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Monday, May 11, 2009

It isn't surprising...

... that 'Status Indians' face threat of extinction, since the Indian Act was implemented specifically for the purpose of eradicating indigenous peoples and culture. Indian Status was designed to reduce the Indian population, a neat solution to the "Indian Problem".

Within a few generations, it was assumed, the Indian population would nearly disappear. This was ensured through the restrictive nature of Indian Status: an indigenous woman who married a white man lost her status, as did her children, plus if you were enfranchised to vote or got a university education you were no longer considered an Indian.

In the past 40 years there have been many changes to the Indian Act, some positive and some negative, but most aboriginals in Canada are unable to access the benefits of the Act, while dealing with many of the negative consequences of their heritage. Canadians often display an incredible degree of racism, particularly towards aboriginal individuals and groups. Don't believe me? Just read the comments on the Star article, if you can stomach it.

Personally, I can't imagine if the government was able to decide for me who I am (legally speaking). Imagine they all of a sudden decreed that only those with two Christian parents could be Christian, or that those women who vote were no longer legally women, or that men who go to university are no longer legally men, or if you have a slice of pizza you are now Italian.

Also see How the Indian Act made Indians act like Indian Act Indians

1 comment:

Shmohawk said...

It's amazing how a story that should get people thinking about the government policies enacted in their names always seems to get derailed by idiotic comments from the Ferengi. Nasty little creatures.

Thanks for the link to "Indian Act Indians." Couldn't have put it better myself. To paraphrase jack, what this country needs is an enema.