Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

Makúk: A New History of Aboriginal-White Relations

Document type Book
Author Lutz, John S.
Publisher UBC Press; Vancouver
Date 2008
ISBN 978-0-7748-1139-2
Pages 472 pages: 180 black and white photos, 10 maps, 8 charts, 10 tables


The history of Aboriginal-settler interactions in Canada continues to haunt the national imagination. Despite billions of dollars spent on the "Indian problem," Aboriginal people remain the poorest in the country. Because the stereotype of the "lazy Indian" is never far from the surface, many Canadians wonder if the problem lay with "Indians" themselves. John Lutz traces Aboriginal people's involvement in the new economy, and their displacement from it, from the first arrival of Europeans to the 1970s. Drawing upon oral histories, manuscripts, newspaper accounts, biographies, and statistical analysis, Lutz shows that Aboriginal people flocked to the workforce and prospered in the late 19th century. The roots of today's wide-spread unemployment and "welfare dependency" date only from the 1950s, when deliberate and inadvertent policy choices--what Lutz terms the "white problem"--drove Aboriginal people out of the capitalist, wage, and subsistence economies, offering them welfare as "compensation." -- Publisher's description