Attawapiskat

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Attawapiskat and fort Chipewyan

Native Americans have been in Canada for an estimated 50 000 years. They were a simple people who traded and hunted and lived in Canada in harmony with the land. Then Europeans came and decided that their ways of life were wrong, barbaric and had to be changed. Europeans did this by extermination, acculturation and assimilation. The government of Canada likes to believe and tell people that this is all part of a darker past and that unequal treatment of the native people no longer exists today, but this is not true. There are examples of native people and communities being treated unfairly today. In this essay I will use the example of Attawapiskat, a Cree community in northern Ontario. I will give three reasons for my claim that the community in Attawapiskat is being treated unfairly by the government and then after each reason I will briefly compare that reason to “The Tipping Point” documentary we watched in class. The Attawapiskat is being treated unfairly because of inadequate housing, lack of government funding and intervention, and money. Housing on reserves falls short by any measure and especially when compared to housing off of reserves. Rates of overcrowding are six times greater on reserves than off, with many cases, three generations of families living under one roof. A federal assessment found housing on reserves deteriorates much faster than off reserves. This is largely a result of overcrowding but also because of poor construction and housing designs that often do not account for the environmental realities on reserves. Proper housing needs to be built to reduce amounts of psychosocial stress. Worrying about providing adequate shelter for yourself and your family would be accompanied by large amounts of stress. High levels of stress can put individuals at an increased risk of heart disease, chronic fatigue, anxiety, mood swings, depression, sleep problems, eating disorders, colds, flu`s, migraines and many more...
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