The Indian Act is a controversial measure, and with the recent Keystone pipeline development in motion, this controversy has only been heightened. The Indian Act has its pros and cons for both Natives and Canadian citizens alike. On one hand, Canadian Citizens are burdened with money given to natives as reparations in addition to having to give up the territory which we were able to establish our institutions on, on the other hand, natives are limited within territory which they feel is rightfully theirs and they are subject to expanding industrial projects which encroach on what territory they have.
On February 28th of this year, Stephen Harper gave a speech at the Standford Graduate School of Business on the rise of populism and nationalism in the West, claiming that he believed Canada was not “immune” to such “polarization”. Interestingly enough, this speech, while implicitly referring to populist nationalism as a divisive disease, made some rather unusual concessions for a “progressive conservative”.