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Or contact us by phone or email:. Back to Bow Valley College contact. Search this Guide Search. Publication Date: Aboriginal Health in Canada by James B. Waldram; D. Neglect and poor nutrition were often what Aboriginal children experienced, particularly in the early decades of the system's operation. The stripping away of traditional native culture—sometimes referred to as "cultural genocide"—is another charge levelled at the residential schools.
In many schools, students were not allowed to speak their Indigenous languages or practice any of their own customs, and thus lost their sense of identity, inevitably driving a cultural wedge between children and their family. By , attendance at some sort of school was mandatory for Aboriginal children in Canada. The Indian Act made education compulsory, and where there were no federal days schools—or, in later decades, a provincial public school—a residential school was the only choice. In some cases, children could return home on weekends and holidays, but for those in schools established far away from remote communities, this was not possible.
The removal of children from their families and communities brought short and long term harm to many native communities. While many schools had infirmaries and provided medical care in later decades, abuse of various kinds and crowded conditions in the first decades of the IRS history led to poor health and even death for a percentage of those enrolled. It has been argued that the psychological and emotional trauma resulting from both the abuse and the removal of the children from their families and culture has resulted in substance abuse, greater domestic violence, unemployability, and increased rates of suicide.
Former students are now routinely referred to as "survivors". Not all Aboriginal children attended residential schools.
During the period in which the schools operated, more than a third of indigenous children attended federal day schools, and about a third received no schooling at all. It is however the residential school system that receives much of the blame for the various problems and challenges facing Canada's indigenous people today. During the years in which the residential schools operated, they were regarded by most Canadians as a sensible and beneficial solution to native education, and in some cases, Aboriginal communities specifically requested that a residential school be built.
When the system began to closing down in the s, a significant number of communities asked that their school remain open. The last Canadian residential school to close was Gordon Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan, founded in , and closed in The Christian denominations that operated the schools on behalf of the federal government have expressed regret and issued apologies for their part in a system that harmed many indigenous children.
In , the government issued an official apology to the students who were forced to attend the residential schools and their families. In June , the federally-established Truth and Reconciliation Commission, charged with investigating and reporting on the residential school system, issued its summary report, and in December of the same year, its final report.
The Métis people
Chief Commissioner, Judge Murray Sinclair, has publicly declared the residential school system a deliberate act of cultural genocide against First Nations peoples. In its report, the commission submitted 94 recommendations to the Canadian government, recommendations which, if implemented, would substantially improve indigenous race relations, increase quality of life for survivors and extended families, and help undo the damage caused by residential schools. While the Liberal government, under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has committed itself to improving the lives of Canada's indigenous people, and specifically to implementing the TRC recommendations, some of those recommendations may be beyond the power of the Canadian government.
The countless research documents assembled by the TRC will be archived in a special repository at the University of Manitoba. It is not unlikely for Aboriginal women living in poverty to not only tend to their own needs, but often tend to the needs of their elderly parents, care for loved ones in ill-health, as well as raising children; all of which is often supported only on a single income. It is believed that homelessness and inadequate shelter are widespread problems facing Aboriginal families, in all settings.
A paramount conclusion by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples is that the repeated assaults on the culture and collective identity of the Aboriginal people has resulted in a weakened foundation of Aboriginal society and has contributed to the alienation that inevitably drives some to self-destructive and antisocial behaviour.
The social problems among Aboriginal people are, in large measure, a legacy of history. Aboriginals are also more likely to be the victims of crime. This is particularly true in the younger population aged 15—34 , where acts of violence are two and a half times more likely to occur than in the older population. This is especially true of males. Lack of education, poverty, unemployment and abuse all lead to higher crime rates.
Also, statistically, Aboriginals have a greater chance of conviction and subsequently, incarceration once convicted. They are also much less likely to receive parole during their sentence. The Canadian federal government is responsible for health and social services on the reserve and in Inuit communities, while the provincial and territorial governments provide services elsewhere.
Ottawa lauds 'amazing' Mi'kmaq graduation rate, signs new $600-million agreement
The divide between each level of government has led to a gap in services for Aboriginal people living off-reserve and in Canadian towns and cities. Although Aboriginal people living off-reserve have access to the programs and services designed for the general population, these programs and services do not address the specific needs of Aboriginal people, nor is it delivered in a culturally appropriate way. It has not been until recently that the Canadian federal government had to increase recognition to the needs for programs and services for Aboriginal people in predominantly non-Aboriginal communities.
It is however funding that lags the growth of urban Aboriginal populations and the uncoordinated delivery of services through various government departments would also pose as a barrier. The federal subcommittee on Indigenous child welfare described a "jurisdictional web" in which there is little to no coordination with or between municipal, provincial and federal levels of government. The health care services available to Aboriginal people is rarely delivered in a culturally sensitive approach. It is the constant cast of "the other" by the settler Canadian population that contaminates the delivery of such necessary services to Aboriginal peoples.
It was argued by Ontario finance minister Jim Flaherty in that the Canadian government could boost health-care funding for "real people in real towns" by cutting the bureaucracy that serves only Aboriginal peoples. These types of statements, especially made by people often heard by a greater audience, are said to have detrimental and influential effects on the overall attitudes of settler population folks, as well as Aboriginal peoples.
