Religion Paper

1279 words - 6 pages

In my opinion, the heart of the Canadian matrix lies in the nationalist view that Canada is a ‘Cultural Mosaic’. The term Cultural Mosaic stems from the idea that Canada, as a country is made stronger with each immigrant. This is due to the fact that they generate a culturally diverse society that which Canadians can learn from. As a country we have coined this term because we feel as though we are so ‘different’ from the United States in the sense that we do not instill a “melting pot” environment— where immigrants, no matter their past, are American and should believe in said American values (i.e. The American Dream) once they get here. This leitmotif of our Canadian matrix is used as a tool to enable the legitimacy of “Othering” the vast varieties of cultures in Canada today.
This view of a Cultural Mosaic on Canadian society was Prime Minister Trudeau’s main motivation for creating multiculturalist policies such as the Official Multiculturalism Act established in 1971. It is extremely questionable that as a society we could call ourselves that with such confidence, that Canada was (and is) against assimilation, that as a country we embrace all cultures, races, religions, etc. This is due to the fact that the last residential school (that we know of) did not close until 1996. Residential schooling was created in order to assimilate the Aboriginal peoples in Canada, in these schools the students would be taken out of their reserve and stripped of their culture; we created an ‘other’ on purpose. What I mean by that is we allowed the government to stipulate a social phenomena of ‘Othering’ creating the opportunity to define in this case the Aboriginal people in Canada as different. This further justified the attempts made (such as residential schools) to ‘civilize’ and exploit these ‘Others’ because they were dissimilar to our society. Looking back on what a ‘Cultural Mosaic’ is, it seems as though it is almost promoting this notion of othering. It is a guaranteed way to make sure every culture stays separate; this leads me to the conclusion that a Cultural Mosaic may promote a positive Canadian image, but it really just seems to be a tool used to promote a furthering of inequality amongst different cultures. Think about it. If a candy bar was stolen from a corner store, and the two people last seen in the store were a white boy and a black boy… who would be more likely accused?
This negative outlook on the concept of a Cultural Mosaic begs the question, why immigrate to Canada? And further why would the Aboriginal people in Canada stay if they were and continue to be treated like this. It has become apparent to me that the continuation of immigration to Canada allows for this degrading Canadian matrix to thrive. So again, why would you choose to come to a country where you are distinctively different to the white citizens? Is it really worth it to give up part of your heritage and identity to live the Canadian life? After speaking with the...

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