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Destroyed Infrastructure

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

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Last Updated July 28, 2019