There are marked differences between the epidemiology of diabetes in First Nation population compared to the general population. Reasons for the different rate of Type 2 Diabetes between First Nation and the general population include a complex combination of environmental lifestyle, diet, poverty and genetic and biological factors e. Age-standardized rates show that the prevalence of diabetes among First Nations individuals living on-reserve is It is important to note that Aboriginal individuals are generally diagnosed at a younger age than non-Aboriginal individuals, and Aboriginal females experience higher rates of gestational diabetes than non-Aboriginal females.
The complications and prevalence of diabetes are seen among the Aboriginal population more often than non-Aboriginal population. Life expectancy at birth is significantly lower for First Nations babies than for babies in the Canadian population as a whole. In males the life expectancy for First Nations individuals was 69 years as opposed to 77 in the general population.
Overall, First Nations individuals have some of the highest rates of suicide globally. Suicide rates are more than twice the sex-specific rate and also three times the age-specific rates of non-Aboriginal Canadians. This leads to differing expectations and cultural clashes within the community, the family and the individual. At the community level, a general economic disadvantage is seen, exacerbated by unemployment and low education levels, leading to poverty, political disempowerment and community disorganization. The family suffers through a loss of tradition as they attempt to assimilate into mainstream Canadian culture.
These lead to low self-esteem in the individual as First Nations culture and tradition are marginalized affecting one's sense of self-identity. These factors combine to create a world where First Nations individuals feel they cannot identify completely as Aboriginal, nor can they fully identify as mainstream Canadians. When that balance cannot be found, many particularly youths turn to suicide as a way out. Approximately First Nation communities in Canada have had, and continue to have serious problems with the quality of their drinking water.
The residents of Neskantaga First Nation in Ontario have been forced to boil their water for the past 20 years to make it safe. Many First Nations are in the process of negotiating a modern treaty, which would grant them treaty rights. These grievances often originate from a breach of treaty obligations or of the Indian Act by the government of Canada. They can also involve mismanagement of indigenous land or assets by the Crown. Across Canada, there has been a large number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women since This amounts to almost 1, Aboriginal females either missing or murdered in just over 30 years.
This publication documents the official findings of this demographic as well as advises for future change. It finds that there are Aboriginal women still missing and 1, murdered, making for a total of 1, Additionally, there are shared characteristics among these cases: most of the murders were committed by men and were someone the victim knew, either a partner or an acquaintance. Self-governance and preservation of indigenous territories become increasingly difficult as natural resources continue to be exploited by foreign companies.
Essay on The Mi’kmaq Way of Life
Projects such as "mining, logging, hydroelectric construction, large-scale export oriented agribusiness or oil exploration" [ attribution needed ] are usually coupled with environmental degradation and occasionally violence and militarization. Privatization of public services and reduction in the universality of health care produces negative repercussions for those of lower socioeconomic status in rural locations; these downsides are magnified for female Aboriginals.
Approximately 2, aboriginal people were murdered in Canada between and , out of 15, murders in Canada overall. Of the 2, murdered aboriginal Canadians, fully 71 per cent — 1, — were male. According to summaries of seven consultation sessions posted to a government website, the desire to dedicate some attention to violence against indigenous men and boys has come up at four of the meetings. These calls to extend the scope of the inquiry to include missing and murdered aboriginal people of all genders have met with resistance and been criticized as detracting from the current focus on the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women.
Barbara Bailey, who was on the UN team that visited Canada in to investigate the violence, has said, "I think to detract now would really be a tragedy. Let's fix that problem first and then we can begin to see what else is out there. Speaking on the matter, Minister of Indigenous Affairs , Carolyn Bennett has said, "Our mandate now is to get to the bottom of the tragedy of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in Canada", citing sexism as being of specific concern.
Dawn Lavell-Harvard, the president of the Native Women's Association of Canada , has also weighed in on the issue by saying, "Absolutely [men] deserve the same amount of attention, just not necessarily in the same forum", neither that forum nor an equal level of attention have yet to materialize. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For Canadians with heritage from the Indian subcontinent, see Indo-Canadians.
This article is about indigenous Canadians. For other indigenous peoples, see List of indigenous peoples. First Nation flags. Indigenous cultures Indigenous personalities Country food Music. Traditional beliefs Inuit religion. See also: Section 35 of the Constitution Act, See also: European colonization of the Americas.
Main article: Slavery in Canada. Main article: Meech Lake Accord. Main article: Indian Act. Main article: Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. See also: Grand River land dispute and Kelowna Accord. Notwithstanding any other Act of Parliament or any Act of the legislature of a province See also: Mythologies of the indigenous peoples of North America and Classification of indigenous peoples of the Americas. Main article: Visual arts by indigenous peoples of the Americas. Main article: Indigenous music of Canada. See also: Blackfoot music , Iroquois music , and Kwakwaka'wakw music.
Further information: Canadian Indian residential school system and List of Indian residential schools in Canada. Main article: First Nations and diabetes.
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