The French were among the first group of Europeans to interact with the native Canadians a well as other groups in the north of America. The people in Canada lived along the harbors and sometimes moved to other places looking for shelter from storms. They were also keen to ensure that the lived in places that they could engage in fishing as well as take care of their animals. The French came to Canada and had some effects to their lives. The effects can be said to be mixed considering that some of the acts by the French benefited the aboriginals while others adversely affected their lives. This is why this paper evaluates in detail the various effects that the French had on the lives of the aboriginals in Canada before the year 1867.
First, the French fishermen interacted with the aboriginals groups that lived along water bodies. These groups mainly engaged in fishing activities. In order to settle in Canada, the French people had to get the support of some of the groups which angered the other communities. This led to wars as French supported one group against the other. Wars have usual adverse effects such as deaths as well as injuries. Enmity between the communities in Canada was created by the presence of the French people which affected the way they related together in the future. The wars also hindered the people from engaging in their usually economic activities and this adversely affected the lives of the people in the region.
The other adverse effect that the French had on the lives of the people is that it created a lot of fear in the society. The French people kidnapped the natives in Canada and took them back to France where they were used in various activities. They were paraded in the streets as well as during religious functions. The kidnapping had great negative effects on the society in that it created fear as individuals did not know when they would be captured. Walking alone became dangerous, and people would not engage in their daily activities as usually anymore because of the fear of being attacked and kidnapped by the French people. When individuals are captured and taken away, it means that they leave their families and never get to see them any more. This is inhuman as the broken social ties affect the lives of the society in a great way. The relatives of the individuals kidnapped never get peace as they always keep thinking about what their relative is undergoing. On the other hand, the kidnapped individuals were used as tools in France, and this was causing suffering to them.
A form of slavery emerged in Canada as a result of the French presence in the region. More specifically, the settlements in Canada such as the New France was characterized by slavery where the Indians performed important tasks to the French people. The Indians, in this case, became commodities that were acquired through agreements, seduction or sale. It is known that only a small proportion of the total population, about 5% became slaves. They worked in farms, millers as well as in domestic households of the French people. They also loaded products in harbors which were then transported to France. The few people who became slaves were treated in an inhuman way, and their contact with their relatives was lost which is an inhuman behavior that is not acceptable in the society.
The French people took control of the important resources that were previously under the control of the aboriginals. The aboriginals moved away from their previous settlements along the water bodies that were important for their fishing activities as well as farming. This adversely affected the livelihood of the aboriginals which was not fair. Having foreigners control local resources was a great loss for the natives in Canada who had no choice since they lacked the capacity to defend the important resources.
The competition for the resources in Canada was very stiff and this from one time to the other led to conflicts. While there was cooperation between the natives and the French, discrimination against the aboriginals was very common, and this made their relationships more difficult. Some of the people who were favored by the French were seen as traitors and were also discriminated by the rest of the society. The French people were not ready to adopt the customs of the local people and instead, the locals had to adapt some of the French customs. This means that the erosion of the native culture was initiated by the failure by French people to accept the values that the aboriginals already held.
Plagues emerged in Canada and left many natives dead in the region. The diseases were brought to Canada by the French people at the time and caused many deaths as per the evidence of the skeletons found in the region. The whites were immune to the diseases that were killing the aboriginals and according to the natives, their supernatural powers were being overpowered by the religious deities that the French people believed in. apart from the fact that people were dying because of the plagues, it was evident that the locals were losing their faith in the traditional beliefs that they had. This was an adverse effect on the culture of the natives in Canada.
The French people were after exploiting the resources that they found in Canada, and benefit their country. They bought important resources from the natives very cheaply, and these resources were ferried to France where they benefited the France people. This means that the aboriginals in Canada were losing their important resources that would have changed their lives in future. The French were not being fair in their activities considering that they did not use the resources they found in Canada to benefit the locals but used the same to enrich themselves.
