Death of the Indian Act, Redefining Sovereignty



The Indian Act is the principal statute through which the federal government administers Indian status, local First Nations governments and the management of reserve land and communal monies. It was first introduced in 1876 as a consolidation of previous colonial ordinances that aimed to eradicate First Nations culture in favour of assimilation into Euro-Canadian society" The Canadian Encyclopedia


The only way for people to move forward is to recognise that the systems of oppression that have been imposed upon us are designed to kill us, get rid of us completely, as no colonial law has ever been in the best interest of Indigenous peoples; nobody but the people themselves truly understand the effects of their trauma and pain, it us up to us to rise up for the next seven generations to heal and return to our traditional governance systems and abolish the Indian Act, Western governance, and religions.


Now Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has declared war on Indigenous peoples by continuing to commit crimes against humanity.


"Reconciliation is dead” is a battle cry. It means the pressure to live up to our side of the bargain is over. The younger generation have dropped the shackles to the ground. Perhaps we are moving into a new time, one where militancy takes the place of negotiation and legal challenge. A time where we start caring less about what the colonizer’s legal and moral judgement and more about our responsibilities." Tawinikay (aka Southern Wind Woman)


A red dress hangs as a reminder of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls under the symbolic protection of the Rotiskenhrakete and original laws at Wyman Road while the CN Rail and Ontario Provincial Police threatened to invade sovereign land known as the Simcoe Deed or Treaty 3 1/2 during solidarity stands in February 2020


For centuries, the central goals of Canada’s "Indian Policy" were to eliminate Indigenous traditional government structures, ignore Indigenous rights, terminate Treaties through a process of assimilation and cultural genocide cause Aboriginal peoples to cease to exist as distinct legal, social, cultural, religious, and racial entities in Canada. The establishment and operation of residential schools were a central element of this policy.


Physical genocide is the mass killing of the members of a targeted group, and biological genocide is the destruction of the group’s reproductive capacity. Cultural genocide is the destruction of those structures and practices that allow the group to continue as a group. States that engage in cultural genocide set out to destroy the political and social institutions of the targeted group. Land is seized, and populations are forcibly transferred and their movement is restricted. Languages are banned. Spiritual leaders are persecuted, spiritual practices are forbidden, and objects of spiritual value are confiscated and destroyed.


Significantly to the issue at hand, families are disrupted to prevent the transmission of cultural values and identity from one generation to the next. In its dealing with Aboriginal people, Canada did all these things. Canada asserted control over Aboriginal land. In some locations, Canada negotiated Treaties with First Nations; in others, the land was simply occupied or seized. The negotiation of Treaties, while seemingly honourable and legal, was often marked by fraud and coercion, and Canada was, and remains, slow to implement their provisions and intent.


"It is due to the courage and determination of the Survivors of Canada’s residential school system that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (trc) was established. They worked for decades to place the issue of the abusive treatment that students were subjected to at residential schools on the national agenda. Their perseverance led to the reaching of the historic Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. All Canadians must now demonstrate the same level of courage and determination, as we commit to an ongoing process of reconciliation. By establishing a new and respectful relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians, we will restore what must be restored, repair what must be repaired, and return what must be returned. In preparation for the release of its final report, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has developed a definition of reconciliation and a guiding set of principles for truth and reconciliation. This definition has informed the Commission’s work and the principles have shaped the calls to action we will issue in the final report."


Justice Murray Sinclair Chair, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

Chief Wilton Littlechild Commissioner

Dr. Marie Wilson Commissioner


The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was formed as a means of reckoning with the devastating legacy of forced assimilation and abuse left by the residential school system. From 2008 to 2014, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission heard stories from thousands of residential school survivors. In June 2015, the commission released a report based on those hearings. From that came the 94 Calls to Action: individual instructions to guide governments, communities and faith groups down the road to reconciliation


Trudeau embraced the calls to action at the 2015 unveiling, describing them as a blueprint to so called reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

He promised to meet the ones that applied to the federal government, including implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

In 2016, his government adopted UNDRIP and has still not implemented it.

In their update, Jewell and Mosby found only nine calls had been met so far – five by the federal government.


1) Federal acknowledgement of Indigenous language rights;

2) A federal Missing and murdered Indigenous women’s and girls inquiry;

3) Federal support for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation;

4) Long-term support from all levels of government for North American Indigenous Games;

5) Federal support for Indigenous sport programs and athletes;

The other four are; Adoption of UNDRIP by churches and faith groups, rejection of the Doctrine of Discovery by churches and faith groups






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