Part 1: Dark Chapter
Chapter 2: Resistance Is futile
Yet another informative chapter. I found section 6 particularly interesting since I have freinds from the T’-Sou-ke Nation who share the same surname but have no family relation. I’ve also wondered what was up the popularity of ordinary surnames amongst Indigenous Peoples (ie. George, Joseph, Allan, etc). Keep reading for more details.
… we have been pampering and coaxing the Indians; that we must take a new course, we must vindicate the position of the white man, we must teach the Indians what law is, we must not pauperize them, as they say we have been doing.
JOHN A. MACDONALD, 1885
v. Could expropriate portions of reserves for public works
Throughout Canadian history, the government has manipulated the Indian Act to suit its needs. Land is only but one example.
vi. Renamed individuals with European names
To assimilate Indians more conveniently, traditional names were stripped and replaced by new names which would be recorded under the Indian Register. The renaming process was not consistent. Generally, Indians were assigned Christian names and non-Indigenous surnames. Indian agents also assigned their own names to Indians. Hence why Indigenous peoples today often share surnames without any relation, these names really only date back a few generations.
vii. Created a permit system to control Indian’s ability to sell products from farms
Agriculture was promoted as a means for Indians to become civilized. For some cultures, farming practices were nothing new and they were very successful. Therefore, the government implemented the permit-to-sell system which required Indians to gain a permit to leave and sell products off-reserve. Moreover, settlers weren’t allowed to purchase goods or services from Indian farmers. Policy designed to disconnect communities also forced Indians to work individually thus further challenging economical growth.
Until Chapter 3.