The Government 's Efforts For The Indigenous Peoples Of Canada

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INTRODUCTION From the first contact between Aboriginal Peoples and European immigrants to the present day, the aim of Canadian government policy has been to assimilate the Indigenous Peoples of Canada. The attempted forced abandonment of their culture was perpetrated through a variety of strategies including force, aggression and legalities. While historians and politicians may disagree about the motivations of Canadian policy, the impact has been irrefutable. In efforts to create one unified nation, successive governments failed to recognize their destructive actions. In this failure, Canada has come close to shattering the sub-nations and peoples who comprise them. This paper will review the government’s effort to absorb the Indigenous peoples’ culture, their refusal to assimilate, and will also identify potential strategies for future relations. ASSIMILATION Assimilation is the forced action to adapt or adjust to the culture and values of another nation. This, in many cases throughout history, has been the result of a more powerful, majority group suffocating the minority. Conformity has been a very popular trait in the colonial Canadian society. By exercising this value over successive decades, European immigrants smothered much of the Indigenous culture. It is difficult for assimilation to spontaneously occur and to prevail without a consistent driving force. The policies of successive Canadian governments from 1857 (when the Gradual Civilization Act was passed) to

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