The Unjust SocietyBook - 1999
Aboriginal people in Canada took hope with the election of Trudeau's Liberals in 1968. They were outraged when the Paper introduced by Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Jean Chretien a year later amounted to an assimilation program: repeal of the Indian Act, the transfer of Indian affairs to the provinces, the elimination of separate legal status for native people. The Unjust Society , Cree leader Harold Cardinal's stinging rebuttal, was an immediate best-seller, and it remains one of the most important ever published.
Possessed of a wicked gift for satire, Cardinal summed up the government's approach as "The only good Indian is a non-Indian." He coined the term "buckskin curtain" to describe the barriers that indifference, ignorance and bigotry had placed in the way of his people. He insisted on his right to remain "a red tile in the Canadian mosaic. Above all, he called for radical changes in policy on aboriginal rights, education, social programs and economic development.