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1969 White Paper Summary

1969 White Paper

The 1969 White Paper (officially entitled Statement of the Government of Canada on Indian policy) was a proposal set forth by the Government of Canada. It is a Canadian policy paper proposal made in 1969 by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and his Minister of Indian Affairs, Jean Chrétien. The White Paper's lead purpose was to abolish all legal documents that had previously existed, including (but not limited to) the Indian Act, and all existing treaties within Canada. Under the legislation of the White Paper, Indian Status would be eliminated. First Nations Peoples would be incorporated fully into provincial government responsibilities as equal Canadian citizens, and reserve status would be removed imposing the laws of private property in indigenous communities. Any special programs or considerations that had been allowed to First Nations people under previous legislation would be terminated, as the special considerations were seen by the Government to act as a means to further separate Indian peoples further from Canadian citizens. The White Paper was met with widespread criticism, and activism, causing the proposal of the White Paper to be officially withdrawn in 1970.

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