Every country has a history that both builds and defines its nation It is composed of various events and people that greatly impact the participants and their surroundings The events occur in countless of ways some are positive and form an immense sense of pride while others are negative and are therefore shameful Canada has an elaborate mix of such events but due to the research gathered it has become apparent that Canada does not have a history to be proud of Like every country positive events such as the establishment of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms the founding of the Co Operative Commonwealth Federation and the War in Air during World War 2 are remembered proudly by those who call themselves Canadians Unfortunately the focus on positive events such as these tends to overshadow the various of negative ones that plague Canadian history such as the residential schools that Aboriginal children were forced to go to the segregation African Americans faced in Africville as well as the relief camps that were established by Prime Minister R B Bennett These events are prime examples of Canada s shameful history as they consist of Canada treating it s citizens badly and revoking their rights in almost inhumane ways Canada must recognize the dark side of its history It is responsible for the basic genocide of an entire culture In the early 19th century the federal government began pushing the European way of life onto the aboriginal people of Canada Canada established the Residential School System as a crude attempt to help the native aboriginal people make the transition from their traditional lifestyle to a more alternative different way of life with a more European influence
These schools were a complete immersion program This meant that children were prohibited from speaking their native language practicing their spirituality or displaying any form of aboriginal tradition Aboriginal children were taken hundreds of miles from their families only to rarely see them if they were lucky The goal was to turn these children into english speaking christian farmers Those who did not obey were often punished severely Physical and sexual abuse were common in these schools while mortality rates soared due to the environment An incredibly large amount of native kids were thrown into the harsh unfamiliar system regardless of their consent or that of their parents and were forced to endure substandard conditions and endured physical and emotional abuse The last residential school was only closed in 1996 twelve years after the Canadian constitution and the Charter of Rights had been changed to accommodate the various different races that lived in Canada Although the intention was to integrate the Native Canadian population into the European Canadian society under the assumption they were unable to adapt to a rapidly modernizing society the whole process was far from positive for those families as thousands were separated from their families and communities due to a policy issued by the Canadian government Canadian citizen may wish to remember their history and be proud but events such as the residential school system prove that though Canada has various achievements both in the country and out it had failed its own citizens by not tolerating any native culture and ignoring the rights and freedoms they had issued in order to prevent such horrors Canadian history did not only mistreat its aboriginal population but also its African American one Several white citizens lived on the assumption that the African American population would never meet the strict regulations set by the government and therefore many African American citizens were segregated in various Canadian cities one of which was Halifax
The people of Halifax openly racially discriminated against the Black population within the city denying them proper jobs education and places to live Long established Black Canadian communities were often isolated from prosperity and opportunities Since the 1850s the community of Africville had been home to Halifax s Black population and had existed as part of the capital city Although it was a part of Halifax Africville ignored by the city councilors The community was excluded from receiving even the most basic city services such as running water paved roads sewage and garbage collection The residents of Africville as well as the rest of the African American people were forced to live in these horrible conditions because the Canadian government did not view them as persons worth of being protected by the law In 1996 wanting to create new industrial space for big industries and expand the urban development of Halifax the city took away the land in Africville and removed the four hundred citizens that resided there in order to bulldoze the town The community itself was not even consulted before the destruction of the resident s homes Although some were compensated for their property the disrespect shown toward the residents of Africville was horrifying The treatment the Black Canadian people were forced to endure at the hands of the Canadian government and the Canadian citizens goes to show that though Canada can be proud of its various accomplishments overseas such as aiding the Allies in the War in Air during WW Ⅱ events that happened within the country are also important to take into consideration because what happened in Africville is something to be looked back on in extreme shame
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