Colonialization And European Colonialism

Decent Essays

What shapes a society? Throughout history, colonization has impacted many societies and their ways of life. European colonization and colonialism largely impacted the Canadian First Nations’ way of life. Alfred (2009) referred to European colonization as “the invasion and eventual domination of North America by European empires” (p. 45). However, colonialism is a more complex concept that describes the relationship that occurred between the European and Indigenous peoples. Alfred (2009) inferred that “colonialism is the development of institutions and policies by European imperial and Euroamerican settler governments towards Indigenous peoples” (p. 45). The imbalanced relationship formed by European colonialism created lasting and long-term impacts for the Indigenous. These lasting impacts have implications for social workers when choosing an approach to helping Indigenous peoples today. European contact and colonialism created extensive and both immediate and long-term impacts on the Canadian First Nations. European colonization brought the introduction of commercial trade, creating capitalism and transforming the Indigenous political economy. The European imposition of capitalism forced Indigenous peoples to shift away from their traditional subsistence economy, creating four immediate effects: first, a disruption of their traditional pattern of economic life; second, a loss of their self-sufficient lifestyle; third, damage to the natural environment; and fourth, poverty.

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