Canadian Election 2011 Party Platforms: Aboriginal Peoples

UPDATE: Evidently, some folks are having difficulty seeing all 5 columns in the grid, especially on the far right (ironically, the NDP’s column), so I offer you the option to simply download the pdf version of this blog post instead. Distribute it far and wide and make sure you tell ’em where you got it.

If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering where the parties stand on the issues relevant to Aboriginal peoples this 2011 federal election. You’re probably wishing too that there was some handy, side-by-side way to compare the various platforms.

Wish and wonder no longer, friends: the following grid should help you see who’s pledged what to Aboriginal peoples so far this campaign and how it stacks up against their opponents. It will be updated as planks are added and/or refined.

Some quick notes: where a party platform is ‘silent’ on an issue, it’s been left blank; where a promise overlaps with more than one subject area, it’ll be included more than once to reflect that. Given that the Bloc Québécois has (as of April 9) yet to issue a full platform in English, what is included here is my best translation of the original French (which includes the handy number assigned to each promise for your reference); if more nuanced translations are required, by all means let me know.

For an outline of the methods used to compile this grid, scroll down to the end of this post.

Bloc QuébécoisConservativeGreenLiberalNew Democratic
Will work to improve education funding so that it at least matches population growth (9.1.7: "Le Bloc travaillera en vue d’améliorer le financement en éducation afin qu’il soit minimalement équivalent à l’essor démographique")

Will support Quebec First Nations' "10,000 Possibilities" Project, which proposes to create 10,000 new jobs, bring 10,000 people back to school and build 10,000 new homes (9.1.6: "Le Bloc soutiendra les premières nations du Québec dans leur projet « 10 000 possibilités » en proposant de créer 10 000 nouveaux emplois, de ramener sur les bancs d’école 10 000 personnes et de bâtir 10 000 nouveaux logements")
In collaboration with the Assembly of First Nations, "announced that a Panel of Experts will lead an engagement process to develop options for
concrete and positive changes in First Nations education to bring greater success and opportunities for First Nations students"

Have "expanded Aboriginal skills and training opportunities"

Will expand "adult basic education programming in the territories [to] help increase education and employment levels among Aboriginals in the North"
Will increase spending on "First Nations education, safe drinking water and improved housing" by $800 million annually

Will support "the development of Aboriginal education curricula that are language and culture specific"

Will assist "the delivery of health care, education and other services in a way that incorporates traditional practices and recognizes the role of extended families and elders"
"Will "invest an additional $200 million in its first two years to lift the cap on post-secondary education funding"

"Consistent with the approach of the Learning Passport ... we will explore with Aboriginal leaders ways to deliver resources more directly to students and their families"

Will "create a Canada Métis Scholarship program, with a $5 million annual investment in Métis students"

"First Nations University in Saskatchewan... will be re-financed"

Will "work with Aboriginal leadership to address inadequate funding [for K-12 education] over the medium term, starting with $300 million in new investment in its second year [and] will support efforts to improve [its] administration"
Will "increase the funding in the Canada Student Grants Program by $200 million a year, targeting accessibility for Aboriginal, disabled and low-income students, in particular"

Will address "the education deficit with a $1 billion per year investment over the next four years, inspired by Shannen’s Dream"

Will invest in "improvements to education and training for First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and adults. Working with all partners, our goal will be to achieve educational attainment for Aboriginal people comparable to others in Canada"

Will support "the efforts of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities to renew Indigenous languages in this generation, by developing and improving language curricula and developing a corps of those able to help teach Indigenous languages with improved funding for language training"

Will work "with the provinces, human rights commissions and others to promote anti-racism education in all applicable venues"
Have "made substantial investments in better infrastructure in First Nations communities including... health"

