First nation

The History of Aboriginal English Relations in Canada

  • End of the Seven Years War

    End of the Seven Years War
    A portion of North American land is ceded to Britain via France, thus terminating the Seven Years Wall and instilling colonizers with a sense of opportunity as they considered the vast, “untouched” interior of the New World.
  • The Royal Proclamation

    The Royal Proclamation
    Before further settlement of North America could commence, King George III issued a document delineating territory that had been long ago settled by Aboriginal cultures. Settlers were henceforth prevented from expanding until treaties had been established - a legality that, unfortunately, was often ignored, particularly in the western parts of Canada. Nevertheless, this document was among the first to recognize Indigenous people as not savages, but organized, and established, societies.
  • Reserve System implicated

    Reserve System implicated
    By 1830, the colonial perception of First Nations has embittered, and most are now regarded as a barrier to westward expansion. To remove this "blockade," Indigenous people are constricted into small swaths of land, regulated (and restricted) by government agents. Under the thumb of dismissive Europeans, their culture, freedom, and identity deteriorates, as while as the ability to engage in Canadain economics. The Reservation system is thus born, and, to this day, implicated.
  • Indian Act implicated

    Indian Act implicated
    This law sought to consolidate government power over aboriginals, enabling officials to dictate affairs such as Indian status, land, resources, wills, education, band administration, and other aspects of daily life. These constrictions stripped First Nations of their culture, thus assimilating them further into Canadian culture. For example, university degrees necessitated the forfeit of one's Indian Status - although this particular rule was later amended.
  • Aboriginal Right to Universal Suffrage achieved

    Aboriginal Right to Universal Suffrage achieved
    For over a century, registered "Indians" were prohibited the right to vote in Canada due to so-called political, socio-economic, and ethnic barries. In 1960, Parliament acknowledged this blatant disregard of rights enshrined in the charter and amended the Elections act. On March 31st, Aboriginals were granted the right to vote without having to surrender their identity as a "status-holding Indian."
  • Formation of the National Indian Brotherhood and Native Council of Canada

    Formation of the National Indian Brotherhood and Native Council of Canada
    The native council of Canada comprises of Metis and non-status Indians, whereas status Indians make up the National Indian Brotherhood. Both groups stem from the Native Indian Council, which dissolved due to internal friction, and both seek to represent the historically voiceless aboriginals. Since their formation, the two have lobbied for reformation within federal and provincial policies.
  • White Paper controversy

    White Paper controversy
    In response to dissent amongst Aboriginal populations, who regard the Indian Act as demeaning, the government proposed an official statement of policy. This white paper lobbied for the eradication of reserves and First Nation special status, thus barring discrimination. This assimilation into mainstream society was viewed as necessary to prevent further polarity and conflict.
  • Residential School System an extent

    Residential School System an extent
    Residential schools aimed to assimilate Aboriginal youth into maintastream culture through often cruel, and rigid techniques. In 1969, the Department of Indian Affairs terminated church involvement in the system and resolved to phase-out schools. However, due to resistance met from both the Catholic Church and some Indigenous communities, not all schools were closed. It took several decades for all to either be passed to First Nations hands or else dissolved entirely.
  • Bid for Self Government

    Bid for Self Government
    During this decade, Aboriginal bands begin advocating their right to self-governance as a unique, and discrete culture. A special committee within the House of Commons was appointed to grapple with this issue, and constitution discussions were held in the manifold.
  • Inception of the Assembly of First Nations

    Inception of the Assembly of First Nations
    In order to voice their opinions in Canadian decisions, such as pressing constitutional proposals, First Nations needed direct representation. Thus, the National Brotherhood formed an assembly, designating chiefs as the champions of Aboriginals. Although sitting on a Canadian-wide deliberative assembly, the group is not subject to regulations faced by those operating under a government charter, and can hence freely upstand Indigenous issues.
  • Passing of Bill C-31

    Passing of Bill C-31
    This law was formulated in order to amend and align the Indian Act with 'modern' day ideologies. Modifications were proposed to various sections of the Act, each with the intent of addressing gender discrimination, resorting Indian status to those forcibly enfranchised, and bequeath bands with a degree of self-governance.
  • A simple no stalls the Meech Lake Accord

    A simple no stalls the Meech Lake Accord
    The Meech Lake Accord sought to implicate political reform by amending the constitution. It recognized Quebec as a distinct society, as while as addressed several other issues affiliated with minority groups. However, the proposal was put to bed after the three-year deadline passed without full ratification of the ten provinces. This stall was chiefly due to an MLA Cree First Nation who underlined the accord's failure to recognize the similarly unique status of Aboriginals.
  • The Oka Standoff brings Indian land rights into the limelight

    The Oka Standoff brings Indian land rights into the limelight
    Tensions had already been simmering in Oka, Quebec - rooted in the ambiguous borders of First Nation land claims. For example, Kahnawake Mohawks deemed the area bordering their reserve as a sacred burial site. When bulldozers threatened to transform the land into a golf course, the band erected a blockade. Armed Police forces became involved and, when a corporeal was shot, a standoff with the Canadian military ensued. Ultimately, Mokawk warriors backed off and were arrested.
  • Ipperwash Crisis

    Ipperwash Crisis
    In 1942, the government claimed Stony point reserve and transformed it into a military base, assuring the resident First Nations that their relocation to Kettle was temporary. Decades later, however, the land had not been returned. Stony Point First Nations thus peacefully occupied the camp - though tensions mounted when the OPP became involved, and, after days of incertitude, an Ojibwa protestor was shot and killed. The land was later returned.
  • Gustafsen Lake Standoff

    Gustafsen Lake Standoff
    In a similar trend to the Oka standoff, Aboriginal Sun Dancers in BC claimed access to private land for ceremonial purposes. This sparked a dispute with the proprietor - a rancher - and ultimately gained the attention of RCMPs. A month-long standoff ensued, with no deaths, but much violence. Ultimately, again, the First Nations surrendered and faced charges.
  • Nisga's Land Treaty signed

    Nisga's Land Treaty signed
    In 1887, a group of Northwestern BC natives requested a treaty confirming their right to the land they had occupied for centuries prior. 111 years later, the government agreed, bequeathing the Nisaga First Nations with a degree of self-governance over the 2000 square kilometres of land they now hold an official title to. For the first time in modern history, the Indian act ceased to apply, paving the way for similiar land accords in the future.
  • Delgamuluukw Case

    Delgamuluukw Case
    First Nations in BC have been campaigning for rights to ownership, jurisdiction, and self-government of these traditional territories. For a century, these claims were rejected, until the Gitxan band appealed to the Canadien Supreme Court in 1997. The resolution declared the federal government had no right to extinguish indigenous land claims, clarified the definition of an Aboriginal tiled, and affirmed the legal validity of oral testaments, as were given in court.
  • Statement of Reconciliation issued

    Statement of Reconciliation issued
    The Government issued a formal state of apology acknowledging the long, complex, and tumultuous relations between Aboriginals and Europeans. This speech recognized the historical presence of First Nations, wrong perpetrated by the government, chiefly through residential schools, and committed to working with bands in order to rectify these wrongs. A significant reimbursement was also given. However, not all Aboriginal grievances have been resolved.
  • Creation of Nunavet

    Creation of Nunavet
    Canada formed largely without the consent of First Nations, such as those residing in the Northwest territories Throughout the 1990s, natives had requested the establishment of a new territory, dubbed Nunavut, which would ensure their unique culture would be preserved, and the government would no longer use Arctic resources without apprising them first. This was achieved, finally, in 1999.