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Gerald Alfred’s paper “Colonialism and State Dependency” is a critical examination of the current empirically capitalist system that First Nations peoples find themselves trapped within. The colonial enterprise is formulated in a way that requires these First Nations peoples to be dependent on the same state that oppressed them in the first place. Alfred is critical of the various forms of economic compensation that the government provides these communities. Alfred’s work is imperative in highlighting the importance of re-evaluating the approach to lending a hand to these same communities and serves as a reflection of the poor understanding of psychological trauma and its lasting effects. However, it is stated that there are issues within his arguments e.g. his rejection of the state’s attempt to financially compensate the listed communities by highlighting their lack of financial resources. I also argue that Alfred tends to argue against straw-men at times, this is not because of an inability to argue against the state’s atrocities but from a misunderstanding of the barriers that hold back the First Nations communities like it is being clearly highlighted in his argument. Alfred’s criticisms of the state and the system, prevent him from looking at internal solutions that First.
There are current indigenous struggles against the colonialism that is in progress, their efforts are to recompense injustices regarding the people being forced to leave their own land or being denied carrying out cultural activities in their own land by the colonialists. However, in public discourse there is an ignored aspect regarding colonialism, the aspect is said to have no major focus on either the policy efforts of the government of Canada or the First Nation organization. This highlighted aspect has to do with the cultural disruptions that are generated colonially and that compound effects associated with dispossession that creates total physical, financial and psychological state dependency. This same dependency is associated with effects that form living context for today’s First Nations actuality. Typically in most colonial societies, First Nations in today’s era are conceptualized as embedded dependencies in financial, psychological and physical terms regarding the very institutions and people that lead to causing our existence erasure and those who have come so as to dominate us.
Dislocation of culture is the reason for despair through the real deprivation is regarded as the erosion of an ethic responsibility and universal respect that was the assurance of all indigenous societies. Materialistic life conditions of the First Nations, state of dependency and settler societies’ pressure that’s exerted to Indigenous people led to the creation of a reality that is characterized by violence and discord experienced as life facts in most of the First Nation communities. According to Alfred, the self-hating turn of the negative energy due to the reaction on colonization is the regarded as the most damaging of all aspects with regard to the problem, referred to as the systematic rage by Lee Maracle that is common among people under colonization. Colonialism is thus termed as the resource exploitation of racism, wardship, welfare dependency, rights extinguishment, school residential syndrome and indigenous lands. Colonialism gets more firm and real to the First Nation people lives whenever these things go to being causes of harm from a set of externalities that are imposed to the people and communities in general, psychologies, limitations that are placed on their freedom, disturbing mentalities and finally their behavior.
Getting to Canada’s root regarding the colonial problem, it is considered much necessary to clearly understand the oppression that is experienced over a long duration of time mostly it affects the people’s souls and minds in extremely negative ways. To alleviate harms wrought by colonialism, very meaningful discussions were done and it requires one to see far beyond colonialism as a process in the history of changes in society or the set of military and legal events. It wants one to have recognized that the colonial oppression and injustices have really had effects on both the collectivities and individuals and that addressing the effects further necessitates strategies and perspectives that locate First Nations people as members the land cultured communities and not individuals in Canada. To understand the history of colonialism, the economic and political aspects of the diverse relationship between the European and Indigenous people that resulted due to subjecting First Nations to the European powers, is a major and most fundamental sense, less essential compared to appreciating damage to cultural integrity and physical and mental health of communities and people making up the nations.
Difficulties on Indigenous men in dealing and comprehending fairly with their disempowerment source led to compounding the problem more so for the Indigenous children and women who are targets of men’s intense manifestations of internalized own hatred. The existence of this problem is said to be in various intensities and forms across the whole social and economic spectrum in First Nations. Women do show colonized mindsets though through a behavior termed as self-destructive. Men channel their anger externally thus as a result gender-related violence has become dominant among communities in First Nations. Conceptualizing harm via isolation of problem behavior or dysfunction cannot accomplish the transformation of communities in First Nations from discordant and violent environments. Alfred argues that, with no foundation that is provided by a linking to land-based practices regarding the culture and restoration of authentic life of the indigenous community, efforts individualizing works to bring together the problem through promotion of alienation from proven sources of strength and the healing on personal level, and indigenous communities atomization of social-culture.