"Budget 2011 proposes to [forgive] a portion of Canada Student Loans for new family physicians, nurse practitioners and nurses that practise in under-served rural or remote communities, including communities that provide health services to First Nations and Inuit populations"
Will assist "the delivery of health care, education and other services in a way that incorporates traditional practices and recognizes the role of extended families and elders"Will "make quality improvement [in service delivery, management and safety] a top priority ... with respect to health outcomes for Aboriginal people"

Will "commit to ongoing support for the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program and Aboriginal Head Start Program"
"In collaboration with the provinces and territories, we will establish programs aimed at recruiting and supporting low-income, rural and aboriginal medical students"

Will address "the health care needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, especially those relating to chronic diseases that particularly affect Aboriginal people"
Will "introduce, as government legislation, Conservative MP Kelly Block’s bill requiring the publication of the salaries and expenses of First Nations chiefs and councillors [to] increase transparency and accountability in the use of public funds for First Nations communities, and increase openness and trust among band councils and members, and all Canadians."Will "create an Office of the First Nations Auditor General to monitor progress, identify best practices, and ensure accountability for public funds"
Will continue work to ensure that there is indigenous participation in the development, preparation and implementation of any government initiative/policy affecting their lives or has the objective of promoting their rights and defending their interests (9.1.2: "Le Bloc Québécois s’engage également à poursuivre ses efforts en vue d’assurer une participation des peuples autochtones à l’élaboration, à la préparation et à la mise en œuvre de toute initiative gouvernementale ou politique ayant des répercussions sur leur vie ou ayant pour objectif de promouvoir leurs droits et de défendre leurs intérêts")

Will ensure that appropriate consultations take place before any changes are made to current laws that affect First Nations.
(9.1.8: "Le Bloc reviendra aussi à la charge pour s’assurer que des consultations adéquates aient lieu avant d’apporter des modifications aux lois actuelles qui touchent les premières nations")
Will "review all existing federal policies on self-government, in consultation with Aboriginal representatives, to ensure they are achieving the goals of Aboriginal peoples"

Will "fully implement the recommendations of the 1996 Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, thereby embarking on true nation-to-nation negotiations on a full range of outstanding legal issues and land claims"

Will "launch and maintain new processes driven by Aboriginal priorities and legal entitlements, to provide for interim measures prior to settlement of treaties, and address governance issues, a just and fair share of lands and resources, legislative inconsistencies, policy inequities, reconciliation and, if in accordance with the wishes of First Nations, the phased-out elimination of the Indian Act"

Will "ensure that negotiations of treaties and self-government are not based on the extinguishment of Aboriginal title and rights, and on assimilation, but on reconciliation of rights and title, and that negotiations recognize the diversity of traditional self-governance"

Will "ensure that governments and corporations respect the Sparrow decision (recognizing the Aboriginal right to fish) and the Haida decision (the right of Aboriginal peoples to be not just consulted but their concerns accommodated regarding decisions that may impact their resources and their future)"
Will "build a new partnership on a nation-to-nation basis with First Nations, Inuit and Métis people across the country to restore a central element of social justice in Canada and reconcile the hopes of Aboriginal people with those of all Canadians"

Will implement "existing agreements, particularly treaties, with honour"

Will accelerate "the settlement of self-government agreements where Aboriginal communities seek them"

Will restructure "Indian and Northern Affairs Canada as recommended in the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples in 1996"
RIGHTS (Aboriginal/Treaty/Human) & LAND CLAIMS
Will demand that Canada endorse the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and urge Canada to recommend to the non-signatory circumpolar countries of United States and Russia that they do the same (9.2.1: "C’est pourquoi le Bloc Québécois exige que le Canada: a) endosse la déclaration de nations unies sur les droits des peuples autochtones et recommande aux pays circumpolaires non signataires (les états-unis et la russie) de faire de même")

