The government's response to the Hawthorn Report and the general climate of social reform in the 1960s was a document that the federal authorities widely regarded as revolutionary in approach. The existing policies for the administration of Natives in Canada were clearly not working to the satisfaction of either the government or the Aboriginal peoples, and a new set of ideas was proposed in a "White Paper" released in 1969. The White Paper proposed that the British North America Act be amended to eliminate any distinctions between Natives and other Canadians, that the Indian Act be repealed altogether, that the Department of Indian Affairs be scrapped, and that Natives should take over complete administration of their reserves. Federal responsibilities were to be passed on to the provinces, and Natives henceforth were to be considered as individual citizens. In effect, any special status that Natives had possessed was to be revoked, and treaties were to be abandoned as irrelevant. Native peoples viewed these proposals both as an abandonment of treaty rights as compensation for lands and as another attempt at assimilation. The Alberta Indian Association articulated the response of most Native groups in a report entitled Citizens Plus, which stated that Natives did not require wardship, but that their peoples' special status did necessitate recognition as did the rights established by treaties. The federal government eventually abandoned the White Paper in the face of almost unanimous and strident opposition from Aboriginal communities.

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