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Following the discovery of the continents of North and South Americas, the accounts and chronicles by the men who discovered the New World amazed the Europeans of the 16th and 17th centuries. Europe, with its long history, was suddenly eager to learn more about the people of the New World. It did not take long before some Europeans moved and settled in the New World.
The interactions between Europeans and natives in North America resulted in many negative effects. Generally, the Native Americans were the most affected by these relationships.
With the arrival of the Europeans, the number of aboriginal Americans reduced significantly. Settlers from the Old World killed and victimized the Indians. As their number was reducing drastically because of killings and disease outbreaks, Europe was celebrating the discovery of the New World.
Confederation and Indian Act
The Indian Act was a Canadian law that governed the matters concerning the natives. As such, the legislation was part of a long history of incorporation strategies, which were meant to stop the cultural, community, financial, and political uniqueness and independence of the aboriginal population by integrating them into conventional Canadian life and getting acquainted with European principles of life (Paul, 2007).
The act allowed the Canadian Federal Government to control the dealings and activities of the natives. Equally, the law enabled authorities to have political power over the aboriginal population. For instance, the federal government could impose major structures on native societies through band councils who were in charge of their civil liberties (Paul, 2007).
Also, the act allowed the federal government to choose the land base of the natives in the structure of reserves. Through this, it could identify those who were supposed to be termed as Indians based on the existing status. Although the act has been amended several times, it should be noted that it currently holds most of its original contents.
20th-century racism and centralization in Canada
During the 20th century, racism and centralization were very rampant in North America (Paul, 2007). In the same period, Canada became very wealthy and was considered one of the nations with the utmost living standards globally. Despite these achievements, the country’s minority communities, such as blacks, aborigines, and other natives, never benefited from that situation as compared to the majority of whites.
Those groups were deliberately mistreated, marginalized, and deprived of economic prospects by the majority. The whites considered minority group trouble in society. Although segregation was very widespread during the 20th century, the extent of discrimination varied from country to country and from state to state.
In Canada, many historians assert that Nova Scotia was the most prejudiced region of North America (Paul, 2007). In this region, members of the minority groups were separated. They were denied equal education, employment, and entrance to some public facilities as compared to the whites.
The struggle for freedom
From the time the white settlers arrived in Canada, the natives have always resisted their presence. The Europeans’ arrival displaced the natives from their lands and limited their freedom.
The settlers, however, rejected the above mistreatments. As such, they wrote letters to the federal government, forwarded appeals, held protests, and created political associations to champion for their rights. For instance, several aborigine tribes made several land assertions against the Canadian government
The relationships between the settlers and the native population of North America was not smooth as there were some conflicts and mistreatment of Indians by the Europeans. As the latter used to impose their order and their way of life on the natives as well as violate their human rights. Generally, the Native Americans were the most affected by these interactions.
The Europeans murdered and victimized the natives Indians. With the passage of the Indian Act, the native Indians were segregated. The legislation allowed the Canadian Federal Government to control the dealings and activities of the aborigines.
Paul, D. N. (2007). We Were Not the Savages (3 ed.). Halifax: Fernwood Publishing.