Category Archives: Socials

Here Comes Election Day!

I am not good at politics. I find it confusing and never seem to be able to keep the terms straight. I used to also find them really boring, most likely because of that lack of understanding. That being said, I am starting to understand how everything works. Class taught me a lot, however it really was my classmates, in between lessons, re-explaining terms and concepts that helped me through with concepts sticking. Now that things make sense, I actually am really interested in what the parties are saying and proposing are the best courses of action. I like that I’ve started to see things I support within party platforms.

One narrative I really care about is geography, more specifically the environment and what we should be doing about it. I feel that we as a community are not caring enough about what we are doing to our Earth, an Earth that is supposed to last a lot longer than it will if we continue the way we are. We need to start looking more into clean energy as well as renewable resources. We need to start lowering our carbon output and work to lessen the amount of fossil fuels that we are burning.

A party that is really behind this is the Green Party. In their campaign, the Green Party talks about cutting the use of coal to make energy, therefore lessening the amount of carbon being released into the environment through burning. They also talk about working to lower our green-house gas emissions. While there are parts of their campaign, like the carbon pricing, I don’t completely understand, they seem to be the only party that cares about what type of Earth we are leaving behind for our future generations.

Another thing I care about is rights and recognition to people with mental illnesses. Should someone with a mental illness commit a crime because of said illness, I believe that instead of being put in solitary confinement, they should be given the chance to go to a mental institution to better themselves and lower the chances of reoffending. I also believe that us as a society need to work to rid the stigma mental illness has developed. We need to start recognising it as an actually illness, as legitimate as any sickness or injury.

While mental illness is not a priority for any party, many parties have statements on the topic. Here is a website where an interviewer sent questions regarding mental illness and how the parties plan to address the topic (3rd position paper down). The Green Party agree that mental illness is something we need to look into more and that we need to improve the amount of support people with mental illnesses get. The Liberals are in high support of giving attention to mental illness. They state that they “firmly believe that all Canadians must receive equal treatment regardless of the type of illness with which they are afflicted”. Due to an error on the website, the NDP’s response is unavailable. The Conservative Party did not directly answer the questions asked and instead directed the interviewer to view their party platform. As they did not wish to answer the questions, I am not lead to believe that their efforts are in the best interest of the people with mental illnesses.

While I am still learning of the platforms that the parties are proposing and though I am not old enough to vote, I am happy to know there are government parties that support things I believe we should be fighting for.

Suicidal Rates among Aboriginal People

Considering that suicide among aboriginals was almost non-existent in the 1980’s, it is shocking to learn that the suicide rate for Aboriginals now is almost 5 times that of the National Average. Suicide and self-injury is the leading cause of death for Aboriginals up to the age of 44 and is especially common among the Aboriginal youth. Why are suicide rates so high? Is it a result of the psychological impact that residential schools had all those years ago? Or is it something else entirely?

There are many theories as to why suicide is so prominent within the aboriginal community. Some theories talk about acculturative stress. Acculturative stress is defined as a reduction in health status. This stress would be derived from circumstances such as residential school experiences, forced adoption or foster care, forced relocation as a community, and denied recognition as a race (as the Metis experienced). This stress can be passed on to other generations through intergenerational trauma. Intergenerational trauma is when trauma is passed on from first generation trauma survivors to second generation offspring and so on. Experiencing such things could put individuals at risk of suicide.

Another theory includes an observed domino effect. Aboriginal community members have noted that some suicides have occurred as if to imitate a previous suicide. It has been noted that youth tend to romanticize the idea of suicide. Other sources comment on how suicides seem to be normalizing. More theories include it being a result of racism, poor health, and unbearable childhood traumas.

When asked about the reasons behind the high suicide rates, Ermineskin First Nation Chief Randy Ermineskin said that it’s “a very, very tough question to answer because you can say one thing and then the next day the ones you think are doing right could be the ones that are affected by it. There`s too much noise out there for our young people nowadays and we`re not monitoring it and we don`t know what`s going on behind their bedroom doors.”

