This system was managed by churches, whose purpose was to educate the child by adapting them into the mainstream Canadian society. This nonetheless, became a very serious issue that questioned Canada’s democracy and the basic civil rights that came along with it. In addition, this destructive system left a long range of impacts. Residential schools undermined Aboriginal culture causing a profound displacement of aboriginal people even to this day. In the late 19th century, Prime Minister Sir John Alexander Macdonald assigned Nicholas Flood Davin, both a journalist and politician, to study trade schools for Aboriginal children.
Segregation of Aboriginals has also occurred, as reserves are restricted purely for individuals with Indian citizenship, hence keeping Aboriginals separate from the dominant culture (Fleras, 2010; p. 15). There is a lack of awareness on the horrendous and disgusting treatment of the original Canadian settlers, Aboriginals, which can be partially attributed to a narrative that has helped create the image of what it means to be a Canadian, a narrative that has provided the belief that white Europeans were the first to settle on Canadian land and has painted a picture of white settlers struggling to survive on their discovered Canadian land. This narrative has been termed the ‘frontier narrative’, and it truly has shaped Aboriginals lives in Canada. This paper will provide first and foremost a clear definition o... ... middle of paper ... ...in attempting to alter the policies and practices that keep them in their marginalized position, however one obstacle being that “conventions that refer to the rules may change, but rules that inform the conventions rarely do” (Fleras, 2010; p. 185). The frontier narrative has inadvertently placed a veil over Canadians that keep feelings of guilt and responsibility for the cruelty towards Aboriginals invisible, and simultaneously keeps visible the belief that it is because of the white-settlers that Canada has become what it has today.
Aboriginal individuals and their society as a whole have experienced a great deal of negative experiences with the Canadian government. This is the primary reasoning behind their overrepresentation in the criminal justice system. Our current society isn’t fully educated on this group past experiences and what they had to put up with; we are quick to judge without any factual information. Past injustices that the Aboriginal population have faced will play a key role in how they choose to perceive todays society. The soci-economic situation that aboriginals face has and continues to impact Aboriginals.
Indigenous children were not allowed to practice their traditions, see their families, or learn about their Indigenous heritage. The following quote from Robertson sums up residential schools perfectly “In essence, the churches were attempting to eliminate the influence of Aboriginal families and communities on the minds of their children.” The Canadian government created the schools to try and force the Indigenous people into a European society. Although the Canadian government has apologized for the brutality and severity of the residential schools, they scars that have been left behind will never fade.
When the war broke in 1914, recruitment of “Status Indians” was prohibited, as they were often connected to torture and scalping. Some natives enlisted in face of the law, thanks to a commitment to their land. It wasn't until 1916 that the government allowed active recruitment of Status Indians by reason of Robert Borden's endeavours to replace the growing number of casualties on the front lines. Still the active recruitment of Aboriginals was an effort to encourage the men to join, not force them. However, in 1917, the Canadian government chose to enforce conscription, or mandatory military service.
The aboriginals were seen as savage and uncivilized and had to be destroyed to create the image that Canada wanted to portray for itself. This inequality still exists today, and when discussing this we must not forget the “long-standing history of colonial domination and cultural oppression that aboriginal people have faced” (Tepperman et al.2004:188). Overall there were many social implications associated with residential schools including issues with identity, socialization, and inequality, sadly these effects are still seen in today’s society. Residential schools have created a never fading scar on Canada’s history.
Through the Indian Act, it was and still is today, social legislation that regulates the lives of Indigenous peoples, including government’s guardianship over Indian lands, and controlling the process of enfranchisement (Hicks and Stokes, 2016, p. 27.6) The government was not critically conscious, in which they lacked knowledge of the various forms of systems such as race and gender. (Sibblis, 2016) Furthermore, during the 60’s Scoop, children were kidnapped from their homes and placed in the foster care system. These children were placed into white homes in which it caused many to develop a lack sense of self (Hayden, 2016). In Thomas King’s lecture, he describes a hierarchy, that is made up of a series of traits in both the Native and Christian culture, keeping in mind, these are the two societies in which Canada is founded upon. These include cooperation,
The word “Unfair” for what the whites did to the natives is way too insignificant to be justified. The natives have been robbed of their lands, viewed as barbarians, forced to follow laws made by the whites and have been treated with such inequality where no common man in this 21 st century would be tolerant to it. “Europe 's Indians, Indians in Europe: European Perceptions and Appropriations of Native American Cultures from Pocahontas to the Present”
According to LaRocque (1994), there is a distinct connection here between the effects of colonization and the decreased well being of Aboriginals, with the greatest impact noticed upon Aboriginal women. After colonization began there were countless detrimental changes to the indigenous way of life that took place. Neu (2000) discusses these detrimental changes in detail. The author accounts for the lost of their land and natural environment, the discouragement of their lifestyle focused on hunting and gathering, the separation of families via the residential school system, and the punishment received for the usage of traditional customs and language. In many ways the colonists disrespected the Aboriginal people by disregarding their fundamental needs and wants.
As one looks back to times when hardships fell on First Nations in respect to education, treaties, and the justice system what you will find written in this essay is a comparison to what was then and what is now. The world of the First Nation’s treaties questions ignorance of oral history, the way the treaties were upheld but not respected and the common agreements between Canadian government and aboriginal law. The ignorance is how the oral history of first nations was ignored and forgotten. The oral history states that the land was to be shared and not given away; it cannot be bought or sold. First Nations were placed on the land as guardians.