Preface

People of Aboriginal ancestry have had little to cheer about for much of the period from Confederation in 1867 to the end of the twentieth century. Although Native peoples were a significant factor in Canadian society in the early years after 1867, they soon faded from the thoughts and concerns of Canadians...
Indeed, they languished in neglect and oversight for many decades. Only over the last half-century, since approximately the Second World War...

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1850s-1914

Mi'kmaq Family, in Prince Edward Island, ca. 1900.

One group of Native peoples actually rated a mention in the founding document of the Canadian Confederation. The 1867 British North America Act contained a clause that listed "Indians and lands reserved for the Indians" as an area of jurisdiction assigned to the Parliament of Canada...

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1914-1945

Photo of Chipewyan Indians at Brochet showing fur catch.  Reindeer Lake, Man.  1924; PA-019679.

Between the end of the First World War and the economic boom that followed the Second World War, Native peoples' economic and social position in Canada continued to decline. Although this period is part of what historians sometimes call the age of...

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1945-2000

Native Police Officers in Training, COE (EA-170-1).

The same historians who described the period from Confederation to the Second World War as part of the era of the Native peoples' irrelevance often labelled what happened in the later twentieth cen...

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Conclusion

At the end of the 1990s, the areas of the arts and communications clearly exemplify the liveliness of the Aboriginal world. The contrast between that picture and the demoralized state of Native communities in the early decades after Confederation is breathtaking. The highly diverse populations of...

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Further Readings

Abel, Kerry. Drum Songs: Glimpses of Dene History. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1993.

Coates, Ken. Best Left As Indians: Native-White Relations in the Yukon Territory, 1840-1973. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1991.

Codere, Helen. Fighting with Property: A Study of Kwakiutl Potlatching and Warfare, 1792-1930...

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Written By

J.R. Miller
History Professor Emeritus
University of Saskatchewan

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