Will continue to demand that the federal government comply fully with treaties in order to establish a genuine partnership with indigenous peoples based on trust, mutual respect and recognition of their rights (9.1.4: "Le Bloc Québécois continuera d’exiger du gouvernement fédéral le respect intégral des traités, de façon à établir avec les peuples autochtones un véritable partenariat basé sur la confiance, le respect mutuel et la reconnaissance de leurs droits")
Has enacted "formal endorsement of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, in a manner fully consistent with Canada’s constitution and laws"

Has enacted "an independent tribunal with the power to make binding decisions on specific [land] claims and compensation, part of our successful efforts to speed up the resolution of outstanding specific claims"

Has enacted "extension of protection under the Canadian Human Rights Act to people living on reserve"

Has enacted "legislation to extend to women living on reserve the same matrimonial property rights held by other Canadian women"
Will honour "the spirit and intent of Land Claims Agreements, and uphold the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples"

Will "implement the lands claims agreements already negotiated and languishing for lack of funding, particularly for First Nations in the territories"

Will "honour Canada's fiduciary responsibility and the Aboriginal rights, treaty rights and other rights of Aboriginal peoples, including their inherent rights of self-government"

Will, in "partnership with Aboriginal Peoples, work towards the creation of an Aboriginal Lands and Treaties Tribunal Act to establish an independent body to decide on specific claims, ensure that treaty negotiations are conducted and financed fairly, and ensure that treaty negotiations and claims resolutions do not result in the extinguishment of Aboriginal and treaty rights"

Will negotiate and "legislate primary [harvesting] rights for Aboriginal peoples on traditional lands" [see 'HUNTING']
Will immediately ratify "the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples [and] ensure its provisions are properly respected in Canada and incorporated into Canadian law"

Will respect "inherent Aboriginal and treaty rights and [support] Aboriginal communities in their relationships with the Crown"

Will legally recognize "the legitimacy and jurisdiction of Indigenous governments... [including] engagement in full consultations to give respect to Aboriginal communities’ rights over their own membership"

Will develop "a comprehensive claims policy that genuinely respects Aboriginal title"
Opposes "the proliferation of guns and the abolition of the Gun Registry""Opposed the wasteful and ineffective long-gun registry, and extended measures to avoid the criminalization of law-abiding farmers, hunters, and sportsmen"

Will "end the long-gun registry once and for all"

Will "establish a Hunting Advisory Panel, reporting to the Minister of the Environment, comprised of representatives of provincial and territorial hunters and anglers associations... [for] balanced advice" [Note: No Aboriginal-specific bodies are named here, although the fact that "hunting, fishing and trapping... remain central to the livelihood and traditions of many Canadians, including Aboriginal and Northern communities" is noted]
Will streamline "the gun registry in consultation with First Nations, and with gun sports and hunter organizations"

Will work "with provincial and territorial governments to end all trophy hunting in Canada while supporting subsistence hunting by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians of wild animals that are not threatened or endangered"

Will negotiate and "legislate primary hunting, fishing, trapping and logging rights for Aboriginal peoples on traditional lands, especially lands under federal jurisdiction, subject to standards of sustainable harvesting"

Will "ensure that governments and corporations respect the Sparrow decision... and the Haida decision" [see 'CONSULTATION']
Will "improve the long gun registry so that it better serves police, Canadian long-gun owners and rural Canadians"
Has "in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples [and others] increased the size of our marine protected areas, and created eight new federal protected areas."

Has "passed legislation protecting our Arctic waters"

Will "work toward an agreement with provincial, regional, municipal, Aboriginal, and community stakeholders to establish a National Conservation Plan"

Will support "environmental safety upgrades to the fuel tanks that power essential community infrastructure in many remote and rural First Nations communities"

Will "promote the deployment of clean energy technologies in Aboriginal and Northern communities"

Will "take action toward the establishment of a new National Park in the Rouge Valley [of the] Greater Toronto Area [and] work toward an agreement with provincial, regional, municipal, Aboriginal, and community stakeholders [and] ensure that communities in the region remain free to address their infrastructure needs"
Will re-commit to "the completion of the National Parks system that consists of a representative network of Canada’s terrestrial and marine ecosystems [by] 2020 with emphasis on ... extending, in partnership with provinces, territories, and Aboriginal peoples, Canada’s network of land, freshwater and marine protected areas"

