Against First Nations

Duncan Campbell Scott (August 2, 1862 – December 19, 1947) was a Canadian civil servant 

Scott was born in Ottawa, Ontario, the son of Rev. William Scott, a Methodist preacher, and Janet MacCallum. 

Scott "spent his entire career in the same branch of government, working his way up to the position of deputy superintendent of Indian Affairs in 1913, the highest non-elected position possible in his department. He remained in this post until his retirement in 1932."

Scott's father later also worked in Indian Affairs. The entire family moved into a newly built house on 108 Lisgar St., where Duncan Campbell Scott lived for the rest of his life.

Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development 

Minister of Northern Affairs

The term Indian is used for legal and historical documents such as Status Indians as defined by the Indian Act. For example, the term "Indian" continues to be used in the historical and legal documents, the Canadian Constitution and federal statutes. The then-Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada used the term Inuit in referring to "an Aboriginal people in Northern Canada, who live in Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Northern Quebec and Northern Labrador. The word means 'people' in the Inuit language — Inuktitut. The singular of Inuit is Inuk."

Eskimo is found in historical documents about the Canadian Inuit. The term Aboriginal is an assimilative word and is commonly used when referring to the three groups of indigenous peoples (First Nations, Inuit, and Métis) as a whole. It is also used by Aboriginal people who live within Canada and claim rights of sovereignty or Aboriginal title to lands.

In 1755, the British Crown established the Indian Department. The Governor General of Canada held control of Indian affairs but usually delegated much of their responsibility to subordinate civil secretaries. In 1860, the responsibility for Indian affairs was transferred from the British government to the Province of Canada; the responsibility for Indian affairs was then delegated to the Crown Lands Department Commissions Responsible for Indian Affairs.

The federal government's legislative responsibilities for First Nations and the Inuit derive from section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867 and responsibility was given to the Secretary of State for the Provinces Responsible for Indian Affairs. In 1876, the Indian Act, which remains the major expression of federal jurisdiction in this area, was passed and a series of treaties were concluded between Canada and the various Indian bands across the country.

The responsibility for Indian Affairs and Northern Development rested with various government departments between 1873 and 1966. The Minister of the Interior also held the position of Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs after the Indian Affairs Department was established in 1880. In 1939, federal jurisdiction for Indian peoples was interpreted by the courts to apply to the Inuit. A revised Indian Act was passed in 1951.

From 1950 to 1965, the Indian Affairs portfolio was carried by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. On October 1, 1966, the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development was created as a result of the Government Organization Act, of 1966. Effective June 13, 2011, the department began using the applied title Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada in addition to the legal name of the department.

The Indian Act (Loi sur les Indiens, long named An Act to amend and consolidate the laws respecting Indians) is a Canadian act of Parliament that concerns registered Indians, their bands, and the system of Indian reserves. First passed in 1876 and still in force with amendments, it is the primary document that defines how the Government of Canada interacts with the 614 First Nation bands in Canada and their members. Throughout its long history, the act has been a subject of controversy and has been interpreted in different ways by both Indigenous Canadians and non-Indigenous Canadians. The legislation has been amended many times, including "over five major changes" made in 2002.

The act is very wide-ranging in scope, covering governance, land use, healthcare, education, and more on Indian reserves. Notably, the original Indian Act defines two elements that affect all Indigenous Canadians:

The act was passed because the state ("Crown") relates differently to First Nations (historically called "Indians") than to other ethnic groups because of their previous history on the land. When Canada confederated in 1867 the new state inherited legal responsibilities from the colonial periods under France and Great Britain, most notably the Royal Proclamation of 1763 which made it illegal for British subjects to buy land directly from Indian nations, because only the Crown could add land to the British Empire from other sovereign nations through treaties. This led to early treaties between Britain and nations the British still recognized as sovereign, like the "Peace and Friendship Treaties" with the Mi'kmaq and the Upper Canada treaties. During the negotiations around Canadian Confederation, the framers of Canada's constitution wanted the new federal government to inherit Britain's former role in treaty-making and land acquisition, and specifically assigned responsibility for "Indians and lands reserved for Indians" to the federal government (rather than the provinces), by the terms of Section 91 of the Constitution Act, 1867. The Indian Act replaced any laws on the topic passed by a local legislature before a province joined the Canadian Confederation, creating a definitive national policy.

