On Canada’s 150

MICHAEL BRYANT — The Boston Tea Party and American Revolution have the advantage of high drama when it comes to celebrating powerful historic reminders of how government’s imperious over-reaching can foment rebellious change for the better. A Canadian “white paper” comes off as colourless as it sounds. And yet it was a “white paper” that fomented crucial, rebellious change in Canada. Today, Canadians recognize that reconciliation with indigenous peoples and celebration of their culture is a cornerstone of what we should be feting for Canada’s sesquicentennial (what’s a 150th birthday without an indigenous drum ceremony?). But a mere 50 years ago, then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau was ready to throw in the towel on indigenous rights, armed with a “white paper” in hand.  During Trudeau’s first term as prime minister, his ministers floated…

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