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The White Paper and the Red Paper

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Lauren Hauszner

on 7 October 2014

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Transcript of The White Paper and the Red Paper

The White Paper
The Red Paper How well has Canada addressed the impacts of imperialism? What is the White Paper? The Red Paper 1970 The White Paper 1969 What led to the White Paper? Citizens Plus AKA The Red Paper What are the implications today? -A policy paper in the Canadian legislature
-For many First Nations people, the term ironically implies a reference to racial politics and the white majority.
-Ottawa introduced proposals to end its historical treaty relationships with First Nations.
-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau believed treaties were international contracts between nations and such treaties could not exist between people of the same nation.
-Indian and Northern Affairs Minister Jean Chretien introduced the proposed changes on behalf of the government. The federal government’s intention... ...was to achieve equality among all Canadians by eliminating Indian as a distinct legal status and by regarding Aboriginal peoples simply as citizens with the same rights, opportunities and responsibilities as other Canadians. Trudeau had a vision of a “just society". In this view, the Indian Act was discriminatory because it applied only to Aboriginal peoples and not to Canadians in general. -By the 1960s, the federal government could not deny that Aboriginal peoples were facing serious socio-economic barriers, such as greater poverty and higher infant mortality rates than non-Indigenous Canadians and lower life expectancy and levels of education.
-The civil rights movement in the United States brought Canadians to question inequality and discrimination in their own society, particularly the treatment of First Nations. "In spite of all government attempts to convince Indians to accept the white paper, their efforts will fail, because Indians understand that the path outlined by the Department of Indian Affairs through its mouthpiece, the Honourable Mr. Chrétien, leads directly to cultural genocide. We will not walk this path."

—Harold Cardinal, The Unjust Society -Cardinal’s book "The Unjust Society" exposed for the non-Native public the hypocrisy of the notion that Canada was a “just society.”
-Cardinal called the white paper “a thinly disguised programme of extermination through assimilation.”
-He saw the white paper as a form of cultural genocide. In 1970, the Indian Association of Alberta, under Cardinal’s leadership, rejected the white paper in their document Citizens Plus, which became popularly known as the Red Paper. Last week, letters editor Paul Russell from the National Post asked readers to solve Canada’s "native issue" — in 75 words or less. Here are the some of the concise but brilliant ideas offered. Jean Chretien and Pierre Trudeau The White Paper Proposed to: -Eliminate Indian status
-Dissolve the Department of Indian Affairs within five years
-Abolish the Indian Act
-Convert reserve land to private property that can be sold by the band or its members
-Transfer responsibility for Indian affairs from the federal government to the province and integrate these services into those provided to other Canadian citizens
-Provide funding for economic development
-Appoint a commissioner to address outstanding land claims and gradually terminate existing treaties -In 1963, the federal government commissioned anthropologist Harry B. Hawthorn to investigate the social conditions of Aboriginal peoples across Canada. He found that Aboriginal peoples were Canada’s most disadvantaged and marginalized population. They were “citizens minus.” Hawthorn attributed this situation to years of failed government policy, particularly the residential school system. Hawthorn recommended that Aboriginal peoples be considered “citizens plus” and be provided with the opportunities and resources to choose their own lifestyles, whether within reserve communities or elsewhere. He also advocated ending all forced assimilation programs, especially the residential schools. The federal government began a national program of consultation with First Nations communities across Canada. In May 1969 the government brought regional Aboriginal representatives to Ottawa for a nationwide meeting. During these consultations, First Nations representatives consistently expressed concern about Aboriginal and treaty rights, title to the land, self-determination, and access to education and health care.

In June 1969, Ottawa, in answer to the consultations, produced their White Paper proposing to dismantle Indian Affairs. BUT.... -National Indian Brotherhood, currently the Assembly of First Nations, rejected the White Paper-FN, led by Harold Cardinal of Alberta, condemned the White Paper’s proposals in the 1970 Red Paper “There is nothing more important than our treaties, our lands and the well-being of our future generations.” -In British Columbia, the controversy over the white paper sparked a new period of political organizing. First Nations across the province came together in new ways.
-Younger generation of leaders who, like Cardinal, were university educated and politically savvy. In November 1969, three Aboriginal leaders rose and invited bands across British Columbia to a conference in Kamloops where they could develop a collective response to the white paper and discuss the ongoing fight for recognition of Aboriginal title and rights.
-Representatives from 140 bands attended the conference—at that point the largest meeting ever of the province’s Aboriginal leaders. Your task is to read the opinion you were given and figure out the person’s position on solving the “native issue”?
Write the person's opinon on a piece of paper.
Then Think-Pari-Share!
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