The French administration was financed by the natives who lived in Canada. This was through the taxes that were introduced by the administration. While the French people lived better lives that were financed by the natives, the locals were suffering because they were working hard only for the French people to benefit from their sweat. This angered many natives in Canada who realized that the French were not after improving their situation.
While there were all these negative impacts that affected the natives in Canada, there were certain benefits that were attributed to the French people in Canada. First, the first formal settlement was established by the French people when they settled in one area. The area came to be known as New France, and it is from this point that the France administration was anchored in Canada. For them to colonize the Canadians, they needed an administrative point which was at New France, a new formal settlement. The advantage of these formal settlements enabled the natives to concentrate on their economic activities of their choice. This helped improve the lives of the locals in a great way. The infrastructure in the settlements was improved, and his benefited some of the natives in Canada.
Secondly, the natives benefited from various economic activities that were influenced by the presence of the French people. The greatest economic benefit was the fur trade that was between the natives and the French traders who had settled in New France. The traders who were involved in the activity accumulated wealth, and this meant an improvement in the living standards of the locals. Some individuals had to specialize in the business so that they would reap the maximum benefits and all this is thanks to the presence of France people.
The trade also encouraged people to engage in more agricultural activities because their products could be exchanged for other goods. More land was cultivated, and this led to increased production of food which was exchanged for other products. More specifically, the natives in Canada benefited from the manufactured European goods. The fact that they had a greater choice of products that they could enjoy meant that their living standards were improving. As farmers and fishermen learned new farming methods, their activities became more productive, and they enjoyed better lives as a result of the same.
As the French people settled in Canada, they developed an administrative system that was meant to control the people in Canada and the activities that they engaged in. it is true that the freedoms of the natives were violated by the French people at the time. Those who collaborated with the French people, however, benefited from the relationship that was created. Some of the natives were included in the administrative system, and they were able to access various resources like the other French administrators. However, it is sad that the administration was meant to benefit the France as a country and not the residents of Canada. However, some people learned basic governance skills that were very important for the future lives of the generations that came thereafter. These administrators also were important in championing the needs of the natives so that as the French people continued to steal resources from the natives, the natives in a way benefited from the resources that were being generated from their country.
The missionaries who were part of the French people in Canada brought some positive benefits to the natives. As they preached the gospel, many of the natives became Christians which gave them hope for their future. It also helped shape the behavior of the natives who were previously hostile to each other. As they learned the religious values, they were able to co-exist well for the mutual benefit of all the groups in the country. Up to date, the Christianity fundamental values play a great role in the lives of the natives in Canada.
Education is another important factor that was brought by the French people in Canada. There were schools that were set up and run by the missionaries. Education is very important in every nation and as more natives acquired education, their lives changed and this helped transform the society. Education helped people improve their trade skills as well as the farming activities. The education that the people in Canada got was very important for their future administration as well as involvement in the various economic activities. Extraction of natural resources is dependent on knowledge, and the education changed the lives of the natives in a great way.
It should be realized that other social benefits also were brought in Canada by the French people including healthcare. The locals learned better ways of getting medical treatment and this further improved their lives. They stopped relying on myths and traditional medicine that was not effective all the time. This improved living standards as the mortality rate was reducing. The French people also intermarried with the native Indians, and this created greater social ties between the groups. This played the role of reducing the tensions that existed between the communities in Canada.
In conclusion, it can be seen that the French people had mixed impact on the lives of the natives in Canada. The major objective of the French people was to colonize the natives and take advantage of the natural resources that existed in the country. This is why they introduced slavery and tax system that helped exploit the locals. The other adverse effects include the diseases that killed many natives. There are benefits that are associated with the French people. Religion, healthcare, and education are important developments that changed the lives of the natives. The French also brought new knowledge in fishing and farming industry, and this helped improve the economic activities of the natives. Trade activities in the settled areas helped some natives accumulate wealth. The locals also benefited from the European made products which imp...
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