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.

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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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