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Aboriginal Rights and Title

First Nation Timeline of Significant Events

 

  • 1763 Royal Proclamation recognizes Aboriginal title and land rights
  • 1834 The Mohawk Institute Residential School (and administered by the Anglican Church), the oldest continuously operated residential school in Canada opened (eventually closes in June 30, 1970).
  • 1846 Oregon Treaty signed and establishes 49th parallel.
  • 1849 British establish the Colony of Vancouver Island, giving responsibility to land and settlement to the Hudson's Bay Company.
  • 1851 James Douglas (1803 - ) named Governor of the Colony of Vancouver Island.
  • 1858 The Colony of British Columbia established.
  • 1858 First Gold Rush
  • Joseph Trutch becomes Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
  • 1864 (April 30) Waddington Massacre resulting in killing of 13 white men who were surveying a potential town-site at the head of Bute Inlet.
  • 1866 The Colony of Vancouver Island and merges with other colony to become what is now British Columbia.
  • 1867 (July 1) Canada's date of Confederation.
  • 1870 British North America Act enacted.
  • 1871 (July 20) British Columbia enters confederation.
  • 1876 Indian Act enacted.
  • 1876 Joint Indian Reserve Commission established.
  • 1880 Indian agents acquire additional powers as justices of the peace in order to prosecute Indians.  
  • 1884 amended to force attendance at residential schools of all school age Indian children.
  • 1885 amended to ban the potlatch ceremony of the West Coast peoples.
  • 1912 McKenna McBride Commission formed.
  • Sechelt Indian Residential School established (to 1979).
  • 1927 amendment that prevented anyone from soliciting funds for Indian legal claims without a special license from the Superintendent-General. This effectively prevented anyone from pursuing land claims.
  • 1930 amendment to prevent poolhall owners from allowing entrance to an Indian who “by inordinate frequenting of a pool room either on or off an Indian Reserve misspends or wastes his time or means to the detriment of himself, his family or household.” The owner could face a one a fine or one month in jail term.
  • 1931 Peak of residential schools. 80 individual residential schools in operation with enrollment over 17,000 students. 44 operated by the Catholic Church; 21 by the Church of England/Anglican Church of Canada; 13 by the United Church of Canada; and 2 operated by Presbyterians.
  • 1945 Family Allowance Act introduced that stipulated all school aged children had to be enrolled in school for families to qualify for the 'baby bonus' further coercing Indigenous parents to send their children to residential school.
  • 1951 amendment that allowed status women the right to vote in band elections.
  • 1960 amendment that allowed Indian people the right to vote in federal elections.
  • 1961 amended to end the compulsory enfranchisement of men or bands.
  • 1969 White Paper which called for an end to Indian status, the end to the Department of Indian Affairs. This initiative failed and was withdrawn in 1971.
  • 1985 Bill C-31 passed which reinstated Indian women who lost their status.
  • 1996 last residential school in Canada closes (Gordon Indian Residential School, SK).
  • 1997 (Dec. 17) Delgamuukw decision rendered by the Supreme Court of Canada.  
  • 2008 (June 11) Prime Minister Harper offers public apology on behalf of Canada.
  • 2011 (June 2) Truth and Reconciliation Commission established (and concluded in 2015).


* Sources included Paul Tennant's 'Aboriginal Peoples and Politics: the Indian Land Question in British Columbia, 1849 - 1989.'