The attack on Native customs and practices had been inaugurated in earlier Indian Act amendments outlawing the Potlatch, Sun Dance, and other cultural rituals. In 1914, another amendment prohibited Natives from appearing off-reserve in "Aboriginal costume." The object was to prevent Natives from participating in public entertainment spectacles like dances, shows, exhibitions, and rodeos, including the Calgary Stampede, where Native displays and activities were an increasingly popular tourist attraction. In 1933, the prohibition was extended to bar Native participation in all such events, with or without Aboriginal costume. The government also used the Indian Act's trespassing clause in an attempt to prevent different bands from coming together for celebrations. The motivating factor appears to have been the elimination of what were considered to be inappropriate Native "recreational" activities and to redirect them into more acceptable practices that did not perpetuate old ways.

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Chinook Multimedia


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