The Indian Act has structured the government’s and the Crown’s legal relationship with First Nations people for the past 146 years. It’s an outdated law that has its roots in assimilationism. But dismantling the Act and replacing it with a new legislative framework is going to be a complex task. Policy Options magazine hosted a workshop on April 28, 2017, to help build a basic understanding of the the Act, its history and how it affects First Nations people today. Frances Abele from Carleton University, Roger Jones, a lawyer and member of the Sagamok First Nation band council, and Douglas Sanderson from the University of Toronto, participated in the discussion, which was moderated by Policy Options editor-in-chief Jennifer Ditchburn.
Policy Options is the digital magazine of the Institute for Research on Public Policy.