Will establish "special task forces... to prepare, over the next two years, area-specific climate change adaptation strategies... in places particularly vulnerable to climate shift and disruptions, the Canadian Arctic, coastal zones, the Prairies, and the [BC] Interior"

Will implement "recommendations of conservation scientists for effective action to preserve... keystone species, endangered species, and species of commercial or cultural value, especially those of value to First Nations communities"

Will amend Canada’s Species at Risk Act to ensure "that recovery-planning efforts identify and then appropriately manage, protect and/or restore the habitat that species need to recover, through consultative, collaborative efforts with stakeholders, land-owners, provinces, municipalities, and First Nations governments"

Will, together with "the provinces, First Nations and the logging industry, devise incentives that promote the use of single stem selection logging and longer rotations that conserve natural forest ecosystems and grow higher value wood"

Will "support the Boreal Forest Conservation Framework agreement finalized in 2010 between a number of major forestry companies, First Nations and environment groups to protect at least half of Canada’s Boreal Forest ... and institute state-of-the-art ecosystem based management and stewardship on the remaining landscape"
Will "expand Canada’s marine protected areas network and ensure that this network is accompanied by a more effective approach to ocean management"

Will “halt all new leasing and oil exploration activities in Canada’s Arctic waters pending an independent examination of the risks"

Will "work with the provinces, territories, First Nations and conservation groups to protect more of Canada’s intact wilderness areas [with emphasis on] an ecosystem-wide approach to conservation, whereby national and provincial parks and other conservation areas, including parts of our boreal forest, are connected through protected 'eco-corridors' that allow species to move from one protected area to another"

Will "recognize the fundamental importance of Pacific salmon for the economy, cultures and way of life on Canada’s west coast, and will ensure its conservation is the first priority in fishery issues there"

Will engage with “First Nations… and other ocean users in decisions about how to reduce risks to oceans health"

Will “formalize the moratorium on crude oil tanker traffic in [Pacific North Coast] waters, including the Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait, and Queen Charlotte Sound, through regulation, legislation or both”
Will ensure "equitable participation of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples and governments in Canada’s stewardship of the environment and resources, and on appropriate boards, commissions and international delegations"

Will "develop, in consultation and cooperation with... Aboriginal governments... and other stakeholders, a comprehensive strategy for our country’s long-term energy security in a lower carbon future"
Will demand that Canada develop the proper methods for consultation with the people of the Arctic, and demand that Canada encourage the member countries of the Arctic Council to do the same ("9.2.1: C’est pourquoi le Bloc Québécois exige que le Canada: (b) développe ses propres outils de consultation auprès de la population de l’arctique et incite les pays membres du Conseil de l’Arctique à faire de même")

Will demand that the federal government includes Nunavik in Canada’s Northern Strategy (9.2.1: C’est pourquoi le Bloc Québécois exige que le Canada: c) inclue le Nunavik dans la Stratégie pour le nord canadien")
Has "passed legislation protecting our Arctic waters"

"Established a new stand-alone regional development agency, CanNor, to promote economic development in Canada’s North"

Will "in partnership with the territorial government and private-sector stakeholders... build an all-weather road linking Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk [NWT]" thereby "extending the Dempster Highway to the Arctic Ocean [to] complete the National Highway System"

Budget 2011 provided $4 million over 2 years "to the Northern Pipeline Agency to create a cost-recovered consultations initiative, primarily
focused on Aboriginal groups, with respect to the Alaska Pipeline Project"

Will expand "adult basic education programming in the territories [to] help increase education and employment levels among Aboriginals in the North"

Will "promote the deployment of clean energy technologies in Aboriginal and Northern communities"

