Indian Act 1876. http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXarTLbAIgQ. Definitions. Inalienable Rights: guaranteed entitlements that cannot be transferred from one person to another Franchise: the right to vote
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Indian Act 1876
Canada’s Indian Act is enacted which attempts to consolidate many Indian laws and makes Indians wards of the government.
They are placed in a different legal category from all other Canadians; Act gives individual Natives the right to seek Canadian citizenship by renouncing their rights and privileges. In other words, assimilation into mainstream Canadian society and the loss of culture and all rights associated with a culture are the main themes.
The Act governs all aspects of Native life including the denial of the right to vote in an election.
Women who married non-Native menand any children from that union lost their Status. These women were allowed to apply for re-enfranchisement through the passing of Bill C-31 in 1985 (an amendment to the Indian Act). Bill C-31 gave all first generation children of these marriages and Natives who were not counted and who now wished to regain status, the right to re-apply. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rPi1RG3m1Q
Men who married non-Native womencould keep their status, and their white wives, in turn were automatically granted Indian Status.
"Instead of implementing the treaties and offering much needed protection to Indian rights the Indian Act subjugated to colonial rule the very people whose rights if was supposed to protect".
- Harold Cardinal
They had extraordinary administrative and discretionary powers to enforce the Indian Act and control every aspect of Indian life.
1. The Indian Act formed much of the basis for the introduction of oppressive apartheid policies against Black people in South Africa which lasted for decades.
2. In 1969, all Indian Agents were withdrawn from reserves across Canada ending the government's overt paternalistic presence on First Nations lands.
Major Amendments to the Indian Act
Over the years there have been many amendments to the Indian Act, most of which were enacted to further oppress Indian people and remove basic rights accorded every other Canadian.
Outlawed the Thirst Dance (Sun Dance); Potlatch (Chinook trading language, meaning ‘to give’) in British Columbia. Potlatch is the equivalent of title deeds and acts of succession.
"Just as the eldest child of a reigning monarch cannot succeed to the British throne without sanction of the law, neither could the succession of a chief be recognized [without proper ceremony]."
(Tom Molloy, The World Is Our Witness, pg. 25).
Allowed portions of reserves to be expropriated by municipalities for roads, railways or other public purposes without Native consultation.
Gave Native Men the right to vote, and become Canadian citizens, among other things if they give up their Indian status.
(Translation: Dis-enfranchise the man, dis-enfranchise his wife and kids as well)
This amendment was in force between 1920-1922 and 1933-1951. It was very unpopular and a complete failure as a result.
"Day schools [established] in any Indian reserve for the children of such reserve."
In other words, Native women who have married non-Native men now have the right to retain their Native status, and to pass their status on to their children. This also gives them the right to return to their reserves. Many meet with opposition from reserve band councils.
Holding an eagle feather for spiritual strength, Cree, Elijah Harper, NCP member of the Manitoba legislature, voted 'no' to a procedural vote which required unanimity to extend discussion of the Meech Lake Accord recognizing Quebec as a ‘distinct society’. Native leaders saw nothing in the Accord that advancedtheirquest for self-government and recognition as a distinct society.
In the Charlottetown Accord constitutional process, Indigenous and government leaders held constitutional talks on a proposal that recognized Indigenous peoples' inherent right to self-government. Ultimately, Canadians rejected the accord in a national referendum.