January 16th 2018
Reflective Writing: The Legacy of Canadian
Peoples in Canada is a book by James Frideres and René
Gadacz devoted to pre-history of the Western civilization in Canada. The authors
maintain that the marginalization of the historical inhabitants of the Canadian
borders today has its roots in the events that emerged during the colonization,
as Frideres and Gadacz (1). The governmental structures should take organized
and equitable measures for development of non-discriminating policies toward
the indigenous peoples to prevent further collapse of the Aboriginal culture.
Topic of the Essay
book by Frideres
and Gadacz presents author’s perspective on colonization of
Canada and its consequences for the Aboriginal peoples that live on these
territories. Authors emphasize that the colonization placed the native
inhabitants of these areas in an inferior position to the colonizing culture
and subjected them to the racial, economic, and legislative oppression (Frideres
and Gadacz 2-5). Aboriginal
Peoples in Canada describes the ways in which the
The first chapter of the book reviews the
colonizing practices, the resulting economic deprivation and cultural assimilation.
The authors argue that the “structural racism” is a consequence of the longstanding
Western tradition to observe other cultures as inferior
and Gadacz 5-6). Frideres and Gadacz further
demonstrate the limitations of such colonizing model and propose a “parallel”
assimilation “with the two cultures adjusting to each other as the time and
context change” (10). This method could narrow the gap between the Aboriginal
and Western civilizations.
The idea of adjustment of both cultures is a
step toward the racial equality. Frideres and Gadacz underline
that the scholarship on the history of colonization of Canada is limited to the
Western point of view produced by the colonizers (12). The creation of the
perspective of the Aboriginal peoples in print can be a solution and contribute
to the recognition of their culture and, thus, to the parallel development of
both indigenous and colonizing cultures.
Validity of Concepts
I agree that inequality is a serious issue in modern Canada. The
oppression of the Aboriginal people during the assimilation led to their
present economic instability. The indigenous bands were dispossessed of their
lands and as a result the source of their income.
The native inhabitants of Canada also lack
political autonomy. I agree with author’s view that the federal and local
governments prevent the Aboriginal cimmunity from building self-governing
structures (Frideres and Gadacz 7-8). The colonizers
assimilated the native peoples who did lost their identity in this process.
Preservation of Aboriginal culture demands new progressive reforms in order to
prevent its further decline. These reforms can be in the form of financial backing
specifically family income support and social supports such as facilitating the
involvement of indigenous community in the development and the progression of
The authors of Aboriginal
Peoples in Canada grasped an important issue that demands
attention. However, the standard perspective on Aboriginal culture includes a
prejudice against their culture. Historical books, movies and narratives I have
personally encountered with, traditionally represent these peoples as
underdeveloped society of hunters and gatherers, whom do not have a proper
agriculture, industry or understanding of the sciences. In the first chapter of
the book the writers summarized the existing perspectives on cultural
inequality and its possible solutions.
However, the initial part of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada did
not produce a new viewpoint on the problems of integration of the natives of
Canada into the Western social structure of the country. The suggested
“parallel” development is difficult due to the profound gap between the
cultural levels of indigenous and Western peoples. Canadian economy for
example, could neither rely today on hunter activities nor create conditions
for this societal model on its territories. Thus, the parallel development of
Western and the indigenous peoples remains a utopia.
The development of the Aboriginal culture needs
help of the Western society. However, in what ways this culture can be aided
without damage to the country’s economy remains a question. The authors of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada suggested solutions, which
in my opinion seem inadequate to the present requirements of political and
economic progress of the modern day Canada. I believe more studies, education
and discussion on both historical and present perspective of the indigenous
inhabitants of Canada can help finding valid and practical methods of
equalizing the cultures coexisting in our country.
James, and René Gadacz. Aboriginal
Peoples in Canada. 9th ed., Pearson Education Canada, 2011.
Uribe, J. (2006,
March). A Study on the Relationship between Canadian Aboriginal Peoples and
the Canadian State. Retrieved January 12, 2018, from