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Exam Review Package Indigenous Studies 3J03 January 31, 2014 Hannah Radford January 31, 2014: “The Charge of Manslaughter”: Disease and Death, 1879-1946 J. S. Milloy About the Author John S. Milloy is a professor in the departments of Native Studies and History, and Master of Peter Robinson College, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario. The chapter we are reading is from his book, A National Crime: The Canadian Government and Residential School System, 1879-1986 which was published in 1999. Summary From the very beginning of the residential school system there was a blatant disregard for the basic care and well-being of students. The Canadian Government’s persistent underfunding of the program resulted in poorly constructed schools that were also inadequately maintained throughout their existence. The ability of the schools to complete their mission of “parenting” and civilizing children were undermined because close to half of children that went through the system died as a result of unnecessary exposure to tuberculosis. Shamefully, the government and church officials were completely aware of the alarming conditions in which the schools and children were in, but all failed to institute any meaningful reforms. “The devastation that the white plague brought to the children in the schools and through their deaths to their parents and communities drew out the fundamental contradiction between the persistent cruelty of the system and the discourse of duty…” (p. 101). Key Concepts i. Unmitigated Tuberculosis Epidemic Although at the time this disease also plagued the non-indigenous population, Aboriginal children were disproportionately affected and had higher death rates in contrast to non-aboriginal people within Canada. The author attributes these higher death rates to several factors: the overcrowding of schools, unclean and poorly constructed facilities, especially the lack of proper ventilation systems, malnutrition and improper diet, and deprivation of their cultures and indigenous ways of life. Children already infected with tuberculosis were regularly permitted to enter into the school system and proper containment procedures to prevent the spread of the disease were completely ignored. i. Poorly Constructed Schools Built on Improper Sites and Inadequate Maintenance 1 From the very beginning, the majority of schools were never properly constructed in such a way as to permit students to maintain an adequate level of health. Church officials running the schools consistently complained of the inadequacy of the facilities. Although there may have been an effort on the part of these missionaries, the schools themselves were so poorly flawed that this posed an almost impossible barrier to the proper care of indigenous children. i. Government Neglect, Apathy, and the “Discourse of Duty” The Canadian Government created the residential school system to bring civilization to “Indian” people. They were supposed to take on a caring and educating role that would contribute to the development of children who would take on Western identities and leave behind their indigenous ones. The attempt to assimilate these children into broader Canadian society was the objective of the policy, however the government failed to actually create a climate in which this goal was possible. Furthermore, and although they took on a role of caregiver entirely because they chose to do so, it is obvious that this policy of responsibility for the wellbeing of the children was simply a façade. It did not matter what happened to these children because the government did not want to help or care for these children; they simply wanted to ‘get rid of the Indian problem’. i. Inhumane Treatment, Degradation, and Psychological Trauma It is estimated that up to half of all children in attendance during this time period died while attending or shortly after leaving the institutions. Living conditions at the schools were beyond deplorable. Buildings were dilapidated and designed without the physical or psychological health of the children in mind. The shock of being deprived of their traditional languages, cultures, and access to the natural world led to their demoralization and could have possibly contributed to their death in some cases. Even when children were very ill from tuberculosis they were still forced to attend classes, regardless of the fact that they would likely die before becoming “civilized”. i. Government funding Money plays a big role in why children were subjected to this horrible fate. The government cut corners in every way in order to save money and this was especially true during times of economic difficulty such as World War One. Furthermore, principals were encouraged to increase enrollment in schools as much as possible. This was because of the system in place that allotted funds based on the number of students in attendance. This often led to the admittance of ill children in order to receive the largest amount of government funding. Had schools been properly funded, they might have been constructed properly and adequately maintained, leading to better health outcomes for children. Questions i. What could some of the possible reasons be for the inaction of the government, churches and broader society when made aware of the issue (outside of the reasons already mentioned)? 