Native Canadians In Literature Essay

4661 words - 19 pages

Introduction: Literature offers a strong and passionate voice for the past. The literature of the Native Canadian is a voice we, the people of Canada, can no longer ignore. There is little to be gained by dwelling on the past. Nevertheless, there is much to be realized by accepting what has passed, with all of its mistakes and dust we might otherwise wish to hide under the carpets. English literature, since at least the sixteenth century, has a firm grounding in Canadian history. As a white Anglo Saxon Protestant, we can see where we came from, who we are, what we are and, maybe most importantly, why we are the people that comprise this enigmatic Canadian continent. But what if you aren't one of those fortunate enough to be of European Christian descent?

        Abstract: Christianity is one of the most profound influences this world has ever known. Almost every facet of Canadian life, past or present, is manifest with it. White Anglo Saxon Protestants came to this country with adventure in their hearts and spreading the word of God on their minds. The new settlers soon found that they were not alone in the country they proclaimed as their own. They found a people, different from themselves and with no loyalty to the Almighty God. This untamed, human was called 'savage' and, ignorantly, despised for their commitment to no one but themselves. With Christianity as their guide, the European settler managed to almost destroy that culture for no other reason than it was different than its own. The historical record of the literature of those two cultures serves as the proof that Christianity was at the center of the cruel treatment the European showed the Native Canadian.

        Systematically, through war, genocide, legislation and 'wayward Indian camps' the people were broken, their culture decimated and their souls eventually converted to the word of God. Literature contributes to this destruction in two ways: 1) by perpetuating and adding to the fallacies that existed about the native Canadian and; 2) by serving as an extensive record of the injustices served the native Canadian by other Canadians. The natives have their own literary record of the indignities they faced at the hands of the merciless Canadian settlers and government. A simple comparison of the two cultures literature would not befit what actually transpired between the cultures.

        The following analysis will serve to present an argument that Christianity is a central cause of the modern tragedy of the Canadian Native. There is no differentiation among the various Native cultures. Native, for the purpose of this exploration, will be a combination of any, and all, Native people who came into contact with the European. French Canadian relations are not explored because they did not have the same detrimental impact as that of English speaking Canada. In particular, specific examination of the English literature from the 1700's to the mid 1800's will...

Find Another Essay On Native Canadians in Literature

Canadian and American History of Relations with Aboriginal Peoples -compare treatment of First Nations by AMerican and Canadians -consider whether either could be considered humane

919 words - 4 pages 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

Thomson Highway's The Rez Sisters Essay

1307 words - 5 pages Thomson Highway's The Rez Sisters Works Cited Not Included The play The Rez Sisters is written by one of Canada's most celebrated playwrights, Tomson Highway. Highway was born in 1951 in northwestern Manitoba. He went on to study at the University of Manitoba and graduated from the University of Western Ontario, with honors in Music and English. Native Literature is inspired by 'contemporary social problems facing native Canadians today

The rez sisters

1331 words - 5 pages The Rez Sisters The play The Rez Sisters is written by one of Canada's most celebrated playwrights, Tomson Highway. Highway was born in 1951 in northwestern Manitoba. He went on to study at the University of Manitoba and graduated from the University of Western Ontario, with honors in Music and English. Native Literature is inspired by "contemporary social problems facing native Canadians today; alcohol and drug abuse, suicide, wife battering

Native Peoples of Canada

3317 words - 13 pages it was readily accepted as fact. So how did this affect the actual, existing indigenous population and how is their resistance to projected images of the 'other' manifested in today's post-colonial climate? In this short essay, I will examine how Native peoples of Canada have used literature to deconstruct the stereotypical manner in which they have been represented in European, Canadian and American portraits, creating a new style and

Racial Profiling in Canada

1222 words - 5 pages racial communities (Wortley and Owusu-Bempah, 2011, p.135). One Canadian community in particular has been impacted by racial profiling: black Canadians. There has been a significant body of literature which has attested to the veracity of the argument that black Canadians are victimized via racial profiling. For example, the Commission of Systemic Racism in the Ontario Criminal Justice System found that the majority of black respondents

