Negative sides of the 20s prosperity

Essay by AndruCollege, Undergraduate May 2004

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The 1920s was an era of "silver-linings" around clouds of prosperity, a hidden dark cloud of racism loomed for some Canadian groups. Though this time period was known as a decade of prosperity, the Aboriginals, Black Canadians, and the Immigrants were negatively targeted by the society. Laws and policies were passed that carried disadvantages for these minorities.

The Aboriginal people can be defined as a member of any of the peoples that inhabited Canada before the arrival of European settlers (Encarta). The land of Canada has been resided by the Aboriginals for centuries, however, ever since Canada was formed as a nation, the government showed no respect or appreciation towards the Aboriginal people. The Aboriginals were rather stripped of their basic rights due to laws that stole their culture, language, and children. The consistent mistreatment led to the creation of the Indian Act passed by the government of Canada in 1876.

"The Indian Act was aimed for consistent assimilation, integration and eventual abolition of reserves and their rights" (Thunderbird par.9). This unreasonable act effectively served the purpose of removing the Native people both politically. In addition, the act gave little control within their own society due to strong government pressure (FNCPA par.2). Among many instances, in the early 1920s, traditional ceremonies such as sun dance were banned and a few prairie tribes were enforced (McGraw-Hill, Ryerson par.1). Not only did this event humiliate the Aboriginal people, the whole principle of the Indian Act forced a barrier to their social rights. During the 1920s, a few thousand Indians who were willing to gain their rights formed the League of Indian of Canada to represent the Aboriginal people to share "voice" in the government. However, over the years, people attending the meetings were often charged by police with "violation" of existing laws.