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21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act: Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a Reality

4.58  ·  Rating details ·  3,613 ratings  ·  654 reviews
Based on a viral article, 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act is the essential guide to understanding the legal document and its repercussion on generations of Indigenous Peoples, written by a leading cultural sensitivity trainer.

Since its creation in 1876, the Indian Act has shaped, controlled, and constrained the lives and opportunities of Indigenous Peoples,
Paperback, 160 pages
Published April 10th 2018 by Indigenous Relations Press
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Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Should be mandatory reading for every Canadian.
Ashley Daviau
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I don’t even know where to start with this book. It’s heartbreaking and disgusting to think that the country I live in could be so racist. I also feel terribly uneducated, I had never heard of the Indian Act before and I had no idea how badly Indigenous Peoples were treated by Canada. But it is my responsibility as a Canadian to know and to educate myself about my country and to fight against such terrible injustices being inflicted. After reading this book, I vow to do better and fight racial i ...more
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting! I learned a lot from this book and I think that it should be mandatory reading in schools so we are more educated on our country's history. I had previously read stuff on residential schools but knew very little about everything else that was talked about in this book. The way the Aboriginal people of our country were and are treated is appalling. It is heartbreaking to read about and crazy to think that anyone could have possibly thought that what they were doing to them was h ...more
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Though not an easy book to read both because of the tragic content and the dry but necessary legal terminology used throughout, '21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act' is essential reading for anyone who seeks to understand the serious harm the Indian Act has caused--and continues to cause--Indigenous people today.

It details the ways in which first the British and later the Canadian governments systematically tried to erase Indigenous people from the face of the earth and makes it very
h o l l i s
I don't rate non-fiction but if I did this would get five stars. This was never going to be a comfortable experience but the way this guide was broken down, the way it made the policies and regulations easy to understand, and then how that related in the moment, and the impacts (both then and now), was done so well. It felt like the perfect way to begin this journey of learning, understanding, and reconciliation; because this is far from the end of it.

The tragic reality is that what should have
Feb 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
I read so I can learn and I definitely feel one of the biggest lies I was told in school was that the Governor General of Canada was merely a figurehead. I guess my high school teachers needed to do some research. Based on Bob Joseph's popular blog, this book informs readers about the act that has been in power since 1876. It includes appendices of Canada's Statement of Apology on the residential school system, the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and how all Canadians ...more
21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act: Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a Reality by Bob Joseph, is a critical examination of Canada's Indian Act, a piece of policy that dictates the relationship between the Canadian government, and Aboriginal Nations in Canada. This Act is widely seen in modern times as a discriminatory relic of Canada's colonial past, and the terms and conditions of this Act have been highly damaging to the livelihoods, traditions and cul ...more
This small book written by Bob Joseph contains information that every Canadian should know. Having read several non-fiction books by Indigenous authors, I was aware of some things. This book has broadened my knowledge. In addition to listing and telling 21 things about the Indian Act, in Appendix 4 there is a list of 21 things you can do to change the world. I plan to do #4 ~ Donate books by Indigenous authors to school libraries.
I came across this one by chance, and I was interested to further my understanding of the complex historical relationship between Canada and its Indigenous population. This is the second book on Indigenous affairs by a Canadian author that I have read, after Thomas King's 2012 book: The Inconvenient Indian. I felt that this one was better put-together and delivered than King's book, which I did not really like.

Author Bob Joseph:

21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act was an i
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Essential reading for all Canadians
Jul 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Bob Joseph presents a succinct examination of the Indian Act: its history, repercussions and the 94 calls to action for the federal government to reconcile. The reasoning taken to implement the Indian Act is horrifying. Reading about it made me furious and despondent, in turns. I hope we can make things right for the descendents of the original inhabitants of this great land of ours.
chantel nouseforaname
Sometimes you forget just how insanely corrupt and like America, Canada is. The Canadian government puts on this face like it hasn't committed the sort of atrocities the US, Germany and various other countries have committed against their people; when they have. It completely levels the "moral high ground" image that the Canadian government seeks to represent; that most people of colour know is bullshit. This book is a reminder to take action - with a lot of suggestions on how to take action tow ...more
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: indigenous-books
Great book! Breaks down segments of the Indian Act and briefly explains how each have informed biases and stereotypes that exist in the present day. Really good starting point for those wanting to learn more about the harmful impacts of colonization on Indigenous folks. Also a great collection of resources including a terms glossary, chronological timeline of residential schools, the Calls to Action, and discussion topics and activities. Would recommend as a resource book to keep on hand!
Vanessa Siemens
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
An important book for Canadians to read. Was a good primer for looking at the Indian Act and its history and impact on people who have not been fully seen or honoured in our history. Parts were hard to read in recognizing the truth of the implications on individuals as a result of the Indian Act. I felt like it ended a bit too quickly- suddenly it was in part 3 and it felt like an abrupt transition. Lots of important stuff in the appendix and helpful suggestions for further reading.
Oct 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My Rating: 5 stars

21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act is exactly about what the title says. It's a list of things that aren't generally well known about the already obscure and not-taught-about Indian Act.

