The department governing aboriginal affairs was founded on the premise of ‘the destruction of indigenous peoples,’ says Robert-Falcon Ouellette.
Liberal MP Robert-Falcon Ouellette says the department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs may have to be rebuilt entirely if reconciliation is to happen.
The MP from Winnipeg Centre, Man. said he thinks the history of the department that was responsible for many years for the marginalization of indigenous people runs too deep, and that for the culture to truly change, an entirely new department, staffed with as many indigenous people as possible, ought to be created.
Mr. Ouellette, who served in the military in his youth, compared changing government culture on indigenous rights to the changing of military culture to recognize human rights.
“In 1996, we had huge issues surrounding harassment and human rights [in the military],” he said. “We had a managerial system that was completely broken. I was told when I joined the military that I did not have human rights.”