Brian Titley's A Narrow Vision: Duncan Campbell Scott and the PDF

By Brian Titley

Normally thought of a sympathetic portrayer of the Canadian Indian, Duncan Campbell Scott printed in his writings his genuine ideals concerning the stipulations and way forward for Canada's local humans. in the course of his lengthy and turbulent tenure as Deputy Superintendent common of Indian Affairs, his reaction to demanding situations resembling the making of treatises in northern Ontario, land claims in British Columbia, and the prestige of the Six countries underscored his ideals that the Indians didn't have any valid grievances and that the dep. knew most sensible.

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Extra resources for A Narrow Vision: Duncan Campbell Scott and the Administration of Indian Affairs in Canada

Example text

Savage," "wild," "desperate," "cunning," "treacherous," "superstitious," and "brutal" are prominent in this catalogue of abuse. Here is a further illustrative passage from the Simcoe work. Scott is describing The Poet and the Indians 33 the Iroquois after their settlement in Upper Canada: The savage nature was hardly hidden under the first, thinnest film of European customs. 50 In Scott's opinion, the Indians had not only exhibited these characteristics in the dim and distant past, but also had continued to do so within his own living memory.

His other promotions have already been alluded to: superintendent of education in 1909; deputy superintendent general in 1913. The latter advancement evidently came unexpectedly. His predecessors as department head had been political appointees, and Scott himself had never been active politically. Nonetheless, he had coveted the position and seemed to believe that it was rightfully his. Nor did he have any difficulty serving Conservative and Liberal governments with equanimity. Fortunately for him, the successive interior ministers/superintendents general tended to regard Indian Affairs as a minor component of their responsibilities, and Scott was given considerable freedom in determining the direction of policy and in mundane matters of administration.

It was possible, however, for agents to put pressure on Indians to secure a surrender, and this happened frequently enough. Nevertheless, the minister refused to entertain amendments to the Indian Act which would have facilitated the process. Sifton resigned in 1905 in a dispute with Laurier over the separate schools question in the new provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. His successor was Frank Oliver, who soon demonstrated that he had little regard for the integrity Indian Administration: Origins and Development 21 of Indian lands.

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