Will "establish a Hunting Advisory Panel" [see 'ENVIRONMENT']
Will "promote the creation of an internationally- recognized Arctic Protected Zone where no mineral exploration will be permitted by any country, similar to the internationally-recognized Antarctic Protected Area"

Will "restore the post of Ambassador to the Circumpolar North"

Will advocate "for the the Arctic Council to be the primary forum for the diplomatic resolution of Arctic territorial disputes and the negotiation of multilateral treaties, thus allowing for the formal participation of territorial and indigenous leaders"

Will establish "special task forces to prepare climate change adaptation strategies for the Canadian Arctic" [see 'ENVIRONMENT']

Will recognize "and respect that our Arctic sovereignty is already established through the presence of Canadians in the North, including the continuous use and occupation of Arctic lands and waters by indigenous peoples"

Will "reinforce Canada's Arctic sovereignty through community infrastructure development, regional sustainability projects, northern research, northern culture, and other regional socio-economic activities rather than through military presence"

Will expand "funding for Arctic research, including support for and recognition of traditional knowledge, particularly critical in light of the increasing climate change threat"

Will "improve and increase monitoring of indigenous food (e.g. caribou, salmon, etc.) to ensure Inuit and First Nations, particularly pregnant women and nursing mothers, are not being over-exposed to persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals that build up through the global food chain and pool at high levels in the Arctic"

Will "work to develop collaborative community based education programs to promote [Northerners'] consumption of food with less toxicity"

Will invest "in renewable local energy sources to avoid [Northern] dependency on very expensive and polluting imported diesel"

Will "support training and equipping the Canadian Rangers, many of whom are Inuit and First Nations people who live in the North and are experienced survival experts on land and sea, to comprise the backbone of emergency support throughout the Arctic"

Will "commission a major class of icebreaker, capable of rescue work with any likely depth of ice"

Will "develop a comprehensive pan-Arctic waste management strategy"

Will establish, "with the partnership of indigenous peoples, protected areas -- terrestrial, marine and ice -- in an ecologically-representative network in the three northern Territories"

Will "extend Canada’s sovereignty of Arctic sub-sea resources through a submission to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea"

Will engage "Canadians in an open discussion to create a development/protection plan for any new sub-sea territory and include in that discussion northern voices"

Will "seek a constructive multilateral Arctic maritime treaty, negotiated through the Arctic Council, to regulate all maritime activity in the Arctic, with the exception of traditional Aboriginal activity, such that the health and well-being of the Arctic ecosystem and its northern inhabitants are safeguarded"
Will “halt all new leasing and oil exploration activities in Canada’s Arctic waters pending an independent examination of the risks"

Will appoint “a new Ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs, and energizing Canada’s participation in the Arctic Council… [including acting] to establish a permanent secretariat for the Arctic Council in Canada”

Will “work to bring together all members of the Arctic Council, including indigenous leadership, to formalize cooperation on environmental stewardship, economic and social development, transportation, search and rescue, and security”

Will “pursue a joint Arctic mapping exercise to help establish international protected lands, oceans, fisheries and wildlife, sacred indigenous sites, and further cooperation on security”
Will create a "Northern Highways investment fund and begin with completion of the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk link, followed by eventual completion of the Mackenzie Valley Highway"

Will invest "in human capital and physical infrastructure in the North as the best means of guaranteeing Canadian sovereignty"

Will "establish FedNor as a fully independent regional development agency with a new mandate to invest exclusively in Northern Ontario"

Will "double the FedNor funding"
Will support the "10,000 Possibilities" Project of First Nations of Quebec, which proposes to build 10,000 new homes [see 'EDUCATION']Have "made substantial investments ... in new and better housing" in First Nations communities via Economic Action PlanWill increase spending on "First Nations education, safe drinking water and improved housing" by $800 million annually
Will "work with provincial, territorial and municipal partners to put in place a renewed Affordable Housing Framework [with 3] main objectives: reduce homelessness; maintain and renew existing affordable housing stock; stimulate new construction... The new Framework will promote progress on the particular needs of... Northern and Aboriginal communities"
Will, "in partnership with the territorial government and private-sector stakeholders... build an all-weather road linking Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk" [see "THE NORTH"]