The act is not a treaty; it is Canada's legal response to the treaties. The act's unilateral nature was imposed on Indigenous peoples after passage by the Canadian government, in contrast to the treaties, which were negotiated. This aspect was resented and resisted by many Indigenous peoples in Canada. However, as the governor-general mentioned when the act was passed on April 12, 1876, many of its provisions were suggested by the Indian Councils of the older provinces. Dr. Jones, the Chief of the Mississauga Indians, reported that the measures were generally very highly approved by the Indians, especially those clauses and arrangements relating to the election of chiefs and the gradual enfranchisement of members of the tribes.

he Hudson's Bay Company (HBC; French: Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson) is a Canadian retail business group. A fur trading business for much of its existence, it became the largest and oldest corporation in Canada, and now owns and operates retail stores across the country. The company's namesake business division is Hudson's Bay, commonly referred to as The Bay (La Baie in French).

After incorporation by the English royal charter in 1670, the company was granted a commercial monopoly over the entire Hudson Bay drainage basin, known as Rupert's Land. The HBC functioned as the de facto government in Rupert's Land for nearly 200 years until the HBC relinquished control of the land to Canada in 1869 as part of the Deed of Surrender, authorized by the Rupert's Land Act 1868. At its peak, the company controlled the fur trade throughout much of the English- and later British-controlled North America. By the mid-19th century, the company evolved into a mercantile business selling a wide variety of products from furs to fine homeware in a small number of sales shops (as opposed to trading posts) across Canada. These shops were the first step towards the department stores the company owns today.

The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur. Since the establishment of a world fur market in the early modern period, furs of boreal, polar and cold temperate mammalian animals have been the most valued. Historically the trade stimulated the exploration and colonization of Siberia, northern North America, and the South Shetland and South Sandwich Islands. 

The Oblates of the Virgin Mary (Italian: Oblati di Maria Vergine) is a religious institute of priests and brothers founded by Bruno Lanteri (1759–1830) in the Kingdom of Sardinia in the early 19th century. The institute is characterized by a zeal for the work of preaching and the sacrament of confession, according to the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola and the moral theology of St. Alphonsus Liguori. It is also marked by love for Mary and fidelity to the magisterium.

Lanteri first founded the Oblates of Mary Most Holy in 1816, as a diocesan right congregation. Subsequently, after a five-year hiatus, some of the original members re-established themselves as "The Oblates of the Virgin Mary" (Congregatio Oblatorum Beatae Mariae Virginis), and received papal approval from Pope Leo XII on 1 September 1826, about four years before Lanteri's death.

Since the initial foundation, the Oblates have worked throughout Italy and its islands, and in France, Austria, Myanmar (Burma), Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, the United States of America, Mexico, Canada, the Philippines, and Nigeria.

Canada has numerous Indian reserves for First Nations people, which were mostly established by the Indian Act of 1876 and have been variously expanded and reduced by royal commissions since. They are sometimes incorrectly called by the American term "reservations" 

The Canadian Indian residential school system was a network of boarding schools for Indigenous peoples. The network was funded by the Canadian government's Department of Indian Affairs and administered by Christian churches. The school system was created to isolate Indigenous children from the influence of their own culture and religion in order to assimilate them into the dominant Canadian culture. Over the course of the system's more than a hundred-year existence, around 150,000 children were placed in residential schools nationally. By the 1930s, about 30 percent of Indigenous children were attending residential schools. The number of school-related deaths remains unknown due to incomplete records. Estimates range from 3,200 to over 30,000, mostly from disease.

The system had its origins in laws enacted before Confederation, but it was primarily active from the passage of the Indian Act in 1876, under Prime Minister Alexander MacKenzie. Under Prime Minister John A. Macdonald, the government adopted the residential industrial school system of the United States, a partnership between the government and various church organizations. An amendment to the Indian Act in 1894, under Prime Minister Mackenzie Bowell, made attendance at day schools, industrial schools, or residential schools compulsory for First Nations children. Due to the remote nature of many communities, school locations meant that for some families, residential schools were the only way to comply. The schools were intentionally located at substantial distances from Indigenous communities to minimize contact between families and their children. Indian Commissioner Hayter Reed argued for schools at greater distances to reduce family visits, which he thought counteracted efforts to assimilate Indigenous children. Parental visits were further restricted by the use of a pass system designed to confine Indigenous peoples to reserves. The last federally-funded residential school, Kivalliq Hall in Rankin Inlet, closed in 1997. Schools operated in every province and territory with the exception of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

The residential school system harmed Indigenous children significantly by removing them from their families, depriving them of their ancestral languages, and exposing many of them to physical and sexual abuse. Conditions in the schools led to student malnutrition, starvation, and disease. Students were also subjected to forced enfranchisement as "assimilated" citizens that removed their legal identity as Indians. Disconnected from their families and culture and forced to speak English or French, students often graduated being unable to fit into their communities but remaining subject to racist attitudes in mainstream Canadian society. The system ultimately proved successful in disrupting the transmission of Indigenous practices and beliefs across generations. The legacy of the system has been linked to an increased prevalence of post-traumatic stress, alcoholism, substance abuse, suicide, and intergenerational trauma which persist within Indigenous communities today.

