Many Canadians shared in the sweet sense of pride as they watched the first black U.S. President take his oath of office. That moment, still lingering, symbolized an opportunity for Americans to feel free of their racial demons.
Watching the inauguration, it was hard not to long for an Obama moment of our own – for the emergence of a transcendent figure who could help Canadians move past their own racial troubles. In our country’s case, it would mean the election of an aboriginal person capable of unifying and representing all Canadians. Unfortunately, this will not happen any time soon.
A comparison between the political progress of African-Americans and Canadian aboriginals is not necessarily intuitive. Nonetheless, there is no doubt that each became their country’s most maligned and disenfranchised citizens. Why then has their recent experience been so different?