Have "made substantial investments in better infrastructure in First Nations communities including new and better housing, schools, drinking-water and waste-water systems, and health and police infrastructure"
Will increase spending on "First Nations education, safe drinking water and improved housing" by $800 million annually

Will ensure "secure, safe water supplies for all citizens with a focus on First Nations communities through establishing regulations requiring protection of drinking water at its source, public inspection of domestic water supplies, and mandatory and regular drinking water testing"
Will "set a goal of 100 per cent high-speed internet connectivity of at least 1.5 MB/sec for all Canadian communities within three years of being elected ... [to] increase the availability of affordable line and wireless connectivity, and improve mobile phone coverage in rural areas"Will improve "physical infrastructure such as housing, drinking water facilities, roads and other essential services"
"The Government has consistently shown its commitment to the Aboriginal people of Canada through... significant
investments that seek to improve health outcomes for First Nations people
and Inuit, as well as First Nations child and family services in concert with
willing provinces and First Nations"
Will "support the restoration of the $5.1 billion commitment of the landmark Kelowna Accord reached between federal and provincial, territorial and First Nations governments in Canada in 2005, with the proviso that the ensuing programs do not lead to greater infringement on Aboriginal and treaty rights"Will remove "the punitive 2% funding cap on Indian and Northern Affairs Canada transfers to First Nations that was instituted by the Liberals and
maintained by the Harper Conservatives"

Will end "current funding inequities between federal services to First Nations and provincial or territorial services to Canadians, beginning with Child and Family Services and education"
Will support the "10,000 Possibilities" Project of First Nations of Quebec, which proposes to create 10,000 new jobs [see 'EDUCATION']Established CanNor [see 'THE NORTH']

Will provide "new investments in First Nations Land Management, allowing First Nations to promote the development of their reserve lands and resources -- a policy which has already led to new greater investment on reserve lands and more job opportunities for both Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals"

Has "invested in skills training, and supported business development by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal businesses"

Budget 2011: "The Government will take
additional steps to eliminate barriers to participation for Aboriginal people
and other groups that have difficulties integrating into the labour market,
and will work to address the challenges facing these groups"
Will support "First Nations, Inuit and Métis participation in resource management decision-making and resource revenue sharing"

Will "establish FedNor as a fully independent regional development agency with a new mandate to invest exclusively in Northern Ontario"

Will "double the FedNor funding"

Will create a "Northern Highways investment fund" [see 'THE NORTH']

Will enhance "access to capital and small business development so that First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people can establish sustainable local economies and fully participate in the Canadian economy"

Will remove "barriers to local control over Aboriginal business development"

Will improve "physical infrastructure, housing, drinking water, sewage, roads and other services that are essential to economic development"
Will "table legislation that will set goals and targets for poverty reduction in consultation with the provincial, territorial, municipal and Aboriginal governments and with non-governmental organizations"
"Set up task forces to address the treatment of Aboriginals in the Canadian justice system and to investigate and address the disappearance of Aboriginal women"

"Ensure, through consultation with indigenous organizations representing the concerns of Aboriginal women, that the rights of Inuit, Métis and First Nations women are protected"
Will "mandate a national task force to examine the systemic causes of this problem, with an emphasis on preventing its continuation in the future, [that] will build on the work of provinces and Aboriginal women, and report to the Minister of Justice with an analysis and recommendations"Will "support a coordinated federal response to violence against Aboriginal women, led by Aboriginal communities, and including the ongoing funding of Aboriginal women’s organizations"

Will engage "with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit women and appropriate organizations to ensure that their rights and personal safety are assured"
Will implement "Jordan's Principle to guarantee First Nations children are not hurt by jurisdictional disputes between governments"

