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Gender, Colonialism and Aboriginal peoples.doc

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York University
Social Science
SOSC 1350
Julie Dowsett

Jan 4 2012GENDER COLONIALISM AND ABORIGINAL PEOPLESAboriginal groups are very diverse therefore we must not make any formal generalizations ie Indian Aboriginal peoples speak over 60 languages and there are 52 distinct cultural groupsIt is a stereotype that Aboriginal peoples only live on reserves As of 2011 70 of Aboriginals live off reserves and 69 actually live in major citiesWhy the exodus off reserves In some reserves such as the Mohawk reserve in Quebec language and culture flourished but are presumably the exception to the general rule of a reserves characterized by poverty There are studies on living conditions and health issues on living conditions in reservations in Canada and ithas been documented how conditions on reservations really closely resemblethose that we would associate with developing Third World countries Ie housing running water poor sanitary conditions These conditions cultivate disaster and despair and led to many other heath issues such as tuberculosisBody Bag Scandalwith the outbreak of H1N1 virus Aboriginal peoples on reserves were sent body bags rather than the vaccination of the virus 1Review Previous Discussions Relating to Aboriginal PeoplesEarly in the colonial relationship between white settlers and Aboriginal peoples there was somewhat of an equitable relationship where they were reliant on each other ie fur trade But their arrival shattered prevailing gender roles within Aboriginal peoples ie women and twospirited people Nevertheless Aboriginal men had a certain degree of power to negotiate treaty and trade with the white peopleThe more the Canadian economy changed the more Aboriginal peoples were seen as impediments to colonialization and progress and were treated accordinglyThe state policies sought to civilize and Christianize Aboriginal peoples and virtually control all aspects of their rights ie Indian ActThe goals of early legislation and early laws for Aboriginal peoples were exercise control which led to the assimilation of Aboriginal peoples ie residential schools reservation systems landcessation treaties nonAboriginal modes of family etcaSocial and economic marginalization iAverage income In 2001 the average income of Aboriginal people was 36 lower than the national averageiiPovertyAboriginal women are amongst the poorest of the poor in Canada theyre poorer than Aboriginal men and nonAboriginal womeniiiDeath rate The death rate between Aboriginal people between 25 and 44 is 5 times higher than the general death rate of nonAboriginal peoples that age1
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