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Canada is a part of the North America. The seed of colonialism was harnessed in Canada in the sixteenth century and an attempt has been made by the alien states to oust the indigenous people from their land and started to live there (Ramraj et al., 2016). The effect of colonialism had ruined the daily life of the indigenous people. The newly established government of Canada has followed the two legal principles such as the Terra Nullius and Doctrine of Discovery. According to these doctrines, only the Christians have the authority to possess the land and it can easily be traced out that the objective of the principles is to vacate the land possessed by the aboriginals to confirm the existence of colonialism. Due to the constant praxis of colonialism, the identity and cultural inheritance of aboriginals has been abolished. The basis of the Canadian colonialism has followed the inequality and intended to outnumber the aboriginals from their land. The impacts of the colonialism on the indigenous are detrimental. It has been observed that the language, cultural diversity and identity of the aboriginals has been destroyed and they are forced to admit the rules and regulations imposed by the newly established government. A change has been set out to develop the status of the aboriginals in the nineteenth century through social works and include the aboriginal children under the development program for the betterment of their future. In this essay, certain techniques have been adopted to merge up the traditional and western healing processes.
The impact of colonisation in Canada was negative in nature and intended to snatch the original identity from the ancient inhabitants. It was proposed to change their life by adopting wrong path. The Supreme Court of Canada has regarded the process of government welfare as the cultural genocide for the aboriginals and the decision has been supported by the human rights activists in Canada. In the year 1876, Indian Residential School System was implemented and government had forced the aboriginal children to admit in the schools. It has been revealed by certain researches that the aboriginal children were kidnapped from their home and admitted in the residential homes. The parochial mentality of the government observed when the residential children were forced to learn English language and had to face serious penalties on communicate in their own language. The primary objective of these residential homes was to educate the children and make them competent enough to lead their life with the flow of modernization (Fallon et al., 2015). However, the naked truth was different from the same and it has been observed that the colonial government is trying to snatch the identity of the aboriginals and harnessed the seed of colonialism among them.
The main objective of the colonialism is to govern the other territories by creating unequal power relation. In case of Canada, the doctrine of inequality has been observed in case of the indigenous and non-indigenous people. The effect of the Indian Residential School System was detrimental for the aboriginal people and they had experienced an eradication regarding their culture and language. It is a fact that the children had to practice the English language and not allowed to speak in their mother language. However, the problem cropped up on their returning to home. They find themselves in a great dilemma regarding the language and had to suffer mental harassment to reveal their emotions. In 1876, Indian Act has been enacted to control the daily life of the indigenous community. Certain attempts have been made to develop the conditions of the aboriginals and one of the instance regarding the same is the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The main aim of the commission was to deal with the problems generated from the residential homes and the children who suffer from the mental and physical damage (Patrick, 2014). However, there are certain critics present regarding the motto and importance of the commission. It has been stated that the commission has not made any attempt to address the issues on dispossession and thus failed to recover the identity or culture of the indigenous people.
It has been clarified from the report of the Royal Commission that the impacts of the colonialism on the indigenous people have four aspects. Due to colonisation, it has been observed that the aboriginal and the non-aboriginal live separately and form separate cultural segmentation. The population of the non-aboriginals are growing in nature and that has become a potential threat for the aboriginals. On the other hand, the government has shown less interest regarding the indigenous people and many of them are dying due to ill health and low standardised life. It has been observed that the civilised society has not given proper respect to the aboriginals and interfered in the personal life and property of the aboriginals. It has been observed that the indigenous persons are forced to evict from their land on the basis of the Terra Nullius and Doctrine of Discovery.
The main objective of the social work is to improve the standard of the society and concentrate on the well-being of every members of the society. However, in case of Canada, the scenery is different. It has been observed that the social works, especially for the betterment of the indigenous people, is repressive in nature. Certain negative responses have been emitted from the social work sector and create negative impression on the minds and life of the aboriginals (Turner, 2017). The first step of social work in Canada has begun in nineteenth century with the establishment of the residential schools. The primary object of the school was to educate the aboriginal children, but the bare truth is quite oppressive in nature. The children were forced to speak in English language and they were strictly prohibited to speak in their language. They were treated terribly in the residential homes and became mentally and physically ill in a short span of time.
