Jean Chretien

Liberal Party

Pierre Trudeau

Canadian Alliance

Chretien demands equality for Indians

Date: OCT24-00
Source: National Post
Keywords: aboriginal peoples
Comment: Is the aboriginal peoples issue an exception, or is it a characteristic of Liberal thought to replace good ideas with bad ones over time?
Posted: OCT27-00
Jean Chretien Index

Alliance native policy sounds familiar
'We won't recognize aboriginal rights,' said Trudeau
Jeff White

Aboriginal rights became a burning issue again recently when a native leader set the Canadian Alliance policy book on fire -- right in front of Stockwell Day.

The platform's offending passage rejects "race-based quotas or special set-asides" in fisheries or anything else. To aboriginals and progressive souls everywhere, the Alliance attack on special status for natives constitutes racism. Go figure. The strange thing is just three decades ago, liberal opinion held exactly the opposite.

Back in 1969, Canada's Indian Affairs minister was a dark-haired 35-year-old named Jean Chrétien. He released a white paper on Indian policy that year that boldly called for the abolition of the Indian Affairs Department, the Indian Act and different legal status for Indians.

This revolutionary initiative originated with Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau -- the national hero whose heirs apparently inhabit all parties readying for next month's election except Alliance. The champion of the "just society" told a Vancouver audience that Ottawa meant to change Indians from "a race apart" into "Canadians of full status.

"We won't recognize aboriginal rights," Mr. Trudeau said flatly. Moreover, "perhaps the treaties shouldn't go on forever. It's inconceivable, I think, that in a given society one section of the society should have a treaty with the other."


Click link below for full article.

Jean Chretien Index

[Home] [Webmaster]