The Eve of Contact

Here I will summarize a what happened on the Eve of Contact and important event that happened after.
The Eve of Contact is when the Europeans first came into contact with the Aboriginals.  It has been said that Europeans interacted with Aboriginal people in Canada as far back as 1000 AD, but constant contact came only after Europeans established permanent settlements in the 17th and 18th centuries. For 200 years, Europeans worked with Aboriginals side by side. They would trade with one another, hides for guns. There was intermarriages which produced a new group of Aboriginals called the Metis. Though most Europeans did not care much about their new family in Canada and  left them to go back to Europe. Soon the Europeans knew how to survive in the land soon to be called Canada and did not need the Aboriginals’ help. Outbreaks of the European infectious diseases such as influenza, measles and smallpox, cause a lot of Aboriginals to die and resulted in many changes such as:

  • Lost in elders (history), children (future)
  • trade increase
  • Christians increase
  • land grabs
  • population and power shift
  • gender shift
  • emotional devastation
  • distrust
  • loss of knowledge
  • starvation

During 1756-1763, the French and Indian War (Seven years war) happens. The French and Indians are allied to fight against the English. Great Britain won at the end. In 1763, the Queen places a bill, the Royal Proclamation of 1763. This bill states the land belongs to First Nations forever. Before long, new settlers came to Canada, and little by little came into the First Nation’s lands (crossing the Indian line). These new Europeans thought that First Nations people didn’t use the land properly and they began to think they owned that land. The First Nations consulted with the King ,but the King was afraid of being overthrown so he ignored the Aboriginals. So in 1867,  the King sets up a Canadian Government. The plan was to bring the Aboriginals into Canadian Culture. They even took away their art and put them into museums.  By the 1876, The Indian Act was introduced with the purpose of bringing together all earlier federal legislation concerning Aboriginals into one single piece of legislation. The Canadian government still encouraging First Nations to assimilate into  Canadian Culture, creates a Canadian Indian residential system in the 19th century.  Many other events occurred after, which leads us into today. The contact of  Europeans has effected the Aboriginals greatly.

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