The Never-Ending, Debilitating Civic Childhood of Canadian Aboriginals

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. -Corinthians 1

It is the right and privilege of all capable, adult citizens of Canada to share with each other the same civic rights and to shoulder the same civic responsibilities. The exercise and shouldering of such shared rights and responsibilities creates the sense of commonality and unity amongst the citizenry that is crucial, not only to the health and well-being of the country as a whole, but also to the material and psychological well-being of each of its adult citizens.

The right to be treated equally by and under the law is fundamental to this sense of collective and individual well-being, as is, on the other side, firstly, the mutual sharing of obligations, duties and responsibilities owed to each other and to the country, and secondly, the joint and several submitting to the equal application of the country’s laws and social and civic expectations.

All of the above constitutes the social glue that holds the country together and best ensures its ongoing peace, prosperity, unity, order and good government.

But there is a rent in our Canadian social fabric in this regard.

Adult Indigenous Canadians, representing about five percent of our population and numbering about 1.6 million souls, despite their now general, adult capability, are not afforded equal, adult, civic status. To the enduring harm of both themselves and the country they are being kept in a state of never-ending, civic childhood.

Since our country’s founding, and still today, they have been and are now treated by our laws and by our sensibilities as dependents- as children- as incapable persons- as non-adults- of whom nothing in the way of shouldering civic responsibilities is either demanded or expected. Their leaders would loudly bridle at this statement and would loudly proclaim that they are individually and collectively the equals in all respects with all other Canadians. On an individual basis, in terms of rights, this is perfectly true. But on a collective basis their leaders’ proclamations are false. Collectively, despite their full adult capability, they are still civically treated like dependent children  of who nothing is civically asked. And collectively they act accordingly.

Even worse, these leaders demand the continuation and even expansion of this historic and current dependency and civic exemption status for their people.  Never in recent Canadian history has a group been so ill-served by their leaders as are Aboriginal Canadians today.

Today’s Aboriginal state of dependency has its origins in the nineteenth century collapse of their traditional hunting, gathering and subsistence trading economy, which brought about the final, tragic end of their pre-contact cultural and political ways of being. The white man was unstoppably coming, and treaties were felt to be needed to pave the way for him. In the pathos-filled treaty talks which ensued the unequal power dynamic existing between the representatives of “the Crown”, whether of Great Britain or Canada, and the Indians bands being treated with, was clearly illustrated by the frequent use of the parent-child analogy. In the treaty talks the Crown was often personalized and called “the Queen Mother”, or “the Great Mother”, and the treating Indians were called her “children” or her “red children”. Tellingly, both sides used this terminology.

It is from this original unequal bargaining relationship- from this situation of vulnerability and dependency on the part of the treating Indians- that there justly and properly arose a fiduciary-like relationship between Canada and its Aboriginal peoples- a relationship demanding honorable conduct on the part of the Crowns of Canada towards them.

Thus arose the Crown honor doctrine, the underlying assumption of which, even today, is that Aboriginal Canadians still exist in a state of child-like dependency vis-à-vis the Crowns of Canada, and so must be regarded and dealt with by them in parent-like fashion.

For about the first 75 years of Canada’s history the assumptions of Aboriginal vulnerability and dependency underlying the Crown honor doctrine remained justified by the facts on the ground. Aboriginals by and large lived reserve-oriented lives and were unassimilated into the broader society. Their level of participation and achievement in education and off-reserve employment was low. They “got by”, largely neglected by the broader society, on treaty payments and benefits and on the remains of their hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering culture.

But after World War 2 things changed profoundly.

Their old “living off the land” culture was no longer feasible. The industrialization of Canada picked up speed. Aboriginal families began to leave the reserves and migrate to the towns and cities of Canada where there was work to be had in bush camps, paper mills, mines, factories and elsewhere. The federal government instituted educational polices designed to encourage the enrolment of Aboriginal children in public schools. In 1960 the right to vote was restored to Aboriginal people. Aboriginals began to participate in politics at high levels. By the 1970’s almost half of Aboriginal Canadians were living away from their old reserves, fully supporting themselves in the assimilative mainstream economy. Now, more than half live and work off their reserves.

The ranks of academia, the professions, business, industry, the media and all other income-earning fields of endeavor are now enriched by Aboriginal Canadians.

