The British Government began to create the reserve system in the mid 1800's as a way to isolate the First Nation population from the mainstream colonist in order to better prevent them from occupying their lands .
This was created to try and assimilate the First Nation population into mainstream society or to eliminate them as a people . It has been part of a general government apartheid policy toward the First Nation population of Canada which has continued until present time .)
It is ironic that the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nelson Mandella, the person most responsible for the overthrow of the Apartheid government of South Africa, was recently celebrated as a hero by the Canadian government, in light of the fact, that the South African government visited Canada in the early part of this century to obtain information on their successful Indian reserve system which was then used to create the South African townships from which apartheid was executed toward the non-white segment of it's country.
When you talk about an Indian Reserve, it is easy to assume it is a nice warm comfortable place given to the First Nations by the government as an act of compassion because they are unable to survive on their own.
The reality is quite different : The reserves are ethnic ghettos, void of compassion or emotions . They are a place where one goes through the motions of existing, but, without a defined future, attainable dreams, or realistic ambitions.
The residents are, in-effect, an unwilling part of long-term plan to prevent these once proud First nations from accessing what is legally theirs under international law .
The reserve are a place where one sees a few live comfortably by white standards, while the majority are on government handouts, a repeating cycle of welfare, desperation, despair, suicide and total dependency .
Held prisoner by government imposed stereotyping and obstructions, the reserve Indian has nowhere to go and nothing to do , he/ she is a prisoner in time .