parliamentary democracywith a constitutional monarchy.10 Canada‘s vast and varied topography anddiversified immigration patterns provide for many communities with distinctworldviews and unique cultural histories. Some provinces and territories had morethan one hundred and fifty years of non-Aboriginal settlement prior to the Britishlegislative formation of Canada in 1867. Individual loyalties are commonly tied tobloodlines linked to ‗colonial‘ places of origin, not the agreed upon nation createdin our confederacy.11 In short, Canada was born with a national identity crisis.Second, Canada is physically large and remains largely empty of the peoplenecessary to grow the nation. The Canadian population is built from immigrationand its capacity to attract more of these ‗others.‘ In Canada multiculturalism is part of a strategy to engage immigrants withthe responsibilities of Canadian citizenship. All Canadians are assessed as beingforeigners to this land. This vision also treats Indians as pre-Canadian immigrantsor descendants thereof. Multiculturalism teaches Canadians that there are noIndigenous peoples belonging to Canada, other than ‗immigrant Aboriginals‘:―Canada is a country of immigrants; therefore, it is important that Canada berecognized as a multicultural state. Even some of the very first people in Canadawere immigrants who came across the Bering Strait [sp] from what is present-day25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 4. Russia. These first immigrants evolved over time, separated into distinct groups,and became today‘s Aboriginal peoples‖ (Heritage Community Foundation).Multiculturalism offers political means to explain how all immigrant Canadiansmight work together to live harmoniously. Multiculturalism has been a formational cause and a constructive effect ofCanada‘s national identity complex. The historical preoccupation with Canadianidentity is very much contemporary, despite the surety of its multiculturalcitizenship. In the 1996 ―census approximately one third of Canada‘s 31 million(plus) population did not choose the category of ‗Canadian‘ when asked todescribe their ethnic origin . . . . [O]nly 5 million identified themselves as solelyCanadian‖ (Hutchins).12 The one time Liberal leader ―Michael Ignatieff states:―‗The great achievement of Canada, and I think we‘re already there, is that inCanada you‘re free to choose your belonging.‘‖13 This reasoning could possiblyexplain why so many Canadians have fought and died in wars unrecognized byCanadian parliaments or marked by formal Canadian military engagement. 14Sadly, it may also explain the ‗Canadian‘ connections linked to acts ofinternational terrorism. With the exception of some five million, there are 26million hyphenated-Canadians whose first national loyalties can be assumed to lieelsewhere.15 Since WWII, and contemporaneous with the birth of a pluralism sponsoredby multiculturalism, Canada has continued to widen its open door to newimmigrants: ―According to recent Canadian immigration information, Canada has34 ethnic groups with at least one hundred thousand members each and we remainone of the countries with the highest per capita immigration rate in the world . . . .Immigration to Canada made up the vast majority of the 1.6 million newCanadians between 2001 and 2006, [also] giving the country the highestpopulation growth rate among G8 countries.‖16 The 2006 Canadian Censusidentified Canadian persons from 200 distinct ethic groupings. ―The percentagewho reported having more than one ethnic origin rose to 41%, up from 36% adecade earlier in 1996.‖17 One in five individuals or 19.8% of the Canadianpopulation is born outside of Canada. 18 Approximately 90% of all immigrants to Canada live in its major cities; themajority of immigrants settle in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. Forty percent(40%) of all immigrants to Canada live in Toronto. At last count there weresome100 languages spoken in Toronto, including the two official languages,English and French. In 2007, of the 5.5 million living in Toronto some 53.32%spoke English and 1.88% French.19 According to Leisure Trade Toronto the top25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 5. five spoken languages in Toronto are not English or French but Chinese, Italian,Tamil, Portuguese and Spanish.20 Toronto is representative of other immigrantcities in Canada wherein multiculturalism is accused of engendering unilingual andisolated cultural ghettos: The Chinese of Markham have little interaction with the Indians of Brampton, or the Pakistanis of Mississauga, or the Sri Lankans of Scarborough, or the Somalis of Islington," warned [Gurmukh Singh, Canada correspondent with the Indo-Asian News Service], adding you can "forget about" integration with "mainstream white society.‖ [This same message comes from other] articulate individuals who understand the immigrant experience and their message to [their own and others‘] communities is the same -- its incumbent upon them to integrate into Canadian society, to become part of the "mainstream" and make it better reflect the true face of Toronto. 21 It would be impossible for any immigrant group to integrate into‗mainstream white‘ societies of Toronto, Vancouver, or Canada itself for thatmatter. No such mainstream is readily identifiable in the politics ofmulticulturalism. Other than, of course, appropriation of cultural values associatedwith speaking English or French. It is ironic that individuals like Gordon Chong,Gurmukh Singh, and Neil Bissoondath would call for what constitutes‗assimilation‘ into a Canadian culture-- one that is impossible to locate in ourmulticultural nation. There is clearly a yearning for a commonality of worldview todisplace what has become a defining sense of alienation through cultural sub-identification within Canada. Today the ‗Canadian‘ cultural mainstream is truly identified by racial andcultural diversity. To be ‗other‘ is to be Canadian. Canadian culture exists nowherebut in idealized visions of harmony, inclusion and democratic participation. Theinadequacy of this kind of nationalism is evident in a frustrated desire for factsdefining how ‗otherness‘ functions as evidence of cultural belonging to/in Canada.Multicultural nationalism lacks substantial evidence of being more than anintellectual exercise attempting to mirror the emotional connectivity found in an25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 6. authentic patriotism. Canadian immigrants raise millions of dollars each year forvictims of disaster in their originating countries while Canadian Aboriginalchildren continue to be raised in squalor and filth. Their Aboriginal cultures arefast disappearing. If a true Canadian nationalism existed, this would not be thecase. While Canadian geography is more or less defined, defining the Canadiancultural mainstream for nationalist purposes is a definite impossibility. Yet, wemust be careful not to confuse the lack of a mainstream culture and nationalistconsciousness with the absence of partisan political control of government and adominant cultural ideology. These latter two we definitely have in place. Politicalintegration into mainstream Canada would mean assimilation into one of either theFrench or English speaking cultures. There is no embracing Canadian politicalculture other than to start speaking one or both of the national, official languages.These have their own worldviews driven by linguistics and acculturation. Thesecultures have dominated regional and federal policy frameworks since our politicalinception. There is no definitively Canadian political heritage other than that held closein what are becoming the privileged ghettos of English and French cultures. Incontradiction, however, multiculturalism has advanced too far for a singular oreven dual Canadian cultural identity to ever maintain itself politically. The nationis currently polarized into acknowledging all cultural difference. Unfortunately, theCanadian political system has not yet matured sufficiently to be capable of thetransformation necessary to meet the needs of its multicultural population. It mayonly be through dissolution of the federal parliament that Canada finds agovernance model stripped of old prejudices and biases limiting currentresponsiveness and growth. If Canada is to survive, coalition governments will become the order of rule.Creating strong coalition governments within the existing political infrastructurecannot happen in the short term. Too much of our political infrastructure is built onpremises of majority rule in final decision making. How Canadians define theauthority of government will need to change. If the collapse of the USSR is anyindication, Canadians will need a unifying belief system to escape factionalism andanarchy. Threats to Canada‘s existing governance structure will increase as Quebec(7.5 million) steadily inches towards its own sovereignty. Others, too, are growingin numbers, and do not need a history of localized reform and resistance (e.g.Quebec‘s Quiet Revolution) to push them into demanding ‗other‘ nation statuswithin or even outside of Canada as a political and geographic entity.25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 7. What is presently missing is opportunity for meaningful engagement in thepolitical definition and composition of Canada wherein proportional representationrepresents the localized interests of the varied Canadian populations. Ethnic groupsare increasing in numbers and are taking advantage of concentrated populations inthe voting processes of both provincial/territorial and federal elections. It is merelya matter of time before the old triad of Conservative, Liberal, and New Democratpolitical parties in Canada cease appealing to the 11 ethnic (ghetto) groups withpopulations over one million persons. When hyphenated-Canadians demand theopportunity to vote along ethnic, not geographical lines or boundaries, the oldpolitical parties, provinces and territories of Canada are doomed to failure and ruin.How Canadians prepare for this form of democratic representation will determineif we are truly a multicultural nation, or not. II: Multiculturalism: Where and What Multicultural places an ethical imperative upon Canadians to take fullownership of denied prejudices informing our national heritage. Effectivemulticultural leadership challenges political privilege rooted in Anglo-Francophone heritage entitlements. It unveils prejudicial heritage entitlementswritten into the fabric of ‗Canadian‘ political culture. Multicultural leadershipreveals how systemic discrimination and racism inform federal legislation andCanadian national multicultural policies. Canadians challenging multiculturalism quickly come to recognize thesacrosanct status given to it by the seated political establishment, and those whoshare in furthering its interests. Vested cultural privilege sustained by the myth ofa multicultural Canadian identity does not welcome criticism, let alone theuncomfortable probing of openly judgemental historical revisionists. Pro-multiculturalism is not itself, however, evidence of a vibrant nationalist sentimentwithin the populace of Canada. Many Canadians see no connection betweenmulticulturalism and their national self-definition. Finding and nominating acommon Canadian cultural experience is a national historical challenge (once)thought to be overcome through multiculturalism. Intolerance for personsquestioning Canadian multiculturalism stems from a conventional belief inmulticulturalism as the single national codifier of a Canadian patriotism. To attackmulticulturalism is therefore to be unpatriotic and treasonable.25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 8. Multiculturalism is as much about cultivating and marketing Canada‘s imageto other nations as it is defining Canada‘s national culture from within. The twoare not the same. The external image and the national reality are not identical. Thehypocrisy of multiculturalism is identified by the distance between its idealizedexternal form and its internal Canadian reality. It is not surprising that Canadianshave varied emotional responses to multiculturalism. There are two visible camps.Those given to idealism or accepting of cultural privilege guard the externalizedmulticultural Canadian identity. Those who live the reality of Canadianmulticulturalism can challenge it as a form of institutionalized oppression. Giventhis dichotomy it is not difficult to identify the Canadian identity complex. To beCanadian is to be self-consciously aware of a national solidarity built upon anational self-consciousness of otherness within the nation. We are Canadian; weshare nothing but tolerance for difference. It is perhaps within a dialogue on multiculturalism that Canadians canfurther the evolution of a cultural identity that enables equity of citizenship andinclusion of difference. Can a Canadian cultural identity be drawn from reflectionon living experiences lived in different cultural ways? Ordinary multiculturalismembodies a worldview by exhibiting polyphony bearing witness to a sharing ofcommon cultural and linguistic experiences. Canadian multiculturalism fails todefine what it is to be culturally or linguistically Canadian. Our multiculturalismdoes serve as a forum wherein Canadians engage in articulating what they perceivethemselves not to be. Perhaps it is (un) easiness with perceived ‗otherness‘ thatinforms the real core of a Canadian national identity? We are other than othernations, and other than our Canadian selves.22 Canadians are not ever, justthemselves. We are hyphenated, attenuated, and regionally defined citizens drawnfrom a multitude of cultures. Antimulticulturalists do share a distinctly ‗Canadian‘ experience. Thisexperience contradicts the norm of acceptable nationalist response to Canadianidentity. They are the preeminent others within Canada. Perhaps here is thecommon Canadian experience that remains undefined. What has yet to besufficiently explored as the shared Canadian experience is the experientialdifference between idealized multiculturalism and its ordinary, living practice inCanada. This is the Canadian ‗otherness‘ that is common to all; it is the definingCanadian experience of alienation! Here in multicultural otherness lie the definingparameters of a Canadian cultural mindscape. Within that space of sociologicaldifference is the common cultural experience shared by all Canadians. ForCanadian multiculturalism to evolve within the socio-political sphere of Canada,and for it to contribute further to what it means to be Canadian, there needs to be25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 9. public evaluation of its historical roots in a biculturalism steeped in racism, bigotryand oppression. The value ascribed to recognition of all difference, identifiable otherness, isthe ultimate measure of how effectively multiculturalism can respond toeliminating the outside circle that it creates within Canada.23 The ongoing polemicassociated with Canadian multiculturalism is indicative of its success as anembraced ism as well as its unspoken failure as social practice and legislativepolicy. In Canada we have not sufficiently paused from celebration of thepolitically correct ideal of multiculturalism to examine its real practice andcomplex historical origins. Proponents of multiculturalism who call for criticalself-reflexivity when examining the biases and prejudices informing the Canadianmulticultural voice are often the recipients of public indignation, not applause. If Canada is a true multicultural nation, where is the evidence of itscollective awareness of racism and discrimination informing its socio-politicalcultures, including its multiculturalism policies and practices? How have thehistorical political and administrative structures serving Canadians been changedby this self-awareness? The saving lie of wholesale Canadian tolerance is neithersupported by Canadian history nor proven by a current lack of discrimination andracism throughout the country.24 The (in)appropriate questions should inspire aself-reflection revealing a certain opportunity for shared embarrassment within theCanadian public. Power imbalances exist in every culture; it is what one culturedoes about imbalance that differentiates it from another. The Canadian denial ofongoing moral, ethical and legal failures engenders a cultural hypocrisy retardingnational development and cultural advancement. It is not shameful to recognizethat irrespective of one‘s race, creed, gender or class no voice is without privilegethat is inherited, arbitrarily taken, unconsciously assumed and earned by wilfulexperience. Consciousness of this vulnerability helps to defuse an anger responsetriggered in those feeling accused of owning the political sins and moral failuresascribed to historical others. Most Canadians would be unaware, for example, that the Canadiannationalist voice is built upon a premise of multiculturalism that is conjoint withformal legislative and civil law denial of: a) significant and coherent differencesbetween Aboriginal cultures, b) the uniqueness of worldviews held by Aboriginalsubcultures (i.e. tribes within nations), and c) the polyphony of Aboriginal voicesidentifying a shared formational experience with the historical governments ofCanada and original Canadian nation builders. No other Canadians have a morelengthy formal relationship with successive governments of Canada, nor a more25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 10. sordid history of being dishonoured by them. Ordinary Canadians are oblivious tothe facts that: a) Aboriginals have been denied the status of human persons inCanada; b) Aboriginals have been excluded from the enjoining privileges ofordinary citizenship in Canada; and c) Aboriginals have been refused the historicalrecognition of being identified as Canadian charter builders. While these failuresremain denied within Canadian cultural consciousness, they exist as the guiltridden political inheritance of all Canadians. All Canadian governments arecomplicit in these denials of Aboriginal privilege. Why? The affirmation of difference and the recognition of transgression ofimmutable individual and group rights are the only means for celebrating a renewalof human values within our Canadian political heritage. Multiculturalism shouldenable us to accomplish this goal. All Canadians have not been and are notcurrently equally valued by the political system. Even with rights and privilegesguaranteed by rule of common law, Canadian multicultural policy is built fromlegislative practices tied directly to British culture and its imperial values.25 Britishcultural imperialism not only discriminates against all Aboriginals, it exhibits anequally negative valuation of all other cultures, particularly its historical arch rival,the Catholic French. Canada has an English/French language-bias, and anEnglish/French cultural conflict, at its historical and political cores. The story of an idea called multiculturalism begins in Canada, where the nation‘s primal divide into Francophone and Anglophone civilizations [sp] produced ―biculturalism[.]