PhD student Ferdouse Asefi on “Indigenous peoples will continue to suffer under Liberal minority”

PhD student Ferdouse Asefi recently co-authored an op-ed published by The Star, entitled “Indigenous peoples will continue to suffer under Liberal minority.” The article examines how the promises and commitments made to Indigenous peoples have often been unfulfilled and casts doubt on the Liberals’ likelihood of prioritizing reconciliation during its next term.

Ferdous Asefi is PhD student at the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto. He wrote the article in collaboration with Erick Laming who is a Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation PhD candidate in criminology, also at the University of Toronto.

The full article is available here. I have posted an excerpt below.

Indigenous peoples will continue to suffer under Liberal minority

During the 2015 federal election, Justin Trudeau promised Indigenous Canadians that once elected as Prime Minister, he would enact all the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), beginning with the full implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Once elected, Trudeau laid out the groundwork for a nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples that would involve respecting and consulting them and their constitutional rights.

Yet, during Trudeau’s first term, the inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) faced significant challenges. Additionally, the decision to purchase a $4.5-billion dollar pipeline without consultation with Indigenous communities, and challenging the landmark judicial ruling to compensate First Nations children impacted by the child welfare system, highlight the contradictions of this renewed and one-sided nation-to-nation relationship.

In October, Trudeau and his Liberals were re-elected with a minority government. In Trudeau’s re-election campaign, he claimed his Liberals will continue their path with reconciliation to end all long-term boil-water advisories by 2021, committing funding to the construction of a mercury treatment facility in Grassy Narrows, and reintroduce the implementation of UNDRIP.

But what will reconciliation look like under this Liberal minority government? The Liberals face steep challenges that range from Western alienation, tensions around Bill 21, the Trans Mountain pipeline extension, and a Conservative opposition that is keen on redemption after defeat.

Read the full article here.