J.R. Miller’s article entitled “Victoria’s “Red Children”: The “Great White Queen Mother” and Native-Newcomer Relations in Canada” was published in July 2008 in the Native Studies Review, Vol. 17 Issue 1, p1 -23. The article examines how even though First Nations people suffered tremendously during Queen Victoria’s reign, they maintained their strong allegiance to the Crown mostly due to their kinship mentality. Miller notes that slowly but noticeably, by the end of Victoria’s reign the Great White Queen’s Red Children were beginning to adjust their rhetoric to use the Crown and imperial government at Westminster as counterweights against national and provincial governments within Canada that were oppressing them.
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They were fiercely loyal to the queen and because of this, the image of the Crown played an important role in treaty negotiations. Miller explains the reason for the hold that the Crown had over the First Nations quite simply as kinship. In Aboriginal societies, kin ties were important to having any type of relationship. In addition to the kinship that came from marriage or birth, First Nations also believed in fictive kinship, meaning that they hung on to people that they wanted to have a commercial or diplomatic relationship with, whether one previously existed or not. Miller confirms that First Nations wanted to believe in the kinship relationship and thinking in spite of the fact that their relationship with the Crown and government was deteriorating quickly. They were no longer looked at as important, but more of a nuisance.
This critical review has evaluated J.R Miller’s “Victoria’s “Red Children”: The “Great White Queen Mother” and Native-Newcomer Relations in Canada”. The article is well-written and well-argued. It was clearly written to inform the reader of the situation with factual material and in an easy to understand order. It states what the role of the First Nations people was and how they were treated. What is interesting to note is that these issues are still present