‖ Canada used bicultural policy to accommodate the ― two solitudes ‖ of its colonial provenance in order to, among other things, abate the rising power of Québecitude and Québec‘s independence movement. When the indigenous ―first nations‖ (Inuit, Innu, Cree, Iroquois, and other groups) and immigrants challenged the implicit assumption that only two cultures required formal recognition within its borders, multiculturalism emerged as a more progressive articulation of the original policy. (Perovic)25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 11. There has been no significant structural change in governance attitude orpolitical infrastructure since the Province of Canada became the Dominion ofCanada then later the Canadian confederate nation, or since the advent of Canadianmulticulturalism as a formal policy initiative in the 1960s. In Canada, persons,government departments, and political parties who inherit and enjoy privilegestaken from acts of oppression attempt to create distance from past wrong-doings bypromotion of multiculturalism. For example, a federal government sponsoredwebsite maintained by the Heritage Community Foundation offers the following inreference to the Canadian government‘s ownership of this duality: ―The Canadiangovernment is committed to its policy of multiculturalism and is attempting not tobe hypocritical (saying one thing and doing another). The Canadian government istherefore apologizing and trying to redress racist policies of the past. While thepast cannot be changed, these actions show that the government today is dedicatedto multiculturalism‖ (Heritage Community Foundation). The Canadian government‘s focus on the idealized present, not the ignoblepast still reflected in current practices, is an indulgent self- distraction dependingon collective denial for its continuance. Permissive denial is fashionable whenpolitical leadership is challenged to identify systemic changes intended to disruptan historical pattern of bad and intolerant behaviour. False ignorance of thehistorically determined present moment removes both political and socialobligations to implement revisions to the historical systems sustaining currentdiscriminatory practices. It is no irony that the existence of Canadian multiculturalpolicies and supporting law do not authenticate inclusionary practice or presentethical political leadership associated with true multiculturalism. Both areimpossibilities until revision takes place. When a culture‘s social policies andlegislative practices maintain status quo discrimination solidifying institutionalizedracism, multiculturalism is subordinate to other political objectives and isobviously failing, false. Faux multicultural is evident in the political expediencies taken from publiccondemnation of past discriminatory activities in Canada. From thedisenfranchisement of Indians to the Chinese Head Tax to the internment ofJapanese Canadians, the acts of government requiring national apologies areponderous not just by the delay in making the actual apologies themselves but forthe absolute lack of any reflection on current government practices. The Canadiangovernment consistently fails to hold itself accountable, i.e. by evidence of force ofsystemic revision, for wrongdoings. For example, Canada‘s (weak) commitment toan Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2 June 2008)did not even raise the spectre of changing the root cause of this suffering, the25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 12. political systems addressing the ongoing needs of Treaty Indians. The fall ofapartheid instigated and precipitated a critical review of the principles ofgovernance in South Africa. In Canada, even after acknowledging multipleinstances of institutional racism, the government does not hold itself accountableover and above paying financial and symbolic restitution. After the federal government moved to initiate the Indian ResidentialSchools Truth and Reconciliation Commission there was no public outcry inCanada for changes to how the federal government directly manages TreatyIndians. Mistreatment of Chinese immigrants and Japanese Canadians broughtsimilar non-responses from the nation. There was no national demand for thedissolution of the federal government departments responsible for these cruelties.Why not? No critical self-reflection was undertaken by government; the matter wasindirectly attributed to past racism of government officials, a racism sponsored bythe Canadian public who elected them. Would a politician expecting to be re-elected tell a nation that it needs to reflect on its racist heritage? Would tolerant and non-bigoted Canadians appreciate hearing that theirforebears were complicit in racism and benefited economically from discriminationagainst Indians? Would the 15 million immigrants who came to Canada in theyears since 1945 have any ownership of this political and cultural lineage, beyondthe boundaries outlined in their rights and obligations in becoming Canadiancitizens?26 One can easily imagine a reasonable defensive: ‗As a Canadian I feel noresponsibility for the Indian Residential Schools. I became a citizen in 2010; I haveno history with this issue. If Canada has that racism in its past, it is not my sharedCanadian past. That racism is no part of mine or my family‘s citizenship in thiscountry. It never will be.‘ The capacity to choose what parts of being Canadianvalidates one‘s sense of being Canadian is at the heart of our current nationalistidentity. Canadian identity does not make the individual subordinate to nationalcultural values overriding individual preferences or obligations. There is little wonder why government apologies for structuraldiscrimination have caused no change in Canadian culture or its politicalinfrastructure. There is no advantage to the political machine to excise itself fromthis guilty past. Nearly half of the citizens of the nation have no historical ties todiscriminatory activities linked to Canada‘s nation building activities. Neither theynor their ancestors were Canadian citizens when Indians were neither people,citizens, nor allowed to vote; they were not here when Chinese coolies linked thenation from shining sea- to-sea; and, they never knew the Canadian fear of BritishColumbia‘s Japanese salmon fishermen and business persons during WWII. These25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 13. ‗new‘ Canadians own no part of this embarrassing Canadian history; they are in noway accountable for its political failings or the culture permitting it to occur. Thisreasonable denial of historical ownership of discrimination, however, is not anexcusable denial when owning a Canadian passport. A lack of personal history does not exempt Canadian citizens fromresponsibility for addressing existing discrimination, particularly that with deepnational roots. Contemporary Canadian citizens cannot ignore our politicalbeginnings in cultural imperialism. We cannot deny a contemporary CitizenshipOath pledging allegiance to ―Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada,Her Heirs and Successors.‖ Nor can we deny the existence of the contemporaryversion of the Indian Act of 1867: Bill C-31, An Act to Amend the Indian Act(1985). Bill C-31fails to address real cultural differences among First Nationspeoples by classifying them as being Aboriginal. Further, Bill C-31 fails torecognize the ethno-cultural differences reflected in the Indigenous status of bothTreaty and non-Treaty Indians, and it does not differentiate Indians fromAboriginal Métis. Métis are original to the country of Canada, but they are notindigenous to the land Canada now occupies. To use Aboriginal to refer to Indiansand Métis is to deny the privilege of both charter and Indigenous status to Indians,as the one true ‗original‘ peoples of the lands claimed by British imperialism. The many contradictions evident in the differences between idealization ofcurrent practice and its daily realities reveal a deeply entrenched hypocrisyinforming Canadian multiculturalism. To perceive the contradictions one mustbecome knowledgeable of how and why multiculturalism comes to exist inCanada. Evidence of Canadian multiculturalism27 can be found in our socialpolicies, legislation and laws responding to discrimination, prejudice and racism.Canada lacks the ordinary motivators of patriotic allegiance. Canadian politicianshave used multiculturalism to define a cultural consciousness sustaining ournational sense of belonging.28 At the core of Canadian multiculturalism is a mutedawareness of socially sanctioned exclusions and discriminations. There is also theexpectation that Indians can make no claim for special status when respected as butyet another piece of the Canadian cultural mosaic. This intentional exclusion anddenial of difference is contradictory to multiculturalism. III: The Contradictions of Failed Multiculturalism25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 14. Will multiculturalism provide for the eventual ruin of Canada‘s confederatedemocracy? The answer lies in the differences between Canadian multi-culturalism‘s conception and its practice. Naturally the differences betweenmulticulturalism‘s ideal leadership and its realities can be stark, and unintended.Oftentimes political apologists reference so-called unintended outcomes. Thedisconnections between an idealized practice, historical application, and currentreality are evident when examining the multicultural vision seeding a Canadiannationalism denying Aboriginal charter status within the context of charterprivileges taken by English and French Canadians. The historical and presentrealities of multiculturalism in Canada are rife with contradiction flowing from theauthority of nation building. ‗Canada,‘ the self-acclaimed preeminent multiculturalnation, is an idealized myth built upon a foundation of economic and culturalimperialisms. Regardless of its oppressive origins, Canadian nationalistmulticulturalism is verily tangible in law, legislation, and social policies. Culturaldiversity is touted as an identifying characteristic of our many urban communities.Canadian multiculturalism is also identified with classic dissident activities thoughtto provoke political and social decision-makers into making systemic change: a) Enabling ‗dialogues of dissonance,‘ specifically those owned by ostracized, marginalized or peripheral ‗others.‘ b) Supporting hurtful disclosures by accepting national ownership of historical, social wrong doings. Even if the findings reveal a guilty heritage belonging to the otherwise, personally innocent. c) Identifying entitlements based on heritage, ethnicity and economic power structures established for maintaining oppression and inequity. d) Undertaking historical revisionism that reveals the currency of systemic prejudice traceable to an ongoing cultural/economic imperialism.That these are proven activities for undercutting discrimination, racism andprejudice is not coincidental to Canadian nationalist multiculturalism. Sadly, theco-opted multicultural dialogue of Canada continues to be vigorous and robust. Debate assessing the effectiveness of multiculturalism in Canada often hidesfrom the most revealing of questions: Why multiculturalism and not anotherformational nationalism? The answer to why authentic multiculturalism comes toexist as a national legend, not a Canadian reality, is found in the historical, politicaldefinition of Canada. Multiculturalism is the nationalist binding celebrated in the25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 15. Canadian antithesis to the cultural melting pot: the Cultural Mosaic.29 It isinextricably tied to historical efforts directed at establishing a nationalconsciousness. The public naming of disempowered ‗others‘ while denying theirempowering difference is central to Canada‘s historical political formation. Sowhile the Chart of Rights and Freedoms secures Aboriginal Rights by law, it doesnot privilege Aboriginal status by making it equal to those of the English orFrench. Canada claims to be a nation formed by cultural diversity but there are onlytwo heritage ‗others‘ considered in the history of Canadian nation building: charterEnglish and charter French. The ongoing denial of Aboriginal charter status iscontrary to all theoretical elements of the Government of Canada‘s multiculturalpolicy, but not its legislative practices. This dual impulse can be traced inlegislative legacy to the Royal Proclamation of 176330 wherein Aboriginal rightswere first acknowledged so that they might later be extinguished.31 Today, thesecontradictory impulses manifest themselves as structured discrimination andinstitutionalized prejudice against ‗Indians‘ in the political infrastructure, socialsupport systems, and cultural fabric of Canada‘s cultural mosaic. Multiculturalismhas been used to build a Canadian identity denying the authenticity of Aboriginalcharter ‗otherness.‘ This same multiculturalism is used to maintain political andeconomic oppression flowing from a political infrastructure based on a racialsuperiority identified with colonization. Aboriginals will not be able to engage as (regional or territorial) Canadiansso long as they remain excluded from the ideology defining Canadian nationalismas merely ‗heritage‘ multiculturalism. The extent of Aboriginal disengagementwith ‗Canada,‘ the nation, is visible in the Government of Canada‘s: 1) ongoing financial support for Aboriginal welfare cultures 2) encouraging emotional dependency by celebrating Aboriginal victim status well past times necessary for healing or actions enabling appropriate accountability, legal reprisal or financial restitution 3) promotion of illiteracy by placing restrictions on Aboriginal mobility in educational funding formulas targeting reserve status 4) failure to privilege Indigenous peoples as charter Canadians by focussing on legal obligations outlined in Treaties25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 16. 5) defining ‗Aboriginals‘ to include Métis as an autochthonic people of Canada 6) simplification of cultural complexity by utilization of ‗Indian‘ and ‗Métis‘ for diverse peoples with little or no commonality of cultures or evidence of singular nationhood 7) maintenance of government departments and agencies associated with documented cases of murder, sexual abuse, physical torture, acts of emotional depravity, and psychological abuse of Aboriginal peoples and their children 8) celebration of failures within Aboriginal communities to affirm historical stereotypes of dependency, violence, and dissolution 9) advancing incompetence and promoting corruption by continually enabling family ‗mafias‘ to control Band funds 10) spot-lighting ‗apple‘ Indian role models who serve as social critics of Indians while promoting assimilation 11) maintenance of the ‗Indian Industry‘ supporting the jobs and pensions of thousands of non-Aboriginal employees, who are (or have been) predominately French, within the federal bureaucratic machine.32Such statements about the Government of Canada reflect poorly on all Canadians,past and current. But does the government intentionally seek to do these harms toAboriginal peoples and their cultures? Sadly, government‘s complicity in criminalactivities has been validated; acceptance of social responsibility for these crimes isnot often welcomed as it presupposes accountability in the present can happen. Thesad truth of government‘s activities can lead to a dialogue that disintegrates intocelebration of national guilt, racist comments couched in promises of telling thetruth, claims of post-colonial academics inflicting intellectual terrorism upon thenation, or draw the sad familiar nod to our unearthing the old skeleton, the nationalidentity/guilt crisis within yet another self-depreciating context. The excess in anticipated defensive response is not unreasonable orunexpected. Canadians truly want to believe that we have a healthy national self-image built from an honourable history defined by ethical politics and moral25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 17. political leadership. It is the ‗saving lie‘ informing all of our nationalist fervour.On 1 July 2009, Canada Day, Prime Minster Stephen Harper said to Canadians:―‗We celebrate the most peaceful, prosperous and enduring democracy the worldhas ever known . . . . We must never forget that our country, our way of life, didnot happen by accident. We are a product of diverse peoples committed tocommon values, a country that cherishes freedom, democracy and justice, acountry proud of our past and confident in our future[.]