Life on the Reserve

Canada was once very different from today. Right now, everyone is more than welcome as long as they contribute to the economy and the country but only a few hundred years ago, it was totally different. Going back just a few hundred years and the entire world was once a very different place and one which was full of dangers. Today, there are still very much dangers in the world but back then, they were totally different and so frightening at the time. However, what was life on the reserve like for a native Canadian? Was it really like the movies? Read on to find out more.

Colonists Played Their Part in History

To be honest, Canada was visited by European settlers and since they arrived at a new world, they wanted it to be their own. However, in order to make Canada what they wanted it to be, they have to deal with the first Canadian people. Natives were not always given the respect or admiration that they were due and instead, they were at risk of being wiped out by settlers. Colonists almost destroyed the native people of Canada’s way of life as they were separated from settlers. Living on the reserve wasn’t always the savior either as many believed which did result in many Natives being killed. Settlers were predominately white and they claimed they wanted to protect the Native population but it brought about changes that weren’t welcomed or needed. Separating settlers and Natives wasn’t the answer and many Natives weren’t free to do what they wanted.

Life on the Reserve

Reserve Life

There are different reserves created in Canada and each of them had a local police chief managing them. In some cases, there was one manager, not always police that controlled the day-to-day lives of the Native Canadians. People say the managers owned the Natives and in a sense they did as they had control over their every movement. No one was essentially free to do what they wished as they could before and the level of control varied considerably. Reserves were not the saviors many believed they would be and some thought of them very much like a prison as they were not free people.

How Life Was

If a Native Canadian wished to leave the reserve, whether it was to visit friends or just leave the boundary of the reserve, permission must be granted. What’s more, if someone wished to get married or even find a job they too had to get permission from the manager of their reserve. It wasn’t possible to own land if you were a Native Canadian and there weren’t any rights in terms of citizenship either. It was very much regimented and the routines that were in place were rarely strayed from. Life on the reserve was not easy for any Native Canadian. Bans were put into place over traditional celebrations and even when Christian missionaries came, life wasn’t any better.

Modern Life

In all honesty, there were many, many years of hardship and uncertainty for Native Canadians and for a very long time, people were killed for no reason whatsoever. Life on the reserve was not easy and even as time passed, it still became very difficult. There were many awful periods of time when people were slaughtered and it was truly tragic. If history has taught us anything it’s that history should not be repeated and that it’s important to remember the good and bad. Today, life for Native Canadians is very different and hopefully far better also.For more information read our article