Canada is a country that was once a French colony and later a British colony. During the colonial era, several people from different races came and settled in Canada, either as British settlers or enslaved people. That was the beginning of Canada having several races; to date, several immigrants have continued to come and settle there and take leadership positions. However, the indigenous people of Canada continue suffering due to being sidelined in the allocation of national resources and being ignored as a significant group in the formation of Canada as a country. In this essay, we will look at how the aboriginal people of Canada are being treated, their sentiments, and if they are still facing neocolonialism.
The aboriginal people of Canada are undergoing several problems that (Lawrence, 2005,p20) describes as neocolonialism; this is because it is during the colonial period that people’s pieces of land were grabbed away, denied the right to speak in their local dialect, and the rights of the immigrants being prioritized before theirs. Today, the aboriginal of Canada are still undergoing these problems, especially that of land alienation and attempts to erode their cultural values by introducing exotic ones. (Lawrence, 2005, p.20) notes that the issue of Canadian aboriginal neocolonialism has been ignored by several scholars and theorists and has continued to be given a blind eye despite the plights of the indigenous people. As we read through this book, it feels like the author directly demonstrates by using the word to for the return of the rights of aboriginals; she has repeatedly said that “we have to return their land; they need their resources back.” This shows how pained she and other researchers who have come to this conclusion have been towards the people taking advantage of the aboriginal people. Antiracism or postcolonial theory has contributed to this construct by making the First Nations appear as subordinates of the predominant race. Consequentially, the primary race, which is made up of the Whites who migrated and settled in Canada during and after the colonial period, has taken over the dominance in all sectors of Canada, denying the indigenous people a chance to live at liberty in their own country.
Theorists have also failed in their perception of what racism is since they are only significant in discrimination vetted on people from other continents like Africa and Asia. However, they give a blind eye to the aboriginals who face similar discrimination to these people. Theorists ignoring their plights in their books and commentaries makes it more difficult for these people and gives the perpetrators more chances to take advantage of them. Job opportunities and any privilege that arises are given to the majority instead of the original habitats of this land. Significant developments have also been concentrated in areas occupied by major races, with scattered product traces in the aboriginal habitats. They conclude chapter three by suggesting more representation of aboriginal communities so that they can raise the issues affecting them. They also suggest people stop politicizing issues affecting First nations but stand up for them (Lawrence, 2005, p26). The author also touches on the issue of Indians who have occupied Canada since the colonial period. Despite them being immigrants who played a role in building Canada into the modern nation that it is today and participating in liberation wars, Indians have continued to be discriminated against by Whites and treated as an option when it comes to matters of Canada. Indian Canadians, such as those of Quebec and other significant settlements, do not enjoy the outcome of what they fought for. In job opportunities, they are treated as a second option (Lawrence, 2005, p 32). Therefore, Bonita wonders why the theorists do not raise Indian issues on this dimension, for it might bear more fruit.
The book has several aspects that deserve credit, especially their keen observation of the Aboriginals and Indians. They bravely point out the weakness of the previous theorists and try to find a way to mend the things that have been left unmentioned. They have also given recommendations on how to solve the problem so Canada can be an all-inclusive nation. The author has included other theorists’ findings with hers, which adds more weight to her arguments. The example further substantiates this. She constantly gives why she feels that the Aboriginals have been neglected and gives reasons behind her allegations.
This article relates well with what is happening today, even in nations away from Canada. Countries that went colonialization are still facing neocolonialism several years after independence. Their colonizing country still finds its way of dictating what should be done in their former colonies, bringing in the aspect of neocolonialism. Even if Canada is an independent country today, part of its citizens continues experiencing the wrath of colonialism because the Whites are still after the little left with these aboriginals – a common thing across all the former European colonies.
Lawrence, B., & Dua, E. (2005). Decolonizing antiracism. Social justice, 32(4 (102), 120-143. https://www.jstor.org/stable/29768340