‘‖33 Without question, Canadians want to own a mature, vibrant nationalconscious, one that is admired by the world. But there is also much darkness inCanadian political history. There is little in Harper‘s words that couldn‘t betransposed to any ‗democratic‘ nation of the world. The Prime Minister iscelebrating an ideal form of democracy; he is not acknowledging the reality of ourCanadian democracy. Like other politicians and all Canadians, Prime MinisterHarper cannot know ‗what‘ Canadian culture is, even though Canada can belocated on a map. This lack of certainty leads to the celebration of Canadiannationalism as an idealized multiculturalism: ―Citizenship, Immigration andMulticulturalism Minister Jason Kenney celebrated Canadian MulticulturalismDay and reflected on how Canada‘s cultural communities have contributed to thecountry‘s rich and diverse heritage. ‗Since Confederation, more than 15 millionimmigrants have arrived in Canada and our multicultural model of unity-in-diversity, which gives our country such strength, has taken shape[.]‖34 In the stylized world of multiculturalism, emphasis on the theorizedstrengths of plurality is often matched with denial of the historical realityundercutting it. When waxing patriotic about the 2006 opening of a ChineseCultural Centre in Calgary Andrew Mah writes: ―That, to me, is the Canadianidentity. Not stone monuments or a venerable historical catalogue of events. It‘sthe people who come here with open hearts, embracing their new home, all thewhile bringing with them values and traditions from their diverse homelands. It‘s anation that takes the best part of these and makes them its own. We have the luck,the great fortune, to have not only a history, but a history of histories: embodied inthe pride and ancestry of the people who live here.‖35 A truth of Canadian multiculturalism is the seeming denial of any nationalhistory that recognizes the privileges taken by charter Canadians. Canada‘s historyhas never been written as a ‗history of histories.‘ Denial of multiple histories is aCanadian political convention. True Canadian history cannot exist until asignificant historical revisionism takes place. We have legislation and policy in ourdemocracy from which no national pride can be taken. We condemn the effects25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 18. devolving from government practice and action but never address the root cause ofembarrassing failures. Mah‘s overtly simple view of Canada as a cultural cannibaltaking the best from other nations is a Canadian denial of the ugliness that exists inother cultures, and our own historical, national charter. The ugliness of Canada isthis: Canadian multiculturalism is an ideal form imprisoned within a national heartof darkness.36 To appreciate the stark failure of multiculturalism in Canada one mustunderstand the relationship between the federal government‘s definition andcontrol of Aboriginal peoples and how Canadian citizenship has evolved in thesocio-political landscape of our now mosaic nationalism. By achieving this insightwe can reflect on why the Indian Act (1876) is an unacknowledged corruption atthe core of Canadian multiculturalism. Multiculturalism has done little to engageor include Aboriginal peoples of Canada. At its most mercenary extreme, Canadianmulticulturalism is a political maneuvering used by the (‗white,‘ British heritage)political establishment to maintain decision-making power. The historical andongoing exclusion of Aboriginal peoples stems from a racial superiority complexidentifiable in British colonial governance activities central to the formation ofCanada. A legacy of imperial legislation and discriminatory historical practiceinforming current policies dooms the federal government‘s ability to address racialprejudice through multicultural policies and practices. A reflection of the duality of Canadian politics is that federal politicians, likeformer Minister of Indian Affairs, Jane Stewart, actually acknowledge these factsbut never embrace owning institutional prejudice within their departments oradvocate for wholesale changes to eliminate systemic racism in government: ‗Sadly, our history with respect to the treatment of Aboriginal people is not something in which we can take pride. Attitudes of racial and cultural superiority led to a suppression of Aboriginal culture and values. As a country, we are burdened by past actions that resulted in weakening the identity of Aboriginal peoples, suppressing their languages and cultures, and outlawing spiritual practices. We must recognize the impact of these actions on the once self-sustaining nations that were disaggregated, disrupted, limited or even25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 19. destroyed by the dispossession of traditional territory, by the relocation of Aboriginal people, and by some provisions of the Indian Act.‘ 37 (1998)Stewart‘s willingness to separate ‗some nasty provisions‘ of the Indian Act fromthe whole is indicative of government‘s forced apology and its holding to historicalprejudices. Despite its own recognized abuses of Aboriginal peoples, to this daythe Canadian government continues to advocate that its multiculturalism policy isan antidote to racism, prejudice, and discrimination. This opinion is contradictedby Aboriginal leaders like former National Chief, Assembly of First Nations, PhilFontaine: ―‗As far as Aboriginal people are concerned, racism in Canadian societycontinues to share our lives institutionally, systematically and individually. TheAboriginal Justice Inquiry in Manitoba, the Donald Marshall Inquiry in NovaScotia, the Cawsey Report in Alberta and the Royal Commission of AboriginalPeople all agree.‘‖38 Certainly not every Canadian views multiculturalism as a veneer coveringinstitutionalized racism traceable to a colonial past. But critics of multiculturalismoften share a prejudicial notion that cultures can be weighted in value making onegroup of human beings more preferable, valuable, than another. For example,American Victor Davis Hanson posts this comment on the ―Doctor Bulldog &Ronin: Conservative News, Views and Analysis of Events‖ website:―[M]ulticulturalism insisted that Western culture was the culprit for globalinequality and the cosmic unhappiness of the individual. We all are to embracedistinct and different cultures, none of them inferior to any other, all meriting equalconsideration and worth. No one dare suggest a foreign practice inferior, anothercountry less successful than our own—especially given our supposed history ofassorted sins.‖ 39Barbara Kay, a columnist for the equally conservative Canadian National Post,offers a typical example of insisting on cultural superiority in contradiction toracial equality: The underside of multiculturalism is its ideological root in West-bashing. Sometime around 1960, it was determined by a few French intellectuals (whose unintelligible gibberish other intellectuals pretended to understand) that the greatest criminals25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 20. against humanity in the history of the world weren‘t the Nazi and Communist murderers of 100 million people. Rather, it was European colonialists, who imposed their cultural values on their captive audience. Multiculturalism is idealistic in theory, but its real effect has been the entrenchment in our intellectual and cultural elites of an unhealthy obsession with a largely phantom racism amongst heritage Canadians that no amount of penance or cultural self- effacement can ever transcend. 40Kay‘s words reveal the conventional defensive posturing which occurs when theprivilege of (‗White‘) entitlement gets challenged. She writes from the position ofassumed privilege: ―In its ideological insistence on the equal value of all culturesother than ours (ours being the sole inferior one), multiculturalism‘s main‗accomplishment‘ has been to instill self-loathing in heritage Canadians, a sense ofresponsibility-free entitlement in identity groups, and the suffocation of criticaldiversity in the public form‖ (Kay). Who are these heritage Canadians Kay writesof? Any depiction of structural racism as a ‗phantom racism‘ is classic evidenceof denial within the empowered status quo. John Porter‘s seminal work VerticalMosaic: An Analysis of Social Class and Power in Canada (1965) demonstratedthat heritage Canadians, those originating from the French and British elites, haveprivileged positions not shared by other ethnic groups, least of all Aboriginals.41Frank G. Vallee writes: “Since 1965 several studies have shown that the picturesketched by Porter has been modified only slightly, [i.e.] there has been somelessening of the economic gap between ethnic groups, and people of French originare better represented in the political and bureaucratic spheres. The economic elite,still dominated by those of British origin, has changed very little.‖42 His opinion isshared by many others, including the late CBC journalist Larry Zolf : ―Canada is avertical mosaic. The top rungs of the mosaic are filled by the Anglo Saxons andFrench Canadians. The bottom rungs of the mosaic are filled by Canadas ethnicgroups. Multiculturalism does little to provide a level playing field.‖43 Since its legislative inception Canada has been defined in terms ofcontributions and battles between charter French and charter British. These two25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 21. immigrant groups populated the Province of Canada (1841-1867)44 prior to the firstBritish North America Act of 1867.45 The Act of Union (1840), passed July 23, 1840, by the British parliament and proclaimed by the Crown on February 10, 1841, merged the two colonies by abolishing the legislatures of Upper and Lower Canada and replacing them with a single legislative assembly. While this new legislature maintained equal representation for both of the former colonies, the democratic nature of Lower Canadas elections was fundamentally flawed. Despite the francophone majority in Lower Canada, most of the power was concentrated on the anglophone minority, who exploited the lack of a secret ballot to intimidate the electorate.46The truth of multiculturalism in Canada is irrevocably tied to legislative actsattempting to preserve its British political linage and the maintenance of traditionalpower (imbalances) structures within the country. The Durham Report of 1839,with its recommendations leading to the union of the Upper and Lower coloniesinto the Dominion of Canada, endeavoured to address the French challenge toEnglish sovereignty through an assimilation strategy: Durham recommended that Upper and Lower Canada be united into one province, which would give British Canadians a slight advantage in population. He also encouraged immigration to Canada from Britain, to overwhelm the existing numbers of French Canadians and hopefully assimilate them into British culture. The freedoms granted to the French Canadians under the Royal Proclamation of 1763 and the Quebec Act of 1774 should also be rescinded; according to Lord Durham this would eliminate the possibility of future rebellions. The French25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 22. Canadians did not necessarily have to give up their religion and language entirely, but it could not be protected at the expense of what Durham considered a more progressive British culture. 47 Durham, of course, was wrong and the assimilation of French culture has notbeen achieved. French cultural resistance became so entrenched in Canadianpolitics that it truly defined the national consciousness until the 1960s. TheEnglish/French duality continued to dominate the national identity crisis untilpoliticians struck upon the notion of multiculturalism. As envisioned by the 15thPrime Minister of Canada, Pierre Elliott Trudeau (1968-1979; 1980-1984), multi-culturalism was advanced to disengage Canada, and international gaze, from thegrowing intensity of the French separatist movement: ―Many in Quebec protestedthat multiculturalism was designed to undermine Quebec nationalism. Ottawa, theycharged, would use multiculturalism to thwart Quebecs aspirations by equating itwith ‗other‘ ethnic groups in Canada. Others feared that multiculturalism woulderode the rich British heritage of English-speaking Canada.‖ 48 Each of the two ‗others‘ feared both what multiculturalism would bring to it,and what advantages it could give to the other or more threateningly ‗the others.‘Regardless of the original political fears, the threat of Quebec rebellion remainsever at play in Canadian politics. In 1980 and again in 1995 Quebec heldreferendums seeking electoral support to separate from Canada; in 1995 ―themotion to decide whether Quebec should secede from Canada was defeated by avery narrow margin of: 50.58% "No" to 49.42% "Yes‖[.]‖ 49 With a mere 1.16% ofthe population standing against Quebec sovereignty it will/could only be a matterof time before French Separatists/Nationalists take Quebec from the Canadianunion. Very close to the majority of Quebec citizens do not see multiculturalism asa means to celebrate their Canadian inclusion. Until the 1960s, English and French Canada were (and to a large extentremain) two cultural solitudes fundamentally disinterested in any national dialoguesuggesting other ethnic claims on ownership of Canada‘s geography, contributionto an identifying cultural identity, shared rights to national belonging, or inclusivedefinitions of cultural nationhood. It remained that way until the findings of the1963 Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism.50 The Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism held hearings across Canada.25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 23. The commissioners heard about more than just English and French relations. Ethnic spokespersons everywhere argued that the old policy of assimilation was both unjust and a failure. . . . . To the surprise of many, the Commission seemed to agree. In Volume IV of its Report, the Commission presented the government with sweeping recommendations which would both acknowledge the value of cultural pluralism to Canadian identity and encourage Canadian institutions to reflect this pluralism in their policies and programs. When the policy was announced, it was one of multiculturalism within a bilingual framework.51In truth, the rush of immigrants after WWII saw previous leaders grappling withcitizenship demands from the growing numbers of non-English and non- French.These immigrants, once settled to comfort, turned to politics and wantedengagement opportunities. The increasing numbers of immigrants disenfranchisedfrom the conventional political power bases, and the lack of overt protection forcivil rights in a country denying its own racism and bigotry, was brought to theforefront of Canadian politics by the Royal Commission on Bilingualism andBiculturalism. Another politically sanctioned yet disempowering ‗otherness‘ wasformalized with the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Bilingualismand Biculturalism: the ‗pluralist Canadian.‘ Euphemistically referred to as the‗hyphenated-Canadian‘ this otherness reveals the incapacity of multiculturalism toprovide cohesion to the Canadian populace outside of making platitudinousgestures to motherhood statements valuing democratic principles. Multiculturalism has led to higher rates of naturalization than ever before. With no pressure to assimilate and give up their culture, immigrants freely choose their new citizenship because they want to be Canadians. As Canadians, they share the basic values of democracy with all other25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 24. Canadians who came before them. At the same time, Canadians are free to choose for themselves, without penalty, whether they want to identify with their specific group or not. Their individual rights are fully protected and they need not fear group pressures.52Very early, Canadians recognized the threats such a diluted nationalism couldbring. Early critics of multiculturalism, Larry Zolf and Laura Sabia, identify astructured disenfranchisement: I remember [,Zolf writes,] when Pierre Trudeau introduced multiculturalism in the 1970s. I wrote two pieces in Macleans magazine and did a CBC program condemning multiculturalism. I argued that multiculturalism made me, the son of an immigrant, inferior to Anglo Saxons and the French Canadians. Multiculturalism was putting me into a ghetto and was defining me as a Jew rather than as a proud and fully committed Canadian. I said I preferred a Canadian melting pot to multiculturalism. 53 I was born [, says Sabina,] and bred in this amazing land. Ive always considered myself a Canadian, nothing more, nothing less, even though my parents were immigrants from Italy. How come we have all acquired a hyphen? We have allowed ourselves to become divided along the line of ethnic origins, under the pretext of the "Great Mosaic[.]" A dastardly deed has been perpetuated upon Canadians by politicians whose motto is "divide and rule"... I am a Canadian first and foremost. Dont hyphenate me.5425 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 25. For the hyphenated-Canadian, Neil Bissoondath writes, ―[o]nes sense of belongingto the larger Canadian landscape is tempered by a loyalty to a different cultural orracial heritage.‖55 The confusion caused by this division of national loyaltybecame a way for entrenched political parties to use ‗cultural recognition‘ as adistraction to undermine true political engagement within Canada. 