Social and political institutions e.g. band councils and government agencies that influence and govern life in First Nations have been organized and shaped to handle Canadian state interests since they conform to the interests of Canadian governments. Among leadership in First Nation, there exists reliance upon promise regarding assimilation and integration as a panacea on the most complex colonization and resulting social suffering. Current approaches are frequently centered on concepts of reconciliation, healing or capacity building. Problematizing people instead of the state’s behavior, that kind of approaches are not meant to disrupt the causes of destructive and unhealthy behaviors of communities in First Nations. The Indigenous people in the globe have the potential for the renaissance as well, despite being complicated by the colonial settler presence persistence. Even though the loss of land must be viewed as an economic and political disaster of the highest magnitude, the truest exile of the tribes’ occur with the inability or failure of the white society to submit a cohesive and sensible alternative to remembered traditions by the Indians or with the destruction of their ceremonial life. In antagonizing the disorientation at the core bottom of the indigenous dependency and discord, it is this same-same approach that compromises the hope for the recovery of the First Nations in Canada.
The attack and eventual control of Canada by the European powers famously known as the colonization is considered as a termination of many years in differential communal developments in certain environmental conditions. Due to these changes, either positive or negative results are conferred. In real essence, there is no superior group of people among the other. This mentality of the Europeans to colonize another nation was made with ill intentions. This confers that they took themselves as more superior to others which according to the author indicates they take themselves more superior to other nations. The definition of colonialism is just a theoretical explanation of how complexities that existed between the European powers and the indigenous occupants as they come in contact and the development of other policies that helped them to live in harmony. In other words, colonialism is the development of institutions and policies between the European power and the euro American towards the common resident of Canada. The process of colonization was initiated by the development of religion and rationalization of the European presence in Canada based on the principle of empty lands. Proclaiming that North America was not occupied by humans before the European arrived. The assumption that it is not illegal to take that land from the indigenous residents.
Canada’s legal possession of land is based on the doctrine referred to as dispossession of empty land. These assumptions were made simply because the European powers were not a militia and were not able to conquer the indigenous Americans. Instead, they needed the indigenous to make collaborations in order to form a strong movement that could confront their colonial enemies. Once the British took control of the territory of North American it failed to recognize the indigenous nationhood and failed to find the best ways to acquire land from the indigenous people. They took advantage of the indigenous residents simply because they were very few after a killer epidermis broke and killed them leaving behind few people who could not cause a military threat to the British. The British started organizing and expanding their territory through destroying the resistance movements that were against the British occupation of the nation. They also ensured they have fully eliminated the first nations as the legal and political entities. The British did all this through reserve systems and later they went ahead and civilized the indigenous residents through religious instructions and trade education. After this political advancement, it was very clear that the dependency on colonial enterprise since there was a major difference on the economic relations between the colonial regime and the indigenous residents.
It happened that many differences among the indigenous residents in their knowledge of colonization. These differences were as a result of the difference in class, race, and gender throughout the history. The experienced reality in the colonization between the European powers and euro America left a legacy that had a consistent goal throughout the history. The Europeans had exploited the indigenous land in the sustenance of their resourced industries to increase profit for their first regime, for the American population and lastly for European corporation. The policy of the European and euro American government was guided by racial superiority and divine right to domination. There was also some evidence that they used capitalist mode of production. During the trade era, European powers required the indigenous partners in trade and war. The early treaties for peace and friendship to praise the native nationhood and promised to protect the homeland of the indigenous from economic imperative. This move of shifting from the commercial to an industrial capitalism created more land empty which encouraged more European to come in large numbers to America. Thus the European colony achieved their objectives by settling treaties with first nations that snuffed the native land rights. The policy was changed in the 19th century which caused the establishment of Indian act which becomes a tool in assimilating native people to serve Canadian needs. It is during this period when the life of indigenous people was reshaped by colonial capitalization extension.
