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dian Journal of Political Science, Vol. 19 (1986), pp. 705-28. 11. LeDuc, p. 423. 12. The Diefenbaker Interlude: Parties and Voting in Canada (Toronto: Longmans, 1965). JOSEPH WEARING Trent University Contemporary Issues Regarding Native Rights HOME AND NATWE LAND: ABORIGINAL RIGHTS AND THE CANADIAN CONSTITUTION. Michael Asch. Toronto: Methuen, 1984. 156pp. THE QUESTFOR JUSTICE: ABORIGINAL PEOPLES AND ABORIGINAL RIGHTS. Menno Boldt and J. Anthony Long, eds. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1985. 406pp. ABORIGINAL PEOPLES AND THE IAW: INDIAN, METIS AND INUIT RIGHTS IN CANADA. Bradford W Morse, ed. Ottawa: Carleton University Press, 1985. 800pp. OUR LAND: NATWE RIGHTS IN CANADA. Donald Purich. Toronto: James Lorimer, 1986. 252pp. In the late 1960s there began a striking shift in the character and focus of academic writing about the indigenous peoples of Canada. Prior to that time, the field was dominated by anthropologists and historians. Anthropologists concentrated almost exclusively on ethnographic studies and syntheses of such studies, while historians usually treated Native activities as noteworthy only to the extent that they impinged on the evolution of Euro-American society. Though more than occasionally tainted by ethnocentrism , the earlier writing was generally descriptive in content and dispassionate in tone. Native peoples were typically seen as more or less exotic objects of in150 vestigation, not as persons with grievances that should not be ignored or aspirations that deserved attention, much less as political actors who could claim rights and add difficult and controversial items to the Canadian political agenda. For the sake of convenience, the beginning of the shift from seeing Native people as objects of curiosity to seeing them as initiators of political issues can be traced to the publication in 1966 of an inquiry commissioned by the federal government, entitled "A Survey of the Contemporary Indians of Canada," usually known as "The Hawthorn Report." Produced by a large team of social scientists, it identified a wide range of social, economic, and political problems confronted by Indians. It also recommended that Indians should have the full range of rights of Canadian citizens and of their provinces of residence, as well as_a set of special rights deriving from their Indian status: Indians, it was argued, should be "citizens plus." Thereafter, and especially since 1970, academic writing about Native peoples focusing on issues, and especially issues concerning rights, has earned such prominence in the field of Native studies that the area of Native rights has itself become a minor growth industry within academe. Anthropologists and historians are probably still the major contributors, but they are being joined in increasing numbers by sociologists , political scientists, and lawyers, among others. No doubt a full explanation of this shift in orientation would be very complex , but it seems clear that the main causative factors have been the activities of Native people and the federal and provincial governments rather than changes of heart within universities. Prominent among these factors were the announcement by the Trudeau government in 1969 of its radically assimilationist White Paper on Indian Policy; the rapid mobilization of Indian organizations to resist the White Paper proposals vociferously and effectively; the boost to InRevue detudes canadiennes Vol. 22. No. 3 (Automne 1987 Fall) dian and other Native organizations resulting from the success of their resistance; the case of Calder et al. versus the Attorney-General of British Columbia, in which a majority of the Justices of the Supreme Court of Canada affirmed that there is such a thing as aboriginal or Indian title; the growth of funding of Native organizations by government; the increasing sophistication of Native political leaders; and the vigorous participation of Native organizations in events surrounding the patriation of the Canadian Constitution and in subsequent first ministers' conferences devoted to constitutional matters affecting aboriginal peoples. These developments, among others, have drawn the attention of increasing numbers of scholars to the role of aboriginal peoples in Canadian political life, and especially to issues concerning Native rights. The result has been a remarkable outpouring of literature, ranging from short articles intensively examining fine points oflaw, through extended essays advancing positions on questions concerning Native rights to land or self-government, to hefty collections of essays that try to present diverse views on a wide array...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1911-0251
Print ISSN
0021-9495
Pages
pp. 150-159
Launched on MUSE
2018-10-03
Open Access
No
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