Showing posts from August, 2021

Clearing the lands has always been at the heart of Canada's Indian Policy

*Originally published in Globe & Mail Feb.27, 2020 CANADA'S INDIAN POLICY HASN'T CHANGED MUCH AFTER THE EVENTS of the past few weeks in Canada, one thing remains clear: Canada’s Indian policy hasn’t changed much since its inception. Indian policy has always had two objectives: to obtain Indian lands and resources and to reduce financial obligations to Indigenous peoples acquired through treaties or other means. Its primary methods were elimination or assimilation of Indians. Colonial governments had a long history of scalping bounties to kill specific groups of Indigenous peoples, using small pox blankets to increase death rates from disease and forced sterilizations to reduce the populations. Even Confederation did not dispense with the violent colonization of what would now become known as Canada. Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, told the House of Commons in 1882: “I have reason to believe that the agents as a whole … are doing all they can, by refus