Will work "with local child service organizations to reduce the number of Aboriginal children in care"
Wants to "make rehabilitating young offenders and reintegrating them into society a priority"

Will promote "adopting a results-­oriented approach to justice rather one focused on an ideology of retribution"

Will push for step up of "gang enforcement efforts [and] make it illegal to wear insignia associating
an individual with a criminal gang"

"Implement a series of measures to provide
police forces with the means to fight street
Will, as majority government, "bundle [a series of law-and-order] bills into comprehensive legislation, and pass them within the new Parliament's first 100 days," including measures that will "crack down on organized drug crime; end house arrest for serious and violent criminals; end house arrest for serious personal injury offences, such as sexual assault; strengthen the handling of violent and repeat young offenders (Sébastien’s Law)"

Have "established the Youth Gang Prevention Fund, providing support for successful community programs to help at-risk youth to avoid involvement in gangs and criminal activity"

Have "invested in hiring 1,000 new RCMP personnel, and established a Police Officers Recruitment Fund to support the recruitment of 2,500 police officers across Canada"

"Budget 2011 invests an additional $30 million over two years in the First Nations Policing Program... complement[ing] other funding being proposed in this budget for
Aboriginal people"

Will "provide enhanced EI benefits to parents of murdered or missing children"

Strongly "supported Conservative MP Joy Smith’s bill, which established mandatory jail time for trafficking in children"

Will "develop and implement a National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking"

Will "support organizations providing assistance to [trafficking] victims"

"To help reduce the problem of trafficking in contraband tobacco, we will establish mandatory jail time for repeat offenders"

Will "establish a new RCMP Anti-Contraband Force of 50 officers"
"Set up task forces to address the treatment of Aboriginals in the Canadian justice system and to investigate and address the disappearance of Aboriginal women"

Will review "the Young Offenders Act to ensure it is not an inducement to youth crime, while
retaining its core principle, that youth should not be treated as hardened criminals.

Will revise "laws to increase penalties for domestic violence and ensure protection for the victims and survivors of domestic violence"

Will "ensure meaningful and appropriate resources are available for communities that wish to use restorative justice and community healing programs in which wrongdoers make reparation to victims and their communities"

Will focus "upon education and meaningful work for offenders while they are incarcerated in order that they might pay at least part of the costs of their crime and housing in jail as well as become better prepared for reintegration into society upon their release"

Will pass "legislation that establishes an independent body to investigate complaints regarding the conduct of RCMP officers with full judicial inquiry powers and the requirement to report its finding publicly"
Accuses the Harper government of a "narrow preoccupation" with "punishing crime, and exploiting fear"

Claims the Parliamentary Budget Officer estimates that just one of [the Conservatives'] piecemeal sentencing Bills will cost federal and provincial governments $10 to 13 billion over five years, for building US-style mega-prisons

Argues that "more prisons alone will not make our communities safer and stronger"

Will "reinstate the Court Challenges Program in order to maintain effective access to justice, and to prevent financial barriers from blocking the pursuit of equality for all Canadians"

Will "move decisively to establish a civilian oversight board, restore transparency, and address management and leadership issues in the RCMP"
Will enable "Aboriginal communities to develop restorative justice and healing practices that offer Indigenous youth better opportunities and choices"

Will "work with the provinces, territories, and First Nations communities to provide stable, multi-year funding to eventually put at least 2,500 new police officers on the streets, and keep them there permanently"

Will "give parents, teachers and police more tools to protect
our children by making gang recruiting illegal, and establishing
a comprehensive Correctional Anti-Gang Strategy to ensure that
prisons do not serve as “crime schools” to train
gang-involved offenders"
Will address "the needs of urban First Nations, Métis and Inuit citizens with special attention to the appropriate development and delivery of affordable housing, public health care, education, skills training, as well as the development of economic and employment opportunities"

