Privy Council Committee Report on Aboriginal Marriage


A report put out by a committee of the Privy Council, and approved by the Governor General, established the official stance of the Canadian government on the issue of marriage and polygamy for Aboriginal people in Western Canada. This report was made in response to demands from the Aborigines Protection Society of England that legislation be put in place to protect Aboriginal women from Euro-Canadian men who married and then abandoned Aboriginal wives.

In this case, the demand from the Aborigines Protection Society of England was a paternalistic attempt to control the actions of Aboriginal women, and served more to discourage traditional marriage practices among Aboriginal people than to protect Indigenous people from unscrupulous settlers. Christian, monogamous marriages were presented as good and respectful to women, while polygamy was presented as inherently demeaning.
Sub Event
Articulation of Official Government Stance on Polygamy