Indian Assimilation In Canada

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The Indian Act was constructed to reflect the Canadian government’s primary goal of assimilation. The government anticipated that the process of organized assimilation through legislation would reduce the number of status Indians in Canada, remove the government from the responsibility of First Nations affairs, and make available the land that was currently reserved for First Nations. Without the responsibility of the ‘Indian problem’, the Canadian government would no longer be required to spend limited federal funds on its burdensome inhabitants. However, the ‘Indian problem’ did not go away and instead produced gender-based discrimination towards the women of Canada’s First Nations communities, resulting in a loss of status, status rights, and identity for generations to come.…show more content…
The Indian Act of 1876 determined who was, and who was not, a legally-entitled Indian. According to the Act, the term “Indian” meant: first, any male person of Indian blood reputed to belong to a particular band; second, any child of such person; and third, any woman who is or was lawfully married to such person. Under this definition, it is evident that the foundation of the Act – the Indian status – blatantly discriminated on the basis of gender. According to the Act, Indian women, who may have had Indian ancestry dating back thousands of years, were suddenly only deemed an Indian because of their husbands or fathers, rather than in their own

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