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This essay will discuss the historical social aspects of Aboriginal peoples
Canada. Some topics include self-government of aboriginal, Health Care,
Native Organizations, and the way of life for an aboriginal person. These are
important factors in the life of a status Indian, or native person. Every
native person has
to deal with these situations and institutions every day. Some living on the
others off, they all need health care and education, but some of the
organizations, and government are not the same as a white Canadians. Their
conditions on and off the reserve, are completely different from our own.
In the days before European domination, aboriginal peoples chose their own
leaders according to their own traditions. This gave them rules that defined
institutions, or bands. Since then, aboriginal have had their own government.
called self-government and means that the aboriginal peoples have a right to
themselves as they decide, sharing power with the provinces. Although their
government is somewhat different from our own, it is quite the same in the
todayís negotiations are very similar to those that took place over 130
Controlling the land and its resources is a main point to the vision of
self-government. From the years 1980 and 1993, constitutional recognition of
self-government was the main goal of Indian band leaders. With this
Canada, Aboriginal peoples would know that Canada has acknowledged them, and
right to govern themselves without the involvement of the provinces, along
Between 1970 and 1994 Ottawa spent more than $40 billion on a variety of
programs. Some of these include education, housing, and social assistance and
adding child welfare and policing.
In 1961, the life expectancy of Canadaís aboriginal people stood at
years. That is ten years less than the average Canadian life. In the 1960s,
showed that infant mortality rates stood at more than double the national
Sexually transmitted diseases, accidental and violent deaths, alcohol abuse,
pregnancies were all serious problems in aboriginal communities that the
had targeted for special attention. Although we donít see this happening,
not much has
changed since the sixties. The incidence of diseases such as tuberculosis,
which is linked
to substandard living conditions, have improved somewhat, but even these
well above national averages. The rate for tuberculosis in 1993 was 60.8 per
aboriginal people, but for non-aboriginal born in Canada, the rate was 7.4
By 1990, cancer and cardiovascular disease had become second most common
Diabetes, once unheard of among Indians, had reached epidemic proportions in
communities. As terrible as these facts sound, also a very high killer among
peoples is sexually transmitted diseases. The statistics are out of control
estimates putting their incidence at ten times the Canadian average. Studies
that eight out of ten aboriginal women had experienced some form of sexual
Furthermore, death rates among the registered Indian population in 1991 were
two to four
times the Canadian average. Violence, including suicides and accidents,
one killer of Canadaís aboriginal people, and is closely linked to alcohol
and drug abuse.
Frustrated health officials throughout the country are speaking about native
from diseases linked to self-destructive lifestyles, poverty-stricken
environments, and the
legacy of intervention by non-native society. Therefore, it is because the
peoples are not helping themselves as much as they should be. Health care
that it is their own self-destruction, and unemployment rates that cause the
the health care officials cannot do anything about that.
The big stump for native education hit in 1989 when the Indian Affairs
Pierre Cadieux placed a cap on the departmentís post-secondary education
limited the spending to $130 million annually. With this decision, Indian
its own objectives of increasing the number of Indian students attending
institutions. The Indian communities struggled with Ottawa, taking 30 day
strikes, this was the largest peaceful Indian demonstration in more than
Hundreds of protesters were arrested in offices in Winnipeg and Thunder Bay.
more gathered at Parliament Hill beating drums and bearing placards. After
incident, the Catholic bishops announced their support for the native
Although the communities came together and all protested, Cadieux
rationalized the cap
as a prudent budget measure, and it remains in place today. Aside from the
Pierre Cadieux placed on the education budget, in the past 25 years, Ottawa
more than $7.6 billion on native education with minimal results. Indian
continue to show higher drop-out rates, poorer test scores, and greater
number of grade
failures compared to national and provincial averages.
Native organizations are the machines of action in their society. They target
issues, orchestrate lobby efforts, and force change in a complex world.
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Aboriginal peoples in Canada, First Nations, Canada, Aboriginal Australians, Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Aboriginal child protection, Truth and Reconciliation Commission
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