Spiritual traditions are deeply connected to the physical environment and life is seen as interconnected. They rely on memory and memory keepers who have received teachings from the elders. Traditions of seasonal food growing, gathering, hunting, fishing, and spiritual and cultural activities Elders:
Can be a man or a woman that is recongized as wise and consulted for their experience. Not always the oldest person in the community.
Europe vs. Aboriginal:
Many Europeans considered aboriginal ways “uncivilized”. Aboriginal ceremonies, festivals, and dances were banned.
The Gradual Civilization Act was passed to assimilate Aboriginal people into European culture. Assimilate means absorb one group into the culture of another. The Indian Act allowed residential schools to be formed, as it said that it was the government’s responsibility to educate aboriginal children from 6-18 Residential schools:
They made aboriginal children adopt Christianity and Canadian customs and learn English. They thought children were easier to mould than adults would be. First it was called “aggressive assimilation” then “residential schools” Attendance was mandatory and they made sure of it by sending agents to check up on them. At first there were 1100 students in 69 schools.
In all, 150000 children were forced to go to these schools.
Government thought it would be better to teach kids to live in a mainstream culture and were discouraged to speak their first language. Children lived in substandard conditions and endured physical, emotional, sexual abuse. They could only see their families for two months and send them letters in English. Brother and sister could not see each other as it was separated by gender. When they came back home, students found out that they did not belong. They didn’t have the skills to help their parents and became ashamed of their heritage. Phil Fontaine, the leader of the association of Manitoba Chiefs, called for the...
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