Beginning with the passage of section 35 of the Constitution Act, a 40-year revolution in Aboriginal legal rights started and continues apace, giving Aboriginal groups vast and unprecedented new rights and powers to meaningfully participate in our resource sector- the backbone of our economy. Now, no new resource project in Canada, be it a mine, forestry operation, hydro dam, pipeline or anything similar, can proceed without all nearby Aboriginal bands giving their free, prior and informed consent, and being consulted and “accommodated”, the latter term meaning being given jobs and an ownership interest in the resource project under consideration. These rights and powers have been fully monetized in the form of “impact benefit agreements” and have become a major, new, lucrative source of tax-free income for Aboriginal bands and groups.

The facts on the ground have changed, and when the facts change, so should laws and policies that were based on the outdated facts.

Aboriginal Canadians today, qua Aboriginals, possessing the same rights and opportunities as all other Canadians, are neither vulnerable nor dependent in that pre-World War Two sense.

The old fiduciary-like view of the Crown honor principle, which essentially infantilized them, is no longer justified. Aboriginal Canadians have, in practical terms, “grown up”. Today they neither need nor deserve to be treated like civic children.

Yet that is how they continue to be treated. And when people are treated like children, they act like children, and in so doing, deprive themselves, as Aboriginal Canadians are tragically doing, of the immeasurable, individual and collective life-fulfilling benefits and responsibilities of civic adulthood.

All citizens of a well-functioning country, including all forms of minors and dependents, share the same, basic rights of citizenship. But only mentally capable, adult citizens shoulder the social and legal burdens and responsibilities of same, such as paying taxes, voting, being expected to comply with society’s laws and basic norms, and otherwise, to the extent they are able, engaging with and contributing to the common good.

This “shouldering” responsibility means that mentally capable, adult citizens are held to the objective standard of “the reasonable man” in their conduct- the standard that is expected of all ordinary, reasonable and prudent adults.  This standard pervades and largely defines the nature and quality of our social relations, and it deeply informs our country’s civil and criminal laws. In the application of this standard in situations, legal and otherwise, where determinations of individual   responsibility are made, little consideration is given to the individual characteristics of the relevant actor(s) involved, such as their intelligence, temperament, background or…race. These actors, on principle, are deemed to understand the nature and foreseeable consequences of their acts and omissions and are held responsible for them, or not, accordingly. There would be social and legal chaos otherwise.

Only children and mentally incapable persons are excused by our laws and societal norms from complying with the reasonable person standard of behavior.

Given the aforementioned change in the facts on the ground it is reasonable to say that our non-Aboriginal elites are now unintentionally disrespecting and insulting Aboriginal Canadians by insisting, despite all the evidence of Aboriginal assimilation, sophistication, literacy, worldly success and modernity to the contrary- despite all the evidence that Aboriginal Canadians have achieved collective, fully capable, civic adulthood- that they must still be regarded and treated as incapable, non-adult dependents- that they must still be infantilized- that their long-standing civic childhood must be continued indefinitely- and that, consistent with the foregoing, they are to remain exempt indefinitely  from all shouldering responsibilities and from the application of the reasonable person standard.

To their self-seeking shame, Aboriginal elites go along with this and play up to it in their relentless pursuit of more money and power.

Only a few examples amongst the countless that exist need be cited to illustrate this condemnation by our elites of Aboriginal Canadians to perpetual civic childhood.

Our Courts indulge and patronize Indigenous persons and forgive them for trespasses that non-Indigenous persons would never be forgiven for, creating an extremely tilted and uneven judicial playing field, and at the same creating time a divisive and demoralizing system of two-tier justice.

In the Ontario Keewatin v. Minister of Natural Resources, where the issue was the Ontario government’s right to grant interests in public land to resource companies, (a right that has been basic to the functioning of Ontario’s resource economy since Confederation),  the trial judge criticized the Ontario government’s approach to the litigation as “strongly adversarial”, and incoherently accused their lawyers of using “traditional Euro-Canadian common law property principles to support the relief they were seeking” against the Northwestern Ontario Grassy Narrows band which was suing it, blithely ignoring the fact that Her Honor was a “Euro-Canadian” judge trying a case under our “Euro-Canadian” adversary system,  in a “Euro-Canadian” court in accordance with those very principles of “Euro-Canadian” law.

