Exam review #5
By: Angelica Lu
Elizabeth Comack suggests: “colonialism has not disappeared; it has just taken on new forms in
contemporary times. One of the ways in which colonialism is perpetuated is through racialized
discourse.” Describe the relationship between colonialism, racialized discourse and gender,
specifically focusing on Aboriginal peoples and multiculturalism. In your response, be sure to
provide concrete examples from Canadian law and society to illustrate your points.
Introduction : Colonialism is the control or governing authority of a nation over the country
and its people. Therefore colonialism shapes how society views ethnicity and gender. Ultimately,
this demonstrates that colonialism has a “control” over people of colour, specifically, Aboriginal
people, because they are not “white.” For that reason, society would treat them differently, as
well as developing this idea that people of colour are not as significant compared to “white”
people because of the racial slurs that society associates them with.
Thesis : In essence, the authority over people of colour is based on the relationship between
colonialism, ethnicity and gender because Aboriginal people are seen as irrelevant and easily
manipulated as being “others” in Canadian law, the fact that the British are highly regarded as
“valuable” because of their ethnicity and ethnicities of colour are treated unfairly since they are
constantly depicted by having a “white” Canadian image in society.
Paragraph 1 : Society has this perspective that Aboriginal people are unworthy of having the
same rights as many other Canadians in Canada. Particularly, Aboriginal women are the most
marginalized because men are seen superior to women, and the fact that they are categorize as
“others.” Therefore, Aboriginal women are likely to be poorer and treated unequally since they
are oppressed by Canadian law and society.
Examples : On section 12 (1) (b) of the Indian Act is about women losing or obtain the “Indian”
status. In this case, an Indian woman who marries a non-aboriginal man loses her Indian status,
along with her several rights, like, her benefits on the reserve. However, when a non-Aboriginal
woman marries an Aboriginal man, she is automatically considered an Aboriginal, therefore,
obtained “Indian” status. As well, all her rights that she previously had are lost since the
Canadian law has deemed her undeserving of those rights. - Lavel v. A.G. Canada. A case in 1973 concerning the Indian act, section 12 (1) (b) about
Lavell who married a non-Indian male and lost her status.
This represents how society can easily disregard Aboriginals because they are essentially the
“others” in society. By considering Aboriginals as “others” demonstrates that Canada uses the
idea of formal equality because it is viewed that if society treats every Aboriginal person unfairly,
that is automatically seen as the “norm.”
Another example would be the collusion of white male politicians and Aboriginal male
leaders where many Aboriginal feminist have pointed out that woman are denied leadership in
organizations like reserves and are often excluded in important discussions with men. As well,
Aboriginal feminists have argued that white women are allowed to get together with White male
politicians and Aboriginal women are not allowed too. This demonstrates that Aboriginal women
are seen to be unfit to join organizations because they are women of colour and not “white”
enough. By not allowing women of colour to be part of the decision making, shows that the
“white” males will most likely pass laws that will make “white” males superior to women,
therefore, making it difficult to change those laws and making it gender neutral.
Paragraph 2 : Throughout history, Canada has the idealistic image of what a “Canadian”
should look like. The reason would mainly be since Canada was founded by the British;
therefore, society believes that Canadians should automatically be like Britain by being this
“white” nation. By obtaining this idea of being a “white” nation, Canadians assume th