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Opinion

It’s time to ensure Indigenous representation in Canadian institutions

By Gar Pardy      

We need an Indigenous governor general, and a set number of Senators, MPs, and Supreme Court judges representing Canada’s first peoples.

Gar Pardy says Canada needs more First Ministers’ Meetings like this one, in December 2016, that included representatives of Canada’s MĂ©tis (MĂ©tis National Council president ClĂ©ment Chartier, far left) First Nations (Assembly of First Nations national chief Perry Bellegarde, far right), and Inuit (Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami president Natan Obed, next to Mr. Bellegarde) leaders, alongside the prime minister, centre, and provincial and territorial premiers. The Hill Times photograph by Sam Garcia
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OTTAWA—There is nothing sacrosanct about governmental structures. They are no more “divine” than past rulers who sought celestial sanction. Canada’s structure of bilateral federalism, with the provinces and Ottawa having separate and overlapping sovereign powers, is a reflection of 19th century political compromises accommodating, if not uniting, diverse peoples. Its survival for more than 150 years shows the wisdom of the choices made long ago. However, today new compromises are needed. In 1867 the colonial domination of Indigenous peoples

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