56 Multi-culturalism became a way to include growing numbers of ‗others‘ withoutchanging the existing hegemony within a traditionalist English/French federalistpolitical infrastructure. The framework for multiculturalism laid by the Royal Commission in 1963was essential to opening the immigration floodgates defining the presentdemography of Canada and with it our notion of the Cultural Mosaic took laterlegislative form. But this Canadian Mosaic did not include Aboriginals, then, ornow. Just six years after the Commission, in a 1969 White Paper (a policy proposaldocument), the Minister of Indian Affairs, Jean Chrétien (later Prime Minister from1993-2003), put forward the most aggressive assimilation strategy since the IndianAct of 1876.57 The federal government ―proposed the abolition of the Indian Act,the rejection of land claims, and the assimilation of First Nations people into theCanadian population with the status of other ethnic minorities rather than [as] adistinct group.‖ 58 The languages of the heritage groups were protected, yetmulticulturalism was being used to unseat/destroy the definitive ‗otherness‘ givento Aboriginals by Treaties. Clearly, the Government of Canada viewed Indians asbeing outside the ‗otherness‘ ascribed to non-English or French immigrants as itattempted to make Indians equivalent to them. What has never been embraced by the Canadian public is this: ―rather than[as] a distinct group‖ meant not with a heritage or charter group status.59 Due toAboriginal backlash, as evinced by the 1970 Citizens Plus (better known as theRed Paper) counter, the Trudeau government rescinded the White Paper in 1971(Helin 100) and reluctantly moved away from its overt position on assimilation in1973. The White Paper exists as evidence that the formal political denial of thelegitimacy of Aboriginal charter ‗otherness‘ was coterminous with the governmentsanctioned birth of the Canadian cultural mosaic. This fact remains unchanged tothis day even with the existence of revised or new land claims settlements withnon-Treaty Indians and Inuit. The Canadian Constitution has not been renewed toidentify Indians and Inuit as heritage partners in the Canadian Confederation. The rise of a Canadian multicultural nationalism, i.e., the Canadian Mosaic,while set in counterpoint to French separatism, maintained a traditional denial ofAboriginal heritage claims to forming a Canadian identity, but also provided25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 26. Trudeau era politicians/nationalists opportunity to differentiate Canada from theUSA.60 Much of Canadian nationalist fervour has been historically directed attelling ourselves that we are not ‗American.‘ As counterpoint to the national mythof the American cultural melting pot, the Canadian Mosaic was heralded as themore democratic of nationalisms, and decisively home-spun Canadian. Yousurrendered noting of your original ethnic identity by becoming Canadian. Finally,we had the ability to create our own national myth; and, it spelled the end of ourhistorical Canadian identity complex. Or so we thought. With political selfishness at its historical core, i.e. that is the preservation oftraditional political parties and provincial power bases, it is not surprising thatmulticulturalism has not advanced Canadian identity beyond the aspirations ofnational self-hood forged in the Canada Act of 1982.61 There are clear indicatorsthat we have regressed into an absolutely nonviable Canadian national identity, onesignalling decentralized partisanship and eventual dissolution. Canadianmulticulturalism has spawned a national identity found only on a passport ofconvenience. This weakness is but one of the four gifts of Canadianmulticulturalism to the (our) nation: a) Factionalism: creating and enabling ghettos claiming empowerment in what is structured cultural alienation, and political suppression.62 2) Idealization: misplacing tolerance and appreciation for diversity as nationalist sentiments sufficient to create political and cultural uniqueness in the world. 3) Mythologizing: privileging the unequal ‗other‘ with words unsupported by systemic change so as to maintain institutionalized racism and inequality. 4) Disintegration: multiculturalism is the forefather of emergent micro- nationalisms wherein affluent political groupings (e.g. Quebec, Western Canada, specifically Alberta and British Columbia) can rationalize and command increased degrees of political and economic separation within the Canadian Confederation. Aboriginal peoples rank ninth (1,172,790) of the 11 ghetto groups withgrowing presence in the Canadian political scene. 63 One can be mislead by theirsheer numbers and the statistics associated with them. In truth, many Aboriginalpopulations of Canada are diminishing and some will exist as small, invisibleminorities into the future. Yet we accept the falsehood of growth of ‗Indigenous‘25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 27. peoples in Canada. Why? There is a huge difference between definition ofIndigenous peoples and Aboriginal peoples in Canada. According to theGovernment of Canada, Aboriginal populations are the fastest growing in Canada,specifically in the western provinces. From 1996-2006 Aboriginal populationsincreased by 45%; the non-Aboriginal population grew only by 8%. But―Aboriginal languages, many of which are unique to Canada, are spoken by lessthan one percent of the population, and are mostly in decline.‖ 64 This loss oflanguage sustaining culture is the result of the federal government‘s historical andongoing assimilation strategies. A reasonable forecast would predict thatimmigrant Chinese have better chances of representing their languages in futureparliaments of Canada than present or future Aboriginals of Canada. The reasoningfor the prediction is complex but the underlining cause is straightforward: Becauseof Canadian legislation and law, ‗true‘ Aboriginal Canadians have not been (arenot) as free to practice their cultures and languages as other immigrants andresidents in Canadians. Institutionalized Aboriginal inequality can be traced to the very definition of‗Aboriginals‘ in Canada. When referencing Aboriginal peoples in Canada we arespeaking of three broad groupings representing more than 700 uniquecommunities. 65 These Aboriginals can be identified as First Nation or FirstNations (698,025) 66 which include all North American Indians in Canada, but notthree other Aboriginal groups of Canada, the Inuit, Métis, and the Metis who arenon-Métis. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC;formerly Indian and Northern Affairs Canada; ), one of 34 federal governmentdepartments providing services and programs to Aboriginals, defines Indian, Inuitand Métis as ‗Aboriginals‘ for official government purposes. AANDC‘s definitionof ‗original peoples‘ as Aboriginals is very problematic. The crux of the problemresides in a rather simple question. Are these peoples ‗original‘ to politicalagreements forming Canada or are they original to the lands (and are thereforeIndigenous to) forming the nation of Canada? The distinctions have greatconsequences impacting both Canadian history and future re-definitions ofCanadian nationhood and charter status. The first contradiction in definition of Canadian Aboriginals comes with thegovernment identification of the Inuit. The northern, arctic Inuit (50,485) signed nohistorical Treaties with Canada and are therefore excluded from the Indian Act of1876, and its subsequent amendments. The same is true for many First Nations inBritish Columbia. The Inuit have also been called Eskimo despite the culturaldifferences between some Inuit and ‗Eskimo‘ peoples.67 While the term Inuit ispromoted as an acceptable cultural label for those once pejoratively identified as25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 28. ‗Eskimo,‘ Inuit is also being used by government officials to reference Innu, whoare not Inuit. The Inuit peoples‘ traditional lands were expropriated after 1870when the Northwest Territories were formed.68 The Inuit began land claimnegotiations in 1970s. In 1999 they were given ‗ownership‘ of the federal Territorythey named Nunavut69 (Our Land). This newest federal territory was defined in theNunavut Lands Claims Settlement Act 1999. The territory is the largest of any otheror province of Canada; it‘s about the size of Western Europe. AANDC/INAC officially references all First Nation peoples as Indians anddivides them into two categories.70 The sub-grouping defines them as either Treatyor Status Indian or Non-Treaty, non-Status ―Indian.‖ 71 The lack of specifiedcultural recognition as it relates to tribes, clans and bands is first perceived as amatter of efficacy and expediency; you cannot be Treaty without one or the otheraffiliations of tribe, clan or band. The problem, however, is the lack of recognitionfor cultural differences and uniqueness within the Indian populations. Indiansmore readily conform to cultural stereotyping when presented as a homogenousgrouping of uncivilized savages belonging to primitive or welfare culturestraceable to colonial Treaties. The Indian Act (1867), outside of recognizing Treaty signatories forassignment of reservations and entitlement to federal benefits, is indicative of howdeep racial profiling inculcates the legislative and bureaucratic systems. The use of‗First Nations‘ by Indian leaders is set as a counter measure to an Indian Status thatdenies their cultural differences and rich diversity as not one but many peopleswith rightful heritage status. 72 For AANDC/INAC, there are only two kinds of‗Indians‘ to be considered, Status and non-Status, regardless of there being morethan 600 registered Bands and Councils. Why has there been denial of the‗otherness‘ representing diversity within the First Nations communities? Theanswer lies in the complexity of how ‗otherness‘ is used to isolate, and excludefrom the inner circle. The inverse is also true, of course. ‗Otherness‘ can be a markof political and aesthetic distinction wherein the conventional position ofpowerlessness is inverted to a place of empowered privilege. For example, Kay‘sheritage Canadians are ‗other‘ than immigrant Canadians; and, identically, Zolf‘sJewish-Canadians are lesser than heritage English/ French Canadians. ‗Indian‘ hasfunctioned similarly. More pernicious than discrimination against non-heritage Canadians is thefact that denial of Indian ‗otherness‘ in Canadian multiculturalism originates fromhistorical practice targeting physical destruction (assimilation) of First Nations‘cultures and (Treaties anticipated genocide) peoples. There has been, and still25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 29. exists, a palpable fear of formal recognition for Indian charter presence inCanadian nation building. Historical knowledge of the validity of this charterpresence is evident in the very colonial legal system used in attempting toannihilate and assimilate Indian peoples in Canada. The Canadian Indian Register(1951) 73was first a business ledger identifying those Status Indians entitled toTreaty benefits. On no occasion has the Indian Register been used to promote orprotect Indians; its historical purpose was to enable Indian Agents and governmentofficials the ability to track individuals for enfranchisement purposes, measure theeffectiveness of elimination of bands/tribes and clans by reduction of membership,and weigh the overall effectiveness of assimilation practices. Like the word‗Indian,‘ ‗Aboriginal‘ also carries a high degree of denied socio-politicalcomplexity in Canada. "Aboriginal peoples" is a collective name for the original peoples of North America and their descendants. The Canadian constitution recognizes three groups of Aboriginal people: Indians (commonly referred to as First Nations), Métis and Inuit. These are three distinct peoples with unique histories, languages, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs. More than one million people in Canada identify themselves as an Aboriginal person, according to the 2006 Census. AANDC/INAC74But, there are in fact more than three distinct peoples as the word ‗Indian‘ deniessociological and heritage differences. Like Indians, not all Métis75 come from thesame heritage or share customary beliefs. Most Canadians, including its politiciansand bureaucrats writing legislation, would not be able to identify ―Metis‖ culturedue to the label‘s lack of definitive status.76 Moreover, use of the phrasing ‗originalpeoples‘ is coming under increasing opposition. Métis are the fastest growing of the three Aboriginal groupings (389,785)identified by AANDC/INAC. 77 There is a strengthening disagreement as to theprominence of French ancestry in the definition Métis culture: ―The Métis peoplesof Canada are descended of marriages of Cree, Ojibway, Algonquin, Saulteaux,Menominee, Mikmaq, Maliseet, and other First Nations to Europeans, mainlyFrench.‖78 The Métis of Canada have neither Federal Treaty nor Federal25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 30. Territorial status. The Province of Alberta79 is the only location in Canada wherethere are reserved provincial lands with dedicated financial resources for MetisSettlements. And in Alberta, by evidence not just taken from the Queen‘s Printer,there is no imposition of French culture origins on ―Metis‖ as the French spellingof Métis is eschewed in the formal government legislation recognizing them. 80From this distinction it is clear that the Government of Alberta references a distinctMetis group as opposed to the federal government of Canada‘s use of French‗Métis‖ to cover all those with a ‗Metis‘ heritage. The federal government does nothave a Métis Registry; it does not issue Status Identity Cards to Métis; INAC doesnot even attempt to define Métis status yet references them as a distinct andoriginating people. This challenge of cultural definition has been left to theCanadian legal system. Various Métis organizations throughout Canada use thedefinition of a recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling ( 2003)81 to proofMétis/Metis status: a) self-identification (with no quantification of bloodlines), b)affiliation with a Métis community (community identifiers not defined), and c)acceptance by the Métis community as being Métis (does not anticipate shunning). While one often sees reference to the Metis Nation of Alberta or the MétisNation of Labrador, the Government of Canada does not recognize either as aheritage group, nor does it appear to understand that they are not one nation. Muchlike the INAC use of Indian, Métis is a catch all label for a rich cultural diversity.There is belief that Bill C31 of 1985 anticipates the loss of Treaty Status for themajority of Canada‘s Indians and the ultimate elimination of reservations. In time,through intermarriage of Treaty with non-Treaty Indians, Métis, Metis, or others, itis possible for Indians to lose Treaty Status but nevertheless legitimately claim tobe Métis or Metis. Of course, this activity is not supported by either the MétisNation of Labrador (who claim no singularly French origins) and the Metis Nationof Alberta (some of whom do possess Red River ancestry) who purport to bedistinct in cultures from Indians and Inuit. On Friday . . . [June 30, 2009] the Alberta Court of Appeals issued a very interesting ruling regarding Albertas Metis Settlement[s] Act: Cunningham v. Alberta (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development), 2009 ABCA 239. Under the statute as it stood, most people who were registered Indians or Inuk could not become members of a Metis settlement and those members who became registered Indians or25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 31. Inuk82 would lose their settlement membership. The case arose out of local politics in the Peavine [Metis] Settlement, but the implications seem much broader. The effect of the decision, should it stand, is to remove any statutory bar to Indians and Inuk to be members of a Metis settlement due to their Indian/Inuk status alone and the exception to that bar of specific council by- laws or General Council policy. In other words, the Province can no longer explicitly deny Metis settlement membership based on an individuals Indian/Inuk status, nor can an individual settlement council, on a whim, remove or instate members based on their Indian/Inuk status. The court rejected both a s. 25 Charter argument and a request to delay the effect of the act. (James Muir) 83 As Métis use the legal and legislative systems to gain increased access tofederal Aboriginal funding, seek land claims settlements in courts, and exerciseland use rights previously held exclusive by Indians, whether Status or not, there isincreased anxiety over ongoing federal financial obligations unanticipated in theIndian Act. 84 Moreover, the thought of non-Status Indians and Treaty Indiansbecoming Alberta Metis, in a place where the historical cry has been ‗Indians areAlbertans, too!