First Nations Perspectives Case Study

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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). By doing this, colonial Canadians assumed that aboriginal cultural and spiritual beliefs were invalid in relation to European beliefs (244). The problem with ridding the First Nations Peoples of their languages, as Williston points out is to “deprive them of the sense of place that has defined them for thousands of years” (245). The private schooling system was an attack on First Nations identities, and their identity is rooted in “a respect for nature and its processes” (245).…show more content…
While many environmental ethicists argue for the intervention and replanting of trees and relocating of species, First Nations perspectives believe that is not the way to deal with nature. Aboriginals have, as Bruce Morito highlights in his article titled “The ‘Ecological Indian’ and Environmentalism” a “sound and sustainable environmental ethic, painstakingly worked out over the course of thousands of years occupying this land” (238). To erase their language as the residential school system has is to erase the environmental ethic that Aboriginals have

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