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Surviving as Indians

Surviving as Indians: The Challenge of Self-Government

Copyright Date: 1993
Pages: 384
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  • Book Info
    Surviving as Indians
    Book Description:

    The Indians' future must inevitably be worked out with Canadians. Surviving as Indians intends to open a dialogue between the two groups.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8027-2
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. Prologue
    (pp. xiii-2)

    This book is about the future of Indians in Canada. Indians represent one of the three distinct legal categories (i.e., Indian, Inuit, and Metis) subsumed under the term ‘aboriginal people’ in section 35 (1) of the Constitution Act, 1982. In the constitution, the term ‘Indian’ is used to refer to those peoples in Canada who are legally defined as being Indian under the provisions of the Indian Act. The term ‘Indian’ as used in the Indian Act was adopted by the colonial powers for purposes of political control and administrative convenience. For these reasons, indigenous peoples, generally, find the term...

  5. 1 Justice
    (pp. 3-64)

    A quest for justice always springs from the presence of injustice. The Indian quest for justice began shortly after first contact with the forces European imperialism. European imperialists in the seventeenth century promulgated a self-serving, villainous doctrine that held that, right of ‘first discovery,’ a Christian nation was divinely mandated to exercise dominion over non-Christian ‘primitives’ and to assert proprietary title to any ‘unoccupied’ lands. Under this doctrine, every European ‘Christian’ nation with a navy and an army sent its agents prowling to the remote corners of the world in search of potentially lucrative ‘unoccupied’ territories under the aegis of...

  6. 2 Policy
    (pp. 65-116)

    For officials at the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND), the 1960s began as just another decade of smug bureaucratic arrogance wedded to ignorance about their Indian wards. Cultural assimilation was still considered a ‘progressive policy,’ and both politicians and bureaucrats were blissfully optimistic about the progress being made in that direction. Statistics showed increases in the number of Indian children receiving post-elementary schooling; federal programs to relocate Indians from reserves (and federal responsibility) to urban centres (and provincial responsibility) were deemed to be progressing at a satisfying pace; Indian friendship centres were springing up in cities to...

  7. 3 Leadership
    (pp. 117-166)

    Today, as band/tribal councils are attaining a greater measure of self-administration and responsibility and as they aspire to self-government, the effectiveness of Indian leadership becomes decisive for the future of Indians. Effective Indian leadership represents the only and final chance for Indian people to escape their destitution, despair, and frustration, and it represents their only hope for survival and wellbeing asIndians. Indian leaders today are better educated, politically more experienced and sophisticated, and better organized to act in the interests of their people. But a new criticism is surfacing: that Indian leaders are taking on the same values and...

  8. 4 Culture
    (pp. 167-222)

    The measure and validity of a culture is determined by its efficacy as a design for surviving and living. By this standardIndiancultures in Canada are in a state of crisis. Moreover, this cultural crisis is so grave that Indians will not survive asIndiansunless they initiate immediate and intensive measures to revitalize their traditional cultural philosophies, principles, social and normative systems, and languages.

    Many will reject such an expression of angst as alarmist, if not nonsensical. They dismiss such a concern by pointing out that the imminent demise ofIndiancultures has been falsely predicted for more...

  9. 5 Economy
    (pp. 223-264)

    Indian economic dependence upon Canadian society is generally perceived in terms of the majority of individual Indians who survive on government welfare cheques. But this perception overlooks Indian collective dependence. Band/tribal political, bureaucratic, health, educational, and social service infrastructures are also dependent upon Canadian government grants. An Indian economy of sorts exists on many reserves: some ranching and agriculture; sundry arts, crafts, and tourist businesses; occasional lumbering and guiding; a little hunting and fishing; and sometimes a manufacturing operation. But reserve-based enterprises play a minor or insignificant role as a source of personal incomes and general revenue for all but...

  10. Epilogue
    (pp. 265-268)

    The task of decolonizing Indians is complex, and it is made more so by the dissimulative rhetoric of the Canadian government and the extravagant rhetoric of Indian leaders. Such rhetoric makes it difficult to come to a discerning understanding of the two agendas. Instead of reacting to the rhetoric on both sides, my discussion has been conducted within a broad framework purposed to promote the survival and well-being of Indians asIndians.In this regard, it stresses five imperatives: moral justice for Indians; Canadian policies that treat Indian rights, interests, aspirations, and needs co-equally to the ‘national interest’; Indian leadership...

  11. Appendices
    (pp. 269-334)
  12. Notes
    (pp. 335-340)
  13. Selected References
    (pp. 341-348)
  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 349-374)
  15. Index
    (pp. 375-384)