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Native people and the land

The Story


Migration from reserves to the cities boomed in the late 1960s and 1970s. For native people, cities offered jobs, more education opportunities and an escape from the overcrowding, bad housing and poverty that marked many reserves. But the city -- and the wage economy that came with it -- had their own problems. Our Native Land presents the conflict in two stories. A government expert says Manitoba Indians should leave reserves for the city, while a documentary profiles Inuit leaving towns to go back to the land.

Medium: Radio
Program: Our Native Land
Broadcast Date: Jan. 8, 1983
Guest(s): Sin A-Paw, Jim Burke, Jim Cumming, Wesley Hart, William Holt, Timothy Iglout, Peter Iglout, Minnie Iquilic, Leslie Kohsed-Currie, Thomas Kovnats, Bob MacQuarrie, Tony Manoc, Allen Pratt, Les Smith, Harvey Stevens, John Stevenson, Jane Tagget, Brian Veinot, Chris Williams
Announcer: Rick Alexander
Host: Brian Maracle
Reporter: David Downey
Duration: 49:50
This clip has been edited for copyright reasons
Photo credit: Canadian Press/Kevin Frayer (1999)

Did You know?


• Today over half of the Indian, Métis and Inuit people in Canada live in urban areas. According to the 2006 census on aboriginal people, Winnipeg has the highest native population with 68,380, or 10 per cent of its total; Edmonton was second and Vancouver third with 40,310 aboriginal residents making up two per cent of its total.

• Analysts from Statistics Canada say that while the statistics seem to indicate native people are gradually migrating to urban centers, there has been a net migration back to First Nations over the last 40 years. Many native people who move to the city do so for short-term education or employment opportunities and then return to their reserves.


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