Walking in Indian Moccasins: The Native Policies of Tommy Douglas and the CCF


From the Author's Introduction, Page xix:

"The avowed aim of walking in Indian moccasins implied a degree of sympathy for Native aspirations and culture; in addition, it invited a measure of CCF influence and involvement in Native society that would prove to be both paternalistic and heavy handed. It also spoke to the more crass, political side of CCF motivation - the hope of enlarging its voter support by making inroads into the Native electorate. It was well known that the Metis tended to support the Liberal Party during elections and it is quite possible that many in the CCF saw the possibility of Indian electoral support as a way to offset that fact. Few in the party believed that anything was wrong with winning votes as a by-product of Native reforms, and, like all parties, the CCF equated its own survival in office with the best interests of society generally. 

The story of North America's first experiment in so-called socialist government is important because it raises questions about the very nature of Saskatchewan society. In light of the enduring and uninterrupted rule of the CCF, it is impossible to escape the conclusion that government policies were an accurate reflection of what most people in Saskatchewan wanted. Douglas and his party did not rule in a political vacuum, but rather with the consent of the provincial electorate, and what they attempted to do for the Native community - and what they failed to do- were symptomatic of broadly based attitudes. In a very real sense, then,Walking in Indian Moccasins is not only about the policies that the CCF applied to Native society; it is also an examination of the social assumptions and predilections that prevailed in Saskatchewan society in the postwar period." (xix).

Publication Information

Barron, F. L. Walking in Indian Moccasins the Native Policies of Tommy Douglas and the CCF. Vancouver: UBC Press, 1997.

Barron, F. Laurie
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