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Indigenous Studies: Ethno-Ecocide Exam Questions Research (Reaction Paper Sample)


Choose two from the following four choices:

Chapter 16
Throughout our journey in this course, we have revisited the topic of inherent rights of the Original Peoples of so-called Canada.  Since the St. Catherine’s Milling Decision, Canadian courts have up to this point been the arena where ‘Aboriginal’ rights within the Canadian Confederation have been defined.  Read Chapter 16 of the course textbook, “Canadian Courts and Aboriginal Rights”. Reflect on the reading.  The European and Indigenous perspective of land ownership/stewardship and justice are different.  The chapter explores the tensions of the people Oka, conflicts over “resource” claims, and the failure of the Canadian justice system to serve Original Peoples.
This topic requires thoughtful reflection on course material, the reading, and additional resources that you may access to facilitate greater understanding of this body of knowledge.
Throughout this course, we have revisited the issue of over-exploitation of lands and its ‘resources’ as a fundamental aspect of colonization.  In the reading, First Nations Contemporary Issues in Canada, (Chapter 9, Native Nations of North America – assigned course reading on UR Courses), ethno-ecocide is discussed.  A major theme of this reading is that because Indigenous societies are so interdependent with the land, liberation of the environment is liberation of Indigenous peoples.  Reflect upon the definition of the term “ethno-ecocide” (definition, page 277) and the following excerpt from page 304:
“In opposing the ethno-ecocide policies of Canadian society, they are asserting their right to self-determination, and therefore the liberation of their diverse peoples and nations”.
What are “ethno-ecocide policies? What is the writer referring to when he compares opposition to these policies as asserting self-determination?  Share any relevant connections, new knowledge and understandings gained from course readings, lectures and material have with other knowledge you have from previous knowledge from elsewhere. 
This topic requires thoughtful reflection on course material, the reading, and additional resources that you may access to facilitate greater understanding of this body of knowledge.
Canada is slowly transforming into post-colonial state that recognizes its colonial history.  Along side of this, is an ever increasing awareness that the foundation of Canada is in the political thought of Original Peoples. In May of this past year, Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its final report. Throughout our journey in this course, we have revisited the topic of ‘reconciliation’.  As part of our exploration, we watched a video from the website of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Read Chapter 18 of your textbook, “Reconciliation and Revitalization”.  Reflect on this reading. As part of classroom discussions on this topic, we have explored how today’s public discourse must be changed.
Today’s discourse focuses on ideas of separateness, distinctiveness – cultural diversity, ethnocultural accommodation, multiculturalism and how government and society must work to support this.  The perspective that has always been consistently advanced by Original Peoples is one that advances mutual understanding of relationships – mutual friendship & non-interference.  Ideas of dialogue, learning, sharing, use of the ‘good mind’ that addresses how to recognize & embody the establishment and nurturing of good relations.  The new dialogue must challenge the foundations of the current nation-state but do so focusing on collaboration & cooperation, seeking accommodation and coexistence, and accepting diversity.

Topic: Indigenous Studies
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Question 2: Ethno-ecocide
Ethno-ecocide refers to a situation whereby social culture is killed. The original people were against the destruction of their cultural heritage. They opposed ethno-ecocide policies and in this way they were asserting their self-determination, and asserted the liberation of diverse interests of their people and nations. Colonization led to over-exploitation of natural resources and lands belonging to the indigenous societies whom depended on such resources. They knew liberation of their natural resources as the liberation of their indigenous people. They had the individual and collective rights to oppose ethnocide policies; they had the right not to be subjected to such policies. In other words, Battiste showed that the original people had the right not to be subjected to any action that aimed to deprive them of their right or integrity as independent people, or their ethnic identities or cultural values; any action that aimed to dispose them their resources, territories, or their lands; any kind of population transfer that had the intention of undermining or violating any of their rights; any kind of integration or assimilation of other way of life or cultures imposed on them by administrative, policies, legislation or other measures; and any kind of propaganda created against them (56).
Ethno-ecocide policies were policies that aimed to deny the original people the right to transmit, develop and enjoy their own culture and their own language, whether individually or collectively. Ethno-ecocide policies were extreme policies that violated human rights and in specific the rights of the original people as an ethnic community to respect and develop their cultural identity (Ford and Rowse 79). Ethno-ecocide was a way of destroying culture (way of life) and thought of the indigenous people. Ethno-ecocide is different from genocide because whereas genocide kills people in their body, ethno-ecocide kills them in their spirit. The first European commitment to colonize aboriginals’ territories and lands through ethno-ecocide policies aimed to ruin indigenous cultures.
The original people remained united to fulfill and honor their Indigenous sovereignty to protect their territories, lands, and resources. They continued opposing all imposed ethno-ecocide policies that originated from the colonials; thus declaring that imposition of such policies as violating their rights. Colonialist activities led to the destruction of the ecosystem of the environment. Such precarious conditions influenced the original people to resist against colonization and to protect their territories and natural resources.
Colonization led to unsustainable exploitation of the indigenous community’s resources. Colonialists mostly discussed issues of how to exploit indigenous resources without consulting with aboriginal leaders for talks. The original people knew that what was being done behind their backs was bad for their interests. They knew that the colonists’ activities would lead to their destruction. They knew that ethno ecocide policies were full of lies and corruption; the policies created lies because they were manipulated by colonists. The indigenous people resisted against harmful environmental and social impact of such policies by working together across their territories (Preston 46). Indigenous resistance to the ethno ecocide policies was vital since such policies negatively impacted heavily on the indigenous people and their resources.
The Aboriginal people maintained their culture and responses and continued to liberate themselves from the Eurocentric ideologies of resource exploitation. The indigenous people remained united to struggle for their survival as distinct people based on their uniqu...
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