Their social economic live changed due to the introduction of capitalism. Every aspect of the indigenous life was reshaped to make sure that chances and profit margins for the Europeans who recently occupied their homelands. The implications of this situation and capitalism were analyzed by Weatherspoon and found that the people’s lives were destroyed in all direction. This was caused by idleness from any economic chance and lack of position in the society. The effects of colonization to the first nation were well presented by the anthropologist book known as maps and dream. The book gives specific linkages of colonial aspects to indigenous culture and the harm caused to the society.
In the Brody’s research and analysis has shown that increasing effect of source extraction works of the white settlers in the native homelands had tempered with the traditional way of life, economic status and damage to the environment as a result of pollution and activities by settlers. He concludes by arguing that social suffering of the First Nation was caused by the above factors. According to Brody’s argument, all these environmental impacts food directly and terribly in all negative social trouble in India life. Another example where the First Nation was treated in a similar manner is shown by the British in Colombia where they tried to undermine the economic autonomy to ensure that dependency is created. The indigenous people economy in that area was mainly on harvesting and conserving fish from the water bodies. First Nations already had got used to their traditional practices and prolonged their activities to participate in commercial fisheries which were introduced by non-indigenous people. They incorporated all this in order to have a chance in the changing realities of the new life, maintaining control on the adaption and conservation of their culture. Newell also elaborates historical colonialism and state dependency.
The North American indigenous people are faced with a unique situation in terms of relationship dynamics, colonization dynamics, oppressors, and invaders. The psychoanalysis has been used to express the reason as to why the black race did not have confidence in their colony Martinique both collective and individuals. The racist assumption held by both the black and white people has been the foundation of the whole issue. The colonizers were placed at the apex of civilization and regarded as the standard measure of the level of civilization among the black people. Lack of people who were regarded as civilized is only those who deemed to assimilate the French culture of perpetual ridicule whose major impact was the intense feeling of lack of adequacy. There was one of the main cause of psychological disorder as people strained to abandon their natural selves, their conscience and their culture and beliefs to assimilate their behavior and oppressive culture of their colonizers. Aboriginal communities are facing many mental health challenges due to the collective trauma, loss, disorientation, and grief from their oppressors. Some of the key impacts of colonialism include the establishment multiple structural bureaucracies such as co-managed wildlife boards land claims and different negotiations tables within the sub-original communities governing structures which culminates to social stratification technical qualified calibers and the educated to steer structure based bureaucracies. This was made to alter the relationship between the community members to corrode the oneness of the community as well as initiating the community dysfunction. The core aim of this people is to maintain the dependency of the black people on the white people. The African is committed to maintaining the social cohesion in the face of the colonialism who wish to regard them as uncivilized fellows.
There was social economic advancement were witnessed during the colonial era with aboriginal being empowered in numerous aspects. For instance, economic Land reforms also occurred due to colonial interactions with the aboriginals. A keen look at the Silverworks reveals the awakening of the Indians by the colonialist in their process of excluding them from the normal economic activities. In this regard, due to the interaction between aboriginal and colonialists, an urban life characterized by assimilation of improvement social economic activities was evident. In the urban setting, indigenous people’s lives were affected due to a foreign experience of economic and racial discrimination. For instance, people from disadvantaged backgrounds could only live in specific areas leading dissolution and emergence of ghettoes. Due to racisms that characterized such areas, residents were made to believe that they rightfully belong to such low-class areas and thus hindering their ability to locate new places. It is important to note that compound the two effects original nation from colonialism, that is separation and dissolution from the land resulted to multigenerational violence and oppression of the natives by aboriginals. Another social economic effect that can is evident from the above scenario is the trauma that natives experienced in the process of removal from the land and institution of a colonial regime that marginalized and segregated natives. Under this trauma, it was a very essay for the colonialist to impose authority and claim legitimacy. Removal and dissolution of indigenous from their land completely disempowered them making them unable to challenge illegitimate power and authority excessed by the aboriginals.
