Indigenous Perspectives Education Guide

9 If you would like to research someone who is not included (or who comes from an earlier or a later era), check with your teacher to make sure there is information available for your research. 5 The Canadian Encyclopedia , “Indian Act,” http:/ Métis leader Louis Riel, c. 1879-1885 (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/Duffin and Co./C-052177). | Joseph Tayadaneega called the Brant by George Romney, 1779 (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/W.H. Coverdale Collection of Canadiana/C-040834). | Catharine Sutton/Nahneebahweequa (courtesy The Grey Roots Archival Collection/1961027057). Portraits - Top Row: Left to Right Bottom Row: Left to Right E. Pauline Johnson (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-085125). | Mistahi maskwa (Big Bear), a Plains Cree chief, 1885 (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-001873). | Poundmaker, also known as The Drummer, a Cree chief, later adopted by Crowfoot of the Blackfoot Nation, 1885 (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-001875). 1876 to 1914 – Policies and Politics T he Indian Act is the principal statute through which the federal government administers Indian status, First Nations governments, and the management of reserve land and communal finances. It was introduced in 1876 as a consolidation of previous colonial ordinances that aimed to eradicate First Nations civilizations in favour of assimilation into Euro-Canadian society. 5 The Act has been amended several times. Many of the initial amendments forbade First Nations peoples and communities from expressing their cultural identities, particularly by making it illegal for First Nations peoples to practise cultural ceremonies such as the potlatch (1884) and requiring their children to attend industrial or Residential Schools (1894 and 1920). Since the 1950s, many changes have focused on the removal of particularly discriminatory sections. Although the Indian Act has changed in many ways since its inception, it is still in force. The Indian Act applies only to First Nations peoples, and not the Inuit or Métis. It is an evolving, paradoxical document that has enabled trauma, human rights violations, and social and cultural disruption for generations. The Act also outlines governmental obligations to First Nations peoples, and determines “status” — a legal recognition of a person’s First Nations heritage, which a€ords certain rights such as the right to live on reserve land. “First Nations” is a euphemism for Indian Act bands. In 2016, the Supreme Court ruled in Daniels et al. v. Canada that Métis and non- status Indigenous peoples are “Indians” within the meaning of s. 91.24 of the Constitution Act, 1867. As with the Inuit, they have not been included under the Indian Act . Many traditional practices were banned under the Indian Act , including dancing. Cree dancing in Moosomin, Saskatchewan, c. 1880s (courtesy Glenbow Archives/NA-97-1).