A Difficult History With Social Workers

1234 Words5 Pages
A difficult history with social workers has made Aboriginal peoples untrusting of the profession today. The intent of this investigation is to show that aboriginal peoples have been mistreated for a long time starting with the Indian Act that passed in 1876 which aimed at the assimilation—meaning to assume the culture and practices of the Eurocentric settlers—of “Indians”. The Indian Act was created by Parliament to define Indian status and to establish their rights thereof. Regardless of their intended use, these policies oppressed our first nations peoples, expecting to change their culture, practices and values to fit into the commonly perceived and accepted normal Canadian lifestyle. The act has been amended many times, however its…show more content…
These agents enforced the Act, having the ability to assign status, to make arrests and to prosecute and judge, hence giving them all control. The ultimate goal of the Act was the unequivocal assimilation of aboriginal peoples into Canadian society, or enfranchisement—the legal process of terminating Indian status to become a Canadian citizen (Crey, n.d., para. 1) —meaning cutting all ties, family or otherwise, and forfeiting their land. The goal of the policy was to have all the aboriginal peoples live a white European lifestyle, which at the time was deemed most acceptable by the European predominant government, and the next step was to start working on their children. In the 1870’s Aboriginal children were the focus, and one of the primary measures the government employed was to make it mandatory for all aboriginal children to attend Eurocentric Catholic religious school. This was aimed at systematically eliminating their culture by removing them from their communities and traditional schooling which ultimately broke down the passage of their native philosophy. The children were forbidden from speaking their languages, or practicing any part of their cultures. The opportunity to learn their culture, practice their religion and live their traditional lifestyle was taken from them. They were given English names, and unable to use their native names—the
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