Her real message was to tell non-Indigenous civil litigants that it would be “nice” and “honorable”- that the Court will expect and appreciate it in future, thank you very much- and despite Aboriginals always coming to Court with the best legal talent available- to only fight Aboriginal claims with one legal hand tied behind their backs, being exactly the approach Courts use with children who come up against the legal system. This message was echoed by the Supreme Court of Canada when it dismissed Grassy Narrows’ appeal and, contrary to the general “loser pays” principle of civil litigation, but consistent with the treatment of children in the Court system, relieved the losing band of the usual obligation to pay winning Ontario’s legal costs.

In the Restoule v. Canada (Attorney General) case, the existential issue for Ontario and Canada was and is, (the case is now before the Supreme Court of Canada), whether 150 years  of Ontario Crown-Indian bands’  mutually understood treaty behavior is to be retroactively upended and reversed, based on Johnny-come-lately Aboriginal  legal arguments to the effect that the treaties were “sharing” agreements rather than surrender agreements, which, if the bands are ultimately  successful, would result in millions, perhaps billions, of dollars being owed by Canadian taxpayers to the descendants of the Indian band treaty signers. Heeding the message of Keewatin the Court declared that this profound and momentous issue was to be tried as an exercise in “reconciliation”, the approach to children in Young Offenders courts, rather than on traditional, legally profound, adult, adversarial principles. The Crown lawyers dutifully and cravenly followed suit, deliberately defending the case in a weak and poor manner.  Canada’s behavior was particularly awful in this regard. Following the Trudeau government’s mandate to immediately cave to all Indigenous legal claims at the first opportunity, regardless of the merits of the case or the precedent set, Canada declined to appeal this nation-harming trial decision on the ground that it would not be “honorable” to do so.

In the 2021 Ginoogaming First Nation v. Ontario case, (2021 ONSC 5866), the Ginoogaming band sued for an injunction preventing the holder of a mineral exploration permit from acting on his permit, on the grounds that the band considered the permit lands “sacred” to them. They were successful. But our country’s constitution and laws, including our human rights laws, are all based on the separation of church and state, and forbid personal religious beliefs to take priority over them. Asserting that certain lands are “sacred” is superstitious childishness. A Catholic, Protestant or Muslim litigant who advanced this proposition in a lawsuit like this would be tossed out of Court, (and ordered to pay the winning litigant’s legal costs!) But not this superstitious and infantile proposition advanced by an Aboriginal band.

This was shameful, weak and spoiling parental indulgence on the part of the Court towards the clearly infantilized Ginoogaming band.

Also, in the case, the Court ruled that despite the reams of emails, letters and written documents written and created by the Ginoogaming band leaders in the period leading up to the lawsuit, which were submitted by them into evidence as part of their injunction claim, and despite Ginoogaming never complaining to anyone about the use of emails and letters, that for the purposes of Ontario and the mining project proponent fulfilling their duty to consult and accommodate, “letter writing was an ineffective form of communication”, because it supposedly did not take into consideration the alleged (but not proven) “Indigenous cultural context.” That culture, according to Ginoogaming, does not resolve conflict by written communications, but rather “resolves conflict through talking, listening and trying to reach an understanding.”

But again, despite that airy, unsubstantiated assertion about “talking and listening” the undisputed evidence was that Ginoogaming refused to meet with the mining project proponent for years, and when the real time for talking came, instead of acceding to the project proponent’s numerous entreaties to talk, they immediately ran off to their high-priced Toronto lawyers and thereafter only dealt with Ontario and the project proponent through those lawyers!

A non-Indigenous person in the position of Ginoogaming would have been estopped from successfully arguing in Court that letters written by others, whether in paper or email form, were an ineffective form of communication with him, when he himself had for years used the same written forms of communication.  So too would the “talking and listening” argument have been given short shrift by any Court due to that non-Indigenous person refusing to meet with the other side. In both cases the non-Indigenous person would have been held to the reasonable man standard of conduct.  And, based on his unreasonable behavior, he would have lost his case.

But, just as Courts don’t hold children to adult account, so it is with Indigenous people.

On the criminal side of the law the situation is just as bad, or perhaps worse, because the harm to the rule of law has broader, negative societal consequences. Special judicial and police enforcement policies now exist to treat Aboriginal lawbreakers more leniently than others. The result is, as with children, the more that Aboriginals see that they can get away with breaking the law, the more they will do it.

