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Idle No More’s vision is historically accurate. The history of Canada is characterized by violent oppression. Colonialism and the painful encroachment into the First Nations people’s lives is not only a distant memory, but have progressive effects in the Canadian society today (Grabb & Guppy, 2008). Canada is conducting itself in a shameful way, but the government’s actions often go unrecognized. As Canadians dream of a nation that upholds fairness, liberalism, and equity, the reality is quite different. Government policies are largely responsible for disenfranchising First Nation people and pushing them to the margins.
To seek a critical understanding of Canada’s history, it is necessary to draw one of the 1867 Indian Act that was passed to eradicate the people of India and their ways of life as well as the launch of the Residential School System. In the latter, First Nation children were snatched from their families with promises that they would have protected welfare in sanctioned institutions. These children ended up becoming victims of institutionalized neglect and abuse in the hands of their so-called “caregivers” (Grabb & Guppy, 2008). Canada’s era of neo-colonialism has brought with it more disturbing realities, which affect the families of First Nations.
There is nothing like an equal society in Canada. Despite the 13% proportion of First Nations communities in Canada, 92% of the bottom persons were First Nations as at 2001 (Grabb & Guppy, 2008). A very emotional story of one Jordan River Anderson demonstrates the height of inequality in Canada. This child was a First Nations child. The child had been hospitalized since birth due to a rare disorder of the muscles. The child died at age five because of the unending dispute between the provincial and federal government over who had the financial responsibility for the child’s continued care.
The above systematic effects of neo-colonialism have implications that go far beyond how it ought to affect the moral conscience of First Nations on a human level. Should the government of Canada continue to uphold the oppressive policies; First Nations will have to feel the repercussions (Menzies, n.d). There will be escalating poverty, land alienation, domestic violence, and pervasive substance abuse. As Idle No More suggests in its vision, equal an equal Canadian society will see its citizens live longer, experience less mental illness, be part of a robust economy, and be protected from discrimination and prejudice’s negative effects.
Addressing the current land problems necessitates First Nations people to recognize their responsibility in identifying the multigenerational impacts of settler colonialism, and holding the Canadian government accountable for policies that fuel the subordination and oppression of First Nations people. They should pay particular attention to how these policies affect the children and youth of the next generation. First Nations children should take the lead in ensuring the government’s accountability. What Idle No More is doing is worth the fight. The group has acknowledged the deteriorating effects of government policies and is prepared to make the future generation safe.
Idle No More’s manifesto clarifies the power.............
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