My Breakdown:

- This is a truly eye-opening book. Canadians, if you're reading this review, you must read this book. I only vaguely knew about what happened to Indigenous Peoples, Inuit and Métis in our country, let alone the Indian Act. As a Canadian, especially a settler,
"The past cannot be overlooked or dismissed as "ancient history," because it isn't; the impacts of the past are ongoing."

As many other reviews say: this should be required reading for all Canadians. Joseph breaks down 21 sections of the Indian Act (which is not all of the sections of the Act) to allow readers to understand what the legislation entailed in more accessible language and how it impacted the Indigenous People of Canada.

I appreciate that at the back, the author provided a list of acti
Tichana  (The Book Hobbit)
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2020
8 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act was an informative book that got to the point without wasting any time on irrelevant information.

I'm still appalled that the Canadian government continues to treat indigenous people as second class citizens. The Indian Act should've been abolished long ago, yet it's still in effect even though it's completely unconstitutional.

There is a whole section about residential schools and how badly it affected indigenous children and their family, ment
Emma Jarvis
Wow this book was really eye-opening. Even though the information was very harsh, I thought it was presented in clear way that anybody can understand. All Canadians should definitely read this.
Kristina Abretti
Dec 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This should be mandatory reading. I learned a lot that I am ashamed to have not known previously. The call to action at the end has tangible things readers can do right now. It’s not an easy book to read - but a critical one.
Gisèle Rudderham
Oct 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Read this - understanding the negative repercussions of the Indian Act on the lives of indigenous peoples and current indigenous topics is i m p o r t a n t

Quotes from the book by Sir John A MacDonald (1885):

“The great aim of out legislation has been to do away with the tribal system and assimilate the Indian people in all respects with other inhabitants of the dominion”

“... the savage was still a savage, and [that] until he ceased to be a savage, we were always in danger of a collision, in dan
Isabelle Duchaine
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Should be a must-read for Canadians - especially those in public policy, education, social work or medicine. IDeally every Canadian would read this. It's very accessible, matter of fact, and a quick read. Opens up the history of colonialism and cultural genocide. ...more
Jul 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The more you read, the more you'll learn.

1876 to today...

Even if you're not from Canada, it's important to read about the "government policies that led to cultural genocide, assimilation, theft of land, denial of treaty and constitutional rights, racism and increasingly punitive laws meant to control every aspect of the lives and deaths" of Indigenous people.

Teens will learn about dictators all over the world, maybe about the apartheid. They should learn about Duncan Campbell Scott and what he
Feb 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
An important read for all, especially for Canadians (and especially for students b/c our coverage of this topic was lacking) as this is a huge part of our history. It is critical that we are aware of how deeply the Indian Act has impacted the Indigenous communities of our country. As Bob Joseph put it, the Indian Act "was an instrument of oppression," and the first step towards reconciliation is to understand how despite the amendments and modifications it continues to govern the the lives of In ...more
nadia | notabookshelf
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
this book is exactly what the title says. definitely helpful to my fellow Canadians!
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Everyone should read this. It’s accessible, concise, devastating and a fantastic resource. I will definitely be using this in my classroom.
Dec 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian, poc, non-fic
A must-read for every single Canadian.
Julia Raleigh
Jul 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
This felt like a book that should have been a required read in school. It gives a clear timeline of residential schools, the 94 Calls to Action, many racist Sir John A Quotes, and what our next steps are. Everyone should read this!!
Jun 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is something I will recommend to others. I used it as a starting ground to understand more of a subject that requires national attention but I knew little about. It is eye opening to understand how these issues affect generations, and what is needed for reconciliation and progression.
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thought the residential schools were bad with their cultural genocide. But I didn’t quite appreciate that they were part of an overall strategy to assimilate and get rid of the Indian problem that was and is implemented by the Indian act.

It outlaws any cultural celebrations and aims to eliminate all natives languages. Controls any movement in out of the reserve through approvals by Indian agents. Makes it criminal to give or pool money for “Indian” legal representations. Outlaws any political
Going into this, I knew an okay amount about the harm the Canadian government (and many other groups in Canada) have done to indigenous people. What I didn't understand is the deeply rooted legislation that caused, allowed, encouraged many of the horrible things that have been done (both by the government and by others). I didn't have a proper understanding of the Indian Act beyond the very basics, and I came away from this feeling like I understand it much better.

Bob Joseph is clear and concise
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