I think Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his office have been missing something during the SNC-Lavalin corruption controversy.
That something is the re-emergence of the Indigenous “voice” and what we can learn from it.
Jody Wilson-Raybould describes herself as a “truth talker.” That is not just a marketing brand or product framing. It is a tenet that lies at the root of the Indigenous Peoples’ Renaissance we are witnessing in Canada today.
It is about the telling of truth, and of accepting the truth, around residential schools, conditions on reserves, semi-autonomous self-government, the Delgamuukw decision, the snatchings, voting and access rights — all of the Indigenous experience since first contact with European colonists.
Trudeau keeps trying to deny and re-direct and spin this. It’s been failing every time. He has spoken about “reconciliation,” but has sadly missed the most important part of it — speaking and accepting the truth, no matter what.
The first settlers who came to this land felt very deeply they had so much to teach the people they found here. It turns out the people had a very important lesson to teach them.
This time, with the lesson on “truth talking” from Wilson-Raybould to learn from, we should listen.