This April, the UN and the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PEII) met and addressed many issues including the suicide rate concerns. Following the meeting, it has been recommended that the World Health Organization “address self-harm and suicide among indigenous children and young people” (iisd).

Luckily, measures are already being taken to prevent these aboriginal suicides. Health Canada have created a National Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy (NAYSPS). NAYSPS aims to work to involve Aboriginals in more community-based activities related to preventing suicide. They also plan to increase the number of local suicide prevention professionals as well as youth connections online. There is also the Centre for Suicide Prevention that has adopted similar strategies. The website “Creative Spirits” suggest that efforts be made to heal the trauma that suicide leave on communities. They also talk about working to strengthen Aboriginal culture and language within the people as well as teach Aboriginal culture in schools and recognize Aboriginal laws.

While plans are being made to fix this issue, this is not an issue that is well known. We, as a community, need to help by raising awareness of this suicide crisis as well as work to support the Aboriginal communities. By raising awareness, we can hope that news of this problem will reach the ears of people that can make an impact on the issue. These Aboriginal suicide rates are much higher than those of non-aboriginals, especially in youth, and it is something that needs to be addressed for the sake of the suffering communities.

Humans are like the colour Purple

B2: Evaluate the impact of interactions between Aboriginal peoples and European explorers and settlers in Canada from 1815-1914.

When looking at this topic and its Suggested Achievement Indicators (SAIs), something that really draws my attention is the involvement of Aboriginals, especially Aboriginal women, in the Fur Trade. I love that this topic can tie into other SAIs through building off of that topic. For example, because the Aboriginals helped with fur trading, the helped with the economic development that Canada gained from the Fur Trade. During the role play, I researched a lot about Aboriginal women’s involvement in the fur trade, being that my role had me being one myself. Passion-wise, I find that I’m interested in this topic because I like learning of circumstances and times when women, still possibly being seen as a minority, had vital roles in shaping societies that we have today, or at least helping us to get here.

One aspect that really interests me is the friendship treaties that the Aboriginals made with the people of Nova Scotia. Questions that this topic sparks include things like how did they work, how were they enforced, did they need to be enforced, etc. Another question would be what would happen if we were to try and implement such treaties nowadays. Would it work? Do we even have cause too? I suppose we could conclude that the treaties were simply truces that were made and honoured with no need to be enforced. As far as making those treaties nowadays, I would need much more information before trying to answer that question. I will know that these questions are answered when I have an answer that I can accept as viable as well as accurate, logical, and factually backed up.

This PLO can be connected with various different PLOs. B2 analyses interactions between roles established in B1. It shows the influence of immigration on Canadian Society (B3) because it shows how immigrated cultures (French, British, Irish, etc.) are influencing existing cultures (the Aboriginals). These connections show that society isn’t black and white, that they can’t be divided into separated sections. Humans are a messy species, we are imperfect, and because of this, the lines that are drawn to attempt division are blurred and overlapping. That’s the way the world works. Even when dividing colour, purple can be both blue and red.

Socials Mid-Term

We have reached confederation! During the first half of the term, the class studied the confederation through a role play scenario where we took on characters from different social classes (i.e. The English, The French, The Natives).  Role play activities ranged from twitter debates to in-class debates, from read packages to writing proposals. Through these activities, I fulfilled multiple Prescribed Learning Outcomes (PLOs) while still falling short on some as well. There were three PLOs that I believe I completed well: B1, B2, and C1. Three PLOs I feel I could have done more with were B3, B4 and C2.

Multiple PLOs were fairly easy to complete because of my character: Rosalie L’Hirondelle. Rosalie was not a real person, leading me to do quite a bit of personal researching on the topic of Aboriginals and, more specifically, Aboriginal Women and their involvement in the fur trade. While constructing Rosalie, I developed a strong understanding of Aboriginals involvements in the trading companies as well as the women’s involvement with the French Canadians. I researched about how Aboriginals and their knowledge of the land helped the development of Canada. This is proof of B2.

