Clio Edition 4 - page 21

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government also assimilated Aboriginal Culture into
‘Canadian Culture’ with a series of initiatives designed
at promoting European Ideals (such as agriculture and
sedentary living). This was a clear attempt to impose
Western Culture onto Aboriginal people, and represents the
clear, and intended, harm that British colonialists caused
to Aboriginal people. Furthermore, the government also
attempted the Christianization of aboriginal people with
the ‘Indian Act’ of 1867, which imposed sanctions on those
who didn’t convert to Christianity. Even though many more
attempts at assimilation were made after confederation, they
were clearly influenced by the legacy of British colonialism
in Canada. Indeed, as much of this attempted assimilation
and aggressiveness towards Aboriginal people occurred after
the Industrial Revolution in the 18th Century, it could be
said that the shift towards industrialism caused much of the
conflict between Aboriginal people and British settlers.
It is only possible to conclude that British colonialism in
Canada was extremely harmful to the Aboriginal People of
Canada. Despite some economic benefits and protection in
the first half of the 17th century, the persistent and ruthless
subjugation and attempted assimilation of the Aboriginal
people in the 18th century, and even post-Confederation,
ensures that the legacy of the British Empire in Canada is one
of harm and suffering, rather than economic prosperity.
An aboriginal
snowshoe maker
Circa 1900
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