Will invest "in urban friendship centres that are the focal point of integration into the urban social fabric for many Aboriginal people"
Will demand, in support of First Nations of Québec, that the federal government's apology for abuse suffered in residential schools is followed by concrete action (9.1.5: "Le Bloc Québécois, en appui aux premières nations du Québec, exigera du gouvernement fédéral que les excuses pour les sévices subis dans les pensionnats autochtones soient suivies de gestes concrets")Will "honour the contributions of First Nations to the Canadian victory" in the War of 1812Will promote "Aboriginal culture, language and history as a fundamental source of Canadian identity"Will support "the Aboriginal Healing Foundation and [ensure] that Residential School survivors left out by the current agreement are fairly compensated"

Will support "initiatives to celebrate each June as National Aboriginal History Month"

A note on methodology: essentially, my modus operandi here was to download and parse out the platforms of each party based on simple searches I had run on words like ‘Aboriginal,’ ‘Indigenous’ and the like.

Where/when parties may not have employed those specific terms, I obviously risk omitting Aboriginal-relevant promises. Of course, some initiatives benefit (or harm) everyone who falls within their realm of impact, whatever their degree of Aboriginality; therefore, parties may not have felt the need to identify and delineate the ways their policies could have potentially differential or disproportionate impacts on different populations.

Where my grid possibly fails in certain instances to take any/all of the above into proper account, I invite you to tell me via the DISQUS comments below.

UPDATE (APRIL 11): The Green platform as released in its Green Book form is, frankly, more like a brochure and I found myself wondering whether there was more to the party’s policies somewhere else. In fact, the Greens’ actual Aboriginal policy (part of their overall Vision Greendocument) is way more comprehensive, and I have elected to include relevant pieces of it in this grid alongside the two ‘official’ platform planks they provide.

UPDATE (APRIL 12): Concerned at the potential optics of what I have done in the Greens case, I will do the same for the other parties as soon as possible (where necessary) to offer them all the same treatment.

UPDATE (APRIL 12: Pt. 2): Reviewed the Liberal website for other possible sources of additions/amendments and found none some, likewise with the NDP; for the Conservatives, decided to also include the promises outlined in Budget 2011. Finally, I added a few points from the Bloc based on their Policy Statement for the 2011 election. Barring any new additions, these are the ‘final’ platforms from all 5 parties.

UPDATE (APRIL 30): Just days before the vote, the NDP released added elements to its Aboriginal platform, which I have incorporated.

12 thoughts on “Canadian Election 2011 Party Platforms: Aboriginal Peoples

  1. I appreciate the work it took to create this! Gives me a handy way to compare the information. If I want to, I can go to specific sections of any platform and explore further. Thank you 🙂

  2. Very useful. Thanks! Concerned about Liberal commitment to “work with the provinces, territories, First Nations and conservation groups to protect more of Canada’s intact wilderness areas [with emphasis on] an ecosystem-wide approach to conservation, whereby national and provincial parks and other conservation areas, including parts of our boreal forest, are connected through protected ‘eco-corridors’ that allow species to move from one protected area to another”. Is this what First Nations are asking for? Sounds like it comes straight out of the Boreal Conservation campaign, led by the environmental groups and significantly funded by Pew Charitable Trusts in the U.S. The campaign has been notorious for leaving First Nations out of its policy development.

  3. Would like to see parties’ positions on war–Afghanistan, bombing of Libya. Aboriginal people are enlisting and fighting in these wars.

  4. This is very enlightening! Interesting how the conservatives view themselves as having done all of that for the Aboriginal population. One of those example of so -called “consulation” that they do with AFN?

  5. Daniel, not to be needlessly picky, but the only Aboriginal platform I see on the New Democratic Party Aboriginal Commission (NDPAC) site is for 2008. Is there something explicitly for this year that I have overlooked? I have avoided referencing any party’s material from the last election.

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