‘, is indicative of disagreement between federal and provincialjurisdictions over funding obligations to Metis/Métis and Status, Non-StatusIndians in Alberta. There is growing resentment between Indians and Métis inCanada as Indians see Métis threatening exclusive Treaty rights by accessingfederal dollars once used exclusively for their ‗Aboriginal‘ peoples. The strengthof the Métis lobby as well as its numbers is increasing with time and they willeventually outnumber Status Indians into the near future. The impact of the growth of Metis numbers, within the existing definition ofMétis, might not as drastically impact Indians as indicated. Not all current ‗metis‘are themselves Métis. Métis were first identified as the offspring and cultureproduced by unions between French culture Catholics and plains Cree in Manitoba.Their cultures and languages melded and developed unique and distinguishingattributes from either of their progenitors. They were and are the Red River Métis.Independent of Cree nation leadership, though certainly not without Cree aid and25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 32. shared sympathies as the Frog Lake Massacre suggests,85 Red River Métis engagedin armed conflict against the Dominion Government of Canada86 first in what wasto become Manitoba and later Saskatchewan. These are known as the Red River(1869-1870) and North West (1885) Rebellions.87 Under the leadership of LouisRiel88 the Red River Métis fought for land ownership rights and rights afforded byordinary citizenship, including freedom to use language and Catholic religiousexpression in education. These Métis had a recognized historical status, as a groupdistinct from French, English and Cree, prior to the Rebellions and the legislativeformation of Canada itself.89 They engaged in what was a war for civil rights,albeit a conflict relegated to the status of rebellion only, against the governingforces of the time to protect their rights of citizenship, and belonging to the land. It was in part due to the recognition of the Red River Métis as a people thatthe word métis was used as a slur and a derogatory for identification of ‗half-breeds‘ without the identifying French/Cree cultural origins of the Red RiverMétis. Today, some would prefer that métis, without the capitalization, apply tothose not drawing lineage from the Red River Métis. Yet, by definition of theCanadian government these ‗métis‘ are also Métis; those who trace their bloodlinesor cultures to the French/Cree originating Red River Métis. The federalgovernment‘s use of the term Métis may simply be a recognition of historical fact(one with unintended consequences due to lack of insight) and a heritage gesture toQuebec French in acknowledging that their ancestry is evident in the Métis. Utilizing the same government logic, however, the Métis could never claimthe indigenous status of Indians or take any greater hold on contributions tofounding Canada than the militarily beaten and twice sold French citizens of theformer British colonies founding Canada.90 Canada‘s wars against the French,Indians, and Métis were won by the British establishment and those victories wereinherited by their varied descendants who established the ruling English culture ofCanada. Yet, a former Federal Minister of Indian Affairs, Jane Stewart, inannouncing ―Gathering Strength - Canada‘s Aboriginal Action Plan,‖ (7 January1998) claimed that the Métis existed as a people prior to the arrival of Europeans inNorth America. The factual inaccuracy is predicated on the underlining assumptionthat Métis are merely half-breed Indians, not a culturally distinct group of people:―The ancestors of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples lived on this continentlong before explorers from other continents first came to North America.‖91Perhaps the comment is just a gratuitous nod to Métis peoples‘ cultural originspredating the political formalization of Canada; a sloppy, historically inaccuratecomment at best, but one rife with Canadian contradiction. Minister Stewart‘scomments also reveal the muddled, ‗half-breed‘ thinking at work when25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 33. AANDC/government speaks of Métis status. For the Métis to have residencystatus prior to the arrival of European explorers they would be Indigenous half-breeds, of Indian cultural contexts alone, and therefore are irrevocably original.Before the arrival of European French, and others, there was no Métis/Metisancestry as Métis/Metis are by self-identification not Indians. Metis/Métis have noancestry in North America prior to the arrival of persons from other continents asthey did not exist as a people or culture, let alone nation, prior to those arrivals. Is it possible that the federal government actually sees the Red River Métisas a charter group influencing the formation of Canada but is denying this heritagestatus by including non-heritage Metis in the same grouping? Regardless ofStewart‘s intended purposes, Aboriginal status flowing from the use of Métisdesignation is not without further contemporary legal and intellectual challenge.There is perhaps implicit Federal Government recognition of the Métis as aculturally diverse ethnic group without any connection to formational, and charterFrench heritage. In preaching its bilingual multiculturalism government has todeny the privilege commanded by charter status as it demands the rewriting ofCanadian history. Further, recognition of charter status itself proves to be a barrierto the supposed equality shared by ethnic groups within Canada. Consideration ofcharter status also draws attention to how the political infrastructure of Canadaevolved while perpetuating this denial through discrimination and prejudice.Failure to publically recognize massive differences within the Métis groupingmaintains an historical segregation based on promoting the simplicity oruniformity of Aboriginal cultures, and supports one dimensional views of these‗others.‘ Representing all Métis as one cultural grouping is not unlike the federal useof ‗Indian‘ to describe all North American Indians in Canada, other than the Inuit.Why hasn‘t the government privileged the Red River Métis (who would qualify asa nation using the United Nations‘ definition) as a Canadian charter group differentfrom other Metis? The manoeuvring has to be strategic as it contradicts historicalfact and reasonable interpretation. For example, one can see evidence of culturaluniqueness amongst Labrador Métis92 who originate from unions betweenEuropeans and Inuit peoples. But Labrador Métis (whose cultural lineage likelypredates the birth of the very first Red River Métis by at least one hundred years),now also references a bloodline tied to Innu, not Inuit ancestors, some of whom areeither the cultural offspring of Newfoundland and Labrador Naskapi and Innu93and Newfoundland English/French cultures or Quebec French/English and Innu,non-Innu cultures of Quebec.94 Labrador Metis came to use Métis for politicalexpediency, only. Métis also references urban Ontario and rural British Columbia25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 34. Métis with or without French linage, contemporary French and English Red RiverMétis, and the Metis living on Kikino, Buffalo Lake and Fishing Lake MetisSettlements in Alberta. The latter grouping can take their origins from Blood, Creeor Dene tribes (and others) mixed with English, French, Ukrainian, Italian,Lebanese, and other resident and non-resident Alberta cultures, plus the Red RiverMétis. According to affiliation with the various settlements, these are AlbertaMetis not necessarily the federally recognized Métis. Or are they? Perhaps a focus on Métis difference is merely the effect of a rhetoricalargument focussing on grammatical error, or an appropriation of a FrenchCanadian word into English Canadian language? The latter seems plausible, but ithardly explains the complexity evident in historical and contemporary culturaldifferences. Cynics of wholesale Métis Aboriginal status legitimately ask: How aremixed blood lines and cultures of contemporary ‗Métis any different than othermixed, community-based (or not) unions in a nation where mixed culturalmarriages are rising?95 ―The 2006 Census recorded a 33% rise since 2001 in thenumber of mixed unions (marriage or common-law) involving a visible minorityperson with either a non-visible minority person or a person of a different visibleminority. This was more than five times the increase of 6% for all couples.‖96When asking the question in the context of Métis Aboriginal status and the specialrights, privileges and services given to Aboriginals in Canada we can anticipatethat Canadians will force a clearer definition of Métis as the financial obligationsof taxpayers increases with growth in Métis numbers. Not surprisingly, for many Canadians Métis has come to represent thosepersons with documented North American Indian and ‗other‘ bloodlines. There isresentment in Canada that Métis have wholesale Aboriginal status without alimiting definition of culture. While the Red River Métis seem to have solidified aonce denied place in the charter formation of Canada, i.e. by their presence in theRed River and the North West Rebellions, there is little to suggest that theLabrador Métis, for example, are any more or less a charter group than theoffspring produced by union of First Nations and the Chinese who built theCanadian National Railway. Ancestors of these current (mythical?) Chinese/Aboriginal Métis were instrumental in joining Canada ‗From Sea to Sea.‘ TheLabrador Métis became Canadian citizens, by default, when Newfoundland joinedConfederation in 1949. We‘ll also note that the official title of the province didn‘tinclude Labrador until 2001.97 So, perhaps the Labrador Métis were rightfully anation unto themselves prior to that time. Are Labrador Métis born before 1949pre- Canada ‗original people‘? And, if so, are they not then ‗indigenous‘ relative toCanadian history and its geography? These are not playful conundrums but serious25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 35. inquiries influencing historical revisionism of charter history in Canada. Our socialwelfare system will inevitably pay for what lawyers must invariably decide: Whatare the Aboriginal rights of non-Treaty Aboriginal peoples? There is a crisis emerging over the cultural authenticity of self-identificationof Métis, outside of Alberta. For those without racial prejudices, it identifies acultural belonging; but, not one warranting access to taxpayer dollars once fundingonly Treaty obligations. For others, the term still references half-bred sociallydependent communities unable and unwilling to take responsibility for their owncommunity and individual dependencies. Most Canadians are oblivious as to thecultural sophistication and diversity of Métis peoples. When defined by FederalGovernment policy and action, Métis have no uniquely identifying languages (i.e.Michif) 98 and no cultural practices that would make them a single grouping. Likethe failure to differentiate between Indians as belonging to clans, tribes or nations,the acknowledgement of the Métis in Canada does not give them accuratedistinction or establish them as diverse communities. The effect is to consciouslydevalue cultural richness by ignoring its complexity. Moreover, it is clear that theCanadian public will demand a clearer definition of Métis as Aboriginals into thefuture. Métis, therefore, are Aboriginal but are certainly not any more distinct, i.e.meaningful to Canadian history, than other cultures in the Canadian mosaic. The placement and naming of Aboriginals within the Canadian confederacyhas been at best awkward, contradictory and discriminatory. Pre-Confederationlegislators and their British counterparts did not see Aboriginals as being worthy ofthe rights of citizenship prior to the formation of Canada, or afterwards. Thisexclusion was made on the basis that Indians were not considered as persons. TheIndian Act stipulated ―the definition of ‗person‘ which was in the statute until 1951as: "an individual other than an Indian." 99 Until 1947 all citizens of Canada,except non-enfranchised Indians,100 ―were defined as British subjects‖ (cf. Dewingand Leman) including the French of Canada.101 There was no legal status of beingCanadian until the passing of the Canadian Citizenship Act 1946 in 1947. In 1947enfranchised Indians became, by default, Canadian Citizens but were held as wardsof the federal government nevertheless: ―In June 1956, Section 9 of the CitizenshipAct was amended to grant formal citizenship to Status Indians and Inuit,retroactively as of January 1947.‖102 No Indians, despite their being madeCanadian Citizens in 1947 and again in 1956, could exercise the right to vote infederal elections until 1960; changes made to the Indian Act in 1927 made it apunishable crime for an Indian to seek or retain legal counsel or have legalrepresentation in court.10325 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 36. Indians would wait until the passing of Bill C31 (1985), an amendment tothe Indian Act, to see their enfranchisement status addressed once again. Bill C31returned some one hundred thousand persons back to their Indian Status. It did not,however, herald the cessation of so-called Indian emancipation, i.e. assimilationpolicies. Bill C31 is widely known as the ‗Abocide Bill.‘ Aboriginal leaders claimthat its application anticipates the elimination of Treaty, Indian Status. Harry W.Daniels says that Bill C31 will ―accelerate the extermination policies—theintegration of Canada‘s Indian population into mainstream society—that havealways been at the heart of the federal Indian Act regime.‖104 Daniels is identifyinga form of systemic racism built into federal government policy and bureaucraticsystems, specifically those used for naming Status Indians. Herein we see evidencethat ‗otherness‘ has far-reaching implications for Status Indians into the future. To suggest that the Indian Act and its amendment Bill C31 is withoutnegative intention is to ignore multiple historical examples of the backward,uninformed, and racially biased political thinking guiding INAC, both historicallyand currently. Much of this failing is traceable to the Indian Act itself. The Indian Act seems out of step with the bulk of Canadian law. It singles out a segment of society -- largely on the basis of race -- removes much of their land and property from the commercial mainstream and gives the Minister of [then INAC], and other government officials, a degree of discretion that is not only intrusive but frequently offensive. The Act has been roundly criticized on all sides: many want it abolished because it violates normative standards of equality, and these critics tend to be non-Aboriginal; others want First Nations to be able to make their own decisions as self-governing polities and see the Act as inhibiting that freedom. Even within its provisions, others see unfair treatment as between, for example, Indians who live on reserve and those who reside elsewhere. In short, this is a statute of which few speak well. (Henderson‘s Annotated Indian Act) 10525 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 37. The legislative legacy guiding the Indian Act and AANDC/ INAC is also rife withevidence of discriminatory and illegal practices. Two obvious examples are theResidential Schools (1850-1969) and the Western Canada Pass System (1885-1930s). 106 Here there is credence that the Government of Canada intentionally andwith certain malice abrogated human rights based on racist policies and practices.Even when government stopped exercising its legislative powers, due to theknowledge of the illegality of its actions and with knowledge of criminal activityundertaken in the name of the Crown, it failed to act in a conscientious and timelyfashion. The Pass System came into effect at the beginning of the NorthwestResistance in1885. 107 Its logic was to restrict movement of Indians to reserves soas to prevent them from joining the Métis rebellion. Introduced as a temporarypower enabling the Indian Agent to restrict movement of persons, the Pass Systemremained in place after the rebellion was put down. ―While neither the Indian Actnor any other legislation allowed the Department of Indian Affairs [(forerunner toINAC)] to institute such a system, and it was known by government lawyers to beillegal as early as 1892, the Pass System continued to be enforced‖ into the mid-1930s (Hutchins). The Pass System remained available to Indian Affairs and itsdelegates until it was removed from the Indian Act in1951. The atrocities of the Residential School system drew from the ―the pre-confederation Gradual Civilization Act (1857) and the Gradual EnfranchisementAct (1869). These assumed the inherent superiority of British ways, and the needfor Indians to become English-speakers, Christians, and farmers. At the time,Aboriginal leaders wanted these acts overturned.‖ 108 In his 11 June 2008 speech ofapology to the victims of residential schools, the current Prime Minister of Canada,Stephen Harper stated: ‗Two primary objectives of the residential schools system were to remove and isolate children from the influence of their homes, families, traditions and cultures, and to assimilate them into the dominant culture. These objectives were based on the assumption aboriginal cultures and spiritual beliefs were inferior and unequal. Indeed,25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 38. some sought, as it was infamously said, `to kill the Indian in the child. Today, we recognize that this policy of assimilation was wrong, has caused great harm, and has no place in our country.‘109 This apology was one of three issued to ‗others‘ whose rights weretransgressed because of prejudice. Previously, in 2006 Harper apologized on thepart of Canada for its application of a Chinese Head Tax (1923-1947).110 In hisapology, Harper stated: ―For over six decades, these malicious measures, aimedsolely at the Chinese, were implemented with deliberation by the Canadian state . . . . This was a grave injustice, and one we are morally obligated toacknowledge.