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.
Throughout history, there have been many literary studies that focused on the culture and traditions of Native Americans. Native writers have worked painstakingly on tribal histories, and their works have made us realize that we have not learned the full story of the Native American tribes. Deborah Miranda has written a collective tribal memoir, “Bad Indians”, drawing on ancestral memory that revealed aspects of an indigenous worldview and contributed to update our understanding of the mission system, settler colonialism and histories of American Indians about how they underwent cruel violence and exploitation. Her memoir successfully addressed past grievances of colonialism and also recognized and honored indigenous knowledge and identity.
People often cannot feel confident in who they are unless they know their past. In the novel Keeper’ N Me Richard Wagamese develops Garnet Raven as a young indigenous man taken away from him his family as a child, which in turn causes him to struggle through life feeling uncertain of who he is and longing for a sense of belonging. Initially, Garnet tries to conceal his true identity as an “Indiyun” because his people have been portrayed as alcoholics and unproductive people throughout his life. Due to this concealment he feels a part of him is missing inside and is determined to fit in somewhere. It is not until Garnet receives a letter in prison from his brother Stanley that he realises in order to fill this lonely pit inside him that
Garnet from the novel Keeper N’ Me seems like a rather resourceful individual that has relied mainly on himself to navigate through life ever since he aged out of the foster care system. The way in which he chose to survive during this time may have been influenced by the pervasively negative stereotypes against Indigenous people, his detachment from his community, family, and heritage, as well as the observed desire to fit in or belong. Garnet’s primary presenting clinical issues seem to be a diminished sense of self and self-esteem. This may be due to growing up in all-white households and schools with no formal education about his family history/heritage or of Indigenous teachings in general. The knowledge that he was able to gather from within these
Thomas King’s A Short History of Indians in Canada introduces the effects of colonialism and bias established on indigenous peoples’ reputation through satire. King’s play on major metaphors and animal depiction of indigenous people paints an image of an abhorrent and gruesome history. Through moments of humour, King makes references to racial profiling, stereotypes and mistreatment as historically true. Thomas King utilizes industrialization versus the natural world to incorporate the effects of colonialism and how representing indigenous people as birds made them the spectacle of the civilized world. The colonizer dominance and power imbalance is evident and demonstrated often in the short story through
Wagameses novel is similar to other novels that are written on the same topic. However, “Keeper’n Me” has a happier ending then most stories that start with a child being ripped from their home and put into the foster car system against their parents wishes. Garnet was lucky enough to be able to find his way back home and be welcomed back with open arms. The major theme of this novel is the significance of finding the place where you belong and what you first have to go through before you find that place. Furthermore, Wagamese touches on how important culture and tradition are and that you can not learn all the little intricate parts of the culture all on your own. With the right guide and the right teachings Garnet slowly felt himself reconnecting with his Ojibway relatives and history. “Feeling safe beside the remains of this cabin that was full of my history. Feeling safe beside this fire that burned like Ojibway fires had been burning for thousands of years. Feeling safe because of that growing sense inside me that I was really part of it all.” (pg. 249) While out in the woods alone, Garnet was able to connect with his past and discover what it really meant to him to be
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. You tell me, and I won’t put it down on the form, No-one will know but you and me”. It’s obvious that the author, Thomas King, is trying to make awareness about the treatment of Aboriginals are facing in
The detrimental and unfair categorization of people by race, gender and more, commonly known as discrimination, affects many in society both mentally and emotionally. Many instances of this act of hatred occurred among Aboriginal and Native Canadians in the 20th century. However, for a little Native Indian boy stepping onto the rink, this is the norm that surrounds him. Saul Indian Horse, in Richard Wagamese’s “Indian Horse”, faces discrimination head on, where his strengths for hockey are limited by the racial discrimination from the surrounding white ethnicity. Consequently, this racism draws him into a mentally unstable state, where he suffers heavy consequences. Throughout the novel, prejudicial comments directed towards Saul inflict a major impact on him and his teammates by confining their abilities, thus leading him into a troublesome mental state of mind.
The word “home” is mentioned 138 times throughout Keeper N’ Me. It discusses foster homes, homelessness, Garnet’s many homes, other people’s homes and the home Garnet never thought he would find. There is a difference between a home and a house. The difference isn’t always clear to find, unlike the phrase “home is where the heart is” finding your home can be quite difficult if you don’t know where your heart lies. When Garnet joins Lonnie and his family you could say that his heart laid with them but eventually we learn that their home was not where he belonged no matter how invested his heart was in their family. Through Garnet’s struggles and success of finding his real home, Richard Wagamese outlines the importance of people having a home.
Over the course of E. Pauline Johnson’s life, which lasted from 1861 to 1913, the treatment and status of First Nations Canadians began to shift. While Pauline Johnson wasn’t as affected by the treatment and status of First Nations Canadians, due to her move off of the Six Nations Reservation because of her father’s death in 1884, she made gains for her people as she ascended to fame. Pauline Johnson made accomplishments for First Nations Canadians in her life and work, those included her poetry, acting, and lifestyle. Even after Johnson’s demise, her name and work lives on because of her talent and charisma.
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.
Throughout history, photographs have been known to depict and represent culture, character, information, and ideology. Through specific elements of form, and close scrutiny, photographs give a representation of the “bigger picture” by providing content and invaluable information that text, on its own, does not produce. Dr. Carol Payne, a professor of art history at Carleton University, wrote an essay in 2012 for the Oxford University Press. This essay focused on the relationships between photographic images, Canadian culture and identity, and indigenous people. Her thesis was to discuss how an image can present a sense of national identity (Carol Payne 310). Professor Payne’s thesis was supported by examining three specific case studies. First, she investigated how photographs authorized by the Government of Canada have supplied a construction of Canadian identity. Second, Payne showed how photographs support the Canadian
Aboriginal women prior to colonization were respected, prominent members, and a vital part of their community. Precolonization Aboriginal women did not stay home as house wives; they were an important participant within harvest and other duties that supported their families and communities. Children were reared by the “mother clan” it took the whole family to raise a child from husbands, brothers, and extended family leaving little room for family violence (Martin-Hill, 2012, p. 110). Canada’s Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples referred to the voices of Aboriginal women pre-colonization:
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 both apologies from Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau, the government system to protect First Nations children appears to have detrimental effects on the life of a child. This is proven by young children turning to drugs in order to satisfy their growing pain, family members who abuse their children because they consume high amounts of alcohol, which has a negative impact on the child, and discriminatory behaviour by surrounding communities.
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).