- What is your student identification number?
- How many Indigenous nations are there in Canada?
There are twelve nations: Great Basin, California, Great Plains, Northeastern Woodlands, South West, South East, Mesoamerica, Circum-Caribbean, Eastern Subarctic, Northwest Coast, Western Subartic and Arctic.
- How many Indigenous language families exist in Canada?
There are close to 75 indigenous languages, but according to Norrls (104), up to 2008, there were sixteen selected aboriginal languages. They include Cree, Ojibway, Innu-aimun, Algonquin, Ml’kmaq, Blackfoot, Malecite, Dene, Dogrib, Carrior, Satish, Gitksan, Nisga’a, Mohawk, Iroquoian and Haida.
- How many indigenous creation stories did we examine?
We looked at eight indigenous creation stories: two-eyed seeing, MSIT, traditional medicines, traditional legends, earth alive, from scared to sacred, bridging the gap and mother earth, grandfather sun.
- Indigenous groups fall into several categories: name the different types of categories.
Aboriginal cultural area, aboriginal languages, European penetration and first nations map.
- Using the term ‘Indian’ is considered offensive, yet still significant in a narrow definition. Which segment defines an Indian?
Section 91 (24) of the 1867 Constitution Act contains legal disabilities and rights for registered Indians and defines who they are pursuant to this Act.
- What area of the Indian Act says who cannot be an Indian?
Section 25 of the 1982 Constitution Act, which has reserves for the benefit of Indians only.
- The Indian Act was changed significantly in 1985. What was the name of the Bill that caused a major change?
The name was Bill C-31
- Indigenous people have a vast number of ceremonies. One of the ceremonies we talked about in class was “Esumaut Apuknajit”. Who is Apuknajit?
It refers to the snow blinding month of February in which ceremonial offerings were given to ‘grandfathers’ (referred to as the feeding of grandfather-Apuknajit).
- The concept of the ‘Etuaptmunk’ originated in Cape Breton University. What is the English translation of the word?
It means two –eyed seeing.
- The Residential School had a tremendous impact on Indigenous communities. Name one impact that it had?
The Residential School taught the students on basics of domestic and labor work and had very limited effects on academics.
- How many European nations colonized North America? Name one.
Four nations colonized North America. One of them is France.
Food exchange- the colonizing nations introduced new food items that the locals exchanged with their food. It led to a greater variety of foods as they became available.
Loss of native languages- with new colonizers speaking different languages, the natives acquired their languages that became widely spoken leading to the extinction of the local languages.
- Indigenous languages are polysynthetic in structure. Name one aspect of a polysynthetic language.
The languages usually have morphemes: these are words that contain independent meaning, but cannot stand alone.
The areas where I can obtain traditional knowledge are the Northwest Territories, including Gameti, Whati and Wrigley amongst others.
Section 88 of the Indian Act, which says that provincial laws can impact on aboriginals if they are of ‘general application’.
An example of a one national political organization and current chief of the organization is the Assembly of First Nations whose leader is Shawn Atleo.
They are practices, customs and traditions that bring out each of the unique cultural traits of the First Nations. They were practiced before the Europeans moved into those nations. The rights are held by some aboriginal Canadians who owe it for their ancestors’ previous long stay in the land. Rights of hunting, trapping and fishing in the ancestral lands of the people are some of the aborigines’ right the people uphold. The rights, however, vary from each group depending on the trend of the culture change of each set, customs and their traditions. The rights are highly regarded and, therefore, protected under section 35 of the 1982 Constitution Act.
In some areas of Canada, however, aboriginal rights of the people have not been considered adequately in any legal way or by treaties. Dating back, in Yukon and Nunavut, British Columbia, Labrador, Quebec and Newfound treaties were not signed with the First Nations. To help solve these problems, the modern ways of making treaties was started in 1973.
They are agreements that were signed by indigenous people with the white settlers and their societies. Most of these treaties apply to the First Nations in Canada, Native Americans in the United States, Alaska natives and some minority groups of Metis and Inuit in Canada. The signing of the treaties allowed the indigenous people to trade in a variety of goods in exchange for resources such as land.