Green Grass, Running Water : Exploring Tradition & Modern Culture by Thomas King

1007 words - 4 pages Canadian culture has on Native Americans and the role of the genre of western movies of our society, the author expresses our misrepresentation of Indians to reclaim his cultural heritage. Unlike in western literature that tends to be linear with a clear progression to the ending, King uses a circular narrative that reflects the Sundance ceremony and Native American traditional storytelling techniques “in order to emphasis and reclaim this

Royal Proclamation

606 words - 3 pages Royal Proclamation of 1763: a Historic Moment Few Canadians acknowledge the Aboriginals and their land rights, and even fewer Canadians study them. The Royal Proclamation of 1763 is considered one of the most important treaties in history to be made with the Native People; yet very few have even a vague idea when they hear the words “Royal Proclamation, 1763”. Even with the grounds that the Royal Proclamation of 1763 provided, Canada has

Native Sovereignty

1313 words - 5 pages Really want an Aboriginal Archipelago?" I will be taking the position against the coexistence of native sovereignty with Canadian sovereignty. These two articles will help me support my position on the issue. Olthius and Townshend are in favour of native sovereignty within Canada based on historical and moral grounds. These authors believe there is a difference in perceptions between native and non-native Canadians regarding the jurisdiction

A Negative Impact

1115 words - 4 pages When Europeans first began to settle in British North America, they had, had a positive impact upon Canadians, but over the years, they had an ultimately negative impact on Canadians in British North America. By bringing over disease, introducing the fur trade, and beginning religious conversion, the Europeans created this ultimately negative impact. When the first wave of European settlers came to British North America, the disease that they

Native American Literature

1101 words - 5 pages We will be focusing on tribal Native American Literature and to compare and contrast a specific contemporary issue around 1960s- present that relates to both tribes. The Native American literature means self and tribal identification. The two Native nations will be compare and contrast they are the Cherokee nation, and the Navajo nation. The Native American literature does explain the history as shown in writing or drawing pictures to remember

Multiculturalism in Canada

6922 words - 28 pages "mosaic" are strongly connected to immigration. Everyone who considers himself as Canadian must be aware of the fact that their ancestors were immigrants therefore the duality of the sense of identity could be investigated. Regardless of being Native-Canadian, Irish-Canadian or Japanese-Canadian, everyone has a twofold identity. In Canada the important cultural determinant is the representation of the term of mosaic. Canadians have a strong

Similar Essays

The Negative Portrayal Of Native Americans In Children’s Literature

2096 words - 8 pages The Negative Portrayal of Native Americans in Children’s Literature The American institution has raised countless generations with misconceptions and lies regarding various foreign cultures. During the 1950’s the educational system in America was given the responsibility of teaching children the horrors and injustices they would suffer if the "evil" communist took over the world. Schools taught students that communist wanted to take away

This Essay Reviews The Diffren Types Of Tricksters In Early Native American Literature

857 words - 4 pages , Trickster may be a Raven, Mink, or Blue jay. The form of the Trickster has been twisted and molded to adapt to hundreds of Native American societies. Whatever else he may be, Trickster is also a survivor who uses his wits and instincts to adapt to the changing times. He still appears in many guises in modern Native American literature. The trickster employing his unmoral practices is always able to creep back into the forest to await his next chance to

Government Negligence Is Relation To First Nation, Inuit, And Metis Health

655 words - 3 pages see that sick individuals are taken care of before these disputes take course. Someone needs to take immediate and full responsibility for Native health. Statistics show that Native people in Canada have lower health rates than non-Native Canadians. On average, Native people live 7 years less than non-Native people, and their infant mortality rate is 2 to 4 times higher. HIV/AIDS deaths are twice as high, and alcohol related deaths range

The Lifeblood Of Canada Essay

653 words - 3 pages When new immigrants arrive in Canada, several native Canadians are disturbed by the act due to the belief that they serve no benefit to the country. There are other assumptions that the lifeblood of Canada is native Canadians. Both statements are false because new immigrants are the lifeblood of Canada and the benefits they convey to Canada are revealed through the workforce, new discoveries, and services. Businesses need workers in