Abolishing Indian Act Essay

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The Indian Act is a part of Canadian legislation that is intended to elucidate how the federal government handles its responsibilities to the Aboriginal population of Canada. The Indian Act was created to civilize, protect and assimilate the Aboriginal people; however, in the past the Canadian government perceived Aboriginal people as wards, and thought that the Native communities and governments were unqualified of running their affairs (Coates, 2008). In the past the Indian Act was also utilized as an instrument to limit rights of the Aboriginal population. It banned Aboriginal people from practicing their cultural practices, denied them the right to vote, controlled who was permitted to travel from reserve settings, and decided where…show more content…
Former Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau was against the distinctive status for any group of people, and desired to eliminate Aboriginal people as a separate group (Coates, 2008). He also wished to have them involved into the broader Canadian political society. He proposed to incorporate Aboriginal people into the Canadian society, thus eliminating any special status and treatment to the Aboriginal people (Coates, 2008). Furthermore, in 1969, the Government of Canada produced a policy paper generally recognized as the White Paper. This paper called for abolishing the Indian Act. It aimed to end the federal responsibility for First Nations and termination of special status. (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, 2013). The White Paper also aimed at freeing the Indians and giving them opportunities to develop their cultures similar to other Canadians. The White Paper; however, drastically gained negative consequences from the First Nations, which made the government, withdraw it (AANDC, 2013). In addition, in 2002, the federal government again attempted to repeal the Indian act by suggesting the First Nations Governance Act (Bill
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