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Indians demand a better deal in Kenora, Ont. in 1965

The Story

A longer trapping season, a radio network for local reserves, help for people affected by alcoholism, and a mayor's committee on Indian problems: these are the demands of 400 Indian residents in the northern Ontario town of Kenora demonstrating on the streets on a November night in 1965. CBC Newsmagazine is there to record the march and the public meeting that follows. While the cameras are there, reporter Peter Reilly finds out what life is like for a mother of three who lives outside town and for Indian kids from a nearby town who have to cross a treacherous rail bridge just to get to school.  

Medium: Television
Broadcast Date: Dec. 7, 1965
Program: CBC Newsmagazine
Host: Peter Reilly
Duration: 26:13

Did You know?

• According to the Globe and Mail, the demonstration route was five blocks long. The 400 marchers were joined at their endpoint at the town's Legion hall by about 100 non-indigenous people, who sat at the back of the full room, and dozens more were turned away. The meeting was conducted in English and Ojibway.

• The march was organized by the Kenora Indian-White Committee. At the end of the meeting, Kenora mayor Edgar Norton told the crowd, "I thought you would have more specific ideas about how to get more money out of the federal government." He declined to invite the committee to follow-up meeting among the town council and provincial and federal authorities because, according to the Globe and Mail, he "belng[ed] to the faction of townspeople who beileve the Indian-white committee is mainly a troucble-making organization."


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