When we refer to treaties, they have to be based on the concepts of the nation. It implies that they must have a common ancestry, history, culture and language amongst others. The treaties protected against hunting and fishing rights, religious education and even health care. The treaties hold up today in such countries as they are legally binding.
The process of colonization
Five dimensions of this process are outlined and investigated. They entail concepts such as denial and withdrawal, destruction, denigration, tokenism and exploitation.
The first step in colonization that consists of denial and withdrawal depicts the colonizers as people who will come to reject and fail to admire the locals’ culture and ways of life. They will not have anything positive in the peoples’ social life. The attitude makes the locals withdraw out of their culture to accept the new ways of life. Some get assimilated very first and soon join the ridicule of criticism of their own culture.
When the new settlers achieve the first stand, they then destroy the heritage of the local people by eradicating any symbolic materials of the people. It leads them to burn their gods, sacred sites and arts. To some extent, the indigenous people may also lead to the destruction of these materials.
As the effects of colonization tend to stem up in the system, new things such as churches, new legal institutions, health facilities and schools are developed. It tends to belittle or denigrate any elements of the indigenous culture. Churches, for instance, will do away with any form of cultural worship and the continued practice of such may as well lead to torture of the individuals. The colonial doctors will not have kind words for the traditional practitioners, whether their medicine treats or do not help. The new legal institutions will get rid of the people who are persistent in the views of their culture and even fine them. The symbols of evil are often replaced with the colonizers images of evil.
Tokenism that is also known as surface accommodation is the step where the cultures of the local people, which have made it through the early stages, are considered. It is left to show signs of leniency and acceptance of their culture by the colonizers. At times, they are referred to as folkloric.
The last step involves transformation and exploitation. The culture that has refused to fade away is now fully accepted as part of the colonizer’s way of life. For example, a church might use an indigenous person as a priest to administer to people. The arts remain may be used for economic gain by the colonizers while ancient music tools are allowed to mix with the modern musical instruments. The exploitation of such surviving cultures may be done by the colonizers or the indigenous people.
The Process of Decolonization
The phase of decolonization also takes five processes. These include rediscovery and recovery and action. The initial process of rediscovery and regaining may be through coincidence, fate or out of desperation. This phase is important in tracing back the lost culture of the people, language and their identity. Though, it has the challenge of dealing with your culture from an elevated view of the foreign culture.
The second stage is mourning where people realize and regret what has been happening to them. It makes them rediscover themselves and how they try to recover from the early shock. It has instances of violence as people want to do away with the materials brought by the colonizers.
A more fundamental phase is dreaming. It is where consultations, debates and possibilities of expression are done. It is at this point that the aspirations of future experiences and structures of upcoming government are put in place. If this issue is cut short by any events, the stage can be disastrous.
Commitment is the phase where a single direction is needed to be taken to assist in moving ahead. It allows the people to voice their messages accordingly to help steer the move. In essence, there is no clear direction for the people, but as time goes by the formal process depicts a single direction.
The last stage is the action phase. It results from an agreement in the commitment phase. It is a proactive step that the people take to complete the stage of decolonization. It calls for broad reasoning and consideration of the facts before taking any moves. It must have methodological approaches done in different locations so as to appreciate everyone’s expressions.
Maintaining Aboriginal Languages
Many researchers argue that maintaining aboriginal language is central to strengthening the identity and culture of the indigenous people. It leads to them having competencies in speaking their language while improving their welfare in the society. If these languages are maintained, future generations are likely going to benefit from such policies. The survey revealed that those who maintained their aboriginal languages had a better mental and physical health. They were less likely to be arrested by police, abuse alcohol or be charged for violence.
Its perspective is as an aspect of community development. It is because the people, while speaking their language, have self-respect, identity and empowerment. That the history is well preserved when one speaks his ancestral language. It also leads to better education qualifications when you try to uphold your community’s culture to high levels. They add by saying that aboriginal language promotes reconciliation by addressing the past mistakes and making meaningful links with the community. It offers a venue for building personal and cultural resilience while respecting the distinctive heritage of the people.