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York University (35,409)
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SOSC 1375 (193)
Lecture 9

Lecture 9

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Social Science
SOSC 1375
Olena Kobzar

GENDER, COLONIALISM AND ABORIGINAL PEOPLES (PART 2) Take up the White Man’s burden— Send forth the best ye breed— Go bind your sons to exile To serve your captives’ need; To wait in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild— Your new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child. —Rudyard Kipling, “White Man’s Burden” (1899) I believe the conditions are being deliberately created in our residential schools to spread infectious diseases. [...] The mortality rate in the schools often exceeds fifty percent. This is a national crime. —Dr. Peter Bryce, The Story of A National Crime: Being An Appeal for Justice for the Indians of Canada, 1907-1921 (1922) B: Colonialism, Sexism and the Law 1. Royal Proclamation of 1763 • Precipitated after a political crisis • Didn’t establish aboriginal rights but it did assume there existence • It resulted in large tracks of land being treated as protected preserves which later morphed into the reservation system • It assumed a particular aboriginal right to the land a. came about after the fall of New France b. forbad white settlement beyond a “proclamation line” c. the Crown must formally extinguish Aboriginal rights; private interests could not do so d. negotiations for the surrender of “Indian title” had to occur at an open assembly with the full consent of all people e. did not establish Aboriginal rights in North America; but (as decided in R. v. Guerin in 1984) it did assume their existence 2. Act for the Gradual Civilization of the Indian Tribes (1857) • Much more restrictive and much more euro-centric then earlier laws because large numbers of white settlers came and the gov wanted to restricted aboriginal life style and land use. • Aboriginal spiritual, cultural and religious practices were outlawed around this time too • Began a process or paternalism and segregation for the aboriginal people. (paternalism is treating some like you know what’s best for them) • This act has an underlining idea that the whites need to bring civilization to the aboriginals. The aboriginals are considered not civilized and savages while the whites are not. • This act enfranchised aboriginal people. Meaning the right to vote and the right to citizenship so making aboriginals like other Canadian citizens • Male aboriginals including the metis at or over 21 years old the right to Canadian/British citizenship and the right to vote, if they were lucky they could get a small portion of land to farm. • In order to get enfranchised he had to prove that he was civilized and this is why aboriginals didn’t get the right to vote until 1960’s • To prove civilization he had to prove that he could read, write and speak in English and French, he had to pick a Canadian sounding last name, you had to prove that you have no debt and that you are of sound moral character ( find a local minister or priest that would attest to your sound moral character, and you had three years after this where your behavior is closely monitored) only after the above you could get enfranchised. 3. Section 91(24) of the British North America Act (1867) • This gave the government exclusive control over aboriginal people and aboriginal land. There is no right to aboriginal self- government 4. Indian Act (1876) • Wasn’t new for the most part, it was considalation of various laws previously released, putting together Canadian laws and colonial status • Consolidated that aboriginal people were restricted to reservations. • The purpose of reservation wasn’t meant to be a long term thing, neither was the Indian act. The purpose of the reservations was to protect aboriginal people. Once they assimuated into civilization we can set them free a. not a new piece of legislation; consolidation of various existing federal and colonial statutes b. original Indian Act confined Aboriginal people to reserves c. cornerstone of colonial regulation: appropriation of Aboriginal land, destruction of Aboriginal social, political and economic systems d. Indian Act as serving to “divide and conquer” (Monture reading), and as a “civilizing” project necessitated by the so-called “white man’s burden” • Easier to defeat someone by breaking them up. This prevented solidarity because it divided aboriginal people. Ex: once that live of reservation and ones that don’t, ones that are status Indians and ones that are not. • It also serves a civilizing function – the act seeks to civilize the uncivilized • One way of civilization was to bring down the high social positions of women • White men’s burden as the indian act – quote from todays lecture, super problematic. 5. Residential School-Related Amendments to the Indian Act • Was an extention of something that began years before that. Earl schools were established in 1540’s east cost and 1840’s in the pacific cost • Create dby the federal government in relation to charitable and religious organization, like protestant and catholic churches • Some were provincial but most were federal • In 1920 every aboriginal child between 7-16 was required to attend residential schools • In 1933 the legal guardianship of indian children were transferred from parents to residential schools • If you didn’t want your child to go to residential school you could go to jail and the child services would take your child to a school as far as possible. a. creation of “Indian residential schools” by federal government in association with various Christian churches including Roman Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian and later United Church (1884) b. every “Indian” child between ages 7-16 required to attend residential schools (1920) c. legal guardianship of “Indian” children was principals of the residential school they attended (1933) 6. Harry Daniels et al v. Her Majesty the Queen et al (Federal Court, January 2013) • The court ruled that Metis and non-status Indians are still protected under the constitution ( the aboriginal section) • The decision of the court increased the number of people that were considered Indians C: The Genocide Question and Other Contemporary Developments 7. Canada as Genocidal Nation? a. Jeffrey Amherst and germ warfare against Mi’qmac You will do well to try to inoculate the Indians by means of blankets, as well as every other method that can serve to extirpate this execrable race. —Amherst’s journal entry (1740s) • British general and fought against the mikmaque of the nova scotia a. John A. Macdonald’s policy of deliberately starving Aboriginal peoples to make way for settlers in the west • Canadian officials used the denial of food to abiginal people as a way of clearing out the area for new European settlers • Macdonald posted that the aboriginal population were under famine in parliament b. “Sixties Scoop” • Child forces took aboriginal children from their homes and put them in white homes. c. forced sterilization (often without consent or knowledge) of Aboriginal peoples in B.C. and Alberta until 1980s (discussed in “Reproductive Rights, Part 1”) d. film clip: “Residential School Survivor’s Stories,” from Unrepetant: Kevin Annett and Canada’s Genocide e. residential school system (1870s-1996) • 50% death rate at residential schools- reasons for death: tuberculosis, schools didn’t separate sick kids from healthy kids and it was highly contagious • Official death rate is 50%, gov says that 100thousand went through the school but actually it was closer to 250-300 thousand • There is a lot of evidence to suggest that Canada is indeed a genocidal nation towards to aboriginal people. And this was something that was very well hidden. 8. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (adopted by United Nations General Assembly, 9 December 1948), Articles 1-4 of 8 Article 1. The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish. Article 2. In the present Convention, g
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