Big Thinking

Why Don’t We Get Along?

Jim Miller, Canada Research Chair in Native-Newcomer Relations and a Professor of History at the University of Saskatchewan
September 18, 2014

Oka.  Ipperwash.  Gustafsen Lake. Threatened opposition to western pipelines and developments in the Ring of Fire. Idle No More. Suspension of the First Nations Education Act after Shawn Atleo’s resignation. Why do First Nations and the Canadian government so often find themselves at loggerheads? Why don’t we get along?

Have relations in Canada between Aboriginal peoples and newcomers always been as difficult as they are now? Or were relations better at some point in our shared history and deteriorated later on? If the latter, then when, why, and how did relations turn from congenial to confrontational?

Join Jim Miller from the University of Saskatchewan as he examines the evolution of Native-newcomer interaction, paying particular attention to economic relations, treaty-making and the role of the Indian Act. His presentation will shed light on the complexities of the Native-newcomer relationship in the past and strive to provide some hopeful insights for future relations.

This lecture is part of the 20th anniversary of the Big Thinking lecture series on Parliament Hill. For the anniversary, the series has invited back lecturers who spoke 20 years ago to share their perspectives on how policy issues have – or have not – changed, and what we can learn going forward.