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What is the Indian "Problem?"

Tutelage and Resistance in Canadian Indian Administration

By Noel Dyck
Categories: Anthropology/ethnography, Indigenous Studies, Policy And Politics
Series: Social and Economic Studies
Series Number: 46
Paperback : 9780919666726, 209 pages, April 1991


This book addresses the so-called Indian "problem" or "question" which once again is a prominent political concern in Canada. The book critically examines past and present relations between Indians and governments in Canada in order to demonstrate the manner in which the Indian "problem" was created, and how it has been maintained and exacerbated by the policies and administrative practices designed to "solve" it. Tracing the evolving nature of tutelage relations between Indians and government agents, missionaries and teachers, the book considers the possibility that under certain conditions the transfer of some programs and functions to Indian communities may comprise not so much an end to tutelage assumptions and relations as a subtle subcontracting and perpetuation of them.


Noel Dyck's book is an important contribution not only to the history of Indian-White relations, but by skilfully dissecting the emergence of White tutelage and its pervasive consequences, it carries a strong message for future Canadian policies, and by implication, for the multivocal discourse which of necessity must be part of the construction of the future Canadian and Indian societies.

- Georg Henriksen, author of Hunters in the Barrens