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SOC 1101 Lecture Notes - Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Ovide Mercredi, Constitution Act, 1982

Course Code
SOC 1101
Liam Kilmurray

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Aboriginal Issues
- Bystander Public: a public that defines issues strictly from a bystanders
perspective; bystanders are people who have no stake in the outcome of a
conflict, issue or protest, but may be effected by the dynamics that play out
between political interests or mobilized groups
- What bystander groups/individuals might benefit from Native Rights?
- Social movement are event-driven insofar as critical events are expectations
and perceptions of threats
- Critical events provide opportunities to create a common political
environment, frame of interest, and support for a given issue
- What Native ‘events’ might fit this profile?
Key Dates
- 1763 Royal Proclamation
- 1830 First civilian Department of Indian Affairs established
- 1874 First Indian Act consolidated all laws relating to native people
- 1884 The Potlatch outlawed
- 1927 Federal Government adopted articles 141 of the Indian Act
prohibiting Indians from organizing to discuss land claims an offence
punishable by fines or jail
- 1949 Legislature extends provincial vote to Indians
- 1960 Canadian Indians granted right to vote in Federal elections
- 1969 Indian Affairs Minister Jean Chretien released “White Paper” which
would have terminated Indian Status and rights in Canada. It was rejected.
- 1980’s growing political agitation:
o Zebedee Nungak: “We are here to do constructive damage to the
status quo”
o Phil Fontaine: “If Quebec is distinct, we are even more distinct”
- 1982 - Canadian Constitution affirmed existing Aboriginal and treaty rights
- 1985 Bill C-31 enabled many non-status Indians to regain status under the
Indian Act
The Indian Act
- Enacted by the Parliament of Canada under Section 91(24) of the
Constitution Act passed in 1867, and became official legislation in 1876
- Imposed band councils
- Regulated who was an Indian
- How/when one received the vote
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- Indian: one of three groups of people recognized as Aboriginal in the
Constitution Act, 1982. It specifies that Aboriginal people in Canada consists
of Indians, Inuit and Metis
- Indians in Canada are often referred to as: Status Indians, non-Status Indians
and Treaty Indians
- Status Indian: a person who is registered as an Indian under the Indian Act.
The act sets out the requirements for determining who is an Indian for the
purposes of the Indian Act
- Non-status Indian: An Indian person who is not registered as an Indian
under the Indian Act
- Treaty Indian: A status Indian who belongs to a First Nation that signed a
treaty with the Crown
- 615 First Nations
- Population = 1, 172,785
- Does not apply to the Metis, Inuit, non-status Indians
- The majority of First Nations people are Status Indians, 81% of the total First
Nations population
- An estimated 133, 155 First Nations people were not registered under the
Indian Act
- Indian population is young, with an average age of 25, compared to and
average of 35 years for all Canadians
Ovide Mercredi
- “With a population of fewer than 1 million, we know we cannot displace the
alien government completely, and this is not our objective. The objective is to
live together
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK)
- Protested:
o The disc list system (dog tag with a number)
o The anti-seal movement
o The environment
Low-flying jets
Dog killings
General exploitations
Religious schools
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