Notice of the Final Oral Examination for the Degree of Master of Arts



BA (Redeemer University College, 2011)
BEdu (Redeemer University College, 2011)


“Sir John A. Macdonald’s Influence on the Development of Canadian Indigenous Policy, 1844-1876.”

Department of History

Friday, May 29, 2020

revised start time: 2:00 pm

Remote Defence Supervisory

Committee: Dr. John Lutz, Department of History, University of Victoria (Supervisor) Dr. Peter Cook, Department of History, UVic (Member)

External Examiner: Dr. Hamar Foster, Faculty of Law, UVic Chair of Oral Examination: Dr. Esther Sangster-Gormley, School of Nursing, UVic Dr. David Capson, Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies.


John A. Macdonald was not only Canada’s first Prime Minister; he played a significant role in framing much of Canada’s early “Indian policy” including legislation that ultimately became the Indian Act (1876) which is still in effect today. Despite his central role, in all the voluminous analyses of Macdonald’s life and career, there is no in-depth scholarly study of Macdonald’s Indian policies or how his ideas about Indigenous people or race were formed. In this thesis, I examine Macdonald’s early personal context, how he may have developed his ideas about Indigenous people, the development of his Indigenous policies, and the local contingencies that shaped the rolling out of this legislative framework including the Gradual Civilization Act (1857) and the Gradual Enfranchisement Act (1869).