When Newfoundland entered Confederation in 1949, the federal government, in accordance with its practice elsewhere, accepted responsibility for the Native peoples in the new province. However, no attempts were made to register individuals or bands, and no reserves were established initially. Only in 1984 were the members of the Miawpukek Band of Conne River recognized as Status Indians, the first in the province. The Terms of Union, through which Newfoundland became a province, made no reference to Aboriginal peoples.

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