Indigenous Economic, Philosophical, and Innovative Contributions to Canadian Society

Indigenous Economic, Philosophical, and Innovative Contributions to Canadian Society

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Many individuals still harbor attitudes of racism towards Indigenous People, forcing them into the margins of society. They are painted in a negative light, instead of being recognized for their achievements. Indigenous Peoples have made major contributions to the economy of Canada, in addition to sharing their beliefs and inventions. Aboriginal people are not acknowledged for their substantial contributions to Canadian society, at least not to the degree that is deserved. There is a fair amount of qualitative research written about Indigenous Peoples, so why have their efforts not received merit? Perhaps it is due to contemporary ethnocentric attitudes, but it is quite possible that this ignorance is caused from lack of knowledge on the subject. Many individuals simply do not know about the economic, innovational, and philosophical elements that Indigenous people have contributed to past and present Canadian society.

Not long after the Europeans began travelling to Canada, they discovered the country was rich and prosperous with fish and other land animals. There was particular interest in the beaver, as it had the right type of fur to make felt hats, a big demand back in Europe as the hats had become increasingly fashionable. The Europeans learned that the Aboriginal Peoples had access to these types of fur, and this initiated a trade system between them. The Aboriginal Peoples would hunt and trap the beavers to harvest their furs, and would then trade them with the Europeans for other goods and commodities. This is what is universally known as the fur trade, and the establishment of Canada’s economy.
Before the Europeans arrived in Canada, Aboriginal Peoples were already involved in their own trade system. They wor...


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...oduction to the Statement of Native Rights and Self Determination”. Canadian ffffffJournal of Native Studies Volume II (1983): 37-52.
Government of Canada: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, 2013. ffffffhttp://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100016293/1100100016294
Canada's Changing Labour Force: The Provinces and Territories. Statistics Canada, 2006. ffffffhttp://www12.statcan.ca/census-recensement/2006/as-sa/97-559/p27-eng.cfm
Rabb, Douglas J. “The Master of Life and The Person of Evolution: Indigenous Influence on Canadian ffffffPhilosophy.” National Center for Ethics in Human Research NCEHR (2004), 6-12.
Gross, Lawrence W. “Bimaadiziwin, or the ‘Good Life’ as a Unifying Concept of Anishinaabe ffffffReligion.” American Indian Culture and Research Journal (2002): 15-39.
Government of Canada: First Nations Oil and Gas and Moneys Management Act, 2005.

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