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Something to ponder

Indigenous Peoples in Canada have long been the target of social discrimination stemming from structural prejudices and historical practices that uphold marginalisation, injustice, and cultural erasure. An important piece of Canadian history, the Bagot Report, best represents the government’s assimilationist policy towards Indigenous Peoples. This article examines the widespread discrimination against Indigenous populations in Canada, particularly the effects of the Bagot Report on assimilation and its long-lasting effects.

Colonialism, dispossession, and cultural genocide are major factors in the history of societal discrimination against Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Indigenous populations have endured systematic attempts to integrate, marginalise, and obliterate their cultures, languages, and identities since the inception of residential schools and the implementation of colonial laws like the Indian Act and the reserve system. An important turning point in Canada’s colonial history was the 1845 commissioning of the Bagot Report, which promoted assimilationist tactics intended to eradicate Indigenous cultures and customs.

The “Report on the Affairs of the Indians in Canada,” commonly referred to as the Bagot Report, advocated for the integration of Indigenous Peoples into Euro-Canadian society through a number of strategies, such as the creation of industrial schools, the eradication of Indigenous languages and customs, and the turning of Indigenous lands into private property. By attempting to deprive Indigenous Peoples of their cultural identities and autonomy, this assimilationist programme aimed to undermine their rights and national sovereignty.

The Bagot Report had a significant negative impact on Indigenous communities, making poverty, social dislocation and prejudice worse. Inspired by the Bagot Report’s recommendations, residential schools were established, causing generations of Indigenous children to be taken from their families against their will, abused and neglected, and stripped of their identities, languages, and customs. Indigenous communities are still affected by the trauma and generational effects of the residential school system, which exacerbates socioeconomic inequality, mental health problems, and cultural alienation.

Overcoming social discrimination against Indigenous Peoples in Canada necessitates a multidimensional strategy that takes into account structural inequities, historical injustices, and cultural prejudices. In order to heal intergenerational trauma, restore Indigenous rights and sovereignty, and promote social justice and equity, efforts towards decolonization, reconciliation, and Indigenous self-determination are imperative.

News from Indigenous communities

A touching story takes place in Kahnawake, about Elias, a young Cree child, and his family, who are finding happiness in a new cultural zone. This unique location—known as the Mohawk-Cree Teepee—has grown to be a treasured sanctuary that offers a culturally secure setting for customary events and meetings.

The Kahnawake Shakotiia’takehnhas Community Services (KSCS) and Cree communities of Mistissini and Waswanipi collaborated to fund the teepees, which provide a special setting for healing and community building. Elias is honoured with one teepee, while Beverley and Josephine Patton, two Mohawk matriarchs, are honoured by another. The teepee provides Elias’s family, who have been gone from their Cree village in northern Quebec for years, with a sense of home away from home.

Philip Matoush and Sharon Pepabano, a Cree couple, spearheaded the endeavour by planning customary barbecues for their fellow patients who were Cree. An offer of property in Kahnawake, where the teepees are now located, was made by Mohawk friend Bobby Patton, through the generosity of his father Robert Patton, who saw the need for a more accessible and smoke-free area.

This cooperative endeavour between the Mohawk and Cree communities represents solidarity and support, offering a setting for cultural interchange, healing, and reconnection with customs. The Mohawk-Cree Teepee is a symbol of cultural resilience and solidarity that unites the two tribes in peace and healing as Cree and Mohawk traditions blend.

You can read the full article here.

Volunteers needed at the Indigenous Health Centre of Tiohtià:ke!

You can find the sign-up form here.


On March 20, 1845, the Bagot Report on Indigenous assimilation was published.

Here is the full article in The Canadian Encyclopedia.

Save the date

March 21 is the International day of Forests, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and the start of the Week of Actions Against Racism.

Food for thought

Think of your experience in Canada’s parks. How is Indigenous presence acknowledged or absent?

Resource: Home on Native Land, a ten-week course from Raven


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Email Avi Abrams, program coordinator, at respect.kanoronhkwatshera@gmail.com