Methods of Colonization - The Indian Act

Canada’s Federal Government passed The Indian Act in 1876. It aims to systematically eliminate Indigenous People from Canada. The definition of “Indian,” according to the Indian Act, meant only certain people were allowed status.

People who qualified for status varied based on area and circumstances. Men, women, and children from specific bands were able to maintain their Indian status. However, if a woman married a non-Indigenous man, one of two things would happen: she would lose her Indian status or she would keep her status and her non-Indigenous husband would gain Indian status as well. In 1985, Bill C-31 was introduced, amending the Indian Act. This amendment allowed women who had lost their status through marriage, along with their children, to regain their status and reclaim that connection to their culture.

Timeline of the Indian Act