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Opinion

Ottawa, we have a problem: reconciliation requires structural changes on the Hill

By Rose LeMay      

Indigenous inclusion, with enough numbers to be heard, is fundamental to any democratic structure, especially for one that claims to represent Indigenous peoples in Canada. This also applies to the civil service. We cannot say Canada’s political system and civil service are representative until Indigenous voices are heard and respected on every bill and in every debate and at every parliamentary and cabinet committee table. The upcoming generation of Indigenous leaders will not accept anything less; not a watered-down toothless pilot, and not a tearful apology to cover up lack of action. We are part of this country, and it’s time to change structures to respect our voices.

Here are some ideas to fix the problem of lack of Indigenous people in Parliament: we bring in Indigenous candidate proportion requirements; a model of Indigenous representational governance; and an Indigenous Senate, writes Rose LeMay. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

OTTAWA—In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released the 94 Calls to Action, a roadmap for Canada to find closure on the era of Indian residential schools and to ensure we don’t repeat history. What has changed since 2015 to ensure we don’t repeat history? Dr. Eva Jewell and Ian Mosby recently wrote in the Yellowhead Institute (https://yellowheadinstitute.org/2019/12/17/calls-to-action-accountability-a-status-update-on-reconciliation/) that nine of the 94 calls to action have been completed.

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