Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

The pass system: another dark secret in Canadian history


Canadians are becoming increasingly aware of residential schools and their impacts on First Nations people. But many have not yet heard about another system of segregation — one that often kept First Nations confined to their communities.

The pass system was in effect for 60 years on reserves across western Canada. Any First Nations person who wanted to leave their community, for any reason, had to have a pass approved by the reserve's Indian agent that they would carry with them, stipulating the leave's purpose and duration.


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