“Genocide In The Americas:
Extermination In The Most Subtle Form”
Created By: Andrew Lougheed
Problems of Well Being:
Destroying our Minds, Bodies, & Communities
Problems of Human Diversity:
Globalization and the Loss of Cultural Identity
Modernity of Colonization
Settlement of Europeans in the West
brought an active participation in
stripping aboriginal identity
Genocide does not have to be
destructive, extermination of a group
but it can also be seen through a
prolonged, subtle series of acts
Acts of Discrimination Towards Aboriginal People
Where Genocide Presents Itself:
Indian Act: ultimate goal was the removal of identity.
Aboriginal Women: faced hardships as their maternity and
motherhood practices were systematically removed through
Land Claims: most subtle form was threw the unlawful land
claims along with horrifying acts against humanity aboriginals
faced on the reserves.
Historical Description of
A group of families often shared a common female
ancestry, & lineage through the mother, not the father.
Inherited the clan of their mother.
Aboriginal women were seen equally in the
community, where their vision and wisdom was
important for the family unit.
Women had the ability to vote, voice opinions and own
property along with the responsibility of maintaining
the domestic sphere & nurturing for her children.
European’s began to settle, the Eurocentric patrilineal system brought an
end to the individuality of women where the, “Fire burning within them went
Development of the ‘Indian Act of 1867’ deemed Aboriginal women as
property of their spouse & minors in the eyes of the government.
Eurocentric system defined those to be true Indians as ‘males’ with Indian
blood & women were only considered to be Indians if they married such
No longer had the right to vote, hold official office in the community and their
mobility was subject to the laws of the Indian Act.
Indian Act of 1867
Most profound sections of the ‘Act’ enabled
government to take Aboriginal women’s identify
Stripped of status if the married non-Indians, “loss of
status included the loss of honour & prestige
Iroquois women once held in their society”.
The discrimination Aboriginal women will be
personified through the following examples: The
state of health, violence among Aboriginal women
and their over-representation in Canadian
Aboriginal Women Hardships
Aboriginal women have been affected by alcohol, & substance abuse, rape,
domestic violence & suicide most notably.
Aboriginal perspective on rape is that it’s a ‘cultural norm’, those who are “property”
of man are subject forces of evil he is capable of inflicting.
To dissipate the pain & suffering of abuse, alcohol serves to blunt such trauma. The
decimation faced by women forced off reserves comes in the form of poverty, lack of
resources (skills, education) necessary to become an established member of
society. Alcohol/ substance abuse then becomes byproducts of such injustices
aboriginal women are forced to cope with.
Alarming Effects of the Indian Act
Most alarming effects of the Indian Act is the overrepresentation of Aboriginal women who are
“Less the 2% of the population of Canada consists
of aboriginal women; however they make up 32% of
the population of women serving time in federal
Reasoning Behind High Levels of Incarceration
Aboriginal women witnessed; violence, rape, regular sexual assaults, murder,
watching mother regularly beaten during childhood, this is the underlying factor
to criminal activity.
Being deemed as “property”, the inequality, non-identity many women faced
caused them to resort to violence & crime, as their socioeconomic progress was
The Canadian judicial system often labels these women as offenders & fails to
recognize them as victims of long-term.
Often few facilities near to home to serve their sentences, & sent to far off
distances. The separation from their families, access to resources & violations of
the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms Aboriginal Women face furthers
such discriminatory practices.
Aboriginal Life Practices Destroyed
Women were put on pedestals, for they were life producers,
sacred by all means. This made the process of child birth
the most sacred part of indigenous peoples way of life.
Indigenous people did not have pharmaceutical remedies,
doctors & hospitals.
Instead of doctors, they had midwives, whom were a huge
part of the community and were apart of the pregnancy
process from beginning to end
With the European invasion came educated
people; lawyers, teachers and doctors.
The medical community saw the Aboriginal way
of maternity as a threat, they felt it was in the
best interest of indigenous people to implement
rules and regulations.
Midwives became illegal, it was illegal to deliver a
baby when not in the presence of a trained
Civilized & Educated Professional Practices
This was extremely problematic, replacing midwives with western medicine
because of the huge cultural and language gap between the two groups.
In order for a women to have a child she had to travel to a hospital, which were
usually very far off the reserves. They were also completely foreign to the
language and practices used by these civilized and experiences doctors and
In many cases they were taken advantage off. Women would go into a doctors
office to deliver a baby or have a check up and come out completely sterilized
without being told or given a reason.
This was the colonizers way of “fixing” the issue of these people living on
Canadian land in the manner that they did.
This presentation only gives a very brief overview of the troubles and
hardships faced by aboriginal peoples, dominantly the perspective of
Aboriginal women. Colonization brought the destruction of the ways of
life lived by the Aboriginal people threw the laws guided by the Indian
Act of 1867. They were forced to follow patriarchal system which was
rooted in Eastern civilizations, In doing so the Aboriginal people have
and continue to face major barriers of discrimination.
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