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Learning Journal on Colonialism

Different countries around the world were under colonialism from 1870 to 1900s. To begin with, colonialism involves creating territory-based dominion on a country by an external political power attributed to exploitation purposes. The indigenous people suffered in the hands of settlers where they were subjected to hard labor and trade restriction. For instance, the same situation occurred in Canada, where the indigenous people were subjected to exploitation by European settlers. They were robbed of their lands, culture as well as way of living. Therefore, colonialism was an act of displaying dominance over local people by the colonizers.

Canada is known as a country that has spent many years under the rule of a different race as recorded in history. The history of Canada is tied to aboriginal and non-aboriginal people. The knowledge on the history of the two groups in Canada “aboriginal and non-aboriginal” is important in making sure unity stand. Also, understanding the history of Canada illustrates the focus of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on this part to assist aid build the country and motivate acceptance of the diversity and embrace forgiveness.  Although today most Canadians are white, the country spent many years under the rule of various race.

Colonialism began with European aggression, forced invasion, and ultimately colonization of different places such as America, Asia, and Africa. The European countries wanted to advance their economy and retain political power. In light of this, they sent their representatives to different places overseas, especially where there was a lot of natural resources required by their factories to secure and achieve their interest. In addition, there was also the need to secure markets for their products, which were to be achieved by acquiring many colonies around the world. Therefore, colonialism was about expansion to achieve power and dominion.

Through colonialism, European countries took over America, Asia, and Africa mainly to gain access to resources like gold, silver, and fish, among other products. The settlements of the European countries started on the east coast of Canada. There was also a known encounter along the coasts with Vikings Canada experienced settler’s colonialism as European forcefully took over the lands from indigenous people and through time displaced and outnumbered. With time, the influence of the European colonists spread along the west to the south coast and then to the whole of Canada. However, the most significant impact of the settlers was witnessed in the south of Canada and Northern America. 

During the colonial period, exploration and discovery of lands by settlers made the indigenous people lose their lands. European countries leaders used the doctrine of discovery to make sure that the settlers had the right to claim and own lands, especially the ones that were discovered by their explorers. As a result, Spain was able to conquer the lands in Canada and banned non-Christian from owning any piece of land. Also, the European notions ignored that indigenous people were using turtle Island for many years in performing activities such as fishing and farming, among others. The European failed to understand the fact that indigenous people were living in many societies forming different cultures in Turtle Island.

European settlers and government wanted to establish their communities to enable them to acquire the resources to send back to their countries. They failed to share the indigenous perception that land was sacred and ought to be used with care. However, the settlers and their governments perceived the land as something to be purchased and sold as well as to be exploited for purposes of making profits with no thought for long term impacts. As a result of this, many European settlers acquired the lands and used them for farming and mining. With the settlers’ ambition to take over the lands in Canada, their relationship with the locals became more strained.

Despite the land issue, there was the trauma that came as a result of the residential schools. In regards to this, it was a requirement by law for all indigenous families to send their children to residential schools were situated some distance from the communities. The main purpose of these schools managed by churches was to civilize as well as Christianize the indigenous children. That said, the residential schools existed to strip the local communities for their culture and languages. These children not only felt the pain of being away from families but also cases of physical and sexual abuse.

In Canada, the disbelief caused by residential schools is still being experienced to the present day by both survivors and Canadian society. The residential schools contributed to a greater extent, hidden shock because many survivors suffered from powerlessness and low self-esteem. For instance, most aspects of violence were handled in residential schools among the teachers to the students as well as students themselves. Also, the survivors decided to accept violence as a normal issue to their dis-belief and passed from one generation to another. Therefore, the residential schools contributed to a lot of issues that greatly affected the life of indigenous people.

History is an important aspect in any country because it assists us in understanding people and societies. It provides data on the information in the manner in which people and societies lived and behaved in the past. Looking at Canada today, we are able to see the value of history. The aboriginal and non-aboriginal people in Canada can understand their origin through historical facts and concepts. Understanding this history allows us to learn more both from the positive and negative decisions our previous leaders and people made, accept diversity, and encourage unity and peace among all communities.  From this historical aspect, Canadians can learn their origin as well as come to terms with the lost values and cultures. 

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