Free Essay Example - Colonialism in Indigenous People

Published: 2023-03-26
Free Essay Example - Colonialism in Indigenous People
Type of paper:  Case study
Categories:  History Ethnography Multiculturalism Childhood
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1501 words
13 min read

Understanding how indigenous people were forced to disconnect from their land, cultural practices, and community by another group, Canada colonialism displays the entire process well (Borrows, 2002). The main target for colonialism is gaining access to resources in an area. Colonialism is still alive today though it is rooted in the history of Canada. The Canadian government provides support to industries in the northern parts of Canada in taking over the northland for resource extraction and removal of the indigenous people from it (Grant, 2011). An alert was called upon by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to make it clear regarding the understanding of the history of Canada with the indigenous people, thus reconciliation and rebuilding of the broken relationships. Through this amendment in the historical agreement, northern communities, and the diversified women residing in those communities would promote working together, thus influencing the local development of resources (Borrows, 2002). This case study outlines factors that affect the development of family members and how the long-term effects of colonial practices still impact current Indigenous childhood development today.

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Colonialization is the Act of governing a nation over the dependence of a country or territory of people. Primarily, colonialism involves unequal power relations. The powerful countries tend to influence in controlling the less powerful nations directly (Neu, 2000). Indigenous people are people that originate and live in a particular region before other people discovered the area. Indigenous Canadians regarded as Aboriginal Canadians. These are the native people within the bounds of Canada. Aboriginal people of Canada involve the Indian, Inuit, and Metis individuals. All Indigenous Canadian groups are enclosed in Aboriginal peoples, which is legalized term though slowly it is fading away and replaced by indigenous people (Howlett & Lawrence, 2019).

Canada encountered settler colonialism. The Europeans took lands from the indigenous people in an aggressive manner. Indigenous were displaced and greatly outnumbered with time (Anthony, 2020). The Europeans settlement first began on Canada's eastern coast. For more than a millennium years ago, there have been known experiences with the Vikings. The Basque sailors' existence along the coast of Labrador in the 1500s is enough evidence for the Act. With time the Europeans settlement shifted west and south across Canada and arrived on the west coast in the 1800s. The Canada southern border with the United States was the most affected region with the wave of colonization (Wilson, 2020).

Development of Indigenous and non-Indigenous on their lands, which are at a distance from each other, began manifesting, both established with unique cultures and forms of social setups. Though, the establishment's changed when Europeans arrived and began settling in North America (Anthony, 2020). It is evident that due to seizures of the empty land in the Northern part of America, the colonizers were able to take a firm hold on it for resource extraction purposes. The ground struggles made the Indigenous people displaced, from their native territories and some parts of Canada that had bordered with North America. The signing of treaties affected the shift onto reserves. Anthony states that these Early European explorers and settlers had to use the term "terra nullius," which implied "empty land" in the Latin language (Anthony, 2020). This urged that the land was not assigned to anyone; thus, it was all free for use by anyone who developed the interest of exploiting in it.

The case study states that, among the treaties that were signed between Canadians and the Europeans, there was one that was the most important - the Royal Proclamation of 1763 by King George VI of England. The treaty had confirmed that constitutionally the indigenous nations had titles of their lands as well as their supremacy and self-government. Both parties had agreed that either of them was the right manner in which indigenous people released the control measures on their native lands.

From the documented ideas of the Europeans, they ignored the fact that the native people used native lands of the northern parts over thousands of years for their activities like; hunting, trapping, fishing, among many others (Scott, 2020). There is a failure of acknowledging that indigenous people on this native land were in various societies, which consisted of hundreds of nations from different cultures, systems of governance, used different languages to communicate, and also had unique trade relations amongst them.

Hunger and poverty made many of the indigenous people to sign treaties giving up the territory and the resources contained in the land. Europeans dominated by taking over their properties for farming and mining; hence their relations strained more (Scott, 2020). To date, the majority of the people reason that little has been changed, considering that the Indian Act has been altered over the years to minimize or remove some of the last offensive sections. Many claims that the Act still disintegrates the cultural, social, economic, and political differences of the indigenous people. The Indigenous people wanted to be absorbed into Canadian life with the adoption of some values (Scott, 2020).

