'The lives of Indians are hugely governed by law, to a degree that would surely be unacceptable in the mainstream."
In that one line, perhaps, is captured the spirit of Gordon Gibson's remarkable new book A New Look at Canadian Indian Policy: Respect the Collective --Promote the Individual.
The weight of the Indian Act -- a piece of legislation more than a century old in its basic precepts -- bows the legs and strains the backs of natives on an almost daily basis. It governs everything from their relationship with Ottawa to their right to own property to the very definition of who is an Indian. (By some estimates, Gibson points out, there are as many as 750,000 Canadians -- in addition to the 750,000 who already have Indian legal status -- who would claim it if the law provided a more inclusive definition.)
Were your life and mine so defined and constrained by statute, we might long ago have rebelled against Ottawa and overthrown the government by force.
This is an interesting article by Lorne Gunter, and sounds like an interesting book by Gordon Gibson : A New Look at Canadian Indian Policy: Respect the Collective --Promote the Individual.