Presentation on theme: "Chapter 12: Changing Societies in the West Topic 1: Treaties in the West Topic 2: Peoples from Eastern Europe."— Presentation transcript:
Chapter 12: Changing Societies in the West Topic 1: Treaties in the West Topic 2: Peoples from Eastern Europe
Chapter Focus: Was the impact of Canada’s immigration policy on each of the peoples in Western Canada positive or negative?
People and Policies The word policy has two meanings- one as an understanding, and the other as an action plan. For example, a government may have a policy regarding the way a country should be run, such as a policy to maintain a healthy economy. The country could also have policies in place on how to maintain a healthy economy The National Policy was the main government idea to help Canada grow through: an immigration policy; a transportation policy; an economic policy.
Different Reasons The First Nations between the Great Lakes and the Rocky Mountains made 11 treaties with the Canadian government between 1871 to 1921. These are known as the Numbered Treaties. The main reason the government made these treaties was to gain control of the land and natural resources. At the time, the United States was experience conflicts with the First Nations people – John A Macdonald did not want that to happen. He also knew that violence would slow down his desire to expand Canada.
Different Reasons First Nations’ reasons for agreeing to treaties was to protect their rights to their lands and natural resources. The First Nations’ leaders also realized that more people would be coming to the west and they needed food and money that the government was promising. Many groups were threatened with disease and starvation if they refused. Some saw the treaties as a better alternative than war. Others wanted help to start a new life in farming. The government promised to hold the land in trust and in doing so, ensure the people and their cultures would survive.
The Treaties Each treaty was slightly different, but the main agreement was that the Canadian government promised to provide First Nations with cash payments, certain goods (fishing and farming equipment), and services (education and health care). In exchange, they would allow homesteaders onto their lands. Certain areas of land, called reserves, were set aside for First Nations sole use – newcomers were not allowed to live there.
The First Nation’s perspective First Nations ended up with different understandings of the treaty. This happened with every treaty that was signed. At the time, both sides did their best to communicate clearly but language and cultural differences made this difficult.
Assimilation The Canadian government had another policy in mind that was never discussed in the treaty negotiations. This was a policy of assimilation. Assimilation means that one culture dies out because of the strong influence of a dominant group. The Canadian government thought that, as time went by, First Nations would lose their cultures and languages. They would become more like newcomers. To accomplish this, they targeted First Nations’ children.
Assimilation By making the children attend residential schools, and keeping them from their parents the government systematically enforced a policy of assimilation. At the schools, children were forbidden from speaking their own languages or practicing their own beliefs. They were taught their parents way of life was ‘evil’ or ‘savage’. When the children returned home after long periods away, the damage had been done. Residential Schools : http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/03/27/residential- schools-alberta_n_5046176.html Residential Schools
Peoples from Eastern Europe Focus: How did the immigrants from Eastern Europe contribute to the development of Western Canada?
Push and Pull Factors Eastern Europeans, such as the Poles, Ukrainians, Romanians, and Hungarians, formed the greatest number of newcomers to the prairies in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Life in Eastern Europe in this time could be very hard. The people were very proud of their culture and countries but many people lived in poverty with little chance of improvement. In some places, people experienced religious and political persecution – such as the Doukhobors, Mennonties and Jews.
Making a Home Many people chose to settle close to other people who shared their customs and cultures. This helped them adjusted to their new life by allowing them to speak a common language, help each other work, and celebrate cultural celebrations. These new communities, people set up all services they needed, including health care, businesses, places of worship, and schools. As the communities grew, people began to do business together and share traditions.
Contributing to the Economy Many people who settled from Eastern Europe were farmers who came to grow food crops. They preferred large wheat farms, as compared to their Metis and Canadien neighbours, who liked small family farms. These large farms became the base of the Canadian agricultural industry. The land and climate were very similar to back home. This means, most people already had the skills and knowledge needed to farm the West. Winters, however, were colder and longer than in Europe. Other people worked in the mines and logging camps or helped build the railways. Some opened stores.
Education and Health In the early years, many families were simply too busy to send their children to school. They needed all the help they can could get building their new lives. However, in time people began to build schools in their communities. Getting sick could be a disaster for a family as this time, and most simply could not afford to hire a doctor if they needed one. Many areas did not have a medical facility. Some areas and groups developed benefit societies to help each other if members of their community became ill and could not afford care – such as the Hungarian Sick-Benefit Society that started in Lethbridge in 1901.
Cultural Activities Most communities, as soon as people settled in began to build places of worship – such as churches or synagogues. They also formed sports clubs, musical societies, dance groups, choirs, and other organizations that allowed them to share their customs and enjoy time together. However, these groups stayed strong because of their culture – a common sharing of core beliefs, values and worldviews.
Citizenship and Identity People of various ethnic groups helped each other in the West. Immigrants from Eastern Europe took advantage of their new freedom to get involved in politics. It was not long before they were winning elections into public office. For example, in 1913, Andrew Shandro was elected into Alberta Legislature. He was the first man of Ukrainian heritage to do so. Today there are over three million Canadians of Eastern European heritage. Many of these people are descended from those first immigrants.