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Prejudice and Discrimination .docx

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University of Waterloo
HIST 277
Catherine Briggs

Prejudice refers to a negative judgment made towards individuals or groups because of their ethnicity, race or religion or based on gender, age, physical appearance or disability. In Canada, prejudice and racism existed amongst the European and Aboriginal peoples, the African American as well as with the Immigration of South Asians and Orientals into Canada. Aboriginal and First Nations people have been subject to a lot of prejudice and racism in the past. Over time, the Canadian judicial and Correctional systems became instruments of social control with which to impose a certain way of life on Aboriginals. The governments isolated the Aboriginals on reserves and, in conjunction with the major Christian denominations, attempted to eradicate their culture through the introduction of European agriculture, education and Christianity. The early European settlers held strong prejudices about the Aboriginal peoples because they considered those who did not share in their Christian beliefs to be inferior to them. The most prevalent example of prejudice was within the education system, its manifestations and societal repercussions in its treatment of Aboriginal peoples. The impact of the educational system such as the role of elders as teachers and spiritual leaders was dramatic because the methods of social control in the communities were redefined. In removing the Aboriginal children from their parents, their culture and from their communities, the socialization institutions were virtually displaced so that they could be trained to scorn their own culture as being outdated, primitive, and of no significance in the modern context. Therefore, it served as a means to alienate thousands of native children from their families, language and culture so as to assimilate them into the so-called "civilized" Christian way of being and becom
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