The aboriginals are the earliest inhabitants of Canada. They include the Inuit, the Metis people, and the first nations. 4.3% of the Canadian population constitutes people who have an Aboriginal origin, most of whom are young, and densely settled in urban areas. Being the first inhabitants, they are said to have pioneered the setting up of the political, social and economic structures of Canada, which later was altered by Europeans during colonialism. The Canadian Aboriginals face some challenges. The Aboriginals are poorly waged. Most aboriginals are highly uneducated, and for this reason, they hold lower positions in workplaces. The highest percentage of school dropouts and poor performers includes the natives. This also explains why most aboriginals are poor. Low wages result from Illiteracy. Poor remuneration has therefore been a major reason behind higher poverty levels among the natives. Poverty is cyclic among the aboriginals. High dependency ratio among the natives explains why poverty never ends. The aboriginals lack access to proper healthcare facilities and are therefore more vulnerable to diseases and death. Underinvestment in healthcare in regions where the natives reside explains the high fatality rates among the aboriginals. Another challenge encountered by the natives is alienation from political processes. The natives are underrepresented in the government systems. Most of the government officials in Canada are non-aboriginals.
There are hence few people in government representing their issues. Bringing to light problems faced by the natives in Canada is vital as it will help learners give solutions to the problems, it will make human rights movement’s officials fight for the deprived rights, and it will also create awareness to the natives themselves about the denied rights and their unmet needs.The main purpose of this paper is to discuss one contemporary political problem facing the Canadian natives, examine the primary forces that have generated the problem using a theoretical approach as well as offering solutions to that particular issue.
Political alienation means peoples interests and needs are not well represented in government by the elected government officials. In the Canadian politics, the interests of the natives, the non-aborigines are portrayed as differing instead of being equally beneficial to the entire country. Although the Canadian government claims to have extended constitutional rights to the natives, it never was so in reality. One major political issue facing the indigenous people in Canada is the alienation of the aboriginals from political participation and developmental policies. The Canadian natives are barely part of the political structures of the government.
They are not well represented in the Canadian government, and this explains why their needs are not served as priorities by the government. The natives are highly uneducated, and for this reason, the government usually feels that they cannot be a part of the political structure, which is a forum for the elites in the country. Alienation from developmental policies explains why they lag behind economically. The government and the political policies in Canada are to blame for the scarcity of vital resources in areas where the aboriginals reside. The governments inadequately provide for healthcare services in remote areas where a large number of natives live. This explains the reason behind a large number of aboriginal’s deaths in Canada. The government and its policies have alienated the people from political processes such as participating in voting. Most Canadian natives do not possess citizenship neither do they possess national identity cards. This means that most of them do not participate in political processes such as elections. The government is to blame for failing to create awareness to all people on their civil rights. The Canadian government is not a representative of all it only represents the non-aboriginals interests.
The political institutions that have continuously ignored the rights of the natives are to blame for the problems that the natives are facing in Canada.The alienation theory can help in describing selective underdevelopment in Canada. The concept of alienation which was first developed by Karl Marx. According to Karl Marx, the concept can be classified into ideological, human, social and political alienation. Alienation theory explains how a selected group of individuals are deprived of the privileges that another group enjoys. The approach can help explain the political isolation of the original Canadian inhabitants from the Canadian political systems as well as democratic processes. The natives, in this case, are alienated from good education systems which makes them underqualified for jobs that pay well. They are therefore indirectly alienated from good remuneration systems. This means that they are not only politically alienated from the administrative activities, but also eliminated from the economic activities of Canada.
Forces generating political alienation
The theory can help explain a significant force that has contributed to aboriginals political alienation, which is the class structures. There exist the upper class and the lower class. The upper class is the non-aboriginals while the lower class comprises of the poor natives. The class structures create an environment that demands unequal treatment. This explains why the Canadian government argues that the natives and the non-aborigines have diverse interests. Another force that has contributed to the political alienation of the natives is high levels of racism in Canada. Most of the non-natives do not recognize or respect the cultures of the natives. To the elites, the culture is backward. Most of those in government are non-aboriginals. They underrepresent and address the natives interests because they despise the race. The alienation theory explains how they have been alienated politically, socially, economically along racial lines. Political alienation has resulted partly from racial discrimination. Societal and institutional racism has been prevalent in Canada since colonialism. The natives are socially excluded from participating in the democratic process because they are not regarded as significant. The native language is hardly used in the administrations, and therefore the natives are left with no choice other than to remain excluded and unrecognized.Ignorance is another force that has contributed to the political estrangement of the natives in Canada. Most original inhabitants of Canada are ignorant. The political elites take advantage of their ignorance and formulate laws that favor their fellow elites, but that which oppresses the aborigines.
