Canada's disgraceful moments

              There are moments in Canadian history which make all Canadians hang their heads in shame. Although Canada is known to be a peaceful and free country, there are previous events in history which Canadians regret. Some of the most shameful events is the assimilation of the Natives, the interment of Japanese Canadians, and slavery against aboriginals and Africans.

                                  Discrimination and mistreatment of Natives

              Throughout Canadian history, the aboriginals have been abused frequently, beginning from the early European settlers, all the way to the Oka crisis(1990). Mainstream Canadians mistreat the precious land, abuse the rights of the first nation's people, ignored the voice of the natives, and shame Canada as a whole.

"IDLE NO MORE" movement which protests for the voice of aboriginals to be heard

            The government has been ignoring the cries of natives, and the group "IDLE NO MORE" has been created to get attention from the Canadian government. The group started from Theresa Spence, the current chief of the Attawapiskat First Nation in Canada. She went in a hunger strike and set a diet consisting of lemon water, tea, and fish broth. Eventually, Prime Minister Stephen Harper set up a meeting with Chief Theresa Spence after 6 weeks of the hunger strike. We can see serious abuse in the residential schools in Canada. Over 150,000 native children were forced into the residential schools, and most did not come out. Within the school, there was extremely poor conditions, and the abuse of the children. The teachers and staff of the IRS (Indian Residential School) sexually assaulted and raped the children of the school. One survivor of the school remembers over 3000 separate episodes of rape. The children cannot leave the school, and are immediately separated from their opposite gender siblings, and must attend religious services. Children are punished if they speak their native tongue, and are forced to speak English/ required language.

Residential school

           The abuse of the native children is forgotten in today's society, but the trauma left within the child is never forgotten. Canada has truly disgraced all we stand for, and broke the freedom and rights of the native people.

                                            Japanese Canadian Internment

           When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor(December 7, 1941), all of America had set a discrimination against the Japanese population. The discrimination of the Japanese had spread over all of Canada like a virus. Racial stereotypes, hate crimes, and the exclusion of Japanese people were becoming common in society. The fear Canadians had caused an overreaction in precautions, and human rights were violated. Panic and anger rose in Canada, but specifically in British Columbia. About 22,000 Japanese people were living in British Columbia at the time, due to previous immigration for work in the 1800's. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, all Japanese workers lost their jobs at the Canadian Pacific Railways. Those who kept other jobs didn't keep them for a long time. The racial discrimination that had been held for a long time found a way to be expressed freely after the bombing. Now that the bombing had given an excuse for Canadians to express their hatred, Japanese Canadians suffered greatly. Interment camps were set up for the Japanese Canadians. The police barged down the homes of the Japanese, gave them 5-10 minutes to pack their belongings. Only 2 suitcases were allowed, and they were sent off to the Interment camps.

notification of internment
Japanese Canadians forced to leave in trucks

         Condition of the camp were poor, as it was cold in the winter and hot in the summer. There were thousands of unrecorded deaths, and guards mistreated the Japanese. It was not until 1949 when the Japanese received all their rights back.

        We can see the pain and suffering of Japanese Canadians as they were discriminated, and abused. This brings shame upon Canada as we are the country of the strong and free.

                                                      Slavery in Canada

        Slavery existed quite long in Canada, and is a large stain in Canadian history. Aboriginals and Africans were taken as slaves, but mostly Aboriginals. Slavery starts back in Europe, and begins in Canada during the 1700's. Under British and French influence, slavery existed for over 100 years. the violation of human rights in slavery was not recognized until the 1960's. And the stain slavery left is still within our society, continuing as racism and discrimination. We like to believe we are a country of freedom and equality, but Canadians do not look back into their shameful past of owning human beings. Using them for work and forced prostitution, the mistreatment of humans was huge in Canada. Taking them from their habitat and forcing then to work under another human being is a violation against human dignity and respect.

slaves cleaning and working in a farm

         Aboriginals were taken from their villages and into an auction to be sold cheap.

    In conclusion, to purify Canada and prevent negativity in our country, we must look into our previous mistakes and acknowledge our faults. Canada demonstrates their dark past through the mistreatment of the first nations people, the interment of Japanese Canadians, and the violation of human rights through slavery.

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