‖ 111 Prime Minister Brian Mulroney‘s 1988 apology to JapaneseCanadians interred112 during WWII also had a similar tenor: "I know that I speakfor Members on all sides of the House today in offering to Japanese Canadians theformal and sincere apology of this Parliament for those past injustices againstthem, against their families, against their heritage, and our solemn commitmentand undertaking to Canadians of every origin that such violations will never againin this country be countenanced or repeated" (September 22, 1988).113 Why did it take 20 long years from the first national apology to a groupsuffering prejudice for the Government of Canada to address the miseries inflictedon Aboriginals by the Residential Schools system? Denial and prejudice werecauses of delay; the failure to apply criminal charges and seek civil suits on estatesof individuals and organization now deceased/defunct were not undertaken.Government did not embrace its institutional legacy in ownership of the residentialschools scandal. Government launched a financial compensation package andprepares for reconciliation, still. Were Chinese and Japanese Canadians moreinfluential and affluent or important to the government? Or was it the consequenceof world events wherein other nations had already gone forward in acceptance ofresponsibility for Residential Schools in their own lands? We shouldn‘t neglect thefact that First Nations were then, 20 years later, better represented in the politicalsphere and their leaders more adept in national politics. One must assume that allof these pressures had a role to play in the government‘s apology. The Government of Canada has never officially apologized for the IndianAct, despite the horror and countless sufferings it has brought to Aboriginalpeoples in Canada. If history teaches us, it will be at least two decades more beforegovernment matures enough in its thinking to address this Great Canadian Shame.25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 39. This lack of maturity is most evident in ongoing relations between AANDC/INACand First Nations. A sad example of AANDC/INAC and health officials notdemonstrating adequate respect and knowledge of First Nations cultures arose withconcerns over the H1N1 virus. On the 16th of September 2009 Heath Canada sentadditional body bags to indigenous Manitoba communities in anticipation ofincreased deaths due to the H1N1 flu. Previous swine flu epidemics had seen moreincidents of deaths on reserves than off. In the early spring of 2009 Heath Canadaofficials had forecasted higher than average incidents of the H1N1 flu due todomestic crowding, poor sanitation, and overall lower rates of wellness inAboriginal populations on reserves and in settlements. While senior bureaucrats and politicians attempted to explain away theominous supplies on the basis of community remoteness and necessary advancedpreparation they failed to address the fundamental problem: a deep lack of culturalrespect and sensitivity. In this particular group of First Nations cultures it isconsidered inappropriate to prepare for death in this manner; you do not welcomedeath to come to you. The body bags are symbolic of the ‗Indian Agent‘ mentalityat the heart of AANDC. And, at the time, no one drew parallels to the use of smallpox blankets in the eighteenth century, but there was a sense of omen felt in theAboriginal communities.114 Grand Chief David Harper, who represents northern [Manitoba] First Nations, says body bags send the wrong message and no one can understand why Ottawa would do such a thing. ‗It really makes me wonder if health officials know something we don‘t,‘ he said. ‗I have a right to speak for my people. I make a plea to the people of Canada to work with us to ensure the lowest fatalities from this monster virus. Dont send us body bags. Help us organize; send us medicine.‘ 115 For Chief Harper, the error in judgement is inexcusable. There is a directline from the existing AANDC/INAC to its ministry ancestors first applying theIndian Act and its various amendments since 1867. If any department ofgovernment should demonstrate acute knowledge of all First Nations‘ cultures it isAANDC/INAC. Little wonder an apology was issued to all First Nations ofCanada: ―Jim Wolfe, director of First Nations and Inuit Health for Manitoba,25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 40. issued his own apology and took the blame. He said his department regrets thealarm the shipment has caused in those communities, which were hard hit by theH1N1 flu virus in the spring. Wolfe said the apology goes out to all First Nationsin the country, not just those who received the bags.‖ 116 There has been no national discussion as to why the Canadian public and itslegislative bodies continue to support discrimination against Aboriginal peoples.The crux of the issue lies with continued acceptance of the institutionalized racismsymbolized by the Indian Act. There can be no excising of latent discriminatorypractices until we as a nation take action against it. The ugly truth is one thatundermines us: Canada was built from a position of race superiority inherited fromits colonial origins. Apologizing for single instances of legislative racism does notindicate its historical preponderance or presence. No Canadian would agree to asystem that brutalized children? But, we did. The sad truth was that these were notEngland‘s children in the true sense of the term; they were the offspring of non-persons, others, useless savages in need of education and Christianity. Some wouldnecessarily be sacrificed for the greater good of Canada. Even with a brief glimpseof AANDC/INAC history, its guiding legislation and bureaucracy we should befearful of asking: How far are we from this position of willful discriminationtoday? The governmental apologies teach us that we have not embraced the existingracism of our socio-political culture. Canadians are in denial. By failing to embracethe reality of the racism forming Canada, we historicize discriminatory practiceinto instances of failure and ignore racism‘s insipient presence in thecontemporary. The very political systems that enacted and facilitated these crimesremain intact. Even after identifying catastrophic failures in practice and policythe systems at fault continue to evolve, never being held accountable for pastfailings. We approach such matters in the context of being politically correct, tochampion our multicultural sensitivity. No one has seen the need to review thelegislative process of Canada to ensure it is actually free from the disease ofdiscriminatory practice. No extensive public dialogue on racism occurs in Canadayet government claims that multiculturalism addresses racism. There can be notrue multiculturalism in Canada until this dialogue occurs and an apology for theIndian Act is given. When this occurs, it will necessitate a wholesale review ofwhat multiculturalism meant and could mean for Canada. Revising Canadian multiculturalism to address systemic racism ingovernance systems will mean changes to the Canadian Constitution Act 1982. Weneed to excise the historical ugliness of our colonial roots and re-open the25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 41. discussion on Canadian identity. Until the Canada Act (1982) Canada was stilllegally dependent upon the British parliament. England‘s Queen Elizabeth II stillremains head of the Canadian state. Canada‘s clinging to a vestige of colonialparenthood is symptomatic of our historical struggle with identifying a nationalidentity and a national consciousness. In part, this is why Canadian politicians havelooked so favourable upon multiculturalism to be the antidote to our national crisis.In truth, Canadian politicians are blind to the practical reasons leading us toembrace multiculturalism in the first instance. Instead they foolishly claim thatprofession of human kindness, tolerance and respect for others as distinctlyCanadian attributes. Can a national identity be built from such a generic paradigm?Are we so naive to assume that no other nation of the world has comparablesympathies for recognizing difference? Canada must move towards definition of a Canadian yet global citizenshipwithin our nation if we are to have a 21st century nationalist identity. A globalCanadian citizenship will enable effective homeland security and protect us fromdissolution in to min-nation states. This change will only occur with the rethinkingof multiculturalism in its present form and wholesale change to the federalgovernment‘s ideological base. A first step is engaged national dialogue on raceand national identity; a second, the dissolution of the Indian Act and theestablishment of a new social contract and service management structure forAboriginal peoples within Canada.25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 42. 1 The term multiculturalism generally refers to the acceptance of various culturaldivisions for the sake of diversity that applies to the demographic make-up of aspecific place, usually at the scale of an organization such as a school, business,neighborhood, city or nation. ( ―Some countries have official or de jure policies of multiculturalism . . . . In thiscontext, multiculturalism advocates a society that extends equitable status todistinct ethnic and religious groups, with no identifiable ethnic, religious, and/orcultural community values around which to unite.‖ ( ―When the Liberal government, under Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau,announced in 1971 that Canada would be following a Multiculturalism Policy, itwas the first national government in the world to do so.‖ (Heritage CommunityFoundation)4 (Government of Canada) ―This Charter shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the preservation andenhancement of the multicultural heritage of Canadians. . . . Every individual isequal before and under the law and has the right to equal protection and equalbenefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discriminationbased on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age, or mental orphysical disability.‖ (Government of Canada) (Government of Canda) (Leman) (Government of Canada) ndex.asp9 (Government of Canada) “The ten provinces are Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick,Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island,Quebec, and Saskatchewan, while the three territories are Northwest Territories,Nunavut, and Yukon.‖ ( February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 43. 11 ( (Hutchings) ―Canada‘s First Nations: A Legacy of Institutional Racism‖ Quoted at a Liberal Leadership convention by Barbara Kay and not made indirect reference to the existing quotation. (Kay) ―When, for instance, war broke out between Croatia and Serbia, a member of theOntario legislature, who was of Croatian descent, felt justified in declaring: I dontthink Id be able to live next door to a Serb. That he was speaking of a fellowCanadian was irrelevant. Over there mattered more than over here - and thecultural group dictated the loyalty. Ironic for a country that boasted about itsleading role in the fight against apartheid.‖ (Bissoondath) ―Thousands of Canadians fought in the American Civil War on both sides. TheRoman Catholic Church raised a unit of several hundred French Canadianvolunteers to serve in the Papal Zouaves in Italy in the late 1860s. PolishCanadians served in the Haller Army in Poland in 1919-1920; over 1,500volunteers from Canada served in the International Brigades during the SpanishCivil War (1936-1939); Finnish Canadians served in the Winter War against theSoviet Union; volunteers from the Jewish community served in the Israeli War forIndependence and, more recently, thousands of Canadians served in the U.S. armedforces during the Vietnam War. All these volunteers from Canada served in foreignwars long before the policy of multiculturalism was announced in 1971. [We notethat Canadians fought on both sides of the Serbian/ Croatian War.]‖ (Momryk) ( (Government of Canada) ―According to the 2006 census, English and French are the preferred languages("home language", or language spoken most often in the home) of 67.1% and21.5%, respectively. . . . The five most widely-spoken non-official languages are25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 44. Chinese (the home language of 2.6% of Canadians), Punjabi (0.9%), Spanish(0.7%), Italian (0.6%), and Dutch (0.6%).‖ ( ( (Sun Media Editorial) John Moss‘ Patterns of Isolation (1974) identifies the importance of alienation inthe formation of the Canadian psyche. His was often seen as a counterview toMargaret Atwood‘s Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature (1972).23 ―These are the challenges facing the two linguistic solitudes within Canada, butvery few of these challenges are actually addressed in its national politics, wherenumb is the word. Thanks to some magic managerial skill by the governingLiberals, immigrants keep delivering themselves to it as voting blocs and rarelyconsider the more pro-immigration New Democratic Party as an alternative. Thesacrosanct notions ―bilingualism‖, ―multiculturalism‖ and a ―country ofimmigrants‖ have strange careers indeed. If left unquestioned in Canada today,they will just help keep the old governing structures intact.‖ (Perovic)24 National Identity in Canada and Cosmopolitan Community (1997) by H.Raymond Samuels. ―The book presents Canada as a nascent cosmopolitancommunity, that continues to be repressed by a legacy of institutionalized racismand colonialism. Indeed colonialism associated with institutionalizedconservatism, continues to undermine the constitutional development of Canada asa socially progressive society, and as a Canadian Superpower, in defence ofhuman rights, and social justice, internationally. This book also presents aconstitutional context toward the rejuvenation and constitutional renaissance ofCanada.‖ (Google Books: Review) ―The patriation of the Canadian Constitution was achieved in 1982 when the25British and Canadian parliaments passed parallel acts – the Canada Act, 198225 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 45. ([UK] 1982, c.11) in London, and the Constitution Act 1982 in Ottawa. Thereafter,the United Kingdom was formally absolved of any remaining responsibility for, orjurisdiction over, Canada; and Canada became responsible for her own destiny. Ina formal ceremony on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, the Queen signed both acts intolaw on April 17, 1982.‖ Nothing in the Canadian Citizenship Act (1977) states that persons joining the 31-32 million in this country have accountability for previous acts of the Canadiangovernment and its citizens. In fact, there is no definition of what the duties of anordinary citizen might even be. The Oath of Citizenship for new Canadians is: ―Iswear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her MajestyQueen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I willfaithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen‖ The term multiculturalism generally refers to the acceptance of various culturaldivisions for the sake of diversity that applies to the demographic make-up of aspecific place, usually at the scale of an organization such as a school, business,neighborhood, city or nation. ( ―Some countries have official or de jure policies of multiculturalism . . . . In thiscontext, multiculturalism advocates a society that extends equitable status todistinct ethnic and religious groups, with no identifiable ethnic, religious, and/orcultural community values around which to unite.‖ ( The first use of the term mosaic to refer to Canadian society was by John MurrayGibbon, in his 1938 book Canadian Mosaic. Gibbon clearly disapproved of theAmerican melting-pot concept. He saw the melting pot as a process by whichimmigrants and their descendants were encouraged to cut off ties with theircountries and cultures of origin so as to assimilate into the American way of life.( “The Royal Proclamation of 1763 was issued October 7, 1763, by King GeorgeIII following Great Britains acquisition of French territory in North America afterthe end of the French and Indian War/Seven Years War. The purpose of theproclamation was to organize Great Britains new North American empire and tostabilize relations with Native North Americans through regulation of trade,25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 46. settlement, and land purchases on the western frontier. The Royal Proclamationcontinues to be of legal importance to First Nations in Canada.‖ (Wikipedia) ―The language of the proclamation made it clear that the British still believed thatall native lands ultimately belonged to the Crown. However, the proclamationestablished the important precedent that the indigenous population had certainrights to the lands they occupied—in the past, by contrast, the Crown had grantedlands without regard to native claims. . . . . However, the Royal Proclamation alongwith the subsequent Treaty of Niagara, provide for an argument that ―discredits theclaims of the Crown to exercise sovereignty over First Nations‖ and affirmsAboriginal ―powers of self-determination in, among other things, allocating lands.‖Further so, the Royal Proclamation outlined a policy in which to protect andextinguish Aboriginal rights and in doing so, recognized these rights existed.‖(Wikipedia) Calvin Helin addresses some of these and other governmental failings in his bookDances with Dependency (Helin). ―Mr. Helin is a member of the TsimshianNation from the Northern B.C. community of Lax Kw‘alaams (Port Simpson). Heis son of hereditary Chief, Smoogyit Nees Nuugan Noos (Barry Helin), of theRoyal House of Gitlan, and Sigyidmhanaa Su Dalx (Verna Helin), matron of theRoyal House of Gitachngeek. He is also a practising lawyer and business person.‖( (09Oc) ( ( (Mah) It is as if Plato‘s Ideal Forms have wandered into Conrad‘s ‗Heart of Darkness.‘37 (Stewart) (Hutchings)―Canada‘s First Nations: A Legacy of Institutional Racism‖38 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 47. 39 Nor Americans either: (Hanson) (Kay) “Porters book showed that some groups (e.g., those of British origin) were betteroff with respect to measures of income, education and health than others. Forexample, groups of eastern and southern European origin tended to fare less wellby these measures. The worst off were the First Nations and Inuit. Porter saw thisvertical arrangement as being related to power and influence in decision-making.Thus those of British origin tended to be overrepresented among the elites ingovernment, economic and political spheres.” ( (Zolf, ― Multiculturalism and the Muslimbacklash‖ CBC News Viewpoint | June 15, 2006. ―Before 1841, the territory roughly corresponding to Southern Ontario in Canadabelonged to the British colony of the Province of Upper Canada, while thesouthern portion of Quebec and the Labrador region of Newfoundland andLabrador belonged to the colony of the Province of Lower Canada. Upper Canadawas primarily anglophone, whereas Lower Canada was francophone.