Torgeson, 'Indians Against Immigrants', 14 Am. Indian L.Rev. 52, *62.
In the Royal Proclamation of 1763, Great Britain sought to avoid contact with Indians and created a huge Indian reserve. The inhabitants were assured sole occupancy and proprietary rights. In 1830 the policy of assimilation was officially adopted. However by the 1840s the policy had switched back to protecting Indian reserve lands from encroachment. In 1860, seven years before the formation of the Confederation, Britain transferred control of Indian affairs to the province of Canada. Indians played no role in drafting the British North America Act of 1867, which assigned legislative authority with respect to Indians and land reserved for Indians to the federal government. The Gradual Enfranchisement of Indians and the Better Management of Indian Affairs Act of 1869 provided the Governor with powers of removal of Chiefs. The Canadian government continued the practice of signing treaties with Indian tribes and between 1871 and 1877, seven major land cessions secured for the government the central and southern portions of the Canadian west. These treaties were entered into pursuant to Canada's recognition of the existence of Indian title. The final treaty was signed in 1921. Much of Canada remains as non-treaty areas. Until 1969 Indian claims to land were not recognized by the government. In 1973 it recognized aboriginal title when it indicated its commitment to negotiating outstanding claims based on aboriginal title. The 1969 Statement of the Government of Canada on Indian Policy ('White Paper') which was a proposal for the assimilation of Indians into the dominant culture, met with almost unanimous opposition and was never implemented. In more recent years there has been increased sensitivity to native affairs and a greater receptivity to title claims. Special recognition of Indians is made in the new constitution.
See also: Johnson, 'Fragile Gains', 66 Wash. L. Rev. 643, *707; Mackiem, Distributing Sovereignty, 45 Stan. L. Rev. 1311, *1322
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