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The 1960s… Important times. Suffrage: In 1960, aboriginal peoples were finally given the right to vote The White Paper, 1969 Until 1960, Aboriginal peoples living on reserves were did not have the right to vote, own land individually, or consume alcohol.

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The 1960s important times
The 1960s… Important times

  • Suffrage:

    • In 1960, aboriginal peoples were finally given the right to vote

  • The White Paper, 1969

    • Until 1960, Aboriginal peoples living on reserves were did not have the right to vote, own land individually, or consume alcohol.

    • Enfranchisement was encouraged, this meant that in order for an aboriginal to vote and have rights as a Canadian citizen, they would have to lose their “Indian status and the right to live on the reserve”

      • In 1968, PM Trudeau and Indian Affairs Minister Jean Chretien wanted to make changes to the reserve system… subsequently, a policy paper was introduced by the CAN gov’t called the White Paper


The white paper ii
The White Paper II

  • The White Paper proposed the abolition of reserves and the end of special status treaty for aboriginals

    • The premise was that equality (or non-discrimination) was needed in order for a solution for the problems aboriginals, there was a notion that by giving “special status” major difficulties had occurred

  • Solution: Assimilate native peoples into the mainstream culture – to be “citizens like no other”

    • This was rejected by the aboriginal community, they viewed it as potential “cultural genocide”

  • Harold Cardinal (President of Indian Association of Alberta, 1968-77) stated that this idea of conformity would be an easy out for the government (my words not his)

    • He was a strong proponent of the protection of aboriginal culture in Canada.


The white paper iii
The White Paper III

  • In response to the White Paper, two organizations were formed:

    • The National Indian Brotherhood (NIB): this organization was formed to represent the Status Indians

    • Native Council of Canada: created to represent non-Status Indians and Metis

  • Due to the reaction of these, and other aboriginal organizations caused Trudeau’s government to withdraw the white paper in 1971…


The 1970s land claims
The 1970s… Land Claims

  • During the ‘70s the federal government funded programs to support local government initiatives among aboriginal peoples

    • The Office of Native Claims(1974), was created to deal with the issue of land rights

  • Despite these measures, the federal government did not contribute as much to the development of aboriginal peoples in the 1970s as it did for the general Canadian population

    • In response, the NIB – now referred to as the Assembly of First Nations – stepped up its efforts to work towards and demand better conditions for aboriginal peoples in Canada (1980)


Assembly of first nations ii
Assembly of First Nations II

  • The new office of Native Land Claims dealt with both specific land claims and comprehensive land claims

    • Specific Land Claims: Based on existing treaties

    • Comprehensive Land Claims: based on traditional use and occupancy

      • Comprehensive land claims usually occur in areas where no land treaties have been signed

  • As a result of all the work the Assembly of First Nations put into raising awareness among aboriginal peoples, aboriginal rights became more recognized, and hundreds of land claim submissions have occurred

    • Declaration of First Nations, 1975:

      • Adopted to include the rights of nationhood and self-government within the Assembly of First Nations.


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