2 ii. What does this look at residential schools tell us about the role of the Canadian government as guardian of the indigenous population? iii.How do we think that the survivors of these schools viewed Canadian society and the government? What impacts would they have had on their communities upon retu February 11, 2014 Bryn Sutherland The Beginnings of Political Organization: Themes from this chapter: ● resistance to policies of the Indian Act, by First Nations ● political organization of the First Nations Key Terms: ● North American Indian Brotherhood ● The Hawthorne Report ● National Indian Council Key People: ● Andrew Paull ● Peter Kelly ● Lieutenant F.O. Loft: veteran of the Great war, who held meeting to establish a league of indians of canada at sault ste marie ● Edward Ahenakew Key Concepts: What lead to their political organization ● The failure of residential schools began to be noticed by the people of the “Bible and the Plough”. Quote and the aboriginal population began to decrease due to a poor diet, conditions in residential schools and tuberculosis ● However, very suddenly in the 1930s, aboriginal population began to increase. This increase in population meant two things: ○ 1. Indian policy to destroy aboriginal people was not working ○ 2. the Indians were becoming too expensive for the government and revising the indian policy was inevitable ● The beginning of aboriginal organization and resistance, began with BC, formation of groups such as: ○ Indian Tribes of the Province of British Columbia ○ The Nisga'a Land Committee ● Interference by Indian Agents only strengthened resistance ● Their role in both world wars to not only encourage resistance to federal policy that oppressed them, but also to demonstrate their contribution to Canadian society. ● The leaders of the western Indians were Christian converts from residential schools. Indians began to ask for freedom of religion, since Canada claims to be religiously tolerant. 3 ○ *Q. Do you think that because these leaders were Christian converts from residential schools, their religion and educations actually HELPED the resistance? ● The government's mistakes in trying to crack down on indian resistance only strengthened it. Ex. The transfer of jurisdiction of crown lands from Ottawa to the three prairie provinces actually worsened conditions for Indians. This is turhardened their resolve to become politically organized and fight back. ○ *Q. Do you think had the government not tried to pull the wool over the eyes of the prairie Indians that the Indians would not have fought back as hard? The Role of WWII: ● World War II saw Indians again voluntarily enlisting. As well, the racial superiority and genocide happening in Europe made many Canadians look at their treatment of the Indians and draw parallels. ● This was the beginning of public opinion changing towards the Indians. ● Unfortunately, the beginning of public opinion change was very slow. In 1948 a committee that actually met and consulter with indian groups recommended a completely revision of the Indian Act. In this revision of the Indian Act, forceful and coercive measures were to be removed. However, the committee assumed that assimilation was still advancing and little actually changed. ● In the 1950s & 1960s economic boom from the exploration of raw materials saw a change in attitudes when they saw the traditional ways many tribes were still living. A greater appreciation for traditional economy The Trudeau Era: ● The Hawthorne Report, “Indians actually deserve better treatment from Ottawa than other Canadians. Because of their Aboriginal title and treaty rights they should be treated as 'citizens plus'”. ● At the end of Pearson's administration, he committed the government to revise the Indian Act after an elaborate consultation with Indian Organizations. ● 1969: The White Paper The Meaning of Aboriginal Title By: Kent McNeil By Nicola Colterjohn “The Aboriginal people of Canada have a legal right to those ancestral lands where their title has been neither surrendered nor validly extinguished.” – Supreme Court of Canada The question that remains is what do those rights include? The Source of Aboriginal Title: The Supreme Court has stated that Aboriginal title to land was not brought into effect by any legislative act and it was a legal right that existed prior to colonization by the Europeans. This indicates that their right to their land was not derived from any legal systems