The following interview takes place between a student and Aborigine leaders of First Nations origin.
Student: Morning, I am a student with a renowned American university researching into the political activity of the Aborigine as well as other cultural features of the nation.
Aborigine: You are welcome. Feel free to ask any questions that may help your study.
Student: What can you tell me about the Royal Proclamation of 1763?
Aborigine: The Royal Proclamation was an order issued in 1973 after the war between Britain and France. The main purpose of the proclamation was to organize trade, land acquisition and settlement along the western location. The Royal Proclamation acted as a legal treaty between Native Americans, Canada and the British as it was the main reason why British culture was prominent in Upper Canada. The Royal Proclamation was also responsible for dividing the western frontier into several French colonies. Currently, the proclamation represents a significant legal agreement that brought peace and stability in a large section of North America. The Royal Proclamation greatly affected the Native American populations by taking away a large portion of the land they inhabited. Most natives were forced to relocate to other areas from the Appalachians and around the Mississippi River. However, later on, the natives settled and acknowledged the treaty as being valid.
Student: How long were the treaties in effect? How long did they last?
Aborigine: Initially, the Royal Proclamation was created to quell the emergent issues of land acquisition and boundaries in North America. However, the treaty had the effect of promoting colonial expansion and therefore, it seemed beneficial to keep the treaty in effect until the colonialists had established themselves. The treaty also ensured that there was no rebellion from the Native Americans and this facilitated investment. Therefore, it was clear that the treaty would be upheld for a long time after the issue of settlement and land was resolved. Currently, the Royal Proclamation is still in effect within the Mississippi state.
Student: I have heard about residential system of schooling. What can you tell me about this education style?
Aborigine: Indian residential system of schooling was developed by the Canadian government and Christian institutions to network Aborigine, Inuit and Metis people. I had the opportunity of sending three of my sons to these schools.
In my personal opinion, the whole experience of visiting the First Nations’ village, witnessing the daily activities of the community and interviewing one of the Aborigine veterans who passed through several generations. In the process of conducting the interview, I encountered several challenges and limitations. The language barrier that existed between English people and the Aborigines was a major factor that limited the effectiveness of the interview. I had difficulty in tracing the directions to the village since most of the locals did not understand English. Furthermore, there was a slight resistance among the locals to the presence of a foreigner amongst their midst. Aborigines had strived to maintain a pure Native Indian society and the intrusion of an alien such as me served to build tension (Dickason and David 89).
However, I was able to overcome this hostility by asking for the assistance of a translator. As I continued inspecting the rest of the village, my translator was able to earn the cooperation of the Aborigines to an extent that I was allowed to relate with the members of the society on a personal level. After three hours, they were satisfied of my intentions and began to divulge information on different aspects of the First Nations including culture and history. I noted several differences in the nature of the answers provided by the local Aborigines. While the answers I collected from the women and younger generation were authentic but slightly misguided, I was able to get considerable information from the older members of the community including the Aborigine elder.
This experience enabled me to perceive the Aborigines as a society that had undergone several economic and social injustices instead of the common perception that they were a lost tribe that had no bearing. Most of the colonialist who inhabited the lands made up a treaty without consulting the Native Americans. In the end, the Aborigines were displaced from their native land and forced to occupy less productive and significantly smaller areas. For several decades, the Aborigines have attempted to realize justice in the matter concerning land ownership without much success. After conducting the interview, I was able to gain a deeper understanding of the struggle and challenges facing the Native Americans. After analyzing the results of the experiment, I am considering changing my attitude towards Native Americans in general. I have always understood that American Indians were making dubious claims but after getting primary information from a member of the community.
As a justice professional, I am bound to handle Native American cases more sensitively. In history, the Aborigines have experienced injustices at the hands of the British, the French and more recently, contemporary Americans. Their society has also not been clearly represented in conservation and archive facilities. As the founding fathers of North America, Aborigines have not been awarded their fair share of attention and benefits.
Dickason, Olive P, and David McNab. Canada‘s First Nations: A History of Founding Peoples from Earliest Times. Don Mills, Ont: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print.
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