Abolish the Indian Act

The Canadian Indian Act should be abolished. First Nations should have personal and/or collective ownership of reserve land. Maintaining First Nations as wards of the state may be better culturally, but it is not economically.

Historically, denying land ownership has served to keep people in subjugation and poverty, examples being slavery, the hacienda system, medieval serfdom, apartheid, share cropping, migrant labour, and the Canadian reserve system.

When people own the land they build up equity, pride, can borrow against it, can start a business, and thereby improve the quality of life for everyone in their community.

The reserve system is dehumanizing, stigmatizing, disempowering, and ghettoizing. First Nations people are in the same disadvantaged position as anyone who doesn't own the land they live on. When you don't own your own land you don't stay "up with the market", which means you don't collect the economic rent that accrues to land at a rate of about 5% of market value per year average.

Along with land ownership comes lines of credit at low interest allowing people to afford education, to travel, to start a business, to invest, for renovations, or sell and take this money with us to live in another region or country.

Aboriginal people, Catholic clergy, renters, people in public housing, people living in coops, military people that buy or rent a house on a base but don't own the land under it... are all disadvantaged in this same way. In Europe, Gypsies always stay poor because they don't own land, and are labelled and stigmatized by their poverty.

The reserve system is evil and always has been. South Africa modeled apartheid on it. It ghettoizes First Nations, just like social housing projects ghettoize the people who live there. First Nations individually should own their section of the reserve outright and be able to sell it or be able to borrow against it, or collectively own their reserve land and be able to borrow against it collectively, just like any group of people who want to own land collectively.

Green economics addresses this. Everyone, of course, doesn't have to own land or resources. Renting is fine, co-ownership is fine, but all Canadians should receive their share of the unearned income that accrues to the common wealth, it shouldn't all go untaxed to those who happen to hold title. The common wealth of Canada, including land, belongs equally to all by birthright and citizenship.