- MacDonald, David Bruce. 2014. “Reforming Multiculturalism in a Bi-National Society: Aboriginal Peoples and the Search for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada.” The Canadian Journal of Sociology / Cahiers canadiens de sociologie, Vol. 39, No. 1, pp. 65-86. Edmonton, Canada: Canadian Journal of Sociology.
Since the 1960s, some Aboriginal theorists and political leaders have opposed aspects of Canadian multiculturalism. In part this is because multicultural policies and their promise of “tolerance” (within western institutions) and formal equality insufficiently recognize the sui generis rights of Aboriginal peoples, while similarly failing to address the continuing economic, social, and political inequalities between Aboriginal and settler populations. This article proposes working towards a “syncretic multiculturalism,” which might involve adopting a “binational” perspective, focusing on the need for partnership between Aboriginal and Shognosh peoples. Such a perspective can help the country move beyond “colonial multiculturalism” which privileges integration into dominant English and French settler societies. Prioritizing Aboriginal involvement in reshaping national institutions and identity, so that newcomers and the rest of us are integrated into Aboriginal ways of knowing and being, can play a role in repairing some of the harms done through residential schooling and other colonial policies.