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Philosophy 2810F/G
Jennifer Epp

Readings Week Three Lecture 2 Native Identity and Colonialism REGULATION OF NATIONAL IDENTITY  The regulation of Native identity has been central to the colonization process in both Canada and the US  Decolonization must involve deconstructing and reshaping how we understand indigenous identity  The Indian Act provides ways of understanding Native identity, organizing a conceptual framework that has shaped contemporary Native life in ways that are now so familiar as to almost seem natural  We should think carefully about the various categories of Native identity that have been legally defined under federal laws  While identity is intrinsically an individual issue, it is also relational  Highly political issue, ramifications for how contemporary and historical collective experience is understood  Bodies of law defining and controlling Indianness have for years distorted and disrupted older indigenous ways of identifying the self in relation not only to collective identity but also to the land  Classified by race and subjected to colonization processes that reduced diverse nations to common experiences  Native resistance to colonization rejects notions of pan-Indian identities that can at best only aspire for equality  Patriarchy alone is inadequate for explaining the many levels of violence that native women face within their communities – unwillingness of band governments to make their circumstances a priority  Colonization has always been a gendered process  Mixed-race native people are struggling to situate themselves with respect to their mothers and grandmothers communities. Indianness that denies their realities  Without Indian status, and the band membership that does along with it Native people are not allowed to live on any land part of an Indian reserve in Canada  The Indian act had rendered two thirds of all native people in Canada landless  1850 pass legislation that allowed for the creation of Indian reserves  Paternalistic control and gradual removal of native people from the path of white settlement  1869 the Gradual Enfranchisement Act was passed, which stipulated that any Indian woman who married a white man would lose her Indian status and any right to band membership  Loss of their status was only one of many statues that lowered the power of Native women in their societies relative to men  The very existence of settler societies is therefore predicated on maintaining racial apartheid on emphasizing racial difference white superiority and Native inferiority  Social control was predicated on legally identifying who was white and who was Indian  Gender discrimination in the Indian act  1869 the only people eligible to be considered Indian were those who had at least one quarter Indian blood  Some mixed blood communities particularly those that developed in the Great Lakes regions at Red River have been extremely culturally distinct and have had different collective histories from Indian bands  Individuals who were considered to be living like Indians were taken into treaty  Whole bands who were absent during treaty signing similarly lost any chance of acquiring Indian status  It is important to emphasize that status Indians are not being simply b
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