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'Enough to Keep Them Alive'

'Enough to Keep Them Alive': Indian Social Welfare in Canada, 1873-1965

Copyright Date: 2004
Pages: 454
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  • Book Info
    'Enough to Keep Them Alive'
    Book Description:

    'Enough to Keep Them Alive'explores the history of the development and administration of social assistance policies on Indian reserves in Canada from confederation to the modern period, demonstrating a continuity of policy with roots in the pre-confederation practices of fur trading companies.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-2105-3
    Subjects: History, Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. 1 Themes and Issues
    (pp. 3-24)

    Indian welfare: in Canada this phrase occasions much opinion, mostly pejorative. Canadians as a rule have much to say and lament about Indian welfare dependency but little to offer in the way of solutions. Most rely on stock answers: Indians are lazy, welfare has made them lazy, they have to stop drinking, they should get a job, they should leave the reserve – in short, they should be like us. There is an abundant literature on issues related to Indian self-government, health, land claims, economies and education, yet there is scarcely any on Indian welfare. This is ironic, because welfare is,...

  5. 2 The Context of Relief Policy Development at the Time of Confederation
    (pp. 25-40)

    At the time of Confederation in 1867, Indian matters were divided among several administrations. The colonial office in London had transferred legislative authority for Indian policy to the Province of Canada (Canada East and Canada West) in 1860, but had retained final authority over these matters in the Maritime colonies and in British Columbia.¹ Indian policy in Rupert’s Land – from which the Northwest Territories were created and subsequently the three prairie provinces – was overseen by London, but left largely to the administration of the Hudson’s Bay Company, which retained its complete control and trading monopoly over this vast area.² Indians...

  6. 3 The Development of Rudimentary Relief Administration during the Initial Period of Subjugation, 1873–1912
    (pp. 41-92)

    The early policy governing relief reflected prevailing European attitudes about deservedness, self-reliance, thrift, and the moral virtue of work. It was neither complexly formulated nor well articulated. As such it sprang from charitable and residual responses to need. The former derived from a humanitarian concern for suffering; the latter from a need to promote work, cultivation, and industry, rather than reliance on the state for support. The wonder, as Ray points out, was that there was any policy at all, given the reluctance of the state at the time to interfere with the ‘natural laws’ of economics.¹ Especially on the...

  7. 4 Relief Policy and the Consolidation of Subjugation, 1913–1944
    (pp. 93-133)

    Duncan Campbell Scott became deputy superintendent general of Indian Affairs in October 1913. On his appointment, he assumed control of a department that, like the rest of the nation, was wrestling with a fundamental transition from a world view rooted in religious values to one based on secularity and the promises of science.¹ Some writers, notably Titley,² attribute to Scott much of the department’s overall direction between 1913 and his retirement in 1932. Yet he was mainly a representative of his times, and as such he reflected much of the era’s confusion about the nature of the secular and the...

  8. 5 Other Influences: The Transition to the Period of Citizenship, 1918–1944
    (pp. 134-170)

    A criticism of the Indian Affairs bureaucracy made by the Hawthorn report of 1966 – one which, I believe, was quite common – was that it was historically isolated from the wider organizational culture of the federal government and Canadian society as a whole. It operated as a realm unto itself, free of any meaningful criticism and oblivious to a changing Canada.¹ I think that this criticism, however, failed to account for the influence of outside organizations – including Indian organizations – politicians, and interested individuals. In particular, it failed to account for public collusion with the department’s fundamental objectives.² More often than not,...

  9. 6 Citizenship: The General Context of Postwar Indian Welfare Policy
    (pp. 171-206)

    During and after the Second World War, the federal civil service bureaucracy began to change rapidly in size, functions, and complexity. These changes were a consequence of the needs identified – principally by the 1937–40 Royal Commission on Dominion-Provincial Relations – in order to revitalize and redefine Ottawa’s role in the country’s social and fiscal affairs. The changes were also propelled by Ottawa’s greater role in economic planning and enterprise during the war. It can be argued that no other period in Canadian history altered Canadian federalism so profoundly. Simeon and Robinson describe how Canada evolved from a classical federal state,...

  10. 7 The Influence of the Social Sciences: The Secular Understanding of the ‘Other’
    (pp. 207-227)

    One of the chief research difficulties encountered in a study of post–Second World War Indian administration arises from the growth and complexity of the Indian Affairs Branch. At headquarters, enriched funding and the development of new and existing programs resulted in a dramatic increase in correspondence with educational institutions, international bodies, the media, other public and private organizations, and the Canadian public, not to mention assorted federal and provincial government sectors. Much of the earlier, apparent simplicity of branch policy was lost as officials grappled with a variety of influences and as branch programs began to develop their own...

  11. 8 The Emergence of Indian Welfare Bureaucracy, 1945–1960
    (pp. 228-259)

    In his testimony to the 1946 joint parliamentary committee, R.A. Hoey, the director of the Indian Affairs Branch, stated that throughout the Second World War expenditure on Indian relief had steadily declined. In the fiscal year 1945–6, he noted, just 68.6 per cent of the total welfare appropriation in Indian Affairs had been spent on direct relief. Hoey offered no data on how many Indians received this assistance. Instead, he merely asserted that the decline in expenditure was the result of increased employment for able-bodied Indians.¹ Without these numbers, and considering the branch’s historical meanness, it is impossible to...

  12. 9 The Indian in Transition: Social Welfare and Provincial Services, 1959–1965
    (pp. 260-321)

    In the ten years since 1948–9 the Indian Affairs Branch had evolved into a much larger organization. The total staff complement had increased nearly 115 per cent, from 946 in 1948 to 2,031 in 1958–9. A good portion of this increase involved the addition of teachers in the field. Children’s education was seen as the primary means of effecting integration. Within the general administration, however, staff had increased by about 44 per cent, from 563 to 810. Of these, 597 were in the field, where they were responsible for eighty-nine agencies in eight regions. This amounted to an...

  13. 10 Shooting an Elephant in Canada
    (pp. 322-342)

    In the first chapter I cited Bruce Trigger’s assertion that the problem of dependency in Canada’s native population would be understood only after intensive historical research into government Indian policies and their administration.¹ My task has been to describe the development and administration of federal Indian welfare policy in a way that would bring an analysis to bear on its ideology and objectives. Two questions still need to be asked about this venture. First, does the information support the analysis applied to the ideology and objectives of Indian welfare policy? Second, what does this study say about Indian welfare dependency?...

  14. Notes
    (pp. 343-402)
  15. Bibliography
    (pp. 403-416)
  16. Index
    (pp. 417-441)