Colonialism and the Imposed Identities of the Indigenous in North America, Latin America and Africa

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Introduction Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century, colonialism swept across the globe like a brush fire engulfing the African Savanna on a dry summers day. Long since colonial rule has seised though, the detrimental effects left by the imposed structure and influence have charred and damaged the identities of the indigenous populations of the world. To this day, the collective identities of the indigenous populations are being regrown and transformed, but the barriers left by colonialism ensure a painstakingly slow process and recovery to local indigenous identities based on cultural tradition and heritage. The specific colonial rule and influence over the indigenous populations in the areas of Africa, North America and Latin…show more content…
Indigenous ways of life and traditional practices were scrutinized by European colonialists and were considered to be primitive and uncivilized. The Aboriginals’ were not respected on the notion of their cultural differences and were subordinated through the use of ethnic labeling. The indigenous had their own system of laws and practices, however, it was not codified in written form. Despite the indigenous populations oral system of laws and practices, the European colonialists devalued any tradition that was not codified in the written form of law(Jan 20 Class Lecture- Reference Reading)The idea of civilizing the indigenous population became a central goal through the imposition of repressive sanctions(Durkheim) and imposed legal orders. One example of the ways these repressive sanctions were implemented was through the creation of the Indian Act as seen in the Club Native Video. The Indian Act of 1876 “displayed a theme of assimilation and "civilizing" of the Indians. Their Indian status was regarded as a temporary stage on the road to assimilation.”(http://firstpeoplesofcanada.com/fp_treaties/john_fp33_indianact.html). The Act controlled land rights and specified who was granted Aboriginal status on the basis of “pure” blood content, but was highly discriminatory to the indigenous populations. The Indian Act of 1876 is a horrific example of colonial rule

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