Brief Summary of the Book
The book dwells on the relationship between racism, which is a vice, and colonialism in reference to the manner in which the two concepts helped in shaping the lives of the indigenous people of Canada. In essence, the racism which was propagated by colonialism affected various aspects of life in the North American country. For instance, it impacted on issues such as citizenship, criminal justice, family relations, identity, territorial rights, as well as the relations that the natives had with the white settler community. Importantly, the book mainly focuses on the Two-Row Wampum treaty which is an accord made between the Western nations and the Indigenous communities, at the time. By focusing on such an important milestone, it brings to light the historic, as well as the contemporary, meaning of significant terms such as race and racism. Moreover, the book identifies how these factors have continued to influence the lives of the indigenous individuals living in colonized states.
Through the publication, the authors’ aim is to provide insights on the ways of dealing with the different problems related to colonialism and racism. In this regard, one of the most important issues is addressing the historic wrongdoings perpetrated by the colonizers. Moreover, the writers reveal what the nation can achieve by appreciating the differences among its populace through implementing the original partnerships and arrangements that were made in the course of the nation’s history. Lastly, the two authors give guidance on how Canadians can come together to fight racism. Notably, they discuss these issues in chapter ten, eleven, and twelve of the book. In fact, the given chapters form the basis of the following discourse.
Chapter 10 of the book addresses is the manner in which the country can rewrite its historical wrongdoings. Before correcting these wrongs, it is important to understand the immoral issues that took place during the colonial period in Canada. The country, since attaining independence, has sought to change the course of its history by coming up with ways which accommodate all its citizens, including the native population which was segregated during the colonial period. In fact, the country has set up a reconciliation team which is meant to respond to issues such as the Indian Residential School legacy. By doing this, it believes that this is a better way of acknowledging that the native community was unduly treated during the colonial period. Importantly, the government hopes to establish new relationships that will accord its citizens the recognition and respect that would guide them to a brighter future.
Chapter 11 of the text talks about racism in colonial Canada and some of the techniques the people could use to fight the issue. One of the main moves discussed in the section that would spell a better future for the country is fighting the systemic racism which has been part of the country’s social system for long. Canada’s race problem is such a problem; it is worse than that in the United States. Even though the country appears to be doing just fine with its progressively tolerance image, it is astonishing how problem of racism is deeply rooted in the country’s social system. Notably, the issue of racism, in the country, goes way back to the colonial period. The country’s Aboriginal population has suffered the worst fate as well as experienced more hardships than even the minority groups in the United States. For example, the current unemployment rate among Aboriginal Canadians is at 14% which is 2.1 times more than the national unemployment rate. Unfortunately, the statistics is just a tip of the problems these people experienced during the colonial time. Notably, the indigenous people were also compensated poorly despite the harsh conditions under which they worked during the time. The incarceration and homicide rates are also high among these individuals when compared to the national average, just as they used to be in the colonial days.
In Chapter 12 of the book, the author assesses the changes that have taken place in Canada and measures them against people’s expectations. From the above assessments, it is evident that many things have not changed as far as the aboriginal Canadians might have wished. The revelation, in this case, is that Canada, as a country, has not done enough to address the cultural and political stereotypes in the country. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the country has not done its job as expected since the reconciliation process has not been actualized. While the situation is much different compared to the colonial days, the current government has the ability to change the negative notions and perceptions that the rest of the population have towards the nation’s indigenous people. In fact, the faster the country realizes the importance of these people, the quicker it will solve its social problems such as corruption which is considered to be one of the main issues that has hampered the country’s growth.
The book is an important reading material for individuals interested in Canadian history, especially the period during which it was colonized. However, it specifically targets learners, especially Sociology and Native Studies students in their second, third, and fourth years in tertiary learning institutions. In addition, it also targets students majoring in courses such as race and ethnic relations in the country. The book also explores race and inequality, the lives of the indigenous people, as well as the contemporary issues that affect the native communities. Moreover, the text can serve as an important material for Aboriginal literature as well as movements and justice of the indigenous people. Due to its detailed nature, the book can be used for understanding the history and anthropology of Native Canadian people.
Compelling Reasons for Reading the Book
I would recommend the book for reading to other individuals because it reveals some dark past regarding Canada that many people have not had the opportunity of knowing. The history of North America has all been about the United States leaving Canada unexplored. However, reading this book would allow other people to understand the issues that affected the Aboriginal people during the fight for colonialism in the country and their current status in society today. Due to the expert writing of the authors, the book unravels this past history and narrates it in a manner that will excite any enthusiastic college reader interested in history of the nation and its indigenous people. Readers can use these similarities they gather in the book to compare the Aboriginal people to the Native Americans.
- Cannon, M. J., & Sunseri, L. (2011). Racism, Colonialism, and Indigeneity in Canada: A Reader. Ontario: Oxford University Press.
- Nelson, C., & Nelson, C. A. (2004). Racism, Eh?: A Critical Inter-disciplinary Anthology of Race and Racism in Canada. Concord: Captus Press.
- Perry, B. (2011). Diversity, crime, and justice in Canada. Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press.
- Rutherdale, R., & Fahrni, M. (2008). Creating Postwar Canada: Community, Diversity, and Dissent, 1945-75. Vancouver: UBC Press.