'Enough to Keep Them Alive': Indian Social Welfare in Canada, 1873-1965
Far from being a measure of progress or humanitarian aid, Indian welfare policy in Canada was used deliberately to oppress and marginalize First Nations peoples and to foster their assimilation into the dominant society. 'Enough to Keep Them Alive' explores the history of the development and administration of social assistance policies on Indian reserves in Canada from confederation to the modern period, demonstrating a continuity of policy with roots in the pre-confederation practices of fur trading companies.
Extensive archival evidence from the Indian Affairs record group at the National Archives of Canada is supplemented for the post-World War Two era by interviews with some of the key federal players. More than just an historical narrative, the book presents a critical analysis with a clear theoretical focus drawing on colonial and post-colonial theory, social theory, and critiques of liberalism and liberal democracy.
- Series: Heritage
- World Rights
- Page Count: 454 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.3in x 9.0in
'The research is impressive, meticulous and entirely sound; the author has waded through an extraordinary mass of archival research and come out with a coherent and cogent analysis. The book will be as close to a definitive account of the history of Aboriginal welfare as we are likely to see. It will be essential reading for any of those interested in the background to current conditions in First Nations communities, or in the development of policy respecting Aboriginal peoples, or in the last century of Aboriginal-newcomer relations in Canada. Those who would still like to ascribe the poverty so prevalent in Aboriginal communities to Aboriginal peoples themselves will find they are the latest bearers of an entrenched colonial legacy that has manifestly failed.'
Peter Kulchyski, Department of Native Studies, University of Manitoba
Hugh E.Q. Shewell is an associate professor in the School of Social Work at York University.
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