Problematic Implications of Original Advertisement
There has been a copious amount of research done pertaining to the results on colonialism on indigenous people of Canada (Smith, 2009 ). Scholar Andrea Smith defines colonialism as an colonization is the possess in which policies or actions of a group or country gaining control over an another nation. (Smith, 2009). Canada was created as a result of colonial practices in which europeans stole land from indigenous peoples of Canada. There is an overarching theme of scholars feeling as though racist colonial practices resulted in cultural genocide of the aboriginals that inhibited the geographical location of Canada (Nicholas, 1996). It has been argued through research that the implementation of the 1886 Indian Act resulted in intergenerational traumas that still impact indigenous peoples today (Barlette, 1980)
Although it has been demonstrated that Canada has been created as a result of racist colonial practices many Canadians still celebrate the anniversary of the inception of Canada on July 1st. In my cultural Jam assignment I will be jamming an advertisement for A Canada Day event. The advertisement I selected invites citizens to come celebrate the birth of Canada. I find this ad very problematic as the concept of celebrating Canada’s invention essentially means celebrating the cultural genocide of indigenous peoples. While many Canadians decide to celebrate and take part in the Canada day festivities it can be a very painful day for people of indigenous nations.
The analysis of the Canada day advertisement and Canada celebrations as a whole highlights the segregation of indigenous peoples from non indigenous Canadians. As Canadians we need to become better at honoring the experiences of our indigenous brothers and sisters. Canada day should be a day of remembrance and reflection of both Canada’s successes but also the systemic failures that has resulted in generations of pain for indigenous communities.
Explanation of Changes
The main objective of my jamming process was to highlight the systemic racism that occured as a result of colonial practices. I decided to write words over the original advertisement as a way to encourage consumers to remember the policies and events that caused the cultural genocide of indigenous communities. I used the word residential school because residential schools were created to culturally assimilate indigenous youth. Residential schools where sites that students experienced a lot of abuse. The abuse experienced by students within the residential school system caused negative impacts that can be still seen today. All Canadians need to understand and mourn the traumatic experiences of victims of residential schools.
Another word I decided to focus on in my cultural jamming was unseated land. As a result of colonialism most of Canada’s land is stolen unseated territories. All canadians need to be aware that their homes, schools and communities shave been built on stolen land.
I elected to use the word intergenerational trauma to remind all Canadians that the results of colonialism are still lasting within today’s society. It is our job as citizens to educate ourselves on the histories of the severe mistreatment of indigenous Canadians. The process of reconciliation is long and hard and it begins with honoring and empathizing with the experiences of our indigenous brothers and sisters.
I hope my jamming inspired readers to explore the problematic history of the construction of Canada. I argue that empathy and understanding is the first steps in reconciliation. It is up to all Canadians as people living on both treaty and unseated land to understand our histories. I challenge all viewers of my jam to investigate the histories of the indigenous peoples of Canada.