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Lecture 6

CANS 310 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: John Comaroff, Indian Act, List Of Civilisations In The Culture Series

Canadian Studies
Course Code
CANS 310
Shelly Butler

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CANS310 Lecture VI: Notes
I. Introduction
MyCourses has updated material to contextualize the NFB film on Idlout
Misrecognition and appropriation
Project of dispossession of land
II. The Inconvenient Indian Chapters 8-10 [End]
Big Picture Timeline
i. Early-era of relative native-newcomer harmony: cultural exchange, economic
trade, military alliances (in the East), and treaties, including the Royal
Proclamation of 1763
1. Dependency on Native knowledge
2. Royal Proclamation accommodates two parties through cooperation,
sovereign and independent countries made into expediencies and not
honoured/only honoured vaguely
ii. Marginalization: Coincides with Confederation (1867), settlement, agriculture,
immigration. Includes Indian Act of 1876: segregationist and assimilationist.
iii. Politicization, Resistance and Cultural Renaissance: 1940 onwards.
A definition of culture (as lived experience)
Culture and Colonialism Quote
i. Culture “set of learned behaviours and ideas that human beings use both to
pursue their interests and to identify the interests they ought to pursue.”
1. Learned
2. Behaviours and beliefs
3. System for making sense of lives and creating our future
4. Conflict within and between cultures way forward
5. Meanings are negotiated and contested within and between cultures
ii. “The essence of colonization inheres less in political overrule than in sizing and
transforming “others” by the very act of conceptualizing, inscribing and interacting
with them on terms not of their choosing; in making them into the pliant objects
and silences subjects of our scripts and scenarios”
1. ~Jean and John Comaroff, South Africa 1991
2. Relationship of Colonialism and Culture
a. Pure political power AS WELL AS a cultural process
b. Colonizers defining the colonized ethno/Euro-centic terms that
failed to see Indigenous culture as being its own
c. Questions of voice controlling one’s self/community
III. Laws, Policies and Practices to force assimilation and Relocation
Indian Act and related amendments, 1867-onward: for “controlling the lives and
destinies of Legal Indians” (King, 70).
i. 1885 banning of dance
ii. 1891 municipal appropriation for public works
iii. 1927 crime to solicit funds for Indians
iv. 1930 banned pool
v. 1985 C-31, regain status
Policies as ideals, cultural blueprints
i. Enfranchised “to be liberated” – irony.
1. Encourage assimilation, Indian lands become owned by the Crown,
administration of chiefs and band councils to create
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