Overview of Canadian Aboriginal Women Trauma Caused by Colonialism

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Colonialism is the main cause of trauma, intergenerational trauma, and marginalization of Canadian Aboriginal women who have lost their sense of health and wellness, which has led to countless disappearances and murders. Trauma can be defined as an “extreme, important event against a person’s body or self-concept” (Frideres, 2011, p. 80), and unless measures are taken to counteract the serious injury and harm caused by trauma it can result in the inability of a person to self-heal (Frideres, 2011). Trauma in Aboriginal people started happening over 500 years ago. This trauma is a result of cumulative emotional and psychological wounding resulting from massive group tragedies that have carried across generations (Wesley-Esquimaux & …show more content…
Ethnocide was a result of the changes brought by missionaries to cause religious transformation and cultural destruction. Without having access to economic resources after being stripped of their cultural practices, and their social structure being destroyed, Aboriginal people quickly became a marginalized group. Impoverishment, loss of any remaining control over their lives, degradation of the status of women, loss of the power of self-government, and re-education of Aboriginals in government-supported and Christian mission schools, are additional factors in causing the marginalization of this group (Wesley-Esquimaux & Smolewski, 2004). Further marginalization took place in residential schools which operated from the 1800s until 1996. Aboriginal children were removed from their homes to be assimilated into “civilized culture”. Here many Aboriginals suffered from mental, sexual, spiritual, and physical abuse. Although colonizer began to strip the rights away from Aboriginal peoples early on, the residential schools continued to contribute to the profound impacts on the educational system, community, and the traditional family of the Aboriginal Nations (NWAC, 2010). Many children in residential schools lost any
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