"Canada has its own identity and its own course. We already have a black Governor-General, an office that may be titular but is nevertheless important, and Canada elected a female prime minister long before Hillary Clinton had to endure the prospect of Sarah Palin becoming (merely) vice-president. We have, as America before Obama also did, many South Asian-and Chinese-Canadians at various tiers of political office, though one hopes aspirants from all races and sub-national communities will now be inspired to put their oar in and augment that number. And perhaps, too, the confidence of minorities wanting to participate will have been bolstered by Stephen Harper's having appointed the Inuk, Leona Aglukkaq, to a ministerial post -- deftly showing up, yet again, the Liberal party that had the opportunity to do something similar for decades, but never bothered.
In all of this lie intimations of our own possible destiny. If Canada is to experience its own extraordinary, galvanizing political progression, it will not be because it has elected a black to high office. That would be pleasing enough, not least because slavery was also practised here, though it would be misrepresenting history to pretend that the issue is as profoundly troubling here as in the United States. But no, our own Obama moment will occur when Canada upholds a candidate from the First Nations as prime minister. Then we shall have confronted our own national shame. Then we shall have surmounted our own historical disgrace."
Get the Story:
Noah Richler: Our Obama will be native
(The National Post 11/11)
Column: Barack Obama gives hope to Native people