Last Updated October 12, 2017
Across Canada, most Aboriginal communities are trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty because they refused to assimilate to non-aboriginal ways. This cycle is part of the legacy of the Canadian policy on forced assimilation. Poverty in today’s Aboriginal communities was purposely caused by the destruction of traditional Aboriginal infrastructure in an effort to force Aboriginal people from their land into non-Aboriginal communities. The withholding of Aboriginal rights to build traditional infrastructure while the Indian Residential School system erased memories of the cultural functioning of local, regional and national Aboriginal infrastructure, left Canada’s Indigenous Peoples almost devoid of infrastructure. What little infrastructure remains now functions as non-Aboriginal infrastructure facilitating federal programs developed within a system created by the policy of forced assimilation. Traditional Aboriginal infrastructures are missing for trade and commerce, education, resource management, traditional foods, health, justice and more.
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