I’ve just finished reading the content associated with three more headings in the Indian Act, 1876. Overall, it outlines the rules and regulations regarding reserve lands and resources. I believe there is a huge lack of understanding concerning how and why reserves are organized today. I often hear and read of people slandering reserves and the Indigenous peoples who live on them without making any reference to the many injustices they face. Canadian schools should emphasize this knowledge and awareness to stop the spreading of insensitive misinformation. I encourage readers to not only continue reading my blog post, but also put it into perspective by reading more informative articles such as this one.
Back to the Indian Act, here are two sections which I found most thought-provoking:
What Indians only deemed holders of lots. 6. In a reserve, or portion of a reserve, subdivided by survey into lots, no Indian shall be deemed to be lawfully in possession of one or more of such lots, or part of a lot, unless he or she has been or shall be located for the same by the band, with the approval of the Superintendent-General :
Property of deceased In- dian, how to descend. 9. Upon the death of any Indian holding under location or other duly recognized title any lot or parcel of land, the right and interest therein of such deceased Indian shall, together with his goods and chattels, devolve one-third upon his widow, and the remainder upon his children equally ; and such children shall have a like estate in such land as their father ; but should such Indian die without issue but leaving a widow, such lot or parcel of land and his goods and chattels shall be vested in her, and if he leaves no widow, then in the Indian nearest akin to the deceased, but if he have no heir nearer than a cousin, then the same shall be vested in the Crown for the benefit of the band : But whatever may be the final disposition of the land, the claimant or claimants shall not be held to be legally in possession until they obtain a location ticket from the Superintendent-General in the manner prescribed in the case of new locations.
Section 6 points out that no Indian legally possesses reserve land. That is still true today, which is likely unknown by or confusing for Candian private property owners. I also wanted to include section 9 because it demonstrates to what extent Indian land and goods was governed by the Crown.
Again, I strongly recommend for you all to read this article for more insighful information on Indian Reserves. Until next time.
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:
Indians. 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 :
Person. 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!
As you might recall from my last post, I was trying to decide whether I wanted to learn how to knit or how to use foreign accents for my Open Inquiry Assignment. After bringing these ideas to class with me on Tuesday, I left with the impression that learning foreign accents could likely work in my favour as a handy classroom drama tool. However, it wasn’t until listening to a Podcast on my two hour bus ride home that I made my final decision. The Podcast I’m referring to is called The Red Man Laughing. Anishinaabe comedian and host, Ryan McMahon was laying down his “12 Steps to Decolonization in Canada.” Side note: besides becoming an educator and thus wanting to be educated about Indigenous issues in Canada, my family has a long history within the Songhees Nation. Since I often relate my own family to the many injustices occurring against Indigenous peoples in Canada today, some of these controversial topics are very close to my heart. Maybe in one of my next posts I’ll share some of my family history and attach a family tree, but for now, back to the Podcast. Ryan challenged Canadians to read The Indian Actto get a better sense of the racist roots in this country. In the past I’ve cited The Indian Act in papers and projects, however, I’ve never actually read and investigated the 31 page document in full. For that reason, I’ve decided to print it off, dig deeper, and share my findings for my Open Inquiry Assignment. I don’t want to rush through the document, but if I do finish earlier than expected, there are plenty more documents to analyze (such as The White Paper, 1969 or Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples). Finally, in my blog posts I’ll be using Indigenous as an umbrella term for the First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples specific to Canada. Additionally, I’ll use the term Indian in reference to legal documents since that’s the current legal name (ie. Registered Indians). I don’t like the word Aboriginal and it has no legal definition so I don’t have any reason to use it. Think of the word abnormal: deviating from what is normal or usual, typically in a way that is undesirable or worrying. Hopefully this helps put my word choice into perspective. Anyways, I’ll start reading and get back to you all with my findings!
Today I must choose a topic to pursue for my Open Inquiry Assignment. I have two (very different) areas of interest at the moment. My first idea was to learn how to knit. I imagine that I will enjoy knitting one day, so why not use this time to learn now? On the other hand, I’m totally fascinated by actors who learn and use foreign accents in their roles. So, I thought about researching some linguists and attempting a few accents on my own. However, after further consideration I realized that I could potentially offend people by doing so. I certainly don’t want my admiration to be perceived as some kind of mockery. I plan on discussing with both my peers and professor before making my final decision… stay tuned.