Effects Of Colonization On Indigenous People

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Colonization has had a great impact on the lives of Indigenous people. Since the first European settlers came to Canada, the way of life, traditions, and culture of Indigenous people have been threatened. Additionally, their mental and physical health have been impacted by methods of assimilation and government policies . Numerous diseases were introduced to Native communities thanks to the contact with Europeans . However, the social conditions of Indigenous people also contributed to the creation of health problems . Today, Aboriginal people represent 8% of the population in Canada living with HIV/AIDS. Also, their infection rate is 3.6 times higher than for any other group in Canada . By looking at the different issues that Indigenous people …show more content…
The effects of Colonization led to a poor health system for Indigenous people which influenced the high rates of HIV/AIDS among them. In order to understand how this health issues began, it is important to look at the first stages of Colonization. Contact with European settlers exposed Indigenous people to many diseases. This created many health issues within Indigenous communities. Trade was one of the means by which diseases spread quickly. The trading of animals, plants, goods and specifically the fur trade can be made accountable for the early epidemics. As Belanger reports, “[m]ost epidemics began in port settlements” . Similarly, the transportation of products did not only carry goods but it carried many diseases that Europeans settlers were bringing with them. Diseases such as influenza, smallpox and diphtheria were causing alarming epidemics and the loss of many lives. Belanger remarks “[m]any native communities suffered 90 percent mortality rates” . Once Native leaders realized the distressing reality of the health issues in their communities, they decided to get help. As Belanger states, this is what “compelled Native leaders to request treaties with the British …show more content…
Residential schools were a powerful method of assimilation . The impact Residential schools had on Indian people was so great that, as Kubik remarks, they “continue to have inter-generational impacts” . Instead of being a positive influence in the lives of Indigenous children, Residential schools exposed kids to damaging experiences. There, native children suffered many forms of abuse including physical, sexual and psychological. As a result, these experiences led to stress and post-traumatic disorders . As stated by Kubik, residential schools “left generations of Aboriginal people without parenting skills, without self-esteem, and feeling ashamed of who they were and hopeless about the future” . All these issues, together with feelings of depression and anxiety led them to find ways to deal with their hurt and traumatic experiences. Many of them turned to drugs and alcohol. According to Negin, “Canadian qualitative studies with Indigenous women found that repeated childhood abuse… [leads] to alcohol and drug abuse” . In particular, injection drug use is strongly correlated with HIV infection . Also, people who assisted Residential schools brought their problems into the lives of their families. As described by Cain, children who attended residential schools, “learned parenting skills in often uncaring

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