Early the established social structures. Furthermore, Hanson states

Early European settlers felt obligated to educate foreigners in Western modernity. As they settled in Canada this belief very quickly became a means to perpetuate injustice and tyranny as exemplified by the creation of the reserve system. In her article entitled “Reserves,” Erin Hanson argues that the establishment of the reserve system in British Columbia, was highly problematic as it gave rise to long lasting issues that are difficult to eradicate today. Hanson defines the Indian reserve as “a tract of land set aside under the Indian Act and treaty agreements for the exclusive use of an Indian band.

” In an attempt to “civilize” the Indigenous people, Hanson claims that the Europeans did the opposite by creating areas of extreme political, social, and economic crisis. Socio-economic problems have been a prominent feature on many of these reserves. According to Hanson, reserves not only alienated the Indigenous from their traditional land, but it also tore apart people that hunted and gathered together for centuries, disrupting the established social structures. Furthermore, Hanson states that housing on these reserves could “hardly accommodate more extensive aboriginal families” making adequate shelter another social issue.

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Economically, Hanson says that many reserves were unsuited for farming because of the “poor soil quality and steep slopes.” Moreover, Hanson demonstrates that the Indigenous people were denied economic opportunities “due to open racism and competition with immigrant.” All in all, the Indigenous were severely limited and as a result unable to sustain themselves which led to a rapid increase in poverty, substance abuse, suicide, unemployment, and mortality on the reserves. The answer to many of these crises is change, not money or endless meetings and empty words.

Non-indigenous Canadians need to inform themselves and get past this prominent “us vs. them” thinking that allows such inequity to go on.


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