Assimilation, the Way of Surviving

Assimilation, the Way of Surviving

“Cultural genocide is the attempted or outright erasure of a people’s ways of life” (Lemkin 15). To assimilate First Nations people, European colonist imposed their traditions and customs upon them and exploited while devaluing their way of living (Jules and Kirkpatrick 58). The process forced First Nations people to lose their identity, culture, and language and led them deal with tremendous conflict. In his novels, Monkey Beach and Queen of the North, Eden Robinson criticizes the effect of colonization of First Nations people by European. The Hill family in the novels experienced tremendous conflict which was the result of the assimilation policy, the residential school, and the cultural genocide. Some of family members became destructive and violent due to oppression. The attempt to assimilate Aboriginal children into becoming race-less aboriginal children, into non-aboriginal homes had tremendous impact on the children themselves, their families and their communities as a whole. Families and communities lost important resources and cultural continuity. The colonization of First Nations people by western European caused long-term damage to indigenous people’s spirituality, culture, and life through generations. Colonial authorities made special efforts on assimilating children. From the late 1800s to the later half of the 1900s, children were taken out of their parent’s care and forced into a process of assimilation through residential schools (Crichlow). Native children at residential schools were forced to adopt foreign ways of doing things and to abandon much of their heritage and way of living (Crichlow). The displacements had been and continue to traumatize on First Nations’ people and their communities. Many attendee of residential school lost a sense of their culture and language. They often confronted identity crises in their adolescence and created problems also in reconciling their sexual orient…


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