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21 Things You May Not Know about the Indian Act by Bob Joseph (2018)

21 Things You May Not Know about the Indian Act by Bob Joseph (2018)

Posted by Sabrina on July 18, 2019

In the spirit of Indigenous Peoples Day, I took the opportunity to read 21 Things You May Not Know about the Indian Act, a contemporary view of the colonial relic which still plagues the First Nation people today. Joseph’s book puts to rest the question of, if systemic racism of kill the Indian and save the man, was a historic policy. In fact, he goes on to demonstrate how this Act has maintained the dismissal, assimilation policy, and racism paradigms in the Canadian social fabric. In a time of the TRC and political will to provide reconciliation, 21 Things provides a solid dialogue on the Truth of the act and where Canada should be heading in order to walk the talk of Reconciliation.

21 Things is a quick read, set up in short vignettes on topics, aimed to answer questions about the Act, policy, and its implementation over its 143 year tenure. Of special note is the closing appendix which provides quotes from the writing and speeches of Sir John A. MacDonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister and Duncan Campbell Scott, Indian Agent and Deputy Superintendent of the Dept of Indian Affairs.

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