Abolishing the Indian Act means eliminating First Nations’ rights – Macleans.ca

by ahnationtalk on October 11, 201981 Views

Oct 10, 2019

Pam Palmater: The Indian Act is used as a target to deflect blame for racist decisions made by the federal government; a clever guise to force the surrender of all First Nations’ rights

Pam Palmater is a Mi’kmaw citizen and member of Eel River Bar First Nation. She has been a practising lawyer for 20 years and currently holds the chair in Indigenous governance at Ryerson University.

In the 2015 election campaign, Indigenous issues were a central feature in the platforms of most of the candidates. In fact, Justin Trudeau’s campaign slogan was “there is no relationship more important to me than the one with Indigenous peoples.” He also distanced himself from his father’s 1969 White Paper on Indian Policy, which had proposed to abolish the Indian Act, privatize reserves and end treaties. This also helped to set Trudeau apart from former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper whose government agenda was to eliminate the Indian Act and reserves. Yet once Trudeau was elected, his government resumed calls to transition away from the Indian Act, and despite the mass resistance to Trudeau’s legislative plans—including immediate abolishment of the Indian Act—Green Party leader Elizabeth May also included dismantling the Indian Act in her 2019 platform.

Read More: https://www.macleans.ca/opinion/abolishing-the-indian-act-means-eliminating-first-nations-rights/

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