INDIAN ACT

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Ottawa Should Grant Property Rights On First Nations Reserves

A First Nations person on reserve does not enjoy fee simple ownership and does not have the same property rights as all other Canadians who live off reserve. According to the Indian Act, First Nations reserve land is held in trust for on-reserve members by the federal government -- essentially making on-reserve First Nations people wards of the state.
CP

Canada Loves Fair Elections, Just Not For First Nations

As international champions of democracy and with so much debate over federal election reforms, how would you expect our elected officials to react when democratic rights are being stifled in First Nations communities in Canada? Unfortunately, in recent weeks, they've responded with neglect and evasion.
Marilyn Angel Wynn/CP

Fixing Aboriginal Education

First Nations are looking for an educational system adapted to their realities and their culture. Unfortunately, the federal government's new approach seems to be based on the view that band councils are the problem and provincial school boards (or bodies like them) are the solution. But the evidence shows the government will not be able to solve the problems experienced by schools on-reserve simply by handing responsibility for them over to new or different institutions. The students will remain in the same communities with the same challenges.
Alamy

How Idle No More Could Help Save Canadian Democracy

The Indian Act is the most glaringly anti-democratic impediment to Indigenous self-government. Although they are elected, Chief and Council have no democratic authority to govern because they are constrained from above by the Act rather than from below by their people. The arrangement is insultingly arbitrary.
CP

What Idle No More Should Really Be Protesting

In the wake of the Idle No More protests that have blocked railway lines and have hinted at more mischief, multiple grievances have been advanced in place of clear-headed analyses. But none of the slogans, clichés and guilt-tripping get to the bottom of why some aboriginals, especially on reserves, are in a sorry state. Fundamental problems with how reserves are run — and the unsustainable nature of some of those rural collectives — is what protesters should ponder.