This was an interesting read that helped me understand and grasp the lifestyle First Nations lived after Ewing invaded and forced to restructure their world. Everyone fights to be accepted and can only wish to reach these impossible standards set by society as the Canadian Dream; to be the wealthiest, most powerful, prosper and social mobility. This course has allowed me to understand the concepts and theories that were attached to Maria’s memoir. Maria focuses on the hardships and struggles an ethnic group has to go through and most of this can still be related today.
My main focus will be on explaining the effects of social justice on an individual and ethnic group. Social justice is the equality of unman rights for all and equal access to the benefits and resources of a society. I will be outlining the different social factors that can be seen in both Maria’s memoir and in Canada’s lifestyle. Major social justice issues include poverty and hunger, equal access to education and, fair and affordable housing. Aboriginal people are identified in the Constitution act of 1982, in three separate groups: Indians, Metes, Maria Campbell is identified as, and Intuit.
Aboriginal peoples of Canada have the lowest levels of education, occupation, labor force participation, and income. Residential schools were developed and children were forcibly removed from their families on reserves and placed for adoption or in the care of white families- to De-landing them. This was known as the Sixties scoop’ (SOCIO 101 OH, 2014/1 5, Class 5), which Maria had experienced with her siblings after her mother passed away and her father became a drunk. The Aboriginal people have a long history of their family organization and structure being under attack from a dominant society.
The society developed internalized racism which is when you, believe the things about you and your people. In the memoir, this occurred when Maria (1973) attended school with the white people and they ridiculed her and the others for wearing rags as clothes and being poor. Being poor meant that Aboriginal people lived in poverty, making them particularly vulnerable to impoverishment. After Maria’s mother passed away, her father had asked her to stay home to help with the house chores and to take care of her younger siblings.
Living in poverty means that people lack many of the opportunities available to the average citizen, this con nests with lack of basic education and ay lead to alcoholism, substance abuse, and domestic violence as ways to cope. Maria’s family experienced absolute poverty; the lack Of basic necessities, after her mother passed away but Maria was scared to ask for help, as she knew her sibling would be taken away. Maria helps you understand the affects of poverty in ways that no textbook or lecturer can. She tells her own story of how she followed this pattern even though she had tried her best to self-segregate from her people.
It isn’t being an Aboriginal person that forces you down this path, rather it is the situations you encounter from being raised in relative poverty life, which was the life Maria grew up with amongst her people. She stated in her memoir that they were indeed poor but only when compared to the white people and that her people would come together during holidays to share their wealth, food and happiness. Status roles interconnect to systemic discrimination; that is built into the fabric of Canadian life, as in the case of institutional self-segregation (SOCIO OH, 2014/15, Class 7).
Leaving poverty and establishing a better life is something Aboriginal people did seek for but discrimination was weighed evilly on them. Aboriginal men earned sixty percent and women earned seventy percent of the earning of non-aboriginal men and women. If this was not enough, they were also isolated in peripheral locations far from job markets. Maria mentioned how grandma had to be the sole provider for her family and would take her father even on days that were so cold that you could barely move, of course back when sick role was not commonly used as much as it is now.
Aboriginal schools were not deemed credible so many aboriginal children began attending non-residential schooling where their irredentist would be recognized in Canada. This is still an issue with visible minorities; many are denied jobs due to unfair recruitment procedures. Now that we understand what an Aboriginal person is, it is easier for us to establish their status in society. Status is a position that a person holds in a given social group or organization to which are attached certain rights, duties, and obligations (SOCIO 101 OH, 2014/1 5, class 8/9).
Mavens ascribed status, which is assigned at birth, is female-Metes, which makes her in a visible minority group. During her life, Maria realizes she is a mother once her other passed away leaving her to care for her younger sibling and later for her own children. Her other role is being a daughter, which pushes her to go back home and meet her father and grandma after leaving her family for many year; this is Maria’s achieved status. Maria had a hard time coping with her roles and developed role strain, which is when competing demands are built into one single role causing tension and stress.
This caused Maria to abandon both roles completely and start back to her role as a single metes woman; this is when she found her second husband. Realizing her achieved tutus, she knows this is something she has a choice in and this concept allowed her to make the necessary changes needed for a better life for her children. Maria spoke with so much respect for her father, mother and grandma that it was surprising to read the scene where she had yelled at them for being poor and underprivileged.
Interconnections with other patterns of inequality caused Maria to have a blur vision to who she was speaking to, as she was so dissatisfied with her current role in socio¶y’. Maria, being the eldest had to endure first hand discrimination compared to her billing whom she was able to prepare for. For example, she would save money for her younger sisters to buy better shoes and dresses whereas she had no one to do that for her. Social stratification is shown throughout the entire memoir with Maria wanting to marry outside her people as she had seen that her people only knew how to live in poverty.
She chose to marry a white man and move away from her father, brother and sisters just for that ‘better life’ based on wealth, power and prestige. Of course she did not achieve her prosperous life and endured a life of struggles, which can be elated to her social factors. Maria being a metes meant only hatred from others and her being at a younger age caused women to believe she had no morals thus, this became attached to her status. Maria explored her sexual orientation and quickly gathered many lovers and had two children, both with different men.
Maria was young and naive and did not understand the myth of meritocracy; she could not just attain these achievements from being deserving. Her husband was left with nothing for marrying Maria, leaving Maria with nothing, and they both struggled everyday just as her life was that he left back home. If Aboriginals could just marry white men and be living the ‘Canadian dream’, we would have expected to see a higher degree of movement between classes (SOC textbook), which we know today is still false.
Dependency theory focuses on unequal power relations between developed and less developed nations- like our reserves (SOCIO OH, 2014/1 5, Class 9). Aboriginals were seen as different and this created rationalization. Rationalization is a set of social processes and practices whereby social relations among people are structured according to visible physical difference among them to he advantage of those in the visible majority and the disadvantage of those in visible minorities (Curtis, 2012).
Aboriginal people began to act negatively towards because they were given negative characteristics from the dominant group. Maria began to hate her own people and this caused her to want to leave and no longer be an inferior among them. If social collectivities designated non-aboriginals to be superior than she would marry a white man. These labels that were created has created hierarchies that created a social order where Aboriginals were deemed at the lowest. Maria’s ornamented had told her to not allow anyone to judge her and bring her down, as this is exactly what he or she wanted.
Maria had held her head high and avoided any sort of ethnocentrism but prejudice is very strong and can take over at times. This refers to the negative views of and attitudes about members of various minority groups. Maria being part of the new world would be reluctant to associate with any of the other Aboriginal women that also sought out for the same life. This created more negativity against social oval_Jess and norms. In conclusion, Canada, a nation rich in resources, and a county that Hampton social justice, still has a ‘third would’ within its borders.
Systemic discrimination is only created through our choices views and perceptions. First Nations are not necessarily the only minority group to have to deal with these issues but are the stepping-stone to how to treat others in visible minority group. Although Maria Campbell memoir did an exceptional job to portray the struggles, negative and positive lifestyle of first nations, I would also like to know about Native Indians as well. It was interesting to read how Maria portrayed them and how she felt they were in a way less important Han her people-Metes.