Assimilation Of The Native Americans

“By the end of the Victorian period hardly a people remained on the
face of the earth whose social structure, culture, and basic way of
life had not been more or less violently disrupted.”
-Cell, ‘Imperial Conscience’
When the first explorers reported that they had reached the Pacific coast, they mentioned that there were inhabitants already occupying the territory. Although sometimes reluctant to even bother reporting on the Native peoples, the explorers stated that it wasn’t worth looking into the cultures of these people . This attitude of ignorant explorers laid the groundwork for prejudicial preconception of the future settlers that ultimately resulted in assimilation. ...

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the colonization period of the 1800’s, settlers started to fill up Britain’s western colony. The gold rush enhanced the popularity of the colony and the settlers became preoccupied with its wealth to deal with themselves adapting to the rights of the Natives and instead were pushed aside and European assimilation began . The settlers were told of the extreme racial differences and beliefs and decided that the only theirs were valid. They saw the Native culture and spiritual beliefs as heathenistic and barbaric; nonetheless, there was the odd settler that saw the cultures of the Northwest Coast to be astounding. Overall, the settlers knew that if they were going to dominate the colony, they would have to constrain the Natives and rid them of their culture.


Before British Columbia reached provincial status in 1871, the colony started to enforce assimilation. The first act of assimilation were the 14 Douglas treaties which took place from 1850 to 1854, when the ...

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the Natives by more or less treating them like wild animals. Reserves for the rest of the province were formed and laws became enforced to keep order among the “savages”.
The laws of the Indian Act were inhumane, for example, there was a passlaw in which any one Native person could not leave the reserve without permission by their Indian Agent. With regard to Indian agents, only they could determine who was status and who was not. The Indian agent could also strip a Native of their status. Such was done when a Native woman married a white man or, if a Native got a University degree, his status would be taken away.

Church Influences

The churches also had a big part in assimilating ...

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Assimilation Of The Native Americans. (2005, July 27). Retrieved October 18, 2018, from
"Assimilation Of The Native Americans.", 27 Jul. 2005. Web. 18 Oct. 2018. <>
"Assimilation Of The Native Americans." July 27, 2005. Accessed October 18, 2018.
"Assimilation Of The Native Americans." July 27, 2005. Accessed October 18, 2018.
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Added: 7/27/2005 04:47:17 AM
Category: American History
Type: Free Paper
Words: 1527
Pages: 6

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