Alienation theory explains how the dominant class takes advantage of an ignorance class, benefits from their ignorance, and at the same time suppressing them. Most aboriginals are uneducated, and therefore only a few of them understand and know their political rights. They, therefore, do not complain or demonstrate when they are denied opportunities to participate in political processes and in choosing the leaders that will bring forward their grievances. Political alienation results from the ignorance of the people. The Canadian governments have refused to acknowledge the existence of the Aboriginals(Hedican 2012). To them, the natives are nonexistent. Lack of recognition by the government itself has been a dominant contributing force to the administrative alienation of the natives. Instead of trying to prevent racial discrimination of citizens, the government contributes to greater social exclusion.The alienation theory is useful in explaining the issue at hand, which is political alienation as a contemporary political challenge faced by the natives in Canada. It is a theory developed by Marx to help explain how workers are alienated from economic privileges through alienation from better wages. In our case, the aboriginals are denied better salaries since most are underqualified for good jobs, due to high illiteracy levels.
They are alienated from the Canadian economic structures indirectly, by being denied opportunities to access good education systems. Karl Marx also used the theory to describe the emergence of social classes and the differences in the social, economic status between the higher class and the lower class. The higher class controls, the lower class, which is deprived of opportunities to advance. In our case, the higher class comprises of the non-aboriginals, who are the elites, and who participate fully in the democratic processes. The political policies made favor their interests and demands since they have a significant representation in the government. The lower class constitutes the natives, who are despised, neglected and alienated from critical political activities such as involvement in the policy-making process. The government does not guarantee their political rights.
The following would be the recommended solutions to the political issues mentioned above Civic education to the natives can help reduce the problem of ignorance. Most aboriginals are ignorant about their political rights, their right to education, their rights to equal treatment by the government and their right to participate fully and benefit from the economic structures of their country. Eradicating this ignorance is one of the most vital means that can be used to empower the oppressed natives in Canada. Oppression by the government has mainly resulted from the ignorance of the original inhabitants. Human rights movements and the Canadian government itself should create awareness among the natives about their rights and privileges in the country. Through civic education, the natives can understand the constitution, where the human rights are spelled out. They can, therefore, be in a position to raise the alarm when their rights violated.
Abolition of social stratification in Canada can help resolve social inequality amongst the citizen in Canada. The government should come up with strategies that will bridge the gap between the aboriginals and the non-aboriginals. Such strategies should include among others, providing equal education and employment opportunities to all and social equality. Providing equal education will help eliminate high levels of illiteracy that have led to discrimination of the aboriginals in the employment sector (Jackson 2017). Social justice will help eradicate social exclusion and inclusion with substandard conditions of the natives in Canada. The natives have been victims of marginalization in the Canadian societies from time immemorial. Reduction of sidelining of some communities in Canada can help eliminate social stratification between the aboriginals and non-aboriginals (Silver 2005).
Laws that encourage the presence of marginalized communities in the political system, is another major force. The socially excluded communities should be allowed to choose a person from their society, to represent their interests and grievances in their political institutions. The administrative structures should be all-inclusive. The governmental officials should come from not only the non-aboriginals communities but also the natives. The interests of the Canadian people should be catered for without any form of discrimination. Some laws by the Canadian government need to be amended to ensure that government resources are distributed to the marginalized societies to make their lives better and bring development closer to their doorsteps (Hedican 2012). The Canadian political institutions fail to give chances to the natives to participate in their legislative processes. Most natives in Canada do not possess national identity cards and citizenship. They, therefore, cannot participate in administrative procedures in the country. The government is to blame for being reluctant on efforts to make all aborigines legal citizens, with all necessary documents that can enable them to participate in democratic processes.
