The term Aboriginal is very commonly thought to mean “the firsts” or “since the beginning”. However, the “ab” within “Aboriginal” means “not”, which can then define Aboriginal as not original. In certain perspectives, this can be seen as forcing a new identity onto the First Nations to adapt to. The word Aboriginal was used in this book to describe all the First Nations. The term Indian was first referred to the First Nations when Christopher Columbus mistook America for India in 1492. However, even after many centuries and common knowledge that Indians are citizens of India which is located in Southeast Asia, people are still using the word Indians to describe First Nation peoples.
This indicates that there is still discrimination and a bias against First Nation peoples in the story. It was often used in rude dialogue, for example, when Joey was first introduced to his group home and was shoved into lockers. Heritage is the inheritance of traditions, culture, activities, behaviours, and meaningful monuments and valuables. It preserves and represents history and how people were identified. Heritage can be expressed both tangible and intangible.
The Creator in Aboriginal culture is much like a God. Aboriginals burn various plants to make a smudge, or cleansing smoke, which is called a ritual cleansing. It is believe that when the smoke rises, their prayers will also rise and reach the Grandfathers and Creator in the Spirit World. The Creator was brought up quite often throughout the book, especially during smudge ceremonies. On the very first page, Pete says, “It’s important to make these offerings as we ask the Creator for help.” which gives the reader a basic idea that the Creator is believed to guide someone in the right path or has the ability to enlighten a person. Culture is a term that includes religion, beliefs, language, diet, social activities and characteristics, music, arts, and the general way and habits of life. A warrior has the characteristics of a leader, with the aspects of bravery, generosity, open mindedness, spirituality and righteousness.
The aspects of a warrior closely relates to the values of their culture, and is not only specified for the men of a tribe, but for the women as well. The In Search of Your Warrior Program in this novel encompasses finding your true self, sticking to values and culture, understanding your own thoughts, as well as building up the aspects of a great leader. Guardianship is most usually with the parents of a child, however, this can be transferred to another adult with consent of the parents, or as an order from the court. Guardians are fully responsible for the child, which encompasses where the child will live, proper tending to daily needs, education, culture practices and health care.There was a great example of transfer of guardianship in The Outside Circle. After the death of Dennis, Bernice Carver signed off a permanent guardianship order which released all her parental authority over Joey to the Government.During the time in residential schools, Aboriginal children were not allowed to speak their own language or do any cultural practices and the goal was to assimilate them into modern Canadian society. They were also forced to convert to Christianity.
Tonto was used in this book to describe an Indian (Joey) from an Apache subgroup. It also means foolish, or stupid in Spanish.Residential schools started in the 1870s, and the children who were stripped away from their families and put into these residential schools suffered physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Rules were strictly imposed and when broken, there would be severe and humiliating consequences, which included beatings, whippings, isolation in a secluded area, electric shocks, and burnings on the hands and feet. A term often used with residential schools is cultural genocide. Approximately 50 percent of the children that attended these schools died due to diseases and or mistreatment.
The 60s Scoop happened between 1960 and 1980. It was the act of taking newborns and or young children from their families and placing them separately into foster homes or for adoption, sometimes even to different provinces and countries. This resulted in the loss of their language, history, culture, identity and beliefs. It is believed that approximately 16,000 children were removed from their homes into non-indigenous families during this time.An Elder of an Indigenous community typically provides support, education and teachings which include sharing experiences and passing down knowledge, as well as addressing any possible issues that may be roaming.
The multiple Elders that were present in the novel all gave positive and insightful input and stories during ceremonies. This really shone light onto the members which helped them rehabilitate and become better versions of themself. Witchcraft is most associated with doctors in Aboriginal communities. Witch doctors, or traditional healers, are very well respected within their communities.
Despite the name, they do not have any connections with gray haired and warty nosed witches in fairy tales. During the roleplay in the rehabilitation centre, the medicine man was stereotyped to do voodoo and witchcraft, and was threatened to be thrown into jail or fined if he was caught doing such acts. This displays that Aboriginal culture has not been accepted into modern society Another term for “grandmother” used by First Nations. In Aboriginal culture, the circle represents equality. It symbolises that everyone’s thoughts, actions and words are to be respected. It can also mean family, closeness, and security as a circle is an infinite loop without breaks. Ceremonies and gatherings all took place in the shape of a circle.
During dances, there would be a circle formed by drums and audience members with the dancers in the center. Meanwhile, concessions and other camps will form another circle around them, which signifies the life cycle. In the halfway point of the book, Elder Roy talks to the Warrior Program members about how their community is set up like a circle.
This very closely relates to the symbolism of family, the feeling of warmth and protection, and equality within their people. The bear in Native American culture represents a protector, which symbolises courage, strength, and leadership. The symbol of a bear marked a good omen and showed dominance.The bear represented Pete’s true spirit which explains his authoritative personality at the end of the book.