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Lecture 4: Eurocentric Interpretations of First Nations Soci
Transcript of Lecture 4: Eurocentric Interpretations of First Nations Soci
Eurocentrism is defined as “the focus in history books, historical narratives, and literature on the heroic deeds of people whose ancestors are from the European continent, to the exclusion of those of other geographical and ethnic origins” (Gleason et al. 398).
French Colonial Period
Mercantilism was predominate and fur trading with the Aboriginal became a lucrative business.
In order to encourage settlement, in 1680 the French Crown offered both French and Aboriginal women 50 livres as dowries to educate aboriginal girls to prepare for marriage.
Colonization of First Nations People
Colonialism: "understood as the extension and consolidation of territorial, political, economic, social and cultural control by one cultural group over one or more others would have profound effects on understandings of gender within and across cultures" p. 24
Mercantilism is the main economic system used during the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. Its main goal was to increase a nation's wealth by imposing government regulation on foreign trade through military force and trade monopoly.
Colonialists such as Cabot believed a nation's commercial strength could be maximized by monopolizing a foreign country’s exports.
• Given the nature of colonization in Canada, Aboriginal Scholar Winona Stevenson argues that four periods of Aboriginal white relations can be identified:
1) French colonial,
2) English colonial
3) late pre-Confederation and
4) post confederation.
European ideal of womanhood revolved around female domesticity.
• English women were confined to the household, where they were subordinate to their fathers, husbands or the closest male relative.
• Their domestic responsibility was to manage the men’s financial and material resources responsibly. Stevenson states that the “ideal woman was characterized by the virtues of piety, purity submissiveness and domesticity” (55). S
• In short, she was to be selfless, gentle and submissive.
Second Phase: English Colonial Period
is the “ legal and cultural practices of male power exercised over wife and children: the dominance of masculinity over all other genders.
The observations of early male European travelers who wrote about Aboriginal women as drudges, slaves, or prostitutes represent a male Eurocentric bias.