The devastating impact of the policies and programs of the federal government on the Indian people of Canada is illustrated forcefully in this important and revealing study of the Fort Hope Band.
Over a period of seven years, the authors looked at the communities of Webequie, Summer Beaver, Lansdowne House, and Fort Hope in the far reaches of Northwestern Ontario seeking answers to such questions as: How do a people become wards of the state? How does a government work against its stated objectives? How do ghettos appear in the middle of a pristine wilderness?
They found that, starting in the early '60s, as government involvement in band life increased, dependency on the government also increased - to the point where today government programs provide 90 percent of the band members' income.
Now dependent on programs with can be curtailed at the governments' will, the band is in an extremely vulnerable position. The authors suggest that this is also true of other bands across the country and offer suggestions for constructive change.
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