MINORITIES IN CANADA
By: Aneeqa Tahir
A minority is a group that, because of its physical or cultural characteristics, is isolated out from others in the society in which it resides for differential and unequal treatment. As a result, minorities regard themselves as objects of collective discrimination. Although they live in Canada and are governed by the democratic system, equal rights remain an ideal rather than a reality for these people. In Canada, "racial minorities" refers to all non-white groups, the main ones being Canadian Indians, Blacks, and Japanese. The difference in their appearance is one reason they are excluded from a mostly white Canada, and is also the basis for discriminatory practices by some individuals.
Canada is the Canadian Indians' own country, for they were well settled here long before the arrival of Caucasian immigrants from Europe. Yet they are still highly discriminated against. French explorers arrived in Canada, forming the reserve system, and colonizing the native population.
This allowed them to Christianize the Indians and expose them to French culture. Britain followed lead of the French and continued the reserve system, creating treaties--trading ancestral land for treaty money, guarantees of education, welfare programs, and reserve lands (Cardinal, 42). The money was provided, but the guarantees were not fully realized and granted. Reserves were established only in areas where whites wished to enter and expand. The treaty system was created to prevent disputes between the Native Indians and whites over land, to facilitate the spread of white settlements, and maintain the traditional military alliance with the Indians--it was not intended to help the Indian adjust himself culturally or economically (Waubageshig, 44). In addition, few reserves offer much opportunity for employment or recreation. Even if a reserve contains commercially applicable amounts of natural resources, the Indians lacked the funds...