In 1867, with the passage of the British North America Act, Canadians began the process of nation building. Over the next few years, new provinces emerged â€“ Manitoba, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island â€“ and Canada became, by 1873, a nation from sea to sea. At the same time, by way of three legal instruments, the federal government was equipped to function as an imperial power. Section 91:24 of the B.N.A Act assigned to it the responsibility for all â€œIndians and lands reserved for Indiansâ€ â€“ a responsibility that had been carried by the Imperial government for the previous century. The Rupertâ€™s Land Order in Council transferred the vast Hudsonâ€™s Bay territories to Canadaâ€™s exclusive jurisdiction. And finally, in the Indian Act of 1869, the government set out its own vision of future Canada-First Nations relations: an aggressive colonizing project of assimilation not only of First Nations in those territories but of all First Nations throughout the nation.
Milloy, John. "Indian Act Colonialism: A Century Of Dishonour, 1869-1969". Research Paper for the National Centre for First Nations Governance. The National Centre for First Nations Governance. Canada. May 2008. Paper.