The Indian Act attempted to generalize a vast and varied population of people and assimilate them into non-Indigenous society.
It forbade First Nations peoples and communities from expressing their identities through governance and culture.
But it's our culture...
Stop what you're doing!
Indigenous men, women, and children were then forced into European culture. Whether it was by social pressure, by being declared "heathens", or eventually in the case of residential schools, physical force, they were being integrated into something they didn't consent to.
Do we have to go?
Reserves were then created to confine Indigenous peoples to one space. They were only allowed to leave with permission from an "Indian agent".
So we're free now?
Yes, as long as you don't leave this area and abide by our rules!
The right to vote and the right form political organizations was also not granted to Indigenous peoples.