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Canadian Aboriginals Essay

1803 words - 7 pages

Aboriginal-Canadians have an excessive history of mistreatment and discrimination in Canada. Europeans considered Canada’s First Nations as savages, eventually residential schools were created which in extreme cases were comparable to Prisoner of War camps. According to Evelyn Kallen, “Substandard housing breeding disease and death, closed schools due to lack of teachers, heat, and/or running water are only two examples of continuing, dehumanizing life conditions on many reserves” (198). Although, extensive improvements have been made to reservations and Aboriginal rights, more improvement remains necessary. Allan Blakeney stated, “An important starting point of course, is that Aboriginal people in Canada do not, as a group, occupy high positions on the socioeconomic ladder, although some Aboriginal people certainly do. Action is needed” (188). As well, Tom Pocklington stated, “Aboriginal people - perhaps especially status Indians who have experienced the dominance of the Department of Indian Affairs - are not strangers to either the sense or the reality of powerlessness” (112). I believe the plight of Canada’s First Nations can be improved through government funding allocated for the preservation of Aboriginal history, through self-governance, and most importantly through education.
First, the plight of Canadian-Aboriginals can be improved through government funding allocated for the preservation of Aboriginal history. According to Blakeney, “Many ethnic groups in cities help to preserve their shared history, arts, and myths through social clubs, festivals, and other public events. Aboriginal people should be assisted in using similar organizations to support their cultures” (190). Canada has already taken this issue under careful consideration. Kallen noted, “Additionally, under the newly proposed Canada clause, the right of aboriginal peoples to promote their languages, cultures, and traditions and to ensure the integrity of their societies would be guaranteed” (231). I believe this is a step in the right direction for Aboriginal rights. It is crucial to preserve Aboriginal history to create a just nation for Canada. As well, it is equally important to retrieve information from elders regarding their extensive traditions and beliefs and to preserve these traditional stories. The Canadian government should allocate funding towards Aboriginal festivals, museums, and other public events to educate all Canadians about Aboriginal culture and heritage, as well, this would show respect for Aboriginal-Canadians. Therefore, I believe funding allocated to the preservation of Aboriginal history can improve the plight of Aboriginal-Canadians.
Second, Canada’s First Nations’ plight can be improved through self-governance. According to Pocklington, “For several years, Canadian aboriginal leaders have been demanding the recognition of a right of Native self-determination and thereby, for the aboriginal collectivities that choose it a right of...

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