However it is troublesome for First Nations to summon the profound and mental wellsprings of energy, also the budgetary and political assets, to face expansionism furthermore, request a conclusion to the colonization of their territories, acknowledgment of the shameful acts executed against them on the whole and separately, and compensation for wrongdoings huge furthermore, little that have been submitted by pilgrims and the pilgrim administration. There is genuine explanations behind this mental, budgetary and political reliance; genuine impacts of the pilgrim undertaking which are constituted in the thrashing of indigenous self-sufficiency and the transfer of First Nations to a condition of reliance upon the administration which is moreover the wellspring of their destabilization. The outrage and doubt emerging from having continued imperialism is another fundamental wellspring of the emergencies confronting First Nations – mental trouble and the powerlessness to connect with and shape connections in solid courses with each other and with the pilgrim society. In a 2004 mental think about on the impacts of chronicled misfortune and conceivable linkages to PTSD side effects, which included concentrate bunches on two saves in Ontario, about a large portion of the respondents thought about the impacts of liquor abuse on their kin on a day by day premise or significantly more regularly and between 33per penny and 38 per penny pondered different issues of recorded misfortune identified with land, dialect and culture each day.
There was also discord especially between the natives and aboriginals resulting from the inability to meet and fulfill traditional and cultural obligation which every party in this viewed as of utmost importance. With colonialism in play, all the existence ritual and regarded as important especially on natives. In addition, with the separation and removal of the indigenous from their land it is impossible to effectively conceptualize cultural values and principles which to a great extent determined people’s spirituality and traditional knowledge. The cultural interaction between natives and aboriginals resulted in cultural and traditional disorientation which cut them off from the land and culture in general. It is worth noting that, due to cultural and traditional interactions, those that embrace another community’s way of life become the cultural mirrors both to present and future generations. With such acculturation, the natives willingly accepted institutionalization of illegitimate rule by meekly willing to abide by the aboriginal policies. Finally, colonialism resulted in many health and social disconnection and disintegration of the people culture. This is clearly seen in a large amount of money invested by the government of health sectors. In addition, health and social problems continue to be compared due to ongoing injustices. Such colonial injustice continues to propagate unhealthy behavior.
Extreme consideration of getting over the history, effects, and nature of colonialism on Canada’s indigenous people, via the sociological and psychological theory lenses, only points in one direction. The most appropriate solution to the problems regarding First Nations financial and psychological dependency on the state caused by the colonialism is the returning of the land to First Nations and restoration of its presences on and links to their very homelands. Only via regeneration of communities around land-based practices regarding the culture, that First Nations can renovate autonomous cultural and social existences and self-sufficient economies. Impacts associated with colonialism involve harms associated with government assimilation of policies, dissolution of culture and community consequently and the loss of land are all clear. There exists a relationship between institutional power and government policies as they are being applied to the indigenous people and countless physical and mental health problems and deprivations associated with the economic- their social suffering- of Canada’s indigenous people.
The Royal Commission on Aboriginal People (RCAP) researched the dependency problem in the framework of colonialism as being among the focuses of its work and therefore developed a research study to date the causes and roots regarding economic dependency and more so the state of the deprivation of Canada’s First Nations communities. The basic recommendation has remained to be the same since RCPA submitted its recommendation to the provincial governments and feds back in 1996. It is only via social and political action in firm defense of the political rights and land of First Nations that most of the Indigenous people who are colonized can achieve knowledge to do with their culture and history , and more so the bravery and confidence to affect and make demands in their own lives and the society at large.
In conclusion, it is important to disorient the issue of people’s understanding of colonization in a bid to bring health issues into people’s lives and understand the relation t has to the regime in force. It is through a proper understanding of this connection that society will be in a position to direct energy into useful activities and avoid daily government propaganda on an issue that often put the welfare of communities at stake. Importantly. People need to understand the impacts of their disconnection of activities that are regarded as culturally and traditionally right and the effects they have on the physical well-being of a society. In addition, people should understand how the integration of people culture and tradition into their lives may translate to a community’s psychological healing hence translating to their physical health.
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