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Chapter 7

Chapter 7: Aboriginal Peoples in Canada and Victimization

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 201
Professor
Barry Mc Clinchey
Semester
Fall

Description
CHAPTER 7: Aboriginal Peoples of Canada and Victimization ABORIGINAL PEOPLES IN CANADA Introduction - Significantly experience higher risks of victimization than other groups - Effects of residential school system o Systematic victimization that made this group uniquely vulnerable Background Information - More likely to report living in crowded living conditions (i.e. more than 1 person living in a room in a home) - Three times more likely to live in a home the requires major repairs (more likely on reserve compared to off) - Aboriginal people are on average younger than non-aboriginal (48% below age 24 vs. 31%) - Aboriginal children 14 and under were likely to live with a lone parent (45%) or guardian (37%) or another relative (8%) – reported in 2006 o More then double the non-aboriginal population living with lone parent (17%) - Education and employment o 48% of aboriginal had not reported completing high school (compared to 31%) o 42% completed school at a secondary level (compared to 61%) o 60% of Aboriginal people were employed between ages 25 and 54 (non=81.6%) o Those employed and living off-reserve, non-registered status=71.4%, status=64% o People in same age group living on-reserve were unemployed, 48.1% - Physical situation correlations o Poor living and working conditions o Low-income living o = Increased risk of victimization o Problems with alcohol and substance abuse o = Higher crime and victimization rates o Problems with poor nutrition, mental illness, suicide o Increase in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)/Spectrum Disorder (FASD) - Lower education achievement, higher unemployment, substandard living conditions (i.e. lack of safe drinking water, inappropriate sewage disposal, inadequate heating sources) then other Canadians - 3-4% of the Canadian population, but make up 20% of federally incarceration population o More likely to be victimized by the criminal justice system o Larger percentage involved in sex trade THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL SYSTEM - Early 19th century that religious groups (the Protestants, Catholics, Anglicans, Methodists) initiate Canada’s residential school system - Children were enrolled into these schools to receive “Christian” education and to be protected from their parents “backward” influence - Practiced native faiths in favour of English or French and Christianity, while adopting patriarchal gender roles – cooking and cleaning, machinery and agriculture - Gradual Civilization Act, 1857 – assimilating aboriginal peoples into “civilized” society o Recognized them not as aboriginals, but as British subjects - By 1920, government made attendance mandatory for all aboriginal children 7-15 years o Result of this law had priests, Indian agents, and police officers to forcibly take children from their homes - 1960, aboriginal people were granted to right to vote, but took 2 years until they did - Aboriginal people were taken away and put into other people’s homes, wound in the States and even Europe - During the 1980s, claims of mistreatment emerged – stories of sexual and physical abuse, neglect, hunger, poor working conditions, and emotional cruelty - Last federally funded residential school closed in 1996 - Acknowledgments and apologies o 1986, the United Church of Canada o 1991, the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate o 1993, the Anglican Church of Canada o 1994, the Presbyterian Church in Canada o 2008, Canadian government – also compensated victims - “Residential school survivor” (RSS) – 1991, 13% self-identified as this type of survivor - “The Legacy” – ongoing direct and indirect effects enduring by survivors, families, descendants, and communities o Effects may include: family violence, substance abuse, physical and sexual abuse, loss of parenting skills, self-destructive behaviour Residential School Victimization - Stolen from our Embrace (1998) written by Suzanne Fournier and Ernie Crey o Documented the experiences of many RS survivors, including their own stories o Stories of sexual and physical assaults, emotional cruelty, neglect, and starvation - After effects once leaving school o New language – embarrassment of families o Difficult to readjust to life back on the reserve – feelings of not being welcome o Unable to trust community members – unable to report their abuse o Military-style discipline – symptoms of PTSD (panic attacks, insomnia, uncontrollable anger, alcohol and drug use, sexual inadequacy, addiction) o Loss of traditional aboriginal methods of parenting - Fournier and Crey refer to this as “slow and systematic genocide of a people” - Traditional knowledge of hunting and gathering lost o Expensive food, and high processed – devel
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