Inside or outside of the Courts, the situation is the same. If it involves Aboriginal Canadians, our elites suspend their critical faculties and haul out their special rulebook.

As adult Canadian society genially indulges little children’s’ beliefs in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny  and the Tooth Fairy, so do our Courts, and Canadian elites in general, indulge Aboriginal Canadians in similar childish, insubstantial, airy fancies or their own: “Knowledge Keepers” who keep, and never share, their so-called “oral history” and “traditional knowledge”, the aforesaid “sacred lands”, of which they are assert with a straight fact that they are appointed “stewards” by the “Great Spirit”, Aboriginal “ways of knowing”, and “Aboriginal law”.

All this fact-free childishness would be tolerable if it weren’t so racially exceptionalist, and thus so harmful and illiberal.

Canadian elites are besotted with the issue of residential schools. Even though no more than a third of eligible Aboriginal students during the approximately 100-year period of their existence ever attended one, it is ludicrously  asserted that providing some Aboriginal Canadians with an education constituted a form of “genocide”, that all Aboriginal Canadians can blame residential schools for their problems, that all attendees of same are “Survivors”, and that all descendants of attendees can blame all of their problems on the handy cop-out excuse, “intergenerational trauma”, which they are told they are suffering from.

How false, shameful and infantilizing this is.

This false narrative condescendingly and insultingly suggests to impressionable Aboriginal Canadians that they are not as resilient as other members of the human family, such as the Jews of the Holocaust, the Ukrainians of the Holodomor, the Ukrainians of today, Chinese and Japanese Canadians who suffered years of systemic racism, the Blacks of America, and all others who have suffered such real tragedies. None of these now-successful people are claiming “intergenerational trauma” and blaming whatever present problems they might have on events that may have happened to their grandparents in the long-distant past. None of them are still whining like soppy adolescents about “healing”. They are all “getting on with it”, as all capable adults in this life of pain and loss we all share do.

The false residential school narrative is essentially a childish one. When Aboriginal Canadians are force-fed such a childish foundational narrative, they pay a high price for it- the price of being condemned to a Peter Pan-like state of perpetual, self-pitying, civic childhood, where individual human progress or improvement is neither possible nor expected.

What a sad, wrong, condescending, defeatist, and irresponsible betrayal of and insult to our fellow Aboriginal Canadians! They’re as potentially capable and resilient as any other group of Canadians, if only they were regarded and treated as such! It’s a classic example of the insulting and disrespectful soft bigotry of low expectations.

The media have been especially guilty of infantilizing Aboriginal Canadians, eschewing their obligations to pose hard questions to Aboriginal leaders and demand verification of their many wild and hysterical assertions, all having to do with, as they express it in so many variations, the white man’s colonialist, racist perfidy.

A prime example is the merely alleged “mass grave” of the so-called “missing and murdered children” of the former Kamloops residential school. Not one scintilla of evidence has been produced to support this dystopian story. The only “expert” document that relates to it, an aerial survey report, is being kept hidden by the Kamloops band. There has never been a complaint from any parent of a missing child. No police investigation has ever been asked for or carried out. It looks like a fraud has been perpetrated on the Canadian public.

Yet the biggest media outlets, including the CBC, the Globe and Mail, the National Post and all it’s many stringer newspapers across the country report the mass graves and missing and murdered children story as fact. When presented with facts that contradict their murderous narrative, they refuse to budge. They refuse the challenge the Kamloops band leaders. The Trudeau government lowers our flag to half mast for months because of it.

Why?

A large part of the explanation for this media, and government, flight from truth-seeking with regard to Aboriginals has to be that they regard Aboriginal Canadians, as they would regard children, as too weak, fragile and vulnerable to be held to adult truth-telling standards- too weak, fragile and vulnerable to handle hard questions, demands for proof and the criticisms that would justly follow for failing to provide any.

No non-Indigenous group of Canadians would be treated like this or be allowed to get away with this. Only spoiled children.

The CBC is especially insulting and disrespectful of Aboriginal Canadians in this regard. They precede any story of alleged historical Aboriginal suffering with a condescending trigger warning or notice of a national help line to call. But they don’t provide a trigger warning or help line for stories of real suffering, like plane crashes and other disasters, both natural and human, or like those of Holocaust survivors or, as presently in the news, stories of the tragic deaths and sufferings of victims of Russia’s invasion and destruction of Ukraine. Why only for such Indigenous stories?

