POLL: Should the Indian Act be gone by 2015?

Ah, the Indian Act. You know it, you hate it, you’re one of millions wondering what to do with it.

Shawn Atleo thinks he knows. In fact, this week the Assembly of First Nations leader urged that the Act be repealed and replaced in its entirety by no later than 2015.

Replaced with what, you ask? Atleo suggested that the department of Indian and Northern Affairs “give way to efficient entities like a ministry of First Nations/Crown relations … and a treaty rights tribunal.” (For a fuller outline of Atleo’s proposed vision, consult the released AFN statement entitled “It’s Our Time: a vision for the future.”)

A very intriguing and ambitious notion, to be sure. So much so, we’d love to hear your thoughts and opinion about the matter, a post-INAC poll, if you will.

[ Image of 1930s INAC emblem via collectionscanada.gc.ca ]

7 thoughts on “POLL: Should the Indian Act be gone by 2015?

  1. My only problem with replacing it is knowing the history of how well the government of Canada has honoured past treaties — which is shamelessly bad, by anyone's reckoning — will mean for those communities that don't have solid treaties to begin with. Each community will have to negotiate its own deal — there cannot be a blanket solution because each community has its own unique needs and culture. I think that the current legislation is racist, archaic, and genocidal, but until we have a solid framework in place that protects our sovereignty, we can't just assume that the AFN or the government is going to be the best negotiators of a new deal.

  2. 'RedIndianGirl,' I think you've highlighted well how — as always — the devil is in the details. Still, if we are to lose the Act, it makes sense to begin discussing the 'How' of it all.

  3. @RedIndianGirl: The Indian Act is a “Solid framework… that protects our sovereignty”? Hardly. It imposes band membership and displaces citizenship in whatever Indigenous nation you might be name. It is all of the things you call it – racist, archaic, etc.

    Perhaps first, the Canadian Government should sign the UN's Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – without qualifications – THEN AFN should begin a debate among Indian nations before it advocates any tinkering or dismantling of the present system.

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