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POL2101 (222)

Indigenous Politics.pdf

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Political Science
Luc Turgeon

Key Words: • Royal Proclamation • Indian Act • Colonialism • 1969 White Paper • Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples • Self-Government Key Questions • What is the legacy of the Indian Act? • What is the legacy of the 1969 White Paper? • What are some of the models proposed for renewing the relation between Aboriginals and the Canadian state? Indigenous Peoples in Canada • Original inhabitants of North America • 4% of the Cdn popn (+increasing, younger on average, higher birth rate) • 3 groups (categories created by the govt) in CAN: First Nations (60%), Métis (33%), Inuit (4%) ◦ 40-60 culturally distinct groups/nations ◦ 50 languages ◦ majority of indigenous live in cities, minority live on reserves Colonialism • process of exploitation, domination, and subjection of a people by another people ◦ eg. India - crown jewel of the British Empire ◦ demonstration of power on the intl stage • Context of the Indig peoples in Canada ◦ control over land and resources ◦ control over peoples: "civilizing mission" Royal Proclamation • 1763 • document that sets out guideline for Euro settlement of Aboriginal territories • guideline for relationship bw Aboriginals and the Crown • aboriginal entitlement over land that had existed (through French negotiations) were still valid; do not ceed their land • explicitly forbids anyone from buying land from the indigenous people, only the crown had to negotiate directly (nation to nation) with the indig for land • never been repealed and no law ever adopted to supersede it • 1982: article 25 constitution essentially enshrines the Royal Proclamation Land Cession Treaties (1764-1923) • transfer of land title in exchange from Aboriginals to the crown • some lands were reserved for the "indians" in exchange for financial compensation and hunting and fishing rights • treaties were signed, but were often not respected ◦ payments did not always arrive, or were unilaterally reduced ◦ reservation lands may have been reduced over time • treaties signed in this period did not cover the entirety of Canada (large parts of BC + QC) The Indian Act of 1876 • Key characteristics: turned the aboriginal popn into legal wards (responsibility) of the state ◦ created a bureaucracy, a centralized agencies to govern the diverse nations "Indian Affairs" to administer the affairs of the aboriginal ◦ the Cdn state decided who was a "Status Indian" or not ◦ Indigious Man + White Woman = still status ◦ Indiginous Woman + white man = lose status ◦ created a system of enfranchisement: idea was that they would eventually become full citizens and be able to vote ‣ lose if university degree, doctor, lawyer, clergyman ◦ imposed system of elected chiefs and band council ‣ eliminated traditional system of choosing a leader ◦ protective features: only indig peoples could live on indig land (sometime led to expulsion of indig women who married white men), no prov or fed tax can be imposed on indig land • Govern Status Indians (60%) but not Métis or Inuit • Different amendments adopted over the years, but still in place today ◦ 1885: prohibition of several indig ceremonies ◦ 1914: western indig must seek official permission before appearing in traditional costume from superintendent of indian affairs in Ottawa ◦ 1930: "banned from pool halls" ◦ although many of these amendments don't apply today • still governs the relationship between the Crown and the Aboriginals Philosophies of the Indian Act • Protection ◦ of the community by deciding who is/isn't an "Indian" ◦ no property ownership, no vote until 1960 • Civilizati
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