Volume 22, Fall 2002
Terence R. Anderson
Toward a New and More Just Relationship
A new relationship between Aboriginal peoples and other Canadians is central for Canada's future, but the issues it presents may also be a portent of things to come for us all with increasing globalization. What is entailed in fashioning a viable and just Canadian society and state in which distinct Aboriginal peoples or nations can not only survive and break out of a colonial past, but flourish, especially in an increasingly global economy with its homogenizing pressures? This essay provides an overview of the issues. Following a brief historical survey of the relationship between the Aboriginal peoples and the newcomers in Canada, the political and economic challenges in forming a more just relationship are outlined together with some of the competing visions, social policy options, and current mechanisms for effecting such. Next, some of the pressures on civil society and needed changes this generates are noted. Finally, the religious dimension in all of this, especially the peculiar situation of the churches, is briefly described, including the churches' tainted past, and yet their promising new role emerging as they come to terms with this past and seek to forge new relationships within their own communities.