Essay on The Indian Act of Canada

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Summary Statement – Indian Act The Indian Act was an attempt by the Canadian government to assimilate the aboriginals into the Canadian society through means such as Enfranchisement, the creation of elective band councils, the banning of aboriginals seeking legal help, and through the process of providing the Superintendent General of the Indian Affairs extreme control over the aboriginals, such as allowing the Superintendent to decide who receives certain benefits, during the earlier stages of the Canadian-Indigenous' political interaction. The failure of the Indian Act though only led to more confusion regarding the interaction of Canada and the aboriginals, giving birth to the failed White Paper and the unconstitutional Bill C-31,…show more content…
Secondly, the Act granted the Superintendent General of the Indian Affairs control over the Indians (Hanson, n.p.). This basically allows the Superintendent General to arbitrarily decide who deserves extra benefits and who doesn't, thus intruding with the lives of the aboriginals. The third effect of the Gradual Enfranchisement Act was the restriction of power of the band councils, such as “regulat[ed] alcohol consumption and determin[ing] who would be eligible for band and treaty benefits” (Hanson, n.p.). These two Acts defined relationship between the Canadian government and the aboriginals that hinted a sense of superior control, in which the Canadian government's power over the aboriginals only extended with the Indian Act of 1867. This is due the fact that the Indian Act not only added a few more regulations that controlled the aboriginals, but it also solidified more power to the two Gradual Civilization Act and the Gradual Enfranchisement Act by forcing the enfranchisement of the aboriginals who, for example, served in the Canadian army or gained an University education (Crey, n.p.) After the strangling claws of the Indian Act were felt, the Canadian government began to issue more laws that intruded with the aboriginals lives and took away their rights. The first of these was the “Potlatch Law” (Hanson, n.p.). It banned potlatches and other ceremonies of the aboriginals, all for the purpose of forcing the
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