This is a video of a talk given by Professor Bonita Lawrence (Mi'kmaw), who is a friend and colleague of mine and is an Associate Professor at York University, where she teaches Native studies and anti-racism.
From the link:
On October 25, 2008, Dr. Lawrence took part in the 7th Annual New College Conference on Racism & National Consciousness, where she spoke for one full hour on "Genocide, Assimilation, or Incorporation: Indigenous Identity and Modes of Resistance."
In her talk, Dr. Lawrence explores "aboriginal policy", the historical framework through which Canada has sought to erase the identity of Indigenous people, by systematically breaking down their cultures, belief systems, community and family structures, and their governments-in many cases, at the barrel of a gun.
She hones in on three specific occurrences in the 19th century for causing the most damage.
First was Canada's refusal to deal with Indigenous confederacies. Instead, the government singled out individual villages, around 620 altogether-which allowed the govenrment to politically, socially and economically segregate everyone across the land.
Then came the banishment of Ceremony and the removal of strong Leaders, all of whom were over time replaced with "Christian converts" and individuals willing to represent Canada's short- and long-term interests.
Finally, there was the political, social, and cultural disempowerment of Indigenous Women-and the forced assimilation of children-which allowed for the erosion and replacement of the fabric of indigenous identity.
Link to video here. It's a full hour.