Thanks again Cass. Above post triggered my memory.
Even among those who survived the rigors of childhood and grew up into reasonably healthy adults life was short. Certainly for indigenous Australians.
Since the 1980's when Australian parliaments passed laws protective of Aboriginal grave sites; if archologists wish to excavate the buried remains for scientific examination they now have to seek -permission from the land council representing the particular Aboriginal band whose traditional range the grave site is located. But before those laws were passed interested archologists had literally an open slather - as a consequence of which literally thoudands of Aboriginal skeletons and part skeletons ended up in university archology department and museum storage archieves worldwide. Despite the desecration it was in a way fortunate that so many were thus distributed because it permitted a survey that revealed an important item of information that otherwise would still not be known.
By examining those Aboriginal remains they determined that the average life expectancy of an Australian aboriginal pre-European contact was in the range of only 40 to 45 years.
Bear in mind that at the dawn of the 20th century the average life span of a typical white Australian was only about 50 years - and a typical white Australian of the time reputedly lived a healthier lifestyle and enjoyed more nourishing foods than his peers and counterparts in the British Isles and elsewhere in The West. That does not say much in favour of societies that had long outgrown the stone age and passed on through the World's first induatrial revolution, now does it?
The big gains in like expectancy, nutrition and overall living standards has come about only over the past 100 years.
Like our aboriginal rights activists these must be partial to a highly romantic, Bowdlerised vision of how it was for their ancestors back in those good old days before those white men came along with their civilisation and mucked up everything for us. I notice that even as they campaign for special priveleges with the argument approximating "we wuz robbed" they still do not reject the comforts and benefits that white Western civilisation has brought to them.So when modern Canadians look back to a more primitive time in their history, they are judging their ancestors by the prosperous standards of today. Add to it the politicians who want to get the votes of the Amerindians and Indian leaders who want to get money for past misdeeds.
As for politicans seeking indigenous votes, no! In Canada as in Australia there would be so few of these compared to the mass coming from the general population they would likely not be worth going out of their way to solicit.