Again, only stories of the suffering of children get the gentlest, most sensitive and most patronizing of handling.

Despite untold billions of dollars spent on Aboriginal Canadians over the past 25 years to improve their collective lot, they, as a group, remain at the bottom of all the relevant government health and welfare social indicators. The present approaches are tried year after year after year, without success, with the seeming insane expectation that, notwithstanding that, this year will be different!

In light of the consistent year-after-year failure of present policies to improve the situation of Aboriginal Canadians, academia should be leading the way in searching for and encouraging fresh ideas that might help Aboriginal Canadians break out of their repetitious cycle of relative social failure- ideas that would challenge the historically shallow victimhood/oppression/perpetual dependency narrative that is so, yes, oppressing Aboriginal Canadians today.

 Instead, academia is suppressing any new such ideas. Today, to its shame, academia personifies enforced ideological conformity, cynical and socially useless careerism, and intellectual cancel culture. Worst of all for Aboriginal Canadians, they perform the role of useful idiots-providing them with a veneer of intellectual respectability- for those thousands of apparatchiks in the Indian Industry who profit so handsomely from their perpetual civic childhood and their continuing relative social failure resulting from it.

Assistant Professor Frances Widdowson, one of the best friends Aboriginal Canadians could have in academia, because she was more concerned with making them competent instead of just giving them ineffectual consolation- who respected them enough to, like a conscientious parent, tell them what she thought they should hear rather than what perhaps, like children, they only wanted to hear, was fired from her job for this.

This writer was scheduled to give a speech in March of 2019 to a Queen’s University Law School audience on the subject of my book, There Is No Difference- An Argument for the Abolition of the Indian Reserve System and Special Race-based Laws and Entitlements for Canada’s Indians. (It never went ahead because of Covid.) In the days before the speech the University set up a counselling centre for students who apparently were going to be traumatized by the unheard-of idea that all citizens of a country should be equal under the law. There was anger expressed about the upcoming speech, which anger was stated to be “an absolutely normal and healthy reaction to the topic”. The Dean of the Faculty of Law, Mark Wilton, said that “Peter Best has expressed troubling opinions about Indigenous peoples.”  

Here we have a Dean of a Law School saying that equality under the law for Aboriginal Canadians is “troubling.”!

The future appears grim for Aboriginal Canadians when all of our elite classes support the maintenance and even expansion, (the sovereign nation-to-sovereign nation relationship chimera), of a status quo that insultingly and disrespectfully presumes their never-ending, perpetually dependent, civic childhood.

In Brown vs. Canada the Ontario Divisional Court opined that the Crown fiduciary-honor obligations owed to Indigenous peoples are “dynamic”, “undeveloped and fluid”. The Courts have stated numerous times that treaties must be interpreted in the “modern context”.  These terms and principles clearly imply the notion of change and adaptation to new circumstances. They also clearly imply that there is not necessarily only one fixed way, carved in stone, for our governments to carry out their fiduciary-honor obligations.

It follows that, just as treaties should be interpreted, and re-interpreted, in light of prevailing and ever-changing, modern, social and economic circumstances, so also should the Crown fiduciary-honor principle be subject to a changing interpretation and a changing application in accordance with the ever-changing, dynamic and fluid facts on the ground- in accordance with ever-changing modern circumstances.

What is honourable Crown conduct in one era may not be so in another, which, I argue, is clearly the present case here. The operation of the status quo is not working, and never will.

The status quo is dishonorable. It is a breach of the Crown honor principle. It’s condemning our Aboriginal peoples to continued and further learned helplessness, poverty, dependency and despair. It’s stunting their human potential. It’s enriching a few at the expense of the many. It’s civically immoral in conception and effect. It cannot instill confidence in Aboriginal Canadians, only the usual insecurity and self-image problems of children. It’s insulting and disrespectful towards them.

One main root of the problem is that because Canada’s Aboriginal peoples, like children generally, have so much provided for them for which they have to do little or nothing to receive other than being born an Aboriginal, they have no real incentive to undertake any serious efforts to improve their condition- to become free, independent and, in the civic sense, full “adult” participants in the Canadian experience.

