Canada has had many disputes with the Aboriginal groups over the past decades. Even today, the natives are experiencing racial segregation and conflicts are arising. The Canadian government and the Aboriginal groups bear different opinions of land rights, and this is causing many misunderstandings.
The three recent crises that occurred between the Aboriginals and the Canadian government were the Oka Crisis, the Ipperwash Crisis, and the Caledonia Crisis. As to their geographic location, they have an alarming similarity. They are all lined up against the United States border. The question is, ‘Are the cousins of the Canadian Aboriginals having an impact to their rebellious behaviour?’
The Oka Crisis occurred in 1990 and lasted 78 days. When the people of Quebec decided to expand a golf course on the Aboriginals’ (Mohawks’) land, there was a protest. A group called the Warriors emerged, intending to use violence if needed to protect their land. At first, the people of Quebec sided with the Aboriginals, reminding the government that the land was the Mohawks’. However, when the Warriors began to act and Quebec was threatened with the possibility of violence, the people of Quebec were quick to change opinions. The crisis ended without the expansion of the golf course, but 3 people had died. The Aboriginals had to experience this in 1990, when Canada was supposedly a country that granted equal rights to all, despite culture or race.
The Ipperwash Crisis occurred in 1995 in southern Ontario. However, the beginning of the crisis goes as far back as the 1940s. During World War II in 1942, the Canadian government wished to buy the Natives’ reserved land for military training. The government offered $15 per acre and a promise to return the land after the war, but the Aboriginals turned the offer down. However, the federal government took the reserve under the War Measures Act and established the Military Camp Ipperwash. On September of 1995, the Aboriginals protested for their land in the Ipperwash Provincial Park. However, the land was not returned to the rightful owner until December 20th of 2007.
The Caledonia Crisis occurred very recently, in 2006. In the small town of Caledonia, a group of Aboriginal protesters kept the townspeople hostage. Those people who dared to speak out against the protesters were threatened to have their homes burned down. The Liberal politicians are not rapidly taking action in fear that they might be seen as ‘racists’. They also do not want violence to occur as it did in the Ipperwash Crisis. Many protesters were arrested during that crisis.
Even to this day, Aboriginals are being mistreated. The Canadian government is not giving the Aboriginal peoples rights to their land and therefore conflicts are arising. The Oka Crisis, the Ipperwash Crisis, and the Caledonia Crisis are occurring because the government is not attentive to the natives’ requests for rights to their land. The three crises occurred in different places. The Oka crises occurred in Quebec, a different province with a different language than Ontario, where the Ipperwash and Caledonia crises occurred. The government back in the time of Canadian Confederation has ignored the Aboriginals and their rights to their land. Due to the government’s ignorance, conflicts have occurred back then. Why are we, as a nation not learning from our faults in the past? Why is the same thing occurring over and over again when all we need to do is correct our mistakes?
The Oka Crisis, the Ipperwash Crisis, and the Caledonia crisis send out the same message. We need to work towards bringing people of different races and culture together. Although by law we receive equal rights, these crises show us that there is still some racial segregation. These conflicts will occur as long as the Canadian government ignores it. We, as a nation need to stop this from happening.
Essay Form (Divided by Paragraphs):
1.Introduction 2.Introduction 3.Oka Crisis 4.Ipperwash Crisis 5.Caledonia Crisis 6. Comparing and Contrasting 7.Conclusion