The national stereotype

Northern First Nations communities are rich in traditional ways and community.
Credit: Mike Seid,

As stated in the current issue of Geez, The Stereotype Issue, stereotypes about other people appear in our minds before we have had a chance to really think about them. We all have our personal stereotypes, but can a nation state share common stereotypes?

The answer is yes, it can. And unfortunately Canada is an excellent example of this.

In this article from briarpatch magazine, author Leanne Simpson examines the recent housing crisis in the First Nation community of Attawapiskat and the stereotypes of First Nations communities that become apparent in the reactions of non-First Nations groups to the crisis.

The country of Canada collectively holds the stereotype that First Nations waste the money that is “given” to them by the Canadian Government, and that the large-scale development of natural resources on First Nation land is the only way for Aboriginals to leave the “poverty” that currently envelops them.

Simpson argues that while Northern First Nations communities are poor by current Western standards, they are rich in many other ways. She goes on to argue that the poverty currently experienced by First Nations people is imposed by the Canadian Government and the corporations that profit from the natural resources on First Nations land, and the way to begin to solve the current problems of First Nations communities is education and respect for decisions made by First Nations communities.

To read the entire article from briarpatch magazine, click here

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