Deconstructing the Indian Act

Throughout the next few classes, we will be slowly deconstructing the Indian Act, from a historical, political and sociological perspective. For today’s class, we will be watching the film you see below and taking a look at the following links:

Indian Act

Brief History of the Indian Act

At the end of the class, I would like you to take a few minutes to think of what we need to do, as a society, to effectively solve the “fissures” that still divide the colonizers and the colonized.

Review our discussion, the links, your textbook, and your own biases and thoughts on First Nations rights in this country. If you had an audience with the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, what would you tell him?

Info related to Jigsaw activity:

Indian Act

Other acts of Legislation


4 thoughts on “Deconstructing the Indian Act

  1. I believe that the Indian Act should be abolished. It is very outdated and a new act should be proposed. It should only be abolished when a solution has presented itself. A way to decrease the unemployment for all Indians takes three steps. 1. More education: pouring much more money into their school systems. 2. Incentives in aboriginal work: instead of just giving them money we should give them money if they have employment plus the employment salary. 3. Have massive projects which give aboriginals priority of jobs on the project and after the project is completed. From Jack

  2. I think the Indian Act should be phased out over a 3-5 year period. Once the act is abolished, Aboriginals would be integrated into Canadian Society, and become everyday citizens like you and me with the same rights and freedoms. There are many problems with the present reserve system. On these reserves, the individual Aboriginal does not own the land and house they live in. This means they don't have a sense of purpose, ownership and responsibility. They don't have a reason to take care of their possessions because none of them mean anything to them. Everything is given to them, meaning nothing feels like their own. Another problem is the fact that many people on the reserve don't have jobs. This isn't entirely their fault. Most of the these reserves offer little to no economic oppurtunities. Also, their already getting paid for no reason so they really have no reason to go out and get a job. This is the problem. They don't have the feeling of belonging because their not contributing to society, and they don't have a feeling of accomplishment because they aren't doing anything productive in their lives. During the phasing out period, money must be spent on job creation and incentives for Aboriginals who get jobs. This would be instead of the present situation where money is going directly to the reserves for no reason. I strongly feel the reserve system should be abolished, but I understand that it's a lot harder than what I've suggested above. Otherwise the government would have already made progress in the this issue.

  3. I don’t think there is any way to completely close the gap between Aboriginals and White people or to eliminate racism, but there are ways to improve the present situation. If Aboriginals governed themselves, it would be guaranteed that there wouldn’t be any racism in the judicial system. Self-government would also allow Aboriginal communities to manage their own money and to determine where money is needed most. I think that Aboriginal communities have the best chance of being successful and prosperous if the Indian Act is abolished.

  4. I think that the best suggestion to fill the gap between the First Nation's people and the rest of Canada would to have the indian act abolished. The First Nations would then live amongst the broader Canadian society and in some cases they could get away from some of the remote areas of Canada. Leaving these remote areas of Canada would make it quite a bit easier to find employment. On the reserves the homes belong to the Canadian goverment, not the people living in the house. This makes it almost impossible for people living on reserves to borrow money from a bank to build their own house, as the bank cannot reposses the home if the person cannot repay the borrowed money. Also if the Act were to be abolished the First Nation's people should pay the same taxes as everyone else to try and get rid of the dependence the First Nation population seems to have on the Canadian goverment.

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