Intro (slide 1)Good morning everyone. My IOP

Intro (slide 1)Good morning everyone. My IOP questions is “to what extent is Pete a victim of colonization and the mistreatment of aboriginal people”. In order to answer this question I will first talk about colonialism, what the Canadian government did and then how it relates to Pete.Colonization (slide 2)Colonialism by definition is the control or governing influence of a nation over a dependent country, territory, or people. Starting in the late 15th century French and British expeditionary forces “discovered” land they believed to be uninhabited which they promptly claimed, fought wars over and ultimately colonized. This became common during this time as more and more individuals migrated to North America and in our case more specifically the land that makes up modern day Canada.However this seemingly uninhabited land was home to many different and vibrant aboriginal peoples all with their own already well established cultures and traditions such as the Algonquin, Nipissing and Mohawk people respectively. This land where First Nations lived gave them sustenance, it was where they grew up, learned not just about their culture but also themselves, and thrived as unique but still intertwined communities. Unfortunately for the First Nations peoples the Colonial forces not only took their land, but also over the course of hundreds of years took advantage of them, exploited them for economic gain and attempted to destroy their culture through assimilation because they viewed it as savage and inferior. The general mistreatment of Aboriginals in the land that now constitutes modern day Canada leads us to where we are today. A society where aboriginal people are three times more likely to have be victimized compared to non-Aboriginal people, where only half of aboriginal Children live with both parents and where 28% of on-reserve First Nations people and 30% of Inuit in Canada live in crowded homes meaning with more than one person per room. Through what means… (Slide 3)The Government of Canada through the Indian Act, Residential Schools and the 60’s scoop severely impacted native culture and their communities in a Negative way. The actions the Canadian government chose to take left many Individuals dead, confused about their identity and with issues such as alcoholism and depression.Indian Act (slide 4)The Indian Act is a law passed in 1876 by the Canadian government. It gave the government control over all Natives people. It covered many aspects of daily life but focused on 3 things Band councils, reserves, and status. Its main goal was to control Natives & assimilate them into Canada. It basically made natives wards of the state, decided who was and wasn’t native and gave the government power to decide what the Natives could and couldn’t do with their culture. For example the government outlawed Sundances and Potlatches which were major social celebrations of culture within communities. The Indian Act effectively destroyed morale and took away aboriginals rights to practice their customs in an effort to assimilate them into Canada. Residential Schools (slide 5)In the 1870’s the Government of Canada partnered with many churches to create and run boarding residential schools for Aboriginal children. The goal of the Residential School System was to educate, assimilate, and integrate Aboriginal people into Canadian society. In the words of a government official it was a system created “to kill the Indian in the child.” Attendance at residential schools was mandatory for Aboriginal children across Canada and if you failed to send your children to residential school it resulted in the punishments sometimes including imprisonment.Many Aboriginal children were taken far away from their homes normally forcibly removed and separated from their families. Others who attended residential schools near their communities were often not allowed to see their families outside of occasional visits. Students weren’t allowed to speak their native language or practice their own culture and would get punished if they did. Many students had to take part in hard manual labour and were fed with poor quality of food. There are accounts of students being given food that was moldy, maggot infested and rotten. Many surviving students reported being sexually and mentally abused, beaten and severely punished, overcrowding, illness, forced to sleep outside during winters, forced to wear dirty underwear on the head or wet bed sheets on their body, forced participation in medical experiments, disease and sometimes cases death. Many of the individuals who survived these schools went on to develop and suffer from mental conditions such as PTSD. An intergenerational effect also developed in many descendants the residential school survivors. These descendants share the same problems and burdens that their older family members faced even if they did not go to residential schools themselves. These include abuse, compromised family systems, and also the loss of Aboriginal of language, culture, stories and teaching of traditions from one generation to another.60’s scoop (slide 6)The 60’s scoop was the practice of taking children from Aboriginal families in Canada and placing them up for adoption or in foster care. Each province had their own systems for this such as Saskatchewan’s AIM (Adopt Indian Metis) program. It’s estimated that 20,000 aboriginal children were taken from their families and put into these systems of foster care and adoption. This government policy lasted till the mid 80’s. Many children growing up in these conditions where their identity had been suppressed and abuse was common eventually went on to experience psychological and emotional problems. For many affected children, the roots of these problems did not come out until later in life when they were older and learned about their real birth family and their heritage. Raven Sinclair, A Social work Professor describes the traumas caused by the 60s scoop as “tremendous obstacles to the development of a strong and healthy sense of identity for the transracial adoptee.” Feelings of not belonging in either Canadian society or in Aboriginal society can also add to the individuals struggle to find their true identity. (slide 7) The passing of the Indian act, creation and implementation of residential schools and 60’s scoop were all attempts by the Government who were in power because of colonization that aimed to undermine aboriginal culture and assimilate them into Canada. These acts did not successfully assimilate aboriginals into Canadian culture and the only long lasting impacts are ones that left families shattered, individuals with issues such as depression, alcoholism, identity crisis and an upbringing that left many not learning how to parent and raise the next generation of their people.(slide 8)Pete was effected by all of this and is to a very large extent a victim of the effects of colonialism and mistreatment of his people. The Indian Act, Residential Schools, the 60’s scoop. They are all factors that contributed to the quality of life he lived. The absence of family, proper parenting and his own culture was created and mirrored in his own mother because she too suffered from the same lack of familial presence, proper parenting values and absence of culture due to the 60’s scoop and Residential schools and Indian act.  Through these injustices Pete was led to join a gang perhaps in search for a sense of comradery, family and culture. However joining a gang only further added to Pete’s issues specifically but not limited to violence. Pete’s association with his gang enabled him to be more violent and have more outbursts as shown by the sections in the beginning of the book where Petes “angry” mask appears. An example of which is when he murdered his mother’s boyfriend sending him to prison or kicked his girlfriend out of his car. Pete being a part of that gang also made him a bad influence on his brother Joey and ended up laying the groundwork and connections for Joey to end up joining the gang when Pete was in prison. Pete also suffered from a lack of culture. Prior to his experience with the healing center he had not experienced any of his native heritage. This lack of culture and not knowing a large part of his identity left him with no real purpose or aspirations. Before the healing centre Pete was on track to just be another statistic but fortunately through discovering his culture he was able to turn his life around.(slide 9)In conclusion Pete was indirectly negatively impacted by what the government did to past generations of aboriginal people because of the long lasting harmful effects that they had on parenting, family structure and culture. All of which are important pillars in building a strong, morale, citizen who has a positive impact in their community. It wasn’t till Pete rediscovered and reconnected to his roots when he was able to grow into a leader and help others around him who are in similar situations to the one he was in. Pete’s struggle represents a similar battle many first nations face. We don’t learn what band Pete is a part of so by the author not revealing this Pete becomes a face of all of the different first nations bands which is fitting because the government treated all natives the same resulting in them all suffering from similar struggles.


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