Indigenous family setups had to send their children as young as seven to distant residential schools that were run by churches with the aim of civilizing and Christianizing them. Being away from their parents prompted pain to these children, and this gets to worse scenarios with the disease, hunger, and physical and sexual abuse (Gillies et al., 2020). The attempt to remove the indigenous children of their native culture and language was passed from one generation to the other, and eventually, the residential schools were closed in 1996. These former students who are still alive today live with these traumatizing effects of endurance they had in these schools (Gillies et al., 2020). Thus it poses a significant challenge to the development of family setups. These trauma effects are not only felt by the survivors and their children but also the entire Canadian society. We view that, "secret" trauma of these residential schools that were established made the majority of the survivors to suffer low self-esteem and powerlessness.

Poverty created by the government establishing a policy on reserve by providing food to the indigenous people that was only enough to keep them alive. Similarly, Hudson's Bay Company gave the indigenous people a limited time to hunt such that they would not have food in surplus to limit them from setting traps for the company (Gillies et al., 2020).

To date, colonialism remains to be a problem. The new rules, limited people, from traveling to hunting and fishing sites for seasons. Thus, it reinforced settlement and assured poverty (Scott, 2020). The economic policies and marginalization established debt just as the high cost of store-purchased food in the northern part of Canada. Northern children need to learn various skills to sustain them during their childhood and at family times, promoting family development.

Indigenous people in the north of Canada require to have the necessary infrastructure that most Canadians see no need for it (Grydehoj, 2020). These infrastructures include housing and accessibility to education, water, and sanitation systems. Today the approval of resource extraction is done from the northern region since the land is viewed as unpopulated. The inhabited land for the generations created identity. The history of Canada regarding the change of resource extraction has resulted in a difference between the indigenous and their native land, thus promote economic development (Grydehoj, 2020). Therefore, it is evident that there are many disparities between the wealth in the south of Canada in comparison to the north of Canada.

In conclusion, these colonial effects have brought a great hindrance to family development since the indigenous identity, parenting, and standard practices, among others, remain a challenge. The trauma conditions encountered by Neebin might have originated from the previous colonial effect encountered in the era of residential schools. From the Europeans perspective, colonization was to obtain full or partial control over the Canadian territory. This occupying with the natives was to exploit the region economically. The Europeans used two ways to invade the land: settler colonialism and exploitation colonialism.


Anthony, T. (2020). Settler-Colonial Governmentality: The Carceral Webs Woven by Law and Politics. In Questioning Indigenous-Settler Relations (pp. 33-53). Springer, Singapore.

Borrows, J. (2002). Recovering Canada: The resurgence of domestic law. University of Toronto Press.

Gillies, C., Blanchet, R., Gokiert, R., Farmer, A., Thorlakson, J., Hamonic, L., & Willows, N. D. (2020). School-based nutrition interventions for Indigenous children in Canada: a scoping review. BMC Public Health, 20(1), 1-12.

Grant, S. (2011). Sovereignty or Security?: Government Policy in the Canadian North, 1936-1950. UBC Press.

Grydehoj, A. (2020). Government, Policies, and Priorities in Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland): Roads to Independence. In The Palgrave Handbook of Arctic Policy and Politics (pp. 217-231). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Howlett, C., & Lawrence, R. (2019). Accumulating minerals and dispossessing Indigenous Australians: native title recognition as settlercolonialism. Antipode, 51(3), 818-837.

Neu, D. (2000). "Presents" for the "Indians": Land, colonialism, and accounting in Canada. Accounting, Organizations, and Society, 25(2), 163-184.

Scott, T. L. (2020). Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada: Does Methodology Matter?. In Global Perspectives on Victimization Analysis and Prevention (pp. 24-39). IGI Global.

Wilson, N. J. (2020). Querying Water Co-Governance: Yukon First Nations and Water Governance in the Context of Modern Land Claim Agreements. Water Alternatives, 13(1), 93-118.

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