From Wooden Ploughs to Welfare: Why Indian Policy Failed in the Prairie Provinces

From the Author's introduction: "This is the story of the people of the western plains and forests who lost their lands to the settlers in the 18705. They have lived since,in the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, on parcels of land that were reserved for them, of necessity taking up a new life, but never becoming part of the larger society or regaining their independence. Some Canadians wonder why it all turned out so badly, while many have simple explanations which ignore or distort the facts. This account has been written to make the history more accessible, in the hope that with greater understanding on the part of Canadians generally the need for a new relationship will at last be perceived and supported.----------------------------------------------------------------------- To see it from a larger perspective, consider the immigrant experience. In the first one hundred years after Confederation, an estimated nine million immigrants entered Canada. Many of them subsequently left Canada (the numbers are unknown), but even allowing for a considerable outflow, the ones who stayed on and were absorbed into the main fabric of Canadian life could probably be reckoned in millions. Yet a tiny population of native people whose ancestors signed the western treaties with the Crown still live separately from Canadian society, many of them in conditions that resemble those of the Third World. Numbering only 5o,ooo-odd at the present time - and fewer in the 1870s - the people are spread across three provinces, further fragmented by the numerous reserves and the growing beach-heads in all the major cities. They make up roughly five percent of the population in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, three percent in Alberta.[1]" Pg 3.

Buckley, Helen
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Buckley, Helen. From Wooden Ploughs to Welfare: Why Indian Policy Failed in the Prairie Provinces. Montréal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1992.