Ling Yang

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

John L. Gordon

Second Advisor

David C. Evans

Third Advisor

Barry R. Westin


Canadian Indian education is a complex problem in Canada's history. For the native people, education is the only way to preserve their cultural tradition. For the government, it has been the main means to assimilate the natives into the mainstream of the society. Because the majority culture has dominated Canadian society for more than two centuries, the Canadian federal government's policy and its making are the keys to understanding Indian education. Based on research in official records in the National Archives of Canada and field-research in Canadian Indian Reserves, this thesis shows that the federal government did not accept "Indian control of Indian education" as the main principle of their policy making until the 1970s. The thesis consists of a survey of Indian education history, a discussion of the basic law pertaining to Indian affairs, an analysis of legislation regarding Indian education, a discussion of continuing issues raised in the research, and a short conclusion.