1960 Political Enfranchisement

In 1960, John Diefenbaker passed legislation (Bill C-2 and Bill-C3) that amended the Indian Act that guaranteed federal franchise to status Indian men and women in a way that did not compromise their Treaty Rights or status. Bill C-2 repealed subsection (2) Section 86 of the Indian Act which prevented those with Indian status from voting. Bill C-3 amended the Canada Elections Act, assuring federal franchise without compromising one’s Indian status to both men and women.

The Permit System

Although movement towards implementation of a permit system began in the House of Commons in the 1870s with amendments to the Indian Act, it was not fully implemented until 1885. This policy prohibited Indigenous people from selling anything they had "owned, grew, raised, cut, dug, caught, were given, found, or otherwise acquired" (Smith 2009, 99 - see relevant resources below).

Indian Act

Bill C-3, also known as the Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act, developed as a response to the McIvor v. Canada decision in British Columbia which found that some of the current registration provisions of the Indian Act were in violation of section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms based on gender. The purpose of Bill C-3 was to expand registration to the grandchildren of women who had lost their status as a result of marriage to a non-Indian. To be eligible for status under Bill C-3, three criteria need to be met: ------------------------- "1.

Indian Act

Bill C-31, otherwise known as An Act to Amend the Indian Act, resulted because of persistent activism on the part of Indigenous women who recognized and opposed the inherent gender bias within the Indian Act. This amendment reinstated status to Indigenous women, and their children, who had previously had their status revoked by the pre-1985 Indian Act due to marriage to a non-Indian.

Creation of the North-West Mounted Police

The North-West Mounted Police was established in 1873 by the government of John A. MacDonald. The Cypress Hills massacre as well as the increasing number of conflicts on the U.S border due to alcohol smuggling are often cited as the main reasons the MacDonald government passed the bill creating the new military-style police force. However, most historians agree that the primary reason for establishing the force was to control First Nations and Métis populations, as the government sought to populate the West with settlers.

Indian Act Amendments

Building on amendments made to the Indian Act in 1881 which enabled magistrates to have jurisdictional authority on reserves, this 1882 amendment granted the Indian Agent the same power as magistrates, despite lacking formal legal training.

Reserve Justice Administration and Bureaucracy

Beginning in the 1880s, the Department of Indian Affairs implemented bureaucracy relating to the execution of justice on reserves. These administrative forms of non-Aboriginal justice served less as a protector of individuals and communities than an enforcer of an inappropriate and unhelpful system of law that facilitated the government’s agenda. Indigenous peoples were the most knowledgeable about their own cultural paradigms and the systems of justice that best served their philosophical perspectives.

A Brief Introduction to the Indian Act

As a means of consolidating existing legislation regarding Indigenous peoples, this new federal legislation marked the beginning of creating special offenses that only applied to Indians. From the Crown’s perspective, it unilaterally marked a transition of Indigenous peoples in British North America from that of sovereign tribal nation in the tripartite imperial system to that of legally incompetent wards of the state in the federal and provincial system. Whereas previously the Crown had an expressed goal of protecting Indian tribal autonomy, the Indian was now cast as a dependent child.

Indian Act Amendment

Under this programme, the Superintendent-General was able to issue loans of up to $350,000 for the purchase of agricultural tools or seed, live stock, fishing supplies, or handicraft materials. The Superintendent-General was also given the power to issue prospecting and mining leases on reserve lands without a land surrender.