Indian Acts

Essay by AryaeliasUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, November 2014

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For centuries, First Nations have had to deal with many challenges brought upon by the onset of European settlers in the early 18th century. Thus, Indian-white relations have been an ongoing source of dilemma. As a result, tension between First Nations people and the Crown in Canada grew increasingly more complex as time went on. The Royal Proclamation of 1763 was comprised of a three-pronged order of governance, consisting of the Imperial Crown, its colonies in Canada, as well as the "nations or tribes of Indians". This British legislation existed between The Crown (Britain) and the First Nations of Canada, and was meant to view Native Tribes as people with "indisputable, independent political entities, with possessions, rights and privileges to be respected". Furthermore, this British policy was considered to be the foundation of British-Indian relations in Canada. After Canada was confederated in 1865, only some of the constitutional policies outlined in the Royal Proclamation Act of 1763 were maintained.

In 1869, a statute called "Act for the Gradual Enfranchisement of Indians and the Better Management of Indian Affairs" was passed through the of John A. Macdonald government, whose platform was to assimilate all First Nations people across the country. All pieces of previous Indian legislation in Canada were consolidated into the Indian Act of 1876, therefore making it arguably the most important piece of Indian legislation in Canadian History The Royal Proclamation of 1763, The Gradual Enfranchisement Act of 1869, and the Indian Act of 1876, led to the decomposition of Aboriginal identity brought upon by the on set of European settlers.[1: John Milloy, Indian Act Colonialism A Century Of Dishonour, 1869-1969 (Vancouver: National Centre for First Nations Governance, 2008), 3.][2: Ibid., 5.][3: Ibid.][4: Olive Patricia Dickason, Canada's First Nations: A History of Founding Peoples from the...