After developing and researching our characters, we shared our characters within our quads and learned about everyone else’s roles. It was during that conversation that I meet B1. Within the conversation, I learned about the impact of the railway as well as the perspective of a African-American slave refugee. I compared the roles of myself with other Aboriginals, English politicians, slave refugees and French common folk.

The readings provided by Mr. Jackson also helped with understanding PLOs, like C1 for example. At the beginning of the unit we were given a package with the title “Towards Confederation”. Within the package, it depicted the causes of the 1837-38 rebellions; such as land claim, religious favoritism, and political support, as well as its consequences; like the Durham Report and the Act of Union. It gave me knowledge that I would require to be able to describe the events that occurred and what the Durham Report and the Act of Union pertained to.

Of course it would be unreasonable to say that I completed all the PLOs perfectly. PLO B3 was addressed during one of the packages. We read the package; however, I didn’t retain the information. In future, I need to work on retaining the information that I read about as not to forget about important influences on Canada’s society like immigration.

Just like B3, C2 had a package that addressed the PLO. And while I read this package, I have found that I read it because it was homework and not because I was expanding my knowledge. I need to focus more on working to learn the information in packages as opposed to skimming paragraphs to say I’ve read them.

During the role-plays, there were multiple French and English interactions that were witnessed by everyone that hinted at factors that contributed to the changing identity of Canada; however, being an aboriginal, I had a withdrawn view of these interactions Because of this, my knowledge of B4 is limited. In future role-plays, it would be beneficial for me to do extra research in order to gain more knowledge about PLOs that don’t directly affect my character.

In conclusion, I completed multiple PLOs while there were still multiple I could have done more on. Most of the PLOs that I obtained were done so through exploring my character. The most beneficial step to take in future socials classes and units would be to work harder to learn and retain information given through reading packages.

Twitter Interactions

Many of my interactions were with either Tecumseh or John A. Macdonald. John and I had some long arguments.

I feel I had some good points:

 

My conversations with Mr. Macdonald were short; however there were multiple. Example 1,  Example 2, Example 3

My talks with Tecumseh were few, but I always loved what he had to say.

For more conversations, look at my timeline.

Rosalie’s Final Address

History, see me as someone who took what life gave her and made opportunities out of it. All my life, I was given the short stick and yet, here I am, with a natural death that followed a happy life. I was an aboriginal woman, the minority of the minority, who was given away like a prize to a French fur trader. Still, I made opportunities. I learned French, had a daughter, and got involved in the fur trade. I developed a strong relationship with my husband, and he often was willing to give me a voice by raising opinions on my behalf. Yet I still fought this oppressive society. When I was very old, English became the only official language. Do you know hard it is to attempt to learn yet another language while brushing death? Not knowing English put me at even more of a disadvantage than I was before. Just before I died, French became an official language. What a happy day! I was finally gaining advantages in this society! But now what is this I hear, an aboriginal nation impossible? Why is this true? I hear that the votes were not outrageously outbalanced, we only needed six more votes. Though if you think about it, the teams were not exactly fair. Sometimes I wonder if those in the majority like having minorities, I mean, how do you expect us to vote and become equal, if being a minority makes us more likely to be outvoted?

Post #1

Post #2

Twitter Conversations

Ends of My Days

1842

Tân’si. Bonjour. Hello.

It has been a year since Lord Durham gave his report and the Act of Union was implemented. Because of the act, English is the only official language.

After marrying a French Canadian, French became my second language after Cree. After having nitânis, I learned the Métis language that was created by her and her generation. We travelled until I was 50, then we settled down and I started working at a trade post. During the next 3 years, I did most of my work in French. I had picked up some English, but it was a complicated language. Now, I need to do all of my work in English, yet another language for me to learn. It’s a wonder that they don’t start blurring together.

