2. Discuss the role of Natives in Canada. What are the legal statuses of various native
groups? What are the definitional problems with each native category? How are native-
based membership codes problematic? What are the social problems faced by native
Canadians? What can help explain such problems? What role did residential schools and
other displacement strategies play in the loss of identity for native populations? Use
examples from lectures and readings in your answer.
Role of Natives in Society:
Legal statuses of various native groups:
Section 35 of the CONSTITUTION ACT of 1982 defines "the aboriginal peoples
of Canada" as the INDIAN, INUIT and MÉTIS peoples.
three groups do not share equal rights
The federal government determines Indian status under its own rules, which no
longer exclude women marrying non-Indians
Métis: The term refers to Aboriginal people of mixed First Nation and European
ancestry who identify themselves as Métis people, as distinct from First Nations
people, Inuit or non-Aboriginal people. The Métis have a unique culture that
draws on their diverse ancestral origins, such as Scottish, French, Ojibway and
Indian: The term "Indian" is narrowly defined by the Indian Act. Indian peoples
are one of three groups of people recognized as one of Canada's Aboriginal
peoples in the Constitution Act, 1982. There are three legal definitions that apply
to Indians in Canada: Status Indians, Non-status Indians and Treaty Indians
Inuit: An Aboriginal people in northern Canada, who live above the tree line in
the Northwest Territories, and in Northern Quebec and Labrador. The word
means "people" in the Inuit language - Inuktitut. The singular of Inuit is Inuk.
Honour Acres: In Treaty Land Entitlement, honour acres refers to the amount of
acres that a First Nation was entitled to in previous agreements (such as the 1976
Treaty Land Entitlement Agreement) that have been honoured in the subsequent
1991Treaty Land Entitlement Agreement if the 1992 formula provided acreage of
a lesser amount.
Aboriginal rights: Rights that some Aboriginal peoples of Canada hold as a
result of their ancestors' long-standing use and occupancy of the land, e.g., to
hunt, trap and fish on ancestral lands. Legally, the existence of specific Aboriginal
rights are determined on a case-by-case basis.
What are the social problems faced by native Canadians?
over-represented as offenders in the Canadian criminal justice system
Poverty, ill health, educational failure, family violence and other problems
reinforce one another. To break the circle of disadvantage – where family
violence leads to educational failure, which leads to poverty, which leads to ill
health and back to violence – all these conditions must be tackled together, not
Once Aboriginal people were allowed off reserves, many came to larger urban