Josh works a part-time job while going to school. He works hard, gets good grades, and is a positive contributor to his community in rural British Columbia.
Josh is frustrated after having read about “extra” rights that Indigenous people have in his community. He loves fishing in the outdoors, but his total allowable catch is less than that of Indigenous persons around his town. Further, whenever any projects are developed around his small town, he may make his views known via the ballot box and the newspaper, but he is not given any extra consultative roles, nor does the law mandate accommodations to meet his needs.
He thinks to himself, “I understand Indigenous Peoples have had their share of rough treatment in this country, and it’s awful. I wish it never happened. But that’s in the past, and this current generation of Canadians has not done anything wrong. Why should we pay for the sins of previous generations?”
He doesn’t mean any harm by his comments, but his irritation is palpable. He views the Duty to Consult and other Indigenous rights as special privileges granted to another group of people in Canada based only on race.
- How would you respond to Josh’s concerns regarding “special privileges based on race” for Indigenous Peoples?
- Why is it important for Canadians to right the wrongs of past generations?