The past year has been a pain, trying to keep up with my work as well as learn this new language. It’s insulting that they expect us all to conform to these new language rules, especially when majority of Lower East Canada speaks French. Many people see me as an old doddery Cree woman who should have died years ago and is trying to stick to ” the old ways” but the French deserve to speak their own language as much as the English. Anyways, this “doddery woman” should go and try to learn more English. Maybe I’ll soon be able to work without a translator.

Kîhtwâm ka-wâpamitin. Au revoir. Good bye.

 

1850

Tân’si. Bonjour. Hello.

I have lived many years and I believe my time is drawing to a close. At 62 years of age, it is safe to say that I’ve experienced most of what life has to offer.

2 years ago, French was accepted as a national language because of all the protests from Quebec. It took them long enough. I’m sad my husband didn’t live to see that happen. He died in ’46.

I’m happy that trades with England through the Hudson’s Bay Co stayed up and strong after the Act of Union.

During my year, I’ve really noticed how the fur trade has changed t.he way the Cree live. The native people no longer hunt for our food, we don’t have the time. We are dependant on the Europeans. The animal populations are also suffering because of all the surplus hunting.

I hope that things work themselves out, I will not spend my last days worrying about things out of my control.

I must go. I wish to spend time with nitânis and the rest of her family before I am gone.

Kîhtwâm ka-wâpamitin. Au revoir. Good bye.

Rosalie L’Hirondelle dit Mistawasis died in the year 1851

Documenting Travels

1820

Tân’si. Bonjour. Hello

While Cree people believe in passing on their stories orally, there are not many Cree’s that I encounter that don’t know my stories. Therefore, my husband, Jean-Paul, has encouraged me to start writing down my stories, to both document my stories and help improve my writing. My daughter Sophie, or nitânis, was also encouraged to do this, I hope she will. It will be good for her to practice her writing and French if she wants to work at the trading company.

I guess with this being the start , I should catch you up on my life so far.

I was born in 1788, at a reserve just south of the Hudson’s Bay, where I was given the name Mistawasis. I went to school, played with dolls, and did chores around the reserve, just like every other Cree child there. I sometimes went on trips with nikâwiy and nohtâwiy, my mother and father. I loved those trips where nohtâwiy would teach me about hunting, and tracking, and nikâwiy would teach me about the plants that could be found in different areas. Because we lived so close to where the Hudson’s Bay Company was situated, it was common for the elders on the reserve to work for the Hudson’s Bay Company. We helped the Europeans hunt and we would help guide them  when they travelled to trading posts.

When I was 15, I was offered as wife to a French tradesman named Jean-Paul.  When I married him, I took on a French name, Rosalie L’Hirondelle, as was accustomed for us. I travelled with him, sewing and patching clothes, making him food. Because of those trips I went on when I was younger, I knew the land better than the traders most times. In 1805 , I had nitânis, my daughter. I had her while we were travelling back from York Factory to Fort Rupert, where we lived.

We spent a couple of years travelling from fort to fort, trading within the company and helping transport goods and information.

In spring of 1812, Jean-Paul was assigned to accompany the Coureurs des Bois back to England and France. Sophie and I went with him. There was another tradesman there that started teaching Sophie how to write common letters. I often listened along as I hadn’t ever properly learned. It kept us entertained for those long 8 months. When we came back to the fort, we heard news of the war of 1812. I was shocked that the Americans were trying to take Canada and that they thought that Canada would surrender easily.

There was much fighting between the Americans, the British and the French. The French and British ended up working together to defend the boarder and took Detroit, which they then gave back. The war ended in 1814 when the Treaty of Ghent was signed. I’m so glad that that is over.

And now it is 1820. The Hudson’s Bay fur traders are still going strong however we are often competing with the Northwest Company. Things are getting serious as far as rivalries go, I hope everything resolves itself. Nitânis still travels with Jean-Paul and I but she also works at one of the trading posts whenever we aren’t travelling. She definitely has a different life than I did growing up, but she’s first generation Métis so that is to be expected.

