The deaths of Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine and the ensuing trials and verdicts have affected each of the quadrants of Canadian identity. Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine, two young Indigenous Canadians, had both been found dead in separate incidents. In both cases, white males were suspected of murder. In both cases, the defendant was acquitted, sparking discussion about possible racial bias in Canadian courtrooms. This discussion sparked strong social action in the form of rallies and protests against the verdict. This social change amplified the tension in the environment between the Indigenous community and the rest of Canada. This social change prompted Justin Trudeau to make a statement about getting rid of this bias in courtrooms. Inequality, in the courtroom, and otherwise, also has economic drawbacks. A study published in 2016 shows that current in-equality in the workforce between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians costs the Canadian economy $27.7 billion per year. This offers a large incentive from the economic quadrant to the political quadrant to change the workplace environment and in turn, revert this social change.
This event represents a step towards creating a “postnational state,” but likely not how Trudeau meant it. This event confirms that Indigenous Canadians are still treated worse than other Canadians. The divide between the Indigenous people and the rest of Canada still exists, and the other Canadians still do not respect the rights of the Indigenous people. This divides Canadians into multiple nations, making it a postnational state.
In my opinion, there is no value in trying to define a specific Canadian identity. Though possible in theory, large nations can never exist due to differing opinions, political belief, and religious beliefs. If we wish to move towards a more open and global idea of nationhood, then we must change our definition of a nation. A change of the definition of nation to focus more on our similarities than our differences would allow more connections to be made between people that are currently considered parts of separate nations.