Peopling of Canada. The Canadian Identity.
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There is proof that people lived in Canada during the early post-glacial era, and it has been scientifically concluded that all peoples of Canada migrated here from elsewhere.
The circumstances that led to their coming are unknown and unrecorded, but most theories hold that they crossed into North America from Asia when there was a land bridge across the Bering Strait.
The second era of immigration began in the European Age of Discovery, with the settling of the French, British and others. The third and most recent influx of people into Canada, which has taken place during the last century
or so, has coincided with the development of a “global community” and includes the arrival of people from almost every country and culture in the world.
Canadians also like to think of their government as being sensitive towards the aspirations of minority cultures, very different from countries such as Russia that are dominated by a single strong ethnic group.
Our tolerance and promotion of varied cultures, religions and languages make us very different from countries such as the U.S., Russia, and China and make us a popular country to move to.
The presence of many minorities makes political moderation and toleration absolutely necessary if we are to live in peace; in this way our diversity brings out the best in us.
Write a well-organized paragraph that describes the pro’s and con’s of assimilation, integration and separation of Native People in regards to Canadian society. (12 marks) This should be approx. 2/3 of a page long.
In point form, summarize the five aspects of Aboriginal culture and technology discussed on pages 17/18. (10 marks)
Each of our cultural groups offers a great deal to the Canadian community – much more than the image of costumes and special foods.
Distinct languages express different ideas and philosophies, some of which have a strong effect on the laws that are made, others bring special skills that they brought as immigrants (fishing, farming, etc).
There are also disadvantages to multiculturalism which need to be considered alongside the benefits. Canadians are often viewed as spending too much time trying to figure each other out and not paying enough attention to the rest of the world.
Our vast array of peoples can also make a country disunited, and can prevent us from moving and thinking as a mass (as the Americans do). Multiculturalism can also flare into multi-nationalism, where particular ethnic groups fight for special privileges or special recognition at the expense of other groups within society.
How has the scattered and ill-defined Canadian identity, which is alternatively praised and reviled by the people who created it come about?
After reading page 20 of your textbook entitled “Images of Aboriginal People”, answer questions 1,2,4 from the text, PLUS:
In the 16th century, the First Nations lived in societies ranging from the egalitarian Athapaskan tribes of the subarctic to the slave-owning, highly stratified societies of the West Coast.
One very important region was that of southern Ontario and New York State.
First Nations people did not see themselves as the masters of their environment; rather, they believed that their communion with the spirits was the secret to any successes they might have in staking out a living and achieving happiness.
A common feature of Native societies was their knowledge of the uses of a wide range of materials found in the natural world. A familiarity with the properties of various types of wood and other natural materials led to the successful production of items such as canoes, snowshoes, toboggans, cooking utensils and weapons.
The Aboriginal peoples’ knowledge of their environment would prove crucial to the Europeans when they turned their attention to the profits available from exploiting the resources of North America.
Trade was the peaceful side of relations among Native groups, but warfare among neighbours occurred in every region. It is important to remember that while similarities existed among the different peoples of North America, each region developed unique cultural practices.
In Newfoundland, the rugged terrain and harsh climate limited the potential for population growth. The Beothuk (estimated to number about 1000 in the year 1500),
depended heavily on the caribou for food and clothing, which they hunted during the herds’ fall migration. As for other Aboriginal peoples in the Atlantic region, marine resources such as seals, seabirds, fish and shellfish were critical for survival.
The Mi’kmaq were relatively affluent, living in one of Canada’s more favoured geographical areas. Populations estimates ranged from 3500 to 35000 before 1500.
Equally important was the development of the dog sled. All Inuit people lived a migratory lifestyle with small family groups wandering widely across the tundra, hunting caribou and fishing throughout the summer and fall.
If seal hunting was good, there was a rich social life in the winter villages (of 50 – 150 people). There would be interconnected igloos, drums, dances and “throat singing”. Games such as “cup and pin”, and “cat’s cradle” and story-telling would take up the evenings. In this way recent adventures and ancient legends would teach the younger generations skills for survival and about their culture.