By 1850, considerable quantities of land were being set aside in Upper and Lower Canada for the use of the Aboriginal population, and it became necessary to establish who qualified to have access to these lands. The Act for the Indians of Lower Canada attempted to define the word "Indian," but its authors did not actually consult any Native people in establishing that definition. The Act declared that all persons of Indian blood who belonged to a tribe, their spouses, their descendants, and any infants adopted by them were all considered to be Indians. By 1851, these terms were redefined to exclude the descendants of Native women who married non-Natives, but still included non-Native women married to Native men. The terms were also expanded to differentiate a "Status," or Registered, Indian from a "non-Status" Indian. These definitions continued to affect Native populations into the twentieth century and beyond.

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