Life under the Indian Act a ‘horrible existence,’ Indigenous senator says, but there’s hope – Politics


One of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s newest Senate appointees is condemning the Indian Act and calling for a fundamental rethink of First Nations governance, pointing to his own community’s success story as a model for other Indigenous peoples to follow.

Independent Nova Scotia Senator Dan Christmas, the first Mi’kmaq member of the Senate, said the 141-year-old legislation condemns Indigenous communities to a lifetime of poverty and dependence by holding back economic development and entrepreneurship.

“The point I’m making is a very stark one: Life under the Indian Act is a horrible and unproductive existence whose ultimate destiny is insolvency and ruin, both economically and emotionally,” the senator from Membertou First Nation on Cape Breton Island said in his maiden speech in the Red Chamber last week.

In an interview with CBC News, Christmas said his community…



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