( The British North America Acts 1867–1975 are the original names of a series ofActs at the core of the constitution of Canada. They were enacted by the Parliament ofthe United Kingdom and the Parliament of Canada. In Canada, some of the Acts wereamended or repealed by the Constitution Act, 1982; the rest were renamed theConstitution Acts. In the United Kingdom, those Acts that were passed by the BritishParliament remain on the law books under their original names. The term "British NorthAmerica" (BNA) refers to the British colonies in North America. ( February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 48. 46 “The Report on the Affairs of British North America, commonly known as LordDurhams Report, is an important document in the history of Quebec, Canada and theBritish Empire. The notable British Whig politician John George Lambton, 1st Earl ofDurham, was sent to the Canadas in 1838 to investigate and report on the causes of therebellions of 1837-38. Durham arrived in Quebec City on 27 May. ( (About Canda Series) ―Multiculturalism in Canada.‖ ―The 1995 Quebec referendum was the second referendum to ask voters in theCanadian province of Quebec whether Quebec should secede from Canada andbecome an independent state . . . . The 1995 referendum differed from the firstreferendum on Quebecs sovereignty in that the 1980 question proposed tonegotiate "sovereignty-association" with the Canadian government, while the 1995question proposed "sovereignty", along with an optional partnership offer to therest of Canada. The referendum took place in Quebec on October 30, 1995[.](,_199550 The Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism was a Canadian royalcommission established on 19 July 1963, by the government of Prime Minister Lester B.Pearson to "inquire into and report upon the existing state of bilingualism andbiculturalism in Canada and to recommend what steps should be taken to develop theCanadian Confederation on the basis of an equal partnership between the two foundingraces, taking into account the contribution made by the other ethnic groups to thecultural enrichment of Canada and the measures that should be taken to safeguard thatcontribution". ( The Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism,―The mid-1960s were marked by increasingly troubled English-French relations inCanada. The government appointed a Royal Commission to study and recommendsolutions to outstanding problems. (About Canda Series) February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 49. 52 (Government of Canada) (Zolf, MultiCulturalism and the Muslim Backlash) Sabia quoted by Bissoondath. ―To be true to her inherited ethnicities, [mydaughter] would be: Franco-Québécoise-FirstNations-Indian-Trinidadian-WestIndian-Canadian. Indeed, for her to describe herself as simply Canadian with noqualifying hyphen would be almost antagonistic. The weight of this hyphen wassignalled as far back as 20 years ago by the feminist writer Laura Sabia[.]‖(Bissoondath) ―Bharati Mukherjee wrote about the difficult social conditions of immigrantliving and her reasons for leaving Canada for the US in her essays onmulticulturalism. More often a contrary argument is heard from either side of theborder – that Canada managed to develop better race relations within its bordersthan the US did. In contrast, Mukherjee felt that in Canada she could never escapeher group designation and her ―visible minority‖ status. Whether she was―celebrated‖ on the account of her difference, or discriminated against, she foundthat the indelible mark she was assigned was too heavy a burden for a free citizen.‖(Perovic)57 The paper was addressed by a Red Paper 1970. (unknown)58 ( This fact is evident today in such places as the About Canada website: ― All59Canadians, including the Native People, can trace their origins to an immigrantpast.‖ (Canada)60 Canada shares the longest common border in the world with the USA. Proximityof this kind and the American belief in manifest destiny causes fears of Canadabeing seen as an American cultural suburb.61 The Canada Act 1982 (1982 c. 11) is an Act of Parliament passed by the BritishParliament that ended all remaining dependence of Canada on the UnitedKingdom, by a process known as "patriation". It includes the text of theConstitution Act, 1982, in both of Canadas official languages, in Schedule B, and25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 50. a translation of the main body into French in Schedule A, making it the first BritishAct of Parliament since the Middle Ages to be passed in the French language.( “Is There a Canadian Philosophy? [Reflections on Canadian Identity (2000) byGary Brent Madison, Paul Fairfield, Ingrid Harris] addresses the themes ofcommunity, culture, national identity, and universal human rights, taking theCanadian example as its focus. The authors argue that nations compelled to copewith increasing demands for group recognition may do so in a broadly liberal spiritand without succumbing to the dangers associated with an illiberal, adversarialmulticulturalism.‖ (Google Books: Overview) ―By 2006, 11 ethnic origins had passed the 1-million mark. The largest groupenumerated by the census consisted of just over 10 million people who reportedCanadian as their ethnic ancestry, either alone (5.7 million) or with other origins(4.3 million).‖ (Government of Canada) ( “ the Aboriginal Canada Portal provides over 700 unique First Nations, Inuit andMétis community pages with information such as the community home page,statistical profiles, tribal council or other organization affiliations, mapping andconnectivity profiles.‖ (Government of Canada) First Nations is a term of ethnicity that refers to the aboriginal peoples inCanada, who are neither Inuit nor Métis. There are currently over 600 recognisedFirst Nations governments or bands spread all across Canada, roughly half ofwhich are in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. They are from anumber of diverse ethnic groups like, the West Coast Salish, Ojibwe and Haida,the centrally located Iroquois, Blackfoot and Wyandot (Huron), the Dene people inNorthern Canada, the Innu, Mikmaq, Odawa and Algonquins in Eastern Canada.[5]Under the Employment Equity Act, First Nations are a designated group alongwith women, visible minorities, and persons with disabilities. They are not25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 51. considered a visible minority under the Act and in the view of Statistics Canada.( “In Canada and Greenland, the term Eskimo has fallen out of favour, as it isconsidered pejorative by the natives and has been replaced by the term Inuit. TheCanadian Constitution Act of 1982, sections 25 and 35 recognized the Inuit as adistinctive group of Canadian aboriginals.‖ ( “After 1870, the Inuit lands became part of the Northwest Territories, a federalterritory. A hundred years later, in the 1970s the Inuit began pressing for their ownhomeland. The first recognition of land rights for First Nations peoples was in1973.‖ ( Nunavut . . . is the largest and newest federal territory of Canada; it was separatedofficially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999 via the Nunavut Act and theNunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, though the actual boundaries had beenestablished in 1993. The creation of Nunavut – meaning "our land" in Inuktitut – resultedin the first major change to Canadas map since the incorporation of the new province ofNewfoundland in 1949. ( INAC is one of 34 federal departments and agencies involved in Aboriginal andnorthern programs and services. (Government of Canada) 71 As a cautionary note in closing on the definitions of Status and non-StatusIndians, non-Aboriginal Canadians sensitive to history, and those knowledgeableof the language of empowerment, refrain from using the word ‗Indian‘ even thoughsome Aboriginals do use it. Sadly, our non-Aboriginal legislators and federalbureaucrats are forced to do so! Like many others, ―Indians‖ in Canada do notalways refer to themselves as being Indian; the more common appellation, coinedby this group of Aboriginals themselves, is First Nation or First Nations (698,025).72 Clearly the use of nation by Quebec is also modeled here.25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 52. 73 “As early as 1850, the colonial government in British North America began tokeep and maintain records to identify individual Indians and the bands to whichthey belonged. These records helped agents of the Crown to determine whichpeople were eligible for treaty and interest benefits under specific treaties.Between 1850 and 1951, government agents continued to maintain lists of thenames of Indians who were members of a band. In 1951, changes to the Indian Actincluded a change to create an Indian Register.‖ (Indian and Northern AffairsCanada) Indian Register is the official record identifying all Status Indians in Canada.Status Indians are people who are registered with the federal government asIndians, according to the terms of the Indian Act. Status Indians are also known asRegistered Indians. Status Indians have certain rights and benefits that are notavailable to Non-Status Indians or Métis people. These may include on-reservehousing benefits, education and exemption from federal, provincial and territorialtaxes in specific situations. (Governmet of Canada) (Indian and Northern Affairs Canada) ɪ Commonly pronounced /ˈme tiˈ/"MAY-tee" [in French] or "may-TEE" inEnglish.( Like the word Indian, using Metis and Métis can be confusing and each wordcomes with positional problems when used by a white man. I wish to avoid thepejoratives associated with both but I am using the terms as they appear in formalpublic documents, oftentimes for effect of drawing attention to their seedyhistorical connotations. I offer my apologies for causing any offence to readerswith sensitivity to these terms.77 The 2006 Census recorded a 33% rise since 2001 in the number of mixed unions(marriage or common-law) involving a visible minority person with either a non-visible minority person or a person of a different visible minority. This was more25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 53. than five times the increase of 6% for all couples. (Statistics Canada) ( Metis Settlements Act 1990: ―recognizing the desire expressed in the79Constitution of Alberta Amendment Act, 1990 that the Metis should continue tohave a land base to provide for the preservation and enhancement of Metis cultureand identity and to enable the Metis to attain self-governance under the laws ofAlberta.‖ And ―in recognition that this Act, the Constitution of AlbertaAmendment Act, 1990, the Metis Settlements Land Protection Act and the MetisSettlements Accord Implementation Act were enacted in fulfilment of Resolution18 of 1985 passed unanimously by the Legislative Assembly of Alberta‖( 12 Métis Settlements were created in 1938 by the [Alberta Government‘s] MétisPopulation Betterment Act. In the late 1950s four of these settlements(Touchwood, Marlboro, Cold Lake, and Wolf Lake) were closed, requiringresidents to relocate to one of the remaining eight settlements. All current eightsettlements are located at a latitude north of Edmonton. [Four are in the serviceregion of Portage College].( Until R. v. Powley (2003), there was little development in such a definition. Thecase involved a claim by members of the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario communityasserting Métis hunting rights. The Supreme Court of Canada outlined [the] threebroad factors to identify Métis rights-holders [.]‖( Inuit (plural; the singular Inuk means "man" or "person") is a general term for agroup of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions ofCanada, Greenland, and Alaska. The Inuit language is grouped under Eskimo-Aleut languages. ( February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 54. 83 (Faculty of Law, University of Alberta) “The Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy (AHRDS)” In 1999,84Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) approved Human Resources DevelopmentCanadas (HRDC)1 submission seeking approval of the Terms and Conditions forthe AHRDS, a five-year program with one of its pillars being the integration of allAboriginal programming (labour market, youth, persons with disabilities and childcare programs) administered by HRDC. The AHRDS was designed to supportAboriginal Canadians in overcoming barriers to labour market participation. . . .The consolidation of the Terms and Conditions (Aboriginal Labour MarketProgram, First Nations and Inuit Child Care, Youth Employment Initiatives, andOpportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities) and the subsequent consolidationof various agreements into one agreement with the recipients who administerprograms, were intended to allow for increased policy coherence for clients andpractitioners. (Government of Canada) “The Frog Lake Massacre was a Cree uprising during the North-West Rebellion. Ledby Wandering Spirit, young Cree warriors attacked the village of Frog Lake, Alberta onApril 2, 1885, where they killed most of the settlers. Angered by what seemed to beunfair treaties by the Canadian government and the dwindling buffalo population, themain source of food for the indigenous people, chief Big Bear had been organizing theCree for resistance. They were encouraged by the Métis victory at the Battle of DuckLake.” ( The French colony of Canada, New France, was set up along the Saint LawrenceRiver and the northern shores of the Great Lakes. Later the area became two Britishcolonies, called Upper Canada and Lower Canada until their union as the BritishProvince of Canada in 1841. Upon Confederation in 1867, the name Canada wasofficially adopted for the new Dominion, which was commonly referred to as theDominion of Canada until after World War II. ( “The Red River Rebellion or Red River Resistance are names given to the eventssurrounding the actions of a provisional government established by Métis leader LouisRiel in 1869 at the Red River Settlement in what is now the Canadian province ofManitoba. The Rebellion was the first crisis the new government faced followingCanadian Confederation in 1867 . . . . In 1870, the[Canadian]legislature passed theManitoba Act, allowing the Red River settlement to enter Confederation as the provinceof Manitoba. The Act also incorporated some of Riels demands, such as separateFrench schools for Métis children and protection of Catholicism. .”25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 55. After the Red River Rebellion of 1869-1870, many of the Métis moved from Manitoba toSaskatchewan, then part of the Northwest Territories, where they founded a settlementat Batoche on the South Saskatchewan River. However, as in Manitoba, settlers fromOntario began to arrive. They pushed for land to be allotted in the square concessionsystem of English Canada, rather than the seigneurial system of strips reaching backfrom a river which the Métis were familiar with in their French-Canadian culture. Inaddition, the Métis and First Nations were alarmed that the buffalo were being hunted toextinction by the Hudsons Bay Company and other hunters, as for generations theMétis had depended on them as a chief source of food.In 1884 the Métis (including the Anglo-Métis) asked Louis Riel to return from the UnitedStates, where he had fled after the Red River Rebellion, to appeal to the government ontheir behalf. The government gave a vague response. In March 1885, Riel, GabrielDumont, Honoré Jackson (a.k.a. Will Jackson), and others set up the ProvisionalGovernment of Saskatchewan, believing that they could influence the federalgovernment in the same way as they had in 1869.” ( Louis David Riel (22 October 1844 – 16 November 1885 . . . .) was a Canadianpolitician, a founder of the province of Manitoba, and leader of the Métis people of theCanadian prairies.He led two resistance movements against the Canadian governmentand its first post-Confederation Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. Riel sought topreserve Métis rights and culture as their homelands in the Northwest cameprogressively under the Canadian sphere of influence. He is regarded by many as aCanadian folk hero today. ( Labrador Métis were not part of these activities by fact of their birth place.90 ―On 13 September 1759, the area was the scene of the Battle of the Plains ofAbraham, part of the French and Indian War, which was itself part of the SevenYears War. On that date, British soldiers under the command of General Wolfe,climbed the steep cliff under the city in darkness, surprising and defeating theFrench. Both Wolfe and the French commander, the Marquis de Montcalm, died oftheir wounds, but the battle left control of Quebec City to the British, eventuallyallowing them to take control of Canada the following year.‖ ( portion of Quebec were sold in the sale of Rupert‘s Land.25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 56. ―Areas once belonging to Ruperts Land include all of Manitoba, most ofSaskatchewan, southern Alberta, southern Nunavut, northern parts of Ontario andQuebec, as well as parts of Minnesota and North Dakota and very small parts ofMontana and South Dakota.‖“Ruperts Land, also sometimes called "Prince Ruperts Land", was a territory inBritish North America, consisting of the Hudson Bay drainage basin, that wasowned by the Hudsons Bay Company for 200 years from 1670 to 1870.