Starting in the late 2000s, Canadian politicians and religious communities have begun to recognize, and issue apologies for, their respective roles in the residential school system. Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered a public apology on his behalf and that of the other federal political party leaders. On June 1, 2008, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) was established to uncover the truth about the schools. The commission gathered about 7,000 statements from residential school survivors through various local, regional and national events across Canada. In 2015, the TRC concluded with the establishment of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and released a report that concluded that the school system amounted to cultural genocide. Ongoing efforts since 2021 have identified thousands of probable unmarked graves on the grounds of former residential schools, though no human remains have been exhumed. During a penitential pilgrimage to Canada in July 2022, Pope Francis reiterated the apologies of the Catholic Church for its role, also acknowledging the system as genocide. In October 2022, the House of Commons unanimously passed a motion calling on the federal Canadian government to recognize the residential school system as genocide.

Attempts to assimilate Indigenous peoples were rooted in imperial colonialism centred around European worldviews and cultural practices, and a concept of land ownership based on the discovery doctrine. As explained in the executive summary of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's (TRC) final report: "Underlying these arguments was the belief that the colonizers were bringing civilization to savage people who could never civilize themselves ... a belief of racial and cultural superiority."

Assimilation efforts began as early as the 17th century with the arrival of French missionaries in New France. They were resisted by Indigenous communities who were unwilling to leave their children for extended periods. The establishment of day and boarding schools by groups including the Recollets, Jesuits and Ursulines was largely abandoned by the 1690s. The political instability and realities of colonial life also played a role in the decision to halt the education programs. An increase in orphaned and foundling colonial children limited church resources, and colonists benefited from favourable relations with Indigenous peoples in both the fur trade and military pursuits.

Educational programs were not widely attempted again by religious officials until the 1820s, prior to the introduction of state-sanctioned operations. Included among them was a school established by John West, an Anglican missionary, at the Red River Colony in what is today Manitoba. Protestant missionaries also opened residential schools in what is now the province of Ontario, spreading Christianity and working to encourage Indigenous peoples to adopt subsistence agriculture as a way to ensure they would not return to their original, nomadic ways of life upon graduation.

Although many of these early schools were open for only a short time, efforts persisted. The Mohawk Institute Residential School, the oldest continuously operated residential school in Canada, opened in 1834 on Six Nations of the Grand River near Brantford, Ontario. Administered by the Anglican Church, the facility opened as the Mechanics' Institute, a day school for boys, in 1828 and became a boarding school four years later when it accepted its first boarders and began admitting female students. It remained in operation until June 30, 1970.

The renewed interest in residential schools in the early 1800s can be linked to the decline in military hostility faced by the settlers, particularly after the War of 1812. With the threat of invasion by American forces minimized, Indigenous communities were no longer viewed as allies but as barriers to permanent settlement. This change was also associated with the transfer of responsibility for interactions with Indigenous communities from military officials, familiar with and sympathetic to their customs and way of life, to civilian representatives concerned only with permanent colonial settlement.

Beginning in the late 1800s, the Canadian government's Department of Indian Affairs (DIA) officially encouraged the growth of the residential school system as a valuable component in a wider policy of integrating Indigenous people into European Canadian society.The TRC found that the schools, and the removal of children from their families, amounted to cultural genocide, a conclusion that echoed the words of historian John S. Milloy, who argued that the system's aim was to "kill the Indian in the child." Over the course of the system's more than a hundred-year existence, around 150,000 children were placed in residential schools nationally. As the system was designed as an immersion program, Indigenous children were in many schools prohibited from, and sometimes punished for, speaking their own languages or practising their own faiths. The primary stated goal was to convert Indigenous children to Christianity and acculturate them.

Many of the government-funded residential schools were run by churches of various denominations. Between 1867 and 1939, the number of schools operating at one time peaked at 80 in 1931. Of those schools, 44 were operated by 16 Catholic dioceses and about three dozen Catholic communities;  were operated by the Church of England / Anglican Church of Canada; 13 were operated by the United Church of Canada, and were operated by Presbyterians. The approach of using established school facilities set up by missionaries was employed by the federal government for economic expedience: the government provided facilities and maintenance, while the churches provided teachers and their own lesson planning. As a result, the number of schools per denomination was less a reflection of their presence in the general population, but rather their legacy of missionary work.

Reference : Histoire des peuples autochtones du Canada/Québec. Histoire des Premières Nation. Canada/Québec.

Serge Bouchard. Commission d'enquête du 2017-09-26 

Source: Wikipedia