Meshed Frameworks: Liberal Democracy, Multiculturalism, and Settler-Colonial Reconciliation

Dylan Thiessen, M.A. in Political Science at the University of Calgary


This essay is focused on developing a robust definition of liberal democracy in the Canadian context, and on analyzing tensions that are created or stressed when settler-colonial reconciliation is pursued within a multicultural framework –a pillar of Canadian liberal democracy. Throughout the essay, I argue that it is an error to think that multiculturalism’s open and tolerant nature makes it well-positioned to work either alongside, or directly for the benefit of, settler-colonial reconciliation, and that there are dangers to reconciliation within multiculturalism that are often not acknowledged or recognized.