‖―On 19 November 1869 the Hudsons Bay Company sold Ruperts Land, pursuantto the Ruperts Land Act 1868, to the newly formed Canadian Government for£300,000. Control was originally planned to be transferred on December 1 of thatyear, but due to setbacks caused by the Red River Rebellion, the governmentassumed control on 15 July 1870.‖―The Province of Lower Canada was created by the Constitutional Act of 1791from the partition of the British colony of the Province of Quebec (1763–1791)into the Province of Lower Canada and the Province of Upper Canada.Lower Canada consisted of part of former French colony of New France, populatedmainly by French Canadians, which was ceded to Great Britain after that empiresvictory in the Seven Years War, also called the French and Indian Wars in theUnited States.‖ ( (Stewart) ―In Labrador, the word Métis was first used in 1975. In 1982 the repatriated andamended Canadian Constitution Act included Inuit, Indians [First Nations], andMétis as aboriginal peoples, yet the Act failed to define Métis. Three years later, in1985, the Labrador Métis Association was formed to represent people of Inuit andEuropean ancestry living south of lands claimed by the Labrador Inuit Association.Following the opinion of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples thatLabrador Métis exhibited characteristics essential to nationhood, the LabradorMétis Association changed its name to the Labrador Métis Nation in 1998.‖( v February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 57. 93 “The Innu people are frequently categorized into two groups, the Montagnais who livealong the north shore of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, in Quebec, and the less numerousNaskapi who live farther north. The Innu themselves recognize several distinctions (e.g.Mushuau Innuat, Maskuanu Innut, Uashau Innuat) based on different regionalaffiliations and various dialects of the Innu language. Since 1990, the Montagnaispeople have generally been officially referred to as the Innu, which means human beingin Innu-aimun, while the Naskapi have continued to use the word "Naskapi".The Innu should not be confused with the Inuit, a distinct people who live in theCanadian Arctic. Although their languages vary in source, the word itself derives fromthe same root, meaning "people".” ( “The Innu people are frequently categorized into two groups, the Montagnais wholive along the north shore of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, in Quebec, and the lessnumerous Naskapi who live farther north [ in the Labrador portion ofNewfoundland and Labrador]. The Innu themselves recognize several distinctions(e.g. Mushuau Innuat, Maskuanu Innut, Uashau Innuat) based on different regionalaffiliations and various dialects of the Innu language.‖ “The Japanese had the highest proportion of mixed couples. There were29,700 couples involving at least one Japanese person in the 2006 Census, 75% ofthese pairings included a non-Japanese partner. The South Asian and Chinesepopulations were least likely to be involved in a mixed union—13% of all SouthAsian couples and 17% of all Chinese couples.‖ “A former colony and dominion of the United Kingdom, it became the tenthprovince to enter the Canadian Confederation on 31 March 1949, named simply asNewfoundland. Since 1964, the provinces government has referred to itself as theGovernment of Newfoundland and Labrador, and on 6 December 2001, anamendment was made to the Constitution of Canada to change the provincesofficial name to Newfoundland and Labrador. In day-to-day conversation,however, Canadians generally still refer to the province itself as Newfoundlandand to the region on the Canadian mainland as Labrador.‖ The otherness ofLabrador, remains similar to that of Quebec; the latter has a boundary dispute with25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 58. NL over Labrador. ( The Métis spoke or still speak either Métis French or a mixed language calledMichif. Michif, Mechif or Métchif is a phonetic spelling of the Métis pronunciationof Métif, a variant of Métis. The Métis today predominantly speak English, withFrench a strong second language, as well as numerous Aboriginal tongues. MétisFrench is best preserved in Canada, Michif in the United States, notably in theTurtle Mountain Indian Reservation of North Dakota, where Michif is the officiallanguage of the Métis that reside on this Chippewa reservation. Theencouragement and use of Métis French and Michif is growing due to outreachwithin the provincial Métis councils after at least a generation of decline. “The treaty built on the "Act for the Protection of the Indians in Upper Canada"passed in 1839, but required the "enfranchisement" of any recognized male Indianover the age of 21 "able to speak, read and write either English or the Frenchlanguage readily and well, and is sufficiently advanced in the elementary branchesof education and is of good moral character and free from debt." An "enfranchised"Indian would no longer retain the "legal rights and habilities of Indians" and would"no longer be deemed an Indian" but a regular British subject.‖ ( Before 1947, there was no legal existence of Canadian citizenship. The first actto deal with Canadian identity was the Immigration Act of 1910, but it was merelyto facilitate government desire to populate Western Canada. The NaturalizationAct of 1914 and the Canadian Nationals Act of 1921 provided a limited definitionof a Canadian nationals and was made necessary to allow Canada to participate inthe League of Nations and membership in the International Court of Justice.( ( “In 1960 all First Nations people were granted the right to vote in federal elections.By comparison, Native Americans in the United States had been allowed to vote sincethe 1920s.”; cf. Helin 95.25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 59. (Daniels) “Bill C31: The Abocide Bill‖104105 (Henderson) “In 1885 General Middleton introduced the Pass System in western Canada,under which Natives could not leave their reserves without first obtaining a passfrom their farming instructors permitting them to do so. While neither the IndianAct nor any other legislation allowed the Department of Indian Affairs to institutesuch a system, and it was known by government lawyers to be illegal as early as1892, the Pass System continued to be enforced until the early 1930‘s. As Nativeswere not permitted at that time to become lawyers, they could not fight it in thecourts.‖ (Hutchins)107 “The Pass System was instituted during the Northwest Resistance years. It was tobe a temporary measure during the events of 1885 to control and monitor Indianpeople and keep them from joining the Resistance. Indian people were restricted totheir Reserves. If they wanted to leave, they had to get permission from the IndianAgent. An Indian person who was absent from the Reserve without a Pass wasclassified as a criminal. Neither the Indian Act nor any other Federal legislationempowered the Department to institute such a system. The Pass system was still inuse in the Treaty 4, 5 and 7 areas as late as the mid 1930s. It was removed fromthe Indian Act in 1951 (Government of Saskatchewan).‖ ―The attempt to force assimilation involved punishing children for speaking theirown languages or practicing their own faiths, leading to allegations in the 20thcentury of cultural genocide and ethnocide. There was widespread physical andsexual abuse. Overcrowding, poor sanitation, and a lack of medical care led to highrates of tuberculosis, and death rates of up to 69 percent. Details of the mistreatmentof students had been published numerous times throughout the 20th century, butfollowing the closure of the schools in the 1960s, the work of indigenous activistsand historians led to a change in the public perception of the residential schoolsystem, as well as official government apologies, and a (controversial) legalsettlement.‖ ( ( February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 60. 110 “More than 15,000 young Chinese men helped build the Canadian PacificRailway under harsh conditions, but as soon as the railway was completed the menand their families were no longer wanted in Canada. In 1885 a head tax was put onChinese immigrants to discourage them staying in Canada. The head tax continuedto be raised over the years, and in 1923 Canada passed the Chinese Exclusion Act,which in effect stopped Chinese immigration to Canada for nearly a quarter of acentury.‖ ( Online) “Just before World War II, British Columbia had about 21,000 Japanese-Canadian citizens, 75% of whom had citizenship status. They had come fromJapan during a wave of immigration spanning 50 years, between the end of the19th and the early 20th centuries. However, they faced much xenophobia, racism,and discrimination. Laws were passed barring them from various professions, theywere denied the right to vote, they were eligible for just a fraction of socialassistance, forestry and fishing permits were denied, etc. The aim was to forcethem to go back to Japan.‖ (Government of Canada) (Historica) (CBC Archives) “Bouquet agreed, writing back to Amherst on July 13, 1763: "I will try toinoculate the bastards with some blankets that may fall into their hands, and takecare not to get the disease myself." Amherst responded favorably on July 16, 1763:"You will do well to inoculate the Indians by means of blankets, as well as everyother method that can serve to extirpate this execrable race." ( ( Mobile) ( February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 61. Bibliography9 October 2009 <>.About Canda Series. Multiculturalism in Canada. 12 September 2009. 12 September 2009<> Online. Canada Gives Formal Apology for Chinese Head Tax. 25 June 2006. 2September 2009 <>.Bissoondath, Neil. No Place like Home. 11 October 2009. 11 October 2009<>.Canada, About. About Canada:Multiculturalism in Canada. unknown unknown unknown. 3 January 2010<> Canadian Immigration Lawyers. 18 October 2009. 18 October 2009<>.CBC Archives. Mulroney Apologizes to Japanese Canadians. 10 January 2006. 17 October 2009<> Jim Wolf Apologizes. 17 September 2009. 18 September 2009<> Mobile. Ottawa Sends Body Bags to Manitoba Reserves. 16 September 2009. 18 September 2009<> Text of Prime Minister Stephen Harpers residential schools apology Wednesday. 11 June2008. 12 September 2009<>.Daniels, Harry W. Bill C31: The Abocide Bill. 1998. 2 September 2009 <>.Faculty of Law, University of Alberta. 2 October 2009<>.Google Books: Overview. Is there a Canadian Philosophy. unknown unknwn 2009. 3 January 2010<>.Google Books: Review. National Identity in Canda and Cosmopolitan Community 1997, H. RaymondSamuels. unknown unknown 2009. 3 January 2010<>.Government of Canada. About the Multiculturalism Program. 9 September 2009. 10 September 2009<>.—. ARHDS. 23 September 2009 <>.—. Canadas Ethnocultural Mosaic, 2006 Census. 15 October 2009. 15 October 2009<>.—. Canadas Ethnocultural Mosais, Census 2006. 1 September 2009 <>.—. Canadian Multiculturalism: An Inclusive Citizenship. 24 October 2008. 12 October 2009<>.25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 62. —. Citicizenship and Immigration Canada. 18 September 2009. 19 September 2009< >.—. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). 18 September 2009. 19 September 2009<>.—. Indian and Northern Affairs Canada INAC. 17 September 2009 <>.—. Multiculturalism. 18 September 2009. 21 September 2009<>.—. Office of the Prime Minister. 27 June 2006. 17 October 2009<>.—. Statistic Canada. 15 September 2009 < HYPERLINK"" >.—. Statistics Canada. 2 October 2009 <>.—. 30 September 2009<>.Government of Canda. Citizenship ad Immigration Canada. 18 September 2009. 19 September 2009<>.Government of Saskatchewan. Pass System: Sirst Nations History. 2009. 23 September 2009<>.Governmet of Canada. 12 September 2009 <>.—. 25 September 2009 <>.Hanson, Victor Davis. Lord Multiculturalism. 12 March 2008. 12 October 2009<>.Helin, Calvin. Dances With Dependency:Out of Poverty Through Self-Relianc. California: Ravencrest,2006.Henderson, Bill. Hendersons Annotated Indian Act (1985). 1996. 2 September 2009<>.Heritage Community Foundation. Canadas Multicultural Policies. unknown unknown unknown. 3January 2010 <>.Historica. Internment of the Japanese During WII. 21 September 2009. 21 September 2009<>.Hutchings, Claire. “Canada’s First Nations: A Legacy of Institutional Racism”. unknown unknownunknown. 29 September 2009 <>.Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Aboriginal eoples and Communities. 15 June 2009. 17 September2009 <>.—. The Indian Register. 3 November 2008. 17 September 2009 <>.Kay, Barbara. 2008 April 2008. 26 September 2009<>.Leman, Michael Dewing and Marc. "Canadian Multiculturalism." Library of Parliament: ParliamentaryInfrmation and Research Service 93-6E 16 March 2006: 1-23.Mah, Andrew. Cultural Mosaic: The Chinese Cultural Centre. 18 October 2009. 18 October 2009<>.25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 63. Momryk, Myron. Re: Civil Wars Never End They Just move to Canada: Letter to Editor Toront Star. 27May 2009. 17 September 2009 <>.Perovic, Lydia. Canada: Multiculturalisms Broken Home. 13 October 2004. 3 January 2010<> Orca Spirit Publishing. 2008. 27 September 2009<>.Statistics Canada. Ethnic Diversity and Immigration. 13 January 2009. 18 September 2009<>.Stewart, Jane. Statement of Reconciliation. 7 January 1998. 12 October 2009<>.Sun Media Editorial. Time to Rethink Multiculturalism. 16 August 2009. 12 October 2009<> Virtical Mosaic. unknown unknown 2009. 12 October 2009<>.unknown. Red Paper. 7 December 2009<>.Wikipedia. 1 October 2009 <>.Wikipedia. 1 October 2009 <>.—. 7 September 2009 <>.—. 27 September 2009 <i>.—. Royal Proclomation 1763. 8 October 2009. 8 October 2009<> 5 October 2009 <>.—. 1969 White Paper. 2009 December 2009. 2 Janury 2010<>.—. Canada Act 1982. 5 October 2009. 17 October 2009<>.—. Canadas Name. 26 September 2009 <>.—. Canadian Citizenship Act 1947. 12 September 2009<> Confederation. 12 October 2009. 12 October 2009<> Constitution of Canada. 26 Decemver 2009. 2 January 2010<>.—. Cultural Mosaic. 21 September 2009. 22 September 2009<>.—. Eskimo. 9 October 2009. 17 October 2009 <> First Nations. 15 October 2009 <> First Nations, Canada. 14 September 2009 <>.—. Frog Lake Massacre. 5 October 2009 <>.—. Indian Enfranchisement, Canada. 2 September 2009<>.—. Innu. 3 October 2009 <>.—. Inuit. 19 September 2009 <> Languages of Canada. 21 September 2009<> Louis Reil. 23 September 2009 <>.25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 64. Metis. 11 October 2009 <> Metis People (Canada). 17 October 2009. 17 October 2009<>.—. Metis Settlements of Alberta. 17 September 2009<>.—. Multiculturalism. 10 October 2009. 11 October 2009<>.—. Nanavut. 4 September 2009 <>.—. Oath of Citizenship. 22 December 2009. 29 December 2009<>.—. Plains of Abraham. 29 September 2009 <>.—. Province of Canada. 8 October 2009. 8 October 2009<>.—. Quebec Independance Referendum, 1995. 28 September 2009. 12 October 2009<,_1995>.—. Red River Rebellion. 27 September 2009 <>.—. Report on the Affairs of British North America. 11 September 2009. 11 October 2009<>.—. Residential Schools. October 8 2009. 9 October 2009<>.—. Royal Commission on Biculturalism and Bilingualism. 2009 January 2009. 27 September 2009<>.—. Ruperts Land. 12 September 2009 <>.—. Smallpox Blankets. 9 May 2009. 21 September 2009<>.—. Spoken Languages of Canada. 14 October 2009. 14 October 2009<>.—. White Paper. 14 September 2009. 11 September 2009<> British North America Act. 11 October 2009. 11 October 2009<> Tower of Confusion. 14 September 2009<> Labrador Metis. 1 October 2009 <> 23 September 2009 <> Mount Alison University. 19 October 2005. 11 September 2009<> 22 September 2009<> 28 September 2009 <>.www.torontotourism. At A Glance: Leisure Trade Toronto. 12 September 2009<>.Zolf, Larry. MultiCulturalism and the Muslim Backlash. 15 June 2006. 12 September 2009<>.—. 15 June 2006. 11 October 2009<>.25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough
  • 65. The Myth of Multiculturalism Supporting Indigenous Peoples of CanadaMulticulturalism is written into the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms(1982). In passing the Multiculturalism Act (1988) Canada became the first nationof the world to make multiculturalism part of judicial law (Dewing and Leman).Needless to state, multiculturalism is deeply embedded in the Canadian politicaland social mindscapes. Its ideology and politics have been a formational part ofcontemporary Canadian consciousness and its historical nationalism. Despite itsdeep roots, multiculturalism has done little to bring respect or to increaseengagement with First Nations and Métis peoples of Canada. This result is causedby a failure of strategic leadership and continued propagation of the myth thatmulticulturalism is an antidote to structural or systemic racism.Dr. Trent Keough is the Vice President Academic at Portage College, AlbertaCanada. Portage is the only known post-secondary institution in Canada to havebeen started by peaceful protest of Indigenous persons demanding local educationfor their peoples. Now, 40 years later Portage operates as a comprehensivecommunity college serving rural northern communities. The population of 85thousand people, including seven Treaty Indian Reserves and four MétisSettlements, is spread in a geographic area 5% smaller than Texas.Trents scholarly and academic interests have included Canadian literarynationalism, intentional communities, existential phenomenology, 21 centuryliteracy, teaching and learning, learning customers, and most recently diversitytraining. He has given numerous presentations at conferences in Canada, USA,Europe, and the Middle East. ********************25 February 2012 Trent Keough copyright by Trent Keough