An analysis of the political factors affecting the status of Canadian native women

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Sawchuk, Patricia,
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The legal status of Canadian native women has become a subject of controversy during the last few years. In particular, the status sections of the Indian Act have been the cause of bitter debate both within and outside of the courts. To understand the issues under examination it is first necessary to be aware of what is meant by the special status that Indians have and how the status sections of the Indian Act differentially apply to male and female Indians. It is the purpose of this thesis to demonstrate that the status of Canadian native women as determined. by the Indian Act is a product of the development of a dependency relationship between native peoples and the Canadian government which has resulted in the internalization by many people of Indian ancestry of dominant society values and ideology. The Act is a product of the Royal Proclamation of 1763. This proclamation first set forth the policy to be used in dealing with Indians and stated that Indians had land rights both within the British colonies and in areas surrounding the colonies. The proclamation was issued by King George III and in addition to the Indian policy which it contained, it defined the boundaries of British colonies in North America. It was this document which first set apart the rights of Indians from those of other inhabitants in the country...