058_G18_Canada

Global_18

In Focus Canada 58 l www.global -br ief ing.org second quar ter 2014 global  Canada through history 40,000 BCE First people arrive from the Asia region 1501 AD First example of slavery known to take place when 50 natives, presumed to be Beothuk from the shores of Labrador, are forced to Lisbon by Alberto Cantino 9000 BCE Huron settle in southern Ontario along the Eramosa River. Land is still glacial – they survive by hunting Caribou 7000 BCE Many cultures assemble, developing a culture of salmon fi shing. The Nuu’chah’nulth begin whaling on Vancouver Island 2000 BCE Inuit arrive on small boats and establish themselves in the Arctic regions 500 BCE First Nation people run trade routes across what will be known as Canada. A highly diverse population of native tribes have by now settled across Canada, including the Athapaskan, the Haida, the Blackfoot and the Cree 1534 Jacques Cartier claims the shores of the Gulf of St Lawrence for France 1583 Newfoundland is established as England’s fi rst overseas colony 1756 Seven Years’ War begins between New France and the larger and economically stronger British colonies were fi rst created, but are no longer shown on any maps. In the early 1800s, after the church had arrived and treaties had been written, aboriginal children were forced from their homes and families to attend church-run residential schools. Children as young as three years old were taken to schools often thousands of miles away from their homes, forbidden to speak their language and forced to have their hair cut. Countless horror stories have been told by the people who attended these schools, including daily sexual and physical abuse. The idea was to ‘kill the Indian in the child’. After returning home from these schools, the children could no longer speak their language or communicate with their families, leading to a life of isolation, depression and substance abuse – the effects of this have continued on for many generations. The last residential school closed its doors in 1996. On 11 June 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued an apology on behalf of the government and all Canadians to aboriginal people for the mistreatment they endured during that time. Today, in 2014, recreational tourism is the number one industry on the island. Hunting, fi shing and trapping still support many of the residents today, with 8,236 acres of diverse wetlands at their disposal. There is also a unique ecosystem with more than 800 different species of plants and 130 bird species. The island is home to prairie tallgrass, which does not usually grow in the province of Ontario but in the neighbouring provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Unfortunately, pollution plays a major role in the health of the community and its surroundings. The residents are in a constant battle to protect their waters from industrial pollution both from the American and Canadian sides. Upstream is Canada’s petrochemical and refi ning region, also known as Chemical Valley. Legal actions often take years to process and the outcome is not usually in favour of First Nations people or the protection of the environment. Ocean freighters that travel along the St Clair River are responsible for introducing zebra mussels to the lake and the wetlands. During the summer weeks, the beaches need to be closed periodically due


Global_18
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