Who is “Aboriginal,” after all?
- “Indian” is a term used by the government to describe a person who has status under the
- To become enfranchised as a Canadian citizen, means to become disenfranchised as an
o It was in the interest of the government to enfranchise as many people as possible
Disenfranchised are a cost issue
o For native women, citizenship followed their husband’s or father’s citizenship
o When native women married non-status men, they lost their status
- Children of unknown parents were assumed to be non-aboriginal
o Up until recently, they were enfranchised automatically
The Disappearing Indian?
- The assumption was that there was a problem of overrepresentation?
- It was assumed that native peoples would die off as a race?
- Built into the Indian Act was sex discrimination
- Act was essentially sexist
Gendered Indian Act
- Aboriginal women are able to vote on reserves and hold office
- In 1960, aboriginal people get the vote without having to enfranchise
- Egalitarian rhetoric hid structural inequalities – Vertical mosaic; Canadian society was
- Native peoples endured desperate conditions; poverty, violence, incarceration at high
- During this time, we see women organize
o Much more at the local level
o National organizations are heavily male-dominated
o Organizing around specific problems, such as sexual abuse, employmen