Aboriginals In Canada

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Treatment of Aboriginals in Canada People outside of Canada perceive Canada as a very multicultural and accepting country. As we look through Canada’s past history between Aboriginal peoples and the government this statement doesn’t seem so true. “First Nations were often stripped of their rights in the past” (Riles02, Indian Act and Canadian Treaties). They had little say in their own lives due to the creation of the Indian Act, suppressing their traditions and trying to assimilate their culture. To try and control their lifestyles the government created residential schools, and forced the First Nations children to attend. When the government tried to restore the peace with the aboriginals through treaties, they ended up making the divide…show more content…
The Indian Act gave the federal government many powers in its ability to control First Nations people. Because of all the control the government got over the First Nations the Indian Act affected almost every aspect of the First Nations lives and culture. The First Nations did not have any rights that a Canadian citizen would have. They did not have the right to vote. For a male Aboriginal to become a lawyer, banker or doctor they needed to give up their Indian status. Giving up their status meant a lot to First Nations, their status was their culture and tradition. Women with status lost status when marrying non-status/ non-First Nation men, and the children lost status too. But when men married non-status/ non-First Nation women they could keep their status and their wife was automatically granted Indian status. On of the three main goals of the Indian Act was to define who could and could not be defined as a First Nations person. Some cultural traditions such as Potlatch and Sun Dance were seen as uncivilized, the Indian Act was used to ban both of them. The Indian Act took many things away from the First Nations. They were treated like children. First Nations needed to have permission to leave the reserve, alcohol was prohibited on the reserves and the government controlled their finances. Indian agents enforced Indian Act provisions on the reserves. Indian Agents were out in place to accomplish…show more content…
“Aboriginal leaders hooped that schools would help teach their youth to learn skills of the newcomer society, and help them make a successful transition to a world dominated by strangers” (JR Miller, www.canadianencylopedia.com). In 1883 the first residential schools were built in the prairies. Over the course of the next fifty years the government built schools stretching from Nova Scotia to the Artic. At the peak eighty residential schools were running. In 1884 the Indian Act was changed to include that all Aboriginal children 16 and under had to attend school. Failure to send children to school resulted in punishment of parents, including imprisonment. Children were forcibly taken from their homes if they refused to go. Children endured horrible conditions in the residential schools. Survivors came forward with disclosures that included: sexual abuse, forced to eat rotten food, and use of students in medical experiments. The children were discouraged from speaking their languages and practicing their culture through severe punishments, ranging from having their mouths cleaned out with soap to severe beatings. Not only did the residential schools cause emotional damage but also death. The schools were said to be a breeding ground for disease, especially Tuberculosis. The death toll of children who attended these schools rose from

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