Aboriginals Essay

1663 words - 7 pages

An understanding of this history of residential schools in Canada is key to developing and understanding why Euro-Canadians thought it so dire to assimilate this race deemed as other. The text being analyzed is Shingwauk’s Vision: A History of Native Residential Schools by J.R. Miller. This topic is of the upmost importance because it goes into an aspect of Canadian history, which many are unwilling to accept. The aim of this text is to explain residential schools through the eyes of race and assimilation. The text begins by explain the attempts of racial superiority by Euro-Canadians. From here the text moves to looking at the role the church and missionaries played in the implication of ...view middle of the document...

It was because of this notion from the church that “ethnocentric misreading’s of Indian beliefs and attitudes accounted for many of the negative opinions held by missionaries” (Miller). These notions became embedded in the running of residential schools. Miller waits till the end of his text to explain the conditions of residential schools, which are more, an explanation of the relationships with indigenous and non-indigenous people. The main condition of these schools talked about was the student’s language and clothing being taken away from them. The purpose of this text is to give the reader a better understanding of the key role race and assimilation played in the formation of residential schools. The intention of this paper is to explain, in-depth, how the basic concepts and objectives of Canada’s Indian policy has been the motivation behind residential schools.
In order to properly critique this article, the critique will be separated into three different sections from the three main components. The government and citizens had deemed the aboriginal people as inferior. Miller explains this argument by showing examples of how Canadians wanted this race to be assimilated into their own. Miller’s main strength was his explanation of the racial superiority the whites were claiming over anyone of a different “tone”. With examples that included the discouragement of immigrants and using examples from the influence of church Miller strongly presents this notion of race and assimilation. However, Miller fails to look at the extent of harm that race and assimilation had on this indigenous people. This text could have benefited more from the use of what the government did to the indigenous people to wipe them of their status and the laws that were imposed on them. The paper could of benefited from using examples such as the White Paper and the Indian Act in case the reader was unaware of these legislations. Also, Miller should have used more examples of how the indigenous people truly were a dying race because of all the disease these Euro-Canadians brought upon them. Miller did bring forward this notion of “ policy bible and the plough” which was found very intriguing. This notion referred to these programs that were meant to control and reshape the indigenous peoples. This was a notable feature because this is not a term widely referred to. Overall this section of the text was widely informative but could have benefited from a more in-depth explanation of what policies and laws the government enacted towards the assimilation of indigenous people.
With an understanding of how indigenous people were deemed inferior one can now look at how Miller portrays the connection with the church. The church’s ability to portray this group of people as lesser than others was key to the rise of residential schools. Miller used examples that indicated that missionaries’ opinions epically were negative. This is a key strength because it is dire to understand...

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