Talking Back to the Indian Act

Critical Readings in Settler Colonial Histories

Table des matières

Maps 1 to 7

1. The 1876 Indian Act
1. 1 Indian Act of 1876, Sections 1-3
1. 2 Selections of House of Commons Debates on the Indian Act, 1876
1. 3 Report of Proceedings of the Ojibway Grand Council Relative to the Indian Act, 1876
1. 4 “Grand Indian Council of the Province of Ontario,” Wiarton Echo, 1876
1. 5 Memorial from Chiefs and Warriors of the Six Nations to J. A. Macdonald, 1879
1. 6 Interview with Vern Harper, 1983
1. 7 Interview with Adam Solway, 1983

2. Governance
2. 1 Indian Act of 1876, Sections 61-63, Council and Chiefs
2. 2 Amendment to the Indian Act, 1880
2. 3 Indian Advancement Act, 1884
2. 4 Declaration of Crop Eared Wolf as Chief, 1900
2. 5 Letter from Indian Agent R. N. Wilson to Indian Commissioner David Laird, 1908
2. 6 “The New Story of the Iroquois by Chief Des-ka-heh,” 1925
2. 7 Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1985

3. Enfranchisement
3. 1 Indian Act of 1876, Sections 86-94
3. 2 Selections from Minutes of Grand Council of Chippewas, 1874
3. 3 Memo on Enfranchisement
3. 4 Evidence of D. C. Scott to the Special Committee of the House of Commons, 1920
3. 5 Indian Act Amendment, 1920
3. 6 A. G. Chisholm, “The Case of the Six Nations,” London Free Press, 20 March 1920
3. 7 Letter from F. O. Loft to James Lougheed, 9 February 1921

4. Gender
4. 1 Indian Act of 1876, Section 3
4. 2 Amendment to the Indian Act, 1985
4. 3 “Commutation of Annuity of Rosalie Howse née Ermineskin,” 1891
4. 4 Mavis Goeres, Enough is Enough
4. 5 Manitoba Justice Inquiry, “Cultural Changes—the Impact upon Aboriginal Women”
4. 6 Excerpts from the “Reasons for Judgement,” McIvor v. The Registrar, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
4. 7 Indigenous Bar Association in Canada, “Position Pater on Bill C-3”

5. Land
5. 1 The Indian Act of 1876, Sections 4-10, 25-28, and 59-60
5. 2 An Act Respecting the Songhees Indian Reserve, 1911
5. 3 “Last Chapter in Problem,” Daily Colonist, 17 March 1911
5. 4 Memorandum for the Prime Minister on an Act to Amend the Indian Act
5. 5 An Act to Amend the Indian Act (the Oliver Act), 1911
5. 6 Letter from Chiefs Hill et al to Governor General Grey, May 1911
5. 7 Letter from J. D. McLean to Chiefs Hill et al, May 1911
5. 8 Lee Maracle, “Good-bye Snauq. ”

Appendix A: Reading Historically
Appendix B: The Indian Act in Historical Context Timeline

La description


Talking Back to the Indian Act is a comprehensive “how-to” guide for engaging with primary source documents. The intent of the book is to encourage readers to develop the skills necessary to converse with primary sources in more refined and profound ways. As a piece of legislation that is central to Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples and communities, and one that has undergone many amendments, the Indian Act is uniquely positioned to act as a vehicle for this kind of focused reading.


Through an analysis of thirty-five sources pertaining to the Indian Act—addressing governance, gender, enfranchisement, and land—the authors provide readers with a much better understanding of this pivotal piece of legislation, as well as insight into the dynamics involved in its creation and maintenance.


"Written in the first person, interwoven with the professional parlance of history educators, fortified with primary-source evidence, and shored up with inquiry questions, maps, and a timeline, Talking Back to the Indian Act is not an unwieldy academic tome; rather, it speaks to all Canadians. With a bit of a nudge, it would be as comfortable on a coffee table as it would be in a course syllabus. "

- Connie Wyatt Anderson

"This collection will engage the mind in a critical reading of the complexity of the Indian Act’s storied past and ongoing present through the documents it contains. Talking Back to the Indian Act will also engage students and those willing to learn more about a key Canadian historical document. And it will help students, Canadians, and Indigenous people to more fully engage with the TRC’s calls for action by increasing knowledge of Canada’s Settler colonialism. "

- Karl Hele

"I would recommend Talking Back to the Indian Act to anyone interested in learning about the Indian Act – or in learning about the historical method. It is an easy read and I expect to see it not only in my classroom but on my summer vacation this year. "

- Daniel Sims