A recent growth has been observed in case of the aboriginal people and it has been observed that the Canadian constitution has divided the aboriginals into three groups- Indians, Métis and Inuit. The new names or the division has been imposed on the aboriginals against their will and create diversification among them. Apart from these, various different steps have been taken against them. The provision of the Gradual Civilisation Act 1857 snatched the right to vote from the aboriginal women and it has been observed that the men are only get the right to cast their vote or marry a non-aboriginal girl. The right of the aboriginal women to marry a non- aboriginal man has been taken away by the Gradual Enfranchisement Act 1869. Certain commissions and institutions have been established for the betterment of the aboriginals. However, it has been observed that these establishments have failed to amend the territorial rights of the indigenous persons. The mentality of the Canadian government regarding the principle of empty land has not been changed and the aboriginals have to face difficulties regarding the same (Marsh et al., 2015). Problems have been cropped up regarding the personal and property protection of them. Unwanted interference of the social workers in the life of the aboriginals has snatched away their privacy. Kidnapping the children from their family was became a common practice and the kidnapped children were placed far away from their own home land. In the words of Blackstock (2009), the Canadian Association of Social Workers was aware of the illegal practices of the residential schools. According to Sinclair (2004), the residential school had created a negative impression on the indigenous people and developed mistrust on the social workers as the institution was liable to increase suicidal rate among the aboriginals. Baskin (2011) had explained the period as the historical trauma period and revealed the dark side of the social works in Canada. The cross cultural system has been regarded as the cultural genocide and the indigenous people have started to lose their identity in this process. Allan and Smylie (2015) have advocated that the over focus and over representation of the aboriginals have promoted the idea of racism and clarify the idea of colonization. It can, therefore be stated that the social workers have failed to establish the cultural competency among the indigenous and according to Ramsden (2003), cultural safety model should be adopted by the social workers to de-communalise the contents.
The problem regarding the aboriginals is common in the world as many countries are facing problem due to this. However, it has been reported that the indigenous in Canada have to face more difficulties and sustained great trauma. The nature of the trauma has been recognised as intergenerational trauma and an attempt has been made to provide healing method to them by merging up the traditional and healing techniques. It has been stated by the scholars that balance is required in between the spiritual, emotional, physical and social life of the aboriginal people. Safety measures can also be a healing object in case of the aboriginals as they are often traumatised regarding the safety policies. A thorough analysis is required to reach in the position to decide the possibility of merging up (Ramraj et al., 2016).
The elder residents of the aboriginals are well known for their knowledge on spirituality and they have gained such knowledge by way of oral learning. According to the community protocols of the aboriginals, the elders are considered as the vital part and the colonisation in Canada destruct their cultural practices. According to M. Gagne, the intergenerational trauma has affected the aboriginals and created negative impression on the generation. Brave Heart had divided the scope of trauma into two parts such as cumulative and psychological. Duran (1990) had pointed out certain difficulties that have been faced by the western techniques. It has been stated that the western people are not aware of the personal demand of the aboriginals and the techniques have failed to address the proper healing method. For that reason, a blended mentality regarding the traditional and western culture has been observed.
The professionals have made an attempt to adopt sensitive cultural approaches and this new method has been considered as the Two-Eyed Seeing. In this process, two processes have been adopted- one is from the aboriginal culture and knowledge; other one is from the western culture and knowledge. This system has encouraged both the culture and attempt to develop the standard of the aboriginals. In this process, the practitioners have come to know about certain traditional practices of the aboriginals that help them to heal the indigenous people as well as the non-aboriginals. Most of the traditional practices are based on the herbal treatment. C. Bartlett has pointed out certain treatments like sweat ceremony where the heat and stem are used to remove the body toxins; smudging; herbal pedicure and manicure and consumption of herbal medicines. Certain practices have also attracted the practitioners like drumming and sharing circles that are used as a process of spiritual healing. According to Rowan (2014), the merge up policies have succeed to cure the trauma to certain extent and cultural safety has possible through such way.
The word Hybridity means mix up. The term can be used to recognise the cross culture and anti-racism. It has been ob served that the system has able to define the concept of unity by merging up the traditional and modern philosophy and ideas. This thing was conceptualised in the seventeenth century for the first time between the Roman and the Greeks. In case of Canada, hybridity has blossomed through the invasion of the British and the French intruders. The potentiality of this concept is changeable in nature and it attempts to make a change in the colonised Canada. The British and the French intruders had tried to change the traditional features of Canada and establish their own culture by imposing them on the aboriginals. The acts of the intruders had promoted the idea of internal colonisation and English and French become the national language of Canada (Lecca et al., 2014). The cultural hybridity has been introduced in Canada with the governance of Champlain, the governor of New France. A mixture has been taken place regarding the literature when the American and French literature has mixed up in the Canadian literature. It has been observed by Champlain that certain foreign personnel had tried to explore the traditional culture and they were pleased with the cultural habits of the aboriginals.
