British Indian Act

British system of government British Indian Act

The British Indian Act is systemic race-based legislation created by a  a foreign government in 1876.

Section 91, clause 24 of the British North America Act assigned the British Parliament responsibility for “Indians, and lands reserved for Indians”.

The British Parliament is responsible for the creation of the British North America Act and the Canada Indian Act.  The British Parliament is also responsible for the human rights violations of status Indians from 1876 to 1931.  In 1931 the British Parliament passed legislation that made the (the dominion), Canada, no longer answerable to the British Parliament.  Making the elected members and the Executive Committee of the government of Canada, responsible for Indian Act legislation and it programs and policies from 1932 to 2023.

The British Parliament created a department of Indian Affairs, to oversee the administration of the Indians.  An Act that provided a foreign government control over the lives of status Indians and reservation lands, reserved in the unceded tribal territories of Turtle Island.  Land reserved by the British Parliament but not provided to the status Indians in title.

Human Right Violations

Government spending is increasing the more the federal government grows the bureaucracy of the legislated responsibility.  Legal expenses for human rights violations of status Indians have increased because of the damage to human life that Indian Act, legislation, policies, and regulations have caused to status Indians.  Litigation over lands that were reserved for status Indians and then removed from the originally reserved lands allocated to a band-list has led to further loss for status Indians.

The residential school program was brought to United Nations by status Indians as a human rights violation citing the genocide of “Status Indian” children.  The Government’s response was to create a truth and reconciliation program after the involvement of the United Nations.  Further testing of residential school grounds continues to reveal more unmarked graves of children of Turtle Island ancestry.

Although rebranded, the new policies and programs are more of the same, only this time status Indians are required to organize as a First Nations non-profit society to borrow the money from the government to reorganize the federal governments’ Indian Act, program, department, and responsibilities at a federal, provincial, and municipal level.  Status Indians should not be required to borrow money for the reorganization and self-administration of federally held lands.  Self administration is not self government.

Is this program a rebranded enfranchisement program?  A manipulation of a status Indian’s legislated legal entitlement to extinguish their recognized “inherent” tribal entitlement?  An inherent legal entitlement and a legislated legal entitlement are not the same type of legal entitlement.

Status Indians have suffered trauma, emotional, physical, sexual, and psychological abuse and death because of policies and programs of the Canada Indian Act.   Relocation, the sixties scoop, residential schools, and enfranchisement.  Status Indians had to fight for the right to vote in an election, enter a public house, serve in the Canadian military, or obtain a university education, all the while resisting repetitive programs and policies for the enfranchisement of status Indian rights.

First the federal government should settle the legal claims resulting from status Indian legal and human right violations and then address the legal and human rights violations of the 1610 international Treaty, the Great Law of Peace Council and the unceded territories and treaties of Turtle Island.

John A. Macdonald

John A. Macdonald emigrated to Turtle Island from Scotland in 1810.  He was educated and held degrees in law and was an active participant in the drafting of the British North America Act and the Canada Indian Act for the British government.  He was an elected Prime Minister by way of the British North America Act, that answered to the British Parliament and governed British people living in Turtle Island.

“The great aim of our legislation has been to do away with the tribal system and assimilate the Indian people in all respects with the other inhabitants of the Dominion as speedily as they are fit to change.” John A. Macdonald, 1887

His remarks confirm he was aware of the “tribal system”, the democratic system of governance in Turtle Island, yet the Great Law of Peace Council, confederacies, tribes, territories, and people of Turtle Island are not named in the 1867 British North America Act or the 1876 Canada Indian Act.

By 1876 the Great Law of Peace Council already included tribes of the West Coast of Turtle Island according to the genealogy of the Mi’kmaq Tribe and foreign corporate records of the Turtle Island fur-trade.

In 1850 the Hudson Bay Corporation is recorded as making trade treaties with families and villages of the Salish Tribe.  These same Salish families that signed the Hudson Bay Corporation Treaties, called Douglas Treaties, are intermarried with the family of kji’saqmaw Anli Mapeltoog Membertou and Germain Doucet of the Mi’kmaq Tribe.  kji’saqmaw Anli Mapeltoog Membertou, is the kji’saqmaw, who made the first international Great Law of Peace treaty with the Holy See, Pope Paul V, in 1610.

Yet foreign legislation drafted for “Indian policy” never names a person, tribe, confederacy, council, or territory in the legislation of British North America Act or the British Indian Act.

Instead, signs were posted instructing “Indians” they should move on to lands reserved for their use, where later lists of names were approved and produced by the colonial government and attached to numbered reservations.  A band list is not a Turtle Island tribe.

Legal Definitions

Status Indian is a legal definition created by the legislation of the Indian Act for a federal government program.  In 1876 if you moved on to a reservation and identified yourself as “Indian” and the government accepted you were an Indian, then your name was entered on a band list.

Metis is a legal definition created by the Canada government that results from the government’s “Metis Script” program and policies.  Script was given to people of Turtle Island and European ancestry.

Status Indians have a legal entitlement created by legislation and not by their inherent tribal right.  An inherent tribal right does not give you “Indian Status” under the Indian Act.  Metis have a legal right created by legislation and not by their inherent tribal right.  A status Indian or a Metis person will also have an inherent legal entitlement derived from their birth and their kinship relationship to their tribe.

The Indian Act can not make you a member of a Turtle Island Tribe, an existing pre-confederate treaty, or provide you with an inherent right that is based on your kinship relationship to a clan lineage of a Turtle Island tribe.  YDNA and MTDNA are clan lineages of a tribe.

Reserved Lands

No land was reserved for the tribes of the Great Law of Peace Council in Turtle Island.  I could find no genealogical record that confirms the Royal Proclamation required “meeting with said Indians” took place when lands were reserved in the unceded territories of the tribes of Turtle Island by the British government for “status Indians”.

The arbitrary band lists created by the Department of Indian Affairs under the legislation of the Indian Act satisfies the responsibility for “Indians” but does not satisfy the responsibility for addressing the constitutionally protected legal rights of descendants of existing treaties of the sovereign tribes of the Great Law of Peace.

Tribal Records

Genealogical research shows records are not regularly provided to the provincial vital statistics offices from the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs and the few records that were provided are missing the names of parents, and other crucial information that the “Indian Agent” and “Department” did not provide in the record to the province.

The interference of the Indian Act legislation on the genealogy of a Turtle Island Tribe amounts to the genocide of a Turtle Island Tribe.  All birth, marriage, divorce and death records should be transferred from the Department of Indian Affairs’ Registrar to provincial vital statistic departments and administered through provincial records management and privacy schedules so that the information is available to tribal members.

Systemic racism, legislation based on race or implied special privileges is divisive and creates animosity towards people of Turtle Island ancestry.  The segregation of the costs of the federal government Indian Act and lands reserved for Indians’ program implies that status Indians receive more than all other Canadians.  That the minute you have a status card you get free housing, medical, education and you don’t pay taxes.  Nothing could be further from the truth!