The Media's Impact on Aboriginal Identity

1359 Words6 Pages
Marie Clements's, Copper Thunderbird exposes the negative attitudes towards Aboriginal people in Canadian society and institutions. "Drunken Indian; lazy Indian; dumb Indian; useless Indian; humourless Indian; bullheaded Indian (Dokis 58-62; Clements 15-17, 34-37, 80)." She expresses these racial attitudes, historical injustices and their implications through Norval Morrieseau's life who suffered because of systemic racism; he was an Indian and he did not integrate into the "white" version of Canadian identity. This racism served as a crucial tool to uproot and convert indigenous communities, by creating a system that excludes them from being equals. How this racism is interpreted inside Copper Thunderbird as Norval's Bitch Auntie and her attitude towards him is deliberate. Her presence is comparable to that of the media's involvement in showing the nation negative and stereotypical images of Aboriginal youth and women. By investigating the post-colonial archetype in Copper Thunderbird, Clements reveals the morphing faces of systemic racism and contemporary colonialism in Canadian institutions, practices; and how mainstream media misappropriates Aboriginal identity. Nothing has changed since the creation of the Dominion of Canada in 1867 and "British" North America as Aboriginals continue to face the same colonial attitudes today (Alfred and Corntassle 597-614). The way that the Bitch Auntie interferes in every aspect of Norval's life, both the moments of happiness and sadness, is what the Canadian government has been doing with Aboriginal community; constantly gnawing at their humanity. In the last 50 years, the federal government has been fighting Aboriginal people on every level such as land claims, access to medical care... ... middle of paper ... ...n Defence Academy Press, 2007. Milloy, John Sheridan. ""A National Crime": Building and Managing the System, 1879 to 1946." A national crime the Canadian government and the residential school system, 1879 to 1986. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999. 51-75. Print. Shilling, Vincent. "What is Native American Misappropriation?." YouTube. YouTube, 17 Sept. 2013. Web. 2 Mar. 2014. . Vowel, Chelsea. "Apihtawikosisân." Web log post. We Can’t Get Anywhere until We Flip the Narrative. N.p., 22 Aug. 2013. Web. 16 Mar. 2014. . Zinn, Howard. "Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress." A people's history of the United States: from 1492 to the present. 2nd ed. London: Longman, 1996. 1-22. Print.
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