Aboriginal Peoples and Politics
Author(s): Paul Tennant
Synopsis: Aboriginal claims remain a controversial but little in contemporary Canada. The most intense and persistent demands by native people have occurred in British Columbia, where one finds the strongest and most consistent opposition to native claims, both by governments and the non-aboriginal public. Land has been the essential question: aboriginal peoples have claimed continuing ownership, while the province has steadfastly denied the possibility.
This book presents the first comprehensive treatment of the land question in BC, as well as the first examination if the modern political history of aboriginal peoples in the province. Paul Tennant shows that the Indians of BC began their land claims at the start of white settlement and preserved despite the massive efforts of missionaries and government officials to suppress Indian culture and despite Parliament’s outlawing of claim-related activities. Covering the land question from its beginnings, Tennant also gives detailed attention to more recent court decisions, government policies, land claim developments, and Indian protest blockades. He has conducted extensive interviews with many aboriginal leaders and has examined the inner workings of government agencies and aboriginal political organizations.
Aboriginal Peoples and Politics will be and invaluable source on native land claims and politics in BC for years to come. Aboriginal peoples emerge in this book as innovators who maintained their identity and ideals and who today have more strength and unity than ever before.