Genocide, Indian Policy, and Legislated Elimination of Indians in Canada


  • Pamela Palmater



The primary objective of early Indian policy was to ensure the eventual disappearance of Indians – a goal which has not changed in hundreds of years. The registration provisions in the Indian Act will achieve this goal through entitlement criteria, which ensures legislative extinction after two generations of marrying out. This has resulted in two separate legal categories of federally recognized registrants: status and non-status Indians, where membership in one group or the other determines access to essential services, band membership and more. The denial of federal recognition to non-status Indians has also resulted, in some cases, in the erosion of Indigenous identity, culture and communal connection. Court-based remedies have done little to address these ongoing injustices and Canada has shown little interest in a significant policy change.