Allied Tribes of British Columbia: (1916–27) The first province-wide coalition of BC First Nations formed in 1916 to pursue land claims resulting from the McKenna-McBride Royal Commission. The organization dissolved following 1927 amendments to the Indian Act which prohibited bands from using government or donated funds to pursue land claims without a licence from the Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs.
Daniels v. Canada: (2016) A court case that affirmed that Métis and non-status individuals in Canada also have the rights of status Indians under s. 91 (24) of the Constitution Act of 1867 and therefore has the same responsibility to Métis and non-status Indians as it does to status Indians and Inuit.
day schools: Schools on reserves that students attended during the day only while living at home with their families.
File Hills Colony: Model village established in 1901 on the Peepeekisis Reserve near Indian Head, in what would become Saskatchewan. The resident Indian agent, W.M. Graham, assigned land lots to couples just graduating from residential schools, some of whose marriages he arranged. Many did not stay, and the government did not repeat the experiment.
Klondike gold rush: Massive influx of southerners into the Klondike area, Yukon, following news of the discovery of gold that led to the negotiation of Treaty Eight.
League of Indians: One of the first attempts at national organization by Indigenous people, founded in 1919 by F.O. Loft, a Kanien’keha:ka leader from Brantford, Ontario, to fight treaty violations. He felt the time was right due to the significant military service of Indigenous people in WWI. Following Loft’s death in 1934, the League split into regional organizations.
Loft, Frederick Ogilvie: (1861–1934) Kanien’keha:ka leader from Brantford, Ontario, and officer in the Forestry Corps who served in the First World War; founder of the League of Indians in 1919.
Longhouse religion: (Gai’wiio meaning Good Message in Onondowaga language) Synthesis of traditional beliefs and ceremonies combined with the teachings of nineteenth-century Onondowaga prophet Shanyadariyoh (Handsome Lake, d. 1815) that combined elements of the Christian religion and the traditional Haudenosaunee belief system which is still practised today.
McKenna-McBride Commission: (1912–16) Made recommendations regarding adjustments to reservations to increase or decrease size or to eliminate entirely. When land substitution occurred, it was for larger areas of lesser value, costing the First Nations 36,000 acres (14,569 ha) of more valuable land. The lands lost are referred to as “cut off” lands. Spurred the formation of Allied Tribes of British Columbia.
New England Company: Non-sectarian Protestant missionary organization that founded a school for Indigenous people at Sussex Vale, New Brunswick, in 1787 with the goal of teaching useful trades to Mi’kmaw children, but the graduates ended up as a cheap source of labour for local farms and businesses.
pass system: Regulation introduced after the Northwest Resistance that required First Nations people in the West to obtain permission from the Indian agent to leave their reserves for any reason to prevent gatherings and further rebellion. Although not based in any legislation, the policy was later extended to Indigenous people throughout Canada and was enforced until the mid-1940s.
“peasant farmer” policy: (1889–97) During the 1880s, Hayter Reed, Indian Commissioner for NWT, developed the peasant farmer policy that was then extended across the prairies based on racist ideas of cultural development that were in vogue at the time. Since he believed that all Indigenous people were at the “hunter” stage, he insisted that they must begin farming as peasant farmers before they could gradually progress to modern farming methods even if they had already purchased the machinery to do so under previous agents. Indigenous people were given 40 acres which they had to sow and harvest using only hand tools. The type of crops they grew and what they could sell were also restricted. As a result, it was impossible to compete with settler farmers, and the policy impeded the growth and development of First Nations farms and compounded problems with hunger on reserves. This is also a period in which agents were required to demand that Indigenous people do physical labour to receive rations already promised to them as treaty annuities for land sessions.
residential school system: A national system of residential schools for Indigenous children usually run as joint government–church enterprises with the purpose of assimilating these children into the dominant society. Over 130 schools operated from 1831 to 1996. These schools were places of oppression where all Indigenous language and culture was suppressed by threat of physical punishment, children were often starving, and Indigenous youth were taught to hate themselves and their people, with disastrous psychological results. These were also sites of mental, physical, and sexual abuse.
sanitoria/um: (1930s–60s) Indigenous people in Canada suffered exceptionally high rates of TB due to lack of medical care, malnourishment, and large open dormitories at residential schools. From the 1930s to 1960s many First Nations and Inuit individuals with TB were sent south to sanitoria where family could not visit them due to the pass system. Many died and were buried in unmarked graves, while others suffered from medical experimentation without consent. Families were seldom informed what happened to their relatives sent to sanitoria, and even those who recovered had difficulty returning home without funds for travel.