First Peoples in Canada

Indigenous movements


The first people of Canada, or the natives, had a hard time being recognized due to the racism and discrimination they faced their everyday lives. During the time period 1945-1999, the indigenous people began to make movements or began to retaliate to become recognized in order to get the rights they deserve. There are two events that show just how bad the first nation people were treated. One event was the arrest of Donald Marshall and the other was the death of Betty Osborne. Marshall was wrongfully convicted of a crime he didn’t do because of “...the racism that was all too prevalent throughout the province, and country....” (Daniel N. Paul) as stated in the 'We Were not the Savages' website. While Marshall was sent to jail, Osborne had a much more fatal punishment. Osborne was viciously beaten to death. Like in most cases, a lack of understanding and racism makes people do things they wouldn’t normally do. Another event which held no deaths or arrests of people was the white and red papers in 1969-1970. The white papers came first, and these explained how they (the Canadians) shouldn't negotiate any treaties with the Natives. They also didn’t agree much with the Aboriginal land rights claim, this was due to the fact that they were too broad and the Natives had nothing to prove where their land started and ended. The Natives then made their own documents. This became known as the red papers. Their documents opposed anything in the white papers. The natives even fought for their sacred land, all to be recognized by the government. So that they know, that the natives are also people of the same country.

What was the Oka crisis? What happened?

The Oka crisis was a standoff between the Mohawk, police, and army.The main problem was that a golf course wanted an extension, this extension, however, went past land that included a Mohawk burial ground. Although it sounds a bit odd, it was a standoff that took about 78 days. The Mohawk were trying to get the government to notice that they had rights to those lands. The government, however, ignored them. After heated protests from mad citizens and a blockade, the government bought the land to settle things. The golf course extension was canceled and the crisis established the Royal Commission on Aboriginal peoples. This group went on to search/address the many problems with the aboriginal peoples rights.

Annotated Bilbliography

"Aboriginal Rights." Aboriginal Rights. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2015.


The page was made by Daniel N. Paul. I don't believe he is very well known, but he could count as a source I suppose. This article explains how wrong the law was in prosecuting Marshall for a crime he never committed. Although the person goes into detail about it, I believe that it is a bit biased toward what happened. It could have been helpful if there was more information on the guy and if they added the point of view from the court and government.

"The Life and Death of Donald Marshall Jr." The Globe and Mail. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2015. <>.

It seems that "The Globe and Mail" website is like a virtual newspaper in Canada. The article seems to try not to take a bias but it does say a few things that make it seem like the native people were destructive and caused nothing but problems. This article shows what happened and several other times in which he (Marshall) was taken to court. It doesn't say much about the case itself because it went on to when he went to court for eel fishing. I think it would have been a better article if in some way Marshall could have added his own perspective, not only that but if other natives did too it could make this article have both sides of the same coin.

"THE MURDER." THE MURDER. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2015. <>.

This article explains the death of Helen Betty Osborne. Betty Osborne was a native who was violently punched to death. It holds enough information to help people understand what happened. It doesn't really explain the thoughts the natives had, or if there were other cases in which similar things happened to other natives. I know this is about one specific case but it could have added inks to others.

"Oka Crisis, 1990." Warrior Publications. N.p., 11 June 2014. Web. 19 Sept. 2015.

"Oka Crisis." The Canadian Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2015.

"Recognizing Indigenism: Canadian Unity and the International Movement of Indigenous Peoples."Recognizing Indigenism: Canadian Unity and the International Movement of Indigenous Peoples. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2015.

"Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples." The Canadian Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2015.

"The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UDHR, Declaration of Human Rights, Human Rights Declaration, Human Rights Charter, The Un and Human Rights." UN News Center. UN, n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2015.