Reconciliation and the 'Indian Problem': How Some Parts of Canada Are More Forward Looking than Others

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Throughout Canadian history, Aboriginal peoples have been subjected to varying degrees of state imposed control. With the end goal of eliminating the ‘Indian problem’, colonising mechanisms were put in place to regulate individual and collective Indigenous rights, possessions, and privileges. Various Canadian governmental policies had made institutionalized racism, as well as assimilation tactics against its Aboriginal people’s common practice. Infringing on their basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, the legislated policies and programs reflected the ideology of the time, which could be summed up by the very words of the Deputy Superintendent of Indian and Northern Affairs from 1913-32, Duncan Campbell Scott. As he infamously …show more content…

Achieving reconciliation is improbable, if not completely impossible, if the majority of Canadians are unaware of the historic and current injustices carried out on Indigenous populations. Addressing this exact problematic, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is committed to the acknowledgment of the discriminations and horrors experienced by Indigenous peoples, in regards to the Residential school legacy. The TRC is dedicated to reconciliation through the promotion of awareness and public education of past eradication policies (TRC, Website). Canadian Aboriginal affairs are deplorable. It is said that the need for meaningful dialogue that could bring Canadians closer to a mutual understanding of Aboriginal rights is essential to achieve a workable union between Aboriginals and the rest of Canada. Yet, this already exists but is unequivocally ignored. It can be found in the form of the report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples [RCAP] which is actually supported by national Aboriginal organizations such as the Assembly of First Nations. Issuing its final report in November 1996, the five-volume, 4,000-page study covered a vast range of issues; its 440 recommendations called for sweeping changes to the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people and governments in Canada (Alexander, 2013, lecture). However, upon the release of its final report, the Canadian government quickly shelved it, claiming that the given recommendations would be

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