On Day 92, we repeat the words of Secwepemc Elder Wolverine, there is no statute of limitations on genocide. The ongoing genocide against Indigenous Peoples acr…oss Turtle Island is the longest and most devastating genocide in history. From Confederation 1867 to the Indian Act and on to reserves, residential schools, forced relocation in the North, the 60’s scoop, the millennium scoop, the foster care system, pipelines, mines, logging, highway expansions, the youth suicide crisis, and on and on and on, genocide is committed in many different ways.
The Indian Act is the only piece of colonial legislation still in force today whose specific objective is to assimilate and control a specific group of people. No settler group, no newcomer to the white supremacist settler colonial state of Canada has ever been subject to such scrutiny and control by the state as Indigenous Peoples are. Most importantly, the Indian Act forced Indigenous Nations to replace their traditional governments with the chief and band council system.
The elected chief and council system are agents of and employed by the government, civil servants. They are the new and more effective Indian agent, meant to control the lives of Indigenous Peoples. They are the extension of the Canadian colonial government onto reserves across the state and have no jurisdiction. Most importantly, the legislation that enables the elected chief and band councils is the 1867 Constitution and gives the chief and council control over only reserve land. This means they cannot, legally, make decisions that effect lands outside reserve land. Despite this, the federal government uses the elected chief and band council to their advantage, by paying these politicians to make favourable decisions especially when it comes to resource extractive industry like pipelines and mines or highway expansions and logging. These industrial projects occur outside reserve lands and certainly effect other territories, we all live downstream.
These decisions are illegal even according to Canada’s own laws!
Elected chief and councils are corrupt, corroborate with the colonizer state of Canada and its violent agents, the RCMP and regularly enact colonial oppression on their own communities, they sign modern day treaties, degrading the rights and title of Indigenous Peoples and Nations by their continued interactions with “the crown” and do not have the interest of their communities or Nations in mind.
Keep this in mind when you see band councils signing deals, receiving pennies for approving destructive industrial projects that will make the corporations billions in profits, the federal government, billions in taxes and forward the white settler colony’s genocidal agenda of extinguishment and assimilation.