The government should come up with laws that eliminate societal and institutional racism, which is rampant in Canada. Most natives are victimized because they belong to a more inferior race. They are despised and ignored because the rest of the people in Canada believe that they are of minimal importance in the country, mainly because of their race. Discrimination along racial lines is prevalent in the country(Silver 2005).
The Canadian government treats the two races differently, making some Canadians feel more important than others. Institutional racism means that aborigines are not allowed to participate in political institutions because of their race. Change, therefore, should come first from the government itself. The government should treat all citizens equally. It should be just and fair to all races. The political policies should ensure that policies made favor everyone in the country. The government should promote a culture that allows equality of all people. Economic laws should allow for equal economic opportunities for all races. Political provisions should allow for equal political rights, equal political prospects and equal political privileges for all races(Jackson 2017).
Punishing discriminative behaviors can also resolve the problem of political alienation in Canada. Political leaders who come up with policies or make remarks that promote discrimination along racial lines should be arrested and denied any administrative position in the country. Human rights movements should demonstrate against discriminative governmental laws. Governments or government leaders that promote cultural capitalism and racisms should be overthrown and eliminated from the ruling system(Silver 2005).
The government, the political institutions, the discriminative laws and the natives ignorance are the main reasons behind the political problems faced by the aborigines. Political alienation of the aborigines has made them non-existent in the country. Political alienation is a significant challenge facing the Canadian natives. The isolation is to blame for lack of economic, social and political progress in the regions where the aborigines reside. The problems facing the original inhabitants of Canada are not exclusive to them. The same issues as well affect other aborigines in Australia (Hedican 2012). The Australian policymakers should also consider equality in all their endeavors. All citizens, irrespective of their race have constitutional rights that ought to be respected. Governments should eradicate discriminatory policies and practices, and come up with laws that forbid discernment of a particular group of people.
In Africa, where discrimination along tribal lines is also widespread, similar solutions can be applied to resolve the problem of political alienation of some tribes. There should be universal laws that compel all governments to treat all their citizens equally and to have a government that views the interests of all its citizens as mutually beneficial. Advocating for a more uniform distribution of wealth globally can help reduce selective underdevelopment in countries. The needs of all citizens in various countries should be addressed similarly. No race is superior to the other. The issues affecting the natives in America should be addressed similarly. Promoting and supporting cross-cultural understanding worldwide can help get rid of the notion that some cultures are superior to others. Policies made should be those that discourage social, political and economic exclusion of some tribes or races. Customary laws should be recognized in all constitutions. This is to ensure that people are not forced to disengage in ethical, cultural practices. All races together with their cultures should be respected. All races should be treated equally.
List JACKSON, A., & THOMAS, M. P. (2017).В Work and labour in Canada: critical issues.The author provides a broad review of race, racialization and discrimination at work in Canada. He explains how difficult it is for the aboriginals to access some employment opportunities in the country. He also describes the various strategies that can be used by the government to reform wage labor.
HEDICAN, E. J. (2012).В Social anthropology: Canadian perspectives on culture and society.Toronto, Canadian Scholars’ Press Inc.In his book, Edward.j.Hedican, discusses the needs and desires of cultural minorities such the Canadian aboriginals. He also describes the challenges that the aboriginals have encountered since the beginning colonialism. He gives opinions on how the problem of multicultural coexistence within the multicultural framework can be resolved.
SILVER, J. (2005).В A very hostile system in which to live: Aboriginal electoral participation in Winnipeg’s inner city. Ottawa, Ont, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.The author points out the significant difference in voter turnout between the aborigines and the non-aborigines. He explains that the aborigines have been excluded from political processes, which is a consequence of colonization. He also gives a detailed explanation of social exclusion of the aborigines by the Canadian political system.
STECKLEY, J. (2003).В Aboriginal voices and the politics of representation in Canadian Introductory sociology textbooks. Toronto, Canadian scholars Press.The book is about the politics of representation in Canada, whereby the aboriginals are less represented in the political system. Their interests and needs are not met because less political officials represent their interests.
KNOPF, K. (2008). Aboriginal Canada revisited. Ottawa [Ont.], University of Ottawa Press. http://www.deslibris.ca/ID/424760.The article discusses the fight against colonialist’s domination, by the aboriginals. It also explains how the aborigines are still internally colonized. They still do not have freedom, neither do they enjoy their rights even after the end of colonialism.