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Essay about Canadian Indigenous Population

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For the past 500 years the native inhabitants of this land have lived a legacy amongst and became subordinates to the European colonialists. They have had to adhere to stipulations that did not translate into their way of understanding and life ethos, and were misinterpreted. “The misunderstanding of my ancestors at treaty was linguistic and conceptual. We did not understand your language or your concepts of property” (Johnson 2007:41). The legacy consists of poverty, powerlessness, and the breakdown of social cohesion that plague so many Aboriginal families and communities. These conditions did not come about by chance or failure to modernize. They were created by past policies that systematically dispossessed Aboriginal people of their lands and economic resources, their cultures and languages, and the social and political institutions through which they took care of their own (Brant-Castellano 2001:5). Due to colonial and imperial impositions the majority of Canada’s Indigenous population is amongst the most highly excluded, poverty stricken, oppressed, and disadvantaged groups. Within the past half century, Aboriginal peoples have been relentless and determined in their struggle to attain self-determination, maintain their treaty rights and dispute rightful control of land possession matters. By means of mobilization and resistance movements they have contested and are challenging the policies that originated with colonialism and continue with government policies of the present day. The following essay will begin with a timeline of significant dates in the history of colonial and present day policy and law making that governing powers have applied and imposed on First Nation populations. A portion of the paper will cover a h...


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...cess. Ultimately his actions opened debate and contributed to the demise of the Meech Lake Accord. Later that summer the infamous Oka standoff, where the Mohawks in southern Quebec engaged in a 78-day armed standoff with authorities over a land dispute, escalated to widespread protest by Aboriginals that year (Ramos 2006:211). Another major outcome of the expression of Indigenous resistence to colonialism in the summer of 1990 was the establishment of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (Peach 2011:21). A mandate appointed by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in response to the Oka confrontation. It was the government’s attempt to allow First Nation’s to express recommendations and propose specific solutions to the problems which have plagued relationships with government and Canadian society as well as issues that Aboriginals were confronted with at the time.



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