First Peoples In Canada

By Elizabeth Cardona

Introduction to First Peoples In Canada

Throughout history, European people have been conquering territories that were already inhabited. Canada was one of them and the people that were already living there are known as The First Nations Peoples or The First Peoples in Canada. They are the peoples who used to be labeled Indians. They are divided into more than 600 diverse bands. All these tribes have different history, culture, and traditional cuisine. Something they share in common is that they were forced to assimilate to European Culture by the Indian Act. According to the website Indigenous Foundations, the Indian Act was composed of two previous acts, which were the Gradual Civilization Act of 1857 and the Gradual Enfranchisement Act of 1869. The Indian Act established in 1876. The website Indigenous Foundations explains the Indian Act and the following quote explains part of the Indian Act, "This authority has ranged from overarching political control, such as imposing governing structures on Aboriginal communities in the form of band councils, to control over the rights of Indians to practice their culture and traditions. The Indian Act has also enabled the government to determine the land base of these groups in the form of reserves, and even to define who qualifies as Indian in the form of Indian status". In other words, the Indian Act was created so that Natives would lose their cultures and so that the government decided their lives for them. At the same time, the Act protected them from tax exemptions in the reserves. The Indian Act was amended in 1996.

How did the Indian Act affect The First Nations Peoples?

A way the Indian Act affected the First Nations Peoples was by taking away their human rights. School Britannica states that "Human rights are those that individuals have by virtue of their existence as human beings. The right to life itself and the basic necessities of food and clothing may be considered fundamental human rights". Every human has rights and in Canada the First Nations Peoples were denied to them. The First Nation Peoples didn't have control over their land, resources, traditions, status, language, education etc. During the years of the Indian Act, Residential school were implemented in the First Nations Peoples lives. According to the website called Indigenous Foundations it states "The term residential schools refers to an extensive school system set up by the Canadian government and administered by churches that had the nominal objective of educating Aboriginal children but also the more damaging and equally explicit objectives of indoctrinating them into Euro-Canadian and Christian ways of living and assimilating them into mainstream Canadian society". The school system’s goal was to eliminate all aspects of the Aboriginal culture. In the schools, they were very strict with the children. If they spoke their language they would get punished even if that was the only language they could speak. All the abuse in the school affected the children emotionally. By this, the children couldn't succeed and that resulted in them giving up. Also, because the children didn't get a good education, they couldn't revolt or know anything about the government. They couldn't learn how to get rid of the Indian Act. The Indian Act didn't let the First Nations peoples do anything. They couldn't even practice their traditions. For a long time, the First Nations peoples were under Canadian rule.

Annotated Bibliography/OPVL

"The White Paper 1969." The White Paper 1969. First Nations Studies Program, 2009. Web. 21 Sept. 2015.

"The Residential School System." The Residential School System. First Nations Studies Program, 2009. Web. 21 Sept. 2015.

This website gives information on the First Nation Peoples. It explains the Indian Act, The White Paper, Residential School amongst other topic related to the First Nations Peoples. It is easy to read which helped me understand the topic. I think its a reliable source because I looked at information from encyclopedias and it had the same info. Also its from the university of British Colombia which is located in Canada.

Montpetit, Isabelle. "Background: The Indian Act." CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, 14 July 2011. Web. 21 Sept. 2015.

"The Indian Act." The Indian Act. First Nations Studies Program, 2009. Web. 21 Sept. 2015.

This website explains the Indian Act plus other First Nation History. The website is very helpful because it has information on different topics about indigenous people.

"Citizenship." Britannica School. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2015. Web. 21 Sep. 2015.

Carney, Robert J. "Review Article: Canada: Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples." Review Article: Canada: Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. Catholic Education Resource Center, 1998. Web. 21 Sept. 2015.

This website gave information on the Royal Commission on Aboriginal People. I used it to reference it in a quote about one of the duties it had. The source seems reliable because it cites it sources and the author. The title says "Recourse center" so it might be reliable. The website also offers other type of information about culture, religion, education, and other subjects.

Valiante, Giuseppe, and Peter Rakobowchuk. "Oka Crisis Deepened Understanding of Land Claims in Canada - Aboriginal - CBC."CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, 17 July 2015. Web. 21 Sept. 2015.

This article was helpful because it gives information of the Oka Crisis. I think its reliable because its report and uses evidence from people. Also it is rom the Canadian press. The bad thing is that because the Oka Crisis happen a little while ago,it might not be accurate.

"Shaney Komulainen Soldier Patrick Cloutier and Brad Laroque, an Aboriginal from Saskatchewan, Come Face to Face in a Tense Standoff at the Kahnesatake Reserve in Oka, Que. on Sept. 1, 1990. Presented by Stephen Bulger Gallery." Shaney Komulainen Soldier Patrick Cloutier and Brad Laroque, an Aboriginal from Saskatchewan, Come Face to Face in a Tense Standoff at the Kahnesatake Reserve in Oka, Que. on Sept. 1, 1990. Presented by Stephen Bulger Gallery. Stephen Bulger Gallery, n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2015.