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Aboriginal Women And The Canadian Justice Sysem

2597 words - 11 pages

?It?s one thing to be an Indian, but it?s another to be an Indian woman? (Brunen 2000) INTRODUCTION Aboriginal women in Canada are considered to be the most victimized group within the nation?s society. The effects of this marginalization and victimization can be seen through low numbers of Aboriginal women attending post-secondary institutions, through the high unemployment rate of Aboriginal women and ultimately in the incredibly high percentage of Aboriginal women in the prison system within Canada. The high occurrence of Aboriginal women in prison has been investigated by numerous sources and several of those shall be examined in the following.DISCUSSION Just as ethnic differences have ...view middle of the document...

CANADIAN HISTORY HELD ACCOUNTABLE The many problems that face the Canadian Aboriginal woman of today can be attributed to many different factors, some of which include instances of emotional, sexual, and physical abuse beginning at a very early age at the hand of their ?fathers, foster and adoptive parents, husbands, teachers, priests, social workers, and police? (EFS 1992). The following will demonstrate how the inequitable treatment of Aboriginal women has led to a number of ill-fated trends and tendencies, through a close look at several articles which delve into the cause and effect of countless years of persecution and maltreatment at the hand of a white, male-dominated society.?Aboriginal women constitute a disadvantaged minority within the general Canadian population. Relative to non-aboriginal women and even aboriginal men, aboriginal women are marginalized members of society. They suffer from a variety of disadvantaged conditions and life experiences, including poverty, unemployment, abusive family situations, poor education, criminal victimization, and prejudice? (Johnson 1987).An in-depth look into the history of Aboriginal people can help to explain and shed some light upon the previously-mentioned incidences. Looking back into our nation?s history, we can easily pin-point the initial cause of strife within the very livelihoods of Canada?s Aboriginal peoples ? colonization by the Europeans.?Through the well-documented processes of Christianization, subjugation, segregation, and in some cases, extermination, European colonists denied Canada?s Aboriginal peoples their history, language, culture, land, livelihood, and dignity? (Henry et. al 1995).During the settling of Canada, many Aboriginal communities were moved off highly productive land onto marginally productive land which ultimately led to detrimental effect on the economy of countless Aboriginal communities (LaPrairie 1987). At the familial level, it is important to consider the breakdown of traditional Aboriginal roles and values, and the loss of power and the personal status experienced by Aboriginal people, especially Aboriginal men (LaPrairie 1987). Within the traditional economy, the household was the basic unit of production and consumption, where men and women maintained fairly distinct roles and skills (Usher 1980). Aboriginal people were encouraged to abandon their distinctive traditional economic activities such as hunting, in favour of trapping and barter ? in order to meet the needs of the fur-trading companies (Valentine 1980). With the demise of traditional economies came profound changes in family roles, leading to inevitable conflict between Aboriginal men and women (LaPrairie 1987).The residential school system, which took Aboriginal children out of their home community, only added to the aforementioned breakdown in traditional roles and values. ?Parental values were denigrated, parental options were discounted, and children lost parental role models by being...

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