Cultural Identity In Canada

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Cultural Identity of the Aboriginal Population in Canada
The residential school system in Canada is a network of church-run boarding schools. It was established by the government in 1840s to forcibly assimilate indigenous children coming into Canada from the First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities into the dominating Canadian culture (Hanson, 1). The system has tried to suppress and replace Aboriginal culture and identity by forcing the children attending these facilities to abandon their culture and adapt to the Canadian culture and language. The children were punished for communicating in their native languages or keeping the observation of indigenous traditions. For instance, they were often sexually and physically molested by both the
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The issues faced can be categorized into individual, family and community and culture. At the individual level, they face isolation or alienation, shame of their identity, self-hatred, fear of embracing authority, internalized racism, aggressive actions, hatred of one self, expression of anger towards school and parents and practice of self-destructive behaviors. Similar problems also exist within families with some having unresolved grief from their past experiences, problems of ineffective parenting, family wrangles, and loss of traditions, stories and identity (Klinic. 4). In terms of community and culture, these people have lost connectedness with languages, cultural history and traditions. They have also lost communal togetherness, collective support, and facilitation from elders as well as fail to exercise control over land and resources. The communities within the First Nations further face deficiency in raising their children communally and taking initiatives hence this has fueled the rates of suicide and communal violence forcing them to depend on others (Zalcman, 4). The implications of residential schools are intergenerational. Most of the Aboriginal people were born and raised in families and communities that have been striving to deal with the effects of trauma for many years making them to take a similar course of struggling with the past (Klinic. 5). Though the Canadian government asserted Aboriginal political rights back in the 1980s, most of these communities are not well represented by their own due to self-degradation and fear of embracing authority due to victimization. The policies of the federal government have been recognizing the rights of First Nations and Inuit communities and favored their self-governance though they keep lagging behind due to the racist attitudes that permeate the Canadian society. The issues