1963 - Hawthorn studies on "Indians of Canada" paint dismissal picture of First Nations life
Canadian awareness of the plight of Native peoples was not widespread before a public
investigation was undertaken into the lives of the nation's Aboriginals. In 1963, anthropologist Harry B. Hawthorn was appointed to head the commission, which tabled its report three years later. The results of Hawthorn's comprehensive examination of the economic and social conditions under which Natives lived revealed some shocking statistics.
Hawthorn noted that Native communities experienced high school dropout rates as high as 94 per cent. Among the recommendations that Hawthorn made to address this specific problem was that Aboriginal peoples be taught in their own languages.
He advocated for the empowerment of local band governments. In most regions, the Indian Department still held veto power over band council decisions, and many bands did not control a significant proportion of the revenues generated from the lease of reserve property and resources.