We are moving on so I must stop writing. I think I may continue with this, it helps me to understand this language so much more.

Kîhtwâm ka-wâpamitin. Au revoir. Good bye.

The War of 1812: The Only War in Which Canada was Attacked (I think)

‘Initially, much of the war consisted of America’s attempts to take Canada, which ay map will show you went smashingly. Americans were confident that the Canadians would rush to join the U.S.; when marching from Detroit, General William Hull informed the Canadians that “You will be emancipated from Tyranny and oppression and restored to the dignified station of free men.” And the Canadians were like, ” Yeah, we’re okay actually,” and so the British in Canada, with their Indian allies, went ahead and captured Detroit and then forced Hull’s surrender.’

John Green, Crash Course, The War of 1812

I chose this quote because I was fascinated about how confident America was in taking Canada, when in reality, they had no reason to be confident at all.

Throughout the video, I gained the impression that the Americans believe that they won the war, when they didn’t and Canada actually gave them back Detroit. This interested me because it showed me how much perspective changes our perception.

This can relate to what I was talking  about in my last Socials post about our mentality and its development. By taking note of different perspectives, we become more aware of others mentalities, therefore leading us to develop our own.

Another thing that can relate is my brief comments on empires. During the war of 1812, it could be safe to say that Canada and the British were an empire while America was another.

Now, this video doesn’t do an amazing job; however, it could help us to gain some incite on section C2 of the Grade 10 Prescribed Learning Outcomes (PLOs). While I still don’t know exactly who was involved in the Confederation, this war, and the interactions between Canada, Britain, and America, could have influenced the opinions of the people involved in establishing the Confederation. This, therefore, may have lead to outcomes of the Confederation being different than they would have been, were the war not to happen.

Humanity’s Journey: Both Physical and Not

Humanity has had quite a journey, and it’s not even close to being over. Physically, we started out, where, in Europe? Christopher Columbus journeyed here and took over the native people that were here. We have gone from a monarchy to a democracy to monarchy…. now some places are under one form of government with others under another. Humanity has experienced empires, both formal and informal, like the Hans Chinese Empire; as well as superpowers like the Russia and the American Empires.

Psychologically, we have started to accept all types of people. Women and people of colour have the right to vote and people have started to accept homosexuality as being a way of life and not a choice. Our mentality is forever changing and improving; for example, we have come to realise the world is not flat and is actually round. We now know that the planets don’t revolve around the earth, but rather the sun. We realize that we aren’t the center of the universe, but we could be. Who knows?

The thing is, we don’t. We don’t know a lot of things still, and there are many issues where we actually have an abundance of things that we can improve on. Our world is constantly evolving and us with it. Where may we be in 3, 5, 10 years?

How much of space will we have explored? Is it really the final frontier, or will we find a new frontier for us to explore. Maybe, we will have found another planet capable of sustaining human life. We could be living on another planet in 10 years, or at least travelling to it. Could we devise a new type of government in the next few years? If so, we could have a government that is neither a democracy or a monarchy.

As far as mentalities go, I hope that we will continue to progress in our acceptance of all of humanity, whether a person is male, female, transgender, gay, straight, asexual, black, white, Asian, etc. I hope that we will continue to improve on equality and fairness between people and that we will let go of discriminatory behavior.

And of course, there are always discoveries that we cannot predict happening. For example, just today, scientists announced that in as little as 2 years, it may be possible for same-sex couple to be able to have biological children together. (For more information, click here.)

The only thing that we can say about where we are going is that we are going forward. It is like walking with a blindfold on. We can’t see if we are going to be hit by a huge obstacle or if we are going to fall into a deep pit. We can try to make it so we don’t crash and burn by planning, as if holding our hands out in front of us to feel what’s coming; we can take it slow, try to figure out what will happen before it does, like finding the ground before transferring our weight forwards. But in reality, we aren’t going to know what’s ahead of us until we move forwards.

We are going forwards.