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ISBN: 9781551524252-12

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The Bureaucrat’s Indian

From: The Imaginary Indian


For many decades, government Indian policy was premised on an image of the Indian as inferior. Officials repeatedly described Indians as children. Like children, Indians could not be given full responsibility to make their own decisions about their own lives. At the heart of government Indian policy lay a paradox. The stated aim of the policy was to assimilate Indians into the mainstream of Canadian society, but the means chosen to implement this policy was segregation. Naturally, policy makers thought they were doing the right thing. With time non-Natives have had to learn that Native people want to retain their distinctive identities, living in partnership with White society, equal but separate. Events since 1969 have transformed official Indian policy.



Daniel Francis

Daniel Francis is an historian and the author/editor of more than twenty books, including five for Arsenal Pulp Press: The Imaginary Indian: The Image of the Indian in Canadian Culture , National Dreams: Myth, Memory and Canadian History, LD: Mayor Louis Taylor and the Rise of Vancouver (winner of the City of Vancouver Book Award), Seeing Reds: The Red Scare of 1918-1919, Canada's First War on Terror and Imagining Ourselves: Classics of Canadian Non-Fiction. His other books include A Road for Canada, Red Light Neon: A History of Vancouver's Sex Trade, Copying People: Photographing British Columbia First Nations 1860-1940, The Great Chase: A History of World Whaling, New Beginnings: A Social History of Canada, and the popular Encyclopedia of British Columbia. He is also a regular columnist in Geist magazine, and was shortlisted for Canada's History Pierre Berton Award in 2010. Daniel lives in North Vancouver, BC.