History Book: “First Nations in the 21 Century” by J. Frideres Essay


The book “First Nations in the Twentieth Century” by James Frideres offers some useful insights about the experience of the Aboriginal people in Canada. According to Frideres (24), scholars and historians view colonisation and decolonisation as social processes. These social processes result in the cultural change. The processes affected the experience of the natives.

The book goes further to explain how the First Nations survived the consequences of colonisation. As Frideres (21) indicates, the indigenous people of Canada experienced a sudden cultural shock after colonisation. Majority of the colonialists treated the Aboriginals as individuals without their own moral, social, and cultural values.

My Personal Reflection

Some of the people’s cultural beliefs and practices survived many years of colonisation. Such aspects eventually became part of the Canadian culture. The class readings explain in details why some of the First Nations continued to promote their cultural practices.

The First Nations were unable to lead a normal life due to the endless oppression and victimisation. According to Frideres (53), most of these groups lost their cultural identities. After several decades of colonisation, a new wave of intergenerational trauma emerged thus affecting the experiences and social positions of the natives.

According to Frideres (46), the First Nations re-fashioned their society despite the challenges and obstacles affecting them in the country. The 2011 Canadian Census also indicated that Canada had over 60 active Aboriginal languages. The census divided these languages into twelve distinct groups. The census indicated that Canada was a diverse country because of these cultural practices.

The census also indicated that over 213,000 people were using various languages to communicate with each other. Some of the cultural groups identified during the census included the Inuit, the Algonquian, and the Dene. Another group reported during the census was the Mi’kmaq. The Mi’kmaq speakers belong to the Algonquian group. Most of these native languages are currently spoken in Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

Although Canada has a small number of Aboriginal speakers, the outstanding fact is that the country has a diverse population. This situation explains clearly how the First Nations dealt with the challenges, heartaches, and obstacles affecting their lives (Frideres 42). The class readings also highlight some of challenges and obstacles faced by these indigenous people.

At the same time, these natives conserved most of their cultural beliefs, languages, and practices. This situation explains how the First Nations managed to conserve their cultural values and ideas. The interaction between the natives and the colonialists resulted in the cultural trauma. This was a major obstacle because it affected the lives of the indigenous people.


The class readings are relevant because they have equipped me with the best concepts, ideas, and information about the experience of the First Nations in Canada. The chapter “Intergenerational Trauma and Impacts of Colonization” goes further to examine how colonisation and oppression affected the lives of these indigenous people.

The readings have also widened my knowledge and understanding about the nature of life in Canada especially during the 20th century. Some of the socio-cultural changes that took place at the time had numerous impacts on the lives of the natives (Frideres 74).

The outstanding fact is that these natives conserved most of their cultural values, languages, and morals despite experiences and challenges affecting them. In conclusion, this discussion explains why (and how) the First Nations managed to retain their cultural identity.

Works Cited

Frideres, James. First Nations in the Twenty-First Century. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. Print.

History Book: “First Nations in the 21 Century” by J. Frideres

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