You have to read The Inconvenient Indian: a Curious Accout of Native People in North America. It will rip you from your North American complacency about the way we have treated Indian people. From the get-go, we called them Indians when India was on the other side of the world and it's just gone south from there.
The First Nations People have been betrayed, manipulated and outright swindled from their first dealings with the Whites. Treaties were signed and the conditions never met. Racism is rampant even today and although Canadians like to think (as Mr. Harper does) that we never had a colonial mentality, this account will let you know we always have had and our neighbours to the south are implicated just as much.
Thomas King has crafted this account of the treatment of the North American Indians objectively with only the occasional, tongue-in-cheek ironic aside. It is these asides that make the book readable because if it weren't for them the abominable treatment of the Indian would have the reader throwing the book at the wall in anger. Gentle Reader, this is not a history per se. Thomas King ascribes to Ezra Pound's view of history and has used it to create a moving narrative of the inconvenient Indian. "We do NOT know the past in chronological sequence. It may be convenient to lay it out anaethetized on the table with dates posted on here and there, but what we know we know by ripples and spirals eddying out from us and from our time."
Spoiler Alert: From the arrival of Europeans in North America to the categorization of Indians as Dead Indians, Live Indians and Legal Indians and beyond, The Inconvenient Indian is an eyeopener. The recent events on Parliament Hill and the demonstrations against changes to the land designation provisions of the Indian Act, as part of the Jobs and Growth Act, 2012 serve to underscore Thomas King's revelation that the Whites want land. The changes to the Indian Act will make it easier for that to happen AND First Nations People were not consulted. Chief Theresa Spence of the remote Attawapiskat First Nation in Northern Ontario had to go on a hunger strike to get Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan to meet with her. She has threatened to continue until she dies unless the Conservative government starts showing more respect to First Nations' concerns and aboriginal treaties.
Read Thomas King's The Inconvenient Indian and you'll know why.
I am an avid reader and like to share some of my "finds" with others.