Assimilation Policies, And Land Displacement

753 WordsApr 5, 20174 Pages
Colonization has forced considerable changes upon Aboriginal peoples through aggressive assimilation policies, and land displacement, where the Europeans encroached and brutally confiscated Indigenous land resulting in tragic health disparities, including the abuse of alcohol. The aim of settler colonialism was to cast out the original inhabitants from their land, eradicate their rich culture and traditions, and ultimately dispose of First Nations and Aboriginal people in order to claim the land for themselves (Doty-Sweetnam &Morrisette, 2016). It is believed that current difficulties and challenges faced by Indigenous populations are rooted in the oppressive principles of the Indian Act and other government policies (Van der Woerd et al.,…show more content…
Another important part of the history to understand is that First Nations people were first exposed to alcohol during the fur trade in Canada, by explorers, fur traders, and merchants, which (white, European) historians recorded as the breakdown of Aboriginal social norms and marriages, as well as a time of increased sexual assaults and food deprivation. Thus, the colonizers passed a law as part of the Indian Act in 1850 prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquor to First Nations people (Mushquash et al., 2014; Van der Woerd et al., 2010). Reportedly, this prohibition did not prevent the intake of liquor, but instead changed how substances were used, as First Nations people could not drink in public or even in their homes, they would drink in alleys or bushes and drink quickly to avoid arrest (Van der Woerd et al., 2010). This is only one of numerous examples of the colonizers placing restrictions and limitations upon Aboriginal peoples, in an attempt to control and dominate them. As stated by Firestone and colleagues (2015): “in Canada, cycles of family disruption, abuse, colonization, dislocation from traditional lands and outlawing of spiritual practices among Aboriginal peoples have led to many health and social inequities” (p. 375). For those individuals growing up in a household
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