Contemporary Secwepemc Issues:
Once the western prairie First Nations signed treaties the federal government began to consolidate laws applying to Indian people. The Indian Act passed was passed in 1876, and applies to all Indian people the government registers as Indians. Inuit or the Métis were not considered Indians and were not registered. Indians became wards of the government and the Act bound them to special rights and conditions. If an Indian man married a non-native she became status and if a native woman married a non-native she lost her status. Additional terms in the Act legal conditions which allowed the government to remove resources and restrict Indians from owning property and entering contractual agreements. As a result of the Indian Act Indians were punishable by law under the Criminal Code of Canada (1876) if they left the reserves without permission and if they purchased alcohol. Indian Act Amendments were made in 1951 and again in 1985. One of the notably change is the Bill C-31 to address the discrimination against native women.
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