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Aboriginal Rights - The Legal Context

            "The native American has been generally despised by his white conquerors for his poverty and simplicity. They forget, perhaps, that his religion forbade the accumulation of wealth and the enjoyment of luxury. Furthermore, it was the rule of his life to share the fruits of his skill and success with his less fortunate brothers. Thus he kept his spirit free from the clog of pride, cupidity, or envy, and carried out, as he believed, the divine decree "a matter profoundly important to him. "- Charles Eastman (Ohiyesa).
             Aboriginal rights in Canada have not been upheld after the colonization era had occurred and Canada was born. The Aboriginal population has been treated immorally within the Canadian legal and political structure. As the native population in Canada is not treated with equality and justice, we see the aboriginal community in Canada with poor education, in poverty and substance abuse. The signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by Canada in 1948, made Canada study its treatment of Aboriginals for the first time. A continued systematic oppression of the aboriginal population was evident in Canada, by assimilation into Western Culture. The oppression was imposed through the White Paper, The Right to Vote, and the Indian Act. In current times the ongoing Ideal No More campaign deals with the concerned matters of the indigenous population with connection to the Indian Act and aboriginal society issues such as lack of education, poverty, financial trouble. The aboriginal community in Canada has been oppressed, and is treated with inequality and injustice. .
             In 1969 Pierre Elliot Trudeau's government had regulated the White Paper, a legal document that had forbid negotiations with the Natives in regards to their aspirations and rights by removing their Indian status (Statement of the Government of Canada on Indian policy, 1969, Queens Printer). The White Paper had led to the indigenous community to retaliate and develop the Red Paper, which provided the necessary counter arguments to the White Paper.

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