Comparison of Federal Parties Platforms on Aboriginal Policy

Below you will find my chart of some of the election issues that are important to me and my family. What I did was compare what was important to us against the election platforms of the major federal parties. The first three issues are fundamental to First Nation-Crown relations and the most important to me. After that, the issues I listed are in no particular order, but are all important. If you are wondering why there are so many blank spaces in my chart -so am I. I have reviewed all the election platforms on all the parties websites and it is SLIM PICKENS when it comes to real meaningful promises or commitments for Aboriginal peoples. I wonder if the parties think that because Harper was so bad with Aboriginal issues that we are so desperate as to accept any promise, no matter how small? BLOC – The word “Aboriginal” only appears once in the Bloc’s platform and simply says they will deal with First Nations on a Nation-to-Nation basis. NDP – The NDP’s platform outline on their website lacks any details yet and there is no mention of Aboriginal issues – more to come I am sure. FIRST PEOPLES – Even the First Peoples National Party has next to nothing on their website except for a call to abolish Senate and replace it with elected Aboriginal people and to ensure all schools and universities teach Native Studies courses.’search’ GREEN – The Green Party commits to add $800M a year to federal funding for education, housing, and water. They also promise to have Canada implement UNDRIP as well as Kelowna. PC – The Conservatives do far more boasting than offering any real substantial commitments to Aboriginal peoples. It ends up being more assimilation with a side order of paternalism with their tiresome focus on chief’s salaries. LIBERAL – Then there is the Liberal Party, who has produced a detailed platform which does mention Aboriginal peoples. The Liberal promises are as follows: (1) a partial removal of the funding cap on First Nation post-secondary education with an extra $200M in the first 2 years; (2) stable funding for First Nations University of Canada; (3) $5M  per year (for 3 years) for a Metis scholarship; (4) $300M for k-12 education in year 2; (5) Will continue support for Aboriginal Headstart; (6) Will create a First Nation Auditor General; (7) Will have an inquiry into the number of Murdered and Missing Aboriginal Women; and (8) “Retain lessons and spirit of Kelowna process”. So, as the weeks go on and the parties speak more about their platforms and release more details, if they make any promises for Aboriginal peoples, I will add them to my chart. In the meantime, this chart should stand as a glaring reminder of how little attention our issues have received so far and to demand more from these parties. What is being promised so far leaves something to be desired. Perhaps if any of the parties are reading my blog, they might want to consider either including or beefing up their sections on Aboriginal peoples. We are the First Peoples of this land and our rights are constitutionally enshrined. We have treaties signed between Nations that have yet to be recognized and implemented. We also have a crisis in First Nation poverty caused by colonial policies of land and resource theft, denial of basic rights and freedoms and an active policy of assimilation. Until those issues are addressed, a few election promises won’t make much of a difference in the everyday lives of Indigenous peoples.








Nation-Nation Relations

Honour FN vets in War 1812 commem.




 Remove Senate, elect Abs

Treaty Recog & Implementation

Priority funds to enhance fish stocks, greater FN role, Land & treaty tribunal, respect douglas treaty

Address Land Claims

Invest in FN land management

Eco-tourism for FNs, extend protect area, honour intent of land claims agrees, no extinguish

Remove 2% Funding Cap

Partial, $200M/2 yr

Yes plus capital $ for business

Implement Kelowna

“lessons & spirit”

Yes, restore $5.1B in funds

“fight poverty”

Increase PSE Funding

FNUC stable $,

$5M Metis scholarship

Adult education in north, skills training in north

Yes, $1B per yr for 4 years, grants for Ab students

Yes *$800M/yr

Increase k-12 Funding

$300M in yr 2


*$800M, promote culture & language

No,Native courses

Proper Funds for Housing

safety upgrades to fuel tanks in north




Proper Funds for Water

promote clean technologies




Child & Family Equal Funds

Reduce toxin exposure

Make all Laws s.35 Compliant

work in collab w FN re national conservation strategy, hunting advisory panel, respect economic groups

Respect s.35, but no commercial seal hunt, no whale hunt

Ab Headstart

Will “support”

Make all laws s.15 Compliant

recruit more Ab doctors

task force re Abs in justice system

Fund FN police, fire & EMS

No, but FN AG

 Murdered & Missing Ab Wom. Inquiry


federal response to violence, funds for Ab women orgs

FNs Lead Any Legislative Changes re FNs

accountability legislation re chiefs salaries

phase out Indian Act

Implement UNDRIP


Consult & Accommodate!!!

Consult with Abs in poverty legislation, lower carbon

(c) Pamela D. Palmater

I welcome all comments and feedback on this chart as it gets filled out – well, at least I hope it gets filled out. For anyone who is interested, the following link provides details on all the Aboriginal people running as candidates in the federal election for the various parties:


  1. As always Pam – you are the "go to woman" on matters of politics! This is especially true in the time of a federal election and I appreciate your writing very much as well as the effort involved. I tend to read the news online daily… as well as read your blog/twitter to keep informed. Yes you are on par with my Globe and Mail and google Canada news!

    Now with respect to content, I am going to say that I have always found the choice in politics to be "the best of the worst" so having your chart and commentary certainly allows me to figure what is best of the sorry lot we Indigenous peoples have to choose from in the current political scheme of things in federal politics.

    I will go out on a limb and support the Liberal proposition to increase funding for education as I believe that is instrumental in the success of Indigenous peoples in contemporary society.

    Secondly, I believe the Liberal's proposition to hold an inquiry into the horrific status of missing and murdered Aboriginal women is a worthy one. I have experienced violence as an Aboriginal woman and I believe that reality is all too common and has become an epidemic of its own for Aboriginal women. An inquiry into the missing and murdered women is a start and a long overdue one at that in my lay opinion.

    Any endorsement is premature and please excuse the crass phrase, but the positions of the federal parties en masse is rather worse than "half ass" so I will reiterate my position that choice may be relegated to the "best of the worst."



  2. Hey Aleta;

    Thanks so much for your ongoing support and kind words. I have to say, it makes my day to sign in and here what people are thinking. I agree with you that we have very por choices this time around and that puts us in a bad position.
    Once I get back from vacation, I will do some critical analysis of each of the parties positions in much more detail. I am glad the chart is helpful for njow. 🙂 Pam

  3. I need simpler info I know nothing I wish to educate my other for a lack of word simpler brothers and sister who have no idea either Thats why they don't know who or what to vote for Michael scott at BON MB CANADA

  4. Thank-you for taking the time to review the parties platforms, and breaking them down. One that stands out for me, is the issue of Murdered and Missing Aboriginal Women. I am the candidate for the Green Party, in the Churchill riding. I can promise you that this issue will be my priority, it has been, and that won't change. We currently have missing people from our community, and I have attended meetings on this issue, so I know the needs. I jioned this party because I believe it is the one that is more aligned with Indigneous values, and also inclusive for all peoples. I encourage people to vote for the Green Party of Canada and make some badly needed changes for the globe, not just in "Canada".

  5. Im a descendant of the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation. I live off reserve and my Council informed me you spoke at a Indian Act Workshop, on my reserve. I saw your blog posted on Fb and I like what you had to say, before I was aware of this information.
    I honor your work in teaching our people the truth of the worlds most discriminating piece of legistation ever written.

    Woliwon (thank you)

  6. Thank you all for your comments. I consider this chart a rolling document that I will update as all the platforms are released. It should be up to date now. Sadly, there are still way too many blank spaces.

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