Cultural hybridity has been observed regarding the globalisation and it has been observed that the mentality of the government in Canada has been changed. The level of torture on the aboriginals has been reduced and cultural diversity has been noticed. The doctrine of hybridity has also influenced the medicine and healing criteria of the indigenous persons. The aboriginals of Canada have to face more hurdles and it created negative impact on the mind of them. They became traumatised and depressed. Certain methods have been introduced by the government to reduce the level of trauma and customised their personality with the modern techniques and cultures (Lamalle, 2015). The main theme of the healing methods is to promote the idea of unity in diversity in the native lands. However, negative response has been gained from the aboriginal people as the modern healing methods had failed to fulfil their desire and they were forced to commit suicide or get addicted. The medicinal or healing hybridity has been introduced for leading the mission towards success. The system on traditional healing has been adopted by the modern practitioners and it has been observed that the hybridity system has become successful to reduce the trauma of the aboriginals. In this process, an opportunity has been generated to observe the living standard of the aboriginals closely and the cultural emotions have been related to the modern culture of Canada. Healing hybridity has also promoted the doctrine of transformation without injure the traditional sense.
To conclude, it can therefore be stated that the colonialism in Canada has affected the daily life of the indigenous persons and they had lost their identity as they had to adopt and follow the colonial cultures. They were ousted from their own land and had to live in a separate place. The constitution of Canada had provided certain rights to the aboriginals but in reality, they had to face discrimination and racial violence. The indigenous culture and tradition had lost their flow and the activities of the social workers were also oppressive in nature (Lapierre, 2013). It can be stated that the response of the social workers were negative regarding the relationship of the aboriginals and the non-aboriginals. However, in later stage, a different mentality has been observed to change the conditions of the aboriginals and hybridity in between the traditional and modern techniques has been adopted to improve the standard of aboriginals. There were certain cultural competencies while working with the indigenous as due to their different habits and the growing interest regarding the traditional culture has facilitated the process of cultural safety. A helpful mentality is needed for the establishment of cultural competency and the aboriginals should be capable to express their problems. It should be taken into consideration that the aboriginals are being deprived of legal safety and they are not enjoying similar rights like the non-aboriginals. Therefore, amendments are necessary to harness the seed of cultural competency among the indigenous persons.
Fallon, B., Chabot, M., Fluke, J., Blackstock, C., Sinha, V., Allan, K., & MacLaurin, B. (2015). Exploring alternate specifications to explain agency-level effects in placement decisions regarding Aboriginal children: Further analysis of the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect Part C. Child abuse & neglect, 49, 97-106.
Lamalle, S. (2015). Reconciliation in Canada: A healing force for social and institutional change. Indigenous Law Bulletin, 8(16), 20.
Lapierre, M. (2013). The Hybridity of Violence: Location, Dislocation, and Relocation in Contemporary Canadian Multicultural and Indigenous Writing (Doctoral dissertation, Universite de Montreal (Canada)).
Lecca, P. J., Quervalu, I., Nunes, J. V., & Gonzales, H. F. (2014). Cultural competency in health, social & human services: Directions for the 21st century. Routledge.
Marsh, T. N., Coholic, D., Cote-Meek, S., & Najavits, L. M. (2015). Blending Aboriginal and Western healing methods to treat intergenerational trauma with substance use disorder in Aboriginal peoples who live in Northeastern Ontario, Canada. Harm reduction journal, 12(1), 14.
Patrick, C. (2014). Aboriginal homelessness in Canada: A literature review. Canadian Homelessness Research Network.
Ramraj, C., Shahidi, F. V., Darity, W., Kawachi, I., Zuberi, D., & Siddiqi, A. (2016). Equally inequitable? A cross-national comparative study of racial health inequalities in the United States and Canada. Social Science & Medicine, 161, 19-26.
Turner, F. J. (2017). Social work treatment: Interlocking theoretical approaches. Oxford University Press.
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