Aboriginal Canadians, having grown up in practical terms, now need to civically grow up. But because of the way the Crown honor principle is being interpreted and applied they are given no motivation to do this.

Applying the Queen-parent-child analogy, they have no incentive, even though they’re “adults in years,” to leave their “Mother’s” house and try to make their own way in the larger, richer, racially indifferent world. They’re still living in the basement long after they should have left home. This is the “Queen Mother’s” – the Crowns of Canada’s – fault as much as anyone’s, because the reserve system and the Indian Act presume this merely child-like civic status being afforded them.

But nonetheless, moving forward, it can’t be denied that it’s the poignant duty of every parent to raise her children in such a way that they will leave home – that they will want and be able to leave home.

A parent sadly but proudly knows he’s done a good job when his child permanently leaves the nest and sets up and lives independently on his own.

Canada, the parens patriae of all Aboriginal Canadians, despite its honorably-intended past efforts, has essentially failed in its parental duty to properly raise and prepare Aboriginals to be willing and able to live in the real world on their own – to leave home.

It has made the basement too comfortable to want to leave. The children are afraid to leave. In this, Canada, albeit for understandable reasons, has been a rather weak and ultimately neglectful parent.

William Wuttunee, a mighty, great Aboriginal tree of public morality, (a great Aboriginal lawyer and one of the founders of what is now the Assembly of First Nations), who put his small-minded, reserve-clinging Aboriginal enemies in the shade and left them there to wither, almost 50 years ago, in his book, Ruffled Feathers, (now out of print), was eerily prescient in this regard. He wrote:

“There must be a sense of adulthood by the non-Indian people who are administering programs relating to Indians. Weak “love” or pity for Indian people is not going to improve their lot.  There must be hard-headed programs designed to increase the participation of Indians in a non-Indian society. Sociologists and anthropologists can’t spend their time in apologizing for Indian people, thereby encouraging an ethnic division which will perpetuate the problem for several more generations. Their studies must be done from a positive point of view, rather than by re-affirming a separation of the two races. There is certainly something good to be said about the value of people living together peacefully, mutually, for the benefit of one another. It is time to blast the arguments against integration and to speak in favour of it.” (italics added)

Therein lies the ultimate salvation for us all.

Therein lies the carrying out of true, honorable, adult, parental duty and responsibility. Therein, in this modern era, lies the true path and manner for our governments to justly and properly carry out their Crown fiduciary-honor obligations to our Aboriginal peoples.

The honor of the Crown demands that after all this failed time Canada start treating its Aboriginal peoples like civic adults and holds them to adult standards. Ultimate respect for and true concern for their true welfare demands it.

The Crown honor principle needs to be revisited, re-thought and re-applied in such a way that Canada starts to treat Aboriginals like a responsible parent would, not in accordance with what her Aboriginal “children” subjectively want, but in accordance with what they objectively need in order to become self-supporting, civically engaged adults.

The application of the Crown honour principle should not encourage or create a state of permanent, civically infantile dependency, as it presently does.

Individual happiness is not pleasure, but a by-product of a meaningful life. The individual achieves this meaning by engaging in and with his or her civic society-by doing what he or she can to add to the aggregate of the knowledge, well-being, and happiness of his society. Children, living expectant lives of constant dependency, can’t achieve the meaningful life. Only adults, former children brought to fruition, can.

Therefore, considering the Brown, case, and  applying a modern,  principled and contextual approach to the Crown honor principle- a dynamic and fluid approach– one must conclude that in today’s modern Canadian social and economic circumstances it would be honorable Crown conduct –it would be the  modern, responsible, morally just fulfilment of the Crown honor doctrine- it would be conduct akin to that of a caring, responsible and far-seeing parent exercising proper care and regard for an increasingly dependent child heading down the wrong path in life – it would be conduct having regard to the best interests of Aboriginals – conduct having regard to our classically liberal values – to end the perpetual dependency-causing reserve system and race -based special rights and entitlements for Aboriginal Canadians– the root cause of why they are still socially and civically  suffering so disproportionately today.

Only by doing this will Canada’s Aboriginal peoples be able to evolve out of their present, childlike, debilitating state of dependency into the mainstream of Canadian life and thereby reach their highest human potential as civically adult equals with their fellow Canadians.

Peter Best

March 28, 2022

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