Aboriginal Stereoptype

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Aboriginal Stereotypes

Janyce McKee

Vancouver Island University

Introduction

In our society, we have placed a lot of negative beliefs or stereotypes on the first nations communities. We have given them stereotypes such as, the “lazy Indian”, the “uneducated Indian”, the “dumb Indian” and the “drunken Indian”. In this paper I will discuss the stereotype of the “drunken Indian”. I will highlight where the “drunken Indian stereotype came from and why it exists. I will explain what this stereotype means and the impact it has on first nations communities. I will also discuss how this stereotype has been reflected in what has occurred in British Colombia in relation to
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They gave her something for anxiety and restrained her to the hospital bed because she kept getting out of her bed to throw up. She died in that hospital due to infection in the abdomen and was portrayed as a “drunken Indian” so did not get the medical help she needed for her gun shot wound (Peters, H. & Sels, B., 2005). This is a clear example of the meaning of the “drunken Indian” stereotype.

How the Stereotype Effects the Health and Well-being of Children

I believe that having the “drunk Indian” stereotype will greatly affect children, families and communities. For a child growing up in a community with the belief in the stereotype that all first nation people are “drunken Indians” would cause that child to have low self-esteem. If these children were teased at school by their non-aboriginal peers this would have a negative effect on the child as well. These children who already have low self-esteem could turn to alcohol and drugs as a way of coping with the feelings they have about themselves.

Parents of these children who have survived the residential schools don’t know how to cope with everything they have lost and everything they have been through. They have turned to alcohol to mask their emotions. Over time as these children were taken away from their homes and put into residential schools they were losing the chance to parent their children. All they know is

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