The first few pages of the Indian Act, 1876 ; outlines various terms and definitions. Here are some (copy and pasted) terms that I found most interesting:
3. The term “Indian” means
First. Any male person of Indian blood reputed to belong to a particular band ;
Secondly. Any child of such person ;
Thirdly. Any woman who is or was lawfully married to such person :
Woman marrying other than an Indian.
(c) Provided that any Indian woman marrying any other than an Indian or a non-treaty Indian shall cease to be an Indian in any respect within the meaning of this Act, except that she shall be entitled to share equally with the members of the band to which she formerly belonged, in the annual or semi-annual distribution of their annuities, interest moneys and rents ; but this income may be commuted to her at any time at ten years’ purchase with the consent of the band :
Marrying non-treaty Indians.
(d) Provided that any Indian woman marrying an Indian of any other band, or a non-treaty Indian shall cease to be a member of the band to which she formerly belonged, and become a member of the band or irregular band of which her husband is a member :
12. The term “person” means an individual other than an Indian, unless the context clearly requires another construction.
I have also created a little guide to display these definitions in visual form. See below.
As you can see, not only is the Indian Act of 1876 racist and sexist, but it actually excludes Indian men and women from personhood altogether. I hope this sheds some light on the racist roots of Canada and I look forward to reading and sharing more!