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Natives as minorities

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Western University
Sociology 2143E
Anton Allahar

October 25 , 2012 Exam  Format: o Multiple choice o True/false  Week before there will be a review session Natives as Minorities  Record of Canadians in regards to the way they treat their natives is terrible  Canada, “white Canada”, has gained far more than it has lost from the colonization of native people o We have image of natives as entitled and lazy and such o So once we admit that we have gained more than we lost, the next question is what can we do about the situation?  Native groups in Canada comprise the lowest rung of the society in all dimensions of social standing o they have the worst life chances (chance to experience the good things, have a good education, travel etc.) in our society o Statistics Canada tells us that every year they have the highest rates of unemployment, lowest rate of education and lowest rate of income o We also know that they are more likely, when employed, to be in low or dead-end jobs in our societies (fishing, logging, etc.) o 2.5 times more likely to be unemployed than a non-native person o Standard of living on native reserves is extremely low  Characterised by poor, dilapidated buildings (cold, leaky, no ventilation), overcrowding, very terrible sanitation  Researchers/government have told us they have a high rate of absenteeism in the work place/school o Might be more likely because of their higher chances of being sick o When they become ill, they take longer to recover than the non-native Canadian o This results in them missing school and work more often than non-natives, and this contributes to the increase in their poverty  For natives who leave the reserves and go to the cities, there is a pattern of illiteracy and homelessness, criminality, alcoholism and drug abuse o Very high rates of addiction among native population (alcohol, drugs, gambling) o Government still puts casino’s on native reserves (started with NDP government)  Much higher incidents of infant mortality and lower life expectancy, much higher rate of suicide  Housing, nutrition, general health, employment, income, natives remain at the bottom (way below national average)  When women/black people told us they were discriminated against we took action o Equal pay, etc. we implemented things to equalize differences  Experiment where white males in society who were asked if they were visited by a government agent and were told that they were supposed to be born black, and the government wants to make it right. How much do you want to get paid to become black? o All individuals said there was no racism in society o When they answered the question they all said “I’ll take a million or two or three”, not realizing they are showing racism  Quality of life is a function of the position we occupy in society o Related areas in which quality of life can be affected (income, labour force participation, occupational status, education) these are the areas looked at to see where you fit on the hierarchy  Statistics Canada collects all the data on our society o Nuclear family is in the decline o 2/5 households in Canada don't speak English/French at home  We freely display the maple leaf and project the image of democracy and freedom, but this image is incomplete when you look at natives nd  According to data Izajiw gives us, in terms of 24 groups that are ranked, natives rate 22 (lowest south America) o Aboriginal ranked 16 in regards to which population is involved in professional work (doctor, lawyer, teacher) o Group that ranks highest is the Jewish, lowest is Portuguese  Groups like Jews who have been discriminated against say “well I'm going to be a doctor/lawyer and have my own practice so you can't fire me”, but in managerial positions and such they would be much lower  High incidence of home owners of blacks and Caribbean’s in England compared to the white English o Since renters wouldn’t rent them houses they said shit I guess we have to buy a house  Natives overrepresented in labour intensive pursuits, higher than national average in these low pay, low status positions o Bottom of national list when it comes to income  Aboriginals 200% less likely than the rest of the population to have a degree higher than a bachelors o If we look only at the BA though than 13% of the Canadian population, and only 6.5% of native population holds one o Highly represented in high school dropouts (top of the list when it comes to people who started high school but never finished)  Of the various groups, educationally in our society, immigrant groups who are most highly represented in top education are the Filipino’s and Portuguese are at the bottom How do we identify them?  We used to identify them by who has a feather in their hair? Who beats the drums? Etc.  Now we do it less by phenotype, and more by legal means  1. Status natives (official recognition from government) o About 4(0),000 o Live on reserves mostly o Canadian Indian act o Makes the native who is a status person the direct responsibility of the government o 40% of status Indians live on reserves  2. Non-status natives (do not live on reserves) o 100,000-1 million  3. Metis o Louis Riel (1844-1845)  Executed by government  Seen as a leader by Metis  Founded Manitoba  Exiled from Canada, went to Montana and became very active in politics and then was sought out o They don't get any special rights o They are the “mixed” natives  4. Inuit (Eskimo – means meat eater) o Live in the north o They qualify for special status o Have rights for certain types of fishing/trapping  Over 70% of status Indians have been locked up in correctional facility before age 25  Out in prairie provinces, while the natives comprise 12% of population out there, they comprise 40% of prison population  Colonialism o Can be used to explain native position in society o Colonial situation is one that is created when a group moves in from another country and takes over o Group that moves in are called settlers, but they aren’t settlers they are invaders o Natives were the settlers, we were the invaders o Colonial situation is when people in the colony have no autonomy or freedom to determine their destiny o Government/everything comes from abroad (mother country)
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