Native American Government and Laws
The Indian Act
The Indian Act is a big part of Canadian history and the history of the First Nations. Though many people consider it to have many racist qualities, and restrictive aspects, it still had a huge effect on the progress that our nation made with First Nation rights. It has lasting effects, even in our modern laws. To read more about the influence of the act, visit the "The Indian Act (1876)" page.
It's sad how long it took for the Canadian government to start granting more freedom in the First Nation's own self-government. In the mid '90s, the government set up a committee that clarified the rights of the First Nations for self-governance to be inherent in the Constitution. Over the years, huge steps have been taken to improve this. For more on how the First Nations have achieved self-governance, visit the "Modern Self-Governance" page.
The Jay Treaty
The Jay treaty has a long history, going back to the 18th century when the United States and Great Britain agreed that Native Americans could move freely between the United States and Canada. Although some restrictions were placed on this treaty over the years, it is still in force today. It allows aboriginals to live and work in either country. For more on the nature of this treaty, visit the "The Jay Treaty" page.