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DYSFUNCTIONAL BELIEFS

"All Indigenous People are the Same."

False. The Indigenous population is composed of First Nations, Metis and Inuit people. In Canada, there are over 50 Indigenous languages with over 200 dialects. There are also 634 recognized First Nations communities in Canada with First Nation governments and each has a different history, language, culture and society. 

 

"Indigenous People have always had the same rights as other Canadians."

False. The Indigenous population in Canada has been long discriminated against, such as the fact that registered status First Nation peoples only obtained the right to vote in 1960. Further, the 1880 Indian Act outlined that First Nations people who earned a university degree or any Registered First Nation woman who married a non-First Nation or an unregistered First Nation man would lose their status. One would think that this could not still be enforced now, yet the Indian Act still gives absolute power and authority to the minister of Indigenous Affairs.

"First Nations People Get Special Treatment."

This is false, as since its creation in 1876, the Indian Act contains the following “special treatments” for first nations people:

  • Limit the Indigenous land base to small reserves.

  • Prohibit First Nations members from selling land, agricultural goods or farm animals.

  • Prohibit Indigenous peoples from retaining a lawyer or to raise funds with the intention of hiring a lawyer (changed in 1951)

  • Forcibly remove Indigenous children from their homes and families to attend distant boarding schools to remove “the Indian from the Indian”. The last Residential School closed in 1996.

  • Eradicate Indigenous identity by creating arbitrary categories of “Indianness”: i.e. status, non-status, Bill C-31 and Bill C-3 Indians.

"Indigenous People Are Paid A lot Of Money From the Government."

False. Indigenous individuals have lower incomes and higher dependency rates than others in Canada and Registered status treaty First Nations individuals receive between $2.00 – $5.00 per year in Treaty money depending on which treaty area their reserve is located in.

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