Why did the Indian Act happen? A set of government laws at the time were focused on assimilation of the Indians. The government wanted to permanently remove Native cultures from Canada, but the Indians had no intention of giving up their culture or land. In 1857, "Civilization of Indian Tribes Act" was put in place by the British Colonial Government. This stated that Indians who were "sufficiency advanced education wise or capable of managing their own affairs" would be enfranchised. This allowed Indians to vote and have a similar amount of freedom as the white society.
How did the Indian Act come to be? It was heavily influenced by the Royal Proclamation. The Royal Proclamation: A document that set out guidelines for European settlement of Aboriginal territories in what is now North America. The Royal Proclamation was issued by King George III to claim British Territory in North America.
When did King George III claim British Territory in North America? He claimed this territory after Britain had won the Seven Year War.
When did The Indian Act come to be? The first Indian Act happened in 1876. The goal was to take all laws regarding Aboriginals and put it all together into one huge law. This then began the Indian Act. The Indian Act then adopted an open vision of assimilation, where Aboriginals were expected to leave behind their Indian status and traditional cultures and become full members of the broader Canadian civilization.
One of the key amendments to the previous Aboriginal legislation was: Before The Act aboriginals could apply for enfranchisement of losing their Indian status and gaining full citizenship only when meeting certain criteria. After the change The Act allowed for the compulsory enfranchisement of any Aboriginal who received a university degree or who became a doctor, lawyer or clergyman, regardless of whether they wanted to lose their Indian status and gain full citizenship.
A few more key amendments to the previous Aboriginal legislation were: In 1885 the prohibition of several traditional Aboriginal ceremonies, such as potlatches. -Potlatch: a ceremonial feast held by some Indians of the north- western coast of North America in which the host gives gifts to tribesmen and others to display his superior wealth. In 1905 the power to remove Aboriginal peoples from reserves near towns with more than 8,000 people. In 1914 the requirement that western Aboriginals seek official permission before appearing in Aboriginal “costume” in any public dance, show, exhibition, stampede or pageant. In 1927 the prohibition of anyone (Aboriginal or otherwise) from obtaining funds for Aboriginal legal claims without special licence from the Superintendent General. This amendment granted the government control over the ability of Aboriginals to follow land claims.
One of the recent major changes to the Indian Act was: The federal government introducing Bill C-31 in 1982. This amendment introduced the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Section 15 of the Charter prohibited discrimination based on certain characteristics, such as race, ethnicity, religion, sex, age, or mental or physical disability.
Even though the Indian Act has had somemajor improvements to it since it originated, there is a lot of dispute going on regarding the aboriginal lands and rights of the aboriginal people.
Citations:Henderson, William. “Indian Act.” The Canadian Encyclopaedia. The Canadian Encyclopaedia., N.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2013. <http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.c om/articles/indian-act>“Legislation Concerning Canadas First Peoples.” Canada’s First Peoples. Goldi Productions Ltd., N.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2013. <http://firstpeoplesofcanada.com/fp_treaties/john_fp33_i ndianact.htmlMakarenko, Jay. “The Indian Act: Historical Overview.” Mapleleafweb. N.p., 2 June. 2008. Web. 19 Feb. 2013. <http://www.mapleleafweb.com/features/the-indian-act- historical-overview>
Citations Cont’d:“The Indian Act.” Indigenous Foundations. First Nations Study Program., N.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2013. <http://indigenousfoundations.arts.ubc.ca/home/government- policy/the-indian-act.html#introduction>“The Indian Act in Plain English.” Dulce et Decorum.N.p., N.d. Web 19 Feb. 2013. <http://noraloreto.ca/the-indian-act-in-plain- english/>“The Royal Proclamation, 1763.” Indigenous Foundations. First Nations Studies Program., N.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2013. <http://indigenousfoundations.arts.ubc.ca/home/governm ent-policy/royal-proclamation-1763.html>
Citations Cont’d:Indian Act (image):<http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp/pub/boo-bro/abo- aut/chapter-chapitre-05-eng.asp>Indian Attire (image):<http://www.gamesmuseum.uwaterloo.ca/VirtualExhibits/FirstNation/in dex.html>King George III (image):<http://www.nndb.com/people/948/000068744/>Royal Proclamation (image):<http://indigenousfoundations.arts.ubc.ca/ho e/government- policy/royal-proclamation-1763.html>