imposed by the 4 Europeans. However, despite this, there have been many conflicting opinions on the origin of Aboriginal Title. This is an important issue as the determination of the source of Aboriginal Title will help provide an understanding of the nature and content of aboriginal title. This Article shares two main opinions on the debate of the source of Title: v Aboriginal title is a legal right that is derived from the historical occupation and possession of the land at the time the Crown acquired sovereignty Ø This essentially means that Aboriginal people have a legal right to the land due to the fact that they were there first v Aboriginal title is awarded only if there is evidence of an organized society with Aboriginal law stating ownership of the land at the time the Crown acquired sovereignty Ø This states that the Aboriginal people must have had proof of legal systems in place that governed land holdings These two opinions form a second argument: Was Aboriginal title created by the common law at the time of sovereignty or did it exist prior to colonization as an entitlement arising from Aboriginal practices, customs, and traditions, and was merely taken up and affirmed by the common law. Justice Lambert was of the opinion that Aboriginal title existed prior to sovereignty and that the introduction of the common law was to give them recognition and additional protection. He also cautioned against using the word ‘right’ as it was a European term and he felt it was inappropriate to use it to define Aboriginal rights. Sui generis – is a Latin phrase meaning “of its own kind”, this was how Justice Lambert referred to Aboriginal title Though there are many conflicting opinions on the source of Aboriginal Title, no conclusion has been reached in this article. However, the Canadian Courts so far have chosen to not necessitate proof of specific Aboriginal Laws and Customs to establish Aboriginal Title and have instead chosen to use occupation and use of the land by an organized Aboriginal society. The Nature and Content of Aboriginal Title The Definition of Aboriginal Title remains unclear. In the case of St Catherine’s Milling and Lumber Company vs The Queen, the Canadian government stated that “Aboriginal title amounted to a complete proprietary interest, limited only by a restriction on alienation other than by surrender to the crown”. Though the courts failed to determine what rights the complete proprietary interest entails. The main arguments here however are: 1. Whether the rights to the lands (while still inalienable other than surrender to the Crown) should include the complete benefit to them, including both surface and subsurface rights a. This view is consistent with the idea that Aboriginal Title is “a legal right derived from the Indians’ historic occupational and possession of their tribal lands”. Therefore, what is done with the land should depend on possession, not on the specific uses to which the land is put 2. The second view is that Aboriginal title should only include rights that practice what was an integral part of their culture at the time of sovereignty 5 a. This means that practices that had not been integral to the society and its distinctive culture at the time of sovereignty, but which became prevalent due to European influences would not qualify for protection as an Aboriginal right This second view severely restricts Aboriginal rights as it does not allow any change in Aboriginal practices since the time of sovereignty. It essentially requires Aboriginal people to remain in the same state as the mid 1850s and does not allow for any cultural growth. This is a hugely oppressive idea. It restricts the Aboriginal people from adapting their use of the land to meet any sort of changes in society. Due to this, the Aboriginal people would most likely eventually be forced to assimilate into the Canadian population. Though the article argues that not every single act performed by an Aboriginal person can be defined as an Aboriginal right, a balance between Aboriginal culture and modern practices must be found. The Article concludes by saying “The better approach, therefore, is to define Aboriginal title as an all-encompassing interest which is not limited to precolonial use of the land. This approach accords with common law principles, avoids discrimination, and provides the Aboriginal people with the opportunity to develop their lands in ways that meet the contemporary needs of their communities.” Discussion: 1. Do you feel Aboriginal Tiltle existed prior to sovereignty? Is it inappropriate to expect proof of some sort of legal system governing land ownership? 