Juil 01

Canada Day should be a time of reflection for governments

The recent discovery of several hundred bones of Indigenous children on the grounds of former residential schools has truly shown the horror of our country’s colonial past. More and more, Canadians are realizing that these residential schools were indeed part of a genocidal plan that can no longer be denied.

Today’s governments, while not responsible for the decisions of the past, must accept that they have inherited that past. In fact, they need to recognize that they played a significant role in setting up many of the colonial mechanisms that had a devastating impact on Indigenous nations in Canada. Above all, they must recognize that they still maintain systems and practices that discriminate against Indigenous nations in Quebec and Canada.

On this Canada Day, I invite all government workers to pause and reflect on the colonial past of our public administrations, the effects of this past and, above all, to reflect on our current practices which often still perpetuate discriminatory effects against members of Indigenous nations. Public administrations, like many other social actors, have the capacity and the duty to be the bearers of viable and sustainable solutions that respect Indigenous cultures. Confronting an inglorious past and damaging the image we have of Quebec and Canada is certainly painful. But this pain is the necessary step in a process of reflection that must lead to a more just and equitable society with respect to Indigenous peoples.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

À propos de l'auteur

Détenteur d’un doctorat (Ph. D.) en science politique de l’Université Carleton, Jean-François Savard est professeur à l’ENAP (École nationale d’administration publique) depuis 2006, où il y enseigne l’analyse et la conception et la mise en oeuvre des politiques publiques. Ses travaux de recherche portent sur les questions de politiques autochtones, plus particulièrement sur l’autonomie gouvernementale autochtone, les relations entre les communautés autochtones et les administrations publiques du Québec et du Canada et du fédéralisme. En savoir plus →