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Canadian And American History Of Relations With Aboriginal Peoples Compare Treatment Of First Nations By A Merican And Canadians Consider Whether Either Could Be Considered Humane.

919 words - 4 pages

Differences between Canadian and American History of Relations with Aboriginal PeoplesWhile treaties, the presence of the North West Mounted Police and British law differentiated Canadian treatment of First Nations from the Americans, the idea that Canadians were humane and just was largely a myth. Because Americans waged a war of extermination against their Indians population, Canadians believed they were just in their dealing with the Canadian Natives. Legal recognition of native people led to a difference in the treatment of native groups in Canada in contrast to the Americans. Some of the differences were due to political, ideological, and economic factors.19th century settlements in Canada differed in one crucial respect from its American counterpart. While Canadians had a political policy of making treaties with the Native people, Americans were by this time rapidly expanding without attempts at making treaties. Though in one instance, where the Americans had made treaties with the Iroquois, the Iroquois had conceded land that was traditionally the hunting grounds of another tribe who refused to recognise the Iroquois’ right to sell their land. This led to skirmishes with the Americans who as a result annihilated the tribe (Time Life 89). Regardless of this instance, by this time treaties were largely ignored by the Americans. King George’s Proclamation of 1763 had regulated that settlers were required to make legal treaties with aboriginal people before occupying their land (Encyclopedia Britannica). The Americans resented anything that restricted their expansion into the west. British control was seen as corrupt and tyrannical. In Canada, by contrast, expansion was carried out with legal treaties within police presence (Bowers and Garrod 190). Unlike the Americans, Canadians operated within the context of British law. Because of these political differences, treaties in Canada were carried out constitutionally while in America they were not. In America, massacres of large bodies of Native populations were due to the lack of legal recognition and the belief that Indians were barbarous and savage. The American West was a frontier without the benefit of law and order, therefore expansion proceeded by increasingly violent measures. The Americans attitude toward Natives could be summed up in General Philip Sheridan’s famous remark: “The only good Indians I ever saw were dead.”The common objective of the Americans and the Canadians was to take the land that the Indians inhabited; however, ideologically the Americans and the Canadians differed. The typical American immigrants in the 19th Century were religious subgroups driven by Manifest Destiny which fuelled their expansionism (Bowers and Garrod 96). Canadians, on the other hand, tried to assimilate the Natives into British culture. In his 1941 history of the Canadian police, R.G.MacBeth wrote that: “In large measure world...

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