2. Which of the two views do you feel is more prevalent in today’s society? Are aboriginal rights to their own land still very restricted? How has this changed? March 9, 2014 Alfred and Corntassel Being Indigenous: Resurgence against Contemporary Colonialism Key Definitions ● Post-Modern Imperialism - a policy of extending a country's power and influence through diplomacy or military force. ● Colonial Discourse - Has discourse or communication that revolves around the phenomenon of colonialism. ● Aboriginal - Is a state contracted identity of Indigenous peoples. It further integrates indigenous people into state socio-political culture, practically consuming it. ● Zones of Refuge - Areas that are free of any political economic control of the state and are strictly First Nations. Areas that are immune to the reaches of imperialism and globalization ● Indigenism - Mobilization of Indigenous people in globe forums as they resist encroachment by the state. Plays on victimology ● Ethnonationalist - refers to a particular strain of nationalism that is marked by the desire of an ethnic community to have absolute authority over its own political, economic, and social affairs. Therefore, it denotes the pursuit of statehood on the part of an ethnic nation. 6 ● Peoplehood - a group of people that are bound together through land, spirituality, language and sacred History [“without these factors you will cease to exist”] as a peoples Key Terms ● Domestication of Indigenous issues ● Forced Federalism Vs. Confederacy Summary This paper is a mandate teaching people how to identify oppressive and assimilative modern state colonialism and how to to reclaim nation-hood... Alfred and Corntassel begin by discussion colonial legacy: through systematic assimilation of “peoples” vs overt genocide 1. One of the ways in which this assimilation takes place is the state imposes concepts of indigenous identity which are rooted in the culture of the state not as a practice of justice for ethnic groups in attempt to gradually subsume Indigenous existences into its own colonial system. 2. ‘Being aboriginal is being abnormal to the state’moving from cultural identity to a socio- political identity constructed by the state “greatest assault” according toAlfred 3. Furthermore, forfeiting land and sovereignty is an inherit aspect to being indigenous according to the state Alfred believes ethnonationalist need to reclaim their identity avoiding ● Steps that put Indigenous culture at risk ○ We are you agenda ○ vote to legitimize economic development = state, new communities, agree to avoid military repercussions ● Indigenism: accepting the victim role Foundation of Resistance ● There must be leaders that pursue the truth ● Indigenous resistance is through unity.“Battles occurring amongst ourselves distract us from the bigger picture of decolonization.” ● “Change through systems truly traditional and not mimik of state like institutions. What we need is a cultural leave us alone agreement in spirit and fact” zones of refuge Building Peoplehood ● Strong families ● Grounding in community 7 ● Connecting to: land, language, storytelling and spirituality Solutions to becoming Ethnonationalist or Radical Indigenism ● Use your own language ● Connect to the land ● Improve spiritual bond ● Reciprocation ● Knowdedge of history ● Decolonize diet Questions Domestication of Indigenous Issues and force federalism leads to non-indigenous governments to encroached on Indigenous issues in the United States (USAcasino example).Are the lines so black and white? Alfred suggests that this is problematic but fails to provide a suitable alternative other than complete rejections and discoperation. Does this mean Indigenous people should go back to living off the land as they did traditionally, hunting, fishing, so forth? What would be the repercussions of not voting? Are indigenous peoples really that passive to allow the state to recreate their identity or was the identity adapted from Indigenous peoples? Do you agree or disagree withAlfred? What are your thoughts on howAlfred would respond to the UNDRIP? (systemically being controlled by the elite) Should all indigenous people come together? is that their responsibility? Alfred/Corntassel say “battles occurring amongst ourselves distract us from the bigger picture of decolonization.” Does this include mothers/women not reporting domestic abuse or absent fathers to protect the image of the community? March 11-14th Hannah Radford Frances Abele, “Northern Development: Past, Present and Future” Frances Abele is a very well established academic, currently teaching and completing research. She is based out of Carleton University. Her work focuses on the North of Canada, the indigenous peoples who live there, and Canadian public policy. Northern Development: Past, Present and Future Historical Relationship between Northern Indigenous peoples and Canadian State: Initial Pattern of Development 8 ● During this period there was limited contact between Northern indigenous peoples and outsiders. Development and mineral exploitation occurred but its impact was fairly minimal. It was the indigenous peoples who generally had the upper hand as it was impossible for non-locals to survive in the harsh climate of the North without the help of the locals. Federal government presence is highly limited and its authority over or care for indigenous peoples is questionable. Resource Frontier and Aboriginal Homeland (1941-1970s) ● Due to the ideals, needs, and policies that emerged from the Second World War, the presence of the Federal government in the North increased dramatically. This occurred on three major fronts: 1. The creation of the welfare state- providing social necessities such as healthcare and education. 2. Protecting the Country from outside attack- the need to assert and maintain territorial sovereignty. Army situates itself during WWII and stay afterwards due to the supposed threat of Russian invasion. 3. Maintaining and strengthening the war effort- extracting minerals and energy necessary. The construction of pipelines, roads and other developments have major impact on most indigenous communities and traditional ways of life. ● Greater contact with non-locals and their ways of life leads to health problems. The attempt to offer social services to Aboriginals was accompanied by their resettlement. Resettlement allowed for the government to offer these services more effectively. These changes brought about serious challenges to traditional ways of living and threatened to erode cultural and spiritual values. Introduction of new technologies altered the indigenous peoples’ relationship to the land. ● This period also saw an increase in the drive to exploit resources and develop the North. “For the North’s Aboriginal peoples, northern resource development often meant disruption, relocation and the loss of lands important for subsistence and for spiritual well-being. The opening of mines and associated roads and airstrips further reduced the isolation of Aboriginal communities. Settlements were relocated to make way for these projects, while hunting and trapping was disrupted in many more areas. Employment opportunities drew some local interest but an anticipated northern Aboriginal labour force on the model of that of southern Canada did not emerge” (p. 27). Responsible and Representative Governments ● World War Two brought significant numbers of new comers to the North for military and other activities mentioned above and these newcomers came equipped with all the necessary articles and methods for survival. The indigenous populations, that would have originally had the upper hand because they ensured survival in the harsh climate, became largely irrelevant. “They (the newcomers) 9 required little from northern Aboriginal peoples other than that they get out of the way” (p. 31). Political and Economic Reforms after 1970 ● It came as a surprise to non-northern people that Northern aboriginal peoples would develop any collaborative political response to further attempts to develop the North. The Mackenzie Valley Pipeline was the project which acted as a catalyst for the politicization of these indigenous groups, who were adamant that the project not go forward. All over the North, Indigenous groups began to organize and to create political associations to represent their needs and aspirations. In fact, between 1968-1973 all groups had created organizations for political self-representation. ● Consequences of this activism include: ■ The recognition of aboriginal rights ■ Securing of benefits from proposed development ■ Treaty negotiations were reopened for areas of Canada that had not yet dealt with them ■ The entrenchment of Aboriginal Rights in the Constitution Act, 1982 ■ A redesign of Northern political boundaries and institutions, including the very practice of Canadian federalism (in relation to the North) ● Political institutions that better serve the needs of indigenous peoples in the north were created ● ● The New Northern Landscape ● Due to the need to form organizations and new political structures, indigenous peoples in the north now possess structures that enable them to have much more effective control over their own territories ■ However, there are of course issues present: ■ Issues with successful and meaningful implementation of modern treaties ■ Federal control over resource development is still very strong Major Themes and Concepts 1. Strategic importance of the North to Canada 2. Natural Resource Extraction 10 3. Changing historical relationship between Canadian state and Aboriginal peoples of the North due to increased pressure from the State to develop lands and encroach on territories of indigenous peoples 4. Economic activity pursued by Canada entirely based on natural resource exploitation 5. Resistance of indigenous peoples to unmitigated natural resource exploitation 6. But, overall inability of indigenous peoples to control and prevent development even with treaties, agreements and greater political autonomy 7. Importance of mixed economy allows indigenous peoples to integrate traditional lifestyles and economic pursuits with “modern” ones being introduced through development and exploration. It is adaptive and practical. 8. Overall integration of indigenous and non-indigenous political systems, economic pursuits, and ways of life 9. Issues with sustainability of develop and government funding of northern governmental arrangements 10.The complexity of the economy of the North means that creating sound policies and institutions poses a challenge The two key themes that we should take away from this reading are : 1) Changing historical relationship between Canadian state and Aboriginal peoples of the North due to increased pressure from the State to develop lands and encroach on territories of indigenous peoples… (this relationship will likely continue to change as new natural resources are discovered and extracted…) 2) Importance of mixed economy allows indigenous peoples to integrate traditional lifestyles and economic pursuits with “modern” ones being introduced through development and exploration. It is adaptive and practical. (This is one possible way to protect the survival of indigenous cultures in the climate of accelerated resource development and increased external pressure to integrate into the canadian/global economy…) March 18th, 2014 Bryn Sutherland Except from “Fantasies of the Master Race” Important themes: 1. Indians as a creature of time and place 2. Seen one Indian seen 'em all 3. The only good indian.. 4. Voice of the voiceless & Those cavaliers in buckskin 5. Ravages by savages & Lust in the Dust 6. Cowboys and Indians 11 Indians as a Creature of Time and Place: ● This article makes two points about time and place ● A.) That western movies use plains and western areas as backdrops with no hints of Indian culture ● B.) Setting movies in plains or western areas but then having the Indian tribe being from eastern USA, etc. Seen one Indian seen 'em all: ● Western movies mixing Indian cultures, “Florida Everglades-dwelling seminoles wearing Plains feathered bonnets and battling bluecoated cavalry on desert buttes.” ● “Lakotas depicted in the film should wear an array of hairstyles rangthose typical of Assiniboin to those of their mortal enemies thCrows. Their tipi design and decoration is also of a sort unique to Crows. Bout the only thing genuinely Sioux about these supposed Sioux is the name and even there there is absolutely no indication as to which Sioux they are suppose to be” (107). ● Creation of this vacuum has, in turn, allowed filmmakers to figuratively reconstruct native culture (s) in accordance with their own biases, preconceptions, or sense of expediency and convenience. ● The article discusses how in movies, Indians were taught how to cultivate cofrom Europeans ● This continued the narrative that Indians could not be civilized becacivilized people do not now how to cultivate and have agriculture. The Only Good Indian: ● Good Indians vs. Bad Indians ○ Good Indians help European people ○ Bad Indians resist European people ● Five or six Indians die by one bullet. ● Lone Ranger ○ critique of the newest Lone Ranger: “Bailey notes that, despite Depp's lip service to a Tonto who would break with tradition, the character as played still "maintains the most culturally damaging element of the role, his definite article-free dialogue, with lines like, 'Do not touch rock. Rock cursed.'" Bailey describes the plot line of The Lone Ranger as a narrative that has been "twisted ... into pretzels" to try not to be racist -- and yet still is. The entire concept of the Lone Ranger and Tonto -- a team up that was historically unlikely, to put it mildly -- might just be unredeemable. Voices of the Voiceless & Those Cavaliers in Buckskin ● Either gave a voice to Indians in movies that was made up gibberish, or were voiceless. ● The lack of having a voice, continues the narrative that Indians were uncivilized. ● Another perception is that Indians picked fights with settlers. ○ Ex. a film The Indian Wars Refought, depicted defenceless Lakotas had themselves “picked a fight” with the hundreds of well-armed soldiers surrounding 12 them. The Indians has thus brought their fate upon themselves, so the story went, the troopers having “had no choice” but to defend themselves.” ● The sympathetic idea that there were good and bad guys on either side. Ravages by Savages & Lust in the Dust ● Indian men could not control their urges to rape women, especially white women. ● Indian men would rape white women, while Indian women were objects for white men. ● Also the narrative that Indian men could not control their urges was another justification for attacking and trying to extinguish the Indian problem, if not, they would rape and kill your wives and daughters. ● Modern example, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, the Indian character Cloud Dancing's son sacrificing himself to save the white heroine from being raped and murdered by Dog Solider Renegades. Not only enforcing the gender and sex roles but also reinforcing the idea of the “good indian”. ● The idea of “halfbreeds”. Better than full Indians but still less than white people. “Injuin blood aint in me for nothing” as an excusefor evil deeds. The Indian half is the “evil half” Cowboys and Indians: ● the idea that “Euroamerican cinema's defending aestheticians have typically sought to skirt such issues by asserting, as Robin Wood did in 1971, that however erroneous and unpleasant, the dominant society's portrayals of Indians, they are nonetheless indefensible in mythic terms. ● important term, mythic: ○ page 117 ○ To put it bluntly, what apologists mean by a “mythic” dimension in western film is that part of it which they know to be a lie but which for whatever reason they still wish to embrace. ● Extreme example of mythic ideology, is we have lots of movies on World War Two and concentration camps, showing the treatment of jewish people by the Nazis. ● Hollywood should “show the other side” and make a movie about Nazis and try to justify why they did what they did. April 1st Atleo It’s Time to End the Indian Act Terms AFN ● Self-formation of political organizations of indigenous peoples in North America ● Work in conjunction with the crown and rcmp members to improve overall lives of Indigenous peoples ● Holds an annual Convention of the Assembly of First Nations National Indian Brotherhood ● AFN emerged out of the NIB 13 ● Collapsed in 1967 ● Strong opposition against government ● Split into three separate groups People Chief Shawn Atleo ● AFN Chief ● Assumed office in 2009 ● Is a Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation ● From Ahousaht, BC ● Apart of the commission that drafted UN Declaration (has worked on many other initiatives) New Legislation To move away from the Indian Act and towards a more appropriate form of government that reflects: ● Treaties ● Constitution ● The UN declaration (Does not mention that it would better reflect Indigenous epistemology) Failures of the Indian Act can be reversed effective immediately through effective methods of change; some Indigenous people have already adopted. Notable plans include: ● A comprehensive plan for change ● A legislation affirming ‘Aboriginal Tittle’ ● Reshaping fiscal relations ● Reconstructing the Department of Indian Affairs to ○ better serve the Indigenous population ○ improve it’s mandate ********************************************************** CHAPTER TWO - January 7th - Bernice Intro: Miller describes the first ‘failed’ attempt at colonization by Norseman from Iceland and Greenland. This occurred about the first millennium after the birth of Christ . He notes that conflict between the Norse and Indigenous peoples of the east (likely the Beothuk who are now considered extinct) eventually led to the abandonment of European settlers of land in the east and set a pattern for Aboriginal -European relations in both the Atlantic and continental areas of Canada. Future attempts to farm in what is now Newfoundland was met with resistance by the Indigenous people. Contact afterwards became intermittent and commercial for almost five centuries. An important Norse contribution was not that they had frequent contact with the Native population but that they had established clear sailing routes that others would follow and then they would encounter North America’s Indigenous peoples. 14 Early European contact was motivated by the search for sea products. Fish was important to the European diet. For almost 5 months of the year, due to religious taboo, the faithful abstained from meat eating and so fish was the alternative diet source. Other motivations included the economic value of cod - it was less expensive and high demand for whale whose meat, fat and oil were considered valuable. (Interesting to note that the Inuit taught Europeans how to whale more bountifully.) During the 15th century - ships arrived from many European countries with the primary goal of acquiring sea products. Late in the 15th century - another motive emerged which was to search for the gateway to East Asia. Explorers such as John Cabot (1494) mistakenly assumed that North America was Asia. They continued to search for a northwest passage to Asia and during this time, made contact with the Native people. By the 16th century, early interest in trading furs with Native peoples for European iron ares and other commodities had expanded. This trade was viewed as attractive and beneficial for both sides. For the Indigenous people, they were able to barter their used clothing for ornamental and utilitarian European products. For the Europeans, they acquired another useful lucrative opportunity beyond exploring and fishing. These encounters were not without problems though. Mi’kmaq women hid when European ships arrived which indicated previous problems. French aspirati
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