The voices of Indigenous children are unheard and purposely ignored. This is portrayed through the literature of Birdie by Tracey Lindberg and Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese. Despite receiving apologies from Prime Ministers Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau, the government system to protect First Nations families appears to have detrimental effects on the native children. This is proven by young children turning to drugs in order to satisfy their growing pain, by family members who abuse their kids because of alcohol addictions, and the increasing discriminatory behaviour by surrounding communities.
Richard Wagamese’s semi-autobiographical novel Keeper’n Me paints the portrait of a young man’s experience—one shared by many Indigenous peoples across Canada—revealing a new perspective on Aboriginal life. First Nations have often been romanticized and the subject of Western fantasies rather than Indigenous truth concerning Aboriginal ways rooted in “respect, honor, kindness, sharing and much, much love” (Wagamese, 1993 quote). Keeper’n Me tells the story of Garnet Raven, an Ojibway, who is taken from his family as a child by the Children’s Aid Society, and placed in a number of (white) foster families, where his Indigenous identity is stripped away. He serves time for drug charges, during which he receives a letter from his brother, inviting him back to the White Dog Reserve to rekindle ties with his people and learn about Ojibway culture, traditions, spirituality, and philosophy with the help of his community and his teacher, Keeper, an elder and recovering alcoholic who was instructed in his earlier years by Raven’s grandfather. In viewing the novel through the theoretical frameworks of the “Middle Ground”, “Orientalism”, and “Agency”, Keeper’n Me explores Canadian-Indigenous relations in a moving, yet humorous way, as well as the meaning of “being” a First Nation in modern society,
Individuals, who are surrounded with agony by mistreatment at an early phase, often leave with wounds in which can trouble their lives. In Richard Wagamese’s Indian Horse, the Aboriginal children struggle with traumatization caused by dreadful brutality from the white people at the St. Jerome’s Residential School. Unfortunately for the children, the abuse leaves them upset for a lifetime. The children experience cruel abuse, which leading to leaving them mentally damaged.
The indigenous people are literally crashing into the buildings produced by the colonizing culture, “Look out! Bob shouts. There are Indians flying into the skyscrapers and falling on the sidewalk.” (King 63) and it adequately represents the lack of adaptability of the Native Canadians. Thomas King taps again into the effects of colonialism and notions the indigenous people as uneducated and an untamed species.
Despite the fact that all residential schools have closed, what thousands of aboriginal children experienced remain both terrifying to those who hear the stories and relevant to Canadian society. Glen and Lyna are two residential school survivors whose lives were greatly impacted by the government’s attempt to eliminate aboriginal culture. For example, “the system forcibly separated children from their families and “even siblings rarely interacted.” Consequently, the family ties between Glen and his family severely weakened through his years in residential school, making it difficult for him to find comfort in family even when he started his own. As a result, when Glen struggles with alcoholism, instead of confiding in family, he is driven
Indigenous peoples of Canada have been considered inferior to all other citizens, and have been abused and neglected through European history, and can be seen as a form of genocide. In Canadian residential schools, children were removed from the home, sexually assaulted, beaten, deprived of basic human necessities, and over 3 500 women and girls were sterilized, and this went on well into the 1980 's (Nicoll 2015). The dehumanization of Indigenous peoples over the generations has left a significant impact on society today; the generational trauma has left many Indigenous peoples heavily dependent of drugs and alcohol, and the vulnerability of Indigenous women has led to extremely high rates of violent crime towards these women. A report that
Indigenous people are incarcerated at much higher rates than non-Indigenous in Canada and are incarcerated for longer periods of time (Cook & Roesh, 2012, p.222). Canadians have put Indigenous communities through much heartache and pain. With the colonization of Indigenous people to residential schools, Canadians continue to stigmatize and treat Indigenous people poorly. Indigenous people are more likely to suffer from drug abuse using needles because of the intergenerational trauma suffered through their parents attending residential schools in Canada (Bombay, Matheson, & Anisman, 2014, p. 327). This puts them at a higher criminal risk than others because of what they have been subjected to.
Blackfoot is a native tribe that resides in the Great Plains of Montana and Canadian provinces of Alberta. King writes about how the mother had to face several guards and spend a few nights in the car with her son because of their treatment by Canada. In my point of view, I find the theme to be that aboriginals are treated as objects and are forced to give up their identity and lifestyle. Just like in America, it seems like that Canada is pushing aboriginals are pushed to the side and cover it with some sugar. For instance, when parked at an border office, a woman tried to persuaded the mother to pick a identity by saying “I can understand how you feeling about having to tell us about your citizenship, and here’s what I’ll do.
The colonization of Indigenous peoples has dramatically affected their health, and health-seeking behaviours, in a myriad of ways. The Indian Act of 1876 was, in essence, created to control the Indigenous population. The Indian Act laid out laws and regulations that tightly regulated the lives of natives economically, ideologically, and politically. This included a wealth of ways in which their identities were stripped away, and in which they were taken advantage of by the Government of Canada. This has resulted in a reduced quality of life for Canada 's indigenous population, as well as adverse health problems, and prejudicial perceptions that we still see the impact of today.
The basis of these problems is a loss of identity and a sense of knowing that their values are oppressed, and their rights are ignored. Likewise, non-indigenous Canadians have become increasingly aware of the unfairness of the richness of indigenous and aboriginal cultures that are taking place.
Critical Summary #3: First Nations Perspectives In Chapter eight of Byron Williston’s Environmental Ethics for Canadians First Nation’s perspectives are explored. The case study titled “Language, Land and the Residential Schools” begins by speaking of a public apology from former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He apologizes for the treatment of “Indians” in “Indian Residential Schools”. He highlights the initial agenda of these schools as he says that the “school system [was] to remove and isolate [Aboriginal] children from the influence of their homes, families, traditions and cultures, and to assimilate them[…]” (Williston 244).
There are many factors that effect Native Americans such as treaty rights, health, education, and economic issues, a number of studies done by various government agencies, including the Department of Justice, have shown extremely troubling rates of violent crime inflicted on American Indian peoples, most by non-Natives, as well as a suicide incidence among American Indian children and young adults that is several times that of other ethnic groups or the general population. However, Native Americans representation through mascots and logos is an issue that effects the Native people in a more personal way. Native Americans sport team logos, mascots and nicknames are representing Native Americans in a disrespectful way which is effecting the way we perceive
When European settlers came to Canada they colonized Canada by taking away land, water, rights, spiritual practice, as well as put children into residential school and put an unprecedented amount of children in the child welfare system (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, 2015). This is a key example of how trauma can be passed down from one generation to the next until someone deals with it. Right now the youth of Attawapiskat are dealing with the intergenerational trauma as well as creating more trauma for generations to come, this creates an ongoing chain of risks that will continue to develop if not helped. For Attawapiskat, a major risk has been the isolation, lack of resources, along with the suicides that have happened and their impact on the other youth in the community.
School systems that show negative images of American Indians give of a negative impact on the self esteem of the American Indian students. This also disrespects the spiritual beliefs and values of the American Indian people. In the State of Oregon they announced that their public schools are not allowed to use Native Americans as mascots or sports teams names like “Indians”, “Chiefs”, “Braves”, and “Redskins